I guess it’s ironic that we should be playing Aston Villa the day before the transfer window closes. Transfers, a specific one, have been the issue between the two clubs all summer.
Because of the way the Gareth Barry affair panned out inevitably thoughts have turned to how the player will perform and the relationship between Rafa and Martin O’Neill. Everyone seems to like a “set two” however, neither manager seems to be in the mood for giving the papers what they want, even though this summer’s events have left their mark. Said Rafa.
“Do I have a good relationship with him (O’Neill)? I don’t think so, If I have to say hello then I will say hello to him; I don’t have any problem.”
O’Neill’s take on the situation is the same.
“I’m not every single day phoning up managers to ask how they are, nor do I expect them to call me, I’m sure shaking hands will not be a problem. Let me be clear on this, I have not a major problem at all, because it happens in the game.”
So that’s it then. Go home there’s nothing to see, there’s nothing to see!
No doubt time will heal things. Who knows gents one day you many even laugh about this and wonder what all the fuss was about as Barry suffers a severe dip in form and ends up playing out his days at Stafford Rangers! Actually it is a pity that the two clubs appear to have fallen out as we’ve a long and productive history of transfer deals with Villa. McMahon, Staunton, Saunders, Collymore, Houghton, Baros and James have either come from or gone to Villa Park count them, there could be more although Barry, for now, is not one to add to the list.
Time for stating the bleeding obvious but we have to rise above all this and simply concentrate on getting three points which will be hard enough as it is without all the post Barry fallout. Even though we’ve a100% record its fair to say that we haven’t really got going. Arguably this game represents our biggest test in the Premiership this season so if we are to maintain our unbeaten record, we really do need to see some improvement especially as we’ve no Gerrard to dig us out like he did in the last game. Robbie Keane speaking on local radio became the latest in an increasingly long list of Liverpool players to address the situation.
“We haven’t been playing unbelievably in the last two games. But as long as you’re winning games that’s the most important thing, the flowing football will follow.”
Let’s hope so. Of course we are without Gerrard but Mascherano and Lucas return. Sami has dodgy hamstring. It’s been suggested that because we went to extra time in midweek Rafa will make more changes however, with a weeks break in the lead up the internationals coming up, surely he’ll be able to field his strongest available side?
Prediction? A difficult one and to be honest unless we undergo and amazing metamorphosis I really can’t see beyond a draw.