Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Food Review - The Coffee Club: Warwick, QLD Branch

I'm not one to normally complain about restaurant food. In fact, there's no 'normally' about it. In my 31 years I never have! Until now, of course. Since today's encounter with Warwick's Coffee Club (not Warwick Kappa's by the way; the Warwick, QLD branch of the exponentially growing Coffee Club Franchise), I've loathed to eat anything at all.

After our two-and-half hour excursion up the Cunningham Highway, my wife had the idea of some cuisine other than your stock standard trans-fat delights of McDonalds, KFC et al. The Coffee Club was earmarked feast of the other worldly variety. How thing's quickly turned sour.

Once arrived and seated, the waitress took our order. We waited patiently and in no time at all, the meals arrived. Typical Coffee Club, I thought. Nice short, sharp service.

My wife grimaced as if she'd just caught whiff of some body odour from the bloke at the neighbouring table, only she was looking down at her food; Eggs Benedict.

The toast (or some fancy name for such) was as pale as a pint of milk. It was stale bread at best, glorified toast by the maker who was saving electricity at worst. The ham would've made my cat recoil in fright, while the eggs were as raw as a greyhound's dinner. This trio was drowned (yes, drowned) in hollandaise sauce, which was undoubtedly the worst facet of the dish. The stuff almost dripped from the side of the plate there was that much of it. The smell? Well, let's just say the bloke at the neighbouring table's body odour was a better proposition. The sauce appeared to be mixed with out-of-date sour cream and Hulk Hogan's preserved piss of at least twenty years! There may've been a skerrick of mustard in it, but I didn't want to inspect too close.

My wife placed it to one side in displeasure. Her pot of tea wasn't too bad, despite the fact it probably comprised of Black & Gold tea bags, which the fine folk at the Coffee Club no doubt made a hefty profit on, with an 80 per cent mark-up or the like.

Whilst I looked on in dread at the Eggs Benedict, I'd completely forgotten about my own meal; a ham, cheese, and tomato toasted sandwich. The staple lunch for a meat and two veg. man. Let's just say it 'was' a staple lunch in my dietary repertoire.

For a start, the bread was a like doorsteps. Like my wife's, it was also ghost pale. The margarine oozed from the 'toast' which made it soggy (all the hallmarks of 'bread', I'd say). The ham was indeed worse than the Eggs Benedict's. It made the arteries shrink and harden in equal measure. The cheese looked like it'd been recycled and even then, I doubt if it'd melted properly in the first instance. By this point, I didn't even bother looking at the tomato...

So I leaned back on my chair and thought to myself, at least I still have my mug of cappuccino! I took one sip and belched in utter repulsion. The coffee was so burnt I almost saw the bottom of the mug smouldering. I shifted it to one side in disgust. Had I taken another sip, my breathe would've been likened to the smell of a bear's arsehole!

We got up and left the food behind. I felt sorry for the entity to which our leftovers would be presented. Probably an employee's pet dog who will be scarred for life by the experience. That's if the poor thing survives...
Thirty-four dollars and eighty cents. Daylight robbery redefined. The waitress didn't even ask how our meal was, despite the fact we were up and down so quick we almost contracted the bends!

The Coffee Club. I used to enjoy our time together. As they say, all good things must come to an end. If I were the QLD health authorities I'd be breaking a leg to get to Warwick.

This isn't 1 star, "poor" this is 0 stars and "piss poor"!

By Simon K.

Player Ratings - Swansea City vs. Liverpool: - 0-1

Liverpool continued their good form with a fortuitous 1-0 victory away to Swansea City. The Liberty Stadium has never been a happy hunting ground for the men from Merseyside, however tonight’s performance was yet another for the record books; a first win away at the Liberty Stadium coupled with Liverpool’s sixth consecutive clean sheet away from home, a club record. Although lucky to escape with the three points, sometimes you create your own luck. Player ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 8: Made two crucial saves in the first half. His save from Bafetimbi Gomis was among his best this season while his effort from Gylfi Sigurdsson wasn’t too far behind, either. A complete performance from the renaissance man. Any hint of replacing him in the summer seemingly dwindles as each match passes.

Emre Can - 7: Defensively, he looked to struggle with the physical aspect at times. He made several marauding runs from the back and defended on the front foot, winning crucial tackles in the dangerous areas of the pitch. Solid.

Martin Skrtel - 8: The big Slovak didn’t put a foot wrong from the opening whistle. Generally coped well with Gomis. A carbon copy performance since the turn of the year, all told.

Mamadou Sakho - 8:  Heckled by the Swansea faithful, the big Frenchman took it in his stride with yet another impressive display. His introduction back into the starting XI was very much welcomed. A mainstay when fit.

Adam Lallana - 6:  An industrious performance from the Englishman. Along with his team mates, suffered in the first half due to Swansea’s incessant pressing off the ball.

Alberto Moreno - 6: Got himself into trouble several times, which led to a booking and eventually led to his substitution. Comfortable in the new formation, however requires improvement in the final third.

Jordan Henderson - 7: In the first half, was overrun in the midfield, however looked far more comfortable further up the pitch. Although there was an element of luck with his goal, he busted a lung to get into the position and reaped the reward for his effort. His impressive run of goals continues.

Joe Allen - 8: Man of the Match. Liverpool’s best player. Even when the chips were down in the first half, he won several important battles; none better than his last ditch tackle on Gomis. Controlled possession in tight areas and kept the ball moving in the second half.

Philippe Coutinho - 6: Like Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, suffered as a result of Swansea’s industry off the ball. He eventually grew into the game, where his quality was on show for all to see. Will no doubt be more influential in other games before the season’s end.

Raheem Sterling- 6: Like his teammates in the attacking third, anonymous for large parts of the match. He came to life when Liverpool managed to get a stronghold on the game, with a series of mazy excursions.

Daniel Sturridge - 6: See Raheem Sterling. Looked lively with the ball at his feet; it just didn’t fall to him often enough, which is a credit to Swansea, who worked tirelessly off the ball throughout the match.


Steven Gerrard - 7: Changed the game. His aura seemed to breathe life into those around him. Made a series of crucial tackles in the midfield and got Liverpool on the front foot when it mattered.

Glen Johnson – N/R:  Was brought on to keep things tight towards the back end of the game. 

Brendan Rodgers - 7: The masterful substitution of Steven Gerrard proved the difference in the end. Midway through the second half, Rodgers sensed Liverpool were beginning to get on top and played his Wildcard in Gerrard. It paid dividends.

By Simon K.



Thursday, 5 March 2015

Player Ratings - Liverpool vs. Burnley 2-0

After the triumph against Manchester City it was important for Liverpool to continue their winning ways. Burnley proved tenacious in opposition and a very well coached unit. However, during the match Liverpool's quality shone through, ending up 2-0 victors on the night. Yet another invaluable three points for the Redmen, who continue their surge towards the top four. My Liverpool FC player ratings as follows:
Simon Mignolet - 7: Barely called upon, however when required, he did it well. His ability to come for crosses has improved tenfold since Boxing Day when these two sides last met. Won an innocuous header midway through the second half outside the box, however fortune favours the brave. Sometimes.

Dejan Lovren - 7: Another solid performance for the improving Croatian. Not fully recovered from his nightmare start to the season, with several inaccurate passes lucky not to lead to more for Burnley. However, things appear to be moving in the right direction for him.

Martin Skrtel - 8: The bedrock of the Liverpool defence. He didn't put a foot wrong throughout and dealt with the industrious Danny Ings very well. He's proving to be an able leader throughout this team.

Emre Can - 8: Was once again moved to right wing back in the game's latter stages. You could play him anywhere on the pitch and the German would look comfortable. For a player of his age, his ability to read the game is frightening.

Alberto Moreno - 6: Dealt well in a defensive sense. Played within himself in the final third of the pitch. More to come from the young Spaniard; one of many who's benefited from the change in system since the turn of the year.

Raheem Sterling- 7: Made several mazes runs which are becoming a scary formality when he is on the ball. Some may feel he is wasted in the right wing back position, but like Emre Can, Sterling's versatility is one of his endearing qualities.

Jordan Henderson - 8: Man of the Match. Once again, heroic. His goal just about bettered his effort against Manchester City, with a thumping volley which saw the home team take a much deserved lead. His telepathic understanding with Daniel Sturridge saw him turn provider for Liverpool's second. A beautiful pass, which found the front man to put the game to bed. Growing into his role as the team's leader.

Joe Allen - 8: Continuing his form from Sunday, the underappreciated Welshman didn't miss a beat. Without the ball, he astutely chose his moments to press while in possession, he remained unflustered and played the game in front and around him. An out -and-out team player.

Adam Lallana - 8: He once again ran himself into the ground whilst demonstrating his silky touches and turns. Starting to prove a nice foil for Philippe Coutinho. His good form and consistent run in the team couldn't have come at a better time.

Philippe Coutinho - 7: Lovely touches throughout, however it was his impressive work off the ball which a feature of his game. He led the way with Liverpool's unrelenting pressing, which made it hard for Burnley to play through.

Daniel Sturridge - 7: Could've had a hat trick had he been fully match fit. I'm sure people aren't aware just how well he took his goal with a bullet header, which was directed with precision. His touch let him down at times, but if he can score on the off night, the sky's limit when he is on. It's building nicely for Liverpool main man.


Kolo Toure – N/R: In a carbon copy from Sunday, he shored things up at the back. Seldom called upon throughout his cameo. 

Glen Johnson – N/R: Ditto Kolo Toure. Another brief appearance from the former England International.

Rickie Lambert – N/R: Simply an introduction for the record books. Didn't get a touch.

Brendan Rodgers – 7: An easier night for the Liverpool Manager, who once again got his troops up for the game. The relentless pressing has seen this team transformed into a genuine top four contender.

By Simon K.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Player Ratings - Liverpool vs. Manchester City: 2-1

After the disappointment of bowing out of the Europa League, coupled with an important Premier League fixture than 72 hours away, Liverpool FC came into the game against title contenders, Manchester City with most pundits writing them off. As said throughout these parts sum seven days earlier; the juggernaut continues. It was a heroic victory for the men from Anfield, in a performance that can undoubtedly be described as their best this season. The elation is high to the point where I can't say much more. My Liverpool FC player ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 6: During the critical moments, Mignolet looked rather shaky; a surprise, considering his current resurgence. Should have come for the ball in the lead up to Sergio Aguero's chance shortly after Liverpool took the lead. Thankfully, those critical moments in front of goal proved few, as the Belgium didn't have a lot to do.

Dejan Lovren - 6: After his penalty miss in the Europa League, it was important for the much maligned Croatian to get back to basics. He had an up and down afternoon, but made several important interventions throughout. Commanding in the air and whilst rash in the game's embryonic stages, his second half was steady. It was important for his confidence that he finished on the winning side.

Martin Skrtel - 7: Once again commanding. The back three were undone by a brilliantly worked Manchester City goal, but other than that, proved able. Skrtel's role in the team proves more important as the weeks pass.

Emre Can - 7: Showed great strength throughout and continues to defy his critics from earlier in the season. Was moved to right wing back in the game's late stages. Once again, he took to it like a duck to water.

Alberto Moreno - 7: Another solid display from the marauding Spaniard. Had to deal with a lot of the traffic in the first held and by and large, dealt with it well. A work in progress, but so far the former Sevilla man's season can be defined as a success.

Lazar Markovic - 6: A mixed afternoon for the nonchalant Serb. Conducted his defensive duties well, whilst also involved in some of Liverpool's finer moments in the final third. He still needs work on his end product, but I have no doubt it will fall into place for the young man.

Jordan Henderson - 8: Talismanic. Outplayed his opponent in Yaya Toure. His goal, no doubt his finest in a Liverpool shirt, thus far. His pressing was first class whilst his leadership skills continue to flourish.

Joe Allen - 9: Imperious. A player who's divided opinion amongst the Anfield faithful, he didn't put a foot wrong in a performance which can be defined as his best in a red shirt. The way he turned on the ball was a skill that simply can't be taught. He's risen to another level and long may it continue. Adam

Lallana - 8: Another player who perhaps had his best match in a red shirt. Lallana's work rate was Dirk Kuyt esque as he ran himself into the ground from the opening whistle. Had the ball in the back of the net twice. The first, goal of the season contender had it counted. Some - including myself - thought it should have.

Philippe Coutinho - 9: Man of the Match. Unplayable. Again, he well and truly outplayed his opponent in David Silva, who himself didn't have a bad afternoon by any stretch. Another goal of world class proportions and one that rivals his pile driving strike from last week against Southampton. Had the ball on the string from the opening whistle. When he's on like he was today, he is simply unstoppable.

Raheem Sterling- 7: Missed a chance late in the first half, but other than that, led from the front in a defensive sense where Liverpool chose their moments to press their opponent. A tireless performance.


Daniel Sturridge - N/R: Missed a golden opportunity late on to put the game to bed. After his disappointing night in Turkey, some may say he is struggling at the moment, but while the team is winning, the main focus for Liverpool's main man is to continue getting game time.

Kolo Toure – N/R: Shored things up at the back where he won several late aerial duals. A good option to have coming off the bench in these situations.

Brendan Rodgers – 8: After the rigours of the past 72 hours, he somehow got his squad up for this match in what can perhaps be described as a minor miracle. Adopting the pressing tactics, which have brought him success during his Anfield tenure, this win could be described as his greatest as a Liverpool manager, thus far.

By Simon K.