It’s not a 4 month season: Reds Exit UEFA’s Champions League.

Disappointment, sadness, grievances and regrets might be associated at the wake, pun intended, of Liverpool’s Champions League exit, but in my eyes it is actually more of a boon than a bane.

Dejected REDS

I welcome the exit with welcome arms, not because I harbour no reservations of being the Champions of the UCL again ( I do want them to win, next year perhaps~), but mostly due to the fact that I get to see the Liverpool players as mere humans again.

This exit did not turn Rafa Benitez into a bad manager or the Liverpool players into bad footballers, and if anything it goes to show how beautifullly unexpected the beautiful game can be, and how magnificient and feet-firmly-rooted -to-the-grounds Liverpudlians can be.

Nothing can be taken for granted, and certainly in Liverpool’s case, their entry into the Europa league cannot be regarded as a misadventure, but instead as an opportunity to put in the right foot at the right time.

Blessed (thankfully) with the sudden lack of boardroom drama this season, the teamsheet for Liverpool is suddenly blighted with injuries and the sudden bountyful visits of lady luck to opposing teams, where non other than the beach ball incident comes to mind.

There are plenty more games of football to be played and we’re not even halfway into a season and shoddy calls of a disaster / crisis period looms over Anfield, and I strongly disagree.

If a team plays badly without conviction nor determination, and where the Manager goes into a press conference with his hands held up surrendering and spouting weakness in his every words, and when the Board of Directors starts praising other Managers, and until then, there is nothing remotely resembling a crisis at Anfield.

Imagine Manchester United without Rooney or Berbatov, Giggs or Scholes, and Vidic or Ferdinand.

Imagine Chelsea without Drogba or Anelka, Essien or Lampard, and Terry or Carvalho.

Imagine Arsenal without Van Persie or Arshavin, Fabregas or Denilson, and Vermaelan or Gallas.

Then imagine Liverpool without Torres or Gerrard, Riera or Aquilani, and Johnson or Agger, except for the fact that there are games when all of them have not featured at all.

It’s not as if the players aren’t trying as you can see how they grimace and despair over loss oppportunities and inexplicable setbacks such as a mistimed injury.

The severity of injuries to key first team players have affected the results and until everyone plays together on the same field at the same time, it’s an unfair judgement that’s being passed around the walls of Anfield at this moment.

Remember the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover?

Well, perhaps for now, try not to judge a team by a 4 monthed scorecard.

Fiorentina 2 – Liverpool 0

It’s a good thing that I’m not able to watch the game on tv (cos my TV’s connected to SCV’s football channel in the living room, while my MioTV is still awaiting to be connected to a TV in the bedroom. This meant that I was allowed to catch up on sleep instead of waking up in the middle of the night to catch Liverpool play, which I WOULD have done if I COULD.

Again, it’s a good thing that I missed the game because Liverpool lost! Had I watched it, my bro would probably be cursing throughout the match, which would be a double sore for me!

Dejected Torres

Why oh why are we so dependent on this guy, Torres, here?

With the rumoured percentage takeover of the Saudi prince of Liverpool’s Co-Owner’s stakes, at least there’s some hope that some sort of cash will be injected into the club to fund some proper game-winning acquisitions, like bringing in David Villa perhaps?

Anyway, not since 2 and half years ago did Liverpool fail to score in a Champions League game, but all good things come to and eh? Just like this post…

Liverpool 1 – 0 Debrecen (Ole, Ole, Ole!)

What Kuyt did this morning against Debrecen should be emulated by strikers all over the world, as his follow up to Torres’ shot was to be the sole goal in this one sided Champions League game. Here’s a link for the video highlights, Liverpool 1 – Debrecen 0.

Wait a minute, just who on earth are Debrecen? They sound more like a spare part to a car engine instead of a football team, but that’s to be forgiven for being a small club from one of Europe’s outskirt domestic leagues, the Hungarian league. With a ground capacity of just more than 9000, they probably got the jitters to perform in front of almost 50,000 screaming, crazy, fanatic fans at Anfield, but really?

In ernest, Debrecen made Liverpool to work for its goal, and actually performed well even though they were outclassed in possession and almost every other area of the field. If yo consider Liverpools’ 68% possession rate to Barcelona’s 65% (against Inter Milan, in the same competition this morning), Debrecen can be likened to an Inter Milan stature then eh?

Anyway, despite not being able to watch the game live on SCV, cos it’s only available on MIO TV, which I’m subscribed to but have no TV in the room to connect to, I could only watch the game’s highlights from the link I’ve shared above. But this meant that I am spared the 90 minutes of waking moment and instead have the opportunity to sleep away, and then grab the highlights of about 2-3 mins and digest it quickly.

More sleep, I’d always welcome that with open arms, and couple that with Liverpool’s 3 points in the Champions League, I think I should be able to sleep well these coming days, where I’ve a few days off, thanks to the Hari Raya holidays.

So till then.. Glory, glory Liverpool FC~

Time To Take The Backseat Man Utd

It took me a good 12 minutes of the phone alarm blaring and my cat, Yee-Eee, jumping and bouncing off me, before I could muster enough waking energy to, um, wake. It’s not easy getting up when you’ve just slept like 3 hours ago. In fact, it is far worse to try to wake when you’ve slept just between 3-5 hours.

Sleeping for 1 or 2 hours, and you will wake ¬†quite comfortably, but go past the 3rd hour, and you’ll be involved in a raging war between trying to even sit up on bed and lying down for a further 5 mins. Fortunately for me, my Cat was persistent enough to not let me have anymore 5 mins of snooze.

Joining the crowd in my living room to watch the Champions League final, Dad informed me that Barcelona had just taken the lead against Man Utd. Eto’o was the scorer, and I was the sucker who missed the excitement of watching the goal live. I blame my Cat for not bouncing enough earlier.

So well did you catch the game this morning, or night depending on where you are, and would you agree if I mention that Man Utd was unfairly pitted against an extra-terrestrial team this final? Whatever happened to fair play? Or did Barcelona managed to sneak an extra playere onto the pitch, which I frantically tried to prove throughout the game.

Resorting to long balls into the channels, Man Utd glaringly missed their playmaker. The player who makes their attacks tick and brings other players into the game. Who else, but Scholes was missed ultimately. Sure Giggs huffed and puffe, but his ageing legs didn’t receive the right support from his younger compatriots and he doesn’t quite possess the same killer instincts that Scholes does.

Indeed without Scholes, not one uniited player was bringing the rest into the game. Sadly the boys in white were content on either embarking on his own mazy solo runs, or resting deep in an effort to not get caught out. The Blaugaranas instead had every player who seeked to bring others into the game, while teasing and pulling the opposition.

Hold the ball, pass it behind to move it forward. Simple tactics from Guardiola’s boys and beautifully intricated goals delivered in his favour. Its hard to imagine that this is Guardiola’s first ever season as a senior coach. Um, Jose who anyone?

Forget coaches for a moment because a tiny lad from Argentino has just claimed the Ballon D’or on his own. Messi has arrived, finally and in big time too. Isn’t it freakishly out of this world how he jumped forward, leaned backwards and managed to divert Xavi’s cross into the net? All these while ghosting behind Ferdinand. You’d blame O’Shea for not pressing into him, but I say why lay blames when someone deserves crediting?

Wonderfully gifted with superb close control and strength despite his midgety size for a footballer, Messi is no doubt going to claim the next Ballon D’or — or world player of the year. Sorry Ronaldo, you’re an extremely talented athlete, but for now its time for you to take the backseat. Messi, the unstoppable force.

So all in all, to Man Utd, you’ve had an amazing season and experienced an unprecedented decade, but for now it’s time for you to take the backseat and herald the greatness, the phenomenon and the subliminal Blaugaranas.

Barcelona (2) – Man Utd (0). Good game. Good night.

UEFA Champions League 08/09

How fitting it is that the showdown in the finals of this year’s UEFA Champions League will feature the year’s contendors for FIFA Player of the year.¬†

Indeed Christiano Ronaldo has already pipped Lionel messi to the title but critics will argue that Messi is a much more worthy holder of that title — as reflected in his performances this Barcelona season.

A few days back Ronaldo showcased his brilliant talent as he almost single-handedly crushed Arsenal’s dream, capped by a wonderful and delectable 41yard screamer of a freekick.

This boy has immense ability and talents, no doubt about it, but unfortunately he also has this cursed ability to remain silent and anonymous especially when the referee isn’t on his side, unlike previous winners of Player of The Year, who justify that tag with world class performances week in and week out.

Still I’ll be expecting a spectacle come May 27th, as Barcelona entertain Manchester United, who are on their second successive Final appearance and determined on defending their status as champions of Europe.

Even though Ronaldo VS Messi will steal the headlines approaching this game, I reckon the game itself will be bigger than these 2 wonderful footballers, and exquisite passing, swift counter attacks and beautiful goals will dominate the morrow’s headlines instead.

Though I would have loved to see Liverpool VS Barcelona instead, this is arguably the next best thing. Game on.