Spyin' Kop - Preston North End V Liverpool 03/01/09

Posted by CONFIAMOS on January 2, 2009, 12:52:39 PM


Preston North End Versus Liverpool

Saturday 3rd January 5:25 KO


It’s FA Cup time again! And this time we have five thousand or so of us travelling up the road to Preston, and quite fittingly, the Bill Shankly Kop. Now from what I’ve heard, the cocky little PNEers reckon they can beat us, because Barnsley did it last year. Yes, that reason alone. Anyway, while I was checking out their boards I found a thread entitled ‘Liverpool – Preston Commemorative Scarves’. Most of them thought whoever came up with that was taking the piss, as if Preston were some small club...

For now though, we must forget that we’re top of the league going into the New Year for the first time in what, twelve years?, and remember that Havant almost gave us a shock last year in the Cup. Credit to them, it’s not often a cabbie gets to score a goal at Anfield, unless it’s in the half time penalty shoot out. And I believe only Wigan do that these days.

So with the magic of the Cup and all that, we should all look forward to this one, if only to see out a nice cup run for once. This time last year, I believe it was Luton Town, Away, and even then, we had to bring them back to Anfield to finish them off.

I have to admit, it was hard to get hold of a set of answers that didn’t include the words ‘bin’ ‘dipping’ ‘scouse’ ‘retards’ included, but there were a few of their fans who didn’t bite. Thanks to www.pne-online.net and it’s friendly Mod, Jimbo, and members Rick-PNE and Tark for their answers.


How has the season been shaping up so far – Championship/FA Cup wise?

J: This season has exceeded all expectations, as last year we were placed in a relegation dogfight under the helm of Paul Simpson... Luckily with the arrival of Alan Irvine and a number of hard working players (Chris Brown, Richard Chaplow et al) we pulled away and finished clear of the relegation zone and, more importantly, above Blackpool.

Despite a lack of real consistency and a formidable striker, we are placed in and around the playoff's and with a bit of luck we may scrape 5th or 6th place - a lot depends on the January transfer window and the likes of Ross Wallace staying on.

R: After a top start, we hit some bad form, but seem to be getting back into the swing of things now.

T: Better than expected, but after nearly a decade in this devision, some expect us to be as good as we were in the 50s.

How far did you expect to get in the Cup and do you think you can get past Liverpool?

J: My heart says we will finish in the 5th round, beating Liverpool (h), Newcastle (a) and coming up short against Chesterfield (h) with a Jack Lester throw-in going straight in.

My head says we will lose on Saturday.

R: If you dont field your starting 11, we have a good chance. If Ross Wallace plays, I suspect he will cause you a few problems

T: An extremely conceited question. Do you think you can get past PNE on our turf? We don't expect to make the Final, obviously though, since we last did it as a 2nd Division team in 1964.

Who do you think is your most important player(s)?

J: Ross Wallace - Pacy and tricky left winger.

Jon Parkin - Formidable presence, cult hero. BEAST.

Neil Mellor - He will score.

R: Chaplow,Jones,St Ledger,Mellor,Davidson

T: I'll be ridiculed by most at PNE-Online, but I'd say McKenna. Cal for the spirit, and he should be Captain.

Your worst player(s)?

J: Inevitably the match officials - Liverpool are in the Premiership League of Champions and Winners.

R: Massive differences in opinion. Some say Mckenna or Lonergan, others say Sedgewick

T: Hard to argue with Carter. But we're paying him, so we hope Father Ted can make him realise his talents if we can't get a decent fee in January.

Your strengths and weaknesses? Big Sammy will be informed…

+ Work rate
+ Attitude
+ Passing game

- Pace
- Set pieces

R: Our strengths at the moment, is our winger, Ross Wallace whipping in crosses for our big lads upfront. We have a decent defence, but who are vulnerable to set pieces.

T: We can play football.
Defending set pieces.

Were you hoping to be drawn an easier lower league team, or hoping for a challenge in a top four Prem League team?

J: 'Top Four' or lower league team away (with terracing).

R: Personally, I wanted you, cant speak for the rest.

T: My dream draw, as since the FL gave automatic promotion to the winners of The Conference and we went up a couple of Divisions, Liverpool are the only club I've not seen us play. I'm 44.

Neil Mellor did a good job for us when here, with a few memorable goals, what do you think of him and what he has done for PNE?

J: From Sunday, he will be a hero.

R: If he remains injury free he is a huge threat upfront, and will score 20+ a season with a decent midfield. In my opinion, our best out and out striker

T: For me, the most intelligent footballer we've got. Thinks ages in front of his opponents. It took him his move here to sort out long term hereditary fitness problems which have affected his confidence, but I hope his best footballing days maybe here, despite several magical moments with the 'Pool.

Alan Irvine, nice fella, but do you like what he’s done with the team since coming in for Simpson, and does he have a future at your club?

J: Alan Irvine worked a minor miracle last season, saving us from relegation... he is still cutting his teeth and has made a few (expected) errors along his path to greatness - he doesn't have a future at the club, he is the future.

R: He came in at a difficult time, we were at the bottom of the league, but he directed us to safety, then this season, it looks like with an average team, we could reach the play-offs

T: Yes.
I hope so.

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? Probably a while back….

J: I'm only a young 'un so I have no recollection of any previous meetings.

R: Nope, sorry.

T: Only a Pontins ressie match in the 90's before your selfish kind of club cut yourselves off from The Football League. 6,000+ on at Deepdale for a Monday night. I think you won about 0-3, but everyone had a laugh at fat-boy "Razor" Ruddock - just about the only one any of the star seeeking kids who'd packed the ground had actually heard of. At least your rezzies did us the "honour" of playing away in all red. Just so all the plastic >12's there knew who to cheer!

Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might see more of if you reach the Premier League in seasons to come?

J: Sean St Ledger at (CB), along with Ross Wallace (LW) are our *star* performers at the moment who are under 24 years of age... but you will see every member of the squad in the Premier League of Champions and Winners from next season anyway 

R: Billy Jones is a very good right back, and I fully expect him to be playing in the Prem with or without us in the next few years. Sean St Ledger has been attracting a lot of attention aswel, and I expect him to be playing in the Prem next year, again, with or without us. Richard Chaplow is another I think should be playing in the Prem.

T: No - assuming a sale. Only Kevin Kilbane has had a good and happy career since leaving Deepdale in the last 20 years. I would prefer to answer this question next year if my hopes come true though.

What sort of line-up will be put out against us?


Battering rams up front, twisty knees and guile on the wings, assurance and commitment in the middle with agility and composure from the back.

R: No Idea. Irvine said hes going to rotate a bit, but dont know if this applies to this game, or just the league.

T: 4-4-2

Do you have any favourite/best chant(s) and perhaps any that require an explanation? (Or not)

J: I tend to shout 'Yes!' with clenched fists upon scoring a goal, and a smattering of polite clapping throughout the game when a pass meets a team-mate or a steward trips over his own stomach.

R: The fans are divided. There is the Bill Shankly Kop, and the Alan Kelly Town End. These two stands have elements that normally produce the majority of the noise. However, I fully expect it to be a cracking atmosphere on the day. I wouldnt like to pick out one chant though.

T: WE ARE THE ONE AND ONLY NORFEND and the occasional goal chants for Players now gone (Choo-choo-choo, and the ones for Danny Pugh & Paddy were good) but generally our songs are rank.

Where do you expect Preston to finish in the Championship this year, play off places? - And Liverpool to finish in the Premier League?

J:PNE - 6th
Liverpool - 3rd

R: I expect Preston to just finish outside the play-offs. I expect Liverpool to win the league, providing they strengthen with quality, rather than quantity in January.

T: Just outside the Play-offs.

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

J: Steven Gerrard

R: If he plays Gerrard, but I doubt he will. So I will say Keane/Torres/Alonso

T: Any I can pronounce. That's none of them then.

How many of us will get chucked out for persistent standing? (After seeing PNE’s strict rules)

J:8000 - 6000 in the Kop, with the rest scattered around the World Standard stadia.

R: 6000

T: None. Both the PNE one's will though.

Care to predict the score?

J:PNE 1 (Mellor 23) - Liverpool 4 (41, 53, 76, 88)

R: 1-1 replay.

T: 2-5.
That makes us twice as good as Newcastle Utd though! 

To say getting those answers was like drawing blood from a stone is an undertatement, but there you go.

All the best for the New Year

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