August 14th, 2009

  • teenny

Nando signs contract extension with Liverpool

ft16.jpg picture by tinaanna

The 25-year-old agreed terms on the new deal back in May and has now put pen to paper to give the club the perfect boost ahead of their opening game of the season at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Torres is now contracted to Liverpool until 2013 with an option to extend the deal by a further year, and will earn £110,000-a-week.

The Spain international joins Liverpool's other star players, along with manager Rafael Benitez, in committing his long-term future to the club.

Benitez said: "Fernando is one of the best strikers in the game and, at his age, can only get better.

"Every major side would want him in their team, but he has shown how much he wants to achieve success at Liverpool by committing his future to the club. He's a special talent, but still has the hunger to improve his game.''

Torres, meanwhile, has insisted Liverpool have nothing to fear from their title rivals, and it is games against sides such as Tottenham which will decide their fate this season.

Much like last season, when Liverpool had an excellent record against the other top four clubs, the Reds are wary of slipping up against other sides in the Premier League.

"We have no problem beating Manchester United or Chelsea, but it is games like Sunday's at Tottenham where we need to show our real title intentions," Torres said.


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darcy doesn;t sparkle



Myopic Arsène Wenger admits he pretends not to see Arsenal's fouls

• 'If you lose a game you feel sick,' Arsenal's manager says
• Wenger says football is like being in quicksand

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has often claimed not to see fould involving his own players but admits now that he is just trying to protect them. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Arsène Wenger admits that he does indeed see fouls committed by hisArsenal players, and that his famous tendency for myopia when it comes to his own team comes from his own struggles to justify their actions.

"Many times I say things I find hard to endorse in my mind," Wenger says, "but this job can be like quicksand when you lose. Everyone wants to push you down. It is all guided by fear."

Asked whether he sometimes only pretends not to have noted a particular infraction committed by an Arsenal player, Wenger agreed: "Yes, because you are thinking, 'Why has he done that?' and you know you cannot explain it. At times I saw it [a foul] and I said that I didn't to protect the player, because I could not find any rational explanation to defend him.

"This is a job where you have to have an optimistic view of human nature or you become paranoid. You always have to think that a guy wants to do well. A coach is there to help. He must think that if he helps in the correct way the players will respond. You cannot be suspicious.

"The common denominator of successful teams is that the players are intelligent. That does not always mean educated. If you speak to a player after the game and ask him to rate his performance, if he analyses well, you know he is the sort who will go home thinking, 'I did this wrong, I did that wrong'. His assessment will be correct and he will rectify. That player has a chance. The one who has a crap game and says he was fantastic, you worry for him."

In the tumult of the Premier League, Wenger has acknowledged that it helps to be a little mad. "No great things have ever been accomplished without someone's crazy belief," said the Arsenal manager. "The biggest advances have been made by people who, at the start, would have been judged mad."

Wenger has described how football is his life, how losing is like being in quicksand and defended his often-criticised transfer policy. "What will happen if you do not win? Why do you not buy players?" Wenger asked. "When you allow that to infiltrate your brain too deeply you become guided by it.

"If you lose a game you drive away and you feel completely sick. Then you think as well of all the people who's weekend is dead because of it. So you feel that responsibilty too. If you think about that too much, you can become crazy, but it makes you rigorous in your preparations. That's how I became the person I am today. I know I look like a robot; but everyone who has targets is like that."

Wenger credited the former Arsenal stars Dennis Bergkamp and Theirry Henry with being some of the most diligent players he had managed. "I worked with Bergkamp for 10 years and I have not seen a man more obsessed with every little technical thing. Thierry Henry the same. You could call Thierry at home, 10 o'clock every night, and he was there. At 23 years of age. And talk to Thierry about football: you cannot beat him."

Wenger remains respectful of other managers but suggests friendship is impossible: "On the day, it is you or them, so there is always mistrust. You cannot be completely open. There are managers I respect, but I cannot be completely friendly. That is why I do not go for a drink after matches. What can you say if you have won? And if you have lost all you want to do is get home and prepare for the next game."

Just LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Arsene. I love you so much.


What is next? SAF admitting that other teams don't ever get penalties at Old Trafford? Benitez admitting that Fergie is a better manager than him? God knows...

Also, reasonably funny article on Arsenal's height problem here.
  • biznass

koreans in the prem whut whut

Bolton seal South Korean signing from Seoul

Bolton Wanderers have signed South Korean winger Lee Chung-yong from FC Seoul for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club said on Friday.

Lee, 21, who has scored two goals in 16 appearances for his country, becomes Bolton's fifth signing of the transfer window after agreeing a three-year-deal.
"Lee is another good addition to our squad," manager Gary Megson told the club's website.
"He has got pace and ability and it is great that we have finally been able to get him."
Lee is available for Bolton's opening match of the season at home to Sunderland on Saturday.

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Orange Love Affair Over For Tango Pete?

A quick look at goalkeeper chic and in particular our Czech fashionista, Big Pete. When he joined us from Rennes for £7m in 2004 he arrived with some strange ideas about the colour of his kit, ideas that had the fashion police on the Fulham Road spitting out their lattes and reaching for their Ray-Bans. Prior to his two year spell at Rennes, Petr had spent a year at Sparta Prague, where he’d been hanging out with a Russian science boffin who convinced him that when it came to the colour of his goal keeping jersey there was only one way to go. Bright Orange!

Orange, he was told, would slash the number of goals he let in each season with strikers dazzled into shooting straight at him. A radical concept indeed, but Cech was sold and during the 2001/02 season, wearing an orange top, he set a club record of over 1000 minutes unbeaten in all competitions. Off he went to Rennes for a few years where he continued his superb form, again kitted out like a satsuma. Maybe there was something in it after all.


There may well have been but Jose wasn’t buying it and made it clear to Pete that he wasn’t a fan of goalkeepers in bright tops. Jose, remember, did like the attention focussed on him a lot of the time so perhaps that had something to do with it. Cech toned it down, instead opting for a more traditional green top and his colourful experiment appeared to be over. It certainly made no difference to his play and he smashed records left right and centre during his 34 appearances in the title winning 2004/05 season including a new premiership record of 1025 minutes without conceding a goal whilst Chelsea set a new record of only 15 goals conceded in a season (he actually only let in 13 of those!). He also won the Golden Gloves Award for keeping 24 consecutive clean sheets. Maybe the Orange shirt had nothing to do with it after all!

Up until last season Cech’s tops had remained fairly low-key, we’d seen some grey, some navy and some black. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary. It was when we chose a fluorescent yellow away kit that Pete thought he’d try his luck and see if he could get away with his garish top idea once more. With the Special One out of the picture, he mentioned it to new kit makers Adidas and by the end of the season his officially named ‘infrared’ kit was ready to be tested. Big Pete was thoroughly enthusiastic about the kit saying;

“It’s been scientifically proven that you shoot at targets when you see one. Even when a player wants to shoot into the bottom corner, they see the orange shirt and they can’t ignore the colour because it’s attractive to their eyes. It happens quickly and subconsciously, but eyes cannot ignore such a bright colour. The studies say the colour is like an alarm or alert, which spreads and is very difficult to avoid. I found this out from a Russian guy working at Sparta Prague when I was there four years ago. He showed me all his studies and I was very impressed”

When he stepped out in the final league game of the season against Bolton, he wasn’t just in orange he was in Day-Glo. He could have passed for a steward if he hadn’t started jogging towards the goal and with his now trademark head guard looked remarkably like a highlighter pen dancing around on the goal line.


He had mixed results. Unbeaten for 90 minutes only for Matt Taylor to equalise in the 93rd minute with a shot that somehow made it past the defence and through his legs. The shot was straight at him come to think of it; maybe the Russian scientist was on to something? Another outing in the Champions League final was to follow. The less said about that the better although Cech did pull off some magnificent saves and also managed to keep out Ronaldo’s penalty. Not much consolation but at least the orange shirt seemed to be working and the arrogant winker missed!

So on to next season and we got off to a good start only 4 goals getting past Big Pete in the first 14 games. Having said that the blinding glow of the big keeper's shirt failed to draw any of the Burley penalties magically towards him as we crashed out of the Carling Cup! Then came the 'Scolarigate' crisis midseason and we let in 10 goals in the next eleven games 11 games. Even science couldn't stop us leaking goals under the lackluster management of the World Cup winning Brazilian. Guus steadied the ship and bar a few bizarre anomalies that included almost gifting Bolton a quite ludicrous comeback at the Bridge, and in the process letting in 3 goals in the blink of an eye, Orange Pete stood reasonably firm or at least thats what the stats would seem to imply. It has to be said that there were periods where we got a little bit worried about our keeper. He was making some very uncharacteristic mistakes at crucial times and I admit I'd started to wonder whether that horrendous accident at Reading which almost claimed his life had actually had more of an affect than first thought. He was flapping at crosses, like a giant tangerine. Coming out and getting nowhere near the ball, getting beaten from bizarre free kicks (how did he allow Aurelio to score from that position?!), the full monty. Guus claimed the keeper was having a crisis confidence but publicly stood by him and gradually his form returned.

The stats certainly don't show Petr to have had bad season but just not as successful as in 2004/05 where our defence was watertight. Last season, In 35 Premier League games, he kept 19 clean sheets, one more than our second title winning season 2005/06. He did however let in a few more goals, 4 to be precise and 11 more than 2004/05. The Champions League on the other hand was a different matter. On our way to the semi final in 12 matches Petr kept 5 clean sheets and let in 13 goals. In 2004/05 in 11 appearances it was 3 clean sheets and 15 goals conceded so last years campaign was marginally better in Orange!

This season Chelsea have launched a new kit introduced on the Megastore site as the 'New 09/10 Chelsea Goalkeeper Kit'. Described as 'Navy with Fluro Green' it's certainly not as likely to blind spectators but will it have the same effect on strikers as the orange one was supposed to have. I guess only time will tell. The club's official stance on which kit is to be worn or if the orange kit has been binned is difficult to pin down. On the Chelsea Megastore website the orange kit is still being sold and labelled the '2008/10 Home Kit'. Other shops have labelled the new kit as the 'New Away Goalkeeper Kit' indicating that Orange will still be the order of the day at Stamford Bridge. Notably however Petr turned out at Wembley in the new kit for the Community Shield last week.


Talk that the orange kit would have clashed with United red isn't really valid in light of the fact he wore it in Champions League final. More likely that Chelsea wished to debut the new kit on a big stage as they so often do with their new shirts toward the end of the season. Wembley is of course Away so perhaps that explains it. On calling up the club however i was informed that although the orange kit is still in circulation it's 'more likely to be used as a second kit' with Petr wearing the new kit the majority of the time. Still rather unclear and not likely to go down very well with those parents who have just kitted out their kids in 'infrared'. Perhaps, after a difficult season, Petr has finally tuned his back on science, banished the boffins back to the lab and ended his love affair with orange once and for all!



Okay, two days ago I was watching the Netherlands v England game (okay, only watched first half) and my nephew had these wicked fake tattoo's and he wanted me to have one of them. So 1 minute later I was the proud owner of Kuyt. Evidence:

Sooo0o my point is, besides showing off my dirkie, would you ever get a tattoo for a club/player/something related to football?

edit; okay now I'm showing off my liverbird which I kinda stole from pbvalla