Behind Enemy Lines: Liverpool

Behind Enemy Lines: Liverpool

Ahead of what most United fans feel is the biggest game of the year I spoke to two well known Liverpool fans about their thoughts on the game, Liverpools season so far and their hopes for the rest of the year.

The first person I spoke to is a cult hero who is most famous for his role as “Big Keith” in The Office; Ewen MacIntosh.

As well as his role in The Office, Ewen has also appeared in a host of other much loved comedy programmes such as Lead Balloon, Life’s too short, Little Britain and Miranda. He has also starred in a number of films such as The Scouting Book for Boys and Big Fat Gypsy Gangster.

I also spoke to DJ and Radio 5Live presenter, DJ Spoony.

DJ Spoony is a grealy respected presenter who hosts the brilliant “DJ Spoony meets…” and has interviewed Jose Mourinho, David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson, as well as others, for the programme. He aslo worked alongside the organising committee for the 2012 Olympics games in football and basketball.

Away from sport DJ Spoony was part of the Sony Award winning “Dreem Team” on KISS FM, he hosted the weekend breakfast show on Radio 1 for 3 years, appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and won celebrity Mastermind!

I would just like to thank both Ewen and DJ Spoony for sparing some of their time to answer my questions.

Ewen MacIntosh

What are your hopes for the coming season?

I would love a top four finish. I think once again 4th is going to be tough to get.

It’s your first season with Brendan Rodgers in charge, do you think he was a good appointment? What are your thoughts on him and his style of play so far?

I like him and I think he is a very good coach. I hope he is given time but you just never know these days. I honestly wonder if Fergie would have lasted through that early tricky spell in the current era. I think his style of play is what the fans want to see played at Anfield so hopefully he will get us playing well and be around for a long time.

Was it the right time for Kenny Dalglish to leave?

Impossible to answer that. I don’t personally think so. I feel that he should have been allowed to stay as long as he wanted and left on his own terms. What that man has done for Liverpool, the club and the city, is impossible to put in to words. But the new owners have bought the right to run the club the way they see fit and that is the reality of top flight football now.

Early signs are that the board are willing to allow Rodgers to mould the team as he sees fit, as we have seen with numerous departures and the signing of Joe Allan. Did all the departures come too soon? You seemed to lose a lot of experience all in one go.

No way. None of the players that left would have played more than a handful of games all season. It was sad to see Dirk go as he is a great lad and a fighter for the cause but I don’t think he had much left to give unfortunately.

There was been a lot of noise regarding Andy Carroll being loaned out or sold this summer. After spending so much money on him I was surprised that the board seemed willing to move him on readily, yet they did… I think a lot of the criticism has been far too over the top. What are your thoughts on Carroll? Can he ever possibly live up to the expectations that a fee of £35m brings?

I rate him and would have loved him to stay and play regularly. Since the away game at Newcastle last season he has been arguably our best player. He has been slightly hampered by his price tag which is a pity. And I honestly think he has a lot to do to convince the manager that he can adapt to his style of play. I thought he would go but would have loved him to stay.

Can you push for a Champions League place this year? The competition for a top 4 place is more fierce than it has ever been..

I think it may be just out of reach.

You beat Everton twice last year but you they finished above you in the league. Did beating them twice make up for finishing below them?

I think it was even stevens. If them finishing above us actually meant something then it would have been worse but we were both so low down the league that it was of little consequence. So probably beating them twice gave us the edge!

Onto the game – who do you think will win?

These ones are tough to call. I will go for 2-2.

For me, United vs Liverpool will always be the biggest game in England. Do you feel the same way or is the merseyside derby bigger in your eyes?

This is the biggest game definitely. I can’t see that changing.

Whats your favourite United vs Liverpool game and why?

In recent times I would say the 4-1 at Old Trafford three years ago. How Dossena scored that goal I will never know!

Where do you think you will finish this season?

I will say 5th.

Where do you think United will finish this season?

Depressingly they will definitely be in the top two. I think it will be a 2 horse race again. I don’t really want to think about it!

DJ Spoony

What are your hopes for the coming season?

That we challenge for the title. Tall order based on last season and our start to this campaign. I remain positive as I think the league will be quite open this year, the performances of Southampton, West Brom and Everton on the opening day showed this.

Its’ your first season with Brendan Rodgers in charge? Do you think he was a good appointment? Can he get the team playing the same style of football as Swansea or will he have to adapt his preferred style to match the “Liverpool way”?

I think he is a very bright and talented manager. He is a good appointment as British, young British managers need to be given a chance. If you were being hyper critical you could say that maybe he should’ve had another season in the top flight before being given the Liverpool job but then we may have lost him to somebody else. Overall I’m happy. As for the ‘Swansea’ style of football, quite ironically, that’s the ‘Liverpool way’… Control possession and thus control the game. We’ve gone away from that in recent years but maybe the appointment of Brendan Rodgers will see us return to out traditional way.

Was it the right time for Kenny Dalglish to leave?

Honestly, Kenny Dalglish is a hero of mine. The reason I started supporting Liverpool. We had a very disappointing campaign last season and I would’ve like to have seen him stay and address this. There were signs last year that we could do big things, 1 trophy, another final but its all about the league in the UK.

Early signs are that the board are willing to allow Rodgers to mould the team as he sees fit, as we have seen with numerous departures and the signing of Joe Allen.

It’s of paramount importance that when a new manager is appointed he is supported by the board. In order for Brendan to be effective, we had to make some acquisitions. Joe Allen looks like a fantastic player and I hope he hits the floor running. Losing players like Bellamy, Kuyt and Maxi means we will have to find goals from elsewhere. Borini and Downing will have very important roles this year.

Have all the departures come too soon? You seem to have lost a lot of experience all in one go.

Bellamy left for personal reasons, so there was no avoiding that and I would’ve like to have seen Maxi stay as he would’ve excelled under Rodgers. Kuyt has been a great servant to LFC but we can now use this time to build for the future with players like Sterling, Kelly, Shelvey and Borini playing alongside Gerrard, Agger, Skrtl and Johnson.

Will Joe Allen be a success? He has undoubtedly got talent but has the move to a bigger club come too soon for him?

Brendan Rodgers went for Allen straight away. He felt he was and is ready. He had a great season last time around so only time will say. However, with all things being equal and after watching him through the Olympics, he is more than capable of representing Liverpool Football Club in the Premier League.

Fabio Borini is another with huge potential and has, like Joe Allen, worked with Rodgers before. Do you see him making an impact?

If he gets used to playing in BR’s favoured 4-3-3 formation then yes. He is very comfortable and confident on the ball, good from set pieces and a good finisher too. He has already scored in the Europa League so that will have helped his confidence no end.

What of Andy Carroll?

I think it was a lot of money but Andy Carroll didn’t set his transfer fee. He had a very slow start and was lacking in confidence but his performance in the last third of the season demonstrated that he could become a force. His performance FA Cup final was sensational and he took this onto the European Championships scoring that great header versus Sweden. If we win a few more trophies and he gets 25 goals per season over the next couple terms, his fee wont be mentioned.

Can you push for a Champions League place this year? The competition for a top 4 place is more fierce than it has ever been

I hope so. I don’t see any reason why not. As I said before I think its going to be wide open this year, competition fierce but we can make a push.

You beat Everton twice last year but you they finished above you in the league. Did beating them twice make up for finishing below them?

Bitter sweet really. We had cup distractions come the end of the season and were generally quite poor at home….other than against them haha…It was nice being there to see Stevie G get that hat-trick.

Onto the game – who do you think will win?

Don’t think Man United will. haha

United or Everton… is United the bigger game?

It’s the biggest game for different reasons. The two biggest clubs in the history of the British game and the proximity geographically the two main ones. Merseyside derby will always be huge games but the games against Man U…..mouth watering.

Your favourite game against us?

I loved winning 4-1 at Old Trafford in ’09. We went behind in the game too. Torres terrorised Vidic, Gerrard kissed the camera and Fabio scored a beauty of a free kick…oh yeah, what a lob by Dossena. Poetry really.

Where do you think you will finish this season?

3rd or 4th…

Where do you think United will finish this season?

Top 3 :)…

 

Thanks to both for their time!

Loading...

About The Author

RetroUnited.com is the number one website for Manchester United news, statistics and memorabilia. Run by former players of the club, regular exclusive opinion is featured on the website.

Related posts

`