To a man everyone with whom I discussed Sunday’s game thought Joe Cole was unlucky to be sent off. Perhaps it says something about how popular the man seems to be at present? HRH obviously defended him but hell even Arsene Wenger, who is always quick to demand that any player who dares lay a finger on his precious charges should be hung drawn and quartered, had kind words
“He is not one I would like to record as a guy who tries to hurt people. That is not his style”
This is probably the reason why there’s been a delay between the game and this blog. I’ve been in shock!
If reports are to be believed Joe appears to be settling in nicely at Liverpool and has even taken up living close to the city entre and getting out and about. Perhaps he should move nearer to Anfield it might more convenient given yesterdays story!
One gratifying/encouraging thing about the red card incident was that although it was clumsy it gives us a small sign of Cole’s determination (albeit misplaced) to do well. Add to this reports of the devastation he felt and you get a picture of someone who really wants to play for us and is determined to make an impression. It’s a pity we won’t see him for three games, the club have decided not to appeal against the red card.
Elsewhere HRH also felt the need to come out and defend Jose Reina. In short there was no need. Anyone could count on one hand the number of errors he’s made since he joined us even if they were missing two fingers! On the subject of keepers we’ve signed Middlesbrough’s Brad Jones. Diego Cavalieri has been told he can leave Anfield and one wonders if this would had have happened had it not been for the bizarre 25 man squad “home grown” rule (Jones despite being Australian is qualified as “home grown”) nonetheless I expect it must be disheartening for Cavalieri to play second fiddle to Reina all the time and it’s been rumoured that he will go to Italy.
Other rumours now seem to concern Scott Parker. I suggested we should sign him last summer (click here for article) and my opinion still stands, he would be excellent acquisition. Sadly I wonder if West Ham will be willing to let him go, their porn star owners have been pretty vocal in their promises about keeping him? I guess we should still be prioritising anyway with the search for a left back and new striker being top of the list. The fact that Daniel Agger filled in at left back on Sunday brings the requirement into more focus. Rumours about Fulham’s Paul Konchesky took on a more truthful ring over the weekend as he wasn’t picked for their game at Bolton and now the papers are quoting a price £3m!
The other week spot, a striker, appears to be a free for all. Rumours of Babel to Germany to work with Steve McLaren or a swap for FC Twente’s Costa Rican striker Bryan Ruiz? Others have been mentioned, Dynamo Kiev’s Artem Milevskiv and of course Lioc Remy although reports yesterday suggest that the trail has gone cold? None of these fill me with unbridled joy and I’m not necessarily happy that we might be giving up on Babel. The winger had his problems under Rafa but perhaps HRH can bring out a better player?
Which brings us to tonight’s game against Trabzonspor. Whenever an English side is drawn against a Turkish there always seems to be mention of a difficult away trip. The distance is clearly one thing however there is also a harking back to the old “welcome to hell” stories about the hostility of the crowds and the general conditions. The Liverpool ECHO has taken this up with ex players from the seventies recounting the last time played Trabzonspor in 1976.
Another world? I suspect those days are gone now and hostility is easily confused with partisanship and of course we have played in Turkey loads of times since 1976. However, all the same it would be very handy if we could rack up a decent score tonight enabling us save some first team legs, passports/air miles for the second leg?
With the Manchester City game scheduled for Monday I guess there is no reason why we can’t field a strong team? We are without Mascherano (calf) and Agger (still doesn’t know what day it is) so presumably Lucas and may be Poulsen will step in? HRH faces dilemma with Torres. Does he bring him in to get match fitness or save him for Manchester City? HRH’s quote yesterday suggests that we won’t see too much of him
“The sports science people are concerned we don’t rush him back too early and we don’t prejudice his situation. We don’t want to throw him in too early but he is very keen to get back in. If you are going to prioritise you would prioritise the league always”
Prediction? Like us Trabzonspor began their league campaign last weekend. Even though I don’t know a great deal about them and I’ve just got a thing or hunch that suggests 3-0, no reason it just sprung into my head so, in the absence of any other logical or convincing argument, I’m going to go with it!
Whatever the case let’s hope we can build on Sunday’s encouraging effort?