against everton

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Former Manchester City ball boy and life long Manchester City fan Elliott Fernandez sadly passed away today from cancer at age 19.

Earlier this season he spent time with Kun & Pep and had an emotional walk onto the pitch during halftime at City’s home game against Everton this past October.

Manchester City posted a tweet in honor of Elliott and Kun retweeted it adding “He’ll always be in our hearts.”

My thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest In Peace Elliott.

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More photos and video of Hammarby’s #1 fanboy at the Bajengalan (Bajen gala)(November 17, 2016)! ❤︎

A video posted by R Soderberg (@mrsoder) on Nov 17, 2016 at 10:39pm PST

“@daboowiklander was very deservedly voted the year’s Bajen player in 2016. Congratulations! At the awards Alexander Skarsgård was at least as excited as the laureate himself.”

Video credit:  mrsoder instagram

Photo sources/Thanks:

“At the Bajengalan yesterday with @isakhberge. Here we are posing with the kings Alexander Skarsgård & Romulo who won “Best Performance” after his hat-trick against Everton! #bajengalan #alexanderskarsgard #romulo #for.”

-kevster1992 instagram

“At Bajen Gala with @alexander skarsgard Home town!”

-kennedybakir instagram

“This is a great Hammarby fan and was eager to get back with selfie are / Den high Baje Supporters ville ha selfie med ytterbackarna # Alexander Skarsgard #bajen.”

-birkir84 instagram

“Only bajare! #bajengalan #efterfest #kvarnen #faresfares #skarsgard #presidentkennedy #magnuscarlson #hammarby.”

-kimhill91 instagram

“Okay, **** everything else, most important thing is that me and best @alexanderskarsgard got the hang of the same image. Note that he feels the same. Forza Bajen.”

Best bajarna.  

-jannanorberg instagram

“Bajen - sang chants with Alexander Skarsgård yesterday, not far wrong! #bajengalan #bajen #hammarby # Alexander Skarsgard.”

-helenaengstroms instagram

Daniel Sturridge VS Divock Origi. Who Starts at the Hawthorns? |

Jurgen Klopp may not be able to field his strongest XI for the Reds trip to the Hawthorns this weekend but he will still have a couple of selection dilemmas to rack his brain over going into the fixture. While formation, game plan and tactics will play a big part in his decisions, it’s still going to be very tough for the German to pick who starts up front out of Sturridge and Origi. Both can provide a compelling argument as to why they deserve a place leading the line but with Firmino and Coutinho both likely to return to the starting XI, there’s only going to be enough room for one.

Differing Impacts & the Formation Change |

If Jurgen Klopp opts for the 3-4-3 formation we saw at Stoke, then the decision - for me anyway - is absolutely a no brainer. Divock Origi starts up top with Firmino and Coutinho for company. The Belgian has looked good in recent fixtures and goals against Everton and Bournemouth seem to have done his confidence a world of good. His use of his pace and movement up top have greatly improved since the international break and from strictly a West Bromwich Albion point of view, his height and physicality against the Baggies central defenders could be vital. 

When Origi gets sufficient minutes, he contributes goals or assists, this is just an undeniable fact. The Belgian has played over 30 minutes on just 12 occasions this season in the Premier League and has scored or assisted on all but four of those. He could also be considered a bit of a flat track bully, scoring against Sunderland, Bournemouth (x2), West Ham and Middlesbrough this season and assisting against Stoke, Burnley and Middlesbrough, highlighting his ability to bully the teams lower down the table. He’s got a proven record against these sides when he gets minutes and it would be foolish of Klopp not to at least try and take advantage of this. 

If Klopp opts to throw Origi in from the start, his ability to get in behind defenders and stretch the opposition back four will not only benefit the Reds while he’s on the field but later on when he’s potentially substituted. We saw the Belgian contribute to exhausting the Stoke centre back pairing on Saturday as his pace and movement kept them occupied, allowing Coutinho and Firmino to buzz around him, linking the play and getting involved together which allowed them to get a feeling for the game. This meant that by the time Sturridge came on, the defenders were looking to drop off the Reds attackers to conserve their energy for any quick breaks the Reds might attempt. This gave time and space not only to Sturridge but to the pair of Brazilians as well who showed just why you can’t allow them comfortable room in which to operate. 

For me, it’s these reasons that mean Daniel Sturridge is able to enjoy a far greater impact when coming off the bench around the hour mark. As Liverpool fans who watch him week in, week out, we know that despite his reputation and ability to score goals out of nothing, his pace and powers are fading. However, opposition defenders don’t have that confidence during Premier League fixtures where the only thing on their mind is 3 points. We saw how the Stoke back four looked to drop off as soon as Sturridge entered the fray on Saturday and it was his presence in the box that saw three Stoke players attempt to get to the same ball, botching the clearance and affording Coutinho more than ample time to pick his spot and bury the ball into the back of the net. 

Sturridge is also much better at linking play than Divock Origi. If the Belgian can start the game confidently, using his pace and power to run the Baggies ragged for an hour, they’ll likely sit off in the same manner as Stoke did which is where Sturridge does his best work. With Firmino and Coutinho willingly running off him during his entire cameo on Saturday afternoon, Sturridge was able to drop deep to get on the ball, dribble it forward and play incisive balls in behind for the two Brazilians to chase down. In fact, Coutinho’s goal initially comes from an outside of the boot pass from Sturridge for Firmino that splits open the home side’s defence and gets the forward in behind. Firmino then plays the ball back to Can and the German is able to dink in a cross to the onrushing Sturridge, who by this point has darted his way into the box and of course, you know the rest. 

When Sturridge starts games, teams know that they can tire him out and only have to hang on until he inevitably gets leggy and substituted off. When he comes off the bench however, his legs and mind are fresh when theirs are tired and he is able to do his best work. You just have to look at previous bench appearances this season to see just what he offers and while they’ve not always resulted in him getting a goal or assist, he’s been hugely responsible for opening up space for team mates, being involved in the play and most importantly, finding ways to make things happen. 

It was his shot that rebounded back to Mane at Goodison, he scored against Stoke off the bench, could’ve had a hat-trick against Watford off the bench if it weren’t for the woodwork, should’ve had an assist for a Clyne winner at Southampton in November when the right back missed practically an open goal from his cross, was instrumental in the Reds recent 2-1 win over Stoke and won a penalty against Hull off the bench in the 5-1 mauling back in September. When he’s given a chance to make an impact as a substitutes, he very rarely wastes it. 

To Sum It Up |

Divock Origi starts, uses his pace and physicality to try and bully the West Brom defenders as much as possible and allow Firmino and Coutinho to try and get involved with each other as much as possible before making way for a - hopefully - fired up Daniel Sturridge around the hour mark. Whatever Klopp opts to do - with both formation and personnel - the Reds are going to need be clever against a Tony Pulis side who will absolutely park the bus as deep inside their own half as they possibly can. For me, a back three to cover against any potential counter attacks and the aforementioned attacking personnel are going to be vital if the Reds are to take the desired result and point total from this fixture. 

Police launch investigation into Kelvin MacKenzie column in Sun newspaper

A police investigation has been launched over a column in the Sun newspaper which compared a mixed-race footballer to a gorilla.

The article, written by the newspaper’s former editor Kelvin MacKenzie, made a number of disparaging comments against Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and the city of Liverpool.

Merseyside Police are investigating the “full circumstances” of the story.

On Friday evening the London-based tabloid announced it had suspended Mr MacKenzie.

Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, announced on Twitter he referred the column to the authorities and Independent Press Standards Organisation.

Mr Anderson said: “Not only is it racist in a sense that he is of mixed-race descent, equally it’s a racial stereotype of Liverpool. It is racist and prehistoric.”

A statement from the force said: “Merseyside Police can confirm that we have received an online complaint from a member of the public alleging that comments written about a third party constitute a racial hate crime.

"Enquiries are now being carried out to establish the full circumstances of the incident.

"We take all allegations of hate crime extremely seriously and would encourage anyone who feels they have been the victim of a hate crime or who has witnessed one to contact us.”

In the column, Mr Mackenzie wrote that Mr Barkley was “thick” and when he saw him he gets “a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo”.

Mr Mackenzie also wrote that the only other men in Liverpool who earned as much as the footballer were “drug dealers” who were in prison.

The column was strongly criticised by Liverpudlians and much of the British football community.

In addition, it was published just one day before the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Mr MacKenzie has a long and bitter history with Liverpool and it was under his editorship that The Sun falsely reported Liverpool FC fans caused the crush at Hillsborough, which killed 96 people.

The newspaper also published a number of lies about the Liverpool fans’ conduct at the match.

But the fans’ version of events was vindicated last year when an inquest found the spectators had been unlawfully killed because of inadequate policing.

Mr Anderson called on Everton football club to boycott The Sun, in a similar fashion to Liverpool FC.

The Independent has contacted The Sun for comment.

No Atletico talk from Leicester ahead of Champions League clash, insists Shakespeare

Craig Shakespeare insists Leicester City’s focus is solely on their Premier League clash against Everton as they must keep their momentum ahead of facing Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Shakespeare has been influential in turning the champions’ fortunes around, with six consecutive wins in all competitions since he took over from Claudio Ranieri alleviating fears of relegation and taking Leicester into a European quarter-final.

And while the first leg of their last-eight tie with Atleti is on Wednesday, Shakespeare says he and his side are looking only at Everton on Sunday - even if some players may sit out of the game.

“We’ve got a few little niggles [for Everton],” Shakespeare told a pre-match news conference. “I’m hoping that everyone trains fully on Saturday.

"I will assess the squad over the next 24 hours and chat with the staff, but I will pick a team that can win at Everton. My only focus is on Everton and not Madrid.

"It’s trying to get the right balance. It’s for me and the staff to assess the lads that have got little niggles and that might benefit from a few more days rest, but also trying to keep the momentum going.

"There hasn’t been any talk [about Atleti]. It isn’t banned, but there isn’t any talk.”

However, club captain Wes Morgan, who has missed Leicester’s last three matches with a back injury, is unlikely to return to face Atleti.

“It would be a lot to ask him to come back for a game of that magnitude [against Atleti],” Shakespeare said.

“I would want him to do a few training sessions first and, at the moment, that looks highly unlikely.”

'I blame Rafa entirely for selling Alonso' - Gerrard

Excerpt from his new autobigraphy

“I had seen a staggering number of new signings walk into the Liverpool training ground. I watched every single one of their first training sessions with close attention, wondering whether we’d bought a star or another dud, a king or a prat, a Xabi Alonso or an El Hadji Diouf, a Luis Suarez or a Mario Balotelli.

“Three players stand out in my time at Liverpool. They all speak Spanish. Each of them unleashes a wave of emotion in me and in every Liverpool supporter: Fernando Torres. Xabi Alonso. Luis Suarez.

“It was clear Alonso was royalty after our first training session together in August 2004, and Rafa Benitez, who had been so clever to buy him in the first place, was equally stupid to sell him to Real Madrid five years later. He was, by some distance, the best central midfielder I ever played alongside.

“It was a disastrous decision to sell Alonso, and especially for just £30million — which looks a snip now when you reflect on all he has achieved subsequently, both at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and with Spain, winning the Euros and the World Cup.

“I blame Rafa entirely for the loss of Alonso. He could still have been playing for Liverpool six or seven years after he left in 2009.

“I think more about the special players we lost — Alonso, Torres and Suarez — than the terrible signings with which we got lumbered.

Keep reading

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Gerrard’s farewell press conference (14.05.15)

“I want to finish on a high at Anfield but there’s no getting away from it, it will be emotional.”

“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved here. I grew up dreaming of playing for Liverpool just one time.”

“I feel bit sorry for my teammates this week as focus all on me. Never my intention to grab any glory, always about the team here.”

“I am going to miss it so much. Plan is to stay strong and avoid the tears. I’ve loved every minute of representing these supporters. I’ve always tried to be the best I can be.”

I want to play every minute possible in these last 2 games. I want to be involved against Stoke. This season we fell a bit short. But there’s a fantastic core of players here with great potential. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved here. I grew up dreaming of playing for Liverpool just one time. I’m looking forward to the match, I want to finish on a high.”

Istanbul the pinnacle. How the evening panned out, will go down in history as greatest night ever. I was proudest man on planet.”

Hat-trick against Everton at Anfield was so sweet after all the stick I’ve taken from the blue noses over the years.”

“I’d take bits and bobs from them all if I go on to become a manager. I wish I had met Brendan Rodgers earlier in my career.

“From 8 to 18, Hughie McAuley, Steve Heighway and Dave Channon prepared me for the demands of being a professional footballer.”

“I owe a lot to Gerard Houllier. He was like a father figure to me.”

Rafa Benitez improved me so much tactically as a player.”

“To take a coaching role at this club, firstly you have to be good enough. Just because I’m Steven Gerrard, doesn’t matter.

“I’m doing my UEFA coaching badges at the moment.

“One of the reasons why I came to this team was to start all the games. I was determined not to become a squad player. I still feel like I’ve got energy, I still love the game…”  

“Bruce [Arena] was shouting: ‘How are you doing?’ from about 60 minutes. I was pretending I couldn’t hear him and just kept looking away”

“I love playing in derbies and I wish I could play in them every week. I used to love them against Everton and Manchester United back home”

“I felt like a kid out there again, I don’t want to come off, I want to play as much football as I can”

-Since arriving in Los Angeles, Gerrard has seemed a different man. Happy, unburdened and free (x).

Happy Birthday, Ryan Giggs!

Giggs was signed to United on July 1990 and made his debut in a home match against Everton in 1991. He would go on to have a career with United that would span decades before ultimately retiring in 2014. However, his time with the Red Devils did not come to an end with his retirement. On 19 May 2014 he was named right hand man to new manager, Louis Van Gaal. 

Ryan Giggs currently holds the title for most appearances with a total of 963 in 24 years.