Category: football

3 months short of a year

…since my last post. What a difference (almost) a year makes.

I’ve often thought about the varying ways I’d recap my experiences since the wedding weekend below. It’s been way way too long. Readers of this blog would simply feel the massive chasm that no amount of #throwbacks would do the series of events justice. And those series of events since my last post, was possibly THE most incredibly-unbelievably-irreplaceable milestones of my career. Like being named LFC TVs official Malaysian reporter. Meeting Zlatan. WORLD CUP 2014 in BRAZIL!!!

As you can see I have amazing knack for timing. Oh, the irony.

Despite my absence from thekopsalad, as those of you who follow me know, I have not disappeared from the great big world wide web entirely. All is not lost.

I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to “write frequently”. If I’m being sentimental, need a larger platform to note down my thoughts and have the luxury of time to type them out, thekopsalad remains a safe space (much like that gym membership I have yet to cancel just in case I feel like going – my last visit was 3 months back). Some may call it a little indulgent. But like that scoop of Baskin Robbin’ Pralines & Cream or your favourite slice of chocolate cake, some pleasures in life should be just that. A pleasure. Let nobody trip you into that pit of guilt. At least until the day those size 24 skinny jeans no longer fit.

For more frequent updates, or in case of an emergency (like that Suarez bite) I can be found at:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

2014-07-24 12.55.32

 

I hate goodbyes. Can’t wait for BPL to start again

xo Reem

triple treat

Could this be Liverpool’s season? Could it? Could it????!

I’m still all smiles today from yesterday’s win over United, as if I headed that goal in myself *thanks*

That’s the thing about football. One man’s goal is a whole army’s pride! I totally made that one up but you know what I mean.

3 games. 3 goals. 3 clean sheets. 3 wins. It’s a dream start, and dare I say luck has nothing to do with it *yes I’m talking to you sour Devils*.

Brendan Rodgers is making stellar progress with the team, especially the back (just got news that Sakho, Ilori are on board with Moses to follow).

LFC’s defense is looking more and more impenetrable but let’s be honest, our attack still needs work. Getting goals early in the first half for the past 3 matches are fantastic, but after the break they’re not as consistent and lose their flair.

Except for the man standing in between the post. Now he’s THE reason Liverpool have yet to concede.

I didn’t quite understand why BR spent a cool 9 mill on Mignolet and loaned Reina to Napoli. I mean, I knew he’s good, but isn’t Reina just as? Little did I know.

Mignolet has proved from the get go; against Stoke just how valuable he is. That penalty save on the 88th minute. I almost died.

Even on PL’s Fantasy Football, he’s the highest scoring player for now. If only I’d captained him instead of Hazard!

But let’s not downplay the rest of the team. Sturridge is having a moment with the goal. Enrique + Johnson both aggressive at the sides. Coutinho has yet to find the net, but major talent there just waiting to burst out. Lastly, the always reliable Captain G, great passes, interceptions, and above all the experienced leader the team can count on.

It’s still early days, but the current mood stands at: let’s embrace being on top!!!!

LFC

…and hope it carries through the remaining 35 games where I’ll be sitting, watching, praying with nerves, anxiety and all that.

During the 2 week hiatus in the PL, I’m gonna play catch up with history.

  Planing to watch a rerun of the 1974 FA Cup final match on DVD courtesy of a colleague who grew up in the southern regions of London. It was the first match he ever watched, and has been a fan of the Merseyside ever since. Includes interview clips of Shankly too (who turns 100 today).

20130902_162753(1)

There’s nothing quite like sports to keep the conversation going! #ynwa

xo Reem

the mourinho effect

Wherever he goes, whatever he says, whatever he does people take heed.

7 domestic league titles, 2 UCLs and 1 UEFA Cup. No less than 17 managerial awards including FIFA World Coach of the year. Oh, and let’s just throw in some records like how he hasn’t gone a full calender year without winning at least one trophy, just for the heck of it.

That’s what they call the Mourinho effect.

So when my producer texted to check if I was free to interview JM during Chelsea’s pre-season tour here in KL, I immediately replied, HELL YES!

Only to check my phone later on with a conflicting buka puasa event on that date/time with my family. Good news, y u no have good timing?!

But after negotiating with my parents (thank God they know enough football that I didn’t have to go into details about what a big deal this was) I got to sneak out of buka early for my 9pm date interview with the Special One.

1002478_549051168484024_1329780498_n

Not going to lie, I was SO nervous before the interview.

Fortunately Jay had warmed him up before during her slot for Stadium Unplugged, so he was pretty light-hearted when my turn was up.

He was pleasant, professional and who would’ve thought, good humored too! We weren’t the only ones who did not expect to see this side of JM though.

The folks at UK’s Daily Mail apparently thought so too and dedicated an article based on our interview here.

Such a hash tag, proud moment to see it featured on the site I visit for my daily dose of football update. I can die now. Happily!

xo Reem

not april’s fool

So it seems that I’m only motivated to post after a win. Given the name of the blog, it becomes a justifiable cause (excuse). I’m sure you’re with me on this – who wants to remember the bad moments in life raise your hand?

Some may argue that we are each the sum of our experiences. Unfortunately wisdom of this sort can only be appreciated in hindsight.

Nonetheless, it’s 3 points earned and we’ll take whatever we can get these days. And hey, should Chelsea challenge off City and make it to the FA Cup finals, we may even get a spot in Europa.

Will that be enough to hinder a summer exit from Suarez?

He’s a fighter. But with money and glory on the line, even the sweetest Kitty (that would be a Hello Kitty cookie) will break.

Image

I was at Puteri Harbor last week as part of the travelogue series with AirAsia, and I must say for Malaysian standards, it’s very impressive!

Most of the site is still under construction but the main attractions like Hello Kitty Land, Lat’s Place and Legoland are already creating waves. Very toddler-teenage centric but I would recommend just about anyone to go check out the development and bring out the kid in you. I mean, we weren’t as lucky to have these things to entertain us while growing up, so better late than never. Then there’s Johor Premium Outlet to satisfy those shopaholic tendencies.

Will post more from my visits around Malaysia once I get all the photos from the production team.

xo Reem

i knew you were trouble

Taylor Swift is totally having a hold on me these days. I don’t want to come off as a music snob that “puhhs” and “pahhs” at Top 40 stuff they play over and over again like Groundhog Day on drugs, but 90 percent of it is white noise to me. Not a racist joke, just you know that flat power sound that comes from your TV sometimes. Much like the thrash talk I got from United fans this week. Meaningless hubbub.

Gloat you devils! Gloat while you still can. Just as LFC’s glory days back in the 80’s have passed, yours will too. What can I say? I fall into the pits of sour grapes every now and then.

I’m not going to write another passage of Liverpool’s eventual ascension into Championship Utopia. No. Because like love, they say once you stop searching for it, it’ll find you. And all’s fair in love… and war (someone should have told Suarez that it’s not cheating unless you get caught). So to war we went.

IMG-20130115-WA0016

Like the real gentle ladies that we are, we settled it the best way we knew how.

By letting the balls do the talking (no balls were harmed in the filming of this ‘episode’)

IMG-20130115-WA0021

But then we came across WAG gossip online, and all was forgotten.

IMG-20130115-WA0017

Never under estimate the power of gossip and its ability to bring women together.

p/s: Michelle Michael pulled a Jonathan Walters. Guess who won this battle?

*bows*

xo Reem

a new year

How’s your new year been so far? Broke any resolutions yet? Mine are still in check, as far as not eating fast food goes. McDonalds and KFC ain’t got nothing on me!

While most might find January the equivalent of a Monday, I was pretty psyched to get back to work and start ticking off my list of 2013 goals. The blessing is in the seed they say, so kick off your year with a good beginning and the rest will follow suit.

That seed for Liverpool’s new year? Possibly Sturridge’s debut goal against Mansfield.

Danny boy could hold the key to what they’ve been lacking all season. His challenge is to make a substantial mark at Anfield, something he failed to do at previous clubs. Plus I read that Borini will be back to training this week, so that opens up our attacking options when we visit Old Trafford this weekend (oh, the nerves!!). Can’t wait!

Speaking of this weekend (13th Jan – go flood him with birthday wishes), someone from the Football Overload couch is turning a year wiser (we hope).

Screenshot_2013-01-07-11-18-41-1

In true FO fashion, we made AC stand on a chair while in the middle of a very crowded restaurant and sang the birthday song. One can never be too old be bestowed with this honour.

IMG_20130105_020907

The Supersport family who tirelessly bring you football in all its glorious forms week in and out.

Have a great week everyone!

xo Reem

xmas wishlist

It’s that time of year again, Christmas is just around the corner making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now, we may not have snow or a big tree like the one at Rockerfeller Center but we do have beautifully decorated malls (Pavilion wins hands down this year) and a Home Alone DVD to dwell in the festivities.

I did my Christmas shopping today, which is possibly my favourite part of the season. Or any season really, not that I need an excuse to shop but it’s more fun shopping gifts for others and relishing in glee at their reaction (hopefully a positive one) when they unwrap it.

Which got me to thinking about the perfect gift(s) for the Kop at heart that I assume are absolutely fail-proof.

1. LFC Official Membership

Nothing says you’re a truer fan than this. Plus you get a member’s pack which comes with a cute scarf that you can wrap around the lips of your loud, proud, swollen headed United fiends  friends.

pack_one

2. Liverpool FC Heroes

More than just an official coffee table book, it gives insight on the personal lives of legends who’ve played for ‘pool the past 50 years. A great addition to any Reds’ collection.

Take it to another level, and get 1 of the legends featured to sign off, like this one I received on my birthday 🙂

20121222_215002

Aside from those 2, most importantly what every Kop living in the 21st century needs is…

 

 

 

…a Survival Kit!

The hardest thing for a fan is to watch your team lose. Constantly. Especially, at home ground.

Brendan Rodger’s crest fallen expression. Gerrard shaking his head. Suarez arguing with the refs for not penalizing a defender’s blatant foul. The team walking back to the tunnel with their heads down. Devastating stuff.

But as fans, you suck it up, continue giving moral support and hope for the best. We’ll get our pot of gold eventually.

In the mean time, give a Kop a fun and resourceful kit to cheer them up. Let your creative juices flow with this one.

1. Kleenex: to dry your tears

2. Panadol: to numb that painful feeling in your gut

3. ear plugs: to block out the never ending wisecracks. If I had a penny for every history channel joke I hear…

4. a tub of Baskin-Robbins’ Pralines & Cream: because from young we were taught that ice cream makes everything better. Warning: may cause weight gain

5. rubber band: to keep you bouncing back

6. and lastly, this video: to remind you, that you’ll never walk alone

 

Have a holly jolly Christmas this year everyone! 🙂

xo Reem

when the week ends…

…we all cheer and chant TGIF!

I don’t know about you, but what I look forward to most when the weekend comes around is the chance to catch up with my family, friends and of course football (Check, check and check).

Last weekend though was not your typical average ordinary weekend because Malaysia beat Indonesia for a spot in the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals! (also, the one and only J Lo graced our shores with an amazingly, superb, fantastic performance that I’m still gushing about to everyone 2 days later – which deserves a post of it’s own that I’ll update soon).

I had the pleasure of being at Bukit Jalil to support our boys along with a crowd of about 70k others. 70k! Can you imagine? The stadium was filled to the brim, save for 2 columns which were evacuated, and lined with police, as a buffer and safety measure between Harimau Malaya and Indo fans.

We were so happy jumping all over the place after Azamuddin Akil’s first goal, but when Mahali Jasuli doubled the lead 3 minutes later we went craaazy. It was as though we’d won the whole tournament already!

Thoroughly well deserved, despite a shaky start but they defended well throughout the second half to finish off with a clean sheet.

Best of luck to the team for their next match against Thailand. Let’s defend the title!

PhotoGrid_1354374349676

Met the ever pretty national bowler, Zandra Aziela (who was also a guest on Football Overload last season) at the match.

A little inside story on a minor jersey dilemma I had before the match.

I had planned to wear the latest edition, courtesy of the kind peeps at Nike, similar to the one Zandra had on initially.

But it didn’t occur to me that I’d sent the jersey to the laundry which was ready for pick up over a week ago and because I had to babysit my nieces that afternoon, when it was time to get ready to leave for the stadium it was too late to get it.

Can you spell avid procrastinator? I even downloaded an app called ‘Do It Tomorrow’ from Play Store. Unfortunately the app doesn’t actually do your chores for you.

In hindsight though, it was a great move since the team played in their away jerseys too. Reem 1 – 0 Universe.

It was a great weekend for football (sorry goons and blues – we’ve all been there) as Liverpool also clinched a winner over Southampton! Do you realize how they always win when the match is on a Saturday? Coincidence no? Yes? Yes. Let’s wait until the end of the season before we persuade the F.A to move all our matches over.

xo Reem

italian job

If we get booted at group stage, I will be bitter.

“It is a lesson – you have to earn the right to win the game but we didn’t do that at the beginning of the second half. Maybe we thought the game was too comfortable but at this level it never is. We need constant reminders and constant work that you have to maintain concentration and earn the right to win. You can’t keep having to score two, three or even five goals just to win a game” – Brendan Rodgers
Bite the bullet, trim the fat and learn to park the bus. D-E-F-E-N-S-E!!! (me, in a cute cheerleader outfit).

xo Reem

darkest before the dawn

I write that title with much optimism towards Liverpool’s future despite last night’s result. 5 games with no win, made even more frustrating by the fact that their overall pace and performance are evidently better than it has been all of last season… Whilst listening to the Florence & The Machine song of the same title.

Although it can be argued that referee Mark Halsey played a crucial role in United’s win for those 2 undeserved fines, the Reds simply wasted too many good opportunities that could’ve easily won them 3 points.

Even with 10 men, they where threatening as Gerrard and Allen dominated midfield. Substituting young Suso was a good move in reshuffling the formation after Shelvey’s dismissal (and for the record, it was a one-footed challenge on Evans, who should’ve also gotten a red in my opinion). Suarez, always resilient but often too enthusiastic, got the better of him – again. He needs to look up more when he’s dribbling the ball around! And RVP, where were you before that penalty? Non existent. Barely a threat to our defense. All that plus home ground advantage, victory to the Reds was just as disillusioned as a mirage is to a weary traveler under the baking sun in the expansive desert.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert in the technicalities of football, in fact, part of the reason for me starting the blog was to improve my understanding of the game and to be a better writer.

This article by Chris Bascombe pretty much nails it though.

Keep the faith Kops!
xo Reem