Rafa: Mistakes cost us the game

Liverpool’s defeat against Charlton was hard to accept for Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, but once again it came down to Liverpool dominating without putting away chances. Rafa said: “It was unbelievable we have lost that game. I can’t explain how you can control a game – for 40 minutes it was one-way – and still lose. We were always attacking, then what happened was just crazy. It’s clear to see it wasn’t a penalty but when you concede a goal you then can’t concede another.”

Liverpool may have been hard done to in seeing that penalty decision go against them, but they had chances before that, and have no excuses for the second goal: “We’ve got to learn from our mistakes and we’ve got to learn. If we want to win trophies we can’t concede a second goal straight after the first. We’ve been talking about mistakes after recent games and tonight we have made another two.”
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Rafa: Curbishley best choice for England

Rafael Benítez says that his opposite number in tonight’s league meeting with Charlton would be his personal choice as the next England boss, but finds it astonishing that the subject is even being discussed. Charlton’s Alan Curbishley has all the right attributes according to Rafa: “People talk about who will be the next national manager and for me he is a very good option. You try to teach your players the right things. He is a good manager and his team play good attacking football.”

Rafa is no stranger to long hours – he spends as much time coaching the team as he would have done in Spain, but in Spain he’d not have to then spend time on the actual management side of things – contracts, transfers and so on. He looks at Curbishley and sees a man that works just as hard: “Curbishley is what I call a ‘normal’ manager of a club – he works hard all the time. He is clever and prepares his players very well.”

Rafa says that the talk is not very respectful to the man currently in the hot-seat, and says it would not happen back in Spain: “I do not like to talk a lot about the England position because I have respect for the man who is doing the job. Some people talk and promote themselves. But for me, England have a very good team and it is the decision of the FA now.  In Spain it would depend on who was available. But we would not talk three or four months ahead of a major competition about such things.”

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Help Andrew’s family get justice

Andrew JonesAlmost three years ago, in March 2003, 18-year-old Andrew Jones died after being attacked in Liverpool City Centre. Nobody has been brought to justice yet for the murder of this young man.

His parents and family have set up a website where you can find out more about what happened. It serves both as a tribute to Andrew and as a means of hopefully helping to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Andrew was an Evertonian, but instead of joining in with the usual banter about who are the better side he’s no longer with us.

The website has already been featured on Everton websites, but Andrew’s family have asked if Liverpool websites would be willing to mention it. We hope that you can find some time today to read Andrew’s site and if you feel you can do anything at all to help then please do so.

As Andrew’s dad Andy says, “I am sure you will agree that at times like this, football rivalry is put aside.”

Justice for Andrew Joneshttp://www.justiceforandrewjones.com/

Rest in Peace Andrew.

Continue reading Help Andrew’s family get justice

Robben pleads innocence

Do Chelsea have a policy of doing anything in order to be successful? It certainly looks that way after Arjen Robben tried to make out he had done nothing wrong for his disgraceful dive on Sunday at Stamford Bridge. Pepe Reina barely touched the odd-looking winger’s face before he dropped down to the ground like he’d been hit with a wrecking ball. Reina had just fouled Gudjohnsen (although he got the ball, it was a tackle from behind) and was being called across to the touchline by the referee to receive a yellow card. The linesman was no help – he’d failed to spot the blatant handball from Gudjohnsen just before the foul – he’d punched the ball away from Reina! Robben had no need to be involved, but reportedly says he said very little to Reina:  “Reina was the one who got carried away, not me. He made a crazy challenge on Eidur over by the touchline and I told him so when he ran past on his way back to the goal.”

Robben gets a sudden attack of amnesia, as he now only remembers a little bit of what he said: “I can’t remember the exact words I used, but it was something along the lines of ‘That was a stupid thing to do, wasn’t it?’ The next thing I know, he swings round and reacts with his hands.” Anyone who’s watched Pepe Reina this season will know he’s not going to react to something as trivial as that kind of comment, and so we’re looking forward to Sky getting a lip-reader to have a look at what Robben really did say. In the meantime Robben says he did nothing wrong at all: “I don’t see how I can be blamed for that. I wasn’t the one who lost control. I don’t think people from Liverpool should be talking about me, either. They should be having a look at themselves.”

Robben actually lost control moments before, and was given a warning rather than the mandatory yellow card for dissent. Two wrongs don’t make a right and Reina knows he shouldn’t have raised his hands to the player, but Robben would have been better advised to keep quiet if he wasn’t willing to apologise. Cheats are always found out in the end, and Chelsea will not get away with this for ever.

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Reina: Robben was deceitful

Pepe Reina was disgusted with the theatrical antics of Arjen Robben at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Speaking to the press last night, Reina said: “I am furious with him for what happened. Robben’s a big actor and he did well enough to win an Oscar. He is an excellent player but he was deceitful with the way he behaved. I would never hit out at another player.”

Liverpool decided not to appeal against the decision and so Reina will now miss the next three matches for the Reds. Alan Wiley will no doubt be embarrassed at how easily he fell for the con from Robben, and Robben has lost all respect from fans of football, not just Liverpool fans. If the referee watches the incident again and sticks to the letter of the law then he still has to send Reina off. This is because the letter of the law now seems to be that a hand next to an opponents face – or anywhere from the neck up – is a sending-off offence. No doubt William Gallas will be told of his own FA charge for the same offence once Wiley looks again at the action. Wiley should already have given Robben a yellow-card prior to the incident after he’d given the actor a telling-off for dissent. Since when has dissent been punished by a telling-off? When referees use common sense I have no problem, as long as it’s used throughout. Maybe if he’d booked Robben for that the little actor with an out of proportion head wouldn’t have bothered getting involved with Reina. If the linesman had actually been watching the action taking place five yards away from him then Gudjohnson would have been pulled up for deliberate handball before Reina had needed to tackle him. A yellow card for Gudjohnson would have meant a different ending to the game.

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No pride for Chelsea

The rivalry between Liverpool and Chelsea was already heightened before Sunday’s league fixture between the two sides, but after 90 more minutes of Chelsea “gamesmanship” followed by comments from Mourinho about how hard done-to his side were the rivalry has taken another step up.

Chelsea are widely believed to be leaving their pitch in a state resembling a farmer’s field not because they want to bring a bit of countryside to the capital but because they want to make life difficult for Barcelona when they meet again in the Champions League. Last season when the two sides met in the competition Mourinho had to resort to accusing the referee of cheating in the first leg so that he could put pressure on the referee for the second leg. There is no logical reason for the pitch to be in that state at this stage of the season – Portsmouth at least made an effort to replace theirs, what’s Chelsea’s excuse?

On that pitch on Sunday we saw more tactics from the Chelsea side designed to con the referee. That he fell for it all will give Alan Wiley nightmares, and if he’s got any self-respect he’ll admit he got a lot wrong on Sunday. Whether that will be in his report though remains doubtful. John Terry, Joe Cole and Arjen Robben are three names that spring to mind straight away as not only diving, but then also feigning serious injury in order to gain an advantage of some sort. Wiley fell for it all, which is a real pity in all honesty. 
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Prem Result: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0

Barclays Premiership Result

Sunday February 5th 2006

Chelsea 2 – 0 Liverpool

Gallas 35


Cech, Gallas, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno, Makelele (Diarra 84), Essien, Lampard, Joe Cole (Duff 74), Robben, Crespo, Duff (Gudjohnsen 79)
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Huth
Booked: Essien 47
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Warnock, Alonso, Sissoko
(Cisse 74), Riise (Luis Garcia 61), Kewell, Gerrard, Crouch, Luis
Garcia (Dudek 83)

Subs Not Used:
Morientes, Traore
Booked: Garcia 63, Alonso 90

Sent off:
Reina 82

“Referee”: A Wiley
Attendance: 42316
Continue reading Prem Result: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0

Prem Half-time: Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0

Barclays Premiership – Half Time

Sun February 5th 2006

Chelsea 1 – 0 Liverpool
Gallas 35

Chelsea: P Cech, W Gallas, A Ricardo Carvalho, J Terry, A Del Horno, C Makelele, M Essien, F Lampard, J Cole, A Robben, H Crespo
Subs: C Cudicini, D Duff, L Diarra, E Gudjohnsen, R Huth

Liverpool: J Reina, S Finnan, J Carragher, S Hyypia, S Warnock, X Alonso, M Sissoko, J Riise, H Kewell, S Gerrard, P Crouch
Subs: J Dudek, D Cisse, S Luis Garcia, F Morientes, D Traore

Referee: A Wiley
Continue reading Prem Half-time: Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0

Premiership Teams: Chelsea v Liverpool

Barclays Premiership – Team news

Sun February 5th 2006

Chelsea v Liverpool

Chelsea: P Cech, W Gallas, A Ricardo Carvalho, J Terry, A Del Horno, C Makelele, M Essien, F Lampard, J Cole, A Robben, H Crespo
Subs: C Cudicini, D Duff, L Diarra, E Gudjohnsen, R Huth

Liverpool: J Reina, S Finnan, J Carragher, S Hyypia, S Warnock, X Alonso, M Sissoko, J Riise, H Kewell, S Gerrard, P Crouch
Subs: J Dudek, D Cisse, S Luis Garcia, F Morientes, D Traore

Referee: A Wiley
Continue reading Premiership Teams: Chelsea v Liverpool

Agger: My fee was crazy

Daniel Agger has told the Liverpool Echo that his transfer fee was “crazy”. Agger was signed for £5.8 million (€8.5 million) and in doing so became the most expensive player ever sold by a Danish club, and the most expensive defender bought by Liverpool.

Agger said: “It is crazy that I have been sold for 63 million Danish Kroner. It is a strange number and a bit surreal. But that is the way of the world of football today. It is crazy. I don’t think that it should be that way.”

It took Liverpool quite a bit of work to persuade Brondby to part with him even for that figure, but for Daniel it seems a ridiculous amount of money: “I don’t think that anybody is worth that much for doing a job, but I don’t think of myself as being the most expensive player ever sold from a Danish club. It’s just the way it is.”
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