Saturday, December 31, 2011

Q&A with Johnny Mercyside: Part 7

Hey there, welcome to my newest Q&A session. Before I get to that though I just want to say this is also the last post of 2011. It's been a good year. For this site, it's actually been a great year, I'm closing in on 50,000 page views, and over 42,000 of those came in this actual year. That really makes me proud.

On this site in the past year I've reviewed more games and music than I ever have in my life. I've started covering football matches on here, and still do bits on wrestling here and there. My Noughtie series is the largest project I've ever done and while I have mixed feeling on how it all turned out I'm still proud of it. My Yearly Music Review is a much better piece of work and that's great. More things? Erm, I love my Transformations of William Birkin article, that was great to write about and it's been really well received.  And my beefy Rise and Fall of Guitar Hero article was good too. It's been a fantastic year for this site and I hope 2012 will be better. I have a lot planned already.

On a personal level 2011 was also pretty decent. It was certainly better than 2010. I got married, I went to Argentina, I went to Ireland twice, and had an absolutely brilliant time. I went to Bunn Leisure Selsey again. My daughter Vivi has grown up to be an awesome little girl and my wife and I are expecting another child. It's been very good. But I also think 2012 will be better on a personal level. We're moving back to North Wales, where I grew up, where my family and friends are. Portsmouth has been good to me but 2012 brings me back to Wales, which has been even better.

So Happy New Year tomorrow, I hope it's as good to you as you want it to be.

Back to the actual topic at hand, Q&A Part 7. These questions are all taken off my Formspring account, which you can find here. These were answered a while ago, and I've changed the answers if the situation has changed since then. 

Q: If you could move to any foreign country, where would you move to?
A: I've always wanted to go to Japan, Switzerland and a little island in the middle of nowhere called Tahiti, so one of those three. I also loved Argentina when I went there so that's somewhere I wouldn't say no to either.

Q: Do you believe in luck?
A: If you mean luck as in it affects every day life all the time then no. The world works its way to make things happen. But sometimes something can happen that goes in your favour, so that in itself is "lucky".

Q: What's the furthest you've ever traveled?
A: Well I went to Argentina at the end of October. We stopped at Spain, so in one journey, the difference between Madrid and Buenos Aires.

Q: What's the first thing that you usually notice about someone you meet?
A: Depends what way round I see them and their gender. For girls, from the front, their eyes. From behind, their (hopefully) fine behind. For guys, erm, probably their clothes. That's both sides.

Q: If you could eat at any restaurant in the world tonight, which one would you choose?
A: As pathetic as it sounds, I really would like to go for a burger from next store at the kebab shop. I'm not someone that needs a fancy restaurant to have food I'm satisfied with.

Q: Who is the most important person in the world to you?
A: My daughter. I have a lot of people who are important to me but nothing comes close to Vivi. She is the most important person in my life, there is no replacement for my love for her.

Q: What language would you like to learn how to speak?
A: Japanese, one, because I want to go there one day. And two, because I could finally know what the fuck all the Japanese people in Britain are actually saying.

Q: If the Internet and TV didn't exist, what would you spend most of your time doing?
A: Play music on a CD... or play on a DS or PSP! Aha!

Q: What's your daily morning routine?
A: Set an alarm 15 minutes before I have to leave for work, get up, get dressed, leave for the train to work. If it's a weekend, get as much sleep as possible and then go downstairs. My life can be very simple.

Q: What fear would you most like to conquer?
A: I'm not really particularly scared of anything, so I can't say. I mean, I'm not fearless, but I'm not consistently bothered about anything.

Q: What's your favorite Sci-Fi movie?
A: I can't say, I really am not into Sci-Fi movies much.

Q: Who deserves to have a sandwich named after them?
A: Richard Cheese? I don't want a Richard Cheese sandwich though.

Q: Have you cried during a movie?
A: Erm... I can't remember... I probably have but I can't remember what one specifically.

Q: If you could own any kind of pet, what would it be?
A: I love cats and rats. I've had four or five cats and seven rats in my lifetime. In an ideal situation I'd to be able to afford a cat and a few rats, and hope that the cat has no interest in nomming the rats. We can all dream.

Q: Are you better at using your brain or your brawn?
A: My brain but I can use my brawn quite well too.

Q: What country's cuisine is your favorite?
A: I'd probably say Italian food, you can't go wrong with pizza and pasta really.

Q: Should WWE Ice Cream bars make a comeback?
Absolutely! I can't remember seeing any but I live in the UK. I'd buy them!

Q: Do you tend to be shy or an attention seeker?
A: I'm neither really but if this is the line of shy <---> attention seeker, I'd probably be closer to shy as I can be insecure at times.

Q: What's your favorite pasta dish?
A: Bacon carbonara. Mmmm.

Q: Would you rather take a picture or have your picture taken?
A: I'd rather take a picture, I'm not very photogenic. Or attractive.

And that's my latest Formspring update. Once again if you want to follow me on Formspring you can do so here. Happy New Year everyone! I'll be back on Monday for my 1994 in Music review. Enjoy your festivities!

For the latest updates on my work, 'like' me on Facebook here!

Friday, December 30, 2011

WWE World Champion Knockout Game - Round 3

Hey there I hope you had a good Christmas. Round 2 for my WWE World Champion Knockout Game came to an end today. For the last week I've been asking for your votes on who make the best World Champions and I've had tallies going on this site, and two other forums. I can now reveal the results.

The Pedigree Bracket
(1) Triple H vs (4) Vince McMahon - Triple H wins 19 votes to 2.
(2) Christian vs (6) Chris Benoit - Chris Benoit wins 10 votes to 8.

The Sweet Chin Music Bracket

(1) John Cena vs (4) Rob Van Dam - John Cena wins 13 votes to 8.
(2) Shawn Michaels vs (6) Eddie Guerrero - Shawn Michaels wins 17 votes to 4.

The Jackhammer Bracket

(1) Edge vs (4) Alberto Del Rio - Edge wins 20 votes to 1.
(2) Bob Backlund (3) Jeff Hardy - Jeff Hardy wins 13 votes to 8.

The Brogue Kick Bracket

(1) The Rock vs (4) Sheamus - The Rock wins 20 votes to 1.
(2) Bret Hart vs (3) Rey Mysterio - Bret Hart wins 17 votes to 4.

The Chokeslam Bracket

(1) Randy Orton vs (4) Booker T - Booker T wins 16 votes to 5.
(2) CM Punk vs (3) Big Show - CM Punk wins 18 votes to 3.

The Tombstone Piledriver Bracket

(1) The Undertaker vs (4) Sycho Sid - The Undertaker wins 19 votes to 2.
(2) Batista vs (3) Kane - Kane wins 12 votes to 9.

The Codebreaker Bracket

(1) Hulk Hogan vs (5) The Iron Shiek - Hulk Hogan wins 16 votes to 5.
(2) Chris Jericho vs (6) Andre the Giant - Chris Jericho wins 17 votes to 4.

The Stone Cold Stunner Bracket

(1) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs (4) Ric Flair - Stone Cold Steve Austin wins 20 votes to 1.
(2) Kurt Angle vs (3) Randy Savage - Kurt Angle wins 11 votes to 10.

The biggest shock of the round when it comes to seeding are the eliminations of Christian, a #2 seed which lost to #6 seed Chris Benoit. We also have our first #1 seed elimination, with Randy Orton losing to #4 seed Booker T.

Just a reminder, that picture above is who is pairing off against who, the bracket number they have and the total amount of titles they have won.
To vote, vote or comment below, or message me on my Facebook page, my Twitter, or email me. 

Now that mumbo jumbo is out of the way, here's Round 3! Round 4, the Quarter Finals, will be posted on Friday 6th January. 

Round 3

*Voting Closed

The Pedigree Bracket 
(1) Triple H vs (6) Chris Benoit 

The Sweet Chin Music Bracket 
(1) John Cena vs (2) Shawn Michaels 

The Jackhammer Bracket 
(1) Edge vs (3) Jeff Hardy 

The Brogue Kick Bracket 
(1) The Rock vs (2) Bret Hart 

The Chokeslam Bracket 
(2) CM Punk vs (4) Booker T 

The Tombstone Piledriver Bracket 
(1) The Undertaker vs (3) Kane 

The Codebreaker Bracket 
(1) Hulk Hogan vs (2) Chris Jericho 

The Stone Cold Stunner Bracket 
(1) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs (2) Kurt Angle

*Voting Closed

To summarise, to vote, you can list your preferred champions in the polls above. But I can also accept votes elsewhere, you can vote on my Facebook, my Twitter or via email. Votes will be tallied and Round 4, The Quarter Finals will be posted on Friday 6th January. Happy voting!

For the latest updates on my work, 'like' me on Facebook here!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Please excuse the shoddy editing work on that picture above. It's atrocious I know, I did it on Microsoft Paint. I'm not going to be doing any site work now until Thursday, when I do my next Q&A post. On Friday, I'll be doing both Round 3 of the WWE World Champion Knockout Game, so no Live Thoughts from me that day. Then on Sunday I'll put up the 1994 in Music Review.

Enjoy your festive season! All the best!

Johnny Mercyside.

Friday, December 23, 2011

WWE World Champion Knockout Game - Round 2

Hey there, welcome back to my WWE World Champion Knockout Game. For the last week I've been asking for your votes on who make the best World Champions and I've had tallies going on this site, and two other forums. I can now reveal the results.

The Pedigree Bracket
(1) Triple H vs (8) Montel Vontavious Porter - Triple H wins 29 votes to 0.
(4) Vince McMahon vs (5) Jack Swagger - Vince McMahon wins 15 votes to 11.
(2) Christian vs (7) John "Bradshaw" Layfield - Christian wins 15 votes to 10.
(3) Mankind vs (6) Chris Benoit - Chris Benoit wins 14 votes to 12.

The Sweet Chin Music Bracket

(1) John Cena vs (8) Drew McIntyre - John Cena wins 18 votes to 6.
(4) Rob Van Dam vs (5) Mark Henry - Rob Van Dam wins 21 votes to 4.
(2) Shawn Michaels vs (7) The Great Khali - Shawn Michaels wins 25 votes to 0.
(3) Brock Lesnar vs (6) Eddie Guerrero - Eddie Guerrero wins 14 votes to 10.

The Jackhammer Bracket

(1) Edge vs (8) R-Truth - Edge wins 24 votes to 0.
(4) Alberto Del Rio vs (5) Bobby Lashley - Alberto Del Rio wins 18 votes to 5.
(2) Bob Backlund vs (7) The Miz - Draw, 12 votes each. By default of seeding, Bob Backlund goes through.
(3) Jeff Hardy vs (6) Goldberg - Jeff Hardy wins 13 votes to 10.

The Brogue Kick Bracket

(1) The Rock vs (8) Daniel Bryan - The Rock wins 19 votes to 3.
(4) Sheamus vs (5) Buddy Rodgers - Sheamus wins 19 votes to 3.
(2) Bret Hart vs (7) Dolph Ziggler - Bret Hart wins 16 votes to 6.
(3) Rey Mysterio vs (6) Diesel - Rey Mysterio wins 14 votes to 8.

The Chokeslam Bracket

(1) Randy Orton vs (8) Wade Barrett - Randy Orton wins 18 votes to 4.
(4) Booker T vs (5) Ivan Koloff - Booker T wins 22 votes to 0.
(2) CM Punk vs (7) Ezekiel Jackson - CM Punk wins 22 votes to 0.
(3) Big Show vs (6) Sgt. Slaughter - Big Show wins 15 votes to 7.

The Tombstone Piledriver Bracket

(1) The Undertaker vs (8) Kofi Kingston - The Undertaker wins 22 votes to 0.
(4) Sycho Sid vs (5) Pedro Morales - Sycho Sid wins 19 votes to 5.
(2) Batista vs (7) Tommy Dreamer - Batista wins 19 votes to 5.
(3) Kane vs (6) The Ultimate Warrior - Kane wins 16 votes to 7.

The Codebreaker Bracket

(1) Hulk Hogan vs (8) Cody Rhodes - Hulk Hogan wins 16 votes to 7.
(4) Yokozuna vs (5) The Iron Shiek - The Iron Shiek wins 15 votes to 8.
(2) Chris Jericho vs (7) Matt Hardy - Chris Jericho wins 20 votes to 2.
(3) Bruno Sammartino (6) Andre the Giant - Andre the Giant wins 14 votes to 8.

The Stone Cold Stunner Bracket

(1) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs (8) John Morrison - Stone Cold Steve Austin wins 22 votes to 1.
(4) Ric Flair vs (5) Stan Stasiak - Ric Flair wins 22 votes to 1.
(2) Kurt Angle vs (7) Chavo Guerrero - Kurt Angle wins 21 votes to 0.
(3) Randy Savage vs (6) Billy Graham - Randy Savage wins 21 votes to 1.

All the 'non-champions' have been eliminated out of the game. I suppose the "shocks" of the round when it comes to seeding are the eliminations of Mankind, Brock Lesnar and Bruno Sammartino, who were all #3 seeds and lost to #6 seeds. So with all that out of the way, the brackets now look like this:

Just a reminder, that picture above is who is pairing off against who, the bracket number they have and the total amount of titles they have won.
To vote, vote or comment below, or message me on my Facebook page, my Twitter, or email me. 
Now that mumbo jumbo is out of the way, here's Round 2! Round 3 will be posted on Friday 30th December. 

Round 2

*Voting Closed*

 The Pedigree Bracket
(1) Triple H vs (4) Vince McMahon
(2) Christian vs (6) Chris Benoit

The Sweet Chin Music Bracket

(1) John Cena vs (4) Rob Van Dam
(2) Shawn Michaels vs (6) Eddie Guerrero

The Jackhammer Bracket

(1) Edge vs (4) Alberto Del Rio
(2) Bob Backlund (3) Jeff Hardy

The Brogue Kick Bracket

(1) The Rock vs (4) Sheamus
(2) Bret Hart vs (3) Rey Mysterio

The Chokeslam Bracket

(1) Randy Orton vs (4) Booker T
(2) CM Punk vs (3) Big Show

The Tombstone Piledriver Bracket

(1) The Undertaker vs (4) Sycho Sid
(2) Batista vs (3) Kane

The Codebreaker Bracket

(1) Hulk Hogan vs (5) The Iron Shiek
(2) Chris Jericho vs (6) Andre the Giant

The Stone Cold Stunner Bracket

(1) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs (4) Ric Flair
(2) Kurt Angle vs (3) Randy Savage

*Voting Closed*

To summarise, to vote, you can list your preferred champions in the polls above. But I can also accept votes elsewhere, you can vote on my Facebook, my Twitter or via email. Votes will be tallied and Round 3 will be posted on Friday 30th December. Happy voting!

For the latest updates on my work, 'like' me on Facebook here!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Mercy Side: The Language of Football

If you’ve been following me on this site for some time you should know by now that I’m a Liverpool fan. I cover Liverpool matches on this site. I’m a member of the official Liverpool FC forums. My family are Scousers and while I have a Welsh accent, I’m a Scouser too. But I’m also a football fan, and I’d like to think I’m an unbiased fan at that. If you read my Live Thoughts on the Liverpool matches I hope you would see that I try to see the game from a biased Liverpool perspective, but when incidents occur, I take off my Red glasses and see things for what they are. Penalties, controversial decisions, for or against the Reds, I give my opinion for what I see, not for what I want to see.
The reason why I’m explaining this is because of the extremely sensitive subject, which is of the racism incident from October, when Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was accused of racist remarks towards Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Unless you don’t follow football or have been living under a rock, Suarez has been handed an 8 match ban and fined £40,000 for these remarks, an unprecedented amount in this situation. I’m giving my take on the situation here, which isn’t easy, especially as there is so much speculation and grey clouds hanging around the issue.

Evra, on a French TV station, claimed that Suarez says “a certain word” “at least 10 times”. Suarez in response told the Uruguayan media, “There is no evidence I said anything racist to him. I said nothing of the sort.” “There were two parts of the discussion - one in Spanish, one in English.” “I did not insult him. It was just a way of expressing myself. I called him something his team mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction.”

The word if you didn’t know that has highly speculated to have been used is “negrito”, which is a variation of the word “negro”, which means “little black person”. The Negritos were a class of ethnic people who inhabited parts Southeast Asia. The word “negro” is used a lot more, and means any person of black ancestry. The word was never considered offensive, just like the term “black” is not often considered racist nowadays. That was until the 1950s and 60s, when the Civil Rights movement considered a word attached closely to the slavery and discrimination to black people in the past. Since then the word “negro” is more often than not considered offensive.

However, in certain Spanish cultures, including Uruguay, the word has a positive meaning. The word can be associated with “mate”, and “friend”, just like a lot of black people use the word “nigger” in a similar manner (something which frustrates me as I believe black people shouldn’t use a word used against them so disgustingly in such a harsh time in their history so freely and in a positive way, but that’s a different discussion). So from what we can tell, Suarez used the word “negrito” or “negro” at least 10 times during this match. That’s the bottom of it.

The FA’s response to this was to charge Luis Suarez of using “abusive and/or insulting words”, in “”reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race”. The hearing took place last week, and yesterday the outcome is the 8 match ban and the fine. Liverpool then said in a statement yesterday that they are completely behind Suarez, do not think of him as a racist, and are surprised at the outcome based on the fact that Patrice Evra alone, and no referee or teammate has said anything otherwise. They haven’t appealed yet, but all things point to the fact that they will.

So, my take on all of this? There’s a lot of things to say about it. Firstly, racism is a disgusting thing that unfortunately still exists in today’s modern society. If anyone is being racist, or saying things with intent to discriminate on origins of ethnicity, then it’s a shameful act and shouldn’t be tolerated. But was Luis Suarez being racist? No I don't think he was, but the argument is frustratingly justified.

On one side, you have a guy from Uruguay, who speaks Spanish, who has spent less than a year in England, learning the English language and getting used to the English culture. What we have seen from Suarez as a player in the last eleven months is someone who is extremely intelligent, both with his feet and with his tactics. We bought Suarez in January and I said it at the time – it’s all fine and dandy getting someone like him, but I still didn’t agree with his influence on the game between Uruguay and Ghana in the World Cup last year. In case you forgot, the game was level, and he intentionally handled the ball in the penalty box when the ball was shot at goal and would have gone in if it wasn’t for his hand. He got the red card that was deserved, but Ghana missed the resulting penalty. Suarez, heading towards the exit, saw the missing penalty and celebrated like he just scored the winner himself. Because, in theory, he did; Uruguay went through and Ghana lost the match in controversial circumstances. All because of this little Uruguayan menace, a menace who has since dominated English club defences like no one else. I absolutely love Suarez. He’s the most exciting player in a Liverpool shirt since Steven Gerrard at his peak three or four years ago. He does things not many people can do, his ability to play between midfield and defence, and between defenders is absolutely amazing. But then there’s the other side. Luis Suarez goes down very easily. Luis Suarez complains if any decision goes against him. He has become the new Cristiano Ronaldo of the Premier League, and we all know how annoying that was when the boot was on the other foot. But a lot of Reds tolerate it, in fact; embrace it, as he wins us penalties or free kicks in dangerous areas. It doesn’t make it right, but it’s hard to not be happy when decisions like this work for us, because when they’re against us it’s absolutely frustrating.

Suarez gets under a lot of people’s skin, both on the pitch like a professional and exceptionally skilled footballer. But he also gets under people’s skin because he’s very vocal on the pitch. From what we’ve seen, everything seems cordial, or at least standard, when it comes to the altercations between him and other players. Tensions are always high on the pitch, because footballers are usually passionate when they’re playing, and the fans help keep the intensity going with chants and in derbies, some heckling. It does get out of hand, sometimes the fans start some disgusting chants and they’re usually dealt with, just look at Celtic for evidence. But there’s an unwritten law on the pitch, one that seems universal, which is, what happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch.
It’s similar to wrestling in that respect; sorry to bring it up if you dislike the ‘fake’ sport. There are things that are said or done in wrestling matches. Sometimes wrestlers hit each other hard, it’s called a stiff shot, to demand respect and to test your nerve. All you have to do is hit them back, maybe even harder, to show them that you won’t be bullied and that you’re not going to take that type of disrespect. I’ve read about this in many autobiographies. Wrestlers don’t talk about their matches when they get back into that locker room. It’s considered disrespectful to talk about how good or bad your match was, because there are other people who have or have to wrestle before or after, and it’s not nice to brag or to have an ego (unless it’s part of a character on screen obviously).

This is similar to what happens in a football match. Certain things are said. Nasty things. Players swear at each other, they push each other, they might cross the line. But when the final whistle blows, all the players shake hands, talk about the game, and are kind and respectful to each other. It’s rare that off the pitch altercations happen between players, very rare.

And this is where I think in a certain way Patrice Evra took things a little too far. If Suarez did indeed call him a “negrito”, it was to rile him up, to put him off his game. That’s why players swear or insult each other on the pitch; it’s to get a reaction, to put the opposition off, to make it harder for them to concentrate on the task at hand. Suarez has done this all season; he’s done it his entire career. And he’s not the only one, loads of players do it. And if Suarez did call him a “negrito”, it wasn’t with intention of racism. It was with intent purely to put Evra off his game. Evra took this too far in my opinion. And there’s the argument that a “negrito” in Uruguay is your “mate”, your “brother”, or your “nigger”, in a friendly way, not in a racist or discriminatory way.

But I’m also of the opinion that maybe it is time that players stop this type of behaviour. Maybe it’s about time players should stop insulting each other, and to stop any verbal bashing. Players are passionate, I can appreciate that, but there’s no need for this language and attitude. But it does happen all the time, probably in every match across the English leagues and more than likely across the world. Football is a game played with your feet but it’s also with your head, and Luis Suarez knows how to play the game in both ways.

I do however believe the FA has taken a harsh stance on Suarez, I mean, eight games? Seriously? That’s basically 6 weeks. A red card is three games, and you get those for shattering a player’s leg in half, putting them out of action for months or maybe up to a year and opening up a ton of problems for the rest of that player’s career. That affects someone’s life for good. But saying a word that someone finds offensive gives you nearly three times the punishment. Something’s not right here. But then again, I’ve been reading what journalists have been saying on the matter. And most of them are in favour of this harsh punishment, and if anything, support the idea of increasing bans for these horrendous tackles.

And providing that the FA take this stance with all racism issues in the future, then I think long term, I’m okay with this. Seriously. Am I happy we potentially have no Suarez until February or March? Absolutely not. I’m as frustrated as any Red out there. But if it means that other players watch their tongues on the pitch, and most recently, John Terry of Chelsea gets the same punishment of a ban of 8 games for his remarks towards Anton Ferdinand of Queens Park Rangers, then I’m okay with that. The FA needs consistency. And if this is their new punishment for disgusting comments on the pitch, then fine. I’m okay with that. And I think Liverpool need to be as well. Most people who are not a Red are reading the official statement on the website as an over exaggeration, blind support of a player who like it or not has said something that can be considered racist. We are in England, not Uruguay. If a white Englishman called a black Englishman a “negrito” in a Premier League match then we’d all consider that disgusting, unacceptable and deserving of a ban. And that’s what we have to abide to, and if we don’t see it this way then we’re in denial.

It took me a lot to come to this outlook. On Tuesday night I was seething, I was angry and I was completely against this ban, or at least, the amount of games the ban is for. I saw the LFC statement and rallied behind the club, thinking they were spot on and took matters to a level required. But… I woke up yesterday morning; I looked at the headlines, looked at how things seem in other parts of the country and the newspapers and journalists, and saw things differently. I’m not saying that if Liverpool appeal and we’re successful and have Suarez back that I’m not going to be happy, of course I will be. All I want is consistency, and for racism to be taken seriously. And if the FA are to begin this clamping down on racism and unnecessary comments on the pitch, then I’m all for it. I’m annoyed it started with Suarez, but I’ll be happy if it starts with Suarez, moves on to John Terry and then on to other players who use repulsive language on the pitch. I’m all for that. And while they’re at it, they can increase bans on players who maliciously tackle people and shatter bones and tear muscle, putting the long term injuries to justice.

Saying horrible things on the pitch is something that is often considered the language of football. Something that just happens because of the passion and tension on the pitch. After the match everything’s forgotten. It shouldn’t be this way. If players say nasty things on the pitch, racism or not, they should be punished. The language of football needs to change, and if there’s one thing that should be gained from Luis Suarez’s punishment, it’s that the FA are hopefully going to clamp down on this unwritten rule once and for all.
But if I’m completely frank, I don’t think the FA will keep this consistency. I think the FA are trying to make an example out of Luis Suarez, and possibly John Terry, but in the next few weeks or months things will return to normal. I don’t think anything is going to change, which is a damn shame. I think it will start with Suarez and end with Suarez, or maybe Terry, and that’s it. As a Liverpool supporter the whole thing really annoys me but as an unbiased fan I’ll be happy if it starts with Suarez and becomes a signal of intent to stamp out racism or disgusting remarks out of football for good. We can all hope.

Do you agree? Disagree? Is the ban too harsh, or should they increase the bans on disgusting tackles? Should Liverpool appeal or not? Will the FA use this harsh stance for all occasions? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below. Thanks for reading.

For the latest updates on my work, 'like' me on Facebook here!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Live Thoughts: Wigan vs Liverpool (Premier League)

I covered this match live. Here are my unedited thoughts on the match between Wigan and Liverpool.

Hey there, thanks for joining me on another live thoughts feed. Suarez? I'm not going to go into that today. I've written an article about that. You'll see it tomorrow. Let's get straight into the match!

Here are the teams: 

Wigan: Al-Habsi, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Stam, Jones, Diame, McCarthy, Moses, Gomez, Sammon. Subs: Pollitt, Crusat, Watson, Di Santo, McArthur, Rodallega, Lopez.

It's as good a side as Wigan can put out. We should be winning today, pure and simple. Will Wigan turn up, as they have in recent games against us? We'll see.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Adam, Downing, Kuyt, Maxi, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Carroll, Coates, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly, Bellamy.

Kuyt and Maxi come on for Shelvey and Bellamy. Rotation. I like it. All of these players are playing well so it's hard keeping any of them out, so I like the way we're rotating. Unless a player is playing exceptionally well in this winter season we should rotate as often as possible.

3' - Funny chants today. A huge roar from the Anfield crowd for Suarez, singing "I Just Can't Get Enough" all the time. Whenever Suarez has the ball the Wigan crowd are booing him immediately. Strong reactions from both sets.

5' - The Liverpool crowd just won't shut up, it's great! They keep singing! Major statement from the Liverpool faithful.

8' - Henderson! Good save by Al-Habsi. Soem good movement from Suarez and Maxi, and Henderson shoots from just outside the box and it's palmed out for a corner, which is dealt with eventually.

11' - A big tangle in the Liverpool box and Gomez hits it in the net but the whistle blows for a free kick in Liverpool's favour. Reina was down I believe. 

15' - Victor Moses goes down in the box and tries to claim a penalty. An obvious dive, but the referee does nothing. Shame. 

16' - The commentators won't shup up about this 20,000 goal landmark that we're approaching. Does it really matter? I suppose it does. 

17' - Just in case you didn't know, Reina and Enrique are the only players to play every minute in the Premier League for us this season. Decent stat. 

19' - Moses takes a shot from about 40 yards out. Very ambitious.

22' - DIAME! Side netting! Wow, another 40 yard shot for Wigan, but that one was hit smoothly! If it was a few inches to the right it would have been the top left corner! 

23' - We were in control of the match for the first 10 or 15 minutes but Wigan are starting to find their feet at the moment. This crowd is very good, both sets of supporters full of voice today. 

24' - Kuyt from close range and Al-Habsi saves, and Wigan clear for a corner. The attack from the corner ends with Agger with his right foot and it's just over the crossbar. 

25' - JOHNSON! Another good safve from Al-Habsi! Maxi and Glen Johnson combine and Johnson shoots straight at the Wigan keeper, he could have done better than that I feel. 

26' - Diame again! Good save by Reina! A low shot from the left of the penalty box and Reina saves nicely to his left and we clear. It's a good game this! 

28' - Charlie Adam shoots from just outside the box and it's saved by Al-Habsi. It was a clear crisp shot but the Omanian keeper had it. Had he fumbled Suarez was there to take advantage but credit where it's due, Al-Habsi has dealt with everything Liverpool has given him so far. 

31' - Both teams are playing to a high tempo which is good. Credit to Roberto Martinez, he likes to play good attacking football so in the end it's making a very entertaining match. Both sides are really going for it, with Liverpool showing the quality naturally more so than Wigan. 

34' - The "I Just Can't Get Enough" chant is starting again. Liverpool fans were singing it non-stop for a good 10 minutes when the match started. 

36' - Victor Moses goes for a great run and about three or four red shirts can't stop him! Johnson tries to tackle him but fails and he takes a shot straight at Reina, who's fists hit the ball towards the corner flag. 

39' - If you're wanting an assessment on how Suarez has been today he's looked okay, he's quietly doing his job. He can explode into action at any minute but you can tell he's not trying to draw attention to himself, which is good. 

42' - Suarez is brought down from a tackle by Antolin Alcaraz. It was a free kick all around, but the Wigan crowd are chanting "CHEAT" at him. Disgraceful.

43' - Gomez and Sammon combine well and if it wasn't for Johnson, Conor Sammon would have scored the 20,000th goal. Yes, we're at 19,999 now. Exciting huh? I hope you can sense my sarcasm.

45' - Two minutes of added time. James McCarthy looks like he's going to go off the pitch.

45+3' - An extra minute was added due to McCarthy, who looks like he'll be okay. Half time.

It was a decent first half of football. As an unbiased fan it was very entertaining. As a Liverpool fan we started well, but slowly put our foot off the gas as the match went on. We need to regroup and get that dominance back on, and hopefully score. I really hope Suarez scores today, it'll be great. The 20,000th goalscorer is Mark Albrighton. Woohoo. Congrats oh lord and master of landmark goalscoring prowess. 

46' - A free kick from Suarez and a lovely save from Al-Habsi! That was going in otherwise, a great freekick from the right hand side of the pitch, 15 yards out. 

47' - A good attack from Wigan, orchestrated by Moses and he takes a low shot and Reina saves low. 

49' - The ball is all over the Wigan box, Suarez ends up doing a bicycle kick and it hits the arm of Gary Caldwell and a PENALTY! 

50' - SAVED! Charlie Adam struck it well to his right and Al-Habsi saves brilliantly! Why cant' we score penalties this season?! 

52' - This match does have "Liverpool dominate and miracle saves from opposition goalkeeper" written all over it by the way. Why do keepers like turning up to matches against us?

55' - A replay of the penalty and Adam's shot was more central than it first looked, but it would have beaten a lot of keepers. I don't blame Adam. It's not like Carroll's penalty a few weeks back, that was atrocious. 

56' - Gomez takes a decent shot that swerves slightly but Reina saves very well. I need to give Reina credit here, he's been very good today and he's been tested a few times, more so than usual. 

59' - Kuyt had a decent shot from long range on the volley and Al-Habsi saves comfortably. It wasn't the strongest of shots, if Gerrard was on it I reckon he would have scored. 

60' - Wigan Substitution: Conor Sammon comes off for Franco Di Santo.

63' - Quick corner from Downing to Enrique, who whips in a cross and Skrtel heads it high. He could have done better than that, he was the tallest to reach it with considerable ease.

65' - Yellow card for Gary Caldwell for a tackle on Suarez. 

66' - The following free kick sees Kuyt run on his own, Adam takes the free kick and he shoots over the bar. Great idea, it wasn't crafted out as planned. 

67' - From the Liverpool box Downing storms down the left wing and is eventually caught up with, but he manges to win a corner. He takes it quick and Kuyt gets on the end of it at the left post and cuts it back but there's too many Wigan defenders in the way for Suarez to get to the goal. Kudos to Downing for that excellent run though.

69' - Bellamy and Shelvey are getting ready to come on. Good timing, I think we're running out of steam and need fresh impetus. 

71' - Double Liverpool Substitution: Jonjo Shelvey and Craig Bellamy come on for Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt. Maxi barely did anything in that second half, he was good in the first. Kuyt was as hard working as ever, and showed frustration in coming off by kicking some sports drinks. Not a good reaction from Kuyt there.

72' - Double Wigan Substitution: David Jones and Jordi Gomez come off and Ben Watson and Hugo Rodallega. Wigan have used all their subs now.

75' - Hugo Rodallega scored in both matches at this stadium against us last season and the season before. I hope it's not three in three for the Colombian, it'd probably be a winner if it is. 

77' - A strong run from Victor Moses down the right wing, he cuts into the Liverpool box and Skrtel gets to it, kicking it for a throw in. 

78' - Franco Di Santo shields the ball for a throw-in but Glen Johnson gets irritated and tackles badly from behind. He gets a yellow card. Silly way to concede a card for Johnson, I expect better from him. That was just frustration. 

80' - The commentators just said that FIFA are thinking of getting rid of the loan system. Seriously? How pathetic. The loan system is excellent for football; it gives youngsters a chance to test their trade at high paced, high quality lower league football, instead of being wasted in the reserves where results don't matter. 

83' - We really don't look like scoring. A draw seems inevitable. We haven't' played well enough in this second half. 

84' - RODALLEGA! Corner. A lovely cross from Victor Moses and Rodallega heads it clean at goal, but Johnson deflects the header at close range for a corner. Best chance of the match so far and it goes to Wigan frustratingly. 

86' - Liverpool Substitution: Luis Suarez comes off for Andy Carroll. Boos go around the DW Stadium as Suarez comes off. He's been quiet today, in a good way, he's been effective in a mature way. Kudos to him for playing under such pressure. 

88' - Rodallega is through on goal! But Reina comes out and just about, I mean just about, deals with it, it goes for a throw in. 

89' - Ali Al-Habsi wins the man of the match award. Completely justified. Yet another goalkeeping clinic against Liverpool. Good times. 

90' - Four minutes of added time. 

90+1' - Liverpool are desperately fighting to get a goal, and Ben Watson is all over the place tackling. Good work there by the young Englishman. 

90+2' - Free kick about 15/20 yards out for Liverpool. This is it now I'd say. We score or it's a draw. 

90+3' - Bellamy takes it and it hits the wall and Wigan clear. 

90+3' - Shelvey takes a tame shot and it's saved by Al-Habsi. 

90+4' - Full time.

Well, what can I say? It was like every other goalless draw we have had all season. Lots of Liverpool dominance, no goals, excellent opposition goalkeeping. That's it. The only other even that occurred otherwise was Charlie Adam's penalty which was saved very well. We just attract keepers to play on form for some reason. We were very good in the first half, the second half was poor though. We weren't' good enough, it was one of our weakest 45 minutes of the season I'd say. But, let's hope we have enough in the tank against Newcastle.

Before I finish, I'd like to once again say I have a football article planned already for tomorrow. I've written it. It's dealing with the Luis Suarez situation. I hope you come back to read it tomorrow, it's an interesting piece. Also, no Live Thoughts from me for the next two matches. I'll be back with the Live Thoughts on New Years Eve. If you visit the site purely for Live Thoughts, Merry Christmas. Otherwise please come back tomorrow, the article will definitely interest football fans in general, not just Liverpool fans. I'm signing off here now, have a good night.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Music Album Review: Welcome 2 My Nightmare by Alice Cooper

“Welcome 2 My Nightmare” surpasses the original album released 26 years prior, and shows that music doesn’t have to be serious; it can be pure entertainment and fun.
Alice Cooper released “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” three months ago. It’s his 26th album and is the official sequel to “Welcome to My Nightmare” which was released ironically, 26 years ago. Three years ago Alice Cooper released “Along Came a Spider” and was considering doing a sequel to that album, but when producer Bob Ezrin (who also sequenced The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails and has worked with well respected artists like Pink Floyd, KISS and Peter Gabriel) didn’t like the idea of a sequel to that album proposed they do a sequel to “Welcome to My Nightmare” instead, Alice Cooper liked that idea more. Alice Cooper was touring extensively while the album was being prepared for release and expected it to be released next year, but released it in September instead.

The album starts off with “I Am Made of You” which is a great intro, showing the homage to the past while using modern influences too. How? Well the tune in the beginning is from the track “Steven”, arguably the best song on the original “Welcome to My Nightmare”, but you can clearly hear Alice Cooper using modern auto-tune in this track, which divides me personally as I hate auto-tune, but it doesn’t take too much away from the track. It’s a great opener, and it does its job well, which is set you up for the rest of the album.

After the intro track, we’re treated to “Caffeine”, which shows pretty much all sides of Alice Cooper in one track. On one side you have a decent hard rock/metal track, but you also see the silly side to the shock rock legend, which is that he’s simply, singing a song about needing caffeine. Yes, that’s what this song is about. And the chorus is “Caffeine! Caffeine!” in a squeaky voice. It’s incredibly cheesy but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. If you haven’t followed Cooper’s career much you need to realise that this guy has never taken himself seriously. Ever. He’s an entertainer and plays the part so well.

“The Nightmare Returns”, track three, basically sets up track four, “A Runaway Train”, and is Alice Cooper describing his incapability of sleeping. “A Runaway Train” which shows tribute to country music and has a drum beat similar to a train on tracks. It’s a decent track, it shows another side to Cooper that he doesn’t show too often but in all honesty Alice Cooper plays what genres he feels he can pull off, and trust me, he can pull of loads, and he proves he can do country well here.

But track five, “Last Man On Earth”, is my favourite song. It’s so fricking cool, it shows so much swagger and glamour, and Alice Cooper’s vocals are brilliant. The song follows Alice Cooper off the “Runaway Train” from the earlier song, where the train crashed. If you think Alice Cooper is a has-been, he’s lost it, he’s a relic and can’t go anymore, seriously, give this a listen and it will prove you wrong. This song is easily as cool and smooth as his seventies stuff. In fact, this song is proof that Alice Cooper’s “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” project is a success.

“The Congregation” is apparently inspired by The Beatles according to Cooper himself but it reminds me more of the general glam-rock sound of the seventies, a sound and era that Cooper was attached to quite closely. If you listen properly you’ll hear a cameo by Rob Zombie, whose very good friends with Cooper. It’s a good song, very catchy and it continues to use modern and old influences in this hybrid album. “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” is track seven and is so far the only single off the album. It’s an odd choice if you ask me, but then again Alice Cooper doesn’t always choose his singles well in my opinion. But it’s a decent traditional seventies rock song, a nod to The Rolling Stones according to Cooper himself, it’s as decent as most of his singles over the years have been. I don’t know if Alice Cooper will release any more singles off this album, purely because he doesn’t chart anymore, he makes music for fun and for his fans rather than to make money. That being said, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” is Alice Cooper’s highest charting album since 1994, when he released “The Last Temptation”, and in the US since 1989 when he released “Trash”, so that’s great news.

One of the best songs on the album for me is “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever”, which mixes allsorts of different genres from glam rock, goth rock, shock rock, disco, techno and dare I say it, rap. It’s odd to describe, it just sound fantastic. It sounds complicated, what with all the genres Cooper incorporates but it’s simply good sounding music, and John 5, once of Marilyn Manson and currently of Rob Zombie, gives a helping hand with a fantastic guitar solo at the end to top off what was already an awesome song.

I could talk about all the songs in honesty but the feeling is very similar throughout the album, but there are three more songs I will talk about. First is track eleven, “When Hell Comes Home”, which is arguably the heaviest song on the album, what with it’s heavy bass and Alice Cooper’s dark lyrics and sinister voice. It’s definitely one of the more serious songs on the album.

However contrasting the sincerity of this track, track twelve is “What Baby Wants”, which is a duet with, I can’t believe I’m about to say this, Ke$ha, which is a lot better than it sounds trust me. I hate to say it but you can trust me, it’s a good duet, the contrasting styles and music backgrounds all count for nothing in this song because Alice Cooper is in a silly mood again. And when I say silly, I mean that affectionately, because in the end music is entertainment and there’s very few entertainers in the music industry as good as Alice Cooper. The song is about Alice Cooper and his encounter with the devil, although the devil is actually Ke$ha, and he must sell his soul to her. It’s silly and fun and Ke$ha, kudos to her, she plays her part very well and her vocals aren’t as bad as I feared when I heard about the duet. One more thing though, there’s an auto-tune bridge towards the end of the song and it’s cringe-worthy, but once again, in a good way. Kind of.

Lastly, the album ends with an awesome outro, called “The Underture”. This song is basically a Broadway-esque exit to both “Nightmares”; mixing the music of both albums into a quite simply beautifully crafted outro. It mixes great songs from both albums, like “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever” and “I Am Made of You” from this album and songs from the original album like “Steven”, and the title track, “Welcome to My Nightmare”. I can’t sum up how great the outro is in words, if you’ve heard both albums by the time you reach this point it’s a great way of wrapping everything up.

 “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” was a lot of fun to listen to. Is Alice Cooper the best hard rock artist in the world? No, I don’t think so. But I never thought he was, I’ve always seen Alice Cooper as an artist who consistently brings the goods at a good level throughout his career. He did in the Seventies, he did in the Eighties, and while the Nineties or Noughties weren’t too kind on the man, this could be another surge of interest and popularity for the guy, who’s now in his sixties. I wouldn’t rule it out. Alice Cooper still has it. Doing sequel albums are a risky business; you’re paying homage to your former self, while trying to reach a high level you may not be able to reach again, never mind excel. And that’s what Alice Cooper does here. Yes I said it, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” is better than “Welcome to My Nightmare”. Is this album as good quality as other albums being released at this time? No it’s not, but the nostalgia is there, the purity is there, the beauty, is there. And most importantly, this album is so much fun. It’s so much fun to listen to an album where you can hear the entertainment value, where you can hear how much of a ball Alice Cooper had going back into the studio with the same guys he released music with 26 years ago, and with artists who he has met along the way. Alice Cooper as a person is in a great place right now, and you know something? His music is too. “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” in a nutshell, surpasses the original album released 26 years prior, and shows that music doesn’t have to be serious; it can be pure entertainment and fun.

Rating: **** stars
Stand out tracks: "Last Man On Earth", "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever", "The Underture"

Here's the music video for the only single released so far, "I'll Bite Your Face Off":

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Live Thoughts: Aston Villa vs Liverpool (Premier League)

I covered this match live. Here are my unedited thoughts on the match between Aston Villa and Liverpool.

Hey there, thanks for joining me on another live thoughts feed. Like the new banner above? Don't care? Okay, moving on.

Well we did enough to beat QPR last week and managed to win at home, and win against a promoted side, something for some reason we couldn't do. So we had a lot of ticks in boxes last week. Unfortunately with our defeat at Fulham we lost our undefeated away streak, but we can rebuild a new one can't we? Starting at Aston Villa? My confidence going into this match is at a middle point, I'm not overly confident but I know we can win today and in theory, we're expected to win, especially if we are to keep up with the Top 5 (or 6 if you count Newcastle). So let's get to it!

Here are the teams:

Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton, Delph, Petrov, N'Zogbia, Heskey, Delfouneso. Subs: Marshall, Clark, Cuellar, Bannan, Weimann, Johnson, Burke.

They don't look as strong as they could be. No Darren Bent or Agbonlahor, Heskey and Delfouneso come in the side instead and they don't have the best goal scoring records. Fabien Delph is a heck of a potential talent but he's barely shown it for Villa. Their best player on the pitch is N'Zogbia who is great when on form but crap when not. I feel they're there for the taking based on this line-up, but I'm going to eat my words now as Heskey scores a hat-trick against us!

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Skrtel, Agger, Adam, Henderson, Shelvey, Downing, Suarez, Bellamy. Subs: Doni, Carroll, Maxi, Coates, Kuyt, Carragher, Kelly.

Jonjo Shelvey gets his first start of the season for us and I'm pretty happy about that. It's nice to see Kenny give thriving young talent a platform to climb to. Shelvey was on fire for Blackpool on loan and let's hope that energy and confidence can be moved to the bigger Red shirt. Kuyt and Maxi are benched, which is a shame but you can only fit 11 players on the field. Bellamy gets another start which is also welcome by me.

2' - Free kick early on for Aston Villa, Charlie Adam brings down Charles N'Zogbia. It's about 30 yards out. Stiliyan Petrov takes it and it's not a good free kick, luckily for us.

5' - Major boos for Stewart Downing at Villa Park due to his exit, where he said he wasn't going anywhere and then went to us. Fair enough I suppose. 

8' - It's been a back and forth match so far, not much to report. Jonjo Shelvey has been given a decent amount of freedom as an attacking midfielder, something he didn't really get last season. He thrived in that role for Blackpool remember.

10' - GOAL! Craig Bellamy!! A corner from Stewart Downing is back heeled by Shelvey and Suarez shoots but it's saved by Guzan, and Bellamy fumbles it in via deflection!

12' - Charles N'Zogbia is in the book.

12' - All the jeering for Downing does make me laugh. It's not like Torres, who was at our club for three years, was a star player and left us at a testing period. Downing was with Villa for one full season (due to injuries prior), and while he was one of the best players at the Villa, he wasn't their star player. And they got a good deal from us, a nice amount of money.

14' - GOAL! Martin Skrtel! Two goals in four minutes! Bellamy corner, he whips it in perfectly and Skrtel just heads it in. So simple! Fantastic stuff! 

16' - Us Liverpool fans have been saying for weeks due to our horrendous shots/goals ratio that we're due to give a drubbing to a team soon. Can this be the day?

17' - Alex McLeish must be really angry, his squad have let two simple set piece goals in, in 4 minutes. Bad for them but great for us. 

18' - N'Zogbia whips in a dangerous cross and Reina claims with considerable ease. 

20' - N'Zogbia has a bit of space and shoots from a good 30 yards and it's only just over the bar. Best chance for Villa so far.

20' - Possession is 61%/39% in Liverpool's favour. Really dominant at the moment. 

22' - N'Zogbia has another good effort, this one hitting the side netting from the left. The last two minutes have been end to end for both sides, both going for goal.

25' - A few corners in succession for Liverpool, I hope this game is not like QPR when we had about 20 corners... 

27' - Charlie Adam gets in the book for a few tackles in succession that result in going in Villa's favour. He was warned and he got the card.

29' - Craig Bellamy goes in the book now as he clips Albrighton on the Villa right wing, Albrighton goes down like a ton of bricks and it was Bellamy's reactions that got him the yellow card, as it usually is. 

30' - Petrov takes a shot at goal and it's saved comfortably by Reina. 

33' - The game has slowed down dramatically by the way, I don't know why. But I'm glad it's slowed down with a 2-0 lead rather than the 0-0 we're usually with at this point of other games.

34' - Suarez nutmegs Petrov and lays the ball in for Shelvey who earns us a corner. 

36' - The corner is dealt with but we pile on the pressure, the pressure which ends with Shelvey in space and takes a low shot that's comfortably saved by Guzan. 

39' - A bit of Villa pressure now, they can't enter our box but they're piling around it. 

42' - The game is actually dead at the moment, I think both sides are just waiting for the whistle to regroup and start again.

45' - Two minutes of added time. 

45+2' - Half time.

Well we're two goals up in the first 14 minutes and that's great. But then after that the game was just... dead. Villa seemed down and out and it felt like we were fighting with an unanimated corpse. Their lack of interest made the game boring. I hope that the second half becomes lively again as I was hoping this was the "finally we thrash the opposition" match we've been waiting for. But since the two goals they've defended well enough and we've not threatened as much. But despite all this moaning about the lack of quality match, I should just be happy we're 2-0 up and there's still 45 minutes of football to go, in which hopefully we can score more and keep a clean sheet. Here's hoping.

46' - Agger almost scores in the first minute! A lovely cross from Bellamy again and Agger heads it just wide!

47' - SUAREZ! It hit the crossbar and out! So close! He nicks the ball of Dunne and shoots straight at the bar!

49' - Bellamy is brought down by Petrov and the Welshman protests that Petrov should be yellow carded. Justified in my opinion.

52' - Glen Johnson has a shot from a good 25 yards out and Guzan tips it over the bar! Much better second half so far!

55' - They're showing Barry Bannan getting ready to come on, probably for Fabien Delph.

57' - Aston Villa Sub: Barry Bannan comes on for Emile Heskey, not Delph. N'Zogbia will probably link higher up now.

58' - SUAREZ! Off the post! How has he not scored yet! Suarez is let loose, onside, and Suarez, just outside of the box, dinks the ball over the defence and keeper, and it hit the post! Lovely perception from the Uruguayan!

60' - ADAM! Deflected off a Villa defender! A little selfish there from Adam, he passes two Villa shirts and Shelvey was free to his left, but he goes for glory and it his a claret shirt and for a corner. 

61' - Wow, it's 13 shots to 11, according to the stats, in Liverpool's favour. Only 4 of Villa's have been on target mind, to Liverpool's 9. 

63' - They just showed a replay of Suarez hitting the post, he controlled the ball with his hand anyway, so it's probably good that he didn't score. The lad has enough controversy at the moment as it is. 

65' - Shelvey! Wide! The ball is over the top and Suarez lays it perfectly to Shelvey, who smashes it and it's high and wide. Could have done better than that if he composed himself. 

68' - Another small spell of pressure for Villa. But they're not threatening too much with it.

71' - Not much to report at the moment, the game has eased again. 

73' - Liverpool Sub: Luis Suarez comes off and Andy Carroll is coming on. He really needs a goal.

74' - Albrighton takes a shot and it deflects off Agger. The Villa are claiming a handball but it's hard to say without a replay. 

75' - 15 minutes to go, the commentators are saying it took us this amount of time to score 2, now can Villa do it, I really doubt it, but sods law would suggest I'll eat my words now! 

78' - Andreas Weimann is preparing to come on, he's a young Austrian striker who's yet to score for Villa.

79' - Aston Villa Sub: Fabien Delph comes off and Weimann takes his place. 

80' - Jamie Carragher is about to come on to get some minutes. It's amazing how he's barely played this season, but maybe it is time for him to start to wind down. There will inevitably be a time when we need him later this season though. 

82' - Liverpool Substitution: Carra comes on in place of Jonjo Shelvey, who has had a decent game. 

85' - We're playing again on Wednesday by the way, against Wigan, don't miss that. I'll be covering that game too, although I won't be covering  the Boxing Day match against Blackburn, or the Newcastle match after that. I try not to do much site work at Christmas I'm afraid.

87' - Liverpool Substitution: Dirk Kuyt comes on for Craig Bellamy, who for me has probably been the man of the match for me. Carra has taken the captains armband by the way, and that's all three Liverpool subs used.

89' - Charlie Adam concedes a free kick just outside the penalty box, towards the right. It hits the wall and out again. 

90' - Three minutes of added time. 

90+2' - 4 out of 5 games now for Villa not to score in. They've been absolutely dreadful today, I have a few relatives who are Villa fans and I feel sorry for them in honesty, nothing to cheer for, nothing going forward at the moment. The only good thing to say for them is they have Agbonlahor and Bent to come back to score goals for them, hopefully. 

90+3' - Full time.

Our first back-to-back wins in nearly 3 months. It's something we need to start doing now, get on a winning streak rather than an undefeated streak. The good news is we got two goals from set pieces very quickly. The bad news is that we didn't build on that, it felt at the time like we were about to thrash Villa, but we put the foot off the gas for whatever reason. The start of the second half was great again, with Suarez hitting the post and woodwork. But in the end, we won again which is great, we're back in sixth place which is great, and we have another away match against Wigan on Wednesday, where hopefully we can win three in a row before taking on Newcastle which will be a very interesting match. That's it from me, enjoy the rest of your day.

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