Liverpool v West Ham – 12th August 2018
Finally after what seemed like a long wait the season kicked off yesterday. It was great to see all the familiar faces from last season all returning again for the current season. A belated Happy Birthday to Vinny who celebrated his 50th during the close season. And a huge “well done” to his son who had a memorable start to the season as he had a cheeky little wager on Liverpool to win 4-0 with Mo Salah to score the first goal!! Great way to start the season. Get the ale in!! Anyway, more of the view from The Kop Liverpool v West Ham below.
View From The Kop Liverpool v West Ham
Great atmosphere outside the ground before the game and a great atmosphere inside. I managed to get a lift instead of doing my normal catching the train and walking from Stanley Park after a bus drop off. Many thanks to Ronan for the lift. But parking almost halfway to Bootle!! Wow, that was some trek walking to the ground. Only jesting Ronan, the walk wasn’t that bad. As we said walking back to the car, it is so much better walking downhill and after watching us win 4-0 in such a convincing manner.
What About The Game Itself?
Well, you couldn’t wish to start the season any better could you? Liverpool were dominant from the start. I wouldn’t say that those of us in our area of The Kop were apprehensive exactly before the game, but I think it’s fair to say that we all agreed that this wouldn’t be an easy match. How wrong were we. All said and done it was an easy match. West Ham were poor, but in all honesty they were made to look poor. Quite often Liverpool v West Ham fixtures provide quite a few goals. Thankfully yesterday’s encounter did. And all in the West Ham net most importantly.
Promising performances throughout the side. As many expected, and hoped for, Naby Keita hit the ground running. It looked like he’d been playing for Liverpool and in the Premier League for many years. He will no doubt be a tremendous signing for us.
Even though his crossing was a bit wayward at times, Trent Alexander-Arnold was also particularly impressive going forward. He has suddenly taken on a look of assurance. Not sure if it was only me but he looked to be a more mature and polished performer.
And what about James Milner? Or should we call him Hamez Milnerino? You will not ever see Milner have a poor game. He is either a 6 or 7 out of 10 steady performer, or he is excellent. Yesterday, he was excellent. He has been an incredibly good signing for us. Although now in his early 30’s he is so fit, he will no doubt be able to perform at this level for some years yet. Let’s hope those years are still with us.
Normal Service Resumed
Two contrasting comments on ‘normal service resumed’. On the one hand it was great to see Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane back amongst the goals again and looking as dangerous as ever. Although he didn’t score, Bobby Firmino was his usual, industrious self. He is a ‘one-off’ in terms of a type of striker. He drops deep, goes past players, works hard, skillful, can finish, makes assists, good in the air, two footed. Have I missed anything?
Normal solid performances from VVD, Andy Robertson and Gini Wijnaldum as well. Joe Gomez has finally got his opportunity to ensure he is VVD’s regular centre back partner. Apart from nearly getting caught out in the first half when a ball over the top eluded him and made it’s way through to Arnautovic, he looked solid, composed and confident. I think we’ve just witnessed our regular centre-back pairing.
As I say, quality performances throughout. Some rusty bits here and there, but that’s only to be expected at this stage of the season.
All good…..but can anyone tell me, who was that fella in all yellow? Joking apart, we couldn’t really judge Alisson because he had nothing to do really. He is of course known as the “Lionel Messi Of Goalies” and he showed his ability with the ball at his feet. Couldn’t help think though that he may also cause us all some heart palpitations at times with his ultra laid back style and his perchance to play the odd risky ball or two. He will no doubt give us an added dimension with his ball playing abilities.
On a negative note on the theme of ‘normal service resumed’, referee Anthony Taylor was as bad as ever. Not saying he seemed to give West Ham most decisions but I swear every time he blew his whistle bubbles came out!!! Not really worth dwelling on the referee though when there are so many positives to consider. At least pointing out how bad his performance was cannot be construed as sour grapes.
Yes it was great to be back. We also had a different half-time entertainment slot instead of the normal penalty shoot out. No penalties, so Vinny’s wife, Clare, entertained us with showing us videos of Vinny’s recent 50th birthday party. Fair do’s Vinny your Beyonce tribute act was……er….er….interesting!!! Put it this way, it was the best Beyonce tribute act I’ve seen this year!! When’s the DVD coming out??
As it was the first game of the season, I took a short video that caught the tail end of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the first kick off of the season. Take a look below.
On a final note I hope the authorities went easy on the young lad who managed to sneak onto the pitch to give his idol, Mo Salah, a quick hug. A bit of harmless fun that hopefully only merited a “don’t do that again” finger wagging and nothing more.
If you went to the Liverpool v West Ham game or saw it on TV I hope you enjoyed it. A long season ahead. Let’s hope it’s one of success and huge enjoyment. Crystal Palace up next on Monday 20th August where we come up against former Reds Roy Hodgson, Christian Benteke and Mamadou Sakho.
Let’s keep the good start going. COYR!!!!
Liverpool 4 (Salah, Mane 2, Sturridge); West Ham 0. Attendance: 53,235.