#5: The Ring of Fire with Jaytinho

Broomy

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The Ring of Fire with Jaytinho

Memories of Jordan Henderson lifting Ol' Big Ears high into the Madrid sky to the utter delight of Liverpool supporters will be cherished forever... European champions, has it sunk in yet?

The ThisIsAnfield Forums is one that can truly claim to have a global following, this week we travel over to Durban in South Africa as thrown into the 'Ring of Fire' this week is TIA Forum Member @Jaytinho


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Your TIA Username:
Jaytinho
Location : Durban, South Africa

You and Liverpool FC
Favourite Current LFC Player : Roberto Firmino
Favourite all-time LFC Player : Steven Gerrard
Favourite all time Reds match : The Miracle of Istanbul
Funniest moment following the Reds : Fowler sniffing the touchline after scoring against Everton

And the rest:
Favourite non-LFC Player :
Ronaldinho
Favourite other clubs (if any) : Orlando Pirates (local)
Other sports/hobbies/past times : Cricket, Boxing/ Hip-Hop, House, Jazz / Blogging / Weed smoke, science and philosophy / Family Braai's (BBQ in the UK?)
Non-footballing heroes : Nelson Mandela

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Just 9,826.65 kilometres separate Liverpool and Durban.... Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa.... The city where former Liverpool player Mark Gonzalez was born.... Jaytinho, tell us a little bit about where you live....

I am Durban born and raised. It’s a very multi cultured area of South Africa, well, the entire country is!! but KZN specifically (KZN=Kwazulu Natal: the province or state the city of Durban is located in). It’s a coastal area so we spend lots of time at the beach when we can, and our weather is usually warm. Sounds like paradise but na not really at times, the city is littered with drugs, poverty and crime. But, I love Durban regardless. Especially our passion for football and cricket, or sport in general.


Growing up in Durban, how did you come to support Liverpool?

I became a Liverpool fan through my dad. He and my uncle have been die hard Liverpool fans since I could remember. And no, I am not merely a fan because of my dad, because among the 3 siblings, 2 support Liverpool and the other Arsenal. Fortunately, there were no United fans in my household growing up! But, I do have a couple feuds with my City and United supporting cousins. I was just drawn to the spirit and culture of Liverpool, and that never say die attitude on the pitch. Its crazy, i've never been to Liverpool but feel really connected to the scousers. I can say this, Durbanite Liverpool fans are extremely passionate.


You mentioned your father and uncle were passionate Liverpool fans... How did people in your country follow Liverpool's fortunes at first? Before the arrival of the internet was it difficult to find out news or see the match?

Early south african TV stations made a couple deals with the PL so match days were broadcast quite abit on local TV. Although bunny aerial antennas had to be on deck! My dad also said they enjoyed listening to games over the radio a couple years before that. I guess it’s a thing we youngens spoiled by technology will never understand, the joy of a family gathering around the radio to listen to the games of their favourite team. My dad always tells me supporting Liverpool through the Shankly, Paisley, Fagan and early King Kenny era’s was the best ever, but he also believes that since Rafa Benitez, hes never had more confidence in a manager to bring back the glory days that he has in Klopp.


Who were your early heroes?

My early heroes as a child were Fowler, McManaman and Barnes. But especially Steve McManaman, what that man could do with a football was amazing. His feet were glued to the football when he took a sprint and he had a crazy eye for a pass. To me he definitely influenced future highly skilled English players like Joe Cole and Theo Walcott. Well, to me, from what I remember, no English player was that technically gifted in the early Premier League era. Giggs was in there, but he is Welsh. Barnes was close, Barnes had insane balance with the ball at his feet. Ive always tried to play in midfield for my school teams, and always tried to mimic Macca’s vision and skill but, that hardly worked out! I was a decent footballer growing up, but not that good. But yeah, I was heavily gutted when Macca went to Madrid. Let’s not forget the ‘95 McManaman final at Wembley though


What's it like to support Liverpool in Durban?

Durban is a multi-cultured melting pot, and usually a harmonious atmosphere. The city primarily consists of Black (Zulu and Xhosa), Coloured (that’s my race – a label we’ve inherited from Apartheid South Africa’s “Population Registration Act”), Indian and White/Caucasian people. If you look at the spectrum of fans regarding the Premier League, I would say Durban's allegiance is evenly split between United and Liverpool, with Arsenal definitely the 3rd most popular, followed by Chelsea and City. TV time zone issues are hardly a problem, South Africa kick off times are usually about 2 hours difference from the UK. Other races watch the PL of course but I would say in Durban, Indians and Coloureds make up the bulk of English football fans. Our local Premier Soccer League is also heavily supported.

There is currently a supporters club that I am looking to join, I've been in and out of Durban over the years but looking to settle again. The official Durban LFC supporters club is actually listed on the LFC website. I've been in contact with them on membership. They also assist with latest home kit purchase discounts, travel packages etc so I’m definitely working on my first ever Anfield trip. I swear, I will cry the day I get to Anfield, no lie! But yeah, besides pubs (or taverns/shebeens as we call them here in SA) I'm usually at home watching a match with family, and trust me, we've broken a couple chairs and sofas over the years.


Memories of Jordan Henderson lifting Ol' Big Ears high into the Madrid sky to the utter delight of Liverpool supporters will be cherished forever... Where did you watch the match and what are your abiding memories from the night?

I remember being completely locked in mentally from like Thursday or so. I was in communication with family, friends and work colleagues but, not fully there if you understand? To me, there was no other team winning the Champions League this year, no matter how the flow of the game went, Liverpool would be champions. That Barca miracle at Anfield had me fully convinced!

Saturday was a slow build up as I knew that rest was needed because I would hardly catch any sleep later. I watched with the family at home, surround sound speakers on full blast! Whiskey and beer was copped earlier in the day, but no lie it hardly worked for the nerves!! Especially during the 2nd half, it was such an intense 45 mins until Divock relieved us in the 87th minute. No lie, for like 30 mins of the 2nd half we were all dead quiet, just tension, hands on cheeks and elbows on knees. Especially when our passing became very sloppy and we couldn’t even string together a couple passes, particularly when Spurs pressed us. But deep down I just had this feeling that there's no way Spurs were taking this one away from us. Not a chance!


What were your 3 main talking points from the match in your opinion?

#1: Tactical Approach - It was way different from last year’s final. I think Klopp took the less aggressive and more patient approach this time around. Against Madrid last year our midfield seemed all over the place, which added pressure to our back four, and of course Karius (poor guy). So with that said, I cannot emphasize any further the importance of Fabinho, Gini and Henderson this season. To be honest, i've always been a Henderson critic, not gonna lie, but his technical game has improved so much. I've always seen no difference between him and Milner technically, but Hendo’s game intelligence has heavily improved and he seems to be leading the team a lot more. He most definitely has the full respect and confidence of all his team mates. But yeah, besides the personnel, Klopp definitely went with patience rather than an all guns blazing, heavy metal football, especially with us getting a goal that early. It was frustrating to watch, especially in the 2nd half, but it paid off.

#2: Marbella – I'm not sure warm weather training is working, I'm sorry Jurgen!! To me its more of a getaway from the public eye more than an opportunity to tweak the team physically and tactically. The boys seemed abit heavy legged in the 1st half, the pressing was not as intense as we expected and for some instances, the boys looked to be somewhat disconnected from each other. Especially with decision making on whether to pass or shoot in the final third, or whether to link up or play the long ball in the middle of the park. Maybe it has a lot to do with the 1st point, but to me the lack of intensity was evident. If the Marbella and Tenerife trips are to get away from the public and allow the boys to focus on each other, then that’s cool, but i'm not sure they are fully working when it comes to physical and perhaps mental preparation for big games.

#3: Big Divock! - Origi has proved that he wants to be a Liverpool hero. The boy may have had a couple lackluster performances during his Liverpool career, and really irritated me a lot when he used to hold onto the ball too long resulting in quite a few killed counter attacks. But he seems a lot more composed and fluid when carrying the ball, and especially when shooting! I know at the back of many fans minds they thought he was just another “promising squad player”.


Speaking of Divock Origi, he was linked with Wolves and Huddersfield Town in the summer but remained at Liverpool and finished the season where he scored or assisted a goal every 84 minutes this season - the best rate of any Liverpool player...

I definitely thought he was done at Liverpool when the loan to Wolfsburg was confirmed, it seemed like a routine loan to permanent move. But yeah he has definitely stepped up since then. He took the goal with such composure and control, seems very comfortable striking with both feet. That’s how you kill a game!

When I saw him score our 2nd goal in the final. I immediately thought “This boy needs more respect…he needs a bigger role”. Are there still weaknesses? Of course, even Mo, Sadio and Bobby have weaknesses. But I feel with Divock, his strengths outweigh his weaknesses right now and he has the right manager to take him to the next level. The boy has become a man and is ready to step up into potential Liverpool folklore. I mean, he did kill Barca in the semis and score in a Champions League final, not even Aguero can boast about something like that!

With it seemingly likely that Sturridge is leaving, Origi, to me deserves a new contract and a bigger role at the club. Roberto Firmino is my favorite Liverpool player right now and one of the most important in the team, but Divock deserves the similar amount of praise Bobby gets from now on. His key area of improvement should be goal scoring (7 goals in 20 this season), but 4 goals (including 3 crucial ones) in the last 5 games may be an indication of greater things to come. I believe we have our strike force set for the next 5-10 years or so with Bobby, Origi and Brewster (together with Mo and Sadio). But hey, you will never know in modern football.

Ring of Fire : Pre-Season Dates
June 13
2019/20 Premier League Fixtures announced
June 14 - July 7
Alisson & Roberto Firminio - Copa America
June 21 - July 19
Salah, Mane & Keita - Africa Cup of Nations
July 19
Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund in Indiana
July 21
Liverpool v Sevilla in Boston
July 24
Liverpool v Sporting Lisbon in New York
A week-long training camp in Europe​
August 3/4
Liverpool v Manchester City Community Shield
August 14
Liverpool v Chelsea - UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul


The 2018/19 season has just finished, what are your thoughts on the season as a whole?

The main thing I am most proud of is the maturity and comradery of the team. There seems to be such a close connection between manager, coach, player, staff, owners and ultimately the fans. This is the greatest season of the past 14 years and easily surpasses Rodgers’ league run of 13/14. Not to take anything away from Rodgers, but Klopp has put us back in elite conversations again. 97 points in the League, Champions League title, that’s levels! Because of Jurgen Klopp and his boys, whenever people mention the current best teams in Europe and England, Liverpool Football Club simply cannot be overlooked. Due to this past season’s run, European royalty is back baby!


Following the European Cup Final, Virgil Van Dijk maintained an incredible personal statistic.... No opposition player has completed a dribble past Virgil Van Dijk in any of his last 64 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool.... How have you assessed Van Dijk’s importance to Liverpool since he’s arrived and how does he rank against Liverpool’s center backs down through the years?

That's an insane stat, particularly given the fact that defenders encounter pacy/skillful forwards in almost every single game. Nothing against Carra, Agger or Skrtel, they are club legends, but Van Dijk is the best all round centre back we’ve had since Hyppia. What always impressed me about Sami was his composure, game intelligence, aerial dominance and slick eye for a pass. Van Dijk is the full package and then some! Its crazy how he just does not have it in him to switch off, something which he was surprisingly criticized for at Celtic. He is always fully focused for 90+ mins, and I think the only thing that sets him apart from Hyppia is the speed he has for his size. I've honestly haven’t seen a CB that big be so fast! It must be even a lot more crazier seeing it in person. For a CB to have that strength, size and speed must be scary for strikers. Just look at the final, I honestly only remembered that Kane was on the pitch after the final whistle! I'm not even lying, I was arguing with somebody that he was subbed. There will always be Hansen, Thompson, Hughes, Yeats, Carragher, Hyppia, Skrtel etc etched into Liverpool folklore, but I believe Virgil Van Dijk is definitely on his way to being the best CB in Liverpool Football Club history. Its insane that he has only been at the club for over a year!


Finally Jaytinho, Liverpool have reached the FA Cup Final... You have just been handed 3 tickets for the final, (one for yourself and two other tickets for two other forum members), who would you choose to go with you and why?!

Hmmmmm well I dont know many members but, I will choose randomly - @Quicksand and @Iluvatar, they seem like cool dudes when we interacted on posts!


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The 'Ring of Fire' - a new weekly feature on the This Is Anfield forums.

Many thanks to @Jaytinho for taking part this week and for taking the time to answer the questions so indepth, thanks mate!
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,493
Previous Ring of Fire Interviews
May 15, 2019
#1: The Ring of Fire with Sweeting
May 21, 2019
#2: The Ring of Fire with Mascot88
May 28, 2019
#3: The Ring of Fire with Iluvatar
June 04, 2019
#4: The Ring of Fire with Macolfc

Have to say I really enjoyed this interview with @Jaytinho, I got to admit, I had to google map Durban to see where exactly it is on a map lol Thanks again mate!!

I'm going to set this question to forum members this week....

Following the European Cup Final, Virgil Van Dijk maintained an incredible personal statistic.... No opposition player has completed a dribble past Virgil Van Dijk in any of his last 64 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool.... How have you assessed Van Dijk’s importance to Liverpool since he’s arrived and how does he rank against Liverpool’s center backs down through the years?
 

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Hope in your heart

Loyalty and patience, two undervalued concepts...
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Following the European Cup Final, Virgil Van Dijk maintained an incredible personal statistic.... No opposition player has completed a dribble past Virgil Van Dijk in any of his last 64 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool.... How have you assessed Van Dijk’s importance to Liverpool since he’s arrived and how does he rank against Liverpool’s center backs down through the years?
Van Dijk has been an absolute revelation for me, who hadn't see him play much before he joined us. I heard beforehand that he was strong, quick, could give a good pass, was a great leader etc. but what has left me absolutely stunned throughout his stay with us is his level of consistency and decision-making. It's absolutely incredible. Added to all the qualities he has, he's properly invaluable. Whomever decided to bring him in, even for that hefty world-record fee for a center-back, deserves a huge pat on the back.

How does he compare to the former center-backs we've had? Difficult to tell, the game has evolved since the days of Lawrenson/Hansen, and even more so since the days of Emlyn Hughes, Tommy Smith or Tom Yeats.

For me, who haven't had the occasion to see the historic greats on a regular basis (I'll leave that to the oldies in here), I'll only state the following: he's better than Hyypia, he's better than Carra, he's better than Agger, and he's better than Henchoz, whom I rate very highly too as a solid, no-nonsense CB. Those are the best center backs I saw play on a regular basis.

VVD tops them all, and that's a huge compliment coming from me: I'm an absolute fan of Hyypia and Agger, two elegant and accomplished players, and Carra was the soul of this club during his playing time, but there's really no way past VVD, literally! :-)

If he can stay fit, I'm convinced that he'll end up in the historic top three at this club. Hopefully he can pick up the Ballon d'Or this season, he'd certainly deserve it.
 

Broomy

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Messages
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Weird random fact, our former Chilean player Mark Gonzalez was born in Durban.
Yeah I only noticed that when I was googling Durban!! He's a player i'd nearly forgotten about playing for Liverpool, Chilean international Mark González was born in Durban, South Africa as his father Raúl was a professional footballer for local team Durban Bush Bucks at the time...
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
11,265
Previous Ring of Fire Interviews
May 15, 2019
#1: The Ring of Fire with Sweeting
May 21, 2019
#2: The Ring of Fire with Mascot88
May 28, 2019
#3: The Ring of Fire with Iluvatar
June 04, 2019
#4: The Ring of Fire with Macolfc


Following the European Cup Final, Virgil Van Dijk maintained an incredible personal statistic.... No opposition player has completed a dribble past Virgil Van Dijk in any of his last 64 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool.... How have you assessed Van Dijk’s importance to Liverpool since he’s arrived and how does he rank against Liverpool’s center backs down through the years?
I'm so incredibly happy that I was always one who rated Van Dijk. Saw him live in Scotland and he was like a one man team. Defensive wall nobody could get past but the most dangerous attacker and creative playmaker on the pitch at the same time. I knew he had the potential to be special then. It was just whether he could handle the step up in quality.

I'd say Virgil and Klopp are a perfect storm. Don't get me wrong VvD would be a great CB under any manager. But Klopp employs tactics that mean a CB has to display a very unique combination of skills and physical traits or end up looking embarrassed. VvD is that unique player who perfectly suits everything Klopp needs. It really gives VvD that chance to shine as much as he possibly can.

The only concerns ever regarding VvD in my eyes were whether he could cope with the stepping up in quality. He's taken to this level like a battleship to water and if he wins Ballon d'Or this year it'll be thoroughly deserved.

Short term he's been immense and right up there amongst our best because he can match up well to the best we've had in their best qualities because he's so well rounded and good at everything. If he keeps this form going and stays with us till he is past his peak I see him being remembered as one of, or possibly THE, best we've ever had.
 

William Clarke

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Nice piece.

Let’s not forget that LFC have fielded some wonderful South African players in the past, notably Gordon Hodgson and Berry Nieuwenhuys.
I was a little late for seeing Berry Nieuwenhuys play, but I was told that he was a bit of a speed merchant down the wing - the type of player we could easily use this present day.
 

Quicksand

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In answer to @Broomy question regarding VVD.
I suppose I am lucky enough to remember Smith, Hughes, Thommo to Hansen, Lawrenson, Gillespie, Hysen up to Sami, Agger and Carra et al. So quite the array of decent centre backs.
Lucky or unlucky enough to be around this long?
I dont recall seeing Ron Yeats play, but an ex pro that played against him told me he was a "fucking collossus".
Anyway, I was always a Tommy Smith fan, loved the aggression but also recognised his football nous, his ability to pick a pass. Thommo was underrated as well. Born leader and though he looked bird like he was as hard as nails. Hansen made CB an art form. He was exceptional, his forwardmovement was a joy to watch, and he rarely needed to lunge in with a tackle because he read where play was going. He was superb with Lawrenson, super partnership that had a telepathic response to each other.....
Big Virg? He will win a league at Liverpool, he will dominate the PL for as long as he decides to stay with us. This is the "fucking collossus" of contemporary times. As much as I live in a permanent sepia toned Hovis ad past, I am able to recognise that this boy could have played at any time in our history, with any CB.
VVD and Smith, VVD and Hansen, VVD and Agger???? All one common theme VVD.

To think that bollox Ruddock once played in that hallowed position........
 

William Clarke

REDSHIRT ~ the big dog's doodahs
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
1,810
In answer to @Broomy question regarding VVD.
I suppose I am lucky enough to remember Smith, Hughes, Thommo to Hansen, Lawrenson, Gillespie, Hysen up to Sami, Agger and Carra et al. So quite the array of decent centre backs.
Lucky or unlucky enough to be around this long?
I dont recall seeing Ron Yeats play, but an ex pro that played against him told me he was a "fucking collossus".
Anyway, I was always a Tommy Smith fan, loved the aggression but also recognised his football nous, his ability to pick a pass. Thommo was underrated as well. Born leader and though he looked bird like he was as hard as nails. Hansen made CB an art form. He was exceptional, his forwardmovement was a joy to watch, and he rarely needed to lunge in with a tackle because he read where play was going. He was superb with Lawrenson, super partnership that had a telepathic response to each other.....
Big Virg? He will win a league at Liverpool, he will dominate the PL for as long as he decides to stay with us. This is the "fucking collossus" of contemporary times. As much as I live in a permanent sepia toned Hovis ad past, I am able to recognise that this boy could have played at any time in our history, with any CB.
VVD and Smith, VVD and Hansen, VVD and Agger???? All one common theme VVD.

To think that bollox Ruddock once played in that hallowed position........
As you @Quicksand I have been round the block a few times. I have followed our club since the Second Division days of Furnell and Slater in goal, crab-like run of Ronnie 'Sarge' Moran, of Twentyman, White and Leishman in the centre back line, and A'Court, Melia, Hunt, Lewis up front, with the additions of Arrowsmith and Hickson. I remember Shanks arriving to the biggest toilet in Liverpool and started the rebuild of the team. A strong line down the centre, which included Tommy Lawrence in goal, Ron 'Rowdie' Yates at centre half, and Ian St John up front, and the rest, as they say, is history. My favourite player of all time is 'Sir' Roger Hunt, no frills, just goals, and plenty of them.