Reina commits, Johnson on the mend but Carroll to play a waiting game?

“The Catalan Kings lead in Madrid” shrieked Peter Drury looking at his piece of paper entitled “what to shout if Barcelona score”.

Although many might be tempted to take a somewhat cheap and grubby page out of David Cameron’s book and tell Drury to “calm down” I shouldn’t, for once, complain about the ITV man’s clichéd verbosity too much. At least it woke me up in time to see a rather good second goal from Lionel Messi although I reckon Jack Robinson would have easily stopped him!

Back home some good news emerged from Anfield yesterday with Jose Reina declaring that he will fly in the face of various rumours and stay with Liverpool next season.

Although Torres was the main subject for the rumour mongers, Reina hasn’t escaped. Arsenal in particular have been frequently linked with him mainly because they have a succession of sub standard keepers. Even though there is the attraction of Champions League football I fail to see why Reina would want to go to Arsenal especially now. Mind you I always thought that if Torres moved it would be abroad, so what do I know?

Reina was also linked with our “friends” down the East Lancs Road. Again this is simply a response to The Mancs’ own internal situation, Edwin van der Sar is due hang up his gloves so let’s put two and together make five and assume Reina will join the Mancs never mind the slaughtering he would get if he decided to go.

Earlier this season Reina suggested that although he was happy at Liverpool, he wouldn’t rule out a move if the circumstances were right. This of course prompted more speculation about where he would go to and who we might get in to replace him the latest being Shay Given only a few weeks ago. So it is encouraging that Pepe has gone on record and said he is happy for now. Speaking on Spanish Radio he said

“I am happy, calm and comfortable here, I am looking towards the future which I reckon will bring a lot of happiness and hopefully the new project with the new American owners will be a convincing one. Obviously Benítez brought me here but that doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy with Dalglish, quite the opposite. I think he’s the ideal man for Liverpool at this moment.”

Jose has never let us down. His mistakes are few and far between and are easily outnumbered by the occasions he has saved us especially last season when time and time again he proved to be a solid and reliable last line of defence when sadly those in front of him were crumbling far too often. So I hope it is true that he is staying, football is full of players who have said they only have eyes for their current club but have then had impressionable or greedy heads turned by others. However, unlike Torres. Reina, strikes me as a tactful and astute person and not one who is prone to idly blurting out things that might get him into trouble later.

I guess this suggests that some of the uncertainty over the club’s future, that may have prompted Reina to think about leaving, has been removed? Two key areas are the manager and the team. It looks like Kenny will be offered a permanent deal and perhaps Reina is also encouraged by reported plans for investment in the team this summer to give it at least one more year?

Elsewhere it appears that injury wise Glen Johnson is on the mend. I guess this presents Kenny with a dilemma in terms of team selection but for once it’s a nice one to have? Can any one say, hand on heart, that we have missed Johnson’s “defensive” attributes since he was injured whether he be at left or right back? John Flanagan and Jack Robinson have proved to be more than ample replacements and with Martin Kelly also waiting in the wings perhaps now is the time to give Johnson a run further up the park at wide midfield?

There appears to be less encouraging news about Andy Carroll and his prospects of facing his former club this weekend. Kenny has suggested he will not be prepared to rush him back for the game with Newcastle on Sunday.

“His future comes long before a game against Newcastle.”

I’ve no doubt that Carroll, although accepting the decision, may still wish to have a run out against them nonetheless it looks like he will have to wait?

In the meantime if you are lucky enough to get the day off on Friday enjoy it and don’t waste it by sitting in front of the TV, there’s not much on anyway!

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