It’s been a week dominated by the Champions League and particularly the progress of Chelsea. Against all the odds they overcame Barcelona who are either God’s gift to football or, on the strength of Tuesday night at least, a one trick pony with no answer to good old fashion pragmatism !
Fernando Torres, with his goal, has apparently repaid in full the £50m Chelsea kindly gave to us for his services. I don’t know what Chelsea get for progressing from the semi final to the final but I’m willing to bet it’s nowhere near that figure. Also, in all the histrionics, it was forgotten that if Torres had not scored, and score stayed at 2-1, Chelsea would have still gone through!
My memory of Torres’ goal is twofold. Firstly, as he found himself bearing down on Valdes, that he would add to his ever growing catalogue of hilarious misses. However, when he scored I have to say that, despite everything that has gone on over the past year or so, I felt pleased for him.
The other memory concerns Gary Neville, who was commentating for Sky, and his brave but ill judged and wholly unconvincing, attempt to impersonate a South American commentator’s reaction when a goal is scored. This involved letting out what can only be described as a guttural, prolonged moan. Perhaps Neville had been inflated before the game was rapidly losing all his air, either that or co commentator Alan Parry was giving him a severe goosing!
Meanwhile high up in the stands “studio” one, some, or all of, Graeme Souness, Uncle Jeff Stelling, Glenda Hoddle and Jamie Redknapp described the goings on as of the greatest Champions League games ever as if our exploits at the Ataturk Stadium in 2005 were a routine, ho hum walk in the park! Nonetheless I wish Chelsea luck in Munich and hope that, as result of making it through, they are distracted and that this manifests itself on 5th May at Wembley!
Back at L4 and ever long tome entitled the Trials and Tribulations of Alberto Aquilani
was given another chapter even though, in many ways, it’s the same as the last one. This time Kenny has stated that if Milan don’t take up their option to buy the midfielder then he would be welcomed back to Anfield. Milan have an option to buy Aqua for £6m if he makes twenty five appearances for them, he is currently on twenty two.
I’m not sure how he has done in Italy however I am pretty sure that if it doesn’t work out at San Siro, Aqualani won’t come back here, at least not permanently. It’s a pity as Aqualani in our midfield would represent a much needed contrast to the increasing blandness of Downing, Adam and Henderson. I may be wrong but I get the impression that personally he wants away. Time to cut our ties and take a loss, if only to trim the wage bill? Sadly I think so.
So to today’s game at Carrow Road and what I guess, in terms of the league, is a dead rubber, although the owners of the respective sides will want to see progress up the table for financial reasons, places mean prizes! For us I guess there is the incentive of trying to overhaul Everton however since they overtook us we’ve, like the Panda’s in Edinburgh Zoo, shown no interest getting down to business! Is this likely to change with the FA Cup final a week away?
The other incentive is that if West Brom, Fulham and Sunderland win and we lose we could find ourselves in eleventh place. The phrase ”mid table respectability” is often used however, it would have a hollow ring for Liverpool as expectations are higher even through the results and statistics do not lie. Team wise Gerrard may return from his knock and it seems Charlie Adams’ season is over due to a knee injury. Will Kenny, with Wembley in mind, make more changes than usual?
Prediction? It all depends on what version of Liverpool turn up and Norwich will want to atone for their last performance at home which saw them ship six goals to Manchester City. A 2-2 daw.