LFC Fans Corner

A collection of all my articles for LFC Fans Corner since it moved to its current website. Older articles are archived on jamesmartinblogs.blogspot.com.

Liverpool blow talk of an asterisk aside as Palace fall to the champions elect

By close of play today, Liverpool could be Premier League champions. My first article for this site, weighing up the rights and wrongs of sacking Kenny Dalglish after finishing eighth, could hardly feel more distant. Since then, 445 hours have been spent watching this team, every one of them hoping for the moment that is now tantalisingly close. At times it has been within reach only to be cruelly snatched away. At other times it has felt like a faraway pipe dream. Now, it is a matter of when...

Liverpool Lockdown: How the Delaware supporter club is coping during the coronavirus

Rarely has family felt more important. This is true in a literal, practical sense – many of us are confined to a household alongside family members, making good relations a necessity in order to survive the coming weeks and months. There is also a wider sense of family, however, and it is one that highlights the important role football can play in society even when there is no sport. This is illustrated particularly clearly in Delaware, USA. One of more than 50 Official Liverpool Supporter Club

Liverpool in the USA: The supporter groups creating slices of Anfield across America

You have to journey as far as Tennessee to find the secret to Liverpool’s success this season. Late goals against Wolves, Monterrey, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester have all proved decisive during the course of a remarkable campaign – and it turns out the Nashville Supporters Club is to thank. Jonathan Slape, president of the group, revealed a long-standing tradition: when the team needs to score late in the game, all of the assembled fans switch to drinkin

Front threes, combined XIs and Manchester United’s quest for relevance

As a younger sibling, I can understand the plight of Manchester United. Though they were founded chronologically prior to Liverpool, they share many traits with a second child. They lived for a long time in the shadows, watching on with begrudging respect tinged with envy as Liverpool conquered all before them. Even when the Red Devils’ time came, each accomplishment was tinged with the knowledge that it had all been done before – the benchmark had been set, and they were simply measuring up to

Spurs 0-1 Liverpool: Player Ratings

Liverpool had to work for it, but a 1-0 triumph against Spurs in the capital was enough to move them an astounding 16 points clear of second-placed Leicester City. It was a determined performance from front to back, and Klopp’s men weathered some second-half scares to emerge victorious. Everybody came out of the game with credit, but there were some standout performers. Here are the player ratings: You know you’re having a good game for Liverpool when Gary Neville singles you out for praise. Th

Liverpool Football Club, champions of the world

They did it the hard way, but after 120 minutes of hard work Liverpool were crowned world champions in Doha. A stubborn Flamengo side and some questionable officiating were ultimately not enough to thwart one of the greatest club sides ever assembled, who further secured their legacy by adding another trophy to an ever-expanding collection. The Premier League leaders were made to fight for it, but they have shown time and time again that they are more than willing to do so. The official status

Liverpool 5-5 Arsenal (5-4 on penalties)

A youthful-looking Liverpool team produced a hugely entertaining and faintly ridiculous tie against a typically chaotic Arsenal, eventually emerging victorious on penalties after 18-year-old Curtis Jones kept his nerve from the spot. Both defences looked out of their depth in a remarkably open encounter that at times looked set to threaten Arsenal’s own record for the number of goals in a League Cup game. Klopp’s side could at least plead their extreme youth in mitigation, but their opponents w

Liverpool and Martin Atkinson: What the stats say

Martin Atkinson caused great controversy in Sunday’s game between Liverpool and Manchester United at Old Trafford, along with a little help from VAR. The referee often seems to find himself at the centre of controversy when it comes to Liverpool – and now there are stats to show it. Atkinson failed to award a free kick for a foul on Divock Origi in the build-up to Manchester United’s goal. Replays suggested that the Belgian had been kicked, but VAR officials refused to overrule the on-field dec

Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle: Reds win again at Anfield

Liverpool showed impressive resilience to come from behind and beat Newcastle, stretching their unbeaten run at Anfield to a remarkable 43 games. Klopp opted to start without Roberto Firmino, who had played in Brazil’s defeat to Peru on Wednesday. The German likely also had Tuesday’s trip to Napoli in mind, but with Liverpool and Manchester City having already broken clear of the rest of the pack it is apparent that every point will count in the league. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, making his seco

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham: Here We Go Again

Strap yourselves in. Liverpool are back, and in some style; West Ham United were put to the sword on the opening day at Anfield. Klopp’s men picked up where they left off during an impressive pre-season, dismantling the Hammers just as they had done to Napoli a week previously. It was an assured performance from front to back, and gave even the most cautious fan reason for optimism. There is only one place to start, and that is with Naby Keita. The Guinean midfielder was outstanding on his comp

We Are Liverpool

There is nobody who handles losing quite as well as Liverpool. This is a taunt thrown our way by rival fans, who would undoubtedly have traded their seasons in a heartbeat to take our place in the Champions League final, but there is also a ring of truth about it. Defeat in Kyiv was cruel, and it was painful, but supporters left the stadium singing. You’ll Never Walk Alone proved as cathartic as ever, while Allez Allez Allez took on a defiant note: mark our words, we’re never going to stop. Soon

Liverpool 4-0 Brighton: Reds Secure Top Four Finish

Liverpool ran out comfortable victors against Brighton on a glorious day at Anfield. They went into the match knowing that a draw would be enough to confirm a spot in the Champions League for next season, but from the outset it was apparent that they were not inclined to sit back and play for the point. The players knew that they had the quality to blow Brighton away, and duly did so – Salah, Lovren, Solanke and Robertson all got on the scoresheet in a 4-0 victory, which in truth was somewhat fl

Roma 4-2 Liverpool: Kyiv Awaits

Rarely has a defeat been greeted with such joy. Liverpool fans rose as one at the final whistle, their chants becoming a battle cry: bring on Real Madrid. For this is what lies ahead for this remarkable side that Klopp has assembled – a Champions League final against the team looking to win it for the third time in a row. The whispers, if not yet shouts, are becoming more insistent: “we could do this, you know”. Such things dreams are made of, and yet the Liverpool players are one win away from

Liverpool 5-2 Roma: Post-Match Thoughts

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it looks to have fallen in the space of ninety minutes. Eusebio Di Francesco had marshalled his men through to this point, conquering the likes of Barcelona along the way, but venturing to the fields of Anfield Road was a stretch too far for the Italians. One of the greatest performances ever witnessed in a European semi-final saw Roma put to the sword; a rampant Liverpool smashed five past them, and in truth could have had many more. A late rally from the vanquis

Resilient Reds March on in Europe

The ever-more familiar chorus reverberated from the away end at The Etihad after the final whistle: Allez, Allez, Allez. It was a victory cry – Liverpool had pulled off a remarkable feat, not only winning the tie against Manchester City but triumphing in both legs. The song sings of historic successes, from Paris down to Turkey; progression to the semi-final of this year’s competition allows fans to begin to believe in earnest that Kyiv can be added to that list. It was the kind of game that la

Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City: Reds Deliver Under the Lights

There are nights when everything just comes together for a football team. Each of the players knows their role and executes it perfectly, spurred on by a crowd in full voice, against an opposition cowed by the perfect storm of the hostile atmosphere and the class of what they have found themselves up against. This was one of those nights. Liverpool is synonymous with European nights, and City felt the full force of that pedigree as they were simply blown away by one of the all-time great perform

Looking Back at Palace, Looking Forward to City

Jurgen Klopp described the victory over Crystal Palace as a “dirty win”. It was certainly a gritty performance – a lacklustre first-half display required a big response in the second half, and the players duly came out with enough determination and persistence to finally grab a winner in the closing stages. There have been more convincing wins over the course of the season, but in many ways this one was the biggest indicator of how far the team has come under Klopp’s tenure: Liverpool have alway

Poppies, Ribbons and Political Neutrality in Football

In the context of legal philosophy, Ronald Dworkin argued that characterising a question as either related or unrelated to morality necessarily involves taking a moral position. Setting the boundaries of the question cannot be entirely separated from providing some sort of answer to that question. Perhaps surprisingly, this jurisprudential debate has recently become of relevance to The Football Association, albeit in a slightly modified form, in relation to Pep Guardiola’s ribbon in support of C

Southampton 0-2 Liverpool: Post-Match Analysis

Despite being some way off their scintillating best, Liverpool were able to stroll past Southampton without any significant problems. Nobody epitomised the cool control more than Virgil Van Dijk, who put in a supremely composed performance against his former club to help secure the clean sheet. At the other end, Firmino and Salah combined twice in the first half to get the goals. More should probably have been added, but ultimately the lead never looked in any real danger. Southampton have beco

Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City: Post-Match Analysis

Few games sum up what it is like to support Liverpool better than the classic that played out when the runaway league leaders, Manchester City, came to Anfield. Fans felt joy, frustration, elation and then panic as the game unfolded – ultimately they came away very happy indeed, as Klopp’s men held on for a win that deprives City of their unbeaten record in the league and fires Liverpool into third place. Familiar defensive frailties reared their heads, but it was the attackers’ day. The front t
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