Take yourself back to Russia 1916 and the “mad monk” Grigori Rasputin is exerting what many in the Tsar’s Court believe to be an unhealthy influence over the Russian Royal family. OK I know, but bear with me!
To cut a long story short Rasputin’s opponents, irked at his increasing influence and their consequent marginalization, decide to remove him, permanently. They poison him lacing his cakes and wine with cyanide, enough it is said to kill five men. However, he remains unaffected. So, to make sure, Rasputin is shot in the back however, he still survives so he is shot three more times but he still struggles up. Next he is clubbed, wrapped in a carpet and thrown in the freezing river however, reports suggest he was still alive even when he hit the water and had actually tried to escape and get up through the ice.
Rasputin’s doggedness could be easily mirrored by Tom Hicks’ desire to keep his fingers on the Liverpool pot. Just when you think he’s going to go he’s back in a more grotesque and distorted form than before. This time reports suggest he is still planning to pay off the club debts via raising more loans and to restore his son to Anfield. Daddy’s little boy, if you remember, resigned after losing it with a supporter’s Email which caused him reply with words “Blow me fuck face.”
Perhaps this is Hicks’ last resort, last ditch attempt to savage something from the mess before RBS call in the loans on 6th October? Even if Hicks finds the cash will he get his plans through? Will the new deal put us in a better place and will the board approve it? I doubt it on both accounts? Furthermore it never ceases to amaze me that Hicks has the bare faced, cold blooded cheek to try a stunt like this. Is he deliberately being provocative to try and get even for all the flack he has received or is he, as he has proved since he first set foot at Anfield, profoundly out of touch with what he is taking on not to mention naive and incredibly insensitive? Despite being universally unpopular he still persists on hanging on presumably in search of the profit he feels he is due and, as a result, is prepared to shamelessly play hard ball right to the end. Time to call in the big RBS boys and prise his grubby, greedy grip from our club. Three weeks or so and counting….
It is annoying that this news should try and highjack the headlines this weekend, the weekend of British footballs biggest fixture. Forget Rangers v Celtic, Newcastle v Sunderland, Spurs v Arsenal, Villa v Birmingham and of course the now defunct but memorably vociferous Chester City v Wrexham! Yes today is the game and it doesn’t matter what state of health the clubs are in.
The regard and importance both managers attach to today was illustrated by their weakened midweek European line ups. Besides the result against Steaua Bucharest we can take heart from the encouraging display from the “understudies” (The Guardian’s words not mine). Martin Kelly continued to impress along with Jay Spearing while David Ngog continued to confound those who seek to prematurely devalue him. Meanwhile Fergie, despite his protestations, couldn’t have been too pleased with his teams display against Rangers together with a horrific injury to Valencia.
Then of course there is Mr Wayne Rooney. Left out for his own protection against Everton last week he now faces another Merseyside club. Will the Liverpool fans be more forgiving? Personally I hope we ignore him and do not sink to the predictable and unoriginal abuse that we are subjected to at Old Trafford. The latest apparently is an article in a Mancs fanzine called “Woy Boy” which takes the piss out of HRH’s inability pronounce his “Rs”. Thank God I’m wearing a corset as if I wasn’t surely my sides would split!
Elsewhere the papers are full of two stores in the lead up to this game. The first is HRH’s “friendship” with Fergie. The fact that the press are writing about a fellow manager who actually gets on with Fergie says it all. No doubt Sam Allardyce will feel slighted that HRH has “moved in” on his man!
The other concerns Fernando Torres who after scoring twice for Spain and once against West Brom has, on the strength of one bad performance against Birmingham last week and a ill thought out roasting from Jamie “the camera’s on me and I’m panicking so I’ll say anything” Redknapp, is going through a form crisis. Nonsense! Torres will get sharper and fitter and the presences of players such as Joe Coe, who is back from suspension, together with Raul Meireles should bolster the creative side of the midfield and improve the supply lines?
Prediction? Lets face it doesn’t look good. Even though the Mancs aren’t at full throttle we are still going through a change. I think we have enough to win but everything needs to fall into place? It hasn’t so far his season, understandably so. But who knows today would be the perfect time for it to do so even though everything points to it being too early. Hopefully Torres can answer the ghouls in the best possible way and the defence can avoid the generosity that was spurned by Birmingham last Sunday. However, and I apologise, I think the best we hope for is a draw. Prove me wrong boys.