Liverpool Fc Related Content
ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes will present live coverage of Manchester United vs. Liverpool FC, two of Premier League’s most-successful clubs, on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 a.m. ET.
The match at Old Trafford is one of the most anticipated Premiership games of the season. ESPN3’s coverage will be available in both English and Spanish languages.
Manchester United has 55 points – two points removed from Manchester City, which is currently at the top of the league standings. Liverpool, with 39 points, is seventh in the standings.
Emotions will run high in the match. In the last League match between the two teams, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez racially abused Manchester United Patrice Evra. Suarez, who was subsequently suspended for eight matches by the English FA, returned to the pitch as a substitute last Monday in Liverpool’s 0-0 draw at home vs. Tottenham Hotspurs.
We live in an era when it seems to win the accolades of fans in the transfer market, a manager must pour money into bringing big name signings to his club.
This summer in the Premier League, Spanish World Cup winner David Silva, and Argentine goal machine Sergio Aguero are high profile signings who have turned Manchester City into genuine title contenders.
In the coming transfer window, Robin Van Persie, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres are all tipped to make high profile, big money moves away from their respective clubs.
Despite the opportunity to throw money at proven stars and past glory, Liverpool FC are taking a vastly different approach to the transfer market. Indeed, a pattern is developing where Liverpool sign young players with the potential to be great, rather than proven names who perhaps have already done the best work of their career.
Liverpool will only play three games during the month of November, but all three are against elite opposition and could be a direct indicator of the team’s ability to challenge for honors.
The arrival of Kenny Dalglish has without doubt caused an upturn in fortunes for the Anfield club, and the Reds are currently riding an eight game unbeaten streak in all competitions.
Defensively the Reds have been solid letting in only 10 Premier League goals (the same as league leading Manchester City), and right back Jose Enrique is beginning to be tipped for a call-up from world champions Spain.
At the other end of the field, Uruguay international striker Luis Suarez recently made the shortlist for the Ballon D’or World Footballer of the Year Award.
When you look at the above evidence you would assume all is well among the Liverpool support, but sadly that is not the case.
Liverpool have now been under the ownership of Fenway Sports Group (FSG) for just over a year now, and the group are playing a part in trying to revolutionize Premier League TV rights.
While many fans like to believe they “pay players wages” with the money they pay at the gate, it is the TV deals that really have the financial power in football today.
Currently Premier League TV rights for games screened abroad are shared among the 20 Premier League clubs.
While this is good for the overall health of the Premier League, it is not necessarily best for the stronger teams who generate the most interest.
For example in Spain, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are allowed to negotiate their own TV deals, and as a result are financially rewarded for the fan interest they generate.
While the Spanish model hurts the lower half of La Liga, it can be of little doubt that it is a great benefit to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona when it comes to competing in the UEFA Champions League.
You will find very few Liverpool fans predicting a Title challenge for their team. The reason is not the players on the field, it is merely the humility beaten into them by 21 years of waiting for an English Title.
In addition to the frustration of constant failure to win the league, Liverpool fans have also been forced to watch bitter rivals Manchester United break their record of 18 English Championships.
For a long time the fact that their club had won more league titles than any other is the only straw Liverpool fans had left to clutch, as they argued against the superiority of Arsenal, Chelsea and United.
It was also typical to hear Liverpool fans confidently exclaim in August that this was the year the drought would be broken, only to be disappointed before Easter rolled around.
Ironically, the lack of that optimism could be a big positive for this year’s squad. Pressure is elsewhere, with United expected to defend their title, Manchester City expected to compete after spending billions of dollars and Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is expected to bring immediate success.
An Early Statement
This weekend provides an opportunity for Liverpool to make an early statement about their credentials this season.
Liverpool still hold title ambitions after season’s of failure, and Arsenal are in a similar scenario. Both clubs go into the season looking at a title, but both seem to have fragile confidence that is dented by the first bad run of form.
For that psychological reason, this weekend’s Arsenal v Liverpool game could be more important than it appears. Both teams were held to a point this weekend by teams they were expected to beat, and both teams are hoping for new signings to gel and hit form sooner rather than later.
Manchester United ostensibly have their sight on Liverpool’s Pepe Reina, as keeper Van der Sar is anticipated to hang his gloves after the end of this season.
Liverpool have already lost Fernando Torres to Premier League archrivals Chelsea, but the Reds are not concerned by the striker’s departure, as new comers Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll have already popped up as promising players. Now, the radar of rivals Manchester United have been placed on goalie Pepe Reina, and this could be an unpleasant news for the Reds.
Reina has been a regular starter for Liverpool since 2005, but surprisingly, he did not show as much loyalty as he was expected to, when he was asked about the transfer rumours currently surrounding him. According to The Sun, Reina told Spanish radio station Onda Cero:
Another Merseyside derby looms. Liverpool won the previous fixture 0-2 at Goodison Park. Both sides are on a good run of form. And both seek financial windfall that European competition next season could bring. (But that’s beside the point on derby day.)
Liverpool picked up three vital points last weekend in their 2-0 victory over Bolton at Anfield, thus gaining ground on Tottenham, who only managed a point against Birmingham City.
The Premier League’s fourth place finisher gets a Champions League berth and with only two points currently separating the four contenders, this weekend’s fixtures may have far-reaching consequences. Going into the weekend the Reds are in fifth place, just a point behind Spurs. Sixth place is held by Manchester City who lag behind Liverpool only on goal difference. In seventh place is Aston Villa.
For Liverpool, however, a win is more than just a potential fourth place and Champions League entry. It is Everton they play, and a win over the Toffees reestablishes what the red side of Liverpool sees as the proper order of the universe.