walrus's profile

Location: London
Gender: nuts
Member since: February 01, 2002
Last visit: March 29, 2007

walrus has posted 14 links and 244 comments to SportsFilter and 3 links and 24 comments to the Locker Room.

Sports Bio

"Oh I am a Liverpudlian,
And I come from the Spion Kop,
I like to sing, I like to shout,
And I get thrown out a lot (every week)."

Actually not really a Liverpudlian. I was told as a youth that I would be a Red by a scouse friend of my dads. After some arm-twisting I agreed and I've never looked back.

I go as often as I can, which is not as often as it should be, living in London. The culmination of over thirty years of following the Reds on the radio, on TV and at Anfield, came for me at the Ataturk stadium in Istanbul in 2005, where we were buried at half time, three nil down to a great Milan side. But inspired by our fans and a bullet header from our captain, we came back to tell "the greatest story football ever told".

As the great Johan Cruyff said of the occasion: "There's not one club in the world so united with the fans. I sat there watching the Liverpool fans and they sent shivers down my spine. A mass of 40,000 people became one force behind their team. That's something not many teams have. For that I admire Liverpool more than anything."

I personally could not talk above a whisper for two weeks after I got home. My voice hasn't quite recovered a year later.

There will be other football matches, but there will never be another one like that (although the FA Cup Final of 2006 ran it close).

For some idea of what our support can do on its day, I humbly present The Last Day of the Standing Kop. Seeing this never fails to make me cry. Blood red tears ...

Recent Links

I screwed up.: Sorry about this: http://www.sportsfilter.com/comments.cfm/8312. I looked back a few days, but I missed worldcup2002's post a few days before it was official. Please delete my thread.

posted by walrus to navel gazing at 01:48 PM on February 06, 2007 - 9 comments

QPR Director forced to quit at gunpoint: another way of supporting your club?

posted by walrus to soccer at 10:31 AM on May 04, 2006 - 6 comments

Smoggies complete another incredible comeback to reach UEFA Cup final.: Trailing 1-0 after the away leg, Boro conceded another two goals at home, leaving them needing four to win for a second game in a row. They got all four in the second half and must now believe their name is on the cup. They will meet Sevilla in the final in Eindhoven on the 10th of May.

posted by walrus to soccer at 05:16 PM on April 27, 2006 - 14 comments

Pearce questions move for Scolari.: All the smart money seems to be going on big Phil at the moment for the England managers job, with odds being slashed at the bookies and a number of papers running with the story that he's top of the running. My question is whther it's insular and short sighted to expect national team coaches to be of the country they are managing. Foreign managers are increasingly popular with other nations, and also in other sports such as Rugby or Cricket. Should the best candidate not get the job regardless of nationality?

posted by walrus to soccer at 05:27 AM on April 24, 2006 - 16 comments

Spurs to Launch Legal Challenge.: If Arsenal win the Champions League and Spurs clinch fourth spot, they may take UEFA to court on grounds of discrimination. Only the fourth placed teams from England, Italy or Spain are liable to lose their place if the winners do not qualify through league position, putting Osasuna in a similar position if Villareal win.

posted by walrus to soccer at 06:47 AM on April 20, 2006 - 20 comments

Recent Comments

Liverpool FC recommends offer to shareholders.

I have mixed feelings about this. The game I started supporting all those years ago is no longer the same, but it hasn't been for some time and we have to be able to compete in this brave new world ...

posted by walrus at 01:44 PM on February 06, 2007

David Beckham's contract will not be renewed by Real Madrid

Can I hear the sound of brittle confidence?

posted by walrus at 07:34 AM on January 11, 2007

David Beckham's contract will not be renewed by Real Madrid

The goal creation stats for La Liga, AFAIK, include scoring, assists, and making the last pass before an assist. It's a measure which I haven't heard of being commonly used in other leagues, but a good one for looking at who is involved in the final move. I'm not sure where you would find them online, I'm told they're commonly used in the Spanish football press in publications such as Marca or AS, and the info about Beckham's being high was told to me by a couple of Spanish Liverpool fans I know online. Morientes, in my opinion, had his fair share of play for Liverpool, making 61 appearances in 18 months but disappointingly scoring only 12 goals. By the time he came to us he had reprised his role at Monaco as a second striker, and commonly played this role for Liverpool, playing most often behind Crouch to link the midfield and attack. As such we might have expected less goals than he scored for Real Madrid, and he was by no means bad, featuring as high a games won percentage as any other player in the squad during that time. He was still a disappointment in many ways though, having been bought as a proven goalscorer and an intelligent player. He never really got used to the pace of the league or the bite of defenders, and seemed always to want the ball to feet rather than a yard or two in front. This is an essential difference between the service forwards get in England as opposed to Spain. He also said recently that he could not get used to having so little time on the ball as in England you get one touch before the defenders "eat your legs". Veron had an excellent reputation as a footballer in Italy as an advanced playmaker, prompting Ferguson to pay somewhere in the region of 30M for him and Chelsea to part with half that two years later under Ranieri, even though he had been perceived as a failure in the league.

posted by walrus at 04:40 PM on January 10, 2007

David Beckham's contract will not be renewed by Real Madrid

You'll have to excuse me for not being at all familiar with the style of play in the MLS. It's football which we simply don't get a chance to watch in the UK. Or at least, I've never seen a game advertised. I'm curious: which league would you compare it to? Does it most resemble the blood and guts, pacy passion of the English, the languid, cultured style of Spain, the defensive, tactical style of the Italian league, or the expansive, skilled style of South American football? There are others, but those seem to encapsulate the main trends in the game. I think Beckham these days would be most suited to Spanish or perhaps Italian football. He lacks the pace to beat a man, or the tricks on the ball to survive long in England or Brazil. His best asset is his placement of a long pass or cross, either from space or a dead ball situation. This is why he's been (for me) a success for Real Madrid since losing much of the pace that served him so well at Manchester United. I think if you look at the stats for goal creators in Spain, in the seasons when he has played enouhg games he has been one of their most prolific players in that department. It goes without saying that he's been a huge financial success, paying back his transfer fee in shirt sales and image rights within the first calendar month of arriving. For him to be a footballing success somewhere though (and for him to continue to be a financial asset he will have to pay a filip towards prowess on the field), it depends on the league he plays in and the role he's given. I honestly don't see him being worthwhile any more for an English team. If the MLS allows a player time on the ball for a few touches, and the space to pinpoint a cross, then he could make a big difference out wide, collecting the ball and ranging it in, or as a pivot-style player, a la Pirlo for Milan. We've seen a number of older players used to the Italian or Spanish game fail in the UK though, through needing the ball to feet and wanting more than one touch on it. The best examples of high profile players failing in the English league in the last ten years being Veron and Morientes, with Shevchenko looking likely to go the same way. Like Morientes, I believe firmly that Shevchenko would flourish again through going back to the league where he shaped his game, but is perhaps too old to adapt to a new league at an age where experience counts more than physical fitness. Beckham of course has experience of the English league, but his lack of pace would be his biggest weakness here and I think he would end up playing a peripheral role, as he would in Germany where the Bundesliga is perhaps closest to the English style. If he's to succeed in the MLS on the field, it may only happen for him if the pace is similar to Italy or Spain or if the quality of defending is similar to Holland, France or Portugal. South American teams likely couldn''t afford him and in any case I'm not convinced he's tricky enough on the ball.

posted by walrus at 02:01 PM on January 10, 2007

Cech has skull surgery after in-match collision.

Some thoughts from three players who played the game in one of it's more violent and uncompromising phases: Ian St. John: "Rightly or wrongly, he thought he could put Cech under pressure but as he ran at him it was clear he got his feet wrong. In those circumstances if a striker is trying to do 'the goalkeeper' he leaves his foot in - not his knee. That is fraught with all kind of risks, especially to the striker. Mourinho said he 'dropped' his knee. Believe me, a striker does not drop his knee. That is an invitation to serious injury - a striker dropping his knee is an unnatural act." John Giles: "When it is the intention to hurt the goalkeeper the boot goes in - not the knee. I don't know how bright Hunt is but no one playing professional football over any length of time could be so stupid as to try to use his knee in that situation. It would be a form of professional suicide. No one who ever played the game for a living would dispute this." Bobby Charlton: "t wasn't a good challenge and you have to feel sorry for the goalkeeper but I have to say I didn't think it showed any intention to cause injury. It was one of those unfortunate things that are always going to happen in football." Only someone who has never played football at any decent level could argue that Hunt intentionally went to hurt the keeper. Like his comments about Essien after one of the most horrific and deliberate tackles I've witnessed on Hamann, like his comments on Messi diving when it was clear he was trying to avoid Del Horno's challenge, like much of what Mourinho says , a manager who has never played the game at any kind of decnet leve, his comments on Hunt smack of arrogance, overprotectiveness, and a complete misunderstanding of the game. He's a classless, whining pratt who has yet again courted controversy rather than honesty. Like his comments about the ambulance, which he claims took thirty minutes to arrive ... BBC Radio Five Live sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar said: "We understand from the ambulance trust it was Chelsea's doctor who asked for the ambulance to be called when he realised Cech's condition was perhaps more serious than may at first have been the assessment." "At 5.45pm it was decided that an ambulance should be called. It arrived at 5.52 - seven minutes after the call was made - and at 11 minutes past six he was in hospital. So 26 minutes after the call was made to the ambulance, he actually arrived in hospital."

posted by walrus at 01:26 PM on October 17, 2006

Court case to end international football?

I think the umbrella associations should be looking at having adequate insurance to cover players, not the national associations. Something has to give as injuries on international duty can seriously knacker a clubs chances and the clubs pay the players wages out of our hard-earned ticket money.

posted by walrus at 07:33 PM on October 16, 2006

Euro 2008 tables are looking interesting

The divot wasn't from Robinson's kicks, it was the Croatian keeper in the first half.

posted by walrus at 07:30 PM on October 16, 2006

Cech has skull surgery after in-match collision.

His knee drops because he's trying to pull his foot out. How anyone can say it's deliberate is beyond me. Mourinho should back his players, but comments like that are uncalled-for and if I was Hunt I would be looking to see if I had a case for defamation of character.

posted by walrus at 07:28 PM on October 16, 2006

Barca's famous shirt now has a sponsor's logo:

Think this is great, but what's not clear is how long the logo is on the shirts and whether they're selling any with it on.

posted by walrus at 05:30 PM on September 16, 2006

World Champions

Very silly concept. Interesting read though.

posted by walrus at 05:29 PM on September 16, 2006

How about your sister?

"Yeah, he just needs to ask his sister." Careful fella. Zizou's gonna get you ...

posted by walrus at 03:03 PM on September 05, 2006

Gallas 'issued own-goal threat'

All the Chelsea fans I know are saddened and upset by this statement by the club, regardless of what happened. The episode is behind the club, and this can only sully both their reputation and a great servant of the club for many years. Even if the remarks were made, we can't know what the context was, and this washing of dirty linen in public is verging on the obscene.

posted by walrus at 03:01 PM on September 05, 2006

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Only change I've made so far is Saha for Bellamy, which made me feel a little dirty, but I think Rafa's rotation policy is going to reduce the points for a lot of Liverpool players this season. Thinking of taking Pennant out for my next free transfer, but I've got to convince myself there are midfield players for the same money who will perform as well over the course of a season, even if Jermaine doesn't play every game.

posted by walrus at 06:37 AM on August 29, 2006

Talk about your odd couple

"What does "gates" mean there?" Attendance. How many fans show up.

posted by walrus at 02:53 PM on August 25, 2006

Talk about your odd couple

The press love to sensationalise. AFAIK Keane made a public statement after the spat with Quinn that he held no grudges and hoped the incident would not affect their professional relationship. I suspect Quinn feels the same way. Whether the crucible of taking on a club who are effectively in freefall is the best start for Keane in management is moot. It's a make or break appointment for him. Sunderland fans get a lot of respect from me for their gates in the Championship, and for their backing of Liverpool when the Mancs booed the minutes silence on a Hillsborough anniversary and were drowned out by the Black Cats singing a defiant version of YNWA. I hope he does well. Even though he played for the Old Foe.

posted by walrus at 01:32 PM on August 25, 2006