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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Liverpool Eye Chelsea’s Spot While Chelsea Look Higher Still

Written by on February 6, 2011 | 33 Comments »
Posted in Chelsea, Liverpool

For Chelsea this is just about where it all started to go wrong. November 7th, a visit to Anfield, facing a relatively new manager and Chelsea lost 2-0 to a couple of goals scored by a Liverpool player called Fernando Torres.

Three months on and Sunday we have the return fixture at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool with a “relatively” new manager and even before he takes to the field Fernando Torres will again be the centre of attention.

Modest rallies over the last few weeks have offered encouragement to both sets of fans. Chelsea have won three Premier League matches in a row (anyone remember when it was routine?) while Liverpool have strung together a draw on the front end of three consecutive wins.

While both sides look to move up the table (Chelsea currently 4th and Liverpool 7th) they will both be very aware that games like this one will have a profound impact on their progress or lack thereof.

Going into this season most Liverpool supporters would have considered a return to the top four as a minimum achievement for 2010/11. But with a third of the season remaining Chelsea occupy the treasured spot, have a nine point lead and have played a game less.

The gap is gigantic and only the most optimistic fringe of Liverpool fans can see the ground already lost being made up. Liverpool still has Spurs, United and City to come to Anfield while they have to travel to Sunderland and Arsenal.

With their remaining schedule a significant factor, a win at Stamford Bridge may encourage more to dream but anything less and European ambition will be limited to the Europa League – this season and next.

Chelsea received further encouragement in midweek when Manchester City dropped two points away to Birmingham. City has now dropped a point more than Chelsea. Saturday’s results offered further incentive to Chelsea with Arsenal imploding and allowing a four goal lead to evaporate while Manchester United suffered a first loss of the season to Wolves.

Chelsea needs both Arsenal and Manchester United to stumble again during the run in if they are to retain their title – that would be the one so many were willing to hand to them after 10 games this season.

Opportunity still knocks when it comes to United who have to face Chelsea twice. However, six points in these two games might be mandatory given the current 10 point gap.

Home games against City and Tottenham also await Chelsea while Sunderland and Arsenal are already done for.

Whoever takes three points on Sunday can continue to dream – anything less and the best they can hope for will be more restless nights.

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33 responses to “Liverpool Eye Chelsea’s Spot While Chelsea Look Higher Still”

  1. Bryan says:

    …and tonight ,for a young man from Dundee. Opportunity Knocks!

    Where you a Hughie Green fan bobby?

  2. Gus Keri says:

    Dalglish is using the same formation like agaisnt Stoke with three center backs. Carragher is replacing Kyrgialos.
    Another replacement is Maxi in for Aurelio.
    Suarez again on the bench

    I guess, it’s going to look like 5-4-1 on defense and 3-4-2-1 on attack until Suarez comes on in the second half.

  3. Bryan – Did you catch the Michael Miles reference from a few weeks ago? Take the Money…..Open the Box!

  4. Gus Keri says:

    What is this?

    What does Liverpool/Chelsea pre match program have to do with the superbowl?

  5. Gus Keri says:

    Torres, Anelka and Drogba are starting. It’s surprising to me.

    Liverpool’s option is to dominate possession in the midfield.

  6. Gus Keri says:

    Chelsea – Liverpool: 0-0 (at the half)

    A great save by Carragher on Torres and a “miss of the season” by Maxi.

    Otherwise, both defenses were able to handle whatever comes their way.

    Liveprool had the better of the possession, throughout.

    A note: On the day when Torres is the big story, Beckham’s picture popped up like unwanted window on your computer. Luckily the commentary war minimal.

  7. Gus Keri says:

    Luckily the commentary was minimal

    Sorry for that


    YES 20 mins for pure pleasure good luck!

  9. Gus Keri says:


    Can you make time run faster?

  10. Gus Keri says:

    This is the day when the doubters of Dalglish should go silent for ever.

    Dalglish who has not managed any club for 10 years outperformed Ancelotti, who has been managing in the top European leagues for over 15 years with many trophies to his credit.

  11. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    KING KENNY still has the i have said before i have dog in this fight.LFC was the best club today CFC looked lost no imagination.i know there are a lot of games left but could MAN UTD have had a better outcome with their loss.the only team that gained full points they get to play next at home DESTINY looks to be on their side.congrats GUS enjoy the beverage of your choice.

  12. Gus Keri says:


    Thank you, my friend
    I want to rub it in TVA’s face but I can’t see him. Did he disappear today?

  13. Soccerlogical says:

    What is the deal with the set of Super Sunday Plus?
    Budweiser ads all over the place and a bunch of suits behind a huge desk similar a la blowhards Bradshaw, Berman and Johnson.

    For the soccer purist, this is a real aversion.

  14. Gus Keri says:

    For some strange reason, I feel sorry for Torres.

    The only people who celebrated his exit from the game were the Liverpool fans. No standing ovation from the Chelsea fans.

    I blame Ancelotti. He shouldn’t have started him. He should have used him from the bench only if he needed.

  15. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    i think we need to issue a APB for TVa his weekend as far as football could not be worse.what do you think of lucas handball and johnson’s push in the penalty area?i thought Suarez would have played.Kenny beat CFC today with Roy’s players something to think about.

  16. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    i feel the same way what a joke the match can stand on its own.why FSC will not use Nick Webster is beyond me.kyle martino is a joke IMO.

  17. How many people would have thought that Arsenal would draw this weekend but gain on Manchester United and extend their lead on Chelsea?

    Interesting fixtures next weekend – Manchester derby; Spurs at Sunderland; Chelsea at Fulham but it is a Monday night match.

  18. Gus Keri says:


    “Kenny beat CFC today with Roy’s players something to think about.”

    So what.
    Why should a coach get the credit if he buys the right players but he doesn’t know how to handle them?

    About the questionable calls, I have seen similar ones being given sometimes and not given some other times. I just thank God for today.

    I can argue that Lucas’s handball was accidental and Johnson only kept his ground, but why should I worry?

  19. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    my only point is whatever Kenny is saying is getting thru to the players and for whatever reason Roy was not connecting with the players.

  20. Gus Keri says:


    I agree

    Also, you can see that Dalglish is capable of going beyond the commen wisdom and change things to serve the team and the players alike.

    Look at his use of Johnson on the left side, or his use of three central backs with two full backs who can attack, or his flexibility in changing formation according to the game’s need.

    He doesn’t succumb to the hype of signing new players.
    He is gradually introducing Suarez and waiting for the right moment to play him without making him feel the added pressure.
    Things, Ancelotti failed to do with Torres and paid the price.

  21. Gus Keri says:


    It was a huge opportunity lost by Arsenal.

    Many say that the goalkeeping issue is what preventing Arsenal from wining the title.

    I will add the winning mentality of the team also play a role. And yesterday’s result proved that Arsenal doesn’t have a strong winning mentality.

  22. Soccerlogical says:

    Gents – Let’s call a spade a spade. With King Kenny in the shadow and reports he wanted the job, poor ol’ Roy really didn’t have a chance.

  23. Gus – There was nothing wrong with Arsenal’s goalkeeping on Saturday. If Arsenal lost a huge opportunity then what about Manchester United?

    They knew going into a game against a team that is bottom of the league that the team closest to them had just dropped two points – and they failed to close out.

    Surely a strong winning mentality means you win games – Arsenal and United have won 15 each; more than the other teams in the league – what does that say about the other 18 teams in the league and their lack of a winning mentality?

    There are certainly faults but I don’t think you can say it is failing to have a winning mentality when you look at the league table.

  24. refan says:

    Great result and a true reflection of a coach who knows his football. Roy Evans said of Dalglish this week, that he listens to all that is said; asks opinions of his staff and soaks up the answers, then goes away, plans and comes back with what he wants the players to do. Sounds normal to me but then we were under a 4-4-2 coach previously who had no plan B. So refreshing to see tactics used in each game. Who would have guess Suarez would not have played?
    On 606 tonight (UK radio 5- live) Chelsea fans by the dozen were calling in claiming LFC had ripped them off, that Torres was lazy and ineffective. There is also evidence that the makers of the Torres Chelsea banners have copied the Liverpool ones exactly…….complete with the Shankly gates!!!
    Newcastle may have lost a future star but I think Liverpool have done Chelsea bigtime. Torres and Anelka should make great soul mates as they mope and sulk about the Bridge. With Babel and Torres gone we have lost the mopers and have what appears to be a united dressing room.

  25. Gus Keri says:

    I am probably the only person in New York City who is not watching the super bowl and instead watching Brazil vs. Argentina.

    Let’s see what Neymar will do tonight.

    If Brazil win, they will qualify for the U-20 WC and will need only to draw Ecuador in the next game to qualify for the Olypmics in 2012.

  26. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    thanks for the love.hope they keep it up big match against QPR.Konchesky is getting off to a good start.

    as far as TVa i think he is licking his wounds his football weekend could not go any worse then it did.

    enjoy your claret it was a great win.SALUTE!

  27. Gus Keri says:


    My statement about the goalkeeping was a general one. I wasn’t talking about this specific game.

    I thought Arsenal loss was much bigger than the Man Utd loss. (they were 4-0 up)

    About the winning mentality: I see things differently.
    It is different from simply winning games.

    You may have a winning mentality and not win the game and vice versa, you may win the game without having a winning mentality.

    Winning mentality is a “way of life” on the soccer field, just like having type A personality is a “way of life” in general.
    It’s the characterestic that drives players and teams to fight for the win until the last minute and to defend a lead, very hard, no matter how big it’s.

    You can win games by playing good soccer, tactically and technincally, without the need for a winning mentality.

    Man Utd is an example of that mentality. Any team under Mourinho is another example.
    Arsenal or Liverpool under Hodgson are examples of team that lack the winning mentality.

  28. Gus Keri says:


    What a difference few weeks made. I am hoping that we turned the corner for good.
    I guess the confidence has returned to the club. I don’t know when it will return to us, the fans. (or should I say “me”?)

    Enjoy the claret, my friend

    Regarding TVA:
    I heard that a man threw himself off one of the NYC brodges. But I can’t confirm if it was TVA. I know nothing about him.

  29. Gus Keri says:


    You are the only one who is still defending Roy Hodgson. You probably would be much happier if he had stayed and taken Liveprool to the championship.

    He is a very nice man. He is probably the nicest guy in English soccer. But he is the wrong coach for Liverpool.

  30. Gus Keri says:


    I heard that Findley had injured himself and he is out for the season. It looks like he will make his debut for the Nottingham Forest in the premiership. How ironic.

  31. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    thanks for the update i knew he was hurt in training did not know how bad.Forest was in the similar situation last year and we all know how that worked out.

  32. Soccerlogical says:

    GUS – He was the wrong man for Liverpool. And being outshined by a legend who wanted a return to management DID NOT HELP HIS CAUSE.

  33. Theo van Arshavregas says:

    Gus, GfYr, & Brown Bear,

    The reports of my demise are premature and inaccurate.

    The footy weekend actually wasn’t bad at all. The Arsenal gained 1 point on ManUre and their myopic and wishful dreams of an unbeaten season were sent to the trash bin. The Gunners are still The Invincibles and 49 Unbeaten. Also, Barça won and remain 7 points clear of RM.

    And what’s all this fuss about Chelsea v Liverfool anyway? It’s just a domestic match between two of next year’s Europa League (UEL) participants.


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