So it’s about two days to Boxing Day but already it’s been suggested that our game with Blackpool will be off due to the weather conditions?
I can only assume that Blackpool have moved their pitch from Bloomfield Road to somewhere near Heathrow Airport as this appears to be the only place in the country where the weather is so grim that nothing ever, ever gets done!
Bloomfield Road, I am told, lacks under soil heating so if it is icy or snowy it could be quite an eye opener for some of our more recent foreign imports simply because they aren’t used to playing in these conditions let alone the congested Christmas league programme which seems unique to these isles. Welcome to England and the Premiership gentleman!
As it is Christmas Day before hand there will be no review of this game however it can be summed in five short words “we need to win it”. Couple this with our next game against Wolves and normally we could be looking at a nice six points however, as we’ve seen this season, this is not a normal Liverpool team in terms of form!
Travel is still an issue over the holiday but one man who doesn’t look like taking up his return ticket (note clumsy attempt to link the above spiel with the next subject!) is Alberto Aquilani who is on a season long loan to Juventus. It appears that after his somewhat fraught spell with us everything has suddenly become all sweetness and light in Aquilani’s garden.
“I’m feeling fine and the injuries are behind me, I have had some difficult moments but with hard work and the help of those who love me I have overcome them. Delneri is an excellent coach, prepares us well and has created an excellent team spirit. It hasn’t taken us long to become united as a squad and I believe this will help us enormously. If Delneri talks about winning the title then there is a reason. We are going through a good period and have to consolidate this week after week.”
I don’t know if by praising Juve this is meant to be, by implied comparison, a veiled pop at us however I can’t begrudge Aquilani wanting to stay in Italy. He had a stop start time over here and not all of it was of his own making. Perhaps Rafa over protected him and even though he had no say in the £20m (or so) fee, Aqua was always going to attract a lot of attention and expectation because of it? His lot was made worse by the fact that he was injured causing many to look at the value of the deal. When played he did, in brief spells, show his class and linked up well with Gerrard on occasions but we only saw brief snippets.
Nonetheless I think it was wrong of HRH to let Aquilani go on loan. We owed it to ourselves and the player to give him the chance of a fitness free season to see what he could really do. Had he been fit and up for I believe he would have bought some desperately needed class and creativity to our midfield. As it is it looks like Juve are reaping the benefits of the work we put in to make him fit however, ultimately, we only have ourselves to blame as it was our decision to let him go?
Other rumours seen to concern the departure of Glen Johnson which has already been covered in this blog (click here) and the arrival of Sean Wright Phillips from Manchester City. What it is that our ex Fulham manager has about ex Chelsea players, first Joe Cole and now this? There are plenty of other rumours however perhaps this one has more millage as it appears that SWP (look, he hasn’t even joined us but he has already got his own initials) has been told he can leave City. The price, supposedly £7million, shouldn’t be too prohibitive and of course things would be easier on the personal side as he would be moving from one North West club to another. I wonder just how HRH plans to accommodate SWP in what appears to be an already over crowded midfield? Perhaps he’ll strip out some of the dross? We shall see.
What this transfer does suggest it that we are no longer able to come to the market for top quality players. We now look to be reduced to buying those who have played well in their time but are now, due to loss of form or falling out of favour, way behind in the pecking order for their clubs? However, is it too early to be sure and accuse the new owners of lack of ambition or financial clout in the transfer market? I guess all will be revealed in the summer?
In the meantime Merry Christmas and welcome back to Merseyside Rafa, one extra pint of “white liquid” for John the milkman to deliver?