17 May 2006

Stevie G for England captain

Liverpool fans have long known how good Steven Gerrard is, not just in scoring goals, but in the way he motivates the team and drives the tempo of the game. He has always played well, but particularly in the last 3 seasons, since he was made Liverpool captain. Before he was captain I think he was afraid of shouting at other players, or being the motivator, or demanding the ball, as he wasn't captain - doing these things would have upstaged the captain of the time. Since being captain he knows it's his responsibility and thrives on it, he will drive the team forward.

He doesn't tend to shout at other players like some captains, he just works very hard both with and without the ball. And if he senses it's required, he'll demand the ball and make things happen. The team respond to this by working just as hard and when Gerrard gets the ball they know something will happen and make themselves available. After the FA Cup final, I think most of country can now see what Liverpool fans have been seeing for a while now.

Therefore I think we should make Steven Gerrard the England captain. But not after the World Cup, NOW. I don't think highly of David Beckham, he's great with a dead-ball, but there are better players overall and I do not think he should ever have been made England captain, just the wrong character.

Let's give Stevie G the armband, I'm sure he'll bring back the World Cup.

15 May 2006

FA Cup Finale

Liverpool always seem to do it the hard way when we get to the finals. I went to the 2001 UEFA Cup Final, when we beat Alaves 5-4 (after extra time) which was very similar to this game ... giant vs minnow and a topsy turvy game. Great for the neutral, but hard work for the fans, especially for those on the losing side.

It's been a few years since the FA Cup has produced such a game, often the teams are afraid of committing themselves. If Liverpool has scored first the game would have probably been much tighter.

The result was tough on West Ham, who played really well, even though all their goals were mistakes by Liverpool or just plain lucky (I wouldn't have complained if we'd scored in similar fashion).

I've watched the replay of the West Ham chance (at the end of extra time) several times and every time I think West Ham will score, even though I know they don't. Amazing how Pepe Reina was at fault for 2 of the West Ham goals, but made some excellent saves later in the game and saved 3 of the penalties. What would the football pundits say .... "He went from zero to hero during the final"

13 May 2006


I saw Eric Clapton play in Sheffield on Friday, a superb gig. He started with some of his more recent music, what I call his Phil Collins sound .... he became friends with Phil Collins in the 80's and he's produced several of Eric's albums. Unfortunately, in my opinion, these records have a Phil Collins sound, a drum beat that has a slight echo on it and other things I can't quite put my finger on, basically it sounds like Adult Orientated Rock, not quite bilge, but heading that way. Between these albums he's done some fantastic traditional blues ... From The Cradle, Sessions For Robert J, Riding With The King and Unplugged.

So when the first 3 songs were Collinseque my Dad and I were worried. But we needn't have been. He went on to play some of his best tracks over the last 40 years, some Derek and the Dominoes tracks that I love and never thought I would get to hear him play live. My Dad is a fan his albums Money and Cigarettes and 461 Ocean Boulevard and there were even some from these - unusual, because these albums do not contain any of his most famous songs.

His band were excellent and the 2 lead guitarists could probably have put a show on all by themselves, both superb blues players. Robert Cray was excellent as the support act, my Dad was almost as happy to see him as Eric. The evening reminded me why I learnt to play guitar, I don't think I've picked one up in 2 years, but I'll be bringing mine down from the loft.