Spyin' Kop - Liverpool vs Middlesbrough - 18/04/2007

Posted by Welshred on April 17, 2007, 09:18:16 PM

With the season starting to draw to a close now, Champions League semi finalists Liverpool play mid table Middlesbrough in the league and, with Liverpools Champions League progress all but assured for next season, both sides not really playing for anything but position with the extra prize revenue that it brings. Liverpool are finishing the season strongly, like last term, unbeaten in 6 and showing everyone the reason why Reds fans all over the world were convinced that this would be the year we'd compete - if only our early season form was as good as this. In contrast 'Boro have lost three of the last four Premiership games and only won once in their last 7 games full stop. Inconsistency has been the key for them this year, but in Gareth Southgate's first season in charge finishing in mid table is a good step in the right direction for improvement next season.

Last season's corresponding fixture ended in a 2-0 victory for the Reds, with now Valencia striker Fernando Morientes hitting a brace and 'Boro defender Chris Riggott given his marching orders by the referee and an early shower to boot. 'Boro have failed to score in their last 3 matches against us, and us against them in the last two with our record at the Riverside being so poor but at Anfield it's a different matter where we have an unbeaten Premiership record against the boys from Teeside.

Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy is still missing from the side, along with other long term absentee's Aurelio, Garcia and Kewell. 'Boro welcome back Emanuel Pogatetz and James Morrison from suspension, Mark Viduka is expected to make a comeback but Julio Arca and former Chelsea striker Robert Huth are doubts.

Liverpool vs Middlesborough
Wednesday 18th April 2007
Referee: Graham Poll

So to the questions, I went to 'Boro forum smogchat for our residents answers this week, where I got answers from JSK, BFA and Borocooper, so a big big thanks to them. They can be found at this link http://www.officialstie.com/mfc/

Coming up to the end of Gareth Southgate's first season in charge at the club, how do you feel he's done? Is he an improvement on McClaren?

JSK - gareth is very similar to mcclaren but he does make the effort to learn from his mistakes the scary thing is some of the mistakes make him look like he has never watch football before

BFA - An improvement in terms of the way we play. However it is a results based business, and McLaren got us to 7th, and a poor league finish last season was probably due to the UEFA run. However, I think Southgate is quite an honest and intelligent manager, and he seems to learn from his mistakes, so hopefully next season will be an improvement.

Borocooper - So far..not really. Same sort of baffling decisions with subs, formations and starting line ups.
Quetsionable buys like Euell. Got a btit lucky finding Arca plays well in the centre like McClaren did with Zenden. Promised attacking football which he gave us for a couple of months then it's gone a bit iffy again. Only his first season though and I think he'll be a better man manager(hopefully) and will be more willing to learn from his mistakes.

What did you think of the debacle at the start of the season, with some managers (Sam Allardyce) saying he shouldn't be appointed due to him not having the UEFA pro license?

JSK - to be fair who gives a crap about what uefa say must happen , but the other managers should of kept the hell out of it

BFA - Sam Allardyce is a tw**. We drew and then beat Bolton 5-1, with an 'unqualified' manager. What does that make Fat Sam??

Borocooper - Tossers, managers never used to need badges so I dont see why they need one now.

Comfortable in mid table, safe from relegation, has your season matched your expectations from August?

JSK - i would of been quiet happy with being safe in the middle of the table at the start of the season but its been a long hard slog and the way we have played has made us look down rather than up

BFA - Yes, I suppose so. Inconsistency galore.

Borocooper - I still dont feel totally safe but we probably are..all I wanted Gareth to do was keep us up this season..I was hoping it would be sooner than this but he's done it so fair play

Who has been your best player this season?

JSK - Woodgate no question what so ever, he is by far the best centre back we have had in 10 years just please dont come in and sign him

BFA - Woodgate and Viduka are the obvious candidates, but Julio Arca has been the surprise success.

Borocooper - Woodgate..totally changed our defence when he came in

Who has been Southgate's best signing?

JSK – Same as above

BFA - Arca.

Borocooper - Woodgate again..I think we'd have been in serious trouble without him

You appear to be our bogey side, particularly at the Riverside. Do you have a particular memory of any previous meeting between our clubs? Say something that happened to you that day or a decision you disagreed with?

JSK - The Ravanelli debut hatrick against you guys was fantastic but my biggest memory is not being allowed to go to the second leg of the league cup semi back in 98 because id been bad at school

BFA - The last few Riverside encounters have been dire, and we weren't great last year at your place. The Ravanelli 3-3 is the best game between us that I remember.

Borocooper - The 3-3 draw was my first ever game as with a season ticket holder..and also the 2nd leg of the cup semi. Branca scoring.

What sort of line up are you likely to put out against us?

JSK - full team as possible morrison will be back from suspension so he might start

xavier woodgate huth taylor
morrison boateng arca(if fit) downing
viduka yakubu

BFA - The same as every week.

Borocooper - schwarzer

xavier woodgate huth taylor

morrison boateng arca(if fit) downing

viduka yakubu

Any reds players you fear? Try and make it interesting, anyone other than Steven Gerrard?

JSK - crouch totally did us playing for southampton but rilse is a real threat to our weak right side

BFA - Xabi Alonso is one of the best midfielders in the country, so him. Hopefully Pennant will play, he's toss. I hope I haven't cursed us by saying that. Crouch always does well against us,

Borocooper - Crouch is a good player..but whether he plays or not who knows. Rafa seems to chop and change your team all the time. Agger is quality. Gonzales looks like he's getting better aswell

The league, Champions League, and FA Cup - who do you fancy to win them?

JSK - league - who cares
Fa cup - who cares
Champ - Milan (im a fan!)

BFA - Manchester United, all three.

Borocooper - League = United
CL = Your lot
FA Cup = United

And finally, care to predict the score? Go on, you know you want to, be brave!

JSK - after the crapy performances we have had recently we will probably beat you 2-0

BFA - A boring 2-0 to Liverpool

Borocooper - 1-0 to us
Yak to score

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