No game until today so a quiet Liverpool free weekend with no hassle? No such luck!
Once more Rafa’s future has been the subject of speculation. You name him, or her, and they have an opinion. I really wouldn’t blame Rafa if he just threw up his arms and said “f**k the lot of you” and walked such has been out of proportion attention he’s received.
Every little personal trait has been scrutinised right down to the whether or not he should shave off his beard! It’s even been suggested that his team selection is based on what he thinks the press might say because he made some throw away sarcastic comment over playing Torres for longer the other week because they might make comment if he didn’t. Gleefully they seized on this and are suggesting that he is in some way their bitch! All nonsense of course.
Now this weekend we’ve the first article about a possible replacement. A bit of a predictable one this as it’s every big clubs default favoured replacement – Martin O’Neill! Quite what Aston Villa would say about his isn’t really covered, and no doubt Martin O’Neill, who all but suggested that we were the spawn of Satan during the Gareth Barry saga, will have some thoughts on this? As for us seemingly if our bad results continue then, “at some stage”, we might consider replacing Rafa. How very true but if my leg continues to ache then eventually I might “at some stage” contemplate a visit to the doctor however chances are I might give it time to recover before visiting him or contemplating sawing it off!
Other news concerns the naming rights to the new stadium. No doubt much of this was prompted by Mike Ashley’s decision to temporarily rename St James Park. Newcastle fans have taken umbrage about this and no doubt we would too if the Star Spangled Duo decided to rename Anfield? However a new stadium and new era and perhaps it doesn’t seem so bad? The Emirates seems accepted now and no doubt whatever name we come up for the new ground might also, in time, find its niche providing it’s a decent name and not something embarrassing like the Johnson’s Baby Wipe Arena. What our wonderful owners do appear to be missing is that firstly, before you address the issue of naming rights, you need a stadium! A simple detail or promise which so far they have failed to deliver on!
And so to tonight’s game with Birmingham. Naturally thoughts turn to the treatment table and most specifically the health of Gerrard and Torres. Both have trained but neither, if reports are true, are 100% fit. Reading the web today I was surprised that Torres was even a contender as earlier, following a visit to Spain to see a specialist, it was suggested he would be out for three to four weeks. Defensively we’ve bit of nightmare also as Carragher and Degan are suspended and Johnson is still out.
With an international break coming up after his game Rafa must be tempted to play half fit players knowing that we’ve best part of two weeks to recover? However, there is the added risk of rushing players back too soon and the damage that can do. Perhaps we’ll see some of the returnees playing for say the first hour and then taken off?
Above all we need three points not to stay in touch for a Champions League place or, dare I even mention it now, the title. We simply need to arrest the slide. If we can play for the full ninety minutes like we did for 89 minutes in Lyon we’ll be ok. No doubt the crowd will play its part too and I take us to come through narrowly by 2-1. Here’s to a good game and, more importantly, a productive rest period?