So it’s Arsenal on the first day of the new season.
Perhaps this is a good omen. We faced them at Anfield on the first day of season in 1985-86, the year we won the double and then again, on baking hot day at Highbury in 1987-88 which saw Barnes, Aldridge and Beardsley make their bows as we stormed to the title playing some of the best football I’ve ever seen us play. I also remember that day for the swarm of flying ants that kept buzzing us in the away end!
Of course this is all nonsense but it’s the probably sort of thing that will be churned out as the game gets closer? Things of course are slightly different from those days and this isn’t really the sort of game to ease us into what could be one of our most important seasons for many years. One assumes that by May the new owners will be in place and our future will be clearer? One also wonders what side will line up against the Gunners in August, who will be missing? Whatever the case the eleven will have to hit the ground running as after that we play Manchester City then Birmingham, West Brom and The Mancs. A tough start but we should be confident, on our day we are more capable of beating West Brom and Birmingham!
I’ve feeling that Arsenal won’t have the pleasure of facing Javier Mascherano who once more is the subject of speculation regarding a move, possibly to hook up with Rafa again at the San Siro? In all honesty I’m surprised Mascherano is still with us. I was fairly certain he’d go to Spain last summer but having already sold Alonso I guess there was no way Rafa would let another key midfielder go? However, this summer is different I suspect most people have known its been coming especially as rumours about his family not being able to settle on Merseyside continue to circulate?
Last summer Rafa quoted a fee of £50m for Mascherano. I think that was a tad ambitious and probably designed to put people off however, in reality I guess we will looking for around £25m – £30m for him which will represent good business for the club as we signed him for around £18m a few years ago. I for one will be disappointed to see him go and just hope the new manager spends the money wisely that of course is assuming it’s made available to him!
To South Africa and Roy Hodgson appeared on the BBC sofa as a pundit for the France v Mexico match. Lineker asked him about the Liverpool post but of course he was suitably non committal
“I’m Fulham manager. I’m perfectly happy at Fulham, there’s a lot of speculation but I can’t enlighten you”
Go on Roy, try! Frank Rijkaard’s camp are adopting the same tactics
“Rumours linking Frank to Liverpool are just that, rumours… there has been no contact from Liverpool.”
On the pitch it was contrasting fortunes for our players Torres was left on the bench for Spain’s opener against Switzerland and even when he did come on couldn’t stop people from worrying about their World Cup winner predictions going t*ts up! Perhaps Torres isn’t quite match fit yet after recovering from his injury?
Elsewhere Mascherano must have been pleased by his side 4-1 win over South Korea as Kyrgiakos must also have done with Greece’s win over Nigeria. Having said all that I’m finding the tournament increasingly boring. The play has been poor and no team really stands out. Perhaps things will pick as we get into the second set of games and the teams really have to go for it? After the openers the majority need waking probably via the dulcet tones of a vuvuzela!