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Russell Berrisford

Russell Berrisford

Russell’s support of Derby County eventually led him to leave the country. He has lived in Canada since 2007 and currently writes about soccer for The Vancouver Sun.


TANGENTS

Liverpool Look To Carling Cup

Written by on February 24, 2012 | 16 Comments »
Posted in Liverpool

There was a time when winning the League Cup (under any of its sponsored names) was a mere afterthought for Liverpool football club.

It counted as a pleasant, but not essential, bauble to add to the many League titles and European Cup triumphs that made the Merseysiders not only the premier club……

For more click the link to the Vancouver Sun.


16 responses to “Liverpool Look To Carling Cup”

  1. Ed Gomes says:

    I’m not so sure this is the Silverware that makes Liverpool a force to reckon with once again. Last time I checked it didnt quite work out that way for .Birmingham.
    This is a “Coffee Cup”, and that’s it. Nobody pays attention to it until the quarterfinals. Its a Cup that only sneaks towards the Silverware count years from now.

    A big and important Tourney for Liverpool right now, but being the launching pad for something great, not so sure. If you go ask the fans, I’m pretty sure they would prefer top 4 instead of this trophy.

  2. Russell Berrisford says:

    Ed-I’m pretty sure they would prefer fourth too, to but for the Chelsea team (under Mourinho) their first trophy was the League Cup and Manchester City’s FA Cup win last season has done them no harm in pushing onward.

    Arsenal, on the other hand, seem to have been genuinely affected by losing against Birmingham.

    The importance of winning an actual trophy shouldn’t be underestimated in the development of a team.

  3. Gus Keri says:

    Russell,

    I have to admit that, initially, I hesitated to read this article. I didn’t want any more headaches. But then, I was pleasantly surprised.

    What a world of difference.

    You seems to be milder and more tender and more loving when you write to the Vancouver Sun.

    I visited Vancouver three years ago. I was very impressed by the beauty of the city and the good nature of its people. One of the most beautiful cities in North America.

    I am sure Vancouver people are worthy of all the love and tenderness; unlike those “hooligans” who keeps invading the soccer-specific websites such as Bobby’s site. LOL

    Now to the article itself:

    There might be few people who questioned the new signings but many others, including myself, were more hopeful that with time, they will gel as a unite. I even gave them a whole season to gel. It’s not easy when you start so many new players at once.

    If you have seen LFC playing recently, you will notice that some of the players you mentioned had their best performances with the club to date, and this inncluds Carroll, Downing and Adam.

  4. Gus Keri says:

    Ed,

    I agree with you that for the LFC fans, getting in the UCL is the best thing. But also I agree with Russell that winning this cup will serve as the spring-board to better things.

    Winning the “Coffee Cup”, as you call it, will boost the players’ moral and improve their self-confidence. While losing the game might set them back for few weeks until they recover again. Those few weeks might be the difference between keeping the challenge for the 4th spot or dropping outside the Europa league positions.

  5. Gus Keri says:

    There are two similarities between Arsenal and Liverpool that are worrying me for tomorrow.

    In the history of the League Cup, there are only two clubs that have reached the final game after playing all their games away from home (except the home and away semifinals).

    These are Arsenal 2007 and Liveprool 2012.
    Arsenal lost the final.

    The other similarity: Last year, Arsenal was trying to end its 6 years trophy drought and lost. this year, Liverpool is trying to end its 6 years drought.

    These are the days when I don’t want to listen to Stevie Wonder:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OJsYwLs7yE

  6. Russell Berrisford says:

    Gus- yes when I write for The Vancouver Sun I take on a “West Coast Vibe” 🙂

  7. J Rob says:

    Gus

    Too many co-incidences for my liking:(

    Cardiff go into the final with absolutely no pressure on them at all. For Liverpool, the expectations are huge for fans, players and not least Kenny Dalglish.

    If Liverpool do get beat I don’t expect an Arsenal-like implosion. Their defense is too good and well-organised for that. The rest of their season is more likely to be defined by their ability to improve their chance conversion in the EPL.

  8. Ed Gomes says:

    To say Cardiff will have no pressure, is a bit silly. The “Coffee Cup” would have much more meaning to a Championship side than a Premiership club.
    Since I haven’t been an avid follower, when I went to check out the progress, Cardiff hasn’t faced a decent squad in getting to the final. Yes, some of the clubs might be on par with them due to their Championship status, but their road has been much easier than Liverpool’s.
    I do think that the pressure will be on Liverpools players due to the recent draught in Silverware, but let’s be realistic, this is a huge step up in class for Cardiff. A loss by Liverpool here would be more devastating than any win would be a springboard.
    I will say that I was surprised by how many goals Cardiff has scored this season, granted against Championship sides.
    Let me add that they also had to go to penalties on several occasions in this run, in order to advance. Maybe it shows great mental fortitude, but maybe it also shows that they’ve been very fortunate.

  9. J Rob says:

    A typical Liverpool performance. Lots of possession but laboured, uninventive and a plethora of poor corners and poor shots from the perimeter of the box.

    Well- played Cardiff. A cruel way to lose a match that they should have won in the last 5 minutes of regular time.

    As a LFC fan I am depressed. There was little on offer today to suggest despite our extravagant spending we will make top four. Downing had a rare good game but Suarez and Gerrard (apart from his run in the 2nd minute) were terrible. The irony of Gerrard’s saved penalty was it was practically his only shot on target in 120 minutes. Anyone else agree that for all the good advanced positions he gets into that Jose Enrique’s final ball is often very poor?

  10. Gus Keri says:

    A strange game, to say the least.
    Liverpool won it on the stat sheet; possession, shots, corner kicks, free kicks and goals but it didn’t feel that way when you watch the game.

    I thought Cardiff defense was excellent. They didn’t give LFC good looks on goals. It was similar to the many times that LFC have found themselves in before. they have yet to master the art of breaking down a packed defense.

    On the individual side of things, each player had his own problem today.

    Gerrard, apparently, was playing a defesive role and probably Dalglish had told him that because he was worried about the Cardiff counter-attacks.

    Suarez has lost his edge recently. In the last few games, he is not able to break through defenses with his tricky runs like he used to do at the begining of the season. I don’t know if he is still affected by the off-field events, or he was told by Dalglish to try harder to work with Carroll.

    Enrique (I agree with J Rob) and Downing’s runs are excellent but the final pass or cross left a lot to be desired.

    Henderson was never in the game and his substitution was expected.

    Bellamy and Kuyt re-energized the team on entrance but the Cardiff defense also elevated their work with each new challenge that was coming their way.

    Skrtel was responsible for the first Cardiff goal but he repented with the goal he scored. I thought he was a rock and the best player in the game.

    I agree with you J Rob. For some reason, it didn’t feel like the triumph of the 2006 FA cup final against West Ham or the 2005 UCL final against AC Milan.

    I think the general mood of the Liverpool club and people associated with it was still down from the recent off-field events. Even wining a trophy was not able to lift it.
    But then, it might be only you and me.

  11. J Rob says:

    Gus

    The sad truth is that over 100 million pounds of transfers has barely improved Liverpool. What really drives me nuts is this. We know our crossing is poor. We know our shooting is poor. We know our corner-taking is poor. These simple facts haven’t changed all season. Yet it looks like we barely practice them on the training ground. Nothing changes and as we have become easy to predict we seem to be creating less chances as the season progresses.

    My prediction for the rest of the season. A lot more draws. Take out the penalties and this was the result today. This game to me felt dispiritingly similar to the ones in the league against Norwich, Swansea, Blackburn and Wigan. Almost identical in fact.

  12. Rob says:

    Liverpool lacks a creative midfielder that can open up defenses with Gerrard playing a deeper role now. You can see that Bellamy is, usually, given free rein on the pitch and is given the task of trying to be that playmaker.

    Very frustrating listening to Liverpool supporters continually slight Downing. If you watch Liverpool, their problem is they never have more than one or two players in the box for Downing(or whomever else) to cross into. Liverpool pushed forward today, got plenty of men in the box and what do you know, Downing has a “rare good game”.

    As for the debate about whether this will be a spring board to greater things for Liverpool, I liked Dalglish’s response to a similar question. His response, “I am not a clairvoyant.”

    It could very well as it did in 2000 when Liverpool got to the Champions League for the first time under that new name. But most importantly, I’ll take the trophy and be happy with it.

  13. Ed Gomes says:

    Wow, a shout out to the ’06 FA Cup and the ’05 CL. Really? How exactly does this “coffee cup” come anywhere near those two?
    The Carling Cup will only mean something years from now when it gets lumped into the total silverware count.

    I agree that Liverpool may ave dominated the stat sheet, but I watching this one your eyes told you a very different story, Cardiff could have walked away with the title in the final five minutes of regulation.
    A very tough way to lose, but let’s also give credit to Liverpool’s players making their penalties, no matter how few they were.
    I might be wrong in this game not being a springboard. The players showed some real emotion and were clearly relieved and exuberant with the win.
    They have a lot of work to do, but and Europa spot or even FA Cup are not out of the question.

    As for the team, nothing has changed. For whatever reaso Dalglish has not been able to incorporate the new signees. Everyone still seems disjointed and mt in sinc. I’m not in the training ground, but something s clearly missing and King Kenny has not found it yet.
    Kuyt

  14. Ed Gomes says:

    I’m sorry I was on the iPad and submitted by mistake.

    For me Kuyt has been the forgotten an in this squad. I went and looked and he’s gotten the minutes, but he either gets pulled early or sent on late. In my opinion they better find a regular spot for him, if they want to see improvement. He’s nothing flashy, but a great worker tag will ate others look better.
    I’ll give Bellamy all the credit in the world for somehow settling in. He’s had his issues, but he seems to have found a comfortable spot. I still say tat a team tat is depending on him so much to bail them out, will fail.

    What I was always thinking to be a puny win, as somehow turned into a monumental one, at least in ‘pools eyes. Who knows this just might be the beginning of something.
    I may not be a Liverpool fan, but I now what’s good for football. Liverpool meaning something in European football is important to the game.

  15. J Rob says:

    Ed…if I was to say why this Cup was important to Liverpool, I would give you four reasons. We beat Brighton, Stoke, Chelsea away and a strong Man City over 2 legs to get to the finals.

    That proves that there is a competitiveness about Liverpool that has been lacking for the last two seasons.

    That said, you are right. The new signings after 2/3 rds of a season have not been incorporated. Suarez and Carroll playing together? Jury definitely still out.

    As for Liverpool being strong in Europe. A slight irony in saying at a time when no English side looks strong in the premier European competition.

    Seems like the English game is in a state of relative transformation. There’s definitely a top two but hard to say going forward where exactly Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal go from here.

    All have their pluses and minuses. Even if Liverpool qualified for the Champion’s League this season I see nothing that makes me think they’ll play there every season. But I think exactly the same applies to those other three teams outside of the top two.

    Interesting if not exactly vintage times.

  16. Ed Gomes says:

    J Rob, of the teams you mentioned maybe Stoke went really hard for it. Chelsea and City really weren’t looking at the Carling Cup as much of anything. Granted, in Chelsea’s case that could have been a big mistake.

    I’m a. Man United fan, but I realize the importance of squads. Liverpool has a rich history, and having them up top competing benefits all of football.
    City has a long way to go before it can claim such stature. I know that we now live in the instant gratification and real time news cycles, but I would like to think that in futebol, historic perspective still means something.

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