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Mr. A. Rothnie "arothnie" (Formby, Merseyside)

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Liverpool Fc: End Of Season Review 2002/2003 [DVD]
Liverpool Fc: End Of Season Review 2002/2003 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mike Hall
Offered by Digizoneuk
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Houllier's last hurrah, 25 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Despite Gerard Houllier's worrying health problems during the 2001-2002 season, Phil Thompson's diligent work as caretaker manager led to Liverpool finishing second in the premiership, a satisfying place ahead of arch-rivals Manchester United. With successive improvements in league position in the previous years, second was a peak. With astute managerial decisions from Gerard Houllier in the summer of 2002, there was a feeling of anticipation around Merseyside that in the coming season Liverpool could claim a first league title in 13 years.

Unfortunately, the 2002-2003 season yielded mixed success. Liverpool in the League Cup remained a formidable cup side, but the prospects of reaching the premiership pinnacle were drastically impaired by a period of relegation form during the dismal November, December and January period. The initial twelve league matches and the team's form from February onward was undoubtedly Liverpool's most successful period during this sometimes difficult season.

Danny Murphy was player of the season. With his perceptive passing, great vision and tremendous long range shots he created and scored countless Liverpool goals. His work rate and playmaking ability made him a livewire. Murphy's exquisite curling shot in a 2-1 win away at Everton in April was impressive. The three points at Everton were essential given that Everton were vying to finish above Liverpool at that point. Michael Owen, although perhaps facing the beginning of a steady decline in his prowess, was probably the second top performer of the season. Despite being hampered due to the persistent effect of an earlier hamstring injury, he still scored 28 goals and this was despite two fruitless runs in the season where he failed to score in around ten games each. Perhaps he was profligate in his finishing at times and his pace was deteriorating slightly due to injury, but he still displayed enough poise, intelligent touch/running and lethal finishing to make a weaker season by his peerless standards look decent. Highlights of Owen's season aside from the League Cup final ranged from a terrific run and finish at Everton to a dramatic last-minute poacher's effort in a 1-0 win at home to Chelsea in October. Another outstanding Owen performance came when he plundered four goals in a comprehensive 6-0 win away at West Brom in April.

Houllier's public criticism of Steven Gerrard in November seemed apt given that his form escalated as the season carried on. He provided the side with an all-round midfield game due to his tenacity and radar-like through passes/crosses - this resulted in eight assists and seven goals. Apart from the outstanding league cup final, Gerrard's key moment came in the league cup run when against Aston Villa in the quarter final he pulled all the strings in midfield and scored a precise close-range finish.

Other players who did fulfil their potential in the 02-03 season included John Arne Riise and Milan Baros. Riise experienced one of his stronger seasons in Liverpool colours - his sensational long range strikes, determined dribbling and pinpoint delivery from wide areas were significant in the best periods of 02-03. Milan Baros impressed with his tireless running, incisive movement onto through passes and deft finishes scoring a total of twelve goals in his first complete season at Liverpool.

However, too many players were underperforming and there were numerous low points to a difficult season. A major contribution to Liverpool's decline in 2002-03 was the loss of organisation and solidity in defence which served the team so well in the successes of the treble season. A lack of focus and concentration led to detrimental individual errors from the defenders. Traore was the most error-prone defender since the start of the 90s, while Xavier was likewise not Liverpool class and opposition attackers ran rings around him. The former immense Markus Babbel was no longer the same force due to illness when he was played sparingly by Gerard Houllier. Even the defensive greats Hyypia and Carragher made a few mistakes. The most dramatic decline in performance of a defender was Stephane Henchoz - he appeared slow and cumbersome and made numerous errors including an own goal in a 4th round FA Cup defeat at home to Crystal Palace. Though perhaps the squandering of chances from attackers was an even larger factor in this disappointment.

Perhaps what contributed to the crisis in confidence in the defenders was Jerzy Dudek's numerous goalkeeping catastrophes - the nadir of Liverpool's season came in a 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United. Dudek's careless fumble led to a Forlan goal and another goal from the same player came when he failed to save a fairly ordinary shot. These were both goals scored by a weak Premiership performer at the time in Forlan and another blunder which initiated the crisis in confidence came in a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough when he clumsily dropped a high ball.

Another unhappy moment in the season came when Liverpool failed to progress from the first group stage of the Champions League. As well as the loss of solidity in the team's defending, perhaps what also showed that Gerard Houllier's time as Liverpool manager was nearing an end was his handling of the press. He claimed that the team were unfortunate to depart the Champions League and failed to recognise the defensive weaknesses against Basel and the superiority of Spanish champions Valencia. The team was unlucky against Basel at home when Riise hit the woodwork twice but it was a considerable mixture of the other factors also. However, the admirable three goal comeback away at Basel predated Istanbul by two and a half years and perhaps if Dudek had palmed a Basel shot around the post rather than towards one of their players then Liverpool might have won 3-2 and stayed in.

Other factors that were the beginning of the end for Gerard Houllier's reign at Anfield were his judgement when he signed players at the start of the season. Cheyrou was too unimposing to be the "next Zidane" and was left out of the team for large periods of the season while Diao despite a couple of goals and a handful of satisfactory performance was too weak to be the "next Vieira." Other players, namely Vladimir Smicer and Emile Heskey, both failed to continue their impressive form from the treble season. Smicer was jinxed by injury but was also inconsistent while Heskey failed to score enough goals and contribute sufficiently to the team's attacking prowess. The lack of a vintage performance from these midfield/attacking players as well as the crisis of confidence in defence led to the November to January eleven league game stretch without a victory - where far too many goals were shipped and too few were scored. Though also another issue was the team failed to convert enough chances - with Heskey and Owen culpable. Another new signing, Diouf on the other hand likewise underachieved for Liverpool FC and was a controversial figure but he did perform in some games.

However, this is why this 2002-03 season review is essential for a Liverpool fan because of the Worthington Cup/League Cup final performance and result (a bonus disk includes the entire ninety minutes). Diouf could have strong games and this game was one in which Diouf offered width and penetration. The team reverted to the impregnable defence of the treble season and counter attacking "smash and grab" mentality in attack and achieved a magnificent 2-0 victory over their north-west rivals, Manchester United. On the bonus DVD it is possible to witness the organisation and graft in the defending that was absent from many other games of 2002-03. Henchoz had his best game of the season and even managed to clear off the line again (though this time legitimately, unlike Cardiff 2001) when Dudek made a sole mistake. Hyypia and Carragher were impeccable and imperious while Riise also contributed to nullifying David Beckham. Manchester United players David Beckham and Juan Sebastian Veron were passengers while even Roy Keane struggled. When the United attack did penetrate, Dudek put in a man of the match shift to bring his season full circle - after the traumatic gaffes against United at home in the league, he was now making spectacular saves that denied United. In attack Liverpool provided enough threat on the counter to deserve a 2-0 victory. Murphy was cultured while Hamann was immense in protecting his back four through astute tackles and blocks - he even assisted Owen's second with his energetic run and eye for a pass. Gerrard scored a marvellous pile driver which from a Liverpool perspective deflected by good luck off United icon Beckham and had a combative overall performance. Owen was fantastic up front in converting the goal that sealed the victory - an exciting forage into the penalty area and devastating close-range finish. Perhaps Smicer should have scored a third goal when he saw a chance go underneath his legs. It was a fantastic day for Kopites and a remarkable win against the old rivals in a difficult season and the full ninety minutes justifies the purchase of this DVD.

In addition to the cup win, the 02-03 season review is also worth buying due to Danny Murphy becoming an integral performer and playmaker in the side. Perhaps though it is possible to see why he was sold by Rafa Benitez a couple of years later - although he was a playmaker and excellent at creating chances, you can see how in the Worthington Cup final he failed to orchestrate all the play, unlike Xabi Alonso who always dominated possession. Additionally, in the bad winter run he failed to contribute any assists and goals - not consistent enough form for the team's playmaker. Owen's plethora of goals and Steven Gerrard edging further towards becoming the world class player who inspired the Champions League win two years later in Istanbul likewise make this important viewing. Baros's impressive first full season make this significant - if Baros could have avoided injury and extended his influence further in future seasons then he could have been a key player for Liverpool. Perhaps what detracts from the cup heroics, however, were the early exit from the Champions League and inconsistent league form. If the team had not stuttered midway through the season, then Champions League qualification would have been achieved well before the disappointing defeats in the final two games. This season review marks the start of the end of the Houllier era - his excuses, inappropriate player signings and loss of defensive strength shows that his managerial ability was on the wane. Perhaps his health problems affected his judgement. But in winning a sixth and final piece of silverware it showed that he could still achieve when and where it mattered.


Liverpool Fc: Official Review Of The Season 1999/2000 [VHS]
Liverpool Fc: Official Review Of The Season 1999/2000 [VHS]
VHS
Offered by Discountdiscs-UK : Dispatched daily from the UK.
Price: £28.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Foundations for treble season success, 31 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
During Liverpool FC's previous season - the 1998-1999 campaign - the brief joint management team of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier collapsed under the weight of its lack of leadership and vision. Houllier was left in sole charge - catastrophic defending combined with a lack of committment led to one of Liverpool's weakest performing seasons of the past twenty years in which they finished a mediocre seventh in the league. Liverpool FC had failed to qualify for Europe and (in the season featured on this VHS) had to become a more consistent and revered side. The imperious pair of Stephane Henchoz and Sami Hyypia had been signed along with midfield linchpin Hamann to add more steel, bite and solidity to the defence. Meanwhile, Sander Westerveld replaced the calamitous David James. Other signings such as Titi Camara and Vladimir Smicer (who replaced the departed Steve McManaman) were made to enhance the guile and flair of Liverpool's attack.

The mainstay of Liverpool FC's success this season was the way in which the whole squad pooled their talents together to function as a successful team unit (Houllier's influence). This was the first time in almost a decade that Liverpool's defensive unit was competent and combative. The whole team began to grind out results as well as displaying enough imagination and creativity on most occasions.

Away at Leeds in August 1999 saw Camara score an elegant curling shot from outside the box. Patrik Berger created the winner after deft work wide left and an accurate cross which Radebe inadvertently turned in. The energetic, all-round wing play from Patrik Berger, assisted by Dominic Matteo's rampages from left back was a significant feature of Liverpool's attack in 1999-2000. Berger displayed intuitive passing, crossing and movement and sensational long shots while Matteo's attacking thrust from left back led to a number of assists. Patrik Berger was the best performing player in 99-00 as he claimed the most assists and claimed a multitude of both long-range and short range goals.

If 99-00 had been a trophy attaining season then surely Berger's free kick against Man Utd away in March would have been more highly remembered. In a 1-1 draw that paved the way for the following's season dominance of their rivals across the M62, Berger scored with an effort of devastating accuracy and power. Other results that season also confirmed that Liverpool could compete amongst the best again. Arsenal were beaten twice. In August at home, Fowler reminded the Liverpool fans of his unerring ability with a venomous shot from outside the box while the impressive Berger scored another precise long-range piledriver. Away in February, Arsenal were conquered again in a 1-0 win. Gerrard's burgeoning talent materialised with a decisive through ball that assisted Camara's convincing lob over David Seaman and an instinctive last ditch challenge in his own penalty area to prevent a virtually certain goal. Gerrard also scored the first of his plethora of Liverpool goals over the past twelve years with a tremendous dribble and finish against Sheffield Wednesday. It all boded well. Liverpool's credentials as a top side were also successfully displayed in a 1-0 home win over Chelsea in which young Davey Thompson scored a neat close-range finish.

Other highlights of the season came through the individual and collective brilliance and motivation (thanks GH) of the squad. Some have said that Westerveld is not an inspiring keeper and its true that his dominance of the box and occasional lapses were not convincing but he could make exceptional saves which secured Liverpool points. At various points in the season he showed that he could make saves at crucial times that kept Liverpool in contention for a win or draw - that made him the 3rd best Liverpool goalkeeper of the 00s behind the legendary Jerzy Dudek and Pepe Rena.

In this season, Liverpool greats of recent seasons also contributed with 12 fabulous goals from top-scorer Michael Owen. Despite perhaps being a confidence player he continued his legendary status - in fact his dribble for his first goal at Coventry predated the play of Suarez and Torres by a number of years. Davey Thompson along with Matteo showed himself to be the most underrated player of the squad - his tenacious dribbling and precise delivery led to numerous chances, some of which finished with aplomb by himself. Carragher continued to display a masterclass in the art of defending.

Emile Heskey and Vladimir Smicer showed sufficient talent to convince the Reds following that there was more to come in the next season. The former combined strength and energy to be a powerful forward while the latter although perhaps lacking robustness displayed some silky skills to contribute some assists and adroit finishes. Other players, although not key, contributed to Liverpool's cause in 99-00. Redknapp showed some magical passing, movement and long-range strikes despite missing most of the campaign with injury. Danny Murphy showed some creative wizadry while Heggem, Stuanton and Song contributed assists from full back.

What, however, impedes 99-00 and this VHS from being an entirely successful viewing for LFC fans was particularly in the mediocre start and end to the season Liverpool sometimes lacked the ability to break smaller teams down and be clinical. While Liverpool's defending - apart from dominance of the goalkeeper in the box - was immense, too many times Liverpool failed to put goals past the opposition. A rare defensive mix-up at home to Watford in August should have been put behind the team if they had been more lethal when taking chances at the other end. In both league games versus Everton, Liverpool failed to score. The occasional inabililty to pick the lock of lesser teams was also shown against Bradford (away) and Leicester (home), though lapses in defending were also to blame. Perhaps the cup competitions of the following season were enough to increase concentration of the side for the top games.

The 1999-2000 season is worth buying because it shows the foundations for the following year's memorable treble winning campaign. A fourth place finish was creditable given the previous year's mid-table place. It qualified the Reds for the 2000-01 UEFA Cup which was won in scintillating fashion. The season, as a whole, gave the team the mettle to compete with the best also next season while Liverpool emerged victorious against enough of the smaller teams to also confirm their rediscovered nous. Perhaps the lack of a Champions League place due to some failings against the lesser sides and a lack of trophy prevent it from being the greatest Liverpool show of all time such as the UEFA Cup Winners 2001 VHS and Champions League Final DVD. However, it is essential if you are a fan of Houllier's/early 00s Liverpool and as a backdrop for the treble season.


SideWinder Game Pad Pro
SideWinder Game Pad Pro

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best gamepad around but do reduce the dead zone, 16 Jan. 2003
This is the best gamepad around in my opinion. It is light, ergonomically designed and works brilliantly across the whole spectrum of gamepad compatible games from GTA3 to FIFA.
One thing though is the customer below is right about the default dead zone being too big. If you leave it at its default setting the pad is slightly unresponsive as the default is too big. However, the customer is wrong in saying that this is a terrible fault as the software installed when you install the gamepad allows you to adjust the dead zone. Once you have reduced the size of the dead zone slightly the pad is even better and is then truly the best gamepad around. Buy it.


Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade
Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - reliable, attractive and superb performance, 1 Dec. 2002
Brilliant reliablility have hardly ever had a crash and certainly never a total system failure like I used to get with Windows 98. Upgrade can be difficult if you forget to download windows XP drivers for your devices before you upgrade. But if you do then it is quite smooth. Attractive new interface that is colourful but not at all childish and instead professional and attractive to the user. But most importantly the performance is great - games will run even faster than ever. Plus a lot of the bugs at the start have been solved by windows update and the first service pack. Buy it today. I would only not recommend it to computers with less than 128MB RAM. Otherwise it'll do well.


Illumination
Illumination
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £3.00

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of the year. Don't miss out., 7 Nov. 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Illumination (Audio CD)
After Paul's patchy last 2 albums, namely 1997's soulless "Heavy Soul" and 2000's moody 'Heliocentric,' I was expecting more of the same with 'Illumination' just being another flashy title to sell another run of the mill album. Fortunately, I have been spectacularly proved wrong. Maybe all his touring since after the 'Heliocentric' album has brought back his inspiration. The first thing the listener notices is the improved production. Brendan Lynch has been dropped and although his production was amazing on 'Wild Wood' and 'Stanley Road' it soon became repetitive and unfocused on 'Heavy Soul' and 'Heliocentric.' Paul has produced himself with some help on some tracks from Simon Dine. The instruments are all beautifully clear and this allows the melody to shine in each song. There are 13 tracks and each deserves its place on the album. The opener, 'Going Places', is one of a number of acoustic delights. Other acoustic type songs include the lush 'Leafy Mysteries,' 'Who Brings Joy,' 'All Good Books' and the closer 'Illumination.' They are all as good as anything on Wild Wood. This album also has a better balance then the previous two as there are some rockers as well such as 'A Bullet For Everyone' and 'Call Me No.5.' 'It's Written in the Stars' is clearly Paul's best single since 1996's Peacock Suit. 'Now the Night is Here' and 'Standing Out in the Universe' are also spectacular songs. The main thing with this album though is that it as many have already stated the title does ring true. It is Paul's happiest album and so much better then the previous two which were the work of an unhappy, moody man entering his 40s. It is definitely already on par with Stanley Road and only time will tell if it is his best album but it certainly could be even better than Wild Wood due to it's superb songwriting and warm atmosphere. Do buy it it is one of the best albums of the year and it will "illuminate" those dark autumn and winter evenings.


A Rush Of Blood To The Head
A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.93

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rush of Genius To The Head, 8 Sept. 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is definitely the best indie album in recent years and undoubtedly heading to be the album of the year. The first thing that the listener notices as the first crunchy, guitar notes of Politik pour from the speakers is that there a sense of purpose and that the band are determined to better the naive genius of their debut Parachutes I use that oxymoron "naive genius" as I feel that it is a good description of Parachutes. Although it was very good I did feel that it was slightly overrated and not a true classic and was more a pre-cursor for future great works like this album. Granted it had 4 or 5 classic songs in the likes of Don't Panic, Shiver, Spies, Trouble and High Speed but We Never Change and Everything's Not Lost were flimsy to say the least. The immediate thing that the listener notices is that the production is improved and much more refined - the organic, rawness of Parachutes remains but this is also met with a smoothness and crispness of sound and subtle atmospherics in the background on some of the tracks.
Throughout the album the listener also notices that Coldplay's influences are now even more wider and comprehensive. The most prominent is obviously Radiohead in their 'The Bends' era. The opening track and several others could have quite easily fitted onto that album with their varying guitar textures and Chris Martin's yearning voice. John Lennon and U2 also pervade this album. Piano-driven songs such as The Scientist, Clocks and Amsterdam recall John Lennon's Imagine album and U2 in their great example of songwriting craft. Amsterdam is the closest relative of the U2 classic, Running to Stand Still, that I personally have ever heard. Despite the fact that the band dismissed Green Eyes as a B-side, I personally find it to be quite charming and not an embarassing love song. The finish of the album is quite phenomenal and it has to be said that it is the most breathtaking that I have heard in recent years. The troubled, brooding title track draws heavily on The Bends' as its influence and marks the emotional peak of the album. Chris Martin's powerful vocals are at their best hear and the dynamics between the haunting, acoustic verses and loud, crunchy guitars of the chorus are superb. Amsterdam which quickly follows is the calm after the storm and although it is hard to choose a favourite track from such a strong album with honestly not a bad one in sight this my personal favourite. As previously mentioned it is the closest to Running to Stand Still that you will ever hear with its quite simply beautiful piano melody. It is much more convincing than its predecessor Everything's Not Lost. The Verve and Richard Ashcroft are another influence on the album with the strings used on many of the tracks used to provide another dimension to each song. Warning Sign, in particular, is the closest relative to The Verve and Richard Ashcroft that you will hear with Chris Martin's strong voice and his refrain "the state we're in." Everything Must Go-era Manic Street Preachers also provide another influence. The Sean Moore style crashing drumming is deployed on superb first single In My Place.
In the end AROBTTH fulfils the promise of genius evidenced on Parachutes and is likely to be most people's album of the year. It is an accomplished album that will not let anyone down and there is not a bad track in sight.


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