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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
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?
With the January transfer window upcoming for the English Premier League, many players will undergo a medical to prove they are in good condition physically. What exactly does a player go through in attempting to pass the medical? Four Four Two magazine recently ran an article as to what exactly the typical medical is made up of and Millwall FC physio Bobby Bacic also weighs in with Readings Head of Sports Medicine Luke Anthony. The full article can be found here http://performance.fourfourtwo.com/health/injuries/how-to-pass-a-medical
Test 1: Musculoskeletal stability
“We look in depth at the lower lumbar [back] and pelvic region – as these are areas where hamstring and adductor problems can originate from,” says Millwall physio Bobby Bacic. Score yourself Check for defects in function or muscle tightness when performing simple football moves. “We’ll get players to do leg squats, hop tests and lunges to spot weaknesses,” says Luke Anthony, head of sports medicine at Reading.
Test 2: Heart and health
“A club medical includes cardiac screening with ECG, echo monitor and history questionnaire,” says Dr Ian Beasley, FA’s head of medical services. “There would also be blood tests and a physical examination.” Score yourself “Players have the same regular bloods as a GP would test for during a check-up, along with urine tests that can detect proteins or acids in the urine, giving an indication of issues such as diabetes,” says Anthony.
Test 3: Isokinetic assessment
“We can calculate the output of the quads and hamstrings,” says Bacic. “They work together and identify weaknesses which may predispose injury.” Score yourself Do knee flexion and extension drills at different speeds to determine the strength of your most vulnerable joint. An expected range for flexion would be 130 degrees – touch calf to hamstring. An extension: 15 degrees – straighten out knee as much as possible.
Test 4: Deep scanning
“A club will send a player with an injury history to hospital for a magnetic resonance scan. The MRI will look at back, hip/pelvis, knees, ankles and also neck and shoulders for keepers,” says Dr Beasley. Score yourself If you have private health care, get your heart checked. “Sometimes the transfer fee will also dictate the extent to which a player will have scans. They will have a heart ultrasound if there is a medical history that’s of concern,” says Anthony.
Test 5: Body fat score
“This is something the club dietician would have to look at,” says Bacic. “We would be concerned if a player was over 12 per cent.” Score yourself Use a body fat monitor to send an electrical signal through your body. The signal travels quickly through lean tissue, which has a high percentage of water and is therefore a good conductor of electricity, and more slowly through fat, to record your percentage.
Test 6: Range of movement
“We look at hip extension range and quad muscle length,” says Bacic. “An unrestricted natural movement through the limb’s full range of motion is what we want to see.” Score yourself “In the gym use the crossover cable,” says Bacic. “Attach the lower cable around the ankle and the opposite cable at shoulder height and then kick across the body to the opposite hand.”