8:26 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The Liverpool Offside 26 mins ago
Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 2 (14-13 pens): Liverpool Win in Marathon Penalty Shooutout

Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 2 (14-13 pens): Liverpool Win in Marathon Penalty Shooutout

One of the most ridiculous penalty shootouts you'll see ends 14-13, with Liverpool defeating Middlesbrough to advance to the fourth round of the League Cup. Liverpool 2 (14): Rossiter 10', Suso 108'Middlesbrough 2 (13): Reach 62', Bamford (pen.) 120+2' The biggest news of the evening came in the form of a start for Jordan Rossiter, who is the latest Scouse academy product to make his first senior squad start. Suppose Rickie Lambert falls in that category too, and the striker served as captain on a night that saw Steven Gerrard finally rested. Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, and Lazar...
Royal Blue Mersey 42 mins ago
Martinez Decisions Leave Supporters Scratching Heads

Martinez Decisions Leave Supporters Scratching Heads

For perhaps the first time in Roberto Martinez's short reign at Everton, the Spaniard faces serious questions about his managerial decisions. The Twittersphere is ablaze after Everton's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Swansea. The occasional fan calling for Roberto Martinez's head is blatantly overreacting, of course, but there are some legitimate gripes to be had with Everton's manager. But first, let's remember why the sky is not falling. First, this loss came in the League Cup, far and away the least important of the four competitions Everton will play in this season. If we're honest with...
Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 2 (14-13 Pens): Rank the Performances

Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 2 (14-13 Pens): Rank the Performances

Thanks to the most ridiculous set of penalties ever, where Liverpool edged Middlesbrough 14-13, the Reds are on to the next round. Now it's your turn to rank the performances. An evening of uneven performances capped by a ridiculous, never-ending finish could make rankings difficult. Sterling's flawless night was undone in stoppage time of extra time. Toure recovered from a shaky first only to concede the equalizing penalty. Enrique started strong and ended a liability. At least they had their ups, though—it was almost all downs for Lambert, Markovic, and Balotelli. Let us know how you...
Royal Blue Mersey 2 hours ago

Swansea City vs. Everton: Instant Reaction

I take a brief look at what went wrong at the Liberty stadium, after Everton were beat soundly. As I've said in other articles I've written, the defence needs immediate attention. At the minute we are happy to bombard teams with attack after attack after attack, but they just soak it up then kill us in defence. Distin is no longer the answer. His haphazard, boot the ball anywhere defending has to come to its end before he completely destroys our confidence at the back. Jagielka has been rocky yes but he has a lot more control and composure on the ball and he would line up next to...
Reports say United and Arsenal defensive target undergoes contract talks

Reports say United and Arsenal defensive target undergoes contract talks

Ron Vlaar is undergoing new contract talks at Aston Villa after he was a surprise target for Manchester United in the summer. Ron Vlaar may not be the most exciting name Manchester United have had linked over the past few months, but let's be reasonable. Our defence is terrible, Vlaar is a very capable player for the Netherlands and holding together a woeful Villa side, and he'd clearly improve us for a bit and offer some leadership. The good news is that his contract is up at the end of the season, so he'd be a free transfer. But there are two bits of bad news. Firstly, Arsenal are also...
The Liverpool Offside 2 hours ago
Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 2 (AET14-13 pens): First Thoughts

Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 2 (AET14-13 pens): First Thoughts

Liverpool's first domestic cup game of the season brought a much needed but stuttering victory after an epic penalty shoot-out. Liverpool 2 Rossiter 10', Suso 109', Middlesbrough 2 Reach 62', Bamford (pen.) 120' Jordan Rossiter's debut was the big story before the game along with Rickie Lambert captaining his boyhood club in his first start. The first ten minutes were even with the visiting Championship players acquitting themselves well. Liverpool went ahead after Sterling closed a defender down, Lambert's follow up shot was blocked by Middlesbrough FC goalkeeper Jamal Blackman, and...
Roker Report 3 hours ago

Match Report: Sunderland 1-2 Stoke - Who Needs Wembley Anyway?

Sunderland crashed out of the Capital One Cup after Stoke secured an away win in a closely fought game. Sunderland's hopes of a repeat of last season's Capital One Cup heroics are over after Marc Muniesa struck twice and sent Stoke City into the fourth round despite Jozy Altidore giving the home side the lead. It was a close game in truth, with Stoke having the upper hand in the first half and Sunderland taking control in the second. The home side started quite brightly in an open start to the game with Altidore inches away from a Billy Jones cross, Stoke's Oussama Assaidi tested Costel...
Roker Report 3 hours ago
Sunderland 1-2 Stoke City: Player Ratings

Sunderland 1-2 Stoke City: Player Ratings

Cup runs are SO overrated... Costel Pantilimon - 5 Thought he should have done better for the first goal really. Seemed to go through him a bit. Santiago Vergini - 7 Gave some indication he could be close to being ready to play centre back in the Premier League during the second half. Amazingly, he was the side's most incisive passer on the night. John O'Shea - 6 Usual O'Shea stuff. Sebastian Coates - 4 Dithered and dozy. Looks a long way short of match readiness to me. Billy Jones - 6 Looked uncomfortable during the first half on the left, but much better second half in his natural...
Bitter and Blue 3 hours ago

Who should start vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Provided we have anybody left who isn't hurt or too tired. When I see headline like this, I get scared. Aguero, Silva, Nasri, Jovetic and Fernando are all out for tomorrow. We preface this exercise in punditry by stating a fact: Manuel Pellegrini is better at this than we are. He's been at it longer than we have, he made some brilliant calls against Chelsea and he's got two more English trophies than we do. With that said, it ain't stopping us from having fun. Though I admit this is tougher than most. In previous weeks, we've been doing pretty well (those of us who thought Pelle would go...
Royal Blue Mersey 3 hours ago
Player Ratings: Swansea 3 – 0 Everton

Player Ratings: Swansea 3 – 0 Everton

Everton fail to offer up any sort of resistance to Swansea's progression into the fourth round of the League Cup. Tim Howard – 6 Could have done better for the first goal but was certainly left exposed by an experimental defence. Saved well from Sigurdsson at a comfortable height in the second half but could do absolutely nothing for the second after Distin’s header hit his crossbar, with a similar situation occurring for the third. Feel sorry for the American, who is being consistently let down by poor defensive displays. Tony Hibbert – 3 Struggled against the pace and...

Cartilage Free Poetry Slam: North Side Story, Part 1

Ahead of the North London Derby, we take a side-trip to Broadway. [SCENE: the Tottenham Hotspur changing room. ERIK LAMELA is putting on his boots, looking murderous. He keeps tying and re-tying his laces. Also present: ROBERTO SOLDADO, HUGO LLORIS, and HARRY KANE.] ----- LAMELA: That DAMNED Arsene Wenger! SOLDADO [to LLORIS]: What has Poche done to him? LLORIS: Poche? Why Poche? Maybe he's just spouting off at us! LAMELA: Roberto! Harry! Hugo, my irascible friends, can you keep a secret? SOLDADO: I'm HOT for secrets! LAMELA: ... No. I won't tell you. KANE: The poor man looks...
Cartilage Free Captain 4 hours ago

WDR Podcast Mailbag - The Wrath of Mailbag

Give us your Qs so we can give you As Well that sucked. That super sucked. But hey at least we get to talk about it? Yaaaay. We're back this week to dissect the ugly results of the game against West Brom before we gird our loins for a probably not so fun North London Derby. Also we'll talk about the game against Forest. Interested in how these games will go? Want to know what's up with Spurs? Want to talk about legalese on the Spurs' website about Cain Hoy instead of matches? This is your chance. Unless it's the last one. Go bother another podcast about that. We'll address a lot of the...
Lion Of Vienna Suite 5 hours ago
Capital One Cup Match preview: Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers

Capital One Cup Match preview: Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers

Yet another away defeat at the hands of Wolves brought Bolton back to reality from their first win of the season one week ago. They now face the daunting test of visiting Premier League leaders Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. Just three seasons ago Chelsea v Bolton was a regular season match-up that wouldn't have Wanderers fans batting an eyelid. But ever since then things have changed dramatically. The Blues have become European champions for the first time, while The Whites have paled into a shadow of their former selves and linger in the lower echelons of the Championship table. As a...
Anfield Asylum 6 hours ago
COC Game Thread: Liverpool v. Middlesbrough

COC Game Thread: Liverpool v. Middlesbrough

Liverpool take on Middlesbrough with the hope of kickstarting an extended cup run. Thread away!
Roker Report 6 hours ago

Confirmed Line-Ups: Sunderland vs Stoke

The teams have been announced for tonight's Capital One Cup tie against Stoke City. Gus Poyet makes seven changes from the team that drew 0-0 at Burnley at the weekend. Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones, Liam Bridcutt, Jordi Gomez, Will Buckley and Jozy Altidore all start whilst Sebastian Coates makes his debut for the club. Danny Graham is once again on the bench, where he is joined by Mavrias and Ricky Alvarez. Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon; Vergini, O'Shea, Coates, Jones; Rodwell, Bridcutt, Gomez; Johnson, Altidore, Buckley. Subs: Mannone, van Aanholt, Cattermole, Larsson, Mavrias,...
7500 To Holte 6 hours ago
Villa in Four Numbers: Villa actually lost for once

Villa in Four Numbers: Villa actually lost for once

Villa lost 3-0 to Arsenal at the weekend but our weekly look into the numbers game shows that things aren't looking all that bad yet at B6. Welcome back to another edition of Villa in Four Numbers! Paul Lambert's team actually lost. Oh no! The humanity! Here are four numbers that should help tell a story... maybe. 3 Aston Villa's position in the table. It's simple, sure, but for me it's still the most important thing here. Villa have 10 points already on the board when most of us weren't sure they'd manage 10 in the first 10 games considering the run of fixtures. And while there's still a...
7500 To Holte 6 hours ago
Get excited! Ron Vlaar rumours already popping up again

Get excited! Ron Vlaar rumours already popping up again

Apparently Manchester United and Arsenal both want Ron Vlaar. Hooray. Well, it's been three weeks since we've heard this rumour so it seems like it's time to bring it back. Manchester United and Arsenal are apparently interested in bringing in Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar. Sigh. Let's go over the details that we all know again. Manchester United saw Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leave this summer and only got one centre back in return. They've had their injury concerns in the defense, too, with a few people picking up minor injuries. Plus, Vlaar played (very successfully) for...
Royal Blue Mersey 6 hours ago
Everton at Swansea City: Live Gamethread

Everton at Swansea City: Live Gamethread

Best way to forget Sunday, get back on the pitch. After the fiasco on Sunday, Roberto Martinez will be glad to get back on the pitch and get a chance to forget what happened. Everton travel to Swansea City in the Third Round of the Capital One Cup (aka the League Cup, the one domestic trophy the Toffees have never lifted). With the Merseyside Derby on Saturday, and the amount of flak Martinez took for his squad rotation on Saturday, we await with bated breath to see who makes the starting lineup (and the bench) for this game. The front four of Samuel Eto'o, Romelu Lukaku and Christian...
Roker Report 7 hours ago

Sunderland vs Stoke City: LIVE

Sunderland enter the third round of the Capital One Cup hoping to find that elusive killer touch which seems so sadly lacking at the moment. A win over fellow Premier League opposition would certainly hand the team a timely boost in their search for success this season. Sunderland Team News There will be wholesale changes to Gus Poyet's side for the League Cup clash with Stoke City, thus offering several fringe players an opportunity to stake their claim for a place in the Premier League eleven for Saturday. Ricky Alvarez has been passed fit following the knock which kept him out of...
Cartilage Free Captain 7 hours ago

Tottenham release shareholder interests as part of possible takeover

First, it was leaked that Joe Lewis was considering selling Tottenham Hotspur. Then an American group, Cain Hoy, said that they were interest in the club. Finally, the club denied that they were in any takeover talks. Spurs had to make any takeover talks public so coming out and saying otherwise wasn't just a PR move. Had they been in talks, they would have had to say so, per the law. That law also requires that they follow up 10 business days later. Earlier this month in accordance with the requirements of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the "Code"), the Club was required to write...

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