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In the Reds’ End Young Guns: Spearing and Insua Everton moving on

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Our greatest team revealed! The 12th Man: A tribute to the Kop


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In the Reds’ End

s ’ r s ’ o r t i o t d i E d E Noottee N

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n this issue of In The Reds’ End, we will look at how our season has developed so far.

We also look forward (fingers crossed) to our derby rivals, Everton moving out of Merseyside (there are only two good sides in Merseyside: Liverpool; and Liverpool reserves) and to the widely anticipated World Cup in South Africa next year. There will also be a BPL fixtures centre fold pull out, which should be an easy tool for us to count our victories to the title. Elsewhere, we will be reviewing and looking at our two biggest signings during the summer: Alberto Aquilani and England’s very own Glen Johnson. Although the loss of Xabi Alonso has hurt the side quite a bit, we wait anxiously for the promise of Aquilani to come to

fruition. Besides buying established stars, the gaffer has also made it a personal mission to acquire new young players every year. While some have come and gone, the few in our famed Academy have made it into our first team, and some have stayed as permanent features. We look at the careers of Argentine Emiliano Insua, and our very own, home bred lad, Jay Spearing. On the issue of transfers, Liverpool is by far one of the most attractive clubs to play for ask Fernando Torres: he was courted five times by our Manchester rivals but never moved! - and a big part of that is the Kop. In a tribute to the greatest fans on Earth, we see what makes Anfield such a special place for world class players. 2010 promises to be a new year for a fully fit squad. Although we have been hampered by injuries, the new year promises much. The season’s well underway and I’ll say, The Reds are marching in!

In this issue... Story

Page

Editor’s Note

2

The season so far

3

Moving out

5

World Cup Fever!!

6

Fixtures

8-9

New boys

11

Young guns

13

The 12th Man

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Your say

15


Our season so far..

In the Reds’ End

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© liverpoolfc.tv By Michael Yong

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or a season that promised so much, it seems like everything is going downhill.

Now fifth in the table (and hopefully climbing by the time this gets out), the competitors for a top four finish are now apparent than before.

Maturity in the sides like Tottenham and Aston Villa, coupled with the money of Manchester City (billions, I must add) the future of the exclusive ‘top four’ now seems in more threat compared to last season. The titles of our past now weigh heavily on the current crop of players: with a

title drought lasting nearly twenty years now, we have seen many pretenders to the throne that we know rightfully belongs to us. Manchester United, in a surge the last two decades, has caught up with our 18 titles. If we do not hold off the Devils, I fear the jesting we receive when we next play at Old Trafford. Not that we should be afraid. Three wins in the last three have definitely brought the bragging rights back to Anfield. In all three performances, Liverpool has looked the stronger all over the pitch. The images of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard tormenting Vidic is a powerful one; one that will stay with me forever. While it is fair to stay our season has been a down one because of the last couple of weeks, all is

not lost. There is still the Europa League to play for; the FA Cup, and definitely the title. Five losses might seem a lot, but who’s to say that Chelsea or United will not lose more games. We are the comeback masters; we are the best when the chips are down and backs against the wall, and we are more than

capable of putting together a run of twenty odd wins. This team (even with all its injuries) is definitely good enough to challenge at the very top. Injuries might have hampered us till this stage, but with Aquilani (class player he is) and our terrific duo fit, the rest of the season might go as planned.

The Europa League The season’s far from over. We might have missed out on the knock out stages of the Champion’s League, but we’ll make do. Liverpool has a tradition in this competition, winning it three times. The last time with Gerard Houllier was an epic, with nine goals in a rain soaked match against Alaves. Much has changed though, since the last time. What was the UEFA cup is now the Europa League, and where there

were almost no English teams in the play off round, there will be Fulham, Everton and Aston Villa. The chances of us meeting beloved (not) rivals are slim, but a city might be in store for us. The competition is by no means easy. No Eurpoean competition ever is. With teams like Juventus, Wolfsburg and Atletico Madrid, it will take quite an effort. But we’ve got it sorted.


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In the Reds’ End

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WORLD CUP FEVER

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he 2010 world cup groups have been drawn and the entire football world is buzzing. The group of death has been accepted as Group C, involving Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea. While the tournament is still roughly half a year away, the draw kicked off the final run into South Africa 2010. One of the storylines to look for is how the African nations fair in the first world cup held on their continent. It will be interesting to see if they can continue to impress the world as they did in the 80’s or 90’s now that the setting is to their advantage. Look for the Ivory Coast and Ghana to be Africa’s best chances at a club lasting deep into the tournament. Many of the European powerhouses have

Half a year and it’ll be the biggest event in World Football. No, Sepp Blatter is not stepping down. It’s the World Cup! Bafana Bafana! a point to prove with England, Netherlands, Germany and Italy all having a tournament that will be very important in determining their place in the world. The two favorites going in to the tournament are Brazil and Spain; but with many top clubs competing, I think we will have an exciting and emotional tournament sure to bring football to the world’s forefront this June. One of my weekly pleasures leading up to the 2006 World Cup was following Pele’s globe trotting tour around the world. The King went all over

the place and no matter what country he was in he would predict nothing but success for their World Cup team. If we all had a dollar for his incorrect predictions over the years we would be rolling in money. Even with the 2010 World Cup still way out on the horizon Pele is dusting off the rust and getting back into his prediction mode. On a visit to Mexico this past weekend Pele predicted great things for Mexico in South Africa 2010. Believe it or not he has said this before. We’ll have to wait until 2010 to see if his prediction comes true. By then he’ll have tapped every country in the world to win the tournament. I wouldn’t want

In the Reds’ End

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to have it any other way. England’s next game will be Eygpt. Egypt aren’t going to World Cup 2010 as they narrowly missed out after losing the specially arranged playoff to their North African rivals (and our Group C opponents) Algeria. But Egypt are a fine team, as Africa Cup of Nations wins in 2006 and 2008 suggest. They’ll play us after the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, so could even be consecutive three time winners by the time they come to Wembley. this will be the first game in the buildup to South Africa. Seems smart enough, assuming there are superficial similarities between Algeria and Egypt. Will be interesting to see whether Capello goes with the first XI he plans to start at the World Cup.


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In the Reds’ End

Bye! Au Revoir! ¡Adiós!

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verton remain confident a new stadium in Kirkby can be ready for the start of the 2011/2012 season.

That is the message from Chief Executive Robert Elstone following news the report into the Kirkby Inquiry, which closed today after 36 days of evidence, is unlikely to be presented to the Secretary of State until June. That means a final decision on whether the Destination Kirkby project can go ahead will not be forthcoming until the eve of the 2009/10 Premier League season. A final decision had been expected later in the Spring. However, Mr Elstone believes that, despite the delay, a new stadium can be completed in time for the start of the 2011/12 season. He told evertonfc.com: “We’re very happy with the way the inquiry went and feel we were represented very

The Blues: Fellani, Neville and Saha’s had enough well. I was impressed with the ton can fulfill our side of the work done by the other membargain as part of the partnerbers of the partnership. ship. We will be discussing in “We answered some tough more detail the timetable with questions in impressive fashour partners with a view to ion and, in the course of doing seeing if there is any way the that, were able to put right decision can be accelerated. some misconceptions that “But I am confident that the had emerged. Throughout this powers that be are aware of process we have been keen to how important timing is to the stress there is an urgent need overall project.” to “ Everton are investing move and in the future ” also a unique opportunity in the Patrick Clarkson, QC, presense that Kirkby is here sented the closing submission - that is something which for Tesco and Everton. makes this project so special He addressed a variety of not just for Everton but also concerns that had been raised for the people of Kirkby. by all the objectors to the “On that basis, and with proposal. the news today it may well be He said: “The fundaJune before the inspector can mentals of this scheme and finalise the report, we have judgements on them are key. to be certain we can hit the The proposal is to regenerground running to achieve a ate Kirkby through major 2011 start date for the comdevelopment of a football pleted stadium. stadium and shops. The need “That means we will to regenerate is of national as continue to push on with the well as local significance. The project development so Everproduct of redevelopment will

© Daylife.com

resonate nationally given the figure in the region of 3000 new jobs being created.”

Importance He then underlined how important it was for Everton to move to a new stadium. “It is a specious suggestion that Everton should stay where they are or that they are trying to steal a march on their competitors by constructing a stadium they cannot afford,” he declared. “That is luddite business planning of ‘do nothing and it will be alright’. On the contrary, as above, Everton are investing in the future like any business by raising finance for a stadium which will provide one of the best customer experiences in the country.” “This is a town that is not performing the role it should be,” Mr Clarkson explained. “If the opportunity is good enough the retailers are energetic enough to unlock it.”


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In the Reds’ End

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New boys on the block!

In the Reds’ End

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They need no introduction, really. With Xabi Alonso and Arbeloa leaving the club, we’ve gone one better. Meet new right back Glen Johnson, and our man-in-the-middle, Alberto Aquilani.

FACT FILE Name: Glen Johnson Squad number: 2 Position: Wing back Height: 1.82 m Weight: 70 kg Date of Birth: 23/08/1984 Town of Birth: Greenwich Country of Birth: England Nationality: English

DESCRIPTION

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ngland international Glen Johnson is an attacking right-back who arrived at Anfield in June 2009 . Johnson established himself as one of the Premier League’s top full-backs in the years prior to his big money move to Merseyside and he is an integral part of the national team under Fabio Capello. His career began with Harry Redknapp at West Ham but after just 15 appearances he became the first signing for new Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in 2003. The Londoner’s league debut for the Blues arrived at Anfield in August of the same year. Three months later came an international bow against

Denmark as a substitute for Gary Neville. Johnson won the Premier League and League Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge but was loaned by Jose Mourinho to Portsmouth in 2006. The deal was made permanent a year later and the England man went on to be a massive hit with the Fratton Park faithful. He helped the club to FA Cup glory in 2008 - and the season that followed brought a host of personal accolades. Despite Port-

hletic “Superior at qualities”

smouth finishing 14th in the league, Johnson was selected at right-back in the PFA Team of the Year for 2008-09.

© liverpoolfc.tv

His screaming left-foot volley against Hull on November 22 also won Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season. His debut arrived at White Hart Lane on August 16, 2009. Liverpool lost 2-1, but it was Johnson’s foray into the box that won a penalty for Rafa Benitez’s men. Three days later the defender scored an acrobatic volley and was named man of the match in a 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City at Anfield. Away from the pitch, our new boy established the ‘Glen Johnson Soccer School’ in Dartford back in 2007 for children aged between four and 16. The outstanding stats of two league goals and a host of as-

sists testify to his quality that none can deny. While many might doubt his defensive capabilities, the wingback has proved to be more than able. His superior athletic qualities allow him to shalom down the wings and at the same time track back to defence. Benitez went one better by recruting Glen Johnson. While many might credit the manager for such an astute signing (and rightfully so), there was no doubt for Johnson when The Reds came in for Him. Perhaps the biggest compliment paid to him was when international boss, Capello, called him “the best right back England has”.


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In the Reds’ End

FACT FILE

© liverpoolfc.tv

Name: Alberto Aquilani Squad number: 4 Position: Centre Midfield Height: 1.86 m Weight: 77 kg Date of Birth: 07/07/1984 Town of Birth: Rome Country of Birth: Italy Nationality: Italian

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taly international Alberto Aquilani is a central midfield playmaker who came to Anfield in August 2009. His arrival on Merseyside followed the departure of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid. As a 16-year-old star in the making, Aquilani spurned lucrative advances from Chelsea and Arsenal to kick off his football career with hometown club Roma. He made his Serie A debut for Fabio Capello’s side in May 2003 before spending the following season on loan at Serie B outfit Triestina, making 41 appearances and scoring four goals in the

process. Aquilani’s return to Rome saw a gradual introduction into the first team and he really made his mark in a 2-0 derby victory over Lazio in February 2006, showcasing his technical prowess by netting a spectacular long-range drive. His impressive performances earned him the No.8 shirt in time for the start of Roma’s 2006-07 campaign. Sadly, injury was to keep him on the sidelines for most of the season but not before he won his first full Italy cap

in November 2006 in a friendly against Turkey. Aquilani was back on the pitch for a two-legged Coppa Italia final against Inter Milan in May 2007, helping his side to a 7-4 aggregate victory. Further success representing his country came in the 2007 European U21 Championships in the Netherlands, where he scored two goals and was named in UEFA’s Team of the Tournament.

“Spraying passes throughout Anfield” He has since cemented his place on both the European and international stage, with a host of eye-catching Champions League appearances for Roma and a brace of goals for Italy in a World Cup 2010 qualifier against Montenegro in October 2008. An ankle injury kept Aquilani sidelined for the opening months of the 2009-10 season following his arrival on Merseyside. He finally made his long-

awaited Liverpool debut as a substitute in the Carling Cup fourth round clash with Arsenal at the Emirates on October 28, 2009. Aquilani was again handed a cameo role when the midfielder made his Anfield bow in a 2-2 draw with Birmingham City on November 9. He has since gone from strength to strength, making appearances as an impact substitute. He was finally given a starting role in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers after Javier Mascherano was injured in the previous match. In his starting debut, he showed creative feet and quick touches, quickly adoring him to the Kop. While he might not be as ‘tiger-ish’ as Mascherano, he is undoubtly more creative. Spraying passes throughout the Anfield turf, he slowly but surely found his feet. First name on the team sheet when fit, we can expect ourselves to see more of Aquilani in the near future.


Our young guns

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The Reds’ academy has always been a special factory for amazing talent. In this issue, we look at two of our very own youngsters - Spearing and Insua - who are more than a fit in the The Reds’ first team.

Emiliano INSUA

Jay SPEARING

Next Gerrard Watching this tenacious midfielder play is like watching a young Gerrard in action. He is calm and composed and works incredibly hard for the team. He would be my number one candidate to become a first team regular. Spearing, who was seen as a defender during his rise through the ranks, came on as a substitute in a Champions League clash with PSV on December 9, 2008 to make his senior debut. What the Wirral-born youngster lacks in height, he makes up in hunger and energy. These attributes prompt-

© liverpoolfc.tv

ed the Kop to sing his name for the first time during an electric cameo as the mighty Real Madrid were dispatched 4-0 in March 2009. That very impressive appearance against Real Madrid, coupled with steady performances as subsitutes in matches so far makes Spearing a favourite. This guy is simply, without a doubt, Liverpool’s next Kop model.

“Even better”

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rgentine youngster Emiliano Insua is fast becoming a regular on the left side of Liverpool’s defence. Insua arrived from Boca Juniors in January 2007 on an 18-month loan deal which was eventually made permanent. His first-team debut came against Portsmouth on April 28, 2007, though much of the following season was spent helping the reserves win the league. It wasn’t until 2008-09 that Insua began cementing his place in Rafa Benitez’s first-team plans, notching 13 appearances despite competition from Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena. He has continued to impress in 2009-10 and Insua scored his first goal for Liverpool with a long-range volley in the Carling Cup fourth round tie with Arsenal at the Emirates. Noted for his attacking prowess, he won his first cap for Argentina in the dramatic World Cup qualifier with Peru on October 10, 2009. Liverpool’s left back

Insua has already played in a total of 15 games for Liverpool, and hasnt looked out of place, and Benitez argues he has been “more impressive” than the likes of Aurelio, Dossena and John Arne Riise before him. A tough tackling full back, and only 20, Insua has all the raw attributes to be Liverpol’s left back for seasons to come. He will look to have a big 2009/10, both domestically with Liverpool, and possibly internationally with Argentina, seeing as the 2010 World Cup is on the horizon, and Maradona’s Argentina are looking for youth to progress, and possibly stake a claim for inclusion in the squad.

© liverpoolfc.tv

2007 after the best part of a decade at the Academy. The central midfielder captained Liverpool U18s to the second of their successive FA Youth Cup victories in 2007. The young impish midfielder has grit and desire and a fair amount of skill and good footballing brain and perhaps best of all you can see just how much passion and love he has for the club and that

position has been of growing concern over the past few seasons, with players coming and going, and in Fabio Aurelio’s case, getting injured over and over again. However, with Aurelio injured, Liverpool wouldnt really have a ’senior’ left back available, except ‘rookie’ Argentine Emiliano Insua

should stand him in good stead in the coming years.

© liverpoolfc.tv

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fter a very long period without effectively using our youth and academy systems to full effect, Liverpool have a few youngsters coming through at the same time and it’s a testament to the determination and success of our current coaches and scouts that has seen an upturn in the amount of youth players Rafa can happily use. Benitez clearly has taken on board the much anticipated ‘homegrown’ rulings and is well on the way to having half a dozen players on the fringes of the first team picture who happily adhere to the guidelines and Spearing is perhaps the most advanced of those in his armoury. Jay Spearing graduated to Melwood in the summer of


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In the Reds’ End

A tribute to the Kop

The 12th Man

“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” -- Bill Shankly, greatest Liverpool manager ever

© liverpoolfc.tv

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he greatest fans on Earth. The loudest. The most hysterical. “Absolute nutters, the Kop.” Says just about everything Liverpool stands for. It is all too easy to sing when you are winning, but what about when you’re not? You could choose to stay quiet, or even express your disappointment with boos and whistles. What a team really needs, though, is support. Unconditional support. Our new “slogan” for our away shirt - Every team needs the 12th man. While the accolades rage in for the 12th man in Anfield, there is little understanding as to how a support of roughly 42, 000 can create such an atmosphere. The stadium’s not the biggest, the place not the most modern. The fans are, however, legendary. Just ask ex-Liverpool player, Luis Garcia. “We were sitting in the dressing room and we could clearly hear thousands of fans singing You’ll Never Walk Alone. Can you imagine how that felt?.” Even as away temas are led out to chorus after chorus of You’ll

Never Walk Alone, the nudge of fear of playing one of the greatest teams in the world becomes a shove. Some opposition players have even said it felt like “going into the gallows.”

Daily Post and Echo. To commemorate the new Kop, the topmast of Brunel’s giant Great Eastern six-masted iron steamer ship, one of the first ever, was erected on the outside corner of the Kop at the junction of Walton Breck

field om the manual of An fr t ar st a en be d ha It e, of clonic, and there wer dreams, ferocious, cy with yers of keening noise course, those vast la a the old glory. This was more than a taste of . bing you by the throat place practised in grab Independent - James Lawton, The

History The Kop was named after a famous battle during the Boer War, which took place at Spioen Kop, a hill in Natal, a province of South Africa, on January 24th 1900. More than 300 men lost their lives during the battle, whilst attempting to break the siege of Ladysmith. Most of them from the Lancashire Fusiliers and many from their homeplace of Liverpool and South Lancashire. The name Spion Kop was suggested by Ernest Edwards then sports editor of the Liverpool

Road with Kemlyn Road after the new Spion Kop was built in 1906. The ship had been broken up at Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, in 1890 and the club officials in search of a flagpole managed to buy it for 20 guineas, a reasonable price. The mast was floated across the river Mersey to Garston and transported to Anfield and hauled up Everton Valley on two wagons, hauled by a team of three horses. It still stands in the same spot at the corner of the Kop and known as ‘Flagpole corner’, and will have been there 109 years since. You’ll Never Walk Alone.


The greatest team

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Throughout December you voted for the players you wanted to make up the LFC Team of the Decade. Thousands of votes flooded in and we can now reveal the greatest team of the ‘Noughties’. Let it begin!

By Michael Yong

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any players have graced the red jersey. While there have been what many some might describe as failures, the stars who have worn our the jerseys of Liverpool have no doubt shone beyond the ones who haven’t. Goalkeeper Reina was an automatic choice considering the amount of action he has seen this season. Although he had his fair share of spills, his consistency in securing three golden gloves since his introduction to the Premier League is no mere feat. No other keeper in the Noughties have a claim to that, al-

though Dudek might have a claim after his Istanbul heroics. The defence speaks for itself. Two legends at centre back, no question who those might be really. Finnan was by far our only solid right back throughout the last secade, and Arne Riise’s powerful free kick against Manchester United will live long in the memory of supporters. We haven’t seen an equally powerful left boot since. Although we have had many midfielders who were exceptional, the standout would be Captain Marvel, Steven Gerrard. His midfield partner of choice till he left is Alonso, although there has

been a case for Dietmar Hamann. Right wing was a difficult choice between King Garcia and Danny Murphy, but given the flair and the way the Kop adopted the little King, Garcia merits his place in the team. Berger, on the other hand, had little other competitors. His ferocious left boot, dribbling skills and all round game have delighted fans throughout the Noughties, and we wish his all the best in retirement. Torres and Fowler. The Spainard is the fastest striker in Liverpool’s history (and we have a great strikers’ history!) to hit 50 goals. His talent is undoubted. Fowler, well, need we say more?


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