Books, Conditioning, Week in Review

The Week in Review……

There are some weeks that there are so many books, articles, videos, sporting events and or possibly anything else that catch my eye. This is simply a weekly synopsis of what I came across.

1. Joel Jamieson’s “Ultimate MMA Conditioning”

A must read for all strength and conditioning coaches. Joel breaks down how he gets his fighters in prime condition for their next fight. A great insight into the tailored approach of conditioning he uses. He also dispels the idea that aerobic conditioning is of no use to anyone except long distance runners. You can purchase “Ultimate MMA Conditioning” here.

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Football, Liverpool FC

Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea – Hindsight is 20/20

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

 

It was a game that Liverpool needed only a point from. A game that Chelsea really needed to win in order to stay in the title race. Brendan Rodgers didn’t back in down in trying to go straight at Chelsea from the off and take the game by the scruff of the neck. His Liverpool side did face two resilient lines of four as Chelsea camped out twenty yards from goal. Demba Ba and Willian capitalized on two Liverpool mistakes to hand the title initiative back to Manchester City.  Continue reading

Liverpool FC

Norwich 2-3 Liverpool – Another Step Taken

 

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

By Jonathan Carroll

The build up to Norwich away was all about taking the same intensity from the Manchester City game and applying it to the lowly canaries. Realistically that was always going to be a big ask seeing as the emotional and physical drain that the previous Sunday must have taken out of Brendan Rodgers and his team. Norwich did play their part in making life more than difficult however. Continue reading

Liverpool FC, Miscellanous

Liverpool 3-2 Man City – Fortune Favors the Brave

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

By Jonathan Carroll

Sundays win over Manchester City could prove to be crucial in deciding where the title ends up. It was a game that had everything. A rampaging Liverpool team that ripped City apart for the first twenty five minutes. A comeback from the visitors that rocked the home team and truly tested their spirit and character and an amazing winner from a little Brazilian magician. It was an appropriate way to honor the ninety-six lives lost at Hillsborough. A tragedy that will be twenty-five years old on Tuesday April 15th.

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Liverpool FC

West Ham 1-2 Liverpool – A Test of Character

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Sunday saw the reds travel to London to take on Sam Allardyce’s West Ham. In true big Sam fashion, Brendan Rodgers will have prepared his team to face a physical onslaught with a good helping of long balls into their eighteen yard box. West Ham who are now relatively safe from relegation had nothing to lose. Liverpool on the other hand were looking to hold their nerve in a true test of character in the title race. Continue reading

Liverpool FC

Liverpool 4-0 Spurs – Reds Cruise Into Top Spot

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Tim Sherwood hinted that Liverpool may be nervous about their title run in prior to Sundays game at Anfield but it was Spurs who looked out of sorts. Brendan Rodgers let his players do the talking in the form of goals from Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson and an own goal from Younes Kaboul. Liverpool are now top of the league with six games to play. Win all six and they will be crowned champions.

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Liverpool FC, Miscellanous

Liverpool 2-1 Sunderland – Reds March On

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Brendan Rodgers watched his side scrape a deserved win over lowly Sunderland on Wednesday evening. The win was fully deserved but the reds made it difficult for themselves by inviting pressure late on. A stunning Steven Gerrard free-kick in the first half and a John Barnes-esque curler from Daniel Sturridge made it 2-0 early in the second half. Ki Sung pulled one back for Sunderland who threatened late on through Adam Johnson but John O’Shea failed to direct his header on target.

 

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

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Liverpool FC, Miscellanous

Man United 0-3 Liverpool – Rodgers Can Make Reds Reign Again

 
 
By Jonathan Carroll
 
Realistic expectations for this current Liverpool squad were a top four finish at the start of the season. Some television pundits thought even that was a bridge too far. There have been many questions arising over the course of the season in relation to how Liverpool would fare. Brendan Rodgers has without question, been learning on the job (see Southampton at home). What is clear however is that he has a philosophy and an adaptability with a squad of players whom he had no hand in purchasing. His coaching ability is there for all to see and this Liverpool team are gaining momentum at just the right time. Continue reading
Liverpool FC, Miscellanous

Fulham 2-3 Liverpool – “We Are Not Title Contenders”

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

By Jonathan Carroll

 

Brendan Rodgers post match interview with Martin Tyler on Wednesday night included a reference from Tyler that Steven Gerrard’s winning penalty and the resulting celebration was one of possible title contenders. Rodgers didn’t agree with Tyler but instead wisely opted with the route “we’ve got to keep pushing”. While no direct acceptance was made in relation to Liverpool being contenders, a direct “We are not title contenders” would be a better approach. This Liverpool squad is young. Title run in experience is lacking. Rodgers needs to let the squad focus on playing without pressure so he can instill that belief that they can win the title behind closed doors but publicly alleviate pressure. Continue reading

Liverpool FC

Liverpool 2-2 Aston Villa – Complacency Costs Reds

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Following a fantastic away win at Stoke City where Liverpool were previously winless in the Premier league, Brendan Rodgers readied his team for the visit of Aston Villa as well as John Henry from Boston. There was a certain complacency with the tactics used on Saturday as Rodgers looked to utilize Steven Gerrard as a deep lying midfielder as Villa stunned Anfield by racing into a two goal lead in the first half due to the lack of presence in the middle for the home side.

Both goals could be traced to individual mistakes, Kolo Toure failed to stop Gabriel Agbonlahor from getting his cross in for the first goal and Steven Gerrard failed to track the run of Andreas Weimann. Christian Benteke stooped to nod home a second after Simon Mignolet flapped at a cross that Glen Johnson seemed to have covered. Liverpool have made Anfield a fortress of late and the start to Saturdays game was perplexing to say the least.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpools response was swift. Luis Suarez found Jordan Henderson at the top of the box and his sublime flick was neatly finished by Daniel Sturridge to make it 1-2. Game on as Anfield erupted.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Brendan Rodgers brought Lucas Leiva on to start the second half instead of Philippe Coutinho and it worked wonders as the reds now had a hold of midfield. Gerrard in particular was very poor in the first half but he went some way to redeeming himself as he converted from the penalty spot after Luis Suarez has been upended by Brad Guzan in the Villa goal.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool looked to push on as Suarez went close from a free kick thirty yards out and Raheem Sterling also threatened. Lucas Leiva was substituted after taking a knock on his knee, something that will cause much worry around Anfield as quality defensive kids are rare these days at the club. With John Henry in attendance, perhaps the moves in the transfer marker will gain some momentum this week. Liverpool should strengthen given their positive position halfway through the season. The champions league is an attainable goal at this point in time. The only question is, why do the club look hesitant to strengthen when the need to is obvious?

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

LIVERPOOL

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Johnson
  • 20 Cissokho
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 04 Kolo Touré
  • 31 Sterling Booked
  • 14 Henderson
  • 07 Suárez
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 10 Coutinho (Lucas – 45′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 06 Luis Alberto
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 21 Lucas (Allen – 66′ )
  • 24 Allen
  • 34 Kelly

ASTON VILLA

  • 01 Guzan
  • 07 Bacuna Booked
  • 23 Bertrand Booked (Luna – 81′ )
  • 15 Westwood
  • 04 Vlaar
  • 06 Clark Booked
  • 08 El Ahmadi Booked (Sylla – 62′ )
  • 16 Delph
  • 20 Benteke
  • 10 Weimann
  • 11 Agbonlahor (Holt – 49′ )

Substitutes

  • 09 Helenius
  • 12 Albrighton
  • 13 Steer
  • 14 Luna
  • 18 Sylla
  • 22 Gardner
  • 29 Holt
Liverpool FC

Stoke 3-5 Liverpool – The Playground Football Approach

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

By Jonathan Carroll

 

Liverpool went to the Britannia Stadium on Sunday afternoon looking for their first win there in the Premier League against a historically physically tough and dogged Stoke City team. The result may have surprised even Liverpool supporters and may have shocked everyone by which they achieved the result.

 

Previous approaches by Rafa Benitez and Kenny Dalglish against Stoke were unsuccessful. A typical “match Stoke’s physicality” was often the hardline taken. Never before did a Liverpool side dare to play do a Newcastle from the Kevin Keegan era and simply score more than the opposition.

 

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

Of course, conceding three goals is not a desirable result for any team but to score five away to Stoke shows just how much potential Liverpool have going forward. Add to the equation a Philippe Coutinho who can score and you have a bounty of riches going forward with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Unfortunately, on the defensive side of the coin Liverpool are liable to leak goals like the Titanic leaked water. Martin Skrtel continues to try out for his cameo in pro wrestling with every center forward at set pieces and Kolo Toure seemed to think giving Peter Crouch room would hinder him. Daniel Agger and Mamdou Sakho would of course be higher in the pecking order over Toure who seems more suited to a full back position if needed.

 

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

In midfield, Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard continue to stagnate. Both were responsible for goals on Sunday. Gerrard for Charlie Adams strike from distance and Lucas for Jon Walters’ strike in the second half. When Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson were used in tandem with Lucas, there was a bit more of a dynamic look to the midfield but now both Lucas and Gerrard look to sit deep.

 

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

Brendan Rodgers may not have envisioned his team scoring five goals but what looked to be a second half of simply “score more than the opposition” worked. Tactics seemed a lost cause after being two nil up and conceding two easily preventable goals. Scoring three goals in the second half as well as seeing Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in full flow bodes well for the rest of the season. Suarez is simply the best striker going at the moment, bar none.

 

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

There has never been a better chance for Liverpool to get back in the Champions League. Some strengthening at the full back position would be a welcomed addition plus a creative midfielder. As long as Gerrard and co keep winning they might just be up there come the end of the season. Top four still remains the ultimate goal for the season however.

 

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

STOKE CITY

  • 22 Butland – 6
  • 20 Cameron – 5
  • 03 Pieters – 5
  • 15 N’Zonzi – 6 (Ireland – 81′ )
  • 17 Shawcross – 6 (Booked)
  • 12 Wilson – 4
  • 19 Walters – 6
  • 06 Whelan – 4
  • 25 Crouch – 6
  • 16 Adam – 7
  • 10 Arnautovic – 6

Substitutes

  • 05 Muniesa
  • 07 Pennant
  • 08 Palacios
  • 26 Etherington
  • 29 Sørensen
  • 30 Shotton
  • 32 Ireland

LIVERPOOL

  • 22 Mignolet – 5
  • 02 Johnson – 5
  • 20 Cissokho – 6 (Booked)
  • 08 Gerrard – 6
  • 37 Skrtel – 5
  • 04 Kolo Touré – 5
  • 14 Henderson – 5
  • 21 Lucas – 6
  • 07 Suárez – 8
  • 31 Sterling – 7
  • 10 Coutinho – 7 (Sturridge – 66′ )

Substitutes

  • 06 Luis Alberto
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 33 Ibe
  • 34 Kelly
  • 52 Ward
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Attendance: 27,160
Miscellanous

Sunderland 1-3 Liverpool – Suarez and Sturridge Shine

 
By Jonathan Carroll
 
In a game that was defined by Liverpool’s response following Sunderland’s goal showed that even though Liverpool were far from top class they still done enough to win the game and claim all three points. It was the lethal combination of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge that took Sunderland apart and keeps them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. Continue reading