So the Champions League was back with us this week and although Liverpool were not involved, thoughts about the Reds weren’t far away as I watched the games.
No Liverpool Champions League campaign seemed to be completed without a trip to Chelsea and they were invariable tense, fractious affairs. It looks as this latest tie with the Mancs is going to be a tight as the games we played against Chelsea. I still wouldn’t rule out Chelsea sneaking though at Old Trafford.
I guess it was fate that Rooney should score? While not approving his behaviour at West Ham I’m more angry at the hypocrisy of certain institutions. Presumably much of the hullabaloo centres on the example his swearing sets impressionable kids as if they’ve never heard of the word “f*ck”? So how does banning Rooney square with picking him for England, giving him a TV programme on Sky and all the other numerous sponsorship he’s got AFTER he’s been caught consorting with a prostitute and cheating on his wife? I take no judgment on this but if you’re going to piously spout off in outraged moralistic tones at least be consistent and back this up with appropriate actions. Money and morals are the seemingly the equivalent of chalk and cheese in media land?
The night before Spurs slipped up badly at the Bernabéu and how many of you thought of Yossi Benayoun’s goal in the same stadium a few years back? Then of course there was the 4-0 thrashing we gave Real at our place in the return leg. Would our current side have made a better fist of the game than Spurs? I guess this would depend on which version of Liverpool turn up? The one that outplayed Chelsea and The Mancs or the one that crashed against West’s Ham and Brom recently. Toss a coin?
Still, this is some kind of progress. No disrespect to Roy Hodgson but earlier in the season it got to point where you feared the worse every time the game kicked off and, to make matters worse, we weren’t exactly the most entertaining side in the league. There is one thing going down playing in an entertaining way aka Blackpool however, losing and being boring was getting too much. At least we now have an increased chance of seeing a more expansive performance and three points. Apparently in the current form league we are in a Champions League place?
However, there is still work to be done particularly with regard to our consistency. Things on the road have improved three wins under Kenny compared to just one under HRH yet we are still fragile, still vulnerable. The Mancs are top of the table through not playing particularly well however, and I hate to say it, they have strength in depth, the ability to apply themselves and players who can seemingly fit seamlessly into the side when others are injured, or banned for swearing, without causing undue disruption even to the extent of playing Ryan Giggs at right back as they did last week. Can the same be said of us at present?
Of course things aren’t helped when first team players are injured. There is Steven Gerrard who appears to have had a set back and is now rumoured to be out for the season and now we have Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger to add the casualty list with the latter definitely being out for the season. We are not exactly in the world of Jonathan Woodgate yet but the Dane is fast getting a reputation for becoming injury prone. It’s pity as we are a better side with him in it but sadly over the last few seasons appearances haven’t nearly been enough. Johnson’s incapacity simply adds to our full back crisis which we’ve never had right since Steve Finnan and Johnny Riise left. This has been going on for years now be it via injuries or naff signings, so we shouldn’t be surprised that Martin Kelly and Fabio Aurellio are also out.
Finally someone called LeBron James has become a minority stakeholder in the club after signing a representation deal. Apparently he plays basketball, which is a bit like netball but with more running around and posing. Reports say he is very famous in the States and that he can be really good for us. I’ve never heard of him and wouldn’t know him if I bumped not him. Is he something to do with Justin Bieber?