Football

Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple.

– Bill Shankly

.. and I wholeheartedly agrees so. I miss football dearly, after weeks of non-football action. D*mn the rain.

Flying at the speed of light.

..Flying at the speed of light 
Thoughts were spinning in my head 
So many things were left unsaid 
It’s hard to let you go…
(Full lyrics here.)

I realised that my previous post sounded a tad too depressing, but I’m not going to pull its plug, but perhaps a little something that sort of gave me a little pick-me-up as I listened to its familiar lines and rhythms.

Early on, I have much criticised my idolised rock band, Linkin Park (LP) for it’s ‘concept album’ decision for ‘A Thousand Sun’, but I guess it’s only apt that these guys take a new turn in their music genre and tastes as they get older.

I actually thought that LP has gone nuts or ‘lost it’ when I first heard the album, but these are the still same 6 guys that have been bewitching me with rock tunes for over the past decade, and no, they’ve not gone nuts nor lost it.

Perhaps a ‘concept album’ was just the perfect pick-me-up that the band needed?

Nothing like a little bit of raggae on a Sunday morning..

Lovely, lovely, lovely video.

Loving the upbeat tempo of this song despite the lamentable nature of the message, once again, I had to count on LP to give me that little bit of lift that I’ve been needing lately.

Honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve given the band some listening and I actually spent close to 3 hours of my Sunday afternoon just reminiscing their tunes and feeling good all over again.

It’s a lot like the Dalglish effect — like how Liverpool’s performance have massively improved under his guidance and familiar hands, eg. thrashing Man Yoo 3-1.

It’s a reminder, at least for me, that despite the thrashy and diabolical performances that my Liverpool team have been displaying at the starting few months of this season, those same players are still very highly capable players and that all they needed was a Dalglish ‘pick-me-up’.

Except for a certain Torres (Torres-who?), the team’s backbone is pretty much the same.

Sometimes you move too fast, try too much or simply lost yourself, and then you feel shitty and lousy — but take heart that all you may really need is a little familiar voice to remind you that there’s something good in the offings.

And then suddenly everything changes.

Thank you LP.

Early termination isn’t always so bad huh?

Detracting a little from losses and saddening events, which includes the recent slump of my LFC that prompted my little hiatus from my football blog, A Red Thing, perhaps it was fitting that Liverpool’s first victory in 5 years was in coincidence with my discovery that I’ve got a subscription with Singtel’s MIO tv all these while!

I don’t even remember if I ever did continued signing up for it, nor penning anything but I guess that I must have done r signed something because apparently I wasn’t able to terminate it without an early termination fee being incurred, so it had to be a part of a contract plan or something.

My MIO thingy wasn’t setup, so I thought why even keep the subscription going on right?

Might as well go for an early termination and save a wee bit more over the long run right?

Fortunately, I took the time to get the MIO TV setup up and running, and boy was I rewarded gratuitiously with my first EPL viewing.

Oh, btw, Liverpool actually hasn’t won a game in 5 games, not 5 years.

In case you’re wondering that dig was meant for our ex-manager, dear Roy Hodgson.

Oh, and I hope you’re basking with joy somewhere, somehow with that severance payment you got from your early termination as well, while Torres scored two goals and Meireles hammered in a dipping beauty against Wolves.

In case you didn’t know, wolves are a fearsome pack of dogs that don’t really fear anything.

That’s right they fear nothing.

They’ll even face up to a bear and work together in tackling their obstacles, but today, a different pack of wolves were sent into their dressing room with their tails between their legs and bandages around their head, and I dare say that today’s the day that wolves start to be really afraid of men in red.

Or just to be exact, Spanish men in red.

Ahhhh, it does feel really good to see Liverpool back to their convincing winning ways again, and somehow the manner of the defensive wall in front of Wolves reminded me of the wall during Rafa’s tenure, which comprised of Kuyt, Mascherano, Alonso, Gerrard and Aurelio.

Solid, simply solid back then and truly solid tonight.

Fernando Torres quipped, “(Kenny) Dalglish told me that we’re the ones who make people’s dreams come true. The fans can’t play, so they live their dreams through us.”.

Indeed, and this 3-0 of a victory does echo reverberantly like a pulsating dream where you strive to not wake up from.

Long live the King (Kenny)!

That’s why, it’s sometime a good move to terminate something early.

Note: Sometimes.

Sometimes we let things get to us when it’s really none of our concerns.

Fernando Torres

Wait, this really has nothing to do with me battling my personal demons, but rather of tonight’s (or early morning, depending on where you are) Europa league game between FC Utrecht and Liverpool FC, my beloved Reds.

In other words, mind your own business is the mantra that I’m preaching here, dear Torres and Co.

There’s no other bigger news than 18yr Old Jumps after roommate live-streamed  sex video secretly Liverpool FC’s on-going ownership drama, thrusted even more into the limelight with Hollywood A-lister’s not-so-secret movie regarding the boardroom’s very public cleaning of dirty laundry.

And issues like that do get to players’ head as they ponder of the club’s securities, or worse, their own securities.

Anyway, as a professional (footballer), you’re paid to do a job, so you do a job to the best of your ability, because that’s what professionalism is all about.

It’s not easy to say that emotional quotient is merely myth, because we’re all humans, and humans have emotions — be it a professional footballer or an amateur footballer on a Sunday morning.

But no matter what happens on the pitch, the boardroom won’t get affected by it, not much that is, so why let it bother you, as a player?

I do hope that my Reds will release themselves from the shackles of club-ownership drama and for once in a long while, start enjoying their football.

Seriously, it’s been a long while since I’ve seen them enjoy their football, and being one myself, I can sense when someone’s enjoying their football or not.

Judging by their recent performance, Liverpool have been weighed down badly by recent events, or non-events, and I guess that they’re allowing things to get to them.

I know, I know, I know that many things affect the way we perform our lives, so I suppose  it’s not wrong to say that sometimes we let things get to us.

So chill out Reds, forget your problems for 90minutes, and please, please, please just enjoy your football.

Everything else is nothing to be concerned with.

Rafa Benitez must finish what he has started.

Overheard from A Red Thing: Benitez should stay on and finish what he has began, and this is a message to all you fairweather *sic* ‘fans’.

… fans of a club support it through thick and thin, because at this moment these vocal fans who ask for the axe sound more like disgruntled shareholders, except they don’t own any shares…

… one of the main reason that Torres’ full potential is nearly unleashed, that Gerrard decided to stay when Chelsea courted him, and that the mere mention of ‘Liverpool’ in Europe meant a team that’s never to be discounted…

… Liverpool have over the years proven how strong they are when they go into the second half and especially when their backs are against the wall…

And maybe I might add just how myopic these fans are who are simply impatient for the silverware, and don’t they know that success is sweeter the longer it takes and the harder it gets? Maybe I’m too optimistic, but at the very least, I’m the least bit pessimistic — and Pessimists never gets anything done and never achieve anything that they want, because they tell themselves that it’s impossible. I just happen to think that in life, anything is possible.

Likened to an Intention Manifestation Model thingy, but just that much more simpler, believe you can, and you will, but believe you can’t, and you won’t.

My message to Rafa Benitez, if he’s by a one in a Billion chance that he’s reading this, well, you’ll never walk alone. It’s a Red thing.

The Leave Rafa Alone Campaign Has Begun.

In Rafa we foolishly steadfastly trust.

Leave Rafa Alone Campaign.

Read more at ARedThing.wordpress.com.

Something’s Wrong At Anfield, There’s A Dearth Of Criticism!

Is it just me or is has the well of criticism gone dry?

Only 1 or 2 weeks back, immediately after the draw against Stoke City, we were under attack from all angles, from all corners of the web.

It seemed inevitable that Rafa Benitez was heading towards Juventus, for a new lease of life and for, arguably, a decent amount of respect too.

But Benitez never walks away from a battle, he never backs out, and as his usual calm, assertive and witty self, speculations of his future are brushed off and forgotten.

He’s just signed a 5 year contract, overhauled his backroom staff, realigned the youth academy, and in stout belief of his players, so why would he…. [Read more @ A Red Thing].

Liverpool 2 – Wigan 1

These days, not often do I get the chance to blow the trumpet whenever Liverpool plays, so here’s not just to trumpet blowing, but trumpet blowing’s family and everything trumpet blowing advocated with.

Liverpool, playing at home and as usual, had the lion’s share of possesion and shots on goal. Too bad that the clean sheet was not to be, but 3 points is enough to give Rafa Benitez some room to breathe.

If wind of Gillet and Hick’s sale of american clubs, respectively, bears good news, then the back-to-scoring form of Fernando Torres and the extended appearance of Aquilani within an almost disintegrating-yet-proud footclub club, is MORE than just good news.

It is SWEETSPLENDIDAMAZINGLYSATISFYINGLYMORETHANGREAT NEWS. Yup.

Liverpool vs Wigan

Pretty much self explanatory.

Btw, without Torres what would we do? Anyway, you wonder what his hands were doing in the area of which shall not be named, of the person with the face of which shall not be spoken any further of.

Sadly I missed watching the game this morning, as all I managed to do was to hit the snooze button 10 times at 4am in the morning, before finding myself waking up at 9.30 am. Oh how time flies.

KTHNXBAI.

Abscence Makes The Heart Grows Fonder

The weekend certainly felt longer than it should, or maybe I wasted it all on gaming and movie watching too much, and if i’m guilty, then luckily I’ve a partner in crime (yes, that’s you Bangau, or should I say BigBird?).

Anyway I topped my lazy weekend with a gloomy dose of Liverpool’s loss, at home to Arsenal — but I’ll accept the loss this time because Arsenal deserved their victory.

Arsenal were more inventive and definitely showed plent of hunger in winning the 50-50 ball.

It was not all surprising that they reacted swiftly and efficiently to Arsene Wenger’s half time pep talk when he challenged them that they did not deserve to wear the Arsenal jersey — and what a comeback it was.

Almost 5 months since Xabi Alonso, who was at the stadium to watch the game, left the Reds and it shows how vital his playmaking skills are, and Liverpool truly misses his presence, or the lack of it.

You never know what you’re missing till it’s gone eh?

So I have a come back to attend to as well, this coming Sunday, because that is when Dad and Mama comes back from their Haji  or Pilgrimage trip. Pilgrimage trip, did I mention it correctly?

My to-do lists would probably look something like:

  1. Wash the toilet
  2. Sweep/Vacuum the house
  3. Unmess their bedroom.

I’m going to miss the last bit most of all, as I get to sleep on a super comfy king-sized bed all to my own, nightly, as after this it’s back to my own room, where Bro shares with me. Good to note that 2 felines are in there as well.

But it’s great that they’ll be back, cos I miss them both already.

It’s more than just cliche but one really never know how much we can miss our family, until they’re away from us.

I suppose absinthe absence does make the heart grows fonder.

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.