No More years of hurt for Liverpool, praise the Lord!

Being a football fan of England and certain English clubs can be painful. Three Lions on a shirt song, being an Arsenal fan (not talking about myself here) – I think you can see where I am going with this.

With England, we the fans and mainly the “experts”, would bring England up and then knock them down. In recent years, thankfully the powers that be at the top of the game, have been more humble and started from scratch.

A centre of excellence was built and talent was brought through this centre of excellence in Burton. As a result of this, England’s under 17’s and 19’s tasted success on the global stage.

It seemed that process was that stringent of finding young talent, that scouts would be watching kids in the parks almost, when kids go for a kick around.

Watching kids playing in the park is usually a sign for the alarm bells to ring, but if this did happen, thankfully there would be some players who would become young stars for their country.

As a result of that England, in turn, got to the semi-finals of a world cup for the first time since 1990.

They even won a penalty shoot-out in the last world cup, waa hay! O how I cried in France 98 when David Batty missed his spot-kick on that fateful night in St Etienne against Argentina  , thus giving more penalty shootout heartache.

Arsenal, sadly for their fans are still making their team suffer mentally and emotionally. You know Gunners fans, you can stop at this stop and support another team, just think about your mental health, please!

After 16 seasons regularly featuring in the top four and having a monopoly on the FA Cup for a five year period towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign, it’s got even worse for Arsenal.

A top-half finish looks an achievement at this rate, thought the George Graham days and Bruce Rioch era was a thing of the past? Obviously not.

Another club that likes to make their fans suffer has been Liverpool. Now, this might be harsh on the face of it, considering that Liverpool have won the Champions League twice in the last 15 seasons along with the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Everyone knows what the Merseyside club wanted though, and that’s the Premier League trophy. There’s been many near misses.

A “fact rant” by Rafa Benitez who no longer manages in England (fact).

There was a time where Liverpool games replaced bedtime stories. I am convinced this must be true they were that boring.

The Reds in that era under Gerrard Houllier, would without fail, make my brother sleepy whenever he saw them on the TV.

They were dark times, but then Liverpool changed tact and hired an Irish coach who’s team’s played football so joyful to watch on the eye.

Brendan Rodgers was his name, his teams to play attractive football was his game.

With Steven Gerrard as commander and chief on the pitch, along with forwards Louis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, the then 18-time champions of England Liverpool came within a whisker of winning the title.

You could say, they missed out by the skin of their teeth, sorry Louis that might not have been funny … please don’t bite me! The title seemed in Liverpool’s grasp, but then they would slip up .. watch your self Steve (caution wet floor!)

Mockery was a plenty of that slip, Uruguayan Suarez’s eating habits and Daniel Sturridge’s injury record. A true story, I did see Daniel whilst I was walking – I saw him walking his got.

I must say I have never been so nervous seeing someone walk a dog, as I was convinced he would get injured, such was his injury record at one stage.

Putting the mockery to one side, Liverpool replaced Rodgers with German coach Jurgen Klopp. Former Dortmund manager Klopp had won the Bundesliga twice with Ballspielverein.

Liverpool were hoping the former Mainz manager could help bring what was becoming the increasingly elusive first Premier League trophy.

Careful planning ensued and a loss to Sevilla in the Europa League final and Real Madrid in the Champions League final, were painful but only demonstrated the progress the German manager Klopp was making with The Reds.

Further heartbreak would further occur, this time domestically in the Premier League. Jurgen’s Liverpool last year would painfully lose the Premier League by one point. This was made all the more painful, considering The Anfield side had only lost one game and accumulated 91 points!

This season, Liverpool seemed in no mood to mess around. The 3-1 win against Manchester City, was a signal of their intent. The Citizens who fought back last year to win the title from Liverpool’s grasp, by their high standards were poor this year.

Defeats to Manchester United (twice), Norwich and Wolves twice only emphasizes my point. Liverpool it is then who are Premier League champions after 30 years. Congrats to Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool for their title win

Woolworths, Blockbuster, BHS and petrol for under £1 were the things of those days. A lot has changed since then, (as none of those now remain).

Football can breathe a sigh of relief, we don’t have to hear “this is our year”. Thankfully one of those years has been their year. Now here’s to hoping England win the world cup, so we don’t have to keep hearing “we won it 66”.

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Not Even The Hoff Could Save Millwall as Huddersfield Take Back All Three Points To Yorkshire

Huddersfield striker James Vaughan sealed an impressive win for Huddersfield as the Terriers sealed an impressive 3-1 at Millwall

Huddersfield striker James Vaughan scored for Huddersfield as the Terriers sealed an impressive 3-1 win at Millwall

A Nakhi Wells red card made little difference as West Yorkshire side Huddersfield Town claimed all three points against Millwall.

The hosts have had a very disappointing season and have found themselves occupying the relegation places for pretty much all of the season. Stefan Maierhoffer started upfront for the hosts, with Ricardo Fuller only on the bench. Magaye Gueye also starts for the hosts.

The visitors Huddersfield who have been inconsistent this year had their three ‘big guns’ available with Nakhi Wells, James Vaughan and Jacob Butterfield all starting for the visitors.

Knowing that the majority of the teams around them lost, this was a great chance for Millwall to take advantage – but they didn’t and couldn’t take advantage of the slip ups of the teams around them.

Huddersfield who are very much in mid table,to demonstrate their inconsistencies were brilliant in this game. After the match had finished Town boss Chris Powell described the performance as “the best since I have been here”.

It all could have been different if Stefan Meierhoffer’s hadn’t hit the post. That miss proved costly as Sean Scannell opened the scoring for the visitors. Right after the goal Huddersfield looked to press home their advantage – but they were unable to. That proved costly as Maierhoffer did eventually score from close range.

The remainder of the first half remained all square – but it was five minutes after the restart where the match would be turned on it’s head. Striker Nakhi Wells was sent off after receiving a second yellow after committing a bad foul.

Instead of galvanising the home side, it was actually the visitors who were given the lift. Jacob Butterfield got the crucial goal with a brilliant effort outside the box which enabled Huddersfield to retake the lead.

With Millwall having the man advantage, they surely needed to push for the equaliser -but it was Huddersfield who struck again. The Lions left themselves exposed which allowed Harry Bunn to draw a foul in the penalty area which left the referee no choice – but to point to the penalty spot.

The penalty was duly dispatched by James Vaughan which ended the game as a contest. There was no further goals as Huddersfield ran out comfortable 3-1 winners.

Millwall will reflect on this game and no doubt see this match as an opportunity missed to close the gap on the teams above them. As it now stands however The Lions are firmly in a relegation battle. Huddersfield on the other hand might be able to start to look up the table, this win takes the Terriers up to 14th in the table, 13 points off the playoffs.

The Bees Sting Leeds With The Only Goal Of The Game

Brentford midfielder Alex Pritchard's goal saw the Bees win at Leeds' expense which sees them consolidate their position in the top four.

Brentford midfielder Alex Pritchard’s goal saw the Bees win at Leeds’ expense which sees them consolidate their position in the top four.

Brentford midfielder Alex Pritchard grabbed the only goal of the game as Leeds’ mini revival came to an end at Elland Road.

The home side who had won their last came coming to this one were no doubt looking to maintain their unbeaten run of late. Although still in deep relegation trouble, those wins have potentially eased a little bit of pressure on manager Neil Redfearn. The Whites included Billy Sharpe for this one, with Mirko Antentunucci starting on the bench. New signing Sol Bamba continues in defence.

As for the visitors who are managed by former stockbroker Mark Warburton. The 53 year old who maintained Uwe Rosler’s good work at Griffin Park is also overseeing an impressive season this year as well. The Bees started with prolific front man Andre Gray and the always reliable Alex Pritchard. On loan Arsenal midfielder Jon Toral is on the bench.

Leeds who knew they needed something from this match to ensure they could take advantage from this match, started brightly. The Yorkshire side had a very strong appeal for a penalty turned down just before half time, captain Rudy Austin stumbled after a shove by Moses Odubajo – but the referee wasn’t having any of it as he waved play on.

The hosts gave a spirited performance especially in the first half as Brentford struggled to get a foothold in the game.

The visitors who were not at their best in the first half and might have been lucky to have not been trailing, went on to the take the lead when yet another Leeds appeal was turned down. Billy Sharp had another Leeds penalty turned down – but to rob further salt in the wounds, Brentford would score soon after that rejected penalty appeal.

Alex Pritchard turned home an Odubajo cross to give the visitors the lead. Leeds who felt hard done by the refereeing throughout the whole game rallied, Billy Sharp fired just wide. Jon Toral could have sealed the win – but the visitors Brentford held on for a crucial three points.

This defeat for Leeds sees them still very deep in relegation trouble, thankfully for for the Yorkshire side the teams that are directly around also lost. I guess this week wasn’t the worst week to lose – but the mindset of those Leeds players is to win every week no doubt. Unfortunately for Leeds the off field issues are hardly helping.

Brentford with this win maintain their play off push and are now above Ipswich into fourth. It’s been a great season for The Bees and it would be even greater if they could get promoted.

Leeds Vs Bournemouth

Luke Murphy grabbed the only goal in this game to give 10 man Leeds United a precious three points at home to promotion chasing Bournemouth.

Luke Murphy grabbed the only goal in this game to give 10 man Leeds United a precious three points at home to promotion chasing Bournemouth.

Championship strugglers Leeds United gained a precious three points with a narrow 1-0 victory against Championship leaders Bournemouth, who also saw a late Yann Kermorgant penalty hit the bar.

Leeds came into the game on the back of two successive draws. The hosts made some changes to their starting line up. Most notably Mirko Antenucci could only find a place on the bench against The Cherries, highly rated Alex Mowatt started for Leeds United in this one. The Whites came into the game in dire need of a result after a disappointing run of results which has seen the Yorkshire side winless in eight games.

As for visitors Bournemouth who lead the way in the championship they were pretty much at full strength. Bret Pittman and Callum Wilson started for the visitors who came into this one looking to maintain their lead at the top of the championship and had won six of their last seven.

Leeds who have been struggling in the championship, started the brighter in this one – and deservedly went ahead before the break. Luke Murphy who scored in Saturday’s draw against Birmingham, also scored in this game with a 25 yard effort which left Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc with no chance, to claim his second goal in two games.

Bournemouth were finding it difficult to come to terms with the difficult snowy conditions and were struggling to exert the authority that they usually do in matches. The visitors thought they had equalised a few minutes after going a goal down minutes only for the linesman’s flag to rule the goal out for offside.

Not even the introductions of Dan Gosling and Yann Kermorgant could help Bournemouth in salvaging a precious point. It was actually the subs who conspired to not get on the end of a brilliant Callum Wilson cross after a break down in communication.

Bournemouth did get a lifeline late on when Giuseppe Bellusci brought down Cherries striker Callum Wilson, which lead to Leeds defender Bellusci receiving a red card and an award of a Bournemouth penalty kick. Leeds however though were given a reprieve as Bournemouth’s Yann Kermorgant could only strike his penalty against the bar.

Leeds managed to hang on with 10 men and pull six points clear of relegation after this priceless win. For Bournemouth this defeat hasn’t changed their league position, they remain top of the league – but with Middlesborough beating Cardiff Middlesborough night the gap between the top three is extremely tight with one point and goal difference separating the top three.

Huddersfield Vs Watford Match Report

Huddersfield top scorer Nakhi Wells set the Terriers up for victory by grabbing  the opening goal at the John Smiths Stadium

Huddersfield top scorer Nakhi Wells set the Terriers up for victory by grabbing the opening goal at the John Smiths Stadium

A spectacular goal from returning defender helped Huddersfield Town gain a crucial win in their game against promotion chasing Watford.

The Terriers under the stewardship of Chris Powell have seen results improve under the former Charlton boss. Huddersfield had their big guns available, both top scorer Nakhi Wells and James Vaughan start for the Yorkshire side.

Visitors Watford who are flying high in the Championship and very much in the play offs mix, included deadly strike due Matej Vydra and Troy Deeney -but Scottish international Ikeche Anya started on the bench for a game that Watford really wanted to win to keep in touch with the teams above them.

The game only burst into life in the second half, after a goaless first half. Nakhi Wells who used to play for West Yorkshire rivals Bradford, open the scoring from close range to put The Terriers 1-0 up. The Hornets drew level however after a horrible error by Town keeper Alex Smithies allowed Ogion Igallo to level, just three minutes after coming on.

Watford after drawing level were looking to gain a foothold in the match – but it was actually Huddersfield who would increase their lead. Huddersfield goal scorer Nakhi Wells this time turned provider and set up strike partner James Vaughan, who put Wells’ cross in the bottom right corner of the Watford net.

Huddersfield were much improved from last weeks disappointing defeat, and Jacob Butterfield was key to this weeks improved performance. The midfielder set up chances for strikers Wells and Vaughan in the first half.

There was time for further gloss to be added the score line. Defender Joel Lynch who had been out of action for six weeks, marked his return with injury in with a brilliant overhead kick, to make the score 3-1 and end the match as a contest.

The win for Huddersfield sees the Yorkshire club move up to 15th and pull further clear of relegation, as for Watford they drop a place to sixth – but are now level on points with seventh place Norwich who defeated league leaders Bournemouth.

Bolton Vs Leeds Match Report

Eidur Gudjonsen grabbed a crucial equaliser to keep Bolton's resurgence under Neil Lennon going.

Eidur Gudjonsen grabbed a crucial equaliser to keep Bolton’s resurgence under Neil Lennon going.

Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen’s first goal since since rejoin Bolton allowed the Trotters to gain a crucial point from this one.

Bolton who endured a very difficult start to the season which saw them in the bottom three, have been a different proposition for opposing teams under Neil Lennon as Bolton gradually move up the table. At the start of the season the Lancashire looked like they ‘lacked fight’ but that’s all changed since the arrival of Neil Lennon who has only suffered a single defeat in 10 games as Bolton manager.

The former Celtic boss started with veteran duo Emile Heskey and Eidur upfront for this game, Andy Lonnergen started in goal in place of usual number one Adam Bogdan.

Visitors Leeds who have endured all sorts of turmoil this year off the pitch and on the pitch with three managers this season, find themselves flirting with relegation.

Former Bradford player and current Leeds boss Neil Redfearn decided to drop Mirko Antenucci and Tomasso Bianchi to the bench in aim to freshen things up. Sean Morrison made his third league start for Leeds since joining from Millwall.

It was the visitors Leeds who drew first blood in this one. Leeds’ Sam Byram managed to draw a foul from home keeper Andy Lonnergen in the penalty area, which gave the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Leeds skipper Rodolph Austin stepped up and scored to give the Yorkshire side the lead.

The home side were lucky not to be 2-0 down, Steve Morrison who impressed as a lone striker, drew a fine save from home keeper Andy Lonnergen. That chance seemed to wake up the home side – and Bolton were starting to get into the game – and it was Leeds this time who were indebted to their goalkeeper, Marco Silvestri doing well to keep out Luke Murphy’s effort.

Bolton did eventually equalise through a penalty of their own, Luke Murphy fouled Darren Pratley in the box, again leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot for the second time in the game. Upstepped Gudjohnsen who confidently placed his penalty into the top left corner of Silvestri’s goal.

In an evenly fought contest Eidur Gudjohnsen did have a chance to grab his and Bolton’s second – but the former Icelandic International saw his fantastically blocked by Leeds defender Liam Cooper. So a point it finished then, which isn’t the best result for either side – but Bolton would be the slightly happier.

As for Leeds they are only two points above the drop zone. Neil Redfearn will need to turn things around quickly otherwise he could be out of a job soon.