Posts Tagged ‘liverpool football club’

A weekend in Liverpool

November 23, 2011

A post written for the blog Mlungu Trek (Aug 15, 2011):

Tequila with the worm. Who would have thought that the confines of a modern and surprisingly classy bar in the heart of the city of Liverpool would be the first time we would delight ourselves in such delicacies. Warm ales, meaty pies, perhaps losing a tooth or two, a trophy for the local Scousers (hooligans) who supposedly lurk in the dark alleys of the former industrial capital of the North West of England. Perhaps during the economic depression of the early 80’s. But the Liverpool of 2011 is a different place altogether. Urban cool, hip, clean and energetic.

The Mlungu’s found themselves in this less ventured part of the Queen’s country for a very special reason. And that reason was to stand on the tiers of Anfield, the Holy Grail of the famous Liverpool Football Club, and with scarves held high above our head, proudly belt out the words of the inspirational anthem of the Red-men “You will never walk alone”. Even more special was being at the opening game of the season, the first season back under the full command of the real King of England, Kenny Dalglish, a man whose feats during his playing days and part one of his managerial career is stuff of legend. The experience of watching the Kop in full cry as Luis Suarez, the new wunder-kid and the guy Ghanaians love to hate, scored Liverpool’s first goal of the season was spine tingling (little known rad South African connection: the world famous Kop grandstand is thus named in memoriam of the British soldiers who died during the Battle of Spion Kop during the Anglo Boer war, many of whom were from Liverpool). Unfortunately Sunderland, our opponents for the day, managed to claw their way back and score an equaliser, and disappointingly this was the final result: 1 – 1. So Liverpool didn’t win – I guess us Liverpool fans have become used to it!

So the bet made the night before with the barman at Igloo was that if Liverpool didn’t win we would be back the next night to drink that damn worm. The first night in Liverpool was relatively quiet as we caught the back end of the UK riots, and I guess them Scousers don’t need a second invitation to rustle up some chaos. So we weren’t expecting anything too exciting the Saturday night following the game. More so as our vibe was a bit flat due to the footy result. However the universal war cry of Tequila can raise the morale of any weary soldier. And totally unexpectedly the nightlife of the inner city also kicked up notch and roared to life. Five city blocks of Liverpool seemingly offers more jols than the whole of Joburg. The streets were lined with clubs, pubs and people. Not that we explored further than Igloo which was pumping, the crowd cool and razzlin’, the drinks flowing and the energy absolutely powerful. The 4am night pizza was just as good as any other 4am pizza… As for the worm, tastes like chicken!

Highlights of Liverpool: the impressive and modern inner city centre and docks including high end stores, boutiques and museums. The two main attractions to Liverpool are obviously the world’s most famous band the Beatles and Liverpool Football Club (Everton who?). We took in the Anfield Legends Tour with museum hosted by legendry former player Alan Kennedy (scorer of a goal in both the 1981 and 1984 Champs league finals) – the tour was surreal and almost as good as being at the game – and the ridiculously awesome Beatles museum fully loaded with brilliant memorabilia and full scale replica of the Cavern Club.

And if you listened really carefully you could hear it… “Imagine all the people, living life in peace”

Words by Mlungu Treks guest for the week: Sacksinthecity

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Betting on Liverpool to win the league

August 14, 2010

Whisper it quietly, but I reckon Liverpool is going to win the premier league…

I am feeling so optimistic about it, that I am contemplating whether to do something that I never had the inclination to do in my lifetime – bet on sport. I am surfing on the net, sipping a Jameson 12yr old, perusing the online betting sites for the best odds.

Betfred.com is offering 16-1 on Liverpool to win the whole dam thing. Hmmm…

I have obviously made the friendly wager here or there, and most Saturdays on the golf course the usual R40-R20-R20 is agreed upon on the first tee. But those winnings have to be expended at the 19th hole. Every now and again, the standard R100 bet on black when I happen upon a roulette table. I have never called up a bookie and wagered a bet. I wouldn’t even know how!

Probably the biggest punt I have made in my life was on a freezing winter’s night at a dodgy bar in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Due to the lack of action, and just for kicks, I bet a mate $50 to walk up to the only half-decent looking bird in the bar and whisper in her ear how her straight posture accentuates her… well… assets. Never thought he would do it. Easy money. Needless to say, within the allotted 10 minutes deadline he had, Braveheart marched straight up to the lass, glided through the group of relatively large chaps she was talking to, leaned over and whispered something in her ear. I felt that much more relieved at the initial look of shock on her face as my mate ostensibly repeated the agreed upon words. But then she laughed! I knew I had lost the best. Confirmed when my mate left the bar with her that night. Easiest money he ever made.

For my sins, I am a lifelong Liverpool fan. Over the last 20 title-less years, it hasn’t exactly been a wise investment decision to bet on football. More so after last season’s pitiful performance when the finished 7th.

So I must be absolutely insane to believe that they will end the 2010/11 season as Champions! However, my gut tells me something special, something completely unexpected is going to happen this season… And as my Liverpool buddies like to believe, when I “feel” something I am usually right.

Thats GEES right there my friend!

Why am I so bullish for Anfield glory? For as far back as I can remember, never have I been so entranced by the pre-season build up, my interest probably kick-started by my thirst for football post world cup. I have followed every news report, every transfer rumour, and I like to think that I am in a good position to assess the situation. At Liverpool, despite the ongoing boardroom shenanigans with regards to the ownership of the club (this should hopefully reach a resolution sooner rather than later) the current CEO, Purlow, has performed a sterling job. In hiring Roy Hodgson, they have brought a tactically astute and experienced manager, probably the best in the league last season, and who, importantly, knows how to say the right things to the media and players (Pieter De Villiers take notes). The speed in which he has turned last season’s pessimism into massive optimism for the new season, even with the most sceptical & loyalist Liverpool fans, and before a ball has even been kicked, speaks volumes for the way he is going to manage the club. His calming manner has convinced two of the best players in the league in Gerrard and Torres to commit to the club. Roy has also convinced the most sought after free agent of the summer, Joe Cole, to leave his beloved London to join the Red Army. The spine of the team has survived the turmoil – we were expecting a mass exodus – and includes established and experienced internationals such as Agger, Reina, Johnson, Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez, and more than matches any of the other top teams in the league.

You can see how up for the new campaign Liverpool’s most important player is. Stevie G’s midweek performance for England lit up a side struggling to shed the disappointed of a dismal world cup. I could see it in his eyes, the way he celebrated his two cracking goals showed that he is ready to fight for the cause this season, energy renewed. Except for probably Wayne Rooney, there is no more influential player in any team in the Premiership who would fight for the cause as much as Gerrard does.

Most importantly, the pressure and expectation for success is at the lowest levels in years for a club who demands so much. That makes Liverpool very dangerous.

To have Arsenal up first match this weekend is a blessing in disguise. Anfield will be a cauldron of atmosphere, and the players and Roy will be out to send an early message to the rest of the teams that will say “Liverpool are BACK!”

Obviously the success depends on the fitness of key players, but then again what is Man United without Rooney (his injury at the end of last season wrecked United’s season), Chelsea without Lampard, Terry, Drogba (admittedly still the strongest team in the league), and Arsenal without Fabregas and Van Persie. And with all of Mancini’s money he will have his hands full juggling a big squad and even bigger egos. Houdini Harry will be happy just getting Spurs to 4th again!

I called up my mate, Bazza, who is a lifelong Man United fan, and asked him which online betting site he recommended. I told him I wanted to bet on Liverpool winning the league. I was worried he might collapse from laughing so hard…

Not long after Bazza sent me a text which read “Payne Stewart has more chance of winning the PGA championship this weekend, than Liverpool has winning the title.

Payne Stewart passed away in 1999.

Eish!!

That’s the beauty of being a Liverpool fan – our eternal optimism. So I am not too worried, after all, there is always next season!

Regardless of who wins, if you are a true supporter of English football, this is the best time of the year. The opening weekend! 9 more months of non-stop football to go!

You will never walk alone… Liverpool Fo Sho!


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