Gerrard eyes double on Merseyside

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Liverpool has arguably the best side in the Barclays Premier League right now and will do whatever it takes to win the league for the first time in 19 years.  Back when they last lifted the trophy, Anfield King turned Manager, Kenny Dalglish, was in charge.  It has been a barren run ever since and for a Club so rich in history with an abundance of love and support, it’s time to lift the hoodoo.  Time to become champions once again!

Top of the league at Christmas is always a good sign but talismanic skipper, Steven Gerrard, may have thrown-in an unintentional but potentially season-spoiling red herring.  Gerrard has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray following an incident in a Southport bar.  The Kop icon was celebrating his sides’ 5-1 mauling of Newcastle United when a confrontation with a rowdy disc jockey, a Manchester United fan, ended badly.

Gerrard is due to appear at North Sefton Magistrates Court on January 23, with two Merseyside derbies to contend with either side.  I’m sure the Everton fans will be gearing-up for some hot-blooded banter.  A win in the league on January 19 would be a prayer answered for Stevie G, backing it up with a FA Cup fourth round win on the weekend of January 24-25 would send a message of stability and calm, as well as bragging rights of course.

Anfield will host the first FA Cup meeting between the red and blue halves of Merseyside for almost 18 years.  There is a special significance to this FA Cup campaign for Liverpool as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.  As defender, Jamie Carragher, so poignantly put it last week, “going on to win [the FA Cup] would be the perfect tribute to those who died.”

The tragic events in April 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives, will be sure to rouse memories and spur on the Liverpool faithful.  It still stands as Britain’s worst ever sporting disaster.  The two Clubs last met in 1991 when it remarkably took three games to decide the outcome in Everton’s favour.  A 0-0 draw at Anfield followed by the incredible 4-4 draw at Goodison, after which Dalglish resigned, culminated with a 1-0 victory for Everton at Anfield.  A header by Everton’s, Dave Watson, was enough to see them through to the quarter-finals.

If you believe in statistics, this 16th meeting between the Merseyside rivals should go the way of Liverpool, the Club has claimed nine wins to Everton’s six, and are the form side.  You’d be blind if you can’t read the script though, 2008/09 is Liverpool’s season.  A league/cup double beckons for the working-class heroes.

Let’s not forget the influence of Liverpool Manager, Rafa Benítez.  The Everton fans may refer to him as a “fat Spanish waiter” but the man is no prima donna.  He has won the league before in his homeland with Valencia CF, twice.  He has become somewhat of an iconic figure at Anfield after winning the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League during his first season in charge, one of the most truly entertaining Final’s of all-time.

Interestingly, Liverpool has lost only two of the nine previous Merseyside derbies during his reign, while Everton Manager, David Moyes, has yet to win at Anfield in six previous attempts.  The tactical battle is on.

Every great team in modern football has had a strong spine, look at all of the recent champions and this is a true statement.  Liverpool has strength from Pepe Reina to Fernando Torres, Carragher, Javier Mascherano and Gerrard linking the puzzle together.  If Gerrard can overcome this little punch-up anomaly, he could go down as one of the great leaders in Scouser history, if he hasn’t already.

There’s a long road ahead for Gerrard and his teammates in England, as well as a continental battle with European giants, Real Madrid coming up in the UCL.  Squad depth and injuries play a huge part in the final outcome.  Liverpool will need a fit Torres in goal scoring form and a solid defence if they wish to forge into greatness.  Perhaps, underpinning their true depth is the use of Martin Škrtel and Daniel Agger alongside Carragher, don’t forget old Sami either.  Hyypiä will have a part to play, an absence of own goals would be heaven-sent.

As long as the Kop sing, You’ll Never Walk Alone, the fire will burn for glory at home and abroad.  Gerrard will need to lead like his heroes of the past, claiming a double over Everton is a step in the right direction.  For what it is worth, I hope Liverpool win the league, it would be momentous for the long-suffering fans, the loyal and the new.  Above all else, it would be great for English football for Liverpool to finally live up to their prized history and so-called “big four” status.  No matter what, they’ll never walk alone.

6 Responses to Gerrard eyes double on Merseyside

  1. liverpool scum :L 😛 😀 🙂 :> (:

  2. we love united 😀 :L 😛 🙂 WE HATE LIVERPOOL 😦 :< ):

  3. i love united ❤ (L)

  4. gerrard is rubbish 😛 hahahahah rooney !!

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