Rafa’s Christmas Shopping List.

“Santa baby, slip a striker under the tree,
For me.
been an awful good manager,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.”

So what can we expect this Christmas for the January transfer window? If the papers are anything to go by it would seem that Emile Heskey and Ruud van Nistelrooy are in the frame. I suspect that the Heskey link is bound to attract as much dismay as it will surprise amongst Liverpool fans. His role as a specialist holding one, which enables space and chances to be created other strikers such as Michael Owen when they played together at Anfield and for England, is well documented. However, is this suited to our current side? Strip out Torres and I would have thought that a more pressing need is for someone who can chip in with goals. Heskey doesn’t provide that and, for all his unselfishness and creativity in other areas, he hasn’t over the course of his career. Let the midfield or the wide men create for the strikers?

The Ruud van Nistelrooy issue has a potential irony about it. Just as Fergie now has Michael Owen on his books we’d get an ex Mancs player! Both strikers are prone to injury van Nistelrooy only recently returned after a long lay off. However, the Dutchman’s scoring record is impressive and of course he is used to the Premiership. The draw back, for both Heskey and van Nistelrooy, is age the former is 31 the latter 33. Are they really long term prospects or just the latest in list of short term stop gaps that will be sold on or put out to grass in few years time?

“Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with cheques.
Sign your ‘X’ on the line,
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.”

Of course there is no guarantee that Aston Villa and Real Madrid will sell and if they do, will it be at a price we can afford? With Heskey there is also the issue of Rafa’s relationship with Martin O’Neill which I suspect hasn’t healed after the Gareth Barry affair. Moreover is O’Neill willing to let Heskey go given his sides lofty league placing, regardless of what we offer? It’s been suggested that Rafa will have around £15m to spend but despite this one wonders if he would have still have to sell to buy. The increasingly tactless and verbose Ryan Babel has been popularly rumoured to be earmarked for the trap door which might explain additional links to wide men such as Celtic’s Aiden McGeady and Hamberg’s Eljero Elia?

“Santa honey, there’s one thing I really do need,
The deed
To a new Stadium,
Santa honey, so hurry down the chimney tonight.”

Something has to give with the owners. While they fiddle we are getting no where off, and now on, the pitch. Although they claim the club is progressing I wonder if it really is in relation to the progress our rivals are making. Perhaps the reality will strike home if we don’t qualify for next years Champions League? Clearly the new stadium is key to our progress however we see nothing happening and, seemingly, no real inclination, because of the current economic climate, to make it happen? We have the added embarrassment of being a World Cup venue but it’s down as either old Anfield or New Anfield? It’s almost as if the club is being held hostage by the Americans the ransom being the offer someone is prepared to make to take us over? Rumours about Prince Faisal bin Fahd Bin Abdullah being interested in a take over appear to have come to nothing. How long can this go on? Time to put up or stop taking the pi*s and get out gents?

“Santa baby, I wanna time,
And really that’s not a lot,
Been an Angel all year,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.”

Two blogs ago I wondered if everything was Ok in the dressing room and with Rafa. It’s not nice but you have to consider it with the way things are? So it was encouraging and timely that messages or quotes came along that suggests that this is not the case? Firstly from Fernando Torres….

“I think sacking the manager is not a solution…. We have to play much better. The players are the people that have to find a solution to the situation.”

And then Steven Gerrard who called on the team to pull together

“We’re a team, we’re a group and we are responsible for where we’re lying in the league at the moment. All of us have got to stick together and try and pull through and turn it around.”

Clearly Torres and Gerrard have more insight as to what’s going wrong with club on the playing side. However, time is key. How long before something gives if the slide is not arrested in 2010? Whatever the case the support continues and, although times are hard, it will always will ……

”I really do believe in you,
Let’s see if you believe in me,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry, tonight”

Merry Christmas.

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