Liverpool have massive aspirations, but the Cup would be a good start

Dietmar Hamann can put Authentic Prada Gauffre Authentic Prada Black Prada Bag With Gold Vitello Daino his finger on exactly what is worrying Liverpool supporters. ‘In the Black Prada Bag With Gold last few weeks we have shown we can win against any team in Europe,’ the German midfielder said. ‘We went to Manchester United and got a victory, we went to Roma and got a victory. Yet we can still go Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada E Shop and lose to Ipswich or Middlesbrough.’

The bad news Amazon Uk Prada Bags for Birmingham City, the underdogs in today’s Worthington Cup final, is that Liverpool are gradually ironing that trait out of their system. Since the Middlesbrough defeat on Boxing Day, the only time Liverpool have finished on the losing side was in the first leg of their Worthington semi-final at Crystal Palace, a deficit emphatically recovered in the second leg.

What happened between those two semi-final legs was that Jari Litmanen made a stunning debut in a 3-0 Premiership victory at Aston Villa. The Finn took the place of Robbie Fowler, whose own resurgence stems from precisely the same time. It is tempting to see Litmanen – surely the best piece of free-transfer business Liverpool have ever concluded – as the last piece in Grard Houllier’s jigsaw.

Since his arrival, Fowler and Michael Owen returned to England form and confidence has coursed almost visibly through the whole of the team, but though the former Ajax and Barcelona striker completes an unparalleled range of attacking options which Houllier often runs through in the course of a single game, it is possible Litmanen has simply been lucky enough to join Liverpool at the right time.

‘We began the season with a couple of new players and a few injuries, and maybe that’s why we started a bit slowly,’ Hamann said. ‘We look a lot more solid now.’

Nick Barmby, one of the arrivals last summer, agrees Liverpool were never likely to make a flying start. ‘When you have a number of new people they will always need time for bedding-in,’ he said. ‘People are saying that if the league was beginning now we might have a chance of staying with Manchester United.

‘The manager always says the time to judge us will be in a couple of years, but I think the Roma result showed we are strong mentally, and beating United at Old Trafford was a massive boost to our confidence.’

Houllier might be right about judging Liverpool in two years prada, but he is equally well aware that if they don’t start picking up silverware soon he might not be allowed that luxury. Anfield eyes might be on the FA Cup, the Uefa Cup and a Champions League place, but the Worthington Cup Authentic Prada Handbags Uk would be a start. ‘I think Barberino Factory Outlet Prada the time has come to win something,’ Houllier admitted. ‘I’m sure Birmingham City will feel the same way for other reasons, but this is my first cup final and it’s important to all of us. Winning silverware at this stage will increase our self-belief and set us up for the rest of the season.’

‘For the best teams winning is a habit,’ Hamann said. ‘We haven’t got that habit yet, but we’d like to make a start. The size of our squad means players want to do well in every Authentic Prada Shoes Outlet game, and we don’t intend giving anything away cheaply. No one is underestimating this occasion, because perhaps the first trophy is always the most difficult. I joined Liverpool to win things and I’m just waiting to get Authentic Prada Bags Outlet Online off the mark.’

Hamann has that in common with Sven-G?ran Eriksson, then. But for the German’s free-kick in what turned out to be Kevin Keegan’s last match, the first foreign coach in English history might not have come about so quickly. ‘Germany was not so surprised to see England appoint Eriksson. The situation is similar in Germany. Rudi Voller is doing quite well, but there aren’t a lot of alternatives, and if he leaves we’ll probably get a foreigner as well.