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Friday, March 30, 2012

Gor Mahia’s New Coach Zdravko Logarusic in Ten Facts


1. Logarusic is a Croatian and was born in the European nation 50 years ago

2. He owns a UEFA PRO License and three different top football Coaching Diplomas and Licenses in Croatia and Australia

3. He snubbed Ghanaian second tier side King Faisal to sign for Gor Mahia in spite of reaching an agreement to coach the team until the end of the season. He has been reported to the police by the club's hierarchy for what they described as 'deceit'

4. Logarusic managed King Faisal in the 2009/2010 season and helped them escape relegation. He then signed for Glo Premier League side Ashanti Gold in the 2010-11 season and steered them to second place behind champions Berekum Chelsea in the Ghanaian League

5. In the beginning of the 2011-12 season, he was relieved of his duties after a poor run of results that left the Miners in 12th position, just three places above relegation. The Obuasi-based team now lies second, five points behind league leaders Asante Kotoko

6. Coincidentally, Gor Mahia are also in 12th, three places above relegation zone

 7. Logarusic was paid a compensation package of U$ 45,000 (Ksh. 3.8 million) following his release from Ashanti Gold

8. He has worked as a coach in 4 continents, Europe, Australia, USA and Africa, amassing 20 years of coaching experience in over 1000 competitive matches

9. In his application letter, Logarusic said: “I believe I can be an asset to your club (Gor Mahia) in bringing fresh and different approaches, many new technical and practical innovations to bolster true soccer professionalism

10. His contract with Gor Mahia will run for one year with his first match coming against Mathare United on Wednesday April 4th

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

COPA Coca-Cola Kenya Kicks off – Tourney to Produce Kenya’s U-17 Football Team

Kenya’s official Under-17 youth football team will be selected from this year’s COPA Coca-Cola tournament that kicks off this weekend.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Chairman, Sam Nyamweya announced this during the launch of this year’s tournament, the 5th edition, at Coca-Cola offices. The premier U-17 youth football tourney will pass through four stages and see over 600 teams take part in the competition. The tournament will commence with the teams, both boys’ and girls’, competing at the sub-branch level, with each sub-branch being presented by 2 girls and 6 boys’ teams in all the 8 provinces.

A total of 130 teams will then proceed to the branch level stage to be held over three weeks from June 2nd, with the winners qualifying for the provincial finals that start on June 23 until July 14. The national finals will be held in Mombasa in August.

According to COPA administrator Gerald Chege, the new model will follow the FKF league calendar, become the official district (FKF sub branch) league tournament while tapping and developing young prospects to become the country’s official U-17 team.

Talent scouts will follow through and identify 30 best performing players right from the sub-branch level. Out of this, the top 16 players will be selected and form the Kenyan contingent that will travel to South Africa for a two-week international camp. The 16 players will also officially form the Kenya U-17 soccer team.

A total cash prize of Shs.1.6 million will be up for grabs The winning boys’ team at the national finals will be awarded Ksh. 600,00, runners up 300,000 while the second runners up will walk home with 100,000 Kshs. The winning girls’ team will pocket Ksh. 300,000, Ksh. 200,000 for the runners up while the third placed girls’ team will be awarded Ksh. 100,000.

“COPA has grown in leaps and bounds since being unveiled in Kenya over five years ago. As part of our commitment in maintaining a world class football tournament, we have increased our investment in the tournament to make it even more attractive as we help young boys and girls develop a bright future in football while inspiring others to maintain active healthy lifestyles,” said Coca-Cola Senior Brand Marketing Manager Catherine Mudachi.

Since its re-launch in 2007, COPA has created opportunities for a host of upcoming footballers to realize their potential and play in both the local professional leagues as well as junior international football tournaments. Harambee Stars and Parma midfielder MacDonald Mariga, AFC Leopards striker Emmanuel Tostao, Steven Odhiambo of Thika United and Victor Oduor of Muhoroni Youth are some of the players who have excelled after being discovered in COPA.

Matches this weekend will take place in Nairobi, Trans-Nzoia, Kericho, Kisii, Mombasa and Laikipia.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Advantage Real Madrid, Chelsea

La Liga giants, Real Madrid, and England’s only hope in this season’s UEFA Champions League Chelsea both took giant strides in their quest to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition.

Madrid brought Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia down to earth handing them a 3-0 drubbing at their own backyard.

Kaka scored a goal either side of Karim Benzema’s brace to all but end APOEL’s fairy-tale run in the competition. Madrid, as expected, controlled possession from the off but could had to wait for 74 minutes to break the deadlock. Karim Benzema put the Los Merengues ahead with a dividing header off Kaka’s cross.

Kaka then turned scorer seven minutes later slotting in Marcelo’s cross to all but end APOEL’s campaign ahead of the second leg encounter in Madrid next week. Madrid were not yet done though and Karim Benzema put the game out of sight with his second, tapping in Mesut Ozil’s incredible pass from outside his boot.  

Chelsea on the other hand will take a 1-0 lead to Stamford Bridge after outsmarting Benfica in Lisbon in a game that was barely Champions League quality.  The lone goal came in the 75th minute with Salomon Kalou silencing the home crowd after lurching onto Fernando Torres’ brilliant pass from the right.

Two more quarterfinal matches are on the cards this Wednesday night with Marseille welcoming Bayern Munich at Stade Velodrome. However, the biggest fixture in the quarterfinals will be at the San Siro where AC Milan will welcome defending champions and top favourites FC Barcelona. Milan have never lost a quarterfinal match in their own backyard but they lost 3-2 to the Blaugrana in the group stages.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lionel Messi: The Best There Is, May Be Not The Best There Was, Perhaps The Best There Ever Will Be

Messi Becomes Barcelona’s Greatest

On top of the world
So who’s the world’s greatest player ever? Is it Edson Arantes do Nascimento alias Pele, Diego Armando Maradona, or Lionel Andres Messi? You might as well hold your opinion dear because it’s a given that the person sitting next to you will disagree with your choice.

But who’s Barcelona’s best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be? There can only be one. Let’s say it in chorus: LIONEL MESSI. Any dissenting voices? NONE. Well, that’s what I thought.

Will Barcelona ever find a player like Lionel Mess? May be. But you can safely bet that will take a generation, or two.

The sparkly Argentine is officially the club’s all-time goalscorer at only 24 years having netted a jaw-dropping 234 goals to surpass the 232 mark set by former Spain international Cesar Rodriguez between 1939 and 1955.

Heading into the Catalan club’s clash with Granada on Tuesday night, the diminutive Rosario-born forward needed only one goal to draw level with Rodriguez. But at the end of 90 minutes, he had netted a hat-trick in a nervous 5-3 win over the Andalusian club to make him the club’s all-time goalscorer with 234 goals.

His first came 17 minutes into the match with a half-volley which rebounded off the post and into the net. That goal leveled him with Rodriguez. The record breaker came in the 67th minute when the Barca No. 10 lobbed Granada custodian Julio Cesar to make it 3-2 to the Blaugrana who had surrendered a 2-0 lead and were drawing 2-2. That was also the goal that pulled him ahead of Cesar Rodriguez with 233 strikes.

But Messi was not done yet. The icing on the cake came with a stunning piledriver four minutes before the final whistle. A perfect hat-trick from a perfect player.  

So from a humble journey that started with his first ever goal for Barca at senior level against Albacete in 2005, the man considered the finest in his generation had topped all the greats the Blaugrana have ever had on March 20 2012 by age 24. 

It has been well over half a century since someone scored as many as 232 goals for the Catalan club. But what Cesar Rodriguez did during a 16-year spell at the Catalan club between 1939 and 1955 took Messi only six years to surpass.

The Argentine declared that he would like to finish his career at the Camp Nou-based club – the worst news that any would-be successors (if any) of the prodigy would want to hear.

But who says there will be another Lionel Messi at Barcelona anyway? Or even someone quite as close? That would take decades, may be a century and beyond. Because by the time he’s done, 234 may be 432, or more. The great Pele says he's scored 1,000 goals in his career.Don't challenge Messi to surpass that. He might just do it.

By the way, let’s get back to that debate. Who’s the greatest player of all time? Vote for your choice on the right handside of your screen. I think Messi is the best there is, may be not the best there was, but perhaps also the best there ever will be. Makes sense huh. 

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Messi: Top of the World, Top of the Money League

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the world’s highest paid player according to France Football magazine. The mercurial Argentine wizard, the finest player of his generation and arguably the best ever, is expected to take home a massive £27.4million come end of the year.

Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham who now plays for MLS side LA Galaxy in the US is placed second with an annual income of £26.2m , £1.9m more than third placed Cristiano Ronaldo’s £24.3m he pockets at Real Madrid

Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, now with mega-rich Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, is placed fourth with an annual income of £19.3m, ahead of Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney whose income is £17m.

Other players in the top 10 include Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero at number six with an annual income of £15.7m and Yaya Toure with £14.7m. Chelsea's misfiring striker Fernando Torres (£13.9m), Kaka (12.9m) and Bayern Munich and German captain Phillip Lahm (£11.9m) completes the top 10.

The earnings include the player’s salaries, bonuses, advertising and other deals.

In terms of leagues, four players from the Premier League, three from La Liga and one from Germany, USA, Russia and Germany feature in the top 10.

Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho is the world’s top-earning coach with an annual income of £12.3m followed by Paris Saint Germain’s Carlo Ancelotti (£11m) and Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola who will take home £8m at the end of the year.

Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger is the fourth best paid manager in the world with an annual income of £7.5m followed by former England coach Fabio Capello and Anzi Makhachkala’s Guus Hiddink who are tied fifth with an income of £7.1m.

Manchester United’s Sir Alex Fergusson (£6.7m), Dick Advocaat of Russia (£5.8), Jose Camacho of China (£5.1m) and Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini (£5m) are placed seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Barcelona Draws AC Milan in Champions League Quarterfinals

Champions League holders Barcelona will play Italian side AC Milan in the quarterfinals of the competition. The two teams already met in the group stages with Barca coming out tops after winning the second leg 3-2 having drawn 2-2 at the San Siro in the first leg encounter.

Nine-time winners Real Madrid will have a fairly easy game against surprise Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia. Madrid will play away first before welcoming the cat among the pigeons, APOEL, to Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg.

The only English side remaining in any European club football competition this year, Chelsea, will first travel to Portugal for an encounter with two-time winners Benfica while Bayern Munich will hope to get a good result at Marseille in the first leg before welcoming the French outfit to Allianz Arena in the second leg. It is the first time Marseille will be competing at the quarterfinals stage since 1991.

Besides the AC Milan versus Barca game, none of the other sides drawn against each other have ever met. The quarterfinals first-leg matches will be played on March 27-28, and return matches are on April 3-4.

The semifinals draw avoided the potential meeting of Barcelona and Real Madrid, meaning that the final could be an El Classico encounter.

Marseille or Bayern will play debutants APOEL or Madrid while Benfica or Chelsea will host Milan or Barcelona, meaning that the only way Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid can meet Barcelona or face his former club Chelsea is at the May 19 finals at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena.

Should holders Barcelona win the competition this year, they will become the first team in UEFA Champions League era to win the trophy back-to-back. 

Europa League Quarterfinals Draw 

Meanwhile the pick of the quarterfinals draw will see Athletic Bilbao lock horns with German side Schalke 04. Bilbao qualified for the last 8 with a convincing 5-3 aggregate win over Premier League side Manchester United in the last 16 while Schalke overturned a 1-0 loss to Twente in the first leg to beat the Dutch side 4-1 and 4-2 aggregate.

Other matches will see Valencia first travel to the Netherlands to AZ Alkmaar while Manchester City's conquerers Sporting Lisbon will welcome Ukraine side Metalist Kharkiv for the first leg.

Athletico Madrid, who had the biggest aggregate win in the Round of 16 with a 6-1 demolition of Besiktas will face off with German side Hannover 96.

The first legs of the quarterfinal matches will be played on 29 March, and the second legs will be played on 5 April 2012.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

The Shame of Manchester

After being knocked out of the premier European club competition that is the Champions League, Manchester United and their ‘noisy’ neighbours Manchester City were relegated to the less glamorous Europa League competition.

They entered the competition as one of the senior clubs and were expected to stroll through. No one would have predicted that both teams will fall by the roadside and fail to make it to the quarterfinals.

Having nervously edged out Ajax 3-2 on aggregate, United were drawn against Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, while Manchester City who mauled Porto 6-1 in the round of 32 were drawn against Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon.

As it turned out though, that was the furthest the two teams could move. Manchester United crashed out after losing both their matches against Bilbao. The Premier League table-toppers suffered a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford a fortnight ago. Any hopes of a comeback were dashed just after 23 minutes as Fernando Llorente put Bilbao ahead with a superb volley.

United were 2-0 down and 5-2 behind on aggregate five minutes after the hour mark when Oscar De Marcos pounced on a rebound and struck past De Gea off Johnny Evans’ outstretched foot.

Rooney’s 22-yard cracker only served as a consolation as Bilbao won 2-1 in front of their supporters at Estadio San Mames, ending United’s dismal campaign in Europe with a 5-3 aggregate loss.

Their city rivals Manchester City didn’t have a good outing either. Boasting a 1-0 advantage from the first leg, Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon knew facing Roberto Mancini’s expensively assembled side at the Etihad Stadium was going to be a herculean task.

But as the teams went for the half time break, the score on the Etihad scoreboard looked like a myth. The green and white Sportinguistas were leading… wait for it… 2-0 and 3-0 on aggregate. Matias Fernandez hit a sublime freekick from 25-yards before Ricky van Wolfswinkel doubled the lead five minutes before the interval.

The Blues came fired up for the second half with Kun Aguero scoring a brace either side of Mario Balotelli’s 75th minute penalty to make it 3-2 on the night but nothing could save Sheikh Mansour-owned club from bowing out to the Portuguese side, 4-3 on aggregate.

Chelsea is the only English team remaining in any of the European competitions. Arsenal, Birmingham, Tottenham, Stoke City, Fulham and the two Manchester clubs found the going too tough this time round.

A few months ago, it looked like Manchester City would win anything and everything there is to win. But now, they can only fight for the Premier League title with Manchester United. Come May, one of the two clubs would have finished the season empty-handed. Who would have thought?

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Super Mario Sends Basel Crashing Out as Marseille Pip Inter Milan

Super Mario
For the second successive game, albeit different competitions, Bayern Munich scored seven goals past an opponent but the stakes were even higher in Tuesday night’s 7-0 rout of Basel.

The Bavarians, having battered Hoffenheim 7-1 at the weekend needed to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Swiss side Basel in their Champions League round of 16 second leg encounter.

Playing in front of a capacity home crowd at the Allianz Arena, Bayern made it clear that they meant business by surging ahead only after 11 minutes. Toni Kroos’ shot was deflected into the path of Arjen Robben and the flying Dutchman had no trouble burying the opener.

Thomas Muller volleyed in the second in the 42nd minute after being picked by Frank Ribbery. The two goals just served to be pace-setters for Mario Gomez who then made the show his own.
His first came when he tapped in Holger Badstuber’s cutback just a minute before the interval.

The in-form striker scored his second just 5 minutes into the second half hitting a volley from a Ribery cross past Basel custodian Yann Sommer. Ribery was menacing in his dribbles and deliveries as was Gomez in his finishing and the two combined again on the hour mark, with Gomez heading in the Frenchman’s cross to complete his second hat-trick in two games.

With Bayern leading 5-0 and surely no way back for the brave Swiss side that knocked out Manchester United, Ribery and Gomez combined again. Ribery made his customary mazy runs down the left wing, beat his marker before cutting back for his accomplice Gomez to whack in his fourth into the top corner. With that, he became the first German to score a quarter of goals

Arjen Robben finished what he had started by rounding Sommer before coolly slotting in his second and Bayern’s seventh nine minutes before the final whistle as Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side edged into the crucial quarterfinals stage and much closer to the final which will be held at their own Allianz arena in May.

Meanwhile Olympique Marseille qualified for the quarters  in spite of going down 2-1 at Inter Milan. The French side reached the last eight on away goals after trouncing Inter 1-0 a fortnight ago. Diego Milito scrambled home the Nerrazuri’s opener after 75minutes of football to make it 1-1 on aggregate.

However, as the game looked like it was heading for extra time, Brandao struck. The Brazilian benefited from Lucio’s poor clearance and struck the ball past Julio Ceasar in the 92nd minute to send the home crowd agape.

The drama was barely over as Giampalo Pazzini was felled in the box by Steve Mandanda and the referee awarded a penalty and a red card to the Marseille ‘keeper. Pazzini stepped forward and convincingly beat substitute goalkeeper Gennaro Bracigliano but this proved a mere consolation as Didier Deschamp’s men strolled into the quarters on away goals rule.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

You Can Now Call Him: Captain Fan-Hat-Trick!!

When Liverpool legend and the club’s all-time goalscorer Ian Rush scored 4 goals in a 5-0 thrashing of Everton in the Merseyside Derby in November 6 1982, a certain kid named Steven George Gerrard was only 2years and 159 days old. He may have watched the match alright but at that age, it’s obvious he barely understood what was going on.

Had you told anyone who was part of the 52,741 fans who turned up to watch the match at Goodison Park that it would take a massive three decades for that feat to be achieved, they would have given you that “pliz!!” look. You can guess right how their reaction could have been had you pointed out that it’s the then thumb-sucking Gerrard who would do it.

Fast forward to Tuesday March 13, 2012 at 2000hrs (UK time), open the Anfield gates and usher in over 44,900 supporters, add the millions of other fanatics watching on TV and following through live streams online. And of course don’t close the Merseyside Messiah out.

Well, if there was one player who was going to break that hat-trick duck, you would have bet your last pence on Steven Gerrard. Now 32 years, the Liverpool captain fantastic became the first player in 30 years and also first in Premier League era to score a hat-trick in the Merseyside derby, celebrating his 400th Premier League appearance for the Reds in style and ruining David Moyes’ 10-year anniversary as Everton boss.

Liverpool went into the match (which was postponed because of the Carling Cup final clash with Cardiff) lying seventh and at the back of a dismal run which had seen them lose three successive premier league matches, the first time that has happened in nine years. Gerrard himself had come out and fired a warning shot to his colleagues saying they needed “to take responsibility for where we (Liverpool) are in the league.”

So like a commander who leads from the front, the Reds’ legend marched in front followed by ten others an aim to grit out a win, ugly, beautiful or both, claim the three points and of course ensure it’s the red side of Merseyside that continues to brag.

Liverpool had the best exchanges and controlled the game from the off and created the best opportunities but had to wait until the 34th minute to pull ahead in the 217th Merseyside derby. A neat exchange saw the ball fall to the feet of Martin Kelly and the academy graduate hit a low shot which was well saved by Tim Howard. Kelly followed the rebound and the ball, luckily for Reds and unluckily for the Blues, fell to Gerard lurking at the edge of the box. The returning captain, playing his 26th derby, pounced on the loose ball and lofted it above the head of everyone and into the net.

1-0 Liverpool going into the interval. Tim Howard was furious, Kenny Dalglish reveled with claps that would have pleased his Sunday service pastor.

It didn’t take long for Liverpool to extend their lead after the interval. Jordan Henderson’s touch of class found Suarez inside the right-hand channel. The Uruguayan, like he always does, waltzed past Sylvain Distin and crossed for Gerrard to whack in his and Liverpool’s second with just 51 minutes on the Anfield clock. You could have seen David Moyes’ face.

Everton then survived a string of attacks but were totally knocked out in the third minute of added time. And it was a demonstration of counter-attacking football proper.

Royston Drenthe surrendered possession just inside the Liverpool half. Gerard collected the ball and raced into the edge of Everton’s box before crossing for Suarez. The Liverpool No 7 had the chance to score his 7th premier league goal but he instead gave Distin another reason for him to work on his defensive sharpness, turning in the French footballer and laying it for Gerrard.

The Kop idol endeared himself further as the ‘God’ of Anfield slotting the ball home for his 8th derby goal and a superb hat-trick. The win saw Liverpool record their fifth premier league double over the Toffees.

Most importantly though, it narrowed the gap to fourth place to 10 points with as many games remaining.

Well, as former Liverpool winger Luis Garcia said while congratulating Gerrard on twitter, “Just the special ones can score a hat trick on a Merseyside Derby.” Stevie G is Special!!

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Arsenal v Milan: The Istanbul-esque Miracle than Never Was

Back in 2005, a certain Italian team was on the wrong side of one of the greatest, most epic Champions League comebacks of all time. The venue was the Atartuk Stadium, Istanbul and the opposition was English.

On Wednesday night, almost the same scenario was repeated. It pitted the same Italian team but a different English opposition and at a different venue. Who can forget the 2005 Champions League final when Liverpool came from 3-0 down at half time to draw 3-3 with AC Milan and eventually triumph in post-match penalties?

Well, Arsenal tried to do the same. The difference is they hard to reverse a 4-0 deficit against the same opposition, but unlike Liverpool who had 45 minutes to do it, the Gunners had 90minutes and were also in front of their home crowd.

Could we see a déjà vu?

Heading into the encounter, Arsene Wenger said “Maybe I will play six strikers because we need to score lots of goals!”. Well, he took the risk and fielded a strongly offensive line-up that had Van Persie, two pure amalgams of speed in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin and Theo Walcott, the tricky Gervinho and my man-of-the match Tomas Rosicky. But it took a defender, Laurent Koscielny, to give Wenger’s men the perfect start, with the French international heading the North Londoners in front with just 7 minutes on the clock.

By the 43rd minute, Arsenal had put three beyond the Milan defence. After Koscienly’s header, Tomas Rosicky capitulated on some poor defending from Thiago Silva in the 26th minute to double the lead, and Robin Van Persie slotted in a penalty in the 43rd minute for the third after Chamberlin had been sandwiched in the box.

 3-0 heading into the interval. Sounds familiar? The seemingly impossible was just a goal away from being conquered.

The half time talk by the managers must have seen Wenger encourage his soldiers to soldier on with the same tempo as the first half (I guess this is the talk the then Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti gave his team in 2005 against Liverpool), while the current Rossoneri coach Massimilliano Allegri must have given his charges the talk of their season.

As it turned out though, Arsenal players had worked their socks off and probably usurped all their energy. They lacked enough firepower to add a goal more which could have sent the game into extra time, or even add two to kill off Milan.

The second half had another Istanbul-esque moment when Milan keeper Christian Abbiati made a stunning save from point blank range to deny Van Persie. Does it remind you of a certain Jerzy Dudek save against Andriy Shevchenko in 2005? I bet it does if you saw it, if you didn’t, see it here

The Arsenal-Milan match might as well be called the Istanbul-esque miracle that never was. But as much as Arsenal were brave and almost pulled a miracle, let’s not be swayed into forgetting their horror show in Milan two weeks ago. They deserved to be kicked out of the competition after they gave themselves too much to do from the first leg and it could have been cruel for the seven-time Champions League winners had they gave the competition a bye.

For the Gunners, the trophy drought enters another season and getting back to the Champions League is barely guaranteed.

And That’s thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why Always Liverpool?

Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League football suffered a major setback after their 2-1 loss at Anfield against Arsenal. The Reds dominated everything from possession to shots to corners to chances created but failed to even get on the score sheet. Their only goal was scored by Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny.

If you have been closely monitoring the Merseyside club’s season, the aforementioned statistics make up what has been the story of their season. Not once, twice or even thrice but a dozens of times have they dominated their opponents but failed to capitalize on their chances.

The goalkeepers have been inspired alright pulling off stunning saves from point blank range as manifested by Wojciech Szczesny (hope I got the spelling right) over the weekend. But if there is one thing that may have gotten King Kenny’s men asking “Why Always Us” that has to be the goalpost’s improving ability to make saves in favour of the opposing teams.

Liverpool have the worst conversion rate in the Premier League standing at an appalling 8%! They have scored only 30 goals so far (four of those being own goals), same as second from bottom and relegation candidates Wolverhampton, and only five more than the 25 strikes Robin Van Persie has had for the Gunners. In between, they have failed to convert six penalties with Charlie Adam, Luis Suarez, and Dirk Kuyt all missing from 12 yards.

Well, these setbacks are all their making. But hitting the post for an unprecedented 21 times is inexplicable. Is it lack of luck or is it down to explanation that Liverpool players are not clinical enough? Do they always try to hit the ball just an inch closer to the post or crossbar and inches off the goalkeeper? It’s hard to know.

Maybe it’s high time a Liverpool player – err... Suarez – wore a shirt asking, “Why Always Us?” And that should come in the Sunderland match at the weekend because it’s guaranteed someone will hit the post.

Oh, I remember Stewart Downing hitting the underside of the bar when the Liverpool faced Sunderland in the first game of the season.

That’s where it started. It has to come to an end this weekend if Liverpool are to stand a chance of qualifying for the Champions League. Doesn’t it?

And That's thesteifmastertake!!