Date:Saturday March 9 2013
So a match up between two 'One Man' teams! If you had a choice, who would you pick, Gareth Bale or Louis Suarez as the Premiership's main man?
Suarez! But then I would say that wouldn't I? I really rate Bale and love his directness but Suarez edges it for me. The Uruguayan's technique, control and tenacity are unbelievable and he deserves a lot of credit for what he has achieved this season in a struggling team and against the backdrop of almost everyone outside of the club, rightly or wrongly, hating his guts. That said, there's no doubting Bale's class either and they are the two most inform players in the Premier League right now. Both must be an absolute nightmare to defend against - just imagine what it would be like if they were in the same team!
I confess to calling you inconsistent, but the more I look at your stats, I wonder if I am being unfair. Of course you have had a few terrible results, but who hasn't. Inconsistent or Transition?
Both; they tend to go hand-in-hand. Performances have generally been good throughout but at the beginning of the season we were not scoring enough and more recently we have been conceding too many through individual errors and collective sloppiness. Overall it's been similar to last season in many ways especially in there being a lot of games drawn that should have been won and quite a few defeats that warranted at least a point.
Three wins of the bounce! The start of the New Liverpool domination or are there plenty more tears to flow and kicking of cats before you get it right?
I thoroughly believe we are heading in the right direction and as the games go by you can physically see the improvements. Brendan Rodgers' style of play is beginning to shine through for the full 90 minutes rather than merely in patches. The players have seemingly adapted and given the youthful nature of our squad there are plenty of reasons to be confident about the future. That said, we've witnessed our fair share of false dawns over the years and nobody is getting too carried away.
To many, the portrayal of Rodgers and your club in Being: Liverpool was an excuse for minor ridicule, however I actually really enjoyed it. What were your thoughts?
I enjoyed it to an extent but as a guy who considers himself fairly knowledgable, from the outside at least, of the workings of a football club and the life of a professional footballer it was more light entertainment than an actual cutting edge documentary series. There were very few enlightening or surprise moments and my favourite part each week was usually playwright Dave Kirby's poems and insightful scene-setting chit chat. I don't think it was helped by being broadcast months after filming either; watching scenes full of hope and expectation from pre-season when the club was already several disappointing games into the season was slightly strange. The show was certainly not in the league of other football based documentaries such as Graham Taylor's 'Do I Not Like That' but then again I think it was intended more as an accessible marketing tool for Americans and casual football fans as opposed to die-hard Kopites.
You currently sit seventh in the Prem and out of all the cups, what will be your saving grace for this season and what is now more important, Europa league football or finishing above Everton?
Based on the recent financial figures from last season when, without European football, the club lost over £20m, the need to be playing in Europe is obvious. The Champions League is of course the ultimate goal but realistically that is out of reach this season so we need to aim for fifth and Europa League qualification. Achieving that is likely to require finishing above Everton and Arsenal so it won't be easy. Sixth could sneak us in depending on who makes the FA Cup final but the main aim should just be to win as many games as possible between now and the end of the season. Finishing above our Merseyside rivals is probably a bigger deal to them than it is for us. It's a feat they've only achieved on a couple of occasions during the Premier League era and one of those was rather overshadowed by the little matter of us lifting 'Old Big Ears' for a fifth time a few days later!
As a boy, Liverpool dominated English and European football and I almost disliked them for it, much like people do Man Utd today. Do you ever see Liverpool regaining that status?
It looks unlikely in the short term but we have to believe that it can happen again at some point. Liverpool exists to win things and our glittering history acts as a burden in some regards with many supporters accustomed to the success feeling the club deserves to remain at the forefront of the sport indefinitely. There is no Devine right however and a lot of time, money and patience will be needed to re-establish us amongst the elite.
In a follow up to that, where do you see Liverpool in 3, 5 and 10 years time?
Being back in the Champions League within three years is a necessity and I think that is easily achievable - perhaps even as early as next year. Doing so will help bring in the revenue and glamour required to attract the top players and in turn ensure we are in the competition every season thereafter and competing for trophies regularly. Hopefully by the 10 year mark we will have broken our Premier League hoodoo and be challenging for the top honours every season. Competing with the likes of City, United and Chelsea year-in, year-out will be difficult though and finances will clearly play their part. Therefore it is also imperative that we finally complete the redevelopment of Anfield as quickly as possible. Currently the club loses about £1m per home game when compared to the likes of Arsenal and United because of our comparable lack of capacity and corporate facilities.
I'm not asking if you like us or hate us, but I want to know what you think of Tottenham as a club and it's development from mid table to top 4/5 regulars?
I've never personally held anything against Tottenham and have always admired the free-flowing nature of the football they are associated with. Our recent record in meetings between the two (one point in the last five matches) is terrible however and I certainly don't look forward to playing against you! Looking at the bigger picture, it's clear that your chairman, Daniel Levy, has certainly played a big part in how the side has developed over the past few years. At Liverpool we know only too well how important having the right owners and off-field structure in place is to achieving success on the pitch.
If you could pick a best XI from Tottenham and Liverpool's combined squads, what would it be and which of Rodgers or AVB would be in charge?
That's tough... I'd pick (4-3-3): Lloris, Johnson, Dawson, Agger, Enrique, Lucas, Dembele, Gerrard, Suarez, Bale, Sturridge.
For me the only contentious areas are in goal, where a Reina of 2/3 years ago would have been a certainty, and at centre-back. With regards to the defence, any two from Dawson, Caulker, Vertongen, Carragher, Skrtel and Agger would make a good central pairing. As for the manager? I genuinely have a lot of faith in Rodgers' philosophies and his long-term vision for Liverpool, so I'll plump for our gaffer on that one.
I suppose we need to know your thoughts on Sunday's game. What's going to happen and who will be happier at the end?
Everything points to an entertaining, open encounter which means it will probably end up being a dull 0-0! Seriously though, and taking into account we have home advantage and you guys had to play Thursday, I'm predicting a 3-1 Reds victory.
Date:Saturday March 9 2013
Early bird catches the worm (Friday May 24 2013)
Should we worry about AVB rumours? (Friday May 24 2013)
Jamaica 0-0 Tottenham. (Friday May 24 2013)
In Levy We Trust* (Thursday May 23 2013)
Bale to Stay; But where does he Play? (Thursday May 23 2013)
The Cantona of North London! (Wednesday May 22 2013)
End of Term Report (Wednesday May 22 2013)
2013/2014 - The year of change (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Damned if we do (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Silly season is here!! (Tuesday May 21 2013)
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