So another dull international weekend.
ITV’s coverage of the England Brazil game was as dreadful and as out of touch as ever. I can’t remember who asked this question but it went something along the lines “If England beat Brazil today can they really win the World Cup?” I just shook my head. A silly simplistic question completely misjudging the context of the game and more importantly one that insults the intelligence of the viewers.
Moreover I am glad that there were no Liverpool players over there not only because our players have a chance to rest but also it looked like both teams were being cynically used as part of Qatar’s campaign to host the World Cup finals – a shoddy game, shoddy coverage and a blatant piece of opportunism from the hosts which the FA, to their greedy discredit, were more than happy to put the England players through when in reality they could have been resting or playing in less arduous conditions?
On the subject of the World Cup one of the red tops highlighted the problems Rafa might run into as the World Cup finals loom. It was suggested that player commitment might be less than 100% as many will have half an eye on the finals and therefore don’t want to get injured. It’s an interesting theory and I’ve no doubt that this sort of thing does go on however, it probably goes on throughout the game and not just at Liverpool Football Club so why write it as if it’s a problem unique to Rafa?
On the transfer front it seems that we are interested in Arsenal’s Eduardo in the January transfer window. er… nice rumour News of the World but presumably, at the time of writing, you were unaware that Robin van Persie had injured himself playing for Holland. Even if van Persie recovered would you honestly expect Arsenal to weaken their squad with the Champions league looming and, unless they have a spectacular collapse between now and January, a title race to take part in? On that subject it seems West Ham have slapped a price tag of £20m on Carlton Cole, they wouldn’t they regardless of whether anyone considers this to be a realistic valuation?
Other players we’ve been linked with are Palermo defender Simon Kjaer, Spurs’ Roman Pavlyuchenko and Holland winger Eljero Elia. All this doesn’t really convince but it’s in no surprise that the majority of the players we’ve been linked with are attackers. The Pavlyuchenko issue doesn’t really say a lot for our ambition or indeed our ability to put our money where our mouth is and attract quality to the squad? Here we are linked with a player who is fourth in the Spurs pecking order behind Keane (ironically), Defoe and Crouch (ironically again)?
The Elia issue is interesting as we are linked with another Dutch winger. I wonder if Ryan Babel’s experience has put him off or may be he will see this as more the players fault in failing to make the most his opportunities? Babel appears to have undergone a rapid change of mind recently. From suggesting that he would like to go on loan back to Ajax to improve his World Cup chances he now says that he wants to stay at Liverpool and fight for his place on the plane to South Africa.
“He (van Marwijk the Dutch coach) wants players to be playing at their club to get a chance to go to the World Cup. That’s also what I have to try to reach and I am working very hard every day. Liverpool are a very good team, everybody knows that, and I am proud to be part of Liverpool.”
Finally remember the days when football wasn’t popular and that anyone who liked it was probably backward or a hooligan? All long time ago and now the game over the years has suddenly become the new rock and roll attracting the interest of a varied and large assortment of mayflies with little or no demonstrable interest in the game apart from that fact that it is the “in thing”. Take Joss Stone, in an interview in the Metro the other day we learn that she is a Liverpool fan although one wonders after this.
Metro: I’m told you’re a Liverpool fan. Did you see the beach ball incident at Sunderland?
Stone: Um, no, what happened?
What planet was she on? Still she redeemed herself (slightly) with her next comment.
Metro: Sunderland scored thanks to the football deflecting off a Liverpool beach ball on the pitch.
Stone: No way! How could they let the goal stand, man? The ref must have been a p***k to allow it.