Apologies for lateness of post but I didn’t really catch up on Sunday’s Fulham game due to number one son’s ninth birthday party and then idling the time, when I should have been writing this, recovering from the onslaught of God knows who many marauding youngstersm, by watching the golf!
So another draw which effectively ends our hopes of fourth place? Of course we are technically, or should it be mathematically, still in the race but it will take an amazing set of circumstances to come together all at once for us to nick it. Given our luck this season I suspect the chances are slim? I am writing this in the hope that I might need to retract this in May, which I will gladly do, but what are the odds?
In all honesty would any one, hand on heart trying to eliminate any bias and blind “whatever the weather” devotion, really say we deserve fourth place? People will site injury issues but at the same time many opportunities have been spurned, ie games that we should have won? We have slipped up but these have compounded by more slip ups. It’s probably a cliché but many say that over the course of the season things should average themselves out and the true “footballing” worth of a team will be finally established? So where does this leave us as, at this late stage, we are still involved in an increasingly futile and embarrassing scramble to get the last place on the Champions League gravy train. We’ve left it late far, far too late. Excuses, not matter how valid, at this stage of the season, just make it even more depressing.
Sunday seemed to sum up the season in a nutshell for us. No key player when you needed him and one wonders, with the World Cup looming, just how often Torres will be available now? Perhaps Rafa will only wheel him out for the UEFA Cup games? Add to that a plethora of missed chances, Aquilani, Mascherano, Babel and some excellent keeping from Schwartzer and the frustration that has dominated this season’s campaign resurfaces again. Even when the fourth place race started to hot up we didn’t complete going out with a whimper with Birmingham result and now this one. Sure we’ve the prospect of silverware via the Europa League but even if we win it, will that make everything OK? It should do but the tide of opinion is unstoppable, most will say this is a trophy we are in because we failed to compete at Champions League level. It is a bona fide trophy and we should not ashamed of it but let’s not kid ourselves UEFA Cup or no Europa League, there are still problems that need addressing?
Anyway disappointment is setting me off on a road that I shouldn’t be travelling down. It is not time to write the end of season obituary yet. The fat lady isn’t singing even though she is on the stage, the lights have been dimmed and audience are hushed!
Indeed let’s be positive, perhaps there is a silver lining? I wonder if this week and the slow realisation that Champions League football won’t be played at Anfield next season, an approaching Royal Bank of Scotland deadline and a distinct lack of takers for their inflated offers to sell the club, has finally forced the issue with our two owners? Could it be that our results, or lack of them on the pitch, have finally achieved what those, despite their herculean efforts, have failed to do off it and that finally the key to the trap door, that will jettison Statler and Waldorf once and for all, has been found?
The news that Barclays Capital could be appointed to provide some stability while the Americans sell and get the hell outta town is surely good if only because we have a plan and we know what Hicks and Gillett’s intentions are. It seems the Rhone offer of £100m for a 40% share stake was too much to take. However, Barclays would give the duo more breathing space than RBS, who want to see the debt of £237m reduced by £100m this summer, to arrange a sale on the condition that they do actually up sticks and go.
I guess it’s double edged sword? Had we won the league or qualified for the Champions League would we still have the pleasure of the American’s company? Clearly there are other contributory factors, it’s not just results on the field, but perhaps in the short term the consequences of such underachievement, if only for one season, have contributed to a possible outcome that will be for the long term good? I suspect those wanting to buy into Liverpool have been biding their time and waiting for just this sort of scenario? Give the Americans enough rope…..?
Whatever the case the club always comes first. It is bigger than anyone and even in bad times this should never by taken for granted or underestimated? For Liverpool Football Club there is always another chance, next season or the one after. Its support and the regard that people hold it will always ensure that. Charletons beware, it may take time but you WILL be smoked out!