It was a good England display the other night which again saw Steven Gerrard thriving in the middle of the midfield. His ball, to set up Adam Johnson for the second goal, capped a decent performance which hopefully he will carry over into the Premiership?
Perhaps this now emphasises to Fabio Capello and HRH (if it is needed) as to where Gerrard’s best position is? It will be interesting to see how, or if, Frank Lampard is accommodated when he returns to fitness and is available for international selection once more? Gerrard in the past has mentioned how he likes working in the middle with Gareth Barry for England and this was evident again last night. Also his understanding with Rooney, to my untrained eye, seemed much better than Lampards. Glen Johnson also had a good productive game. The impotency of the Swiss attack allowed Johnson to get forward more enabling him to set up the first goal.
Elsewhere and one nervously awaits news of Fernando Torres and whether or not he came through Spain’s match with Argentina without picking up his usual injury. It’s been one match since the last international injury so he should be due one! It sounds like Jose Reina, playing one of his rare games, had something of a torrid time in the 4-1 defeat. Apparently Messi lobbed him for the first goal, he was beaten on his near post for the second and slipped whilst trying to clear the ball allowing Tevez to get the third. Add to this his fumble against Arsenal on the opening game of the season and well Jose, things can only get better!
Meanwhile back at base Hicks’ and Gillett’s position appears to get more and more desperate with the suggestion that they might be proposing to put up the club’s assets as security for refinancing their loans. This would include using players and future TV income to pay off debts and putting up Anfield and Melwood (our training ground) as part of a remortgaging bid. The Star spangled Duo have a deadline of 6th October, set by the Royal Bank of Scotland, to repay their current loan of £237m plus £60m penalty charges.
As the noose tightens and the vultures circle (sorry to mix metaphors) it appears that the true colours of Statler and Waldorf are becoming more and more apparent and if wasn’t so bad for the club it would be pitiful. For all their initial bluff and bluster about Liverpool, its tradition, its history and its fans they still, it appears, will have no hesitation in shamelessly hocking everything the club stands for to save their own neck and further their own interests?
This was touched on by someone earlier in the week. Statler and Waldorf’s behaviour is like an archetypal film baddy. At the beginning they come across as all nice and OK, even though you’ve got suspicions about them. Then slowly their true self starts to be revealed as the plot progresses. There is gradually a realisation that they are bad and not what they say they are. Then, as good tries to do the right thing, they become more and evil and the veneer of niceness is totally stripped away. Finally, at the climax of the film, they become more and desperate and resort to more and more outrageous and despicable stunts to order to get their way before, hopefully in this case, being sent on their way. Lets hope, as happens in some films, it’s not a case of them living to fight another day and coming back to torment us by somehow raising the money or, via the legal courts, challenging whatever decision is taken by RBS over the clubs sale. Hicks and Gillett 2, this time they’re bringing the lawyers!
Thankfully if the Star Spangled Duo try to pull such a grubby stunt it seems their two votes will be snuffed out by three votes from Chairman Martin Broughton, Managing Director Christian Purslow and Commercial Director Ian Ayre which I guess is ironic as it was the Americans who appointed all three!. One thing this latest rumour has done is given many a clearer picture about the role of Martin Broughton. When Broughton called Kenny Hueng’s bluff by refusing to call him back, or re invite him to re enter into take over negotiations when he pulled out, many viewed him as a puppet of the Americans. This latest development suggests that this is not the case and that, dare I really say it, he has the best interests of the club at heart. Not bad for a Chelsea fan!
Now that the transfer window is closed I guess the urgency of a take over in terms of strengthening the team is, for now at least, reduced. RBS can call in Hicks’ and Gillett’s loans next month and we are told that whoever takes on the debt, I guess it could be Barclays Capital, means that we won’t be hit with a points penalty. I’m more inclined to want the whole episode reach its inevitable conclusion and see RBS sell for less than the American’s valuation causing them to leave with as little as possibly or preferable nothing! As the date gets nearer presumably many prospective buyers might be inclined to wait until Hicks and Gillett are flushed out and then make their move? Twenty nine days left gents and counting!
Finally congratulations to Jamie Carragher. The aim of his testimonial match was to raise £1m for local charities, it did! Brilliant!