Tag Archives: Kenny Dalglish

Steven Gerrard – The Pied Piper Of Anfield

Pied-Pipper-Of-Anfield

One of the greatest midfielders, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been the lynchpin of the Reds for the past decade or so and has also been the part of the transformation plans of four managers since the triumphant spectacle at Istanbul. However, the critics have doubted the current influence of the 32-year old English captain.

Under the current Chelsea interim boss – Rafael Benitez, Anfield was a place most teams around Europe feared to go. It was a fortress in its true sense. A young Gerrrad was given a more advanced role to play, just behind the target man Fernando Torres, Peter Crouch or Andrei Voronin. With Xabi Alonso at the centre of the park and the smart Javier Mascherano as the holding midfielder – the link between the midfield & the back four – Gerrard was handed the responsibility of handling the attacking side of the game. Liverpool were known for their direct style of play, fluent passing and classic counter attacks. The 2008-09 season was the highlight of this Liverpool side’s strength and ability. Benitez was clearly a manager who understood each player’s psychology, style of play and the suitable position required for his effective influence in the side’s game. Gerrard was at his very best and had expressed his happiness under the Spanish boss.

Benitez-Formation
Liverpool’s formation under Rafa Benitez

Liverpool’s inability of holding on to Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano, the stalwarts of the Liverpool midfield was followed by the exit of Benitez. This led to a beginning of a doubtful and disappointing transition in the history of the football club. The entry of Roy Hodgson led to a hope for the Koptites as the former Fulham manager seemed like a hopeful perspective. But his tenure ended after just 31 matches following a run of disappointing results. Meanwhile, the Liverpool skipper suffered a recurring hamstring injury in training.

The sacking of Hodgson meant that Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish would step in his shoes. After a struggling start and a serious injury Lucas Leiva, Gerrard was given a role of playing behind Jordan Henderson and play as a deep-lying playmaker, a position to which the English midfielder was not much acclimated to. The introduction of Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Henderson meant that the injury affected captain had to play behind the attacking midfielders. However, this was the time when the then 31 year-old midfielder suffered his major injury setbacks. He was sidelined for six months with a grueling groin injury and was again sidelined for an infection injury on his right ankle.

Dalglish-Formation
Liverpool’s formation under Kenny Dalglish

These injuries forced the manager to play him in a safe deep position which would keep him away from exertion and hard tackling and thus keep him away from further injuries. However, the fan favourite had mentioned in his interviews that he was more than willing to play the same role that he had played for Liverpool over the years but was happy with any role given by the manager. A 1-0 defeat on the final day of the season at  Swansea City meant the end of a disappointing era for Dalglish. Gerrard was criticized by many as a player too old for the British game but was still able to get 8 goals in the meager amount of games that he played.

Then came Brendan Rodgers. The former Swansea boss provides a whole new type of game of retaining the ball as quickly as possible and playing an aggressive & fast game. Meaning, the type of game Gerrard longs to play, with wholehearted commitment in every tackle.

Rodgers-Liverpool

However, the current role given to Gerrard has frustrated many a Liverpool fan. The influential and committed skipper has been given a tamed role of playing the ball in the final third from a deep position. But with a lack of strike force and a berserk Luis Suarez when it comes to finishing the obvious chances, the only support in the front-line, the midfielder is forced to give away the ball due to lack of options. The main and obvious remedy to this is to bring in a new striker, especially a striker who can make his presence felt in the box. The reason being that Jose Enrique and Raheem Sterling do all the hard work on the wings, taking defenders to the byline and then when they look up there is hardly a shadow in the box to aim at. Due to the inexperienced midfield comprising of Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Allen, Gerrard is given the responsibility of handling the defensive duties as well. For a 32-year-old it is too big a task. Allen after an impressive first three games has exposed his physical weakness and has given the ball away cheaply especially against the likes of Chelsea who have a hefty attacking line-up.

Remedy-Formation
The formation that Brendan Rodgers should play, which will get the best out of Gerrard

A makeshift solution can be of playing Lucas and Allen as the holding midfielders and Gerrard playing in front of them. This will enable him to move to either wing to support Sterling or the newly fullback turned left midfielder Jose Enrique as also of playing the final ball to Suarez or taking the shot on from outside the area, for which he was so feared till a season or two ago. The main problem is that the more deep he falls in the midfield the more the midfield looses its experience and the dynamic presence of an attacking and creative midfielder and thus his influence in the game reduces drastically. For a man who has given everything for his home club and wants to fulfill his only desire of winning the Premier League title, he should be given the role of a trequilesta, even if it drains out all his energy and has to sit out a third of the game.

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Liverpool’s Potential Summer 2012 Transfer Targets


Liverpool have had a very strange season. Their performance in the league has been very terrible and they ended the season in eight position behind their Merseyside rivals Everton. However, their performances in the cups have been very impressive, as they won the Carling Cup and reached the finals of the FA Cup.

This summer, big changes have been made at Liverpool. A new management is in place along with a new head coach. Kenny Dalglish was shown the door after a poor season and he was replaced by the impressive young Brendan Rodgers. No new players have arrived at Anfield so far this summer but the Reds’ squad has been boosted by the returns of Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani from their season-long loans.

HUGO LLORIS – LYON (GOALKEEPER)

There have been doubts raised over the future of Pepe Reina in the past couple of weeks. Reina has attracted some interest from Italy and has been linked with the likes of AC Milan and Inter Milan. Lloris is seen as a possible replacement for Reina, if the Spaniard decides to end his stay at Anfield. The Ligue 1 club are ready to sell the France skipper for a fee around €20m, but the Reds will face competition from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, who are also interested in the 25-year-old stopper.

JOLEON LESCOTT – MANCHESTER CITY (DEFENDER)

Despite the England man putting in some solid performances during UEFA EURO 2012 and having a very good previous season, Roberto Mancini is reportedly considering selling the former Everton player maybe because he isn’t glamorous enough to play for Manchester City. Lescott’s availability has interested Liverpool, who face the prospect of losing either Daniel Agger or Martin Skrtel. Lescott would be more than good replacement for either of them but price tag could be a stumbling block.

RASMUS ELM – AZ ALKMAAR (MIDFIELDER)

The 24-year-old midfielder has been linked with a move to Anfield ever since the end of last season but nothing at all developed. According to some reports, the Reds have cooled down their interest in the AZ Alkmaar midfielder since the departure of Kenny Dalglish. If Liverpool do sign Swede international, he would be a good addition to the squad and will cost the Anfield club in the region of £8m.

VICTOR WANYAMA – CELTIC (MIDFIELDER)

The Kenyan international has earned rave reviews during his spell in Scotland with Celtic and has attracted interest from many top clubs from Italy, Spain, France and England. The 21-year-old who is valued around £6m-£7m arrived at Celtic Park last summer, for bargain fee of £900k from Belgian side Beerschot. The Kenyan midfielder who surely be a good signing for the future but won’t be a certain first team option and more of a cover for Lucas.

MARK DAVIES – BOLTON WANDERERS (MIDFIELDER)

According to the gossip columns, the Reds are reportedly interested in the Bolton Wanderers’ midfielder Mark Davies. The 24-year-old England U-19 international, who got relegated with the Wanderers, has also been target by Aston Villa and Newcastle United. The £5m rated midfielder would be a decent addition and increase the depth of the squad, but surely not regular first choice option.

JUAN MANUEL VARGAS – FIORENTINA (MIDFIELDER)

The 28-year-old Peruvian international has been linked with a move to Anfield a lot in the past couple of months but nothing has developed at all. Papers suggest, the Reds are still interested in Fiorentina winger, who can also play as a left back. The Serie A club value Vargas around £8m and he would really be a great addition to the Liverpool squad – keeping in mind they need a creative winger with Stewart Downing failing in his first season – but his age could count against him.

ADAM JOHNSON – MANCHESTER CITY (MIDFIELDER)

Adam Johnson is another winger Liverpool are interested in signing this summer. With Downing and Henderson both failing to deliver on the wings, so naturally strengthening the wings is Rodgers priority this summer. Johnson has fallen out of favour under Roberto Mancini at Manchester City and is looking to leave the Etihad Stadium in search of some regular first team action. The England international has attracted many Premier League clubs but he won’t come cheap as the asking price is said to be around £15m.

GASTON RAMIREZ – BOLOGNA (MIDFIELDER)

According to the reports, the Reds are set to step up their interest in the Bologna playmaker having missed on signing Gylfi Sigurdsson. The 21-year-old is an attacking central midfielder with an eye for goal and was impressive for his Serie A side during last season. Ramirez is rated around £16m by his Italian club and has attracted interest from many European clubs in the past one year with Manchester City being one of them. A chance to play alongside his Uruguayan teammates – Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates – could swing him in favour of Anfield over City.

VICTOR MOSES – WIGAN ATHLETIC (STRIKER)

Having helped Wigan Athletic survive relegation and stay in the Premier League last season, the Nigerian is ready to move to an ambitious club this summer and the Reds along with a few other Premier League clubs are interested in signing him. Moses will be a good addition to the squad but his consistency is a huge question. Liverpool are interested in signing the pacey forward but the papers in UK suggest that the former Crystal Palace man is close to signing for Chelsea.

DANIEL STURRIDGE – CHELSEA (STRIKER)

The Chelsea striker is said to be unhappy at the lack of first team opportunities at Chelsea since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. With Liverpool struggling for goals during last season and reliable Dutchman Dirk Kuyt leaving the club; a move to bring in some addition attacking options seems almost certain. The 22-year-old pacey forward – who can also play on the wings – will add something different to the Liverpool attack but the Reds will face some tough competition for his signature from both Tottenham and Arsenal.

DEMBA BA – NEWCASTLE UNITED (STRIKER)

With Liverpool in need of some striking reinforcement, the Newcastle United forward – Demba Ba is another name linked to the Reds this summer. The Senegal international had a fantastic start to last season and went on to score 16 goals in 36 matches in total. With the 27-year-old available for just £7m till the end of July, due to a clause in his contract, the Reds are expected to face some stiff competition from a host of Premier League clubs including the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United.

FABIO BORINI – AS ROMA (STRIKER)

Another striker linked to the Reds this summer is the former Chelsea and current AS Roma forward Fabio Borini. The 21-year-old Italy international is a known face to Rodgers having worked under him on loan at Swansea. Borini had a great time at the Liberty Stadium scoring 6 goals in 9 matches and later went on to become a hit with Roma. The young Italian, who has a £7m buyout clause in contract, will surely be a great signing for the Reds and will give the new boss with plenty of options upfront.

Reasons Why Brendan Rodgers Would Be A Success At Liverpool

The search for the next Liverpool manager is over, as the club have agreed a compensation with Swansea City for their manager Brendan Rodgers. The 39-year-old is expected sign a three-year contract with the Anfield club and his appointment is likely to be officially confirmed within 24 hours.

Liverpool finished eighth in the league and sacked Kenny Dalglish just after the season finished. The Reds finished 17 points away from a Champions League qualification spot, but won the League Cup and reached the FA Cup final. On the other hand, Rodgers guided his Swansea side to an impressive eleventh position finish in their debut campaign in the top flight, including a 1-0 win over Liverpool on the final day.

Brendan Rodgers will be unveiled in press conference at Anfield on Friday and here we explain why the Northern Irishman could be a great appointment for the Reds.

1. Will be given time by the owners

When the new Liverpool owners, FSG took over the club in October 2010 Roy Hodgson was already the manager at that time and so they had no choice but to stick with him. When the current England manager was sacked in January last year, the Liverpool fans called for Kenny Dalglish as their man to replace the former Fulham boss, and so to please the fans, the owners appointed the King. But now after sacking Dalglish, the owners have chosen their man and Rodgers is completely their choice and not forced upon by anyone.

Rodgers’ main objective would be to rebuild the club and take them back to their glory days, but the owners would surely know that it can’t be achieved in a season or two. It would take time and unlike the Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich, FSG would completely stick with him and give him their complete support during his time at Anfield.

2. Will bring back the ‘Pass and Move’ football

The Koptites love talking about their old days when they were the most dominant team in England during the 70s and 80s. Why were they so dominant during those days? It’s mainly because of the philosophy and way of working that defined the club both on and off the field. Off the pitch: it was Bill Shankly’s vision he had for Liverpool. He saw beyond the football club and decided use the city’s characteristics to define the culture of the club and make it one of the best in the world. On the pitch: it was the ‘pass and move’ football which meant playing football where possession was prized. There is no doubt Brendan Rodgers gets his teams playing that kind of football.

Rodgers grew up watching the great Liverpool teams that completely dominated England football and the Northern Irish coach is the great admirer of ‘The Liverpool Way’. In an interview, the former Reading boss said: “That Liverpool was a truly great side. It was two-touch football. Pass move pass move.” This will be music to the ears of the older Liverpool fans, who saw their club go from the best-football playing team in the country to the physical and defensive play under Gerard Houllier. While Rafa Benitez’s teams played better football than the Houllier’s, the Spaniard still used more defensive tactics against the big teams and would settle for a draw against them rather than going for the win. Roy Hodgson’s short reign saw similar football to his two predecessors. Kenny Dalglish brought back the pass and move philosophy when he returned for his second stint but his team found it difficult to get the right results and in his last match they were complete dominated by Rodgers’ Swansea. Now the Anfield faithful would be delighted to watch their team boss oppositions once again.

3. Can get the Right results without spending Much

Rodgers is one of those managers who doesn’t need money to get the right results from his team. Swansea got promoted to the Premier League last summer by winning the Championship playoffs. It was obvious that the Swans won’t be spending a lot during the summer and with a net spend of just around £10m, Rodgers constructed a team that was capable of beating the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and even Arsenal and also finishing eleventh in their debut season in the Premier League.

As we have seen last summer, the Liverpool owners aren’t shy of spending money but after Dalglish failing to provide with the right results they will be reluctant to spend the same amount of money this season. Rodgers is perhaps the right man who can spot talented and hungry for success players who are normally overlooked by other managers and develop them into top quality players. The same way he has developed the likes of Leon Britton, Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer, Angel Rangel, Michel Vorm and the latest of them Gylfi Sigurðsson – who has had an outstanding loan spell with Swansea and could follow his former boss to Anfield.

4. Represents the Future of the club

Kenny Dalglish when stated he would take two cup finals over a top-four league finish just showed how much football had change since his time. Dalglish came back after almost 11 years out of management and surely a lot of things had changed in football – like the environment surrounding the game, the arrival of top foreign players and rival managers and most importantly increase in the media scrutiny – since his past glory days. The demands are very high especially at a top club like Liverpool and there were some indications that the pressure was getting the better of  Dalglish and he was still living in the past.

Rodgers at the age of 39 represents the future of British football management. He has learned his trade under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and has also traveled the continent to learn from different football cultures where the ball is treated as a special prize. The to-be new Reds boss is a huge fan of the Barca’s tiki-taka style of football and he recently said: “The example of the Barcelona model was a great influence and inspiration to me. When I was at the Chelsea academy that was how my players would play, with that high, aggressive press, combined with the ability to keep the ball.” Many pundits across England think he could be a very shrewd appointment for the club and I am sure the Liverpool fans will certainly hope so.

Top 8 Candidates For The Anfield Job

Kenny Dalglish was sacked from his job as the Liverpool manager yesterday after the Reds were able to win just the Carling Cup in a poor campaign which saw them finish 8th in the Premier League and also the big name signing failing.

Here, we takes a look at the managers who could succeed Kenny and finally get Liverpool firing again.

Roberto Martinez – 4/7

He has led Wigan to two successive survivals in the Premier League. Last summer, he rejected the advances of Aston Villa and proved his loyalties to the Latics but this time if Liverpool do come calling it would be very hard to reject. His team (Wigan and Swansea) loves to play the free flowing passing football which would surely attract the fans and the owners at Anfield and add to that he is just in his late thirties.

Andre Villas-Boas – 5/1

The young Portuguese manager was a failure at Chelsea and also failed to win over the dressing room during his time at Stamford Bridge. But one poor spell doesn’t make him a bad manager overnight. The former assistant under Jose Mourinho was superb at Porto and guided the Portuguese side to the treble in his first season at the club. The 34-year-old would be eager to prove his abilities in the Premier League and there could be no better job than this to do it. He also fits the owner’s needs of a younger manager.

Brendan Rogers – 8/1

His team plays some attractive football which havent been seen at Anfield for a long time now. Rogers has done very well and has been praised for guiding Swansea to finish 11th in the Premier League in their debut season after winning promotion via the playoffs. He is a young manager and the sexy type of football his team plays may tempt the owners to appoint him but he is inexperience.

Frank Rijkaard – 10/1

He turned around an under-performing Barcelona team, winning the La Liga in both 2005 and 2006 to lay the foundations for the dominant team later developed by Pep Guardiola. He has drifted away from the limelight since joining Galatasaray and then Saudi Arabia national team, with whom he failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. His experience of turning around the fortunes of a club like Barcelona may be a good reason for the owners.

Rafa Benitez – 12/1

He has been out of job since his short spell at Inter Milan in 2010/11. He has been often linked with all the jobs that come up in the Premier League and was once reported to be closer to move to become Chelsea’s next manager. The Spaniard has led the Reds to a Champions League and a FA Cup title during his time at Anfield and the Liverpool supporters would be happy to get him back as their boss.

Jurgen Klopp – 12/1

He has been a revelation at Dortmund. Without spending much money his youthful squad won their first Bundesliga title since 2002 in 2011 and this year the same side did the league and cup double by winning Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal. Under his management Dortmund have developed young stars like Mario Gotze, Shinji Kagawa and Moritz Leitner to name a few and his ability to promote youth and make them stars would surely attract the owners.

Paul Lambert – 15/1

Like Rogers, Lambert has also won praise this season for guiding a newly promoted side – Norwich in this case – to finish in the mid table in their first season after promotion. But some special credits to Lambert because he has taken the Canaries from League 1 to Premier League in just three years. He moved to a bigger club when he joined Norwich from Colchester showing off his ambition and that could also lead him to the Anfield job

Louis van Gaal – 18/1

The Dutch tactician has been linked with a move to Anfield since leaving Bayern Munich last summer and has an exception record of winning trophies and delivering success at the club level. He has guided Ajax to Champions League glory and has won the league with the likes of Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich. He is the most experienced of all the linked manager and his track record will surely impress the owners.

Liverpool Make the Right Move By Sacking Kenny Dalglish

Liverpool have sacked manager Kenny Dalglish after the club finished eighth in the Premier League this season. The lack of results in the Premier League was the main reason for his departure according to the club’s website. 

A statement on the Liverpool’s official site read:

Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and Liverpool Football Club announced that Kenny Dalglish is to leave his post today as Manager after having his contract terminated. After a careful and deliberative review of the season, the Club came to the decision that a change was appropriate. It is not a decision that was reached lightly or hastily. The search for a new Manager will begin immediately.

Principal owner John Henry was full of praise for the departing manager and said:

“Kenny will always be more than a championship winning manager, more than a championship winning star player. He is in many ways the heart and soul of the club. He personifies everything that is good about Liverpool Football Club. He has always put the Club and its supporters first. Kenny will always be a part of the family at Anfield. Our job now is to identify and recruit the right person to take this Club forward and build on the strong foundations put in place during the last 18 months.”

Liverpool Chairman Tom Werner told the club’s official site:

“Kenny came into the Club as Manager at our request at a time when Liverpool Football Club really needed him. He didn’t ask to be Manager; he was asked to assume the role. He did so because he knew the Club needed him. He did more than anyone else to stabilize Liverpool over the past year-and-a-half and to get us once again looking forward. We owe him a great debt of gratitude. However, results in the Premier League have been disappointing and we believe to build on the progress that has already been made, we need to make a change. We are committed to delivering success for our supporters and our ambition remains resolute to return this great Club to the elite of England and Europe, where it belongs.”

Was sacking King Kenny the right decision?

Yes, sacking Kenny Dalglish was the correct decision. The Liverpool owners have backed Dalglish a lot this season and have given him & his staff all the freedom in the world to buy players to make the team better and also boost their chances of competing for a Champions League spot and maybe even the title in the future. The Reds spent almost 110m on new signings since Dalglish took over in January last year and their failure to perform especially Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, put Dalglish under a lot of pressure.

Even though Dalglish ended the club’s seven-season-run without a trophy by winning the Carling Cup on penalties against Cardiff City in March this year, expectations from both the owners and the supporters were much higher at the start of the season than just winning the League Cup and making the finals of the FA Cup. The Reds haven’t at all lived upto the expectations of the fans and the owners this season.

Dalglish second spell at the club hasn’t been successful at all as compared to his first one. Once the initial excitement about ‘King Kenny’ returning was over the focus turned towards the results on the field and Dalglish wasn’t able to retain the support.

The decision of the Liverpool owners to sack Kenny Dalglish – who is a club legend and is highly respected & worshiped by the Liverpool fans – shows serious intent about getting the club back into contention for the Premier League title. The talent gap between the top clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool continues to be an issue, but perhaps a new manager will help improve the performance of the current stars and which maybe will attract high profile transfers in the near future.

After all is said, I feel a change was need at Anfield. Dalglish was given a fair chance to build his own squad and achieve success but that didn’t happen. Despite a poor campaign, the Liverpool job should generate fair amount of interest as its still one of the most high profile jobs in English football and any manager would be lucky to have it.

The owners should move on concentrate on finding the right person to change the tings and take the club forward in the right direction. Dalglish wasn’t able to handle it and that’s why the owners thought it was right to terminate his contract.

Liverpool Launch New Retro-Style Home Kit For Next Season

Liverpool have unveiled their brand new home kit for the forthcoming 2012/13 season with new kit manufactures Warrior Sports who replace Adidas as the club’s official kit supplier.

The first effort from Warrior Sports features a retro look all red jersey with golden-yellow detail for the Standard Chartered sponsor, the club logo and the Warrior Sports logo.

The new kit also features a return to the classic Liverpool liverbird crest with the club initial ‘LFC’ below, replacing the large club crest containing the Shankly Gates and the eternal flames. On the back of the neck, the two eternal flames alining either side of the number 96, symbol to the number of fans who died during Hillsborough disaster.

Steven Gerrard who modelled the kit said:

“It’s a really nice kit, I’m really impressed. You never know what to expect when going from one sponsor to another, but I’m very impressed. It’s retro, it’s comfortable, it’s good on the eye and the yellow is back which, of course, is the natural colour of the Liverbird.”

Liverpool’s shirt is estimated to be fourth-best selling replica jersey in world football, behind only Manchester United in England and Real Madrid & Barcelona globally.

With the new Warriors Sports kit deal worth a record breaking £25m per season to the Anfield club, boss Kenny Dalglish should have funds to splash out in the summer to bring in new players to wear the new home kit for the next season.

Early reviews of the kit on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are very positive from the Liverpool supporters and the club can expect big pre-order sales ahead of the 1st June launch date.

You can pre-order your kit from here.

Chelsea v Liverpool – 7 Things We Learned From The FA Cup Final

Chelsea won a dramatic FA Cup final as they beat Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley. Into The Top Corner looks at the 7 things we learned from the FA Cup Final. 

1. Ramires And Drogba Rise To The occasion Yet Again

Ramires is fast becoming Chelsea’s big-game hero after his tenacious first-half goal spurred his side on to victory. The Brazilian midfielder outmuscled and outpaced José Enrique and showed superb composure to finish past the wrong-footed Pepe Reina. It was the 25-year-old’s third goal in six games, with his other strikes coming at the Camp Nou in the Champions League semi-final and a smart finish against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup last-four. Ramires brings energy to an otherwise ageing Chelsea team and his willingness to burst forward but also complete his defensive duties make the former Benfica midfielder a valuable player of Di Matteo’s side. Didier Drogba, meanwhile, deserves a mention after becoming the first player to score in four FA Cup finals with his 52nd-minute strike to double the Blues’ lead. Cup finals are a happy hunting ground for Chelsea and the Ivorian.

2. Henderson and Spearing Overwhelmed

Liverpool’s season has been hampered by injury to Lucas Leiva and coupled with Charlie Adam’s absence since March, Kenny Dalglish has been forced to rely on inexperienced duo Jordan Henderson and Spearing to partner captain Steven Gerrard in midfield. The duo struggled to cope with their experienced rivals Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel and Ramires. Spearing carelessly conceded possession for Chelsea’s first goal and it was a common thing throughout a torrid 55 minutes for the Liverpool youth graduate, who was replaced by Carroll. Henderson, signed from Sunderland in a £20m deal last summer, struggled to find any passing momentum and the England Under-21 captain was content to play the ball sideways or backwards, lacking any penetration. It left Suárez starved off possession and suited the Blues’ defence who held a high line, with Liverpool lacking conviction going forward.

3. Carroll Showing Some Signs Of His Talent

Andy Carroll’s impact was the sole consolation in a disappointing performance by Liverpool. The 23-year-old replaced Jay Spearing in the 55th minute and handed the Merseysiders the initiative in the second half. The England striker, who moved to Anfield in a record £35m deal in January 2011, scored his fourth goal in the FA Cup this season, equalling his Premier League tally for the season. He showed neat footwork to deceive John Terry and cut down Chelsea’s advantage with 27 minutes remaining. The former Newcastle United forward was a constant threat to the Chelsea back-four and could have snatched a late equaliser for Liverpool. Luis Suárez’s cross reached Carroll at the back post but Petr Cech produced a full-stretch save to deny the Reds a leveller, despite Liverpool claiming that the ball had crossed the line.

4. Was It Over The Line Or Not – You Decide 

Andy Carroll powered a header from a Luis Suarez cross and thought he had scored. But the celebrations were cut short as the officials ruled Cech had clawed the ball out before it had completely crossed the line. Even after half a dozen replays, there was no clear verdict either way, meaning the linesman, with one look, was in an impossible situation. But the occasion is still sure to cause much debate, particularly over goal-line technology matters. There was a similar incident in the semi final between Chelsea and Tottenham where Juan Mata was awarded the goal and to some effect it changed the game. In this game, had it counted as a goal, the impetus Liverpool were carrying may have been enough to see them through to win the trophy. We’ll never know.

5. Chelsea Are Cup Kings

Roberto Di Matteo’s short spell in charge has already delivered its first piece of silverware. The Blues interim boss has led his side to four wins and a draw in the FA Cup – and has an identical record in Europe. If the 41-year-old can guide the Stamford Bridge outfit to their first Champions League crown then Roman Abramovich surely has to hand the Italian the position permanently. For Chelsea, Saturday’s win caps a dominant spell in England’s premier cup competition – it is their fourth FA Cup success in six years and they join Liverpool as seven-time winners. The Blues still also have the chance to become only the second team to win the FA Cup and Champions League in the same season after Manchester United’s memorable treble in 1999.

6. John Terry Makes History

John Terry lifted his fourth FA Cup as Chelsea after the 2-1 win over Liverpool, becoming the first post-war player to do so. All of Chelsea’s four cup wins have come since 2007, with Blues claiming almost sole ownership of the FA Cup in recent times. This succeed will without doubt will be the most important to him as he will be forced to sit out of the Champions League final later this month after receiving a direct red card in the 2nd Leg of the semi final against Barcelona.

7. Two Cup Finals And A Distant League Finish – Is It Enough?

The feeling before the FA Cup final seemed to be that should they win a domestic cup double this season, then that would make up for Premier League disappointment to such an extent that the season could be classed a success. They didn’t, though. Therefore Liverpool end the season with a Carling Cup trophy, and a finish in the league which could be seventh at the highest or as low as 10th if they fail to win both of their remaining two fixtures. Sp what now for Kenny Dalglish? He has integrated a host of new players into the team this season, but a year after they arrived there are still obvious deficiencies in the squad. Injured Lucas Leiva hasn’t helped matters, but neither can one missing man account for all the dropped points at Anfield. A big summer is ahead for the Reds as they look to bring some more new players in, and Dalglish leading the club to two finals might just be enough to ensure he is still he man in charge to bring them some success.