Apologies for my lack of activity this week. Put this down to “man ‘flu” which, as every bloke knows, is the most deadly disease on the planet! Don’t let your other half tell you otherwise!
With it being international week news on the home front tends to be a bit like working capital for the banks, in very short supply! The main story has been talk of our “lucky” (if you believe some people) comeback against Manchester City. This has probably been done to death now so no further comment required other than to say that if “lucky” is defined as working hard, summoning up your determination and retaining your composure to achieve what we did then fine, were are a bunch of fortunate soles!
The news about Martin Skrtel, who was carried off in the game, was slightly more encouraging that initially thought, a Christmas comeback has been pencilled in. Although one feels for Skrtel, and wishes him a full recovery, we have more than adequate replacements in Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger. The only issue could be the Champions League as Sami was omitted from Rafa’s squad for the group games. Sod’s law eh?
Agger in particular will appreciate the opportunity to show he is back to full fitness and to prove to Rafa that he should never have been sidelined? There seems to be a trend with Rafa in that if you suffer a long term injury, such as Agger did, it becomes increasingly difficult to get back into the side. Steve Finnan, Jermaine Pennant, Mark Gonzalez, Harry Kewell and Xabi Alonso were all out for long periods and all experienced difficulties in getting back, or even convincing Rafa that they should stay at the club. Coincidence or a sign that, in these pressured times, there is no room for passengers? Either way Agger has proved he has the ability to break back into the side and hold down a regular first team spot.
On the subject of Alonso it seems that one of the reasons Rafa failed to convince Juventus to take the midfielder this summer was because he was too “slow”. Of Alonso Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri said
“He left me perplexed by the slowness of his movement. He would have found it hard to support our midfield line seeing as our wingers don’t give support like at Liverpool.”
Fine although slightly ironic coming from a manager who was criticised and named “tinkerman” during his years with Chelsea, for his hasty, impatient approach to match day tactics. Calling Xabi slow is like someone complaining they don’t like umbrellas because they block out the light when you erect them! Still no doubt Xabi will be buoyed by the knowledge that he has needed wingers for support especially since he has been playing well for a side which has for some time had a well publicised wide problem!
On the international front the age old debate about Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard has been reignited by Frank suggesting that neither player has really set the world on fire in an international jersey. How nice of Frank to speak for Steven in this way and just before an important World Cup qualifier! The long and short of it is that, as a Liverpool fan, my initial reaction is “who cares” oh gosh, The Tower of London beckons.
What puzzles me is that both players have been in the game, and played at the top level, for a long time and should, by now, have worked out together what the problem is. Successive England mangers haven’t hit on a solution either. What’s the problem? I assume they all talk to each other? It’s come to pretty poor state of affairs when, after all this time, the collective brains and experience involved can’t hit on a solution that accommodates both players and utilises their respective strengths. As for Saturday’s match Lampard and Gerrard, if they both play, should be more than capable of contributing to an England victory. If the don’t then perhaps they should drop Gerrard so he can concentrate on playing for us – in the NATIONAL interest of course!!!
Finally it seems that Popbitch is claiming that that Dirk Kuyt was Dutch Air Guitar Champion four years running! Really? And Lucas is the Brazilian cross country pogo stick champion while Dossena’s ability with a pea shooter has won him national acclaim in Italy and as for Rafa’s underwater snooker!
Looking at the squad Kuyt’s appearance doesn’t immediately suggest a penchant for heavy metal surely the favourite, until he moved on, would have been Andri Voronin? Still, true or not, Dirk could always incorporate this into his goal celebration. How about grabbing the corner flag pole and using it as a surrogate “axe” to crack off a few mock Metallica riffs? What about putting the pole down Sammy Lee’s back and pretending he’s playing the double base? Hopefully, after Sunday’s goal, we will be “serenaded” on a more regular basis?
Go on Dirk, next goal I dare you!