Martin Montoya: Could he be one of Liverpool’s defensive answers?


Martin Montoya, described as Barcelona’s answer to the next Dani Alves and in many ways developed under his shadow at Barcelona after progressing through the youth system ranks, is still waiting to seize his opportunity to show the world what he can really do.

At 22 years old, he has 22 Barcelona caps under his belt, 12 of whom played this season, including a full 90 minute appearance in the 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Copa Del Rey where he impressed, replacing a then injured Alves. He’s also played for Spain at Under 23 level 5 times.

When given a chance, the full-back has got the job done but one thing is certain, for someone of his prospect, 12 games in a full season is just not enough, especially if you want to book yourself in the Spain squad for the 2014 World Cup.

Not only does the Spaniard have Alves to replace at Barcelona, he also has to fight for that place with the more experienced 28 year-old Adriano Correia, who Barca tend to opt for and I really don’t blame Tita Vilanova for going with the safer option, I mean a more experienced ambidextrous full-back with almost 300 senior career appearances to his name or a young, less experienced full-back with less than a hundred? I know who i’d choose.

As for Liverpool though, it’s a different story and Brendan Rodgers wants youth for a long term project. This season has proved that for the short term it’s not great and success really doesn’t  happen over night. Development  is the key though and one day it could turn out to be very worthwhile.

Along with Inter Milan, Liverpool have been rumoured to have shown interest in signing Montoya and if it happens, it all makes sense. This season the Reds have scored goals, created plenty of opportunities and dominated possession, but they have conceded too often. It is clear that defence is the main area that needs improvement.

Montoya just like Phillipe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge before they joined the club, is aching for a chance at regular first team football. He shares similar qualities with Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson in his game, bringing attacking benefits as well as defence so there is no question that with this style and mentality he could fit into the Liverpool team.

It’s not often you get many players with his kind of capability who are free, so I feel Rodgers should sign him up and quick!

Do you think he’d make a good signing? Let me know what you think!



Match Report: Preston vs. Oldham

pne oldham 2

Preston North End secured safety in League One after a 2-0 win against struggling Oldham at Deepdale.

The Lillywhites found their first goal from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute, taken well by Nicky Wroe who powered the ball straight down the middle after an in swinging cross from Jeffrey Monakana was handled in the box by Jonathan Grounds.

Will Hayhurst then added the second in added time to comfortably claim all three points as North End made the most of an empty net, breaking forward after an Oldham corner.

Despite the result and Preston showing more dominance in the second, Oldham had a few decent opportunities in the first half, but failed to captivate against a strong Preston defence.

Former Everton midfielder Jose Baxter was the biggest threat Preston had to deal with, particularly from set pieces. Just four minutes from half time, he came close to scoring from a free-kick struck into the top right hand corner. However, it was clawed away superbly by North End’s goalkeeper Declan Rudd.

Oldham did find the net from a corner, but a clear push on Paul Huntington from the already booked Jean Yves M’voto , who was lucky to have not been sent off, had been found by the referee in the box seconds before.

Preston thought they found themselves an opening goal five minutes in to the second half and at that point the best chance of the game, when a Jack King header from a Will Hayhurst cross, hit the post allowing Oldham keeper Dean Bouzanis to collect.

But the real change in the game happened for North End after a double substitution, when Jefferey Monakana was brought on for Paul Connolly and Ryan Cummins for Stuart Beavon.

Monakana immediately made an impact adding more pace and trouble for the Oldham defence and a cross by him that clearly struck Jonathan Grounds’s hand, resulted in a penalty that was slotted away calmly by Nicky Wroe.

Oldham searched for an equalizer in the dying minutes, pushing keeper Bouzanis forward during a corner, with him then successfully winning another one straight after but a clearance made by Preston defender John Welsh gifted Will Hayhurst plenty of space to race forward and shoot at an open goal, securing the win.

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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in League One


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Match Report: Southampton 3-1 Liverpool


Southampton lifted themselves seven points clear of the drop zone after a dominant display against a rather lifeless looking Liverpool.

It took just five minutes for the Saints to find the lead, after poor marking from Martin Skrtel gifted Morgan Scneiderlin the chance to net yards from goal.

The second goal for Southampton fell in the 32nd minute, when a Ricky Lambert free-kick deflected off Daniel Sturridge, leaving Liverpool keeper Brad Jones no chance as it nestled into the bottom corner.

Liverpool were given some hope however, when Philippe Coutinho pulled one back just before the interval, tapping the ball in after Daniel Sturridge had a shot blocked in a goalmouth scramble.

Despite a very low amount of possession in the first half, Liverpool started much more brightly in the second half and a change made by Brendan Rodgers, putting Lucas on for Joe Allen allowed them to find more control and string more passes together.

However, it took them 20 minutes in this half to find any real opportunity at goal, when Luis Suarez struck a well hit free-kick from range, which unfortunately for them was claimed by Saints keeper Boruc who pulled off a routine stop.

Despite offering more than they did in the first period, it just wasn’t Liverpool’s day and Southampton secured the three points, finding their third goal just ten minutes before the end, when Jay Rodriguez pulled off a terrific goal dribbling a long way past several challenges, eventually striking the ball with ease past Brad Jones, who was left with no protection from his defence.



Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw, Schneirderlin, Cork, Lallana, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Lambert.

Subs: K.Davies, Fonte, S. Davies, Forren, Ward.

Liverpool: Jones, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard, Downing, Suarez, Coutinho, Sturridge.

Subs: Gulasci, Wisdom, Henderson, Shelvey, Lucas, Suso, Ibe.

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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in English Premier League


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Match Report: Liverpool 5-0 Swansea City



Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Carragher, Lucas, Gerrard, Coutinho, Downing, Sturridge, Suarez.

Substitues: Gulacsi, Skrtel, Henderson, Shelvey, Sterling, Allen, Borini.

Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Bartley, Monk, Davies, Britton, Agustien, De Guzman, Hernandez, Lamah, Shechter.

Substitutes: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Michu, Routledge, Dyer, Moore.

Match Report:

Liverpool secured their first win against a side in the top ten in style by cruising past a rather lost looking Swansea City side at Anfield.

The Reds started the game very brightly and continued to do so throughout the whole game putting the Swansea back four under immense pressure and dominating possession.

The first goal for Liverpool came in the 34th minute from a Steven Gerrard penalty, setting Liverpool on their way, after Luis Suarez was brought down by Kemy Agustien in the area.

New signing and debutant Philippe Coutinho then scored the second, just seconds after half time, producing a fantastic right-footed strike after skipping past the Swansea defence and linking up well with Luis Suarez.

Then magical build-up formed Liverpool’s third goal in the 50th minute, with Jose Enrique finishing a spectacular flow of passing play between himself, Sturridge and Suarez.

It really was all too easy for Liverpool and the 56th minute of the game saw their fourth goal, taken well by Luis Suarez, deservedly, after putting in another top performance, taking on two defenders and firing a shot into the bottom corner.


Philippe Coutinho was then substituted in the 59th minute for Jordan Henderson, receiving a huge round of applause from the Anfield faithful after putting in a very promising debut performance.

Henderson then made his first real mark after coming on by producing a well hit pass to Daniel Sturridge in the 63rd minute, who then took a great first touch off his chest and hit a shot, which  unfortunately for Liverpool, was blocked well by Swansea keeper Michel Vorm.

Swansea City did however find their feet on a few occasions and in the 67th minute, broke forward with the ball and formed some good passing play, however it didn’t last long and Jose Enrique dealt with the danger quickly showcasing great strength to force the ball out for a Liverpool goal kick.

The fifth and final goal for Liverpool came in the 70th minute, with a controversial penalty being awarded, when the referee claimed that Wayne Routledge had handballed inside the box. Daniel Sturridge put the penalty away, although the Swansea keeper was inches away from stopping it.

Fabio Borini then came on as a substitute for Luis Suarez, however, the Italian’s game didn’t last long when he was forced off the pitch with what looked like a very distressful shoulder injury after landing awkwardly, leaving Liverpool left to see out the game with ten men.


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Posted by on February 17, 2013 in English Premier League


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Philippe Coutinho – The right player for Liverpool?


Given Liverpool’s current circumstances, you could say that on the attacking front, things are on the up. The latest purchase of striker Daniel Sturridge, who has so far bagged himself three goals in three games, is looking very promising. There is no doubt that bringing a player like Philippe Coutinho into the side could only make things better. I feel this season one thing we really have lacked; compared to other sides in the top half of the table, is having more options available for us the work with. After selling Craig Bellamy, Maxi and Dirk Kuyt last year and then on top of that loaning out Andy Carroll and having Fabio Borini pick up an injury, that seemed to dig us into a deep hole, in terms of having any chance of ever even thinking of making it into the top four.

We really have struggled, at one point even trying to stay in the top half of the table, but luckily, things seem to finally be on the up and the players might just be starting to pick up the style that Brendan Rodgers has wanted to adapt from the beginning.

Having to revert to younger players in the likes of Raheem Sterling and Suso to fill the lack of options we had, has worked out well, but you do feel we are still lacking something and maybe Phillippe Coutinho could be that missing player.

He ticks all the boxes to fit into the Liverpool side. He’s a young, versatile, two footed player, who can play as a forward, on the left, on the right or behind the strikers and there are reports that the Brazilian is interested in a Liverpool move. Having being once labeled as ‘The future of Inter Milan’ and them tracking him since he was young, it seems unlikely they will let him go, but I guess we’ll see. If he does come here, for the right price, the prospect of him playing alongside Suarez and Sturridge is exciting as he has so much potential. With passing the main focus of Brendan Rodger’s game here, he’s a player who can really exploit spaces and float between the lines which could be a great advantage for us. But of course, with every player there are doubts and we mustn’t get too carried away, he seems technically and tactically suited to the Premier League, however there are improvements in his game that need to be made and hopefully Rodgers would get the best out of him.

Coutinho has hardly played any football at Inter and was recently loaned out to Espanyol, so you’d feel at 20 years old, him coming to the Premier League and into the Liverpool side would be the perfect chance for him to really kick start his career. The only thing I do wonder is if Coutinho does come here, what will that mean for Assaidi? Will he get any opportunities to play? It’s great that there would be more options will be available, but I do wonder how long it would be until players start becoming unhappy, time will tell.



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Match Preview: Chelsea vs. Liverpool, Premier League, 11th November 2012, Kick-off 4pm.

Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Two English clubs who have developed one of the most intense rivalries in recent years, after tense encounters in the UEFA Champions League and the domestic cups go head to head this afternoon in the league.

Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge on the back of a disappointing Europa League defeat against Anzhi Makhachkala. The Reds had a much-changed side in the loss in Moscow, which was probably the reason behind the score line. There is no doubt today though, that Brendan Rodgers will play his strongest team against a tough Chelsea side.

Not only will the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard return into the side, Glen Johnson and Pepe Reina should also be back following their hamstring injuries, giving Rodgers plenty of options to choose from.

Chelsea on the other hand, will be likely to be the more confident going into this game after a last-minute win against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League midweek.

Ashley Cole will miss out on a place in the side due to a hamstring injury and Frank Lampard is still out. John Terry could be restored into the side though, after completing his four match ban and both Juan Mata and David Luiz are fit after missing the draw against Swansea last weekend.

Logically, this looks like a game Chelsea should win, they have been excellent in the league and with players like Mata, Oscar and Hazard, they have a lot of players who can really cause a lot of problems for a Liverpool defence that has looked shaky many times this season.

However,  Liverpool are a team that tend to up their game on the big occasion and have historically, secured a Premier League double over Chelsea in three of the last four seasons, also losing only two of their last eleven meetings, so anything could happen.

My Prediction:

Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool

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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in English Premier League


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Match Preview: Liverpool vs. Newcastle, Premier League, Sunday 4th November 2012, Kick off 4pm, Sky Sports 1

Liverpool will be hoping to bounce back from the midweek disappointment in the Capital One Cup as they host Newcastle at Anfield this afternoon.

The Reds were knocked out of the competition after suffering a 3-1 defeat against Swansea on Wednesday.

That poor result followed the Merseyside Derby last weekend, were they lost a 2 goal lead against Everton and a debatable offside decision in the dying seconds ruled them out a Luis Suarez winner.

Newcastle on the other hand, head into this game on the back of a draw with their rivals Sunderland and a win against West Brom, so will be feeling slightly more confident than their opponents.

If Liverpool can claim the win today, it will put them level on points with The Geordies in 10th place and if Alan Pardew’s side can get the three points it will move them into 6th.

Steven Gerrard will make his 600th appearance for the Reds, with goalkeeper Pepe Reina and defender Glen Johnson still remaining injury doubts for the fixture.

Newcastle will be pleased to know their top scorer Demba Ba is expected to be passed fit to play after nursing a calf problem; however, The Magpies will be without Cheick Tiote who is serving the second of his three match suspension.

In my opinion, it really is a massive game for both sides. I feel Newcastle have a decent team and have played some good football this season, I’m surprised they aren’t higher up in the table. But like Liverpool in some ways, they have a tendency to drop silly points and need to gain a momentum if they are to achieve their aspirations of getting a European spot.

One thing Newcastle have an advantage over Liverpool with, is having alternatives, with strikers Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi. Brendan Rodgers doesn’t have a player who can come on and change a game in that position, which makes things even tougher, I feel Luis Suarez will really need to find the form he showed in the Everton game, if the Reds are to have more chances at scoring goals today.

 My Prediction:

  Liverpool 3-3 Newcastle

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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in English Premier League


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