Showing posts from January, 2016

Liverpool Klopp Episode 26: I am the Walrus

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun
See how they fly
I'm crying .....

The crazy busy fixture schedule continues with this Saturday's FA Cup match against West Ham.

Image source:

Klopp, the happy Walrus (yes, am continuing to strain to link the Liverpool story line to movies and Beatle songs!), lets everyone know at the presser today, not unexpectedly, that there will be line up changes. The injury update gives a window into possible lineup options.

Based on these smoke signals, we can engage in the pick the starting XI part of preparing the script for the battle with West Ham.

Am thinking the lineup used against Exeter in the replay is going to be the basis of team selection with some added senior first team strength.

Mignolet in goal. Smith and Randall at full back. Can't imagine the newly returned from injury Flanagan will get the call afte…

"Pennies from Heaven," in other words, little change....

I posted this figure a couple of weeks ago on January 14.

Have the numbers changed much in these last 2 weeks?
Taking a look at the RCP poll of polls you find the following ... National numbers: Trump 36% Cruz 19% Carson 8% "Establishment" 37%
Iowa figures: Trump 33% Cruz 28% Carson 7% "Establishment" 32%
New Hampshire Trump 33% Cruz 13% Carson 3% "Establishment" 51%
The numbers seem pretty static. Small increases here and there (Is a +5 gain by Trump in Iowa significant?). Small decreases here and there.
As we head into the final days before the Iowa caucus, what will happen?
Barring any major developments, I suspect the Trump and Cruz support is pretty well baked in. Thus, the unknown is how effectively those voters will actually turnout and the impact of the weather. My guts tell me that the Cruz supports will have the stronger turnout. Look for a toss-up in Iowa with Trump getting 30% and Cruz 30%. Either will "win" but the margin will be v…

Liverpool Klopp Episode 25: The Two Towers

LFC against Stoke in a League Cup Leg 2 Semi-Final match on Tuesday at Anfield.

Both clubs should be highly motivated. Look for a knock down drag out match as both teams covet the chance at silverware in this competition as their prospects for a top 4 finish in the EPL are limited.

Keep an eye on Liverpool Echo for any updates to the current injury report. There is concern that Clyne might not be ready to go. Flanagan may get the call if necessary. Lovren is back to full training but can't image he would get a start under the circumstances. Otherwise, look for the same group that went on the field at Norwich to be on the XI sheet on Tuesday. If Lallana is fully fit, he will probably get the start over Ibe. If not, then Ibe starts with Lallana subbing in as happened at Norwich.

Tactically, it might be tempting to sit on the 1-0 aggregate lead. However, given LFC's defensive problems, that would be a risky approach. Thus, LFC should go on the attack? However, after such a emot…

Liverpool Klopp Episode 24: Forrest Gump

Early Saturday morning (Pacific Standard Time 4:45AM) match with Norwich.

Norwich is in a relegation fight and so will be highly motivated while Liverpool is a struggling mid-table club. Hopefully, the Reds can get out and run (Run Liverpool Run) and get a couple of goals on Norwich early and close them out by halftime. I suppose the other quote from Forrest Gump that would be appropriate to LFC's struggles would be "Liverpool is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get."

LFC got 3 on Exeter (4th level of the pyramid) but it didn't happen until late 2nd half. Norwich will be much tough competition. Of course, Liverpool will play its senior first team players against Norwich. However, they haven't exactly torn a hole in the nets.

Lallana is an injury question mark.

Thus, Klopp will probably call up the same lineup as he did against Man United with the exception of finding Lallana's replacement. Will Klopp give the opportunity to Jord…

Temple Destruction in AD 70 In Context

As someone sitting in the 21st Century, reading that Jesus forecasted (in ~ AD 33) the destruction of the Temple (see Olivet Discourse Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) probably doesn't conjure up the full impact of the event that took place in AD 70.

The picture in my head would be of a temple for any number of Asian Eastern Religions found in Chinatowns in any large city in the USA. These buildings can be quite well built but they probably don't match up to the size and grandeur of the Temple of Jerusalem. Additionally, for the Jews of the ancient world, beyond the sheer size and grandeur of the Temple of Jerusalem, it was a singular structure, truly at the center of their religious beliefs and practices and identity as a people.

Of course, if one extends the search for religious structures worldwide, one can find some pretty spectacular structures. A Google search for Buddhist temples yields this tourism web page that has wonderful photos of what they consider the 10 most spect…

Liverpool Klopp Episode 23: Let It Be

Klopp has said in his press conference he will go largely with the younger players in the FA CUP replay.

The question marks:

Goal Keeper
Will Bogdan get the call again?
Ward isn't eligible for the match. Will Mignolet get the call or get the night off? Mignolet would be a reasonable move to give the XI some first team strength.

Previously Enrique/Illori/Smith/Randall
From reading post-match comments, Enrique and Illori seemed to run out of gas. Thus, will Klopp try someone else? Maguire subbed in for Illori so maybe he gets the start this time? I'm figuring Enrique remains as Klopp is pretty short handed with defenders.

Previously Brannigan/Stewart/Kent/Teixeira
Chirivella was subbed in for Kent so maybe he starts this one. Klopp had Lallana and Lucas on the bench but didn't use them. I would look for one of the senior team midfielders to get in this game perhaps even as a starter. Perhaps Allen could be considered for this assignment.

Previously Sinc…

The Long Life of the Genesis Patriarchs?

Image from p. 12 of the 1995 edition of Spirit Filled Life Bible for Students.

Ever wonder about those people in Genesis who lived a long time?

Certainly, those who take the Scriptures seriously have to grapple with how we should view these texts.

One option would be to suppose that there was something different about the environment of those times or something different about the humans of those times or some combination of both that fostered the longer life spans. From this perspective, the great age of these individuals are taken at face value.

However, could one offer an explanation that takes the integrity of Scripture seriously and yet acknowledges that people rarely live beyond 100 years of age and certainly not many centuries beyond 100 years as the Patriarchs seem to?

One of the principles of Bible interpretation is to recognize the GENRE of the particular text being examined. Thus, is it possible that these long-life recitations fall into a genre that is non-literal?

Was ch…

Liverpool Klopp Episode 22: Dirty Harry

The last time Liverpool and Manchester United faced off at Anfield this happened ...

To see the above incident from the live coverage go here.

Hopefully, nothing like that will happen this Sunday. A contested match up with a lot of Passion (as Charlie is a Red would say) is what fans from both sides are looking for and desire most. No crazy stuff. Could be a very exciting match but then again it could be a low scoring affair as Kelly and Patterson at ESPNFC predict.

I think not. It is a long standing and fierce rivalry and Coach Klopp has the same kind of fiery personality as Gerrard. Here is a comment from the Liverpool boss about styles of play he has made in the past: “I don’t like winning with 80% [possession]. Sorry, that is not enough for me. That’s not my sport. Fighting football, not serenity football, that is what I like. What we call in German ‘English’: rainy day, heavy pitch, 5-5, everybody is dirty in the face.”

Could we imagine Klopp saying the lines of this classic Eas…

The GOP "Establishment" is Closing in on Panic City

What do you think?
There are 4 blocs of GOP voters right now. The Venn diagram shows where I think they may overlap. 
As you can see, from the polling data, the Establishment is always the largest group though barely so in the national data. But the problem for this bloc is that its support is divided among four candidates leaving an opening for Trump and Cruz. If the Establishment had gotten behind one candidate, the race would still be interesting but there would not be the atmosphere of panic that is starting to set in.
The key is the overlaps in the Venn diagram. Between now and actual voting there could be movement by voters between the respective circles that will determine the outcome of the nomination process. Will the Carson voters eventually move to an establishment candidate? How much movement back-and-forth is there among the voters who are supporting Trump or Cruz? If Cruz turns out to be the anybody but Trump candidate, will the Establishment voters move to him? If one …

Job 31:22

Was reading in Job 31 the other day ...

19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
or a poor person without covering,
20 whose loins have not blessed me,
and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21 if I have raised my hand against the orphan,
because I saw I had supporters at the gate;
22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
and let my arm be broken from its socket.

No big theological point to make here. Just stand amazed at the vivid language of the Scriptures!

The puzzle of Genesis 6:1-4

Like many people, I've started off the new year with a commitment to read the Scriptures. There are various reading plans available. I'm using the "chronological" reading plan.

A few days back, came across the cryptic passage Genesis 6:1-4.
When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, “Mversus y spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown. Over the years, the explanation I have heard most frequently was that the "sons of God" were angels and that they mated with the "daughters of men" resulting in the "Nephilim.&q…

Liverpool Klopp Episode 21: Raiders of the Lost Ark

LFC face league leading Arsenal on Wednesday at Anfield. Does Indiana Klopp and his crew have another great escape up their sleeve?

In LFC player news, Origi will be out a bit longer as he has had knee surgery. However, looks like Sakho, Milner, and Henderson maybe good to go for the match. The club has gone the loan route to pick up an extra center back in Steven Caulker. Danny Ward has returned from loan indicating that Bogdan may have fallen out of favor as the backup goal keeper.

The remainder of January is crowded (see image of fixture list for the remainder of the month below) and the challenge of picking a lineup with so many injuries will continue. Hopefully, more players will be ready to go. The only "mystery" aside from who is actually fully fit to play is whether Benteke will be in the starting line-up. However, injuries might give Benteke the start. If Klopp goes with a three-man front, he can select Lallana and Firmino plus one more. Ibe is recovering from in…

LA Galaxy Off-Season

In 2015, these were the players who had starter minutes and substitution minutes later in the season:
Gonzalez - transferred to Pachuca in Mexico Liga MX
Remain under contract:
Rogers - 1/12 contract extension

Vayrynen - out of contract not returning
Zardes - contract in negotiation
Juninho - UPDATE 12/24 Transferring to Club Tijuana
Remain under contract:

Gordon - out of contract but in negotiations UPDATE: has signed a new contract.
Remain under contract:
Dos Santos

Ricketts - Galaxy has signed Kennedy
Rowe - remains under contract

As you can see, most of the pieces of the 2015 team remain with the club.

Some of the prospects and lesser utilized backups (Brian Perk, Andrew Wolverton, Tommy Meyer, Kenney Walker, Edson Buddle and Charlie Rugg) are out of contract. These prospects and backups (Rafael Garcia 1/12 contract extension, Bradford Jamieson IV, Ignacio Maganto, Raul Mendiola, Dave Romney, Os…

LA Galaxy lastest moves

Jeff Larentowicz has been signed. Mike Gray's (LAG Confidential) comment:
I'm a fan of the move. Larentowicz is a quality defensive midfielder who should shine being surrounded by a talented cast. Big Red is dangerous on set pieces from distance and long-range shots, and can also double as a center back. On the other hand, the 32-year old fits the "Too old, not fast enough" stereotype that has plagued Galaxy signings.Sean Steffen (LAG Confidential) is not optimistic and provides a stat heavy analysis of LA Galaxy's problems in 2015 and how unlikely Larentowicz will be helpful.

LAG Confidential reports other possible signings here and here. The item of concern is that the potentials players are Nigel de Jong, 31, Joleon Lescott, 33, and Ashley Cole, 35. As you can see, they are all over 30. Putting together a team is a challenge within budget constraints. One does want a balance of experience (older players) and potential (younger players). However, it does feel …

Liverpool Klopp Episode 20: Ob-la-di, ob-la-da

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on brah
La la how the life goes on
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on brah
La la how the life goes on

Klopp means no disrespect to the FA Cup competition but the injury woes have forced the situation. He will be playing a lot of the youngsters on Friday against Exeter. Should be interesting!

TV coverage in the USA is through Fox Sports. As for Internet radio, will be checking TalkSport and LiverpoolFC to find out if they have an audio feed. Otherwise, will be looking for live blogging at UK Guardian, ESPNFC, or the FA Cup site.

Here is an item over at the Liverpool Echo where pundits Pearce and Kelly catalog the younger LFC players who may get the call tonight for the FA CUP. Klopp will probably have to pick at least 2 senior level players for leadership on the field. For that, I'd think he would go with Joe Allen and James Milner. The other Echo writers seem to …

Liverpool Klopp Episode 19 - the Fellowship of the Ring

After a poor outing down at West Ham, Liverpool's next match is leg one of the League Cup semi-final against Stoke and other matches in a full January calendar.

Klopp was clearly disappointed in the team's output in the 2-0 loss. The schedule marches on with a mix of League Cup, FA Cup and Premier League matches. The team remains short handed with many key players on the injured list.

Will the existing first team members find it within themselves to rally?

Who will take the lead? Who will show the dogged determination to find a way to keep the club competitive and to bring everyone onto the same page so they have a chance to win? Klopp can draw up a game plan. He can shout instructions and encouragement from the sideline. However, it is the guys on the field who are going to need to reach for that 100% effort.

Might see some of the younger players in the FA Cup match but for League Cup, it is going to be the guys getting paid the big bucks who will be out there. This group ha…

Liverpool Klopp Episode 18 - HELP!

Not good enough.

The club needs help.

With a 4:45 AM PST kick-off, I was not awake... alas, I admit I am NOT that big a fan of LFC. I did rouse from my slumber to look at the score on the computer and saw they were down 2-0 to West Ham late in the second half. LFC had possession but didn't capitalize.

What can you say?

Some teams cause match up problems and it looks like West Ham is kryptonite to Liverpool as West Ham clobbered them 3-0 earlier in the season at Anfield and could have easily matched that score line today.

Klopp and his bosses at Fenway Sports Group have to think hard about the season now about 1/2 over. Buying in the January transfer window is usually the time when title challengers try to find 1 or 2 more players to help them win the league. Relegation bound teams may pick up a player or two to stay up. But what about clubs not headed for relegation or title contenders?

As it stands LFC is heading toward a finish in the 7-8-9 slots. Splashing cash at best mig…