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Chatting To The Opposition: Liverpool Fan On Dark Horse Everton, Signing Cole and Getting Beaten By Chelsea

Liverpool and Chelsea have enjoyed a renewed rivalry over the past few years, particularly thanks to European clashes, but the Merseyside team had little to offer in the league or Europe last season.

This season we have swapped a couple of players, with Yossi Benayoun leaving Anfield to play for us and Joe Cole going in the opposite direction, which is likely to make our fixtures this season even tastier.

Tony from Anfield Red has taken time out to have a chat about all things football.

TCB: The summer’s been a fairly quiet one in terms of activity, have any of the transfers surprised you so far though?

AR: Joe Cole to Liverpool from Chelsea, I was expecting him to go to Spurs, and there were rumours a while back that he had gone to Arsenal. Everyone knew City would spend big money, but David Silva and Yaya Toure are both massive coups for them.

TCB: I’m sure Cole will be a great help on your bench as the season goes on! Are there any other players you’d have fancied signing?

AR: We can all dream of Villa etc, but ideally Liverpool would just get another decent striker to support Torres/cover him when he’s injured. A few weeks ago I’d have said a new left back, but now we have Aurelio and Insua still I don’t think that’s needed.

TCB: You gave us an easy time last season so obviously we’ll be keen to play you lot. Which club are you looking forward to playing most? And least?

AR: The first fixtures I always look for are the Merseyside derbies, and of course the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal. Last season Chelsea did the double over us, so I’m not really looking forward to facing them again, we can never seem to handle Drogba properly. We always struggle to beat Arsenal too, but recently against Man Utd we’ve done well. I can’t wait for the Blackpool game, I’m hoping we put about 12 past them!

TCB: Ha ha, you sure about that? Who can you see finishing in the top four and who’ll be possible relegation fodder?

AR: The top 4 is always going to include Chelsea and Man Utd, no one expected Spurs to break into that last season, and with City buying whoever they want then that leaves them with a great chance to get up there too. I don’t know about Arsenal, they’ve let a decent striker in Eduardo go, and they haven’t won anything for 5 years now. I reckon West Brom, Blackpool and Wolves will get relegated; their squads just aren’t good enough.

TCB: Which club could be the Premier League’s dark horse then?

AR: As much as I hate to admit it, I reckon Everton could suprise a few people. They’ve got some decent players in Arteta and Cahill, and Jermaine Beckford is a good striker, so if they stay fit then they could do well.

TCB: That has to hurt! Obviously the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed Rafa’s achievements in his last season at Anfield, how do you think you did last season and what are you hoping for this time round?

AR: Liverpool were not good enough last season, it’s as simple as that. We set the bar the season before by finishing 2nd, so anything less than that was considered a failure. I don’t think we should have sacked Rafa though; as now we are back in the honeymoon period where if we slip up we use the “new manager” excuse. I’d like to see us back in the top 4 at the very least, to get back in the Champion’s League and keep hold of the likes of Torres. He isn’t motivated by money, but he’s only ever won the Spanish 2nd Division at club level so he needs to be winning in order to stay at Liverpool.

TCB: Yeh I’d kind of hoped Torres was ambitious enough to be ready to compete for honours this season but sadly Hodgson seems to have persuaded him to stay. Personally, I’ll miss Rafa because he was so very entertaining, which manager impresses you most in the Premier League?

AR: Arsene Wenger – His teams always play decent attacking football, and he’s picked up some really good players on the cheap and made them work well together. He’s definitely got an eye for a bargain, and seems to have the respect of a lot of neutral fans due to the way his team play.

TCB: Bargains aside, if you could have any of our players in your squad, who would you go for and why?

AR: Essien and Drogba – they are both match winners. Essien is class no matter who he plays for, Chelsea missed him last season, and with him back to full fitness I can only see them getting better – I still love seeing his goal against Arsenal from a few years ago. Drogba is 32 but will still get goals, he’s powerful, skillful and can score with his head too; but he’d need to cut the play acting out of his game.

TCB: Which player do you think will stand out for you?

AR: If he stays fit, then it has to be Torres. In his first season he was unreal, and even last season he had a great goals to game ratio. Without Torres, I’d like to say Maxi Rodriguez; he doesn’t have loads of pace, but he can pass, shoot and read the game brilliantly. Most fans are expecting a lot from Joe Cole too.

TCB: Finally, how do you think you’ll do when you play us?

AR: We’ll probably get beat again, can’t see us turning Chelsea over.

TCB: I certainly hope so! Thanks for taking the time to talking to TCB.



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


August 2010
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