Match Preview: Liverpool v Sevilla

The Reds will return to Champions League action on Wednesday when they face Sevilla at Anfield.

Liverpool held by Sevilla in Champions League opener

Liverpool began their Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-2 draw with Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday.

Match Day: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

Liverpool endured a frustrating afternoon at Anfield as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley on Saturday.

Goal Highlights: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

Liverpool is keen to make up for the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley.

Advertise With Us

Showing posts with label john arne riise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label john arne riise. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jose Enrique - Is he the answer to our left-back crisis ?

Liverpool FC have never replaced John Arne Riise who established himself as a solid left-back who would score the occasional scorcher.

Riise has been the only left-back that has cemented his place in the hearts of every Liverpool fan in the recent past. What Riise possessed very few left-back in world football possessed. He had sheer pace, a deadly left foot, strong defensive attributes, was good in the air and could dribble. Alan Kennedy is another one that springs to the mind as we talk of legendary left-backs at Anfield.

Since Kennedy retired and Riise left, Liverpool have suffered a major crisis with respect to that position.

Many players have been bought, utilised in that position but have failed to stabilize the shift. This has been primarily down to the rotation policy, change of managers and failure of the player to settle into a position.

Liverpool, for the past seasons, have looked like a predictable side because  of their one-directional football.

There is barely any attacking done from the left flank largely due to an ineffective left-back. Fabio Aurelio performs well sporadically but is constantly plagued with injuries. Emiliano Insua is just not good enough .Jack Robinson lacks the necessary experience . England's first-choice Right back Glen Johnson was played out-of-position last season and although he did play admirably , his best attributes are not fully utilised playing left-back.

And so began a hunt across Europe to fill a massive void in the Liverpool defence.

Jose Enrique was putting in eye-catching performances for Newcastle United which caught the eye of several European clubs . Barcelona were also rumoured to be interested in his services. Such was the level of his performances.

Arsenal and Liverpool were in the forefront to sign him. With the departure of Gael Clichy to Manchester City , Arsenal were willing to do quick business with Newcastle United and replace Clichy.

Liverpool had scouted Enrique for the past two seasons but were unconvinced by the player. However, towards the end of the season , Phil Thompson revealed that a deal was agreed in principle to bring Enrique to Anfield.

The rumours began turning into reality. As Jose Enrique refused to sign a new contract amidst news that he was about to quit the club. Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew also stated vociferously that Enrique did not wish to sign a new contract .  It was evident that Enrique was seeking a move away from St. James' park.
Various reports in the media suggested that Liverpool was his only destination yet Kenny Dalglish was reluctant to sign him because of his suspect defensive positioning. Once Liverpool's interest was firmly established it was a matter of time before Jose Enrique became our new left-back as concrete interest from other clubs faded.

Laying to rest all the mounting speculation, it was announced on Liverpool's website that a deal was indeed struck between Newcastle and Liverpool for the transfer of Jose Enrique.

Having keenly watched the premiership for 10 years now, Jose Enrique does look the part. He is an ideal premiership left-back. Enrique possesses bundles of pace, trickery and is no mug defensively .

Jose Enrique started his career at lowly Spanish side Levante. Made the step-up by joining Valencia. Valencia wanted to give him first-team experience so they sent him out on-loan to Celta Vigo.

At Celta Vigo, Enrique found his feet again and made some superlative performances that season. This caught the eye of Villarreal who snapped him immediately for the 2006/2007 season. Instantly, he was a massive hit and a bigger move beckoned for the talented full-back. A move to Newcastle was next where he cemented his place as one of most talented full-backs in Europe.

Having watched Enrique at different clubs, he can adapt suitably to any side. He has great tactical awareness, is a solid tackler and a blistering athlete. Enrique also whips in quality balls that are tailor-made for strikers to head. Jose Enrique reminds me of a left-footed Sergio Ramos. Very rarely, does he have a bad game. Jose Enrique is an attacking full back who can defend .

His only flaw is lack of goals.

With an impressive Liverpool debut against Sunderland already under his belt, Liverpool have secured a quality signing.

Overall, he might just prove to be the bargain of the season at £6 MILLION.

Written by Mayank Adhye, who blogs at The Musical Escapade and also a Reds supporter.

Apology on the misleading name of Alan Hansen for Alan Kennedy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Farewell John

Reds left-back John Arne Riise completed a £4million switch to Serie A outfit AS Roma next month. Riise being at Anfield for seven years and thanks for the memories. paid tribute to John with 10 great moments in Reds shirt.

1. 'Super' first goal for Liverpool

Three matches into his Reds career and the former Monaco full-back went some way to showing the goal threat he would pose when he marked his return to the Stade Louis II Stadium with an effort against European Champions Bayern Munich. The Norwegian opened the scoring on 22 minutes when he applied a fine finish to Michael Owen's right-wing cross to set Liverpool on their way to a 3-2 win and ensure Gerard Houllier's men not only claimed the Super Cup for the second time in the club's history but also gave us our fifth trophy of the calendar year.

2. Derby delight

An indifferent start to the Premiership campaign saw the Reds travel to Goodison Park determined to put an end to a run that had seen them lose two consecutive league matches. It was hardly the kind of fixture you would want for restoring flagging confidence and when Kevin Campbell gave the home side the lead after just five minutes it looked like Liverpool were on the verge of yet more away day misery - much to the amusement of the Everton fans. However, the Blues reckoned without the inspiration of Steven Gerrard, who drew the Reds level on 11 minutes with a sensational effort before Michael Owen converted a spot-kick on the half hour mark to give Houllier's men a half-time lead. As Everton pushed forward in search of a second-half equaliser they left gaps at the back and on 52 minutes Riise etched his name into Merseyside derby folklore when he ran half the length of the pitch before turning Steve Watson and steering a third, match-clinching goal, past Paul Gerrard.

3. "Jooohn Arnnne Riiiise! I wanna knoooooow, how you scored that goal!"

If scoring a superb individual goal to see off neighbours Everton wasn't enough to earn Riise a place in the hearts of all Kopites, then his strike in a 3-1 mauling of Manchester United certainly was. The Reds had already beaten their old foes in their previous three encounters and after Michael Owen had taken advantage of a defensive lapse from Wes Brown to give Liverpool a deserved lead, Riise was presented with an opportunity to double the advantage. The hosts were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box on 39 minutes allowing JAR to line up what would become known as one of his trademark rockets. As Didi Hamann touched the ball into his path the Norwegian surged forward to unleash an unstoppable 25-yard drive that seared into the top left hand corner via the crossbar to leave Fabien Barthez with no chance and Manchester United where they belong, on their knees.

4. Free-kick finesse

Liverpool put one foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League courtesy of a resounding 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen at Anfield. Goals from Luis Garcia, John Arne Riise and Didi Hamann did the damage in a first knockout round win that was all the more impressive given that Rafael Benitez's side were without the suspended Steven Gerrard. With the Reds leading courtesy of Garcia's clinical 15th minute finish they were presented with a chance to double their lead 10 minutes before the interval when they won a free-kick to the right-hand side of the Anfield Road end goal. As JAR stood over the ball, fans conjured up images of that wonderful strike against Manchester United and urged him to go on and repeat it. He did not disappoint. With unerring accuracy he curled a delightful 25-yard effort inside the near post of Hans Jorg Butt's goal to send Anfield into raptures and set Liverpool on their way to a win that would avenge the quarter-final defeat of 2002.

5. Carling Cup cracker

Liverpool travelled to Anfield South as many people's underdogs as Rafael Benitez and his side looked to secure their first victory over Jose Mourinho's Premiership leaders. The Reds had outplayed the Londoners in an unfortunate 1-0 defeat at Anfield on New Year's Day but few outside Merseyside expected them to emerge as League Cup winners for the eighth time in their history in Cardiff. They were right too, as we slumped to a frustrating 3-2 extra-time defeat, but not before JAR sent the travelling Kop into ecstasy with a sensational first minute opener. Fernando Morientes found space down the right flank before sending a searching ball to the far post where Riise, who had been given a left midfield berth for the contest, arrived to smash home a blockbuster of a volley from just inside the penalty area. It was the perfect start and although the Reds would go on to lose the match it was a goal that would have been worthy of winning any final.

6. The cross that inspired the comeback of all comebacks

When it comes to Istanbul everyone has a story tell. Fans delight in recalling their efforts in reaching the promised land while the players who donned the famous red shirt that day all played their role... John Arne Riise was no different. Having been deployed on the left hand side of midfield during a disastrous first 45 minutes, JAR was moved into a left wing back role for the start of the second-half as Rafael Benitez shuffled his pack with a switch to a 3-5-2 formation. It was a change that paid almost immediate dividends and one that saw Riise provide the cross for Steven Gerrard to head the Reds back into it on 54 minutes. The Norwegian collected a pass from Xabi Alonso deep in Milan territory and after seeing his first cross blocked by a defender, he showed great composure to steady himself before flighting over a ball for the skipper to give his nod of approval to. We all know what happened after that and although JAR would go on to miss a penalty in the shoot-out he could still console himself with the fact that he had played an important role in our fifth European Cup triumph.

7. Riise rocket gives Jose the Blues

We've been here before haven't we? A semi-final of a prestigious cup competition and Jose Mourinho's Chelsea were again the side that stood between Liverpool and a major final. Twelve months earlier Luis Garcia had booked our place in the 2005 Champions League final to break Chelsea hearts and now he was it again, as the Reds ran out 2-1 winners at Old Trafford. The little Spaniard struck an audacious volley that proved to be the winning goal on 53 minutes but it was Riise's exquisite first-half free-kick that set the Reds on the road to victory. The full-back had already scored two famous free-kicks during his Anfield career and he made it a hat-trick of set-piece specials when he curled a low 20-yard effort inside the left-hand corner of the net to ensure Liverpool's semi-final hoodoo over Chelsea would continue.

8. Exorcising the demons of Istanbul

It's fair to say that Liverpool have given their fans their money's worth since the turn of the new Millennium. In Cup finals alone they have produced performances that have taken our breath away. Michael Owen's last-gasp winner in 2001, the nine goal Golden goal thriller in Dortmund, Istanbul, and of course, who could forget the Steven Gerrard final of 2006? In a clash with Alan Pardew's Hammers that bore an eerie resemblance to the events that transpired in the Ataturk just 12 months earlier, the Reds fought back from the dead to secure a 3-3 draw and take the match to a penalty shoot-out. For one player it was a chance to exorcise his demons. In Istanbul, Riise had opted for placement in the shoot-out, allowing Dida to make a fine save down to his right. It was miss that he admitted had haunted him ever since, and so the chance to put it right against West Ham was one he was not about to let slip away. This time he stepped up and made no mistake, hammering the ball down the middle to give the Reds a crucial 3-1 lead with Hammers keeper Shaka Hislop diving to his left. As JAR wielded away in celebration he could not hide his emotion, pumping his fists with delight before rubbing his face in relief.

9. JAR shows Chelsea no charity

Liverpool kicked off the 2006/07 season hoping to add the Premier League title to the Champions League and FA Cup already won under Rafael Benitez. First up they faced reigning champions Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium and after a stern test of their credentials they emerged triumphant courtesy of goals from Riise and Peter Crouch. JAR had made something of a habit of scoring against the Blues and he continued his rich vein of form against them when he drilled home a 25-yard blockbuster to open the scoring on nine minutes. The Reds' number six led the breakaway following a Chelsea corner and as space opened up in front of him he continued to surge forward before unleashing a fierce drive that flew into the back of the net to surprise keeper Carlo Cudicini.

10. Barcelona Belter

In 1976 it was John Toshack who broke Catalan hearts with a goal that set the Reds on the road to the UEFA Cup final. Fast forward 31 years and it was another John making the headlines in the Nou Camp in yet another heroic European night in Liverpool's history. It was Jar's penultimate goal in a red shirt and when you consider the context of the strike it was probably his most famous. The Reds had travelled to Catalonia as many people's underdogs for a Champions League first knockout round clash that pitted the 2005 Champions League winners against the 2006 winners. Ronaldinho and co were tipped to go on and retain their crown and it all appeared to be going to plan when they took the lead on 14 minutes courtesy of Deco's fine header. It set the tone for the majority of the first period in which the visitors endured a sustained period of Barcelona pressure before breaking clear to stun the hosts with an equaliser on 43 minutes. Craig Bellamy was the hero turned villain, arriving late at the far post to head Steve Finnan's cross into the net via a blunder from keeper Victor Valdes. It was a huge boost for Rafael Benitez and his side and after the break they played with a renewed vigour that saw them go on and claim a famous 2-1 victory. Steven Gerrard's clipped ball from the right found Dirk Kuyt in the penalty area and although the Dutchman was thwarted by Valdes, Bellamy showed great composure to lay the ball to Riise, who crashed the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards out to claim not only a massive victory but also score his first ever goal for the Reds with his right foot.


Red's Fury™

Advertise With Us