NEIL ATKINSON was joined by Mike Girling, Mike Nevin and John Gibbons to discuss Liverpool’s exit from the Europa League at the hands of Besiktas. The lads also spoke to Manchester Evening News sports reporter David Lynch about the visit of Manchester City to Anfield on Sunday.
MUSIC THIS WEEK
Paul Straws – You’ve Always Got a Home
We’ve played Paul before. He’s a nice fella. You can hear him perform this song on Bay TV on a show called The Guide every night at 8pm until next Thursday. Bay TV is on freeview channel 8 or virgin channel 159
He is also on tour. You can see him at
28/2 2pm Coventry Central Library
21/3 Unity Theatre, Liverpool Acoustic Festival
26/3 Elixir Bar, London
6/4 Castle Bar, Manchester
8/4 The Puzzle, Sowerby
He’s also soon to be announcing gigs in Bradford Leeds and Derby
The Little Secrets – All I Need
All I need is their debut single released on ‘The Label Recordings’ which is the great label run out of Edge Hill Univiersity set up by Carl Hunter of the Farm.
If you run you can see them at Magnet tonight at 11pm. Its worth going as its their first Liverpool gig in 4 years! The single is out now and available to download on iTunes and Amazon
Get on them at
Like what we do? Buy us a pint!
DIRECT LINK – In Istanbul, We Weren’t Very Good
Get the TAW podcast on iTunes.
Congratulations on ten mill downloads, this ex Kopite appreciates your efforts, you have made so many friends you have never met. Well done.
Seconded: great achievement, great show.
Nice one, mate.
While you all complain about having to get up at 9am to make it to Anfield by the noon kickoff, I’m setting my weekend alarm for 4:30am so I can drag myself to my living room in Salt Lake City in time to watch the live stream on TV…
You’ll Never Wake-up Alone.
Love the pod. Thanks!
You’re a hero.
I’ve been considering moving out west, and I can tell you that this is the single biggest issue I have with the whole matter.
As a Way out Wester (in SF) I kind of like the kick off times generally, though the pre 3pm kickoffs are a little much (I only really watched the 4/5 am games during the title run).
Has been made easier since having a little ‘un who wakes at 7am, but there is something nice about getting up, having the football on straight away then getting on with your day – though it can set the tone for the day, either in a good or bad way of course..
Four a.m. Start here in Wa state. No problem at my age, usually wide awake at three. Mind you, I am wrecked for the rest of the day, and depending on the game, I may pop a can at half time. Only if we are loosing, or winning, or it’s a bore draw.
10 million is loads. I’m amazed at that. I remember when you hit the 1 million mark after about a year. Ok, there was 1 a week then but the speed of growth is still quite staggering. You must be close to averaging 100k a week (downloads not cash unfortunately). The fact you all give a lot of your spare time for free, I’m made up it’s so popular. Well done and thanks! Imagine if you charged a pound per download, haha.
Looking at the comments above, I’m amazed how many people outside the UK listen. I think it’s great when people put where they’re listening from and what they go through to watch a Liverpool match. I also think TAW is an excellent ambassador for the City of Liverpool.
One thing that intrigued me about this podcast was when you mentioned the project by Carl, from the Farm. It sums up for me why Liverpool is such a great City. I’m trying to get my daughter into the City of Liverpool college because of how good the city is. I think it would be brilliant for her. I was there last night at the opening of a new bar. Just spoke to the owner and £8.5k of free booze we got through, haha. It was on the main road of the bombed out church but I could see Pogue Mahone from the bar. The more drunk I got the more tempted I was to go over there and see if JG was right about there being loads of girls in there. The talk amongst my mates was how good it is living in Chester but how brilliant Liverpool is. It just strikes me as having so much variety and good things going on.
Major dilemma for tomorrow. I’ve got a pair of free corporate tickets for the match but my lads team play at 2pm. Last game of the season and they need to win to win the league. My lad comes first but don’t want to let the person I’m going with down. Leaning towards trying to squeeze both in (or second half of my lads match). Fucking joke having a 12 o clock kick off.
Rodgers is on record saying that the FA Cup and PL were always the priority. All I can is that Liverpool better finish Top 4 or this season is a failure. Granted Liverpool’s injuries to start the season caused the squad to start from scratch instead of integrating new additions into a fluid system. But being eliminated from Europa left a sour taste in my mouth.
Europa League was a blessing in disguise for Liverpool this season. After all the injuries and lack of coherency to start the season, Liverpool didn’t deserve to advance further in Champions League. To the squad’s credit, they have been on a tear the past 2 months and have put themselves in position to maneuver into the Top 4 to qualify for Champions League next season. But, Europa League provided an opportunity for Liverpool to control its own destiny.
Instead of having to rely on a couple other teams to falter in the PL, Liverpool had a chance to control its own destiny. We know this squad was fully capable of winning Europa. It was a blessing in disguise to be able to qualify for Champions League next season through this secondary avenue. But they took it for granted. They didn’t put their total focus on doing it.
I don’t understand how Rodgers can say with a straight face that the FA Cup was more of a priority. If Liverpool doesn’t finish Top 4 and qualify for CL next season then we have nothing to blame but this early Europa exit. Now due to all these circumstances, not finishing Top 4 will make this season a failure. Because we had other avenues to take, but chose not to.
All that being said, I do believe Liverpool finishes in the Top 4. I am just still sick to my stomach over Thursday.
Just for once I have no criticism of Rodgers for his selection this time, mainly because he had no real options because of injuries etc. and when he’s been left with no options in the past he fluked doing the right thing. I do think he should have hooked Sturridge rather than Balotelli but that was a choice many of us would have got wrong. I also think letting Lovren take a penalty was okay. If he’d scored it may have transformed his season, which has been as bad as any player I can remember. If he’d been a ‘boot room’ player and not a purchased ‘star’ he would probably not have got more than four or five games and would never be seen again.
One final comment – totally in character; if all we have to show for 2014-15 is an FA Cup Final appearance and maybe 5th or 6th in the EPL then the ‘disastrous second coming’ of K. Dalglish will be worthy of revision.
Don’t underestimate how hard it is to win the Europa. Our destiny is in our hands when it comes to the league. It’s basically gonna be a straight race between us and Utd and we’ll win it. I’m convinced with Europa we’d end up with no CL footy next season. I want us to be in the CL but it’s more about progress for me. I want us to finish top 4 to show last season wasn’t a one off and we’re improving. We made about £8m this season in the CL and played wank. I think the progress is more important than the money and the good nights. I’m glad we’re not getting in by the back door.
Not finishing Top 4 this season would have been acceptable if Liverpool had won Europa. The injuries to start the season for Liverpool really hurt the squad. Instead of being able to integrate new players into a free-flowing system, we were forced to basically start from scratch. This seriously hurt the club for a good chunk of the season. We have had a valiant run the past 2 months to get us back into position and if we had won Europa than a little drop off wouldn’t have mattered. The perception of the club would not be harmed, except for trolls trying to talk about Top 4, because of the way our season started and with all the other variables. But now its do or die. This is a new era of Liverpool football. We need to finish Top 4 since we are out of Europa.
Sorry but if it came down to prioritizing the FA Cup or Europa, then its a no-brainer. Its Europa League. Automatic Champions League qualification. Now we will be forced in to “Must-Win” games in the PL so it will not really be much different than Europa Playoff football, except now we need to do it in 90 minutes with no margin of error. If Liverpool is the team we think they are, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t be in the finals of Europa. Look at the teams that qualified this season.
Europa was Liverpool’s way of controlling its own destiny. We didn’t have to rely on other teams to drop points. We just had to take care of business. I am just extremely bitter right now because I know Liverpool should have won Europa. No excuses.
I think you’ve got it the wrong way round mate, if I’m honest. We can afford to lose in the league and still get top 4 but if we place all our eggs in the Europa hope then that’s where there’s no margin for error. One bad half of football can get you knocked out. In the league you’re allowed the odd off day. Liverpool just need to win something. It doesn’t really matter what it’s called. I go back to the progress thing. The FA Cup is far more realistic to win than the Europa anyway and it’s not a second rate trophy like the League Cup and the Europa. We’re relying on no one to drop points. The others are relying on us to drop them. If we win all our remaining games it’s mathematically impossible to not get 4th.
What bewilders me,and hopefully someone with more insight can explain, what is Daniel’s beef with Mario? True Balotelli’s start was less than inspiring but it seems to this old fart that he is now a valuable asset. I imagine Mario playing centrally up front, manning up against the likes of Kompany, with Sturridge and Coutinho feeding off the mayhem. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes, does Daniel fear the limelight he assumed was his once Suarez left may be be lessened by Mario? Sterling is his”little bro” so no issue there, but I sincerely believe Balotelli could be the Costa type arsehole we need to compete. Daniel’s intervention in “penalty gate ” made me a little nervous, but then maybe I am over egging. I hope I am wrong and all is cuddly in the dressing room. We all wait to see an explosive Sturridge emerge after so long out, but surely Balotelli is the perfect solution to allowing Daniel to regain his spark?
There really is no place for personal enmity or jealousy in a football team. I have played in winning teams where players couldn’t stand each other personally but blended together well.
Insofar as the Balo penalty is concerned, he should have been designated anyway, but his position in the club was so vulnerable that he may have thought ‘Sod it, they think I’m ratshit anyway so what do I have to lose?’ And interestingly enough it may almost have transformed his image with a lot of fans.
Rodgers cleared that up, Mario was correct, Hendo and Sturridge were wrong, as well as Gerrard trying to stir things up. It’s a shame these most of players are so thick they cannot mentally adjust when starting players are subbed. Had Gerrard come on, he’d have taken it, Mario is next in line in the penalty hierarchy. Hendo think’s he’s Gerrard and was too thick to comprehend things had changed after the sub. I guess that what happens when you don’t have a real education and are cocooned with a club when most people are doing A levels.
It’s hard to believe they took the field not knowing who would take any penalties. Sounded like excusing a fuckup to me. And if Balo was understood to be the penalty taker, why wasn’t Hendo told? And if he was told, why did he forget? I accept he’s not Stephen Hawking but it’s not, in the tedious vernacular, rocket science.
Anyway, it surely won’t happen again.
Well done, nice one guys.