It was great that the last bit of free expression on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth was dedicated to the Hillsborough 96.
For those of you who don’t know, Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth over the last hundred days, has been the subject of an art experiment were 2,400 selected members of the public can spend one hour each doing anything they want. There been a few nutters and exhibitionists on the plinth during that time. However, it is fitting that it should end on a serious note and even more uplifting that the cases of the Hillsborough 96 should be the subject. Of course it could have been any subject but Emma Burns, the last member of the public, choose this one because some of her family were at the game. Class stuff, and an excellent chance taken to keep the issue in the spotlight.
Back to the football. And I guess it’s a case of worst nightmare come true. We go to The Stadium of Light to face Sunderland today without Gerrard (injured groin) and Torres (injured stomach). To lose one key player for today’s game is bad but two? There is never a good time for this to happen but the timing, on the back of two straight defeats against Florientina and Chelsea, couldn’t have been worse?
Of course there are positives to be had. Those players who perhaps otherwise wouldn’t have got a game have a chance to prove themselves. If we do well then perhaps people will start bleating on and on about us being “a two man team” even though there was ample evidence last season to prove that wasn’t he case. Not surprisingly Rafa has tried to put a positive spin on things
“We knew there could be a problem with Steven and Torres, so we are trying to manage with the players we have, we have our ideas and we will see if we can manage tomorrow. We cannot change the situation, so I prefer to concentrate on Sunderland and keep things positive”
Add to that the travel weary Mascherano and Lucas (both back from South America) and things don’t look too good even though Kuyt (even more travel weary as he’s back from Australia) and Agger will be OK. I guess we can also be thankfully that the injuries have occurred to the midfield and striking departments of the team? Having leaked a fair few goals this season the last thing we need is the defence to be further disrupted?
In another season one might say that, thankfully, we are playing reasonably weak opposition. Hopefully we can get through today and have everyone back for Lyon and Mancs games later this week? However, Sunderland have made a good start to the season and will be no pushovers. I wonder if there’s a snow forecast for the North East today!
However, one shouldn’t be too pessimistic. Every side goes through a period like this and in all honesty would we have expected Gerrard and Torres to play every game? The squad would have to be drawn on sooner or later and now is the time for it prove those, who doubt its strength, wrong?
Prediction? Two players do not make a team and I’ll take us to sneak this one and escape with a very, very welcome 2-1 win.