Spyin' Kop - Liverpool vs Chelsea - 01 February 2009 (4.00pm)

Posted by Perkins on January 31, 2009, 04:37:09 AM

Liverpool vs Chelsea  4.00pm, 1st February 2009

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2005 was a seminal year with regards to the rivalry between Chelsea and Liverpool, starting with the League Cup final in the February, then exacerbated by the Champions League semi-final and the debate over ‘that goal’.  Since then the teams have met in the final of the Charity Shield, the semi-final of the F.A Cup, and twice again in the semi-final of the Champions League to further fuel the rivalry.
When the teams clashed back then, the papers, the players and fans talked about it being a clash of two opposing clubs, differing in their ethos, history, statue, and even their fan bases.  Now as the two teams come together this Sunday, we have two teams who have a lot more in common now than in 2005.  Both clubs have rumours flying around about their owners, managers are under pressure, both have big players failing to live up to expectations, and if the media are to be believed they are ‘in crisis’.  And now Scolari has come out and backed Benitez and his outburst over Mr Ferguson.
This hysteria masks the reality and further similarities, both clubs are in the final 16 of the Champions League, still in the FA cup, within touching distance of the summit and have important players to return to form.  Can anybody remember such harmony?

This will all change at Anfield on Sunday in a game which has major implications on the title race, as Scolari himself has been quick to mention.  It is Scolari’s Chelsea that goes into the game on the back of four straight wins, whilst Liverpool appear to be stuttering as they have drawn their last four.  Liverpool can draw hope from Chelsea still missing the influential Carvalho, Essien and J. Cole, whilst Liverpool are at near full strength following the draw at Wigan in midweek.

Whatever the result Sunday, it is certain that one club will still be mired ‘in crisis’, whilst the worst case scenario is a draw which leaves both clubs under intense scrutiny and further behind Manchester United.

Here is what the Chelsea fans on www.CFCnet.co.uk and www.chelsea-mad.co.uk had to say about the season so far, the upcoming game and also their expectations for the rest of the season.  Thanks to all the posters and especially the admin on CFCnet for their help.  Posters from Chelsea Mad are marked with (CM).

How has the season been shaping up so far?  After watching the first few games of the season, Chelsea looked unstoppable, now the media are talking as though there is a crisis, what do you think of this?

robbencfc - After watching the first few games of the season, Chelsea looked unstoppable, now the media are talking as though there is a crisis, what do you think of this? The squad is too weak to compete with Manchester Utd at the moment and there have been defensive problems since Steve Clarke left. I wouldnt say a crisis but this season seems to be written off.

ToreAndreFlo19 - A dip in form but not a crisis yet. Teams have found us out and now we seem only capable of scoring excellent goals. Our defence is very shaky too.

Tweeds 10 - Third in the league, in the FA and European Cup would hardly constitute a crisis, but I do see the merit of the question and indeed the media's new little stone to throw at us. I think the season has had some decent football played by us, and the away game's record set was something of an achievement given the strength of the Premier League as a whole. I am certain we are not in a crisis, I believe the Arsenal term is "transitional period" but I think we merit more than them. There is talk of heavy investment in the Summer and a few whispers about Manager's and such so if we take a year to get our affairs in order I definitely would not call it a crisis.

toby2604 - A little shaky at times, at first we were being labelled as Brazil, now we are being labelled as disasters, its classic media.

strong centreback - Usual stuff from the papers dont really pay much attention to what they write is it is little more than a wild punt in the dark, our squad isn't very well balanced so that is a problem which will hopefully be addressed in the summer.

What are your expectations for this season? Have they changed from day one?

Skyryser - Hopefully at least the last remaining domestic cup, a decent run in Europe and the Premier League. Day one of Scolari's reign I was hoping for a treble, but I don't think we can cut it in Europe all the way this time round.

toby2604 - I just want some silverware! I still expect some silverware, as I did from day one

Juni -
Didn't really have any expectations. With the talent we have and the ambitions the club has you can't say "I want this, this and this, you just hope to go as far as you can in as many as you can.

Uber Robben - Expectations have been altered but not completely changed. The league is still a possibility, but with Man U setting the pace now I think the rest of us (Us, you and Villa) are going to find it very difficult to keep up. The champions league is still a possibility as luck goes a hell of a long way in that, also I see Big Phil as more of a 'Tournament Manager' e.g. winning the World Cup and the Copa Libertadores, but you never know.

What do you think of Big Phil now?  How does he compare to the 'Special One' or even Avram Grant?

hanuma - Different job to do all together, but certainly doesn't have the intuition of Jose, and wasn't allowed to maintain a model in the way Grant did. I think he's coped admirably with the pressure, he's kept things relatively together, has maintained a very high work ethic (Roma away was an aberration) and I think for a glorified caretaker on his pension (2 seasons) we could have done much, much worse.

Tweeds10 - Do not rate him at all. Has not been able to do anything other than Plan A all season, and despite my own opinion that we lack the forward/wing options to try anything radically different, his inability to drop underperforming players and alter things both between and during games is alarming. Nobody compares to the Special One -- even you red nose's must have realised that by now. Had he been a little more quiet and kept in with Roman we would have dominated English football for years. When the "freebie" Summer happened, and players were foisted on him he didn't really want things went downhill. 99% of Chelsea fans would have him back in a heartbeat. Avram Grant was another I didn't rate and certainly not in the Mourinho bracket -- many feel he had a part in Jose going, and obviously that doesn't sit too well.

toby2604 - Big Phil is average, obv not as good as Jose was, about the same as Avram
Billywhizz (CM) - His shortcomings tactically have been exposed as has the mistake to appoint Ray Wilkins as a coach. Steve Clarke left so a replacement should have been sought out straight away. Scolari is nowhere near TSO but then again who is?

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

Orange Blue - You hate him, we love him, but it has to be Frank Lampard. Maybe he doesn't have the leadership skills of John Terry, the technical moves of Joe Cole, the pace of Salomon Kalou or the engine of Michael Essien. But he is the centre point of this Chelsea. The starter(and often finisher) of every Chelsea attack. Without him, Chelsea would look unimaginative as an Adam Sandler movie.

Toby2604 - Lampard, Anelka

Mibbles (CM) - lampard and essien but essien missing , ricky carvahlo is special but to many injuries this yr

Juni - Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel. Everyone else currently falls behind them as they've been magnificent all season. Naturally you're inclined to say Petr Cech as well, because nobody likes to be stuck with a backup in goal for a long period of time, we've seen how it affects us.

Your worst player(s)? Or rather who do you think isn't pulling their weight?

ToreAndreFlo19 - Alex is going through an awful spell. Everyone quite up and down right now.

toby2604 - Alex, Deco

Orange Blue - Over the past years, Chelsea has brought in a couple of big name players, primarily to give the club some new power in Europe. The Shevchenko's, the Ballack's(although he's not all that bad), and more recently, the Deco's. They didn't live up to my expectations, and they certainly weren't able to keep Chelsea at the level where they were, when they came to London.

DaveF - Malouda looks like he's running through treacle, Anelka spends to much time outside the box, Drogba should have gone afte Moscow, Deco is dreadfull, Alex fat and lazy, Ballack plays well once in about every five games, Joey Cole has gone back to how he was before TSO got him to play every game.

Considering the rumours in the papers about your owner’s fortune, where do you see the club's future?

Uber Robben - Absolute hogwash! The fact that Roman is suing the Times points toward this being media speculation.

robbencfc - We shall see at the end of the season, whether we will become a selling club, the next AC Milan or back to our best.

ToreAndreFlo19 - With Roman.

toby2604 - Same as it is now, I believe Roman when he says he wont sell it.

Orange Blue - Well, I don't see a Leeds-scenario, if that's what you mean. This club has too much exposure for that, and there will always people interested in Chelsea. I believe that Roman Abramovich is here for the long haul. He has always said so, and as far I'm concerned nothing has changed. On the other hand I can't look into his bank account, and don't know exactly his need to sell. If that would be the case, I'm sure some other investor would stand up. Who he is, and what he wants, is just presumptuous at the moment.

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?

Fillerwhereru - My first memory of the fixture is the Clive walker Cup match in the late 70s which I wasn't at but watched in full kit on MOTD. Other than that I remember an entertaining 3-3 draw at the bridge in the late 80s and Dixon/Durie inspired 4-2 victory (a popular score in this fixture for us) in the 90s. I was also at the match at Anfield where Elliotts career was sadly ended-I could see it was a poor challenge from the Anfield Road Stand. In recent years the 4-1 at Anfield was a rare exciting match in a spate of bores.

toby2604 - Riise's OG

robbencfc - Champions League obviously that Garcia 'goal', I think thats what you wanted.

ToreAndreFlo19 - Nothing more tedious than hashing over recent Chelsea v Liverpool matches. Although the 4-2 in 1997 is still one of my favourite ever games!

DaveF - Think it was 92, we came up to your place and won 2-1, Vinnie scored a screamer, can't remember the other one, think Wisey missed a pen, it was the first time we'd won there in my lifetime, I had budwieser on my cornflakes the next morning. I think it was the last season of the Kop and I had this strange idea that I'd stand on it, just for the hell of it, only to turn up and find it was all season ticket, ended up sitting down the side of the ground and legging it round the edge of the pitch at the end of the game when I lost control of my emotions and looked like I was in for a kicking.

Ghost goal will always rankle.

Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?

robbencfc - Di Santo, Mancienne, Stoch, Kakuta.

strong centreback - Stoch and kakuta at the club, jack cork out on loan at watford.
chelsea matt - Miroslav Stoch, Gael Kakuta and Franco Di Santo are looking pretty good, Stoch especially. A real winger.

Skyryser - Stoch, Di Santo, and Kakuta. If you haven't taken an interest in your rivals' academies in the past, take a proper look at Gael Kakuta. I'd say a 50/50 chance at becoming the next big thing. Great skill with footwork, surprisingly fast and considering his size, an absolute beast power-wise.

What sort of line-up will be put out against us? Do you think after the result at Stamford Bridge, Scolari will have to mix it up?

Fillerwhereru - My guess is


Defence- Botswinga, Terry, Alex, Cole

Midfield- Holding Mikel

Kalou Lampard Ballack Malouda

Striker Drogba

Subs Anelka, Stoch, Hilario, Ivanovich, Belletti

DaveF - 4-3-3, Malouda will come off at HT to be replaced by Drogba. Scolari doesn't have the imagination to mix anything up.

Juni - There's no depth to mix it up. You'll see a very, very predictable team. Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex, Cole, Mikel, Ballack, Lampard, Deco/Malouda, Kalou, Anelka

Do you have any favourite/best chant(s) and perhaps any that require an explanation?

ToreAndreFlo19 - Where's your famous atmosphere? (you know, when Anfield goes as silent as most other PL grounds)

toby2604 - (Many different versions of this one, this is my fave) (To tune of 2 by 2)

He comes from the Ivory Coast,
Kalou, Kalou,
He Don't do coke like Adriam Mutu, Mutu,
Infront of the Kop,
From the left,
He put the ball on Riise's head,
And that's why we love Salomon Kalou

DaveF - None that I'd want my kids to join in with. Celery song always brings a smile out.

Where do you expect Chelsea and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League? What do you think of Manchester United and Arsenal?

chelsea matt - Liverpool 2nd, Chelsea 3rd or 4th. the Mancs have been the side that - finally - capitalised on everyone else messing up. That said they are a superb team, with pace, skill and defensive solidity. Arsenal are going nowhere.

Uber Robben - I think we have a very high chance of finishing 3rd or lower. If your lot keep going how you have been and you keep Torres, Carragher, Gerrard, Alonso and Mascherano fit you may well finish above us, still a long way behind Man U though. I wouldn't bet on Arsenal finishing in the top four either.

Orange Blue - I don't really expect that many changes. Manchester United is number one favourite with a bullet to win the title, Liverpool have a good chance finishing runners-up, best result in years for them. Chelsea are good enough to keep this direct spot to the Champions League. Arsenal will have a long tough fight for 4th along with Aston Villa. Couldn't call that one.

DaveF - Utd, Chels, Liverpool, Arsenal, Villa, Everton. I'd rather Utd win it than your lot.
Juni - United will win it, Arsenal battle for 4th, Chelsea and Liverpool to work out who finishes 2nd through ineptitude for the remainder of the season.

Skyryser - I think it'll be as it is now, though I hope it's the opposite. 1.Utd - 2.Pool - 3.Chels. Hoping for 1.Chels - 2.Pool - 3.Utd. Fat chance of that happening this season. United are just too good though, they seem to be able to win everything while only giving 70% and having half their squad injured.

Fillerywhereru - 2nd and 3rd. Manchester United have stepped up from fortunate champs (in joses last season) with a mish mash of a team to a decent team and deserving champions though I still feel their weakness if any is in central midfield. Arsenal are easy on the eye but easy to outpsyche on occasions too they lack players of real prescence since the Petit/Vierra/Henry team.

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Richard Redmond - Jose Reina. He's a darn good stopper.

Juni - I don't fear anyone. If pressed, probably Riera.

ToreAndreFlo19 – Well in a one man team it has be that one man.

robbencfc – Gerrard

strong centreback – Torres

chelsea matt - Riera was superb at The Bridge, as was $tevie Me. Torres, Keane, Alonso...a lot of players.

Bluepuma - Torres most respected; fear? No-one!

Skyryser - While most will rightly say Torres and Gerrard, I'd say Mascherano/Alonso. Those two can absolutely kill midfield play and link up well with the strikers. I'm betting Robbie Keane will decide to play a blinder against us though, just to make me hate him more.

Care to predict the score?

strong centreback – 2-2

chelsea matt - 3-1 to Liverpool.

Orange Blue - Yet another 1-1. Liverpool to score first, and Chelsea equalizes late on from an initially cleared set piece.

Stamfordblu (CM) – 1-1

Bluepuma - Impossible! Both sides seem unable to show any predictability in their form at the moment!

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