Tag Archives: Jamie Carragher

Phil Dowd did his best as Liverpool and Man United game got ugly

Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United blacked out the media after Sunday's loss to Liverpool. Sir Alex couldn't complain too much about the performance of referee Phil Dowd who kept the game in control despite some late first-half bust ups. (Courtesy AtilaTheHun Flickr)

By Jonathan Gold

If there had been a way, this weekend, for referee Phil Dowd to use big wooden paddles painted red and yellow to dish out whacks on the ass instead of simply brandishing red and yellow paper cards, I’d have been all for it. Some of the behavior from both sides during Manchester United’s visit to Anfield was reprehensible and detracted unfairly from a great game.

How completely have Liverpool been transformed after the departure of Roy Hodgson? This was a team so mired in misery that the fans wanted Rafa Benitez back, poor demented souls. Contrast any of the abject results from earlier this season – I’m sure Kevin remembers them all – with the bright, authoritative performance in front of a rapturous home crowd this weekend.

OK, none of Dirk Kuyt’s three goals was exactly spectacular where he was concerned – but there were moments of genius in the build-up play, mostly from Luis Suarez, noted World Cup villain. His weaving dribble up the byline was electrifying to set up the first, and he produced a nice free kick that van der Saar couldn’t hold onto for the third. That said, the term “poacher’s instinct” is overused, but that’s exactly what he displayed to grab an unlikely hat-trick.

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Chelsea and Lille on different paths this season

Didier Drogba and Chelsea had their hopes of repeating as English Premier League with the unexpected loss to Liverpool over the weekend. (Courtesy Eric P Flickr)

By Ryan Fleming

In one of the more unpredictable weeks in the soccer world this year, there are a couple things to take note of, if you haven’t already.

1. Chelsea are struggling … still.

Despite their recent acquisitions of Davie Luiz and Fernando Torres, the Blues slipped, slid and went away with a whimper after their 1-0 loss to Liverpool. Naturally, much of the hype from the match surrounded the former Liverpool frontman, Torres, and how he would fair against his old club and if he would or would not celebrate if managed to score. Fortunately for the Reds new manager Kenny Dalglish, Torres was barely existent on the field, save for one scary moment that Jamie Carragher so gracefully blocked away.

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Capello and England Face Date with Destiny

Courtesy Flickr nyaa_birdies_perch

By Mark Duckworth

This World Cup was supposed to be different. This was supposed to be the one where England made its mark on the international stage and finally eclipsed that win back in 1966. But after two draws from two games, England is staring down the barrel of an early exit, and with Tyrant Terry causing more problems for Capello it could all end in tears come Wednesday afternoon.

“This is the big mistake, a very big mistake. But I hope that sometimes from the big mistake a big performance comes out.”

That’s what Capello told The Times regarding Terry’s outburst, and what he expects to see when his selected 11 walk into Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

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Keys for USMNT Success Against England

Courtesy Alison Ciarleglio of APC Studios

By Kevin Koczwara

It is almost impossible for me to go anywhere and meet anyone who isn’t at least a little interested in the United States Men’s National Team’s opening game against England in the World Cup this Saturday.

I have taken part in countless arguments, discourses and friendly discussions about the Yanks chances on Saturday — almost always trying to find keys to success for both sides. All of the discussions have allowed me to fine tune my thoughts. I have come up with three keys to the Yanks success against England.

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Capello Finalizes England's Squad

By Cameron Dickinson of The National Game

All the speculation finally ended at 3 p.m. yesterday when Fabio Capello put the nation out of its misery by naming the 2010 World Cup squad.

Gone were the shock call-ups of the past (Theo Walcott in 2006 anyone?) as the manager appears to be placing his faith in those that have experience at the international level, rather than those with fewer caps.

Already some are willing to write off the tournament as they do not agree with some of the choices made by the Italian, but then this would be the case no matter who was in the final 23. At least the questions can stop for now, and we can now look forward to the greatest event in the world — which kicks off in just nine days.

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England Beats Mexico But Capello Still Has Questions That Need Answering

Courtesy The National Game

By Cameron Dickinson of The National Game

A typical English friendly performance saw Fabio Capello’s side secure victory, but in unconvincing fashion, throwing up more questions than answers.

Goals from Ledley King, Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson were enough to see off a spirited Mexico side that showed enough craft to cause the home side’s shaky defense problems.

The technically proficient Mexicans highlighted England’s shortcomings when faced with a good passing side and showed how much they need a quality ball-winning midfielder in the squad. When faced with a side who can really take advantage of their dominance of possession then England could really come unstuck.

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Capello Still Has Decisions To Make

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game

So the dust has settled on another Premier League campaign, and the attention will turn to South Africa and England as they look for glory. But before we get to June 11,  Fabio Capello has some choices to make and with the announcement of Capello’s 30 man squad today, Mark Duckworth takes a look at some of the old and new faces trying to get a seat on the plane to South Africa.

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Injuries Plaguing World Cup Hopefuls and EPL Top Teams

By Kevin Koczwara
There is no substitute for depth in professional soccer. Skill can overcome some hard-ache, and hard-work can definitely make up for a lack of skill, but nothing can make up for a deep bench in the long grueling seasons of soccer. Many teams in the English Premier league are seeing some of their European aspirations heading to the training room instead of to the field, and some players are seeing their World Cup dreams shattered.

This year is different than most because players are training harder, playing harder, and have played more often in the past year or two than regularly. Why is? Simple, the World Cup is coming up and just about every player dreams of putting on their countries uniform and walking onto the grass of a World Cup Final. But they must show their worth in club matches and in international matches. And the wear and tear is showing.

Let’s look over a few teams and players that have been hit enormously by the injury bug, and let’s see who will definitely be sitting out the World Cup because of an injury.

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A Mercilous Mersey Derby

By Kevin Koczwara
It wasn’t a game for the faintest of heart or the admirers of the “beautiful game,” but one thing the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield did have was drama.

The game lacked a good amount of skill–especially in the first half–but it didn’t lack passion. The game was not only a local rivalry, but also had important table implications for both squads.

And it wasn’t the only important game this weekend in the English Premier League. Let’s look around the league at some other important results.

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Giants Stumble in Europe

Daniel Agger is finally healthy. His addition to the Liverpool defense will surely be a lift because right now it is struggling to keep opponents from scoring. (Courtesy Wikicommons.

Daniel Agger is finally healthy. His addition to the Liverpool defense will surely be a lift because right now it is struggling to keep opponents from scoring. (Courtesy Wikicommons.

By Kevin Koczwara

Liverpool Lose in Florence

It is a staggering scoreline: Liverpool 0-2 Fiorentina.

Rafa Benetiz cannot explain it. Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard cannot understand or defend it. As for the defense, they have looked like Babe in the Big City all year long–they have one clean sheet, a 5-0 win against the struggling attack of Stoke. And they can’t explain their struggles.

Liverpool went into the match confident, and Fiorentina had had a few “sleepless nights” after seeing the Reds put up six easy goals against Hull in the weekend. But none of it mattered on the pitch on Tuesday as Fiorentina scored two goals in less than 10 minutes, putting the visiting Reds on their backs like a hapless turtle.

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