Result – Bolton 1 Liverpool 3

Barclays Premier League – March 2nd 2008 – Result

Bolton 1 Liverpool 3
Cohen 79 Jaaskelainen 12 (og), Babel 60, Aurelio 75

Bolton 1 Liverpool 3


Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez: “It was a good game and great performance of the team. We worked hard, played well and created chances so I am pleased. We had some problems at free-kicks but after this we controlled the game.

“We were trying to pass the ball and go forward and we had two or three clear chances. The idea was to have a good game and get the three points.”

“Every win is important but especially now with it being so close in the fight for fourth position. You need to put the other teams around you under pressure and we have done that today. As we have a game in hand, it depends on what we do. You do not need to see the table every day. If we can win against West Ham, then we can go into the Newcastle game and the Champions League match with Inter with more confidence. It is really important that we keep winning.”

“It was disappointing for him (Jaaskelainen, Bolton keeper and scorer of a bizarre own goal) but good for us. Sometimes these things happen and we went on to play well after a difficult opening few minutes. I said before the match that the team was really concentrated and was training well. In the first five minutes when we had problems with their free-kicks but after that I think the team played well. We were trying to keep the ball because we knew it would be more physical if we didn’t keep possession, so the idea was to play with a high tempo.”

“I think it was a good game for him (Babel, scorer after 60 minutes). He had plenty of space and he could get in behind defenders, he could go into one-on-one situations. They had to keep an eye on Torres and Gerrard and it gave Babel more freedom.”

Bolton boss Gary Megson: “We did well initially. The first goal can be vital and it took the wind out of our sails. We had to change and got caught trying to go forward. We got picked off rather too easily. If we feel sorry for ourselves then we will sink but if we roll our sleeves up we will get out of this trouble.

“Jussi is a fantastic goalkeeper. He made two great saves after that. He has held his hands up but these balls move quite a bit in the air and it came back and hit him in the face.

Bolton: 22 Jaaskelainen, 15 Steinsson (47 Rasiak, 47), 31 O’Brien, 33 Cahill, 11 Gardner, 24 O’Brien, 8 Campo, 4 Nolan (25 Cohen, 45), 21 Diouf, 14 Davies, 32 Taylor
Unused subs: 26 Al Habsi, 5 Meite, 7 Giannakopoulos
Bookings: Rasiak 45, Davies 89
Goal: Cohen 70

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 37 Skrtel, 12 Aurelio, 8 Gerrard, 14 Alonso, 20 Mascherano, 19 Babel, 18 Kuyt (17Arbeloa, 86), 9 Torres (6 Riise, 77)
Unused subs: 40 Martin, 11 Benayoun, 15 Crouch
Bookings: Hyypia 35
Goals: Jaaskelainen 12 (og), Babel 60, Aurelio 75

BBC Stats: (Bolton – Liverpool)
Possession: 41% – 59%
Shots on target: 2 – 9
Shots off target: 5 – 3
Corners: 4 – 10
Fouls: 7 – 14

Setanta Stats: (Bolton – Liverpool)
Possession: 45.5% – 54.5%
Shots on Target: 2 – 6
Shots off Target: 5 – 6
Blocked Shots: 0 – 4
Corners: 3 – 10
Fouls: 10 – 15

Referee: Phil Dowd

Attendance: 24,004

9 thoughts on “Result – Bolton 1 Liverpool 3”

  1. Great to win of course, well done to the lads.

    Just one point I’d like to raise if someone can confirm the facts. I saw the game on TV and during the commentary there was a bit of discussion about the Mascherano transfer. The view was that Liverpool had spent 72M this year, 20M more than Utd and 50M more than Arsenal, and how wonderful the owners are for dipping into their pockets so much and yet the team is still failing to deliver a challenge. This is an all to familiar line on an all to familiar subject, and it makes us sound like tw*ts for wanting the owners out.

  2. 72M!!!??
    who on?
    20m for torres
    12m babel
    17m mascherano (most of that is wages paid already or wages int he future)

    plus didnt we sell cisse, bellamy, garcia, etc…??

    the press ignore certain facts if it makes their story less ‘sensational’…..

  3. In 2007, according to this very good article – – we spent £48.45m, brought in £27.75m, a net spend of £20.7m

    That includes the January 2007 window, which was before the owners arrived.

    So to work out the figures quickly for 2007-08 season, starting last summer…

    Jan 07
    Remove Stephen Warnock from the sales. £1.5m
    Remove Mascherano’s initial fee from the buys – £1.5m
    Remove Arbeloa – £2.6m
    TOTAL = -£2.6m

    Jan 08
    Include Momo’s sale – at least £9m
    Include Skrtel – £6.5m
    TOTAL = -£2.5m

    So the net spend for 2007 adjusts to £20.7m minus 2.5m minus 2.6m which comes to £15.6m as the net spend figure for 2007-2008.

    If you take just the spending, not the net spending, it’s still not as high as you heard.

    Using that £48.45m figure again for 2007, removing Mascherano’s and Arbeloa’s fees then adding Skrtel’s gives you a spend of £50.85m.

    Mascherano’s deal is complicated. Some of the fee was from before the owners arrived. The remaining £17m is made up of fees to the owner MSI, signing on fees and wages, I believe. It costs about £10m to pay him £48k a week for four years. No real details of the “transfer fee” have been revealed. But even so, it still doesn’t turn £51m into £72m.

    £72m is way more than we spent, and after sales we actually spent only £15m.

    United’s spending was higher than ours – see the article above, although I’ve not calculated what their spending was based on season 2007-08 as opposed to the year 2007.

  4. I don’t know how even the estimable Paul Tomkins can be definitive on this as many of these deals have an instalment element so the actual net cost to the club in any given financial year is difficult to establish without recourse to the report and accounts which we don’t at present have.
    Of more interest to me is how, in the present situation, we sustain any meaningful investment in our squad. If nothing changes we have to find a trading surplus to meet considerable interest payments. In addition the banks will levy fees of £15 -20m merely to renegotiate the existing financing deal in 18 months time.
    Sorry to revisit this on a thread celebrating a good away win and a return, if my eyes are any witness, to much better squad confidence and player to player relations. I thought our play in the first 30 minutes of the 2nd half was reminiscent of the Newcastle away game. I was dreading the usual attempt to shut the game down after we got the early lead. This time as soon as the whistle went for the start of the second half we went for the jugular and how well it worked. That 1st half save of Reina’s deserves comment, to kill the ball dead in that split second was world class.

  5. Yesterday’s performance was good and demonstrates we have the team and squad to really hurt teams.

    John’s spot on about Reina. He was excellently (apart from maybe misreading Diouf’s initial free kick) and that save was equivalent if not as important as Aurelio’s well taken 3rd goal – which effectively killed the game.

    Jim, it’s great that you have all the likely facts at your finger-tips.

    In an age where transparency and accountability is continually being called for or questioned, one day we may get access to the Clubs books to really see what’s going on. Maybe DIC will offer us something along these lines once/if they manage to turf Hicks out the door. (I won’t be holding my breath, however, as commercial confidentiality is rightly or wrongly more important than the fans wishes!)

    Jim – a divergence from yesterdays result if I’m allowed – question: do you or anyone else know whether there is a time limit for when Hicks must declare/show he has the funds to buy Gillets shares? Just wondered whether he has a 3 month time period – or less or more – from the date Gillett announces he wants to sell.

  6. John, you’re right about instalments. Along with clubs refusing to disclose fees or quoting/leaking inaccurate fees for PR reasons it’s impossible to talk about the transfer spending without looking at the books.

    When I first used those figures in an earlier article I pointed out that it’s impossible to get true figures. I used Paul’s figures because I felt he would have carefully researched the fees and given his work for the official site and other contacts may have used some of that to help him come to a conclusion about the figures. His figures are probably as close to accurate as we can get. Torres was often quoted at £26.5m, the true figure was between £18m and £20m according to trusted sources. Mr Tomkins’ article uses £20m for its Torres figure.

    What going out and what’s coming out in a given year on instalments is impossible to find out, so we have to work on the total figures. That’s what clubs quote, it’s what clubs use when justifying how good they are to us. It’s also a commitment, and shows how committed they are at that time.

    Existing instalments that come to an end this year will probably be replaced by very similar ones next year and so on.

    It may not be accurate, but it’s the standard these days when talking about transfers. Use the transfer fee, not the split of how that’s to be spent.

    With that in mind, whatever we “spend” this year on transfers will be very close to what we actually “pay” in instalments for the year. And if we had to borrow £25m last year for Torres and Babel, as the owners claimed, and our transfer fees for the last year are around £15m, that’s quite a a worry already. That was a year without interest, and without the costs of the arrangement fees for the owners’ first loan, or this one.

    Back onto the nicer part of what you were talking about, away from the worries we now have, I agree it was a much better performance. The negatives are that we tend to go to sleep for set pieces and without looking back in detail over the season how often have we conceded that way? I’ve never been a fan of shutting a game down and holding on for the minimum required result. That stems back to Michael Thomas in a certain league game a long time ago, playing against us of course.

    The system in this game was similar to the Newcastle game, and it works well if the players involved play to their best, which they did for most of yesterday.

    It had all the hallmarks of being a disastrous day. The Reebok, strong winds, the way we’ve been this season, but we won.

    Clearly there’s still work to do, but if we can build on that we could be in for a good run.

  7. Jim. In a previous post I opined that we started the season with the 4th best squad so finishing fourth is not a management failure except in so far as the manager was responsible for the gap in quality at the outset of the season. I was quite rightly taken to task at the gulf between us and 3rd place, we have fallen into the best of the rest league instead of posing a real challenge.

    In view of the net spending ability you have illustrated, how are we ever going to make up the slack. Rafa is already making comments about reduced reliance on transfers in. In my “glass half full mode” I hope this is because he believes the work done to strengthen the production line from reserves/academy will bear fruit from next season.

    Then there are my gloomier “glass half empty” thoughts when I wonder if such statements are more politicking whilst the ownership situation plays out?

  8. John,

    One way the owners said we’d get transfer funds was from the refinancing:

    Of the £350 million financing, £105 million is Club-level debt that will be used to fund commencement of construction of the new stadium at Stanley Park, for future player transfers, and to meet the Club’s working capital needs.

    (Well, Hicks said it, Gillett didn’t sign that statement).

    Some of that £105m is to be used to pay existing bank fees that were incurred in obtaining this finance agreement, and I believe that’s about £20m. I’ve not checked but I remember the figure of £60m being quoted somewhere for how much would be used on the stadium (some may already have been spent on getting the drawings done). If so, that leaves £25m for working capital and transfers.

    That’s obviously borrowed money and even without borrowing again we wouldn’t get that again next year.

    Rafa’s baffling a lot of people with his approach to Hicks at the moment. He genuinely feels he’s better off under this version Hicks than he did under the previous Hicks-Gillett regime. At least he’s telling people that.

    I think Rafa’s got a lot of sense. Gillett’s going, so Rafa needs to consider what might happen next. He won’t be sacked before the sale of Gillett’s shares because there’s nobody there to sack him, or appoint a replacement. The world now knows what the extra pressures have been for him. His choice is to work with Hicks or walk out. If Hicks stays that will remain his choice. If DIC come in then it shows just how good a manager Rafa can be when he’s not working knowing his job’s just been offered to someone else.

    I think Rafa would stay as boss even if he was told he had no budget – he’d just want it to be public knowledge that he had no budget, so we could set our expectations that way. The problem in the past was that the owners tried to make it sound like they’d met his demands or requests, when they hadn’t.

    Rafa said a while ago, after the two Arsenal defeats in January 2007, that we needed to improve our internal production line, along with bringing promising youngsters in at low prices. Our reserves are now topping the league and performing well, so maybe he does feel that there’s about to be some fruit there.

    Rafa is making a concerted effort to make everything sound rosy, and that’s coincided with a bit of a good run, excluding one FA Cup game we’ll not talk about. Maybe he’s realised that by talking this way the squad will stop feeling like he’s about to leave, and in turn will play better.

    I think one day in the future, when he’s allowed to talk openly, it will be an interesting couple of paragraphs in his autobiography.

    Under Hicks, if he takes over, I personally think the best we can hope for, and what we’ll have to accept, is that we’ll remain a top four team. We might get into a position to challenge if luck goes our way and gives us that extra boost, but we can’t expect it. When the stadium is built we may see an improvement. If we can get a good deal on naming rights, and improve our shirt deals and so on, who knows?

    I feel there are far too many “ifs” under Hicks. Maybe they’ll make an announcement to change all that, but I just can’t see how.

  9. Thanks for the response to my earlier post guys.

    Mr Hicks. We don’t like him (or Mr Gillett) for a number of reasons which I won’t bother going into yet again, but its nothing to do with them being Americans. But if Hicks does somehow manage to remain in charge then personally, I don’t see it necessarily as a disaster for the club. For his business plans to be successful, LFC have to be successful, at least that’s the way I see it. So even if we don’t like him for some of his behaviour over the last twelve months, in the end I think we all want the same thing. And no I haven’t forgiven him and I’m not happy about club debt, I’m just saying I don’t think there’s as much to worry about as some people do, a club meltdown is well wide of the mark in my opinion.

    The game. While it was great to win I agree that we struggle with set pieces and especially the aerial attack on our goal. And yet when we get a corner or even a wide free-kick at the other end we offer about as much threat as a dead sheep. This is a part of our game we could really do with working on.

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