Thursday, 23 January 2014

Match Preview: Cherry Chimes talks to Empire of The Kop

Match Preview
AFCB v Liverpool
FA Cup Fourth Round
25 January 2014
Blogger Interview: Empire of The Kop

Cherry Chimes takes a few minutes to talk to Antoine Zammit, who writes on The Empire of The Kop blog, ahead of the Third Round FA Cup tie. As far as this game is concerned, "it's not about history!" as the ITV advert says, but what do Liverpool FC stand for today? Let's find out. As Liverpool are known as the Reds I'm even going to let Empire of the Kop have that colour today as AFCB will be the ones in Red and Black on Saturday.

CC: Firstly can you tell me about your fab blog, how you got started and how you came to support Liverpool FC?

EOTK: Thanks, I have been a Liverpool supporter for over 34 years and quite honestly I don't remember exactly how and why I started supporting Liverpool, It is something that grew over time. When I moved to the US back in 1992 I didn't have anyone to banter with and with the advent of the web I was using chats and forums. This eventually led to me getting involved heavily on Facebook back in 2006 and I ended up with a huge following there. I eventually started Tweeting and the limitations on Twitter led me to have to start my own blog and that is how EOTK was born.

CC: Do you think Liverpool fans will be disappointed this season if they don't win some silverware but manage to finish in the top for of the Premiership?

EOTK: Yes, top 4 is a must this season.

CC: The club has had a special relationship with the FA Cup, but do you feel it means as much to your current players as it did, for instance back in the 1980s - I expect it still means the same to the fans?

EOTK: No, unfortunately the FA Cup is not the same FA Cup of the 80s, The Premier League has overshadowed the competition. The FA needs to make changes, maybe offer a Champions League spot to the winner to give the Premier League clubs an incentive to taking it more seriously. Also the BPL must cooperate and don't congest the fixtures, Liverpool for example are playing Everton only 3 days after Saturday's cup tie.

CC: Brendan Rodgers has bought an attacking style of play back to Liverpool. Would fans have been as appreciative of him if he had brought a different brand of football that was less pleasing on the eye but with a higher win ratio?

EOTK: Liverpool is a work in progress, we are not there yet however we have made tremendous improvement over the last year.

CC: Does Gerrard now need to change his game to give himself more playing years?

EOTK: I guess the answer to this was his first half and second half performance against Villa.

CC: How strong a side do you expect Liverpool to play in the Fourth round of the FA Cup - similar to the Oldham game?

EOTK: Unfortunately the Merseyside Derby is only 3 days after the Cup tie, Brendan will have no choice but to rest key players as our squad doesn't have a lot of depth.

CC: How good is your new No 9, Iago Aspas in your reckoning?

EOTK: Aspas scored in the 3rd round and hopefully that could give him the confidence he needed to find the net more often.

CC: Liverpool's youth teams have been doing well in recent years but can you see more English young players getting into the first team under Brendan Rodgers?

EOTK: Yes, more than ever, this season Brendan has already called up Jordan Rossiter, Brad Smith, Jerome Sinclair and Cameron Brannagan to the first team.

CC: Who do you think was the better ex-Bournemouth player to have played for Liverpool - Jamie Redknapp or Nigel Spackman?

EOTK: I happen to remember both of them play and of course I would go with the former skipper, Redknapp :-)

CC: Liverpool are following in the footsteps of Real Madrid in visiting Dean Court. Do you think such games are getting AFC Bournemouth talked about and do you know much about our players?

EOTK: I think this is great that clubs like Bournemouth get to play against the top Premier League club. With that said I wish UEFA would do the same thing in the Europa league, back in the old days European clubs from small countries could play against the footballing giants. The Europa League (UEFA Cup) could regain some luster if UEFA adopted that scheme again.

CC: Is Eddie Howe a manager that you think could manage a top Premiership club one day? - not that we are letting him go anywhere soon!

EOTK: I will be honest with you I don't know much about him.

CC: I'd better ask what you think the score will be in the game and if you a worried about a possible early cup exit?

EOTK: No team should be taken lightly and every club should be respected. I will of course be happy with a win, I really don't care about the scoreline I just want a win.

CC: I think a lot of AFCB fans would like a replay and a chance to visit Anfield are you up for that?

EOTK: No, I would rather we do the business on Saturday. :-)

Thank you Antione for your answers. I hope you learn a little more about Eddie Howe and AFC Bournemouth after this cup tie. I have a feeling that Brendan Rodgers just may know a bit more than we would like about our team and manager. I do hope that you are right though that the Mersyside derby is a more important game for Liverpool and that some of the first team for you are rested because I feel AFCB are playing well at home and may just spring a surprise if they can settle quickly and handle the occasion. With a full strength Liverpool side out though I would expect a much harder game for the Cherries, but as you say it is all about the Premiership top four spot for Liverpool this season. Good luck with the Premiership. Perhaps AFCB's cup final is on Saturday though and we rather fancy an upset or at least a replay. UTCIAD! 

Make sure you visit  The Empire of The Kop see what else Liverpool fans are talking about before the match with AFCB.

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