Arsenal should learn a lesson from Liverpool by SS
Arsenal are in a strange phase at the moment and they have been for the last few years. The fans and neutrals are scratching their heads as to why the club can not challenge for trophies anymore, despite the stacks of cash the club apparently has in reserve.
While previous English Premier League campaigns have signed off on the final day with a bang - most notably last year's spine-tingling last-gasp title-winning goal from Sergio Aguero - this year somewhat ended with a whimper as a number of drawn out farewells came to a close.
Remarkably, the managers at three of the Premier League's top seven teams walked away from their respective clubs on Sunday, and that's with Roberto Mancini having already departed runners up Manchester City after their FA Cup final loss to relegated Wigan.
After a mixed first Season for Liverpool's Manager Brendan Rodgers, where the team started off in August with Luis Suarez as their only striker, the team and squad were of the pace actually being as low as 12th place at one stage.
However, the new passing and pressing game being introduced by Rodgers began to see a gradual improvement in results and performances as the team moved up to 8th in the League around Christmas.
Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates the 1998-99 EPL Title (Image Via Manchester United official site)
In my weekly column on SWOL, I take a look back at the weekend's English Premier League and domestic cup action and the talking points that it throws up, as well as any significant news related to English football at large.
There were reports tonight that Andy Carroll is stalling on a move to West Ham after the Hammers and Liverpool were said to have agreed on a fee of £15M. Andy Carroll waiting for Newcastle Andy doesn;t have a future at Liverpool, we all know that, but it seems the Geordie lad would love [...]
Cameroon international defender Aurelien Chedjou has confirmed he wants to leave Lille after being linked with several clubs. The 27-year-old could be a target for Premier League duo Liverpool and Newcastle as well as Turkish giants Galatasaray. Sky Sports report that, although under contract at Lille, Chedjou sees his future elsewhere, he said: "Nothing is done with any club.
Liverpool have accepted a £15m offer from West Ham United for Andy Carroll, a £20m loss on their record transfer fee inside 28 months, but face a struggle to convince the striker to sever his Anfield ties for Upton Park. Carroll enjoyed an impressive, yet injury-hit season on loan with Sam Allardyce's team, who has moved quickly to sign the 24-year-old on a permanent basis following the end of the Premier League season.
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud (Google Creative Commons)
Having already wrapped up the Premier League title, Manchester United capped off a wonderful campaign with an extraordinary 5-5 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. United twice led by a three-goal margin, but the home side – inspired by Romelu Lukaku's second-half hat-trick – managed to battle back each time.
Liverpool had a disappointing season to say the least. Despite Brendan Rodgers leading them to a higher points total this year than last season, the club's failure to reach European action for next season has been a major blow.
With the impending summer transfer window approaching the rumors are flying that there are already more players heading out of Anfield than there are those coming into the side.
Liverpool have revived their interest in Tottenham left back Danny Rose. The England Under 21 star was one of Sunderland's best performers during his loan spell, and boss Paolo Di Canio is keen on the 22-year-old. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers failed to sign Rose in the last two transfer windows and is struggling to make his £20million budget stretch.
West Ham United have agreed a fee of around £15 million to sign striker Andy Carroll from Liverpool.
The England striker had been on loan at West Ham from Liverpool during the 2012-13 season. And despite his injury-prone season, the footballer still managed to score 7 goals in 22 league appearances for the Hammers.
The Anfield boss believes the Uruguay international is happy at the club but is expecting the forward to attract interest from sides during the summer transfer window Brendan Rodgers admits Liverpool face a battle to hang on to Luis Suarez this summer, but insists they are under no pressure to sell their star man.
We all know Luis Suarez has a fondness for handling the ball, but that's no usually because he's the goalkeeper. In a twist on the old adage that strikers are the first line of defence, the Liverpool star positioned himself in front of Reds keeper Brad Jones and proceeded to do his job for him. [...]
Liverpool winger Stewart Downing is a loan target for Fulham. But Cottagers boss Martin Jol is set to be frustrated, as the Reds want a transfer fee to part with the 28-year-old. England international Downing, bought from Aston Villa for £20m two years ago, is among a number of players in the Anfield giants' squad available at the right price this summer.
Forward Philippe Coutinho was Liverpool's match-winner but Jamie Carragher was the star of the show at Anfield on his 737th and final appearance for the club. The veteran centre-back brought the curtain down on a first-team career spanning 16 years 131 days - the seventh longest in the club's history.
Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe is hoping to build on the experience of making his senior debut for the club in their 1-0 win over QPR. The 17-year-old played the first 64 minutes of Sunday's match, during which he created the winning goal for Philippe Coutinho. And the player was delighted to have played a part, especially in the final game of defender Jamie Carragher's 17-year Reds career.
Brendan Rodgers has moved for Manchester City centre back Kolo Toure, whose contract expires next month, as a replacement for the retiring Jamie Carragher. The Daily Mail reports that Rodgers believes he can fill the void left by Carragher at the heart of his defence. Rodgers has looked at a number of players to bolster Liverpool's defence, including Ajax's Toby Alderweirled, and Tiago Ilori of Sporting Lisbon, but he is a firmer admirer of Shalke's Greece international Kyriakos Papadopolous.
Another yearly tradition, although it's not as if there aren't a plethora of outstanding video editors –which there weren't when I started this tradition. None the less, you can't argue with tradition. And it was a good year for goals, in contrast to, say, 2011-12 or 2010-11.
10) Bale OG 1-2 Spurs: This will never not be funny.
The headline stat is a simple one. Liverpool scored 24 more goals in the Premier League this season, and conceded just three more. In all competitions, Liverpool averaged 1.81 goals per game and a goal every 49.6 minutes.
Kolo Toure, who has been linked with Liverpool in recent days, has completed a remarkable comeback season. The central defender's recent seasons were characterized by drug suspensions, alleged salacious affairs and uneven play. However in the 2012-13 season, Toure proved a lifesaver for a City side that was struggling with injuries and consistency at the back.
Liverpool target Christian Eriksen will snub the Kop and sign a new contract at Ajax if Brendan Rodgers does not make a £15million offer in the next month, writes the Sunday People. Danish dazzler Eriksen is keen on a move to Anfield, with the Reds on his trail for the past few months and battling Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund for his signature.
Asmir Begovic has confirmed he wants to follow manager Tony Pulis through the door at Stoke City. Following Pulis' exit, the goalkeeper has gone public to announce that he intends to move to Liverpool this summer. He said: "I want to start preparing on July 10, with all the players of Liverpool." The Bosnian has [.
Liverpool has stepped up their interest in Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler despite being warned off by the German club. Former Manchester United shot-stopper Zieler is rated as a rising star in the Bundesliga, and the Reds are believed to be willing to offer up to £8million to land him.
Sad news is reaching us that former Manchester United, Leeds and Rochdale centre-half Brian Greenhoff died suddenly today at the age of 60.
Greenhoff made 271 appearances for United between 1970 and 1979, though his most famous was surely in the 2-1 FA Cup Final win over Liverpool in 1977 that saw United nix Liverpool's hopes of completing the treble that year.
Liverpool is closing in on the signing of Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas and could snap him up for just €7m this summer, according to the Mirror. The 25-year-old forward has enjoyed a productive campaign in Spain – scoring 11 goals and providing 6 assists – but his efforts have been unable to prevent Celta Vigo from sinking to the foot of the La Liga table.
The Potters shot-stopper, who has impressed at the Britannia Stadium this season, informed Bosnian reporters that he expects to move to Anfield in the summer window Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has revealed that he hopes to move to Liverpool this summer, as speculation continues to surround the future of current Anfield shot-stopper Pepe Reina.
Liverpool star Raheem Sterling had a common assault case against him dropped today after key witnesses failed to appear in court. The 18-year-old winger had been accused of assaulting a 27-year-old woman in Toxteth in November last year. Sterling denied the charge and was due to stand trial at Liverpool and Knowsley magistrates court this morning.
John Barnes loss was Neil Ruddocks gain back in 1996, when Barnes and Cantona swapped jersey's following the Frenchman's late winner at Wembley gave United a famous FA Cup Final win against rivals Liverpool, Barnes frustrated at the loss tossed the shirt on the Wembley dressing room floor before Liverpool centre-half Neil Ruddock picked it up as a special momento from the game which Cantona won.
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has dismissed speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona saying he could not leave Anfield because he feels so loved. There had been rumours linking him and Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes swapping sides, but Reina wants to see out his contract at the Reds.