Thursday seemed an age away yesterday as I padded around the house and garden listening to the footy. It was fairly clear that the Premiership, with the race for fourth place, title and relegation issues, took precedent over some poxy, second rate European competition. But enough of the Champions League! At least the lack of major post mortem (it’s been done more than once this season anyway) helps you get over it a bit more?
Inevitably one wonders if exit from the UEFA Cup means the club takes a step closer to a milestone in its history. I don’t think the exit should determine anything, those who make statements on that based on Thursday’s result are jerks with jerky knees. The damage was done long before with us not qualifying for the Champions league. Now, based on yesterday’s results at Eastlands and White Hart Lane, the safety net or chance to redeem ourselves seems, barring a bizarre and unlikely series of results, to have been whipped away from under us.
So we will get a chance to go one better in the UEFA Cup in 2010-11. Will Rafa be there to steer us through it? Who knows there’s his future, the selling of the club, improving the squad etc We are in limbo. When one of these gives (probably the one in the middle) then the rest will fall into place?
Anyway avoiding all temptation to look to this summer I guess thoughts should turn to today and the visit of Chelsea. The situation is this. Do we try for a win in the vain hope that Spurs and Manchester City spectacularly shoot themselves in their collective feet or do we lie down let Chelsea win thus depriving The Mancs of the chance to break our record of eighteen league titles?
I am amazed that anyone who supports Liverpool Football club should want us to lose today, whatever the circumstances. Have we really come to this wanting to harm ourselves to stop others? The good of the club always comes first The Mancs business is their own and not ours we should never ever set our agenda in relation to theirs? We are better than that and it’s a sad day, whatever the circumstances, that there should be talk of prostituting our own success to stop them. It is negative, small minded and stupid. Anyway even we do let Chelsea win The Mancs could still f*ck it up so this game is not the be all and end all?
The very fact that many think that we might chuck this game has lead to this sort of patronising nonsense from Fergie……
“They have been in 10 European finals and won 18 titles, so that’s a fantastic history. You don’t throw that away just because of one game. And do you think their fans want to go home saying their team capitulated and didn’t try?”
Fergie arrogantly, no naively, suggests that everything we have achieved in the past will be dust if we roll over today? This is child like nonsense and before making crass, stupid, witless statements like this perhaps he should think about when his team withdrew from the FA Cup in 2000 How did Mancs fans feel then? “capitulated”, “didn’t try” – they didn’t even enter? History and correct behaviour? Fergie and his club has no concept of the notion. The gap might be narrowing regarding silverware but there is much much more to it and that is why we will always be better and it is for this reason that we should never ever continence what many are suggesting today regardless of whom it benefits or disadvantages. It does not matter if the Mancs benefit as they do not matter, this is about us and we shouldn’t cheapen ourselves in this way.
Anyway the situation should not boil down to today. If the Mancs are relying on us for a favour then it is down to their inability to keep pace with Chelsea and keep the destiny of the title in their own hands, it is not our concern or issue. Equally if we are reliant on letting Chelsea walk all over us to stop the Mancs form breaking our record then is it because, over the last twenty years or so, we haven’t been good enough to improve on this. Get real and get honest.
To the game and even though we have home advantage, Chelsea will surely visit in better shape? Buoyed by the 7-0 win over Stoke seven days ago they have had plenty of time to rest. By contrast we will be “leggy” (what does that mean? As if we normally we crawl round on our hands and knees) after Thursday’s extended event. I guess there is also a mental issue, fourth has all but gone and the nature of Thursday’s defeat might be an issue?
Prediction? A Chelsea win but only for the reasons outlined in the paragraph above and nothing else. Nonetheless, oh dear!!!!!!
By the way this blog now has a full index of match reports since it started in October 2006 so for reports of previous games, against Chelsea, and by gum there are a lot of them. since this date click here