The Scouse Revolution

Since I’ve been doing this job, Manchester United have ruled the roost in terms of the domestic game here in England. Arsenal and Chelsea have been there or thereabouts, and Tottenham have even chipped in with the odd contribution over the last couple of years. Liverpool, though, have continuously underachieved, there’s no denying it. Perhaps not as a group of players, because they haven’t had the strongest squad in recent times, but certainly as a club, there’s no doubt about it. Controversial changes in ownership and poor managerial appointments off the pitch coupled with baffling tactical decisions and debatable signings on it have meant that this giant of a club, with all it’s European history, has been lagging behind the leaders in the fight for Premier League success.

This season, however, has seen a change in fortunes. The arrival of Brendan Rodgers as manager at the start of the 2012-2013 campaign left a number of Liverpool supporters wondering once again if they were yet to find the right man for the job, but everyone stood by him, including their star striker Luis Suarez, and it appears they couldn’t have made a better decision.

Suarez is on fire this season, and his much-talked about partnership with Daniel Sturridge is the envy of every team in the league.

Liverpool are the form team right now, there’s no doubt about that, so it’s little surprise I’m spending a fair bit of time driving around the country keeping an eye on the season’s dark horses…

 

Fans queue for beers and burgers at a window before Manchester United's game with Liverpool at Old Trafford
Fans queue for beers and burgers at a window before Manchester United’s game with Liverpool at Old Trafford

 

Luis Suarez of Liverpool battles for the ball with Phil Jones (L) and Marouane Fellaini (R) of Man Utd
Luis Suarez of Liverpool battles for the ball with Phil Jones (L) and Marouane Fellaini (R) of Man Utd

 

Steven Gerrard opens the scoring for Liverpool against Man Utd with a penalty
Steven Gerrard opens the scoring for Liverpool against Man Utd with a penalty

 

Liverpool players celebrate their opening goal at Old Trafford
Liverpool players celebrate their opening goal at Old Trafford

 

The personalised, knitted Adidas boots worn by Luis Suarez of Liverpool
The personalised, knitted Adidas boots worn by Luis Suarez of Liverpool

 

Juan Mata of Man Utd gets away from Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool
Juan Mata of Man Utd gets away from Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates with captain Steven Gerrard
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates with captain Steven Gerrard

 

Liverpool fans mock Man Utd manager David Moyes by displaying a banner claiming he's a 'football genius'
Liverpool fans mock Man Utd manager David Moyes by displaying a banner claiming he’s a ‘football genius’

 

After their drubbing at home to Liverpool in the league, Man Utd had a European tie to look forward to mid-week. They faced an uphill struggle to overcome Olympiakos’ 2-0 lead from the 1st leg match in Greece a couple of weeks earlier. Pressure continues to mount on the manager, David Moyes, as their lack of form frustrates their fans more and more as the weeks go by…

 

Man Utd Training
Man Utd players do some light jogging during a training session

 

Man Utd manager David Moyes takes part in the open training session with the rest of his players
Man Utd manager David Moyes takes part in the open training session with the rest of his players

 

Man Utd manager David Moyes shares a joke with Wayne Rooney during the training session
Man Utd manager David Moyes shares a joke with Wayne Rooney during the training session

 

Man Utd manager David Moyes gestures during the press conference that afternoon
Man Utd manager David Moyes gestures during the press conference that afternoon

 

Fans queue for burgers before the match outside The Grill Shed next to Old Trafford
Fans queue for burgers before the match outside The Grill Shed next to Old Trafford

 

Robin van Persie of Man Utd battles with Delvin Ndinga of Olympiakos
Robin van Persie of Man Utd battles with Delvin Ndinga of Olympiakos

 

Aontonio Valencia of Man Utd suffers extreme inflammation with a black eye
Aontonio Valencia of Man Utd suffers extreme inflammation with a black eye

 

Robin van Persie curls home Man Utd's 3rd goal to complete an astonishing comeback and book their place in the next round
Robin van Persie curls home Man Utd’s 3rd goal to complete an astonishing comeback and book their last eight spot

 

Alejandro Dominguez of Olympiakos looks dejected as his side crash out of the competition
Alejandro Dominguez of Olympiakos looks dejected as his side crash out of the competition

 

Man Utd manager David Moyes applauds the support after the match
Man Utd manager David Moyes applauds the support after the match

 

With Man Utd through to the last 8 of the UEFA Champions League, against all odds, it was back to grind of the Premier League the following weekend. Once again, I was assigned to follow the fortunes of Liverpool, travelling down to Cardiff to see if they could continue in their rich vein of form…

 

Cardiff owner Vincent Tan looks on before the match
Cardiff owner Vincent Tan looks on before the match

 

Juan Cala of Cardiff battles with Luis Suarez of Liverpool
Juan Cala of Cardiff battles with Luis Suarez of Liverpool

 

Luis Suarez scores the 1st goal for Liverpool, bringing the score back to an early 1-1
Luis Suarez scores the 1st goal for Liverpool, bringing the score back to an early 1-1

 

Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring their 1st goal
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring their 1st goal

 

Luis Suarez finds his way through the smallest of gaps in the Cardiff defence
Luis Suarez finds his way through the smallest of gaps in the Cardiff defence

 

Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring to complete his hat-trick
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring to complete his hat-trick

 

Although Cardiff gave Liverpool a scare, the strength of the visitors’ attack shone through and Suarez’s hat-trick helped them to a 6-3 victory. Questions were being asked of their defence, but when you’re scoring like they are at the moment, it doesn’t seem worth worrying about.

Next up, football-wise, was a return to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby. This game was scheduled for the night after the SJA Awards which were held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London. I was honoured to be nominated in the Sports News Picture of the Year category for my image of Callum McManaman tackling Massadio Haidara in last season’s Wigan Athletic vs. Newcastle United match…

 

Callum McManaman of Wigan tackles Massimo Haidara of Newcastle, and escapes without punishment
Callum McManaman of Wigan tackles Massimo Haidara of Newcastle, and escapes without punishment

 

Perhaps it wasn’t great timing, having to shoot a big derby match the night after an awards evening. Unfortunately, I didn’t win that night…the prize went to Reuters’ Toby Melville. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all…

 

Pablo Zabaleta of Man City battles for a header with Patrice Evra of Man Utd
Pablo Zabaleta of Man City battles for a header with Patrice Evra of Man Utd

 

David Silva of Man City is tracked by Rafael Da Silva of Man Utd
David Silva of Man City is tracked by Rafael Da Silva of Man Utd

 

Edin Dzeko of Man City scores their 2nd goal
Edin Dzeko of Man City scores their 2nd goal

 

Wayne Rooney of Man Utd looks dejected as his side struggle to cope with the strength of their local rivals
Wayne Rooney looks dejected as Man Utd struggle to keep up with their local rivals

 

Phil Jones of Man Utd slides in to tackle Edin Dzeko of Man City
Phil Jones of Man Utd slides in to tackle Edin Dzeko of Man City

 

Samir Nasri (C) leads the attack, supported by Man City teammates David Silva (L) and Gael Clichy (R)
Samir Nasri (C) leads the attack, supported by Man City teammates David Silva (L) and Gael Clichy (R)

 

Yaya Toure scores Man City's 3rd goal past a diving Man Utd goalkeeper David De Gea
Yaya Toure scores Man City’s 3rd goal past a diving Man Utd goalkeeper David De Gea

 

Wayne Rooney of Man Utd looks dejected
Wayne Rooney of Man Utd looks dejected

 

Javi Garcia (L) and Vincent Kompany celebrate Man City's 3-0 victory
Javi Garcia (L) and Vincent Kompany celebrate Man City’s 3-0 victory

 

After the eventful night at Old Trafford, I journeyed back to Anfield to see Liverpool take on Sunderland. The Liverpool fans are really starting to believe they could win the league now, and this was evident for the first time at a home game, as fans marched down Anfield Road past the Hillsborough memorial before the match, chanting and singing in support of their club…

 

Liverpool fans march down Anfield Road before the match
Liverpool fans march down Anfield Road before the match

 

Liverpool fans display a banner in support of their club
Liverpool fans display a banner in support of their club

 

Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool battles with Lee Cattermole of Sunderland
Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool battles with Lee Cattermole of Sunderland

 

Steven Gerrard scores Liverpool's 1st goal with a curling free kick
Steven Gerrard scores Liverpool’s 1st goal with a curling free kick

 

Steven Gerrard (L) celebrates his goal with Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez
Steven Gerrard (L) celebrates his goal with Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s