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#8: The Ring of Fire with roydom

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
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The Ring of Fire with roydom

It's been a week that has saw Ben Woodburn, Rhian Brewster and goalkeeper Kamil Grabara nominated on the 100-strong shortlist for the 2019 European Golden Boy award, Alisson and Roberto Firmino both played in Brazil’s Copa opener while the new Premier League fixtures for next season have been announced....

To discuss all things happening this week, we travel over to Ireland as thrown into the 'Ring of Fire' this week is TIA Forum Member @roydom



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Your TIA Username:
roydom
Location: Lucan, Dublin, Ireland.

You and Liverpool FC
Favourite Current LFC Player :
Virgil. But the collective of this squad is amazing.
Favourite all-time LFC Player : John Barnes.
Favourite all time Reds match : 2005 CL Final v AC
Funniest moment following the Reds : Not many funny moments supporting this club! Though the Djimi Traore chant always made me laugh.

And the rest:
Favourite non-LFC Player : Maradona
Favourite other clubs (if any) : UCD, League of Ireland club.
Other sports/hobbies/past times : Love tennis, great sport. Coaching the beautiful game to young kids and I read as much as I can. And I'm always listening to 80's music!
Non-footballing heroes : I'll have to be corny. My wife is an amazing person who despite health issues never fails to inspire me when her attitude.


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Firstly roydom, it's got to be asked.... Your brother played against Liverpool, didn't he?

That's right. UCD v Liverpool at Lansdowne Road, 1995. It was UCD's Centenary season. We got great seats behind the Liverpool dugout and managed to get a fair few photos. Wasn't a great Liverpool team at the time, I think we actually fell behind before coming back to win.

As you said my brother was playing for UCD and his small son was a mascot but screw that. My team is Liverpool and I was loud and proud in my support for my team Liverpool! No time for family loyalties when it comes to football.


You were fortunate to be on the Kop the last time we were presented with the league trophy, tell us more....

I was 11 at the time and was very fortunate to have parents who brought me to Anfield on a regular basis (even more so considering my dad is a huge Leeds fan. Thankfully they were rubbish at the time so I was allowed follow my heart and support who I wanted).

It was a one night stay (buggered if can remember where we stayed though). My dad, myself and my cousin got the bus to Anfield and walked the rest of the way. It was still fairly bright when we got there and I remember the flag was flying to show that this was the home of the league champions. The best team in the country. We were playing Derby County. Derby had England's no.1 Peter Shilton in goal and a smattering of other very good players in their ranks. We queued up to get into the Kop and try get as close to the action as possible. It wasn't our first time to be fortunate enough to be on the Kop but it was our first since Hillsborough.

So naturally the fencing had been removed but there was now a moat type feature between the Kop and the goal with a drop of maybe 5ft or so. I was able to judge the drop as we got in early and because my dad had an 11 year old and a 12 year old with him, he was practically ushered to the front (the same happened on the other occasion we were on the Kop and it always stuck with me, that these men, loyal die hard supporters would allow a stranger to go ahead of them because he had two kids with him. Amazing amazing people). Myself and my cousin were able to sit on the edge of the Kop with our legs dangling over the moat, gripping on to the bar, with my dad a few yards behind.

The day turned into night and the floodlights lit up the ground. The steam was rising from the players heads and their breath following them. First half is hazy, mostly because it was fairly nondescript (see boring)! But we sang. "Are you watching Arsenal" to "Are you watching Manchester" to "Champions" (not much imagination I agree but we were celebrating getting our trophy back that Arsenal had borrowed for a year.

Second half and the Kop got it's customary wave from Brucie. Still no action really, but plenty of singing. After 70ish minutes the King had seen enough and brought himself into the fray to huge deafening approval of the Kop, the entire stadium actually. 10 minutes later and the sub paid off, with Kenny setting up Gary Gillespie for the only goal. Anfield erupted and the Kop came alive, heaving like a wild animal suddenly awoken. The famous stand surged. Surged right into me and I fell.

I dropped into the moat banging my knee hard on the concrete. "Are you alright kid?" Many concerned faces asking if I was ok but I was looking for my dad. Next thing he was there. Like Moses parting the Red Sea, the Kop had managed to make a pathway for my dad to come down. Himself and my cousin hopped over the fencing down to me. The St. John's Ambulance guys were with me at that stage and I was placed on a stretcher and we headed towards the medical room. That's when it dawned on me that I was to be brought into the stadium itself. Result I thought! But then it got better. As I was being stretchered away I got a huge cheer off the Kop!! Take me now Lord, nothing will top this. However, as I was being stretchered away I was able to dangle my hand over the side of the stretcher and run my hand along the pitch! Christ on a bike. I got a cheer off the Kop, was touching the hallowed playing surface and I was being brought into the bowels of Anfield itself.

Fortunately my knee was just swollen so I was patched up. However my dad managed to blag us a lift by ambulance to the train station so we wouldn't miss our train to Holyhead for our boat home.

It's one of my fondest memories as a child and one of my proudest. However, if someone had said that nearly 3 decades on and we wouldn't have won another title, they'd have been thought mad. But here we are.


Describe in detail your first memories of supporting Liverpool?

Growing up in Dublin you either supported Liverpool or Utd, with a handful of Leeds (usually the dads) and Arsenal. I was drawn to Liverpool when I saw them play and in particular Jan Molby. Time seemed to stand still when he had the ball. My earliest memories are the tail end of the 85-86 season (mostly the FA Cup final) and Hansen lifting the trophy. It was like we were playing a totally different sport than the majority of other teams. Silky and smooth. So Jan Molby was my guy, touch, vision and passing. Nothing like him in England, except maybe Ronnie Whelan!

I got to attend my first match the following season, League Cup game at Anfield against Coventry and my man Jan got a hat-trick of penos. Unfortunately that season ended in double disappointment with finishing 2nd in the league and losing the league cup final to Arsenal but Kenny took note.

The following season John Barnes had arrived and that was it. Jan was consigned to the sidelines in my mind and Barnes was in. He could do exactly what Molby could do and he also had that turn of pace and eye for goal. What a player, simple amazing. And his work ethic for the team was simple phenomenal. We all know how that season played out with many including myself feel it our most entertaining team but with a steely interior. Whelan, McMahon, Barnes, Aldo, Houghton et al. These were guys who could play beautiful football but had no issue with rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty when needed.

So every time I was playing football I was Barnes. First touch, check. Instant control, check. Vision for the pass, check. Always on the move, check. Score goals, check. What kid growing up wouldn't try copy everything he did. He encapsulated this new attacking and frightening Liverpool team.


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

As I said earlier, it was either Liverpool or Utd growing up in Dublin. Most of my friends were Utd (generational supporters). Liverpool had Beglin, Lawernson and Whelan playing for them at the time, 3 Irish internationals so this added to the appeal. But it was how we played. We didn't have a big man up front (Utd had Stapleton, Everton had just lost Andy Gray and Alan Smith was coming into the Arsenal team around that time) so we played football on the ground. Pass, move, pass, move. Constant movement and nobody standing still. Simple, effective and bloody great to watch and it left a lasting impression on so many children of that era.


With the usual array of players looking to shine following injury and starlets wanting to force their way into the first team picture, it’s set to be a busy pre-season at Melwood, who are you most looking forward to seeing this pre-season and why?

Like a lot on here and a lot of Liverpool fans in general, I'm curious and excited to see how Brewster fares. He's come back from a bad injury but seems to have put it behind him. Confidence doesn't appear to be in short supply which is great. But a lot seems to be riding on him, i.e. do we sign someone to replace Sturridge or can Brewster be the one and actually offer more than Sturridge has been able to the past while. It would be amazing if he shows he's another Fowler or Owen and make the breakthrough at a young age. Looking around Europe and there's Mbappe, Sancho, Dembele all doing or have done great things already so age shouldn't be a barrier. It's up to the kid now to prove that we don't need to buy someone in the same position. Fingers crossed he's up to the task.


Which player has the biggest point to prove to Jurgen Klopp in pre-season?

Every player should be out to prove he should be starting so I believe that applies to everyone, it doesn't matter what you did last season, do it again. Having said that! The Ox I feel will have a point to prove. He was becoming a mainstay and a vital component in the team when he got injured. Last season I felt we were crying out for him and his ability to carry the ball from midfield into areas the opposition don't like and make them commit. Keita was showing that before he got injured but he his form was erratic over the course of the season imo, flashes of brilliance but not enough. But I think next season he'll be ready, the difficulties of moving team, moving country, new language, settling in, family issues should never be dismissed. Footballers are people too and experience the same problems when basically emigrating.

But back to the Ox! He's the perfect Klopp midfielder imo. Great technique, great athleticism and a team player. If he can show the same form then we are in business. We need more goals from our midfield or at least more of a goal threat and the Ox has that. He's also another leader on the pitch despite his age and few appearances in the red shirt.

So he'll want to prove to the boss that he's ready and is the same player he was before the injury, and that he should be starting every game (not literally speaking as our midfield is rotated). Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Ox and Keita all fit and firing on all cylinders? Yes please!


What two summer objectives Liverpool must pursue over the course of the Summer to rectify any present failures?

Hard to easily identify failures after the season we've just had!

Cover / competition for the full backs is an area we need someone. We rely on TAA and Robertson so much that if they were unavailable for any significant amount of time we could really suffer. Again someone who can play similar to the two lads who can play when needed / when the lads need a break, without leading to too big a drop in quality or the tactics needing big alterations. We can all see what happens when Gomez plays right full. He'll continue to grow into England's best CB and one of the best in the world but at full back he looks like a CB playing out of position.

Finally. I'd like to see the boss be a little braver in certain away games. City, Everton, Utd away we were too passive for too long of the match. I'm not endorsing going full gung ho from the kick off but a little bit more assertive, like we did away to Bayern and Barca (we were great apart from the score!)

The league is there to be won but we need to be a little more aggressive to take the points. I think the Ox will have a big impact for us.


The Echo's Chris Beesley has today confirmed Liverpool will not be making a move for Southampton's goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, however, Jurgen Klopp could be in the market for an understudy goalkeeper for Alisson if Simon Mignolet departs Anfield this summer... Who would you sign?

2 players spring to mind. Neil Etheridge off Cardiff is one. He has shown that he is a very good EPL starting keeper and would be a great signing to cover Alisson. He could step in for cup games, CL dead rubber matches or if Alisson was every injured / suspended and we wouldn't have the fear of God enter us every time the ball came near our box. May cost a few quid but it would be a great acquisition.

The other one is more of a romantic idea. Buffon has left PSG and hasn't said anything about retiring. Yes he's 41 and getting on, but as good as Alisson is there can be no doubt that just training with this legend would have anything but a huge positive effect. A great professional and one of the all time great goalkeepers. I'd love to see him with the Liver Bird play for us. Imagine the younger keepers too getting to train with him. Priceless.


Quick Fire Question Round - End of Season Awards
Best Player of the Season? Mane.
Best Young Player of the Season? TAA naturally.
Best Goal of the Season? Sturridge away at Chelsea. Get in.
Best individual Player performance of the Season? (What match) Fabinho v Barca, 2nd leg.
Best Moment of the Season? hmmm...Henderson lifting Big Ears. That's how you lift a trophy.
Most disappointing LFC player of the season? Was expecting more from Keita. Next season.
Best TIA Forum Member of the season: @Nikola - Love reading his posts, always informative.
Funniest TIA Forum Member: @Scott Jones
Most knowledgeable poster : @Nikola Doesn't post nonsense, always interesting.
Best Newbie of the Season : Oh Christ. I don't know!
Most missed poster no longer on the forums : Even though I had them blocked, Makati Red
TIA Mod of the year : @Mascot88 - Gets involved with threads and sometimes forgets he's a Mod which is a positve.
"Do you EVER leave this place?" TIA addict award : hahaha. I'm 40 and I have passwords for bleeding everything. So I stay logged in so I don't have to remember / embarrass myself forgetting the password for here!

Given the fact that the squad looks solid, would you be ok with Liverpool not signing any marquee players this summer?

Yes. For me it's always about signing the right player irrespective of price or profile. Look at our CL starting XI, Robertson £8m, Milner Free, Matip Free, TAA Academy player, Gini bought from relegated Newcastle. Even the front 3 were bought from non "elite" teams, but they were the right fit for the club. That I think is the beauty of Klopp. He doesn't go for the big name for the sake of it, he goes for who he believes is right. The manager has got very little (if anything) wrong in the transfer market to date so he has earned the trust of the fans to keep doing what he's doing. The squad can be improved which should have a positive effect on the team and competition for places would be a good thing.

I'd love us to go for Fraser, Rose, Sessegnon and Mitrovic. Mitrovic can offer something very different to what we already have and fans seem to love him and how he works for the team.

Having said that, if Mbappe was to become available I hope we'd be involved in the conversation!


Finally roydom, you mentioned your favourite moment of the season was Henderson lifting Ol' Big Ears.... Jordan Henderson, do fans finally appreciate him?

For a long time I felt he wasn't good enough to be captain because I felt he wasn't a definite starter and that he would be phased out by the new arrivals and Gini and the Ox. We all knew that playing deep wasn't his game and he looked uncomfortable playing there and it seemed that it was only a matter of time before he was benched more that playing.

But then came the Southampton game. He played further forward (where he played most under Rodgers) and bam. It was like a jolt to us all, a reminder that he is at his best further up the pitch. Not because of his skill and technique or his cunning and guile, no. Because of his energy. His desire. His commitment. His sheer will. The non tangibles but good old fashioned qualities. He unsettles people. He gets the ball in dangerous areas and then he moves it on fast and is usually always picks the right option.

What I learnt during the celebrations after the CL final was how much the rest of the squad love him. That for a captain is a brilliant trait. To have that respect of your team-mates speaks volumes for Henderson's attitude and humanity in general. He deserves huge credit for forcing his way back into that position but also to make it count.

Like the other midfielders not named Fabinho, I think he'll be rotated with the others next season. But imagine this, starting the season with Henderson in the more advanced position is a wonderful thought.


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

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


Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
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Joined
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Messages
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Previous Ring of Fire Interviews
May 15, 2019 : #1: Sweeting
May 21, 2019 : #2: Mascot88
May 28, 2019 : #3: Iluvatar
June 03, 2019 : #4: Macolfc
June 04, 2019 : #5: Jaytinho
June 10, 2019 : #6: Zoran
June 13, 2019 : #7: Broomy

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Hard to believe we're on to interview #8 already... Another brilliant read from @roydom there, thanks again mate!

This week's question for all forum members is a fun quick fire end of season award nomination....

Quick Fire Question Round - End of Season Awards
Best LFC Player of the Season?
Best Young Player of the Season?
Best Goal of the Season?
Best individual Player performance of the Season?
Best Moment of the Season?
Most disappointing LFC player of the season?
Best TIA Forum Member of the season:
Funniest TIA Forum Member:
Most knowledgeable poster :
Best Newbie of the Season :
Most missed poster no longer on the forums :
"Do you EVER leave this place?" TIA addict award :
 

Zinedine Biscan

Spreading the word of St Igor
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Jul 31, 2009
Messages
23,106
Best LFC Player of the Season? Virgil Van Dijk
Best Young Player of the Season? Trent Alexander-Arnold
Best Goal of the Season? Tie between Sturridge v Chelsea and Origi's decider against Barca, for the cheeky corner by Trent and what it represented in terms of winning no6
Best individual Player performance of the Season? Maybe recency bias here, but in a game where so many underperformed, Alisson pulled off heroics to seal the CL final
Best Moment of the Season? Winning no6!
Most disappointing LFC player of the season? Probably Keita. Started to come into his own prior to his most recent injury, but overall disappointing given the 12-month build up of expectation prior to his arrival.
Best TIA Forum Member of the season: Unfair to single one person out imo
Funniest TIA Forum Member: Either Peaches en Regalia or SBYM
Most knowledgeable poster : Probably Sweeting. The go-to poster for anything related to our academy or reserves
Best Newbie of the Season : Er, no idea
Most missed poster no longer on the forums : RichLFC :-(
"Do you EVER leave this place?" TIA addict award : Who else but Eddie?
 

Kopstar

★★★★★★
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Jun 15, 2007
Messages
13,596
Best LFC Player of the Season? Virgil
Best Young Player of the Season? Trent
Best Goal of the Season? Origi's 2nd (4th) v Barcelona, brilliant
Best individual Player performance of the Season? Mane away to Bayern Munich, he had them on toast
Best Moment of the Season? Beating Barcelona 4-0
Most disappointing LFC player of the season? Keita
Best TIA Forum Member of the season: In what way? Difficult to say. Think the Mods, generally, do a very good job so all of them.
Funniest TIA Forum Member: @redbj
Most knowledgeable poster : Lots here depending on topic. I nearly always find @Arminius @Cologne-Liverpool @Limiescouse @redfanman informative generally, @Zoran @costared @Sweeting @TheSweetSilverSong @OhYaBeauty on football
Best Newbie of the Season : No idea who's joined in the last year
Most missed poster no longer on the forums : Rich
"Do you EVER leave this place?" TIA addict award : I fear this could be me. Others in the running, @Zinedine Biscan @redfanman @Scott Jones
 

Red_Jedi

Anfield kick about
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May 30, 2017
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Best LFC Player of the Season? VVD
Best Young Player of the Season? TAA
Best Goal of the Season? Mane against Munich
Best individual Player performance of the Season? Origi vs Barcelona.
Best Moment of the Season? Origi scoring the 2nd in the final - I was in heaven.
Most disappointing LFC player of the season? Really difficult to answer but I think I expected more from Keita - just seemed to take his time to get going.
Best TIA Forum Member of the season: Difficult to choose, but @Alright Now as he made his 1st visit to Anfield vs Man Utd.
Funniest TIA Forum Member: @Scott Jones
Most knowledgeable poster : @Livvy
Best Newbie of the Season : Don't think I look how new someone is.
Most missed poster no longer on the forums : Not been on for that long.
"Do you EVER leave this place?" TIA addict award : @lfc.eddie
 



Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
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"Like Moses parting the Red Sea, the Kop had managed to make a pathway...."

lol Will never forget that line!!!

With roydom's brother playing against Liverpool and Zoran's grandad involved in Igor Biscan's transfer to Liverpool, it's made me think has any other forum member any other stories like this... If so, send me on a private message and i'll get ye to take part in an upcoming q&a...
 
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