Even though the press have plenty to occupy their minds with Euro 2012 it was only a matter of time before the first transfer rumour involving Liverpool started.
The road to and from Stamford Bridge is a well trodden by our players so perhaps it’s appropriate that Soloman Kalou should be the first of many who will doubtlessly be linked with us as this summer unfolds?
No manager worth his salt would reveal his hand, or should that be his shopping list, until the deal is in the bag, or as near as dam it, so it is no surprise that the source of the rumour does not come from L4 but Schalke 04 who, we are told, are also interested in Kalou. Said their boss Huub Stevens (cool first name!)
“Liverpool are in the market for him (Kalou), but I know he wants to leave England. That can be an advantage for us”
One can read this a number of ways. Perhaps it is no surprise that we are interested in Kalou with Dirk Kuyt gone? Presumably we are in the market for attacking replacement although with only thirty odd goals in over 150 games forChelseaone wonders if we should be looking for someone who is more of an out and out predator? Of course Brendan Rogers knows Kalou well from his time at Chelsea and the player is available on a free transfer. The disadvantage, if Huub is to be believed, is that he wants way from this country?
Quite why Huub Stevens should be talking this way is beyond me. Revealing your hand is normally the sort of activity one sees from player’s agents who are trying to spark a bidding war between to clubs for their charge. Perhaps Schalke aren’t in the market for Kalou but want give the impression of ambition to their fans by saying they are?
And so to Euro 2012 and shame on you Clive Tyldesley. I paraphrase but your “Agincourt, Waterloo, Donetsk” pre match announcement just made me sigh. It was a Christmas cracker phrase, did he really say that or was it just my imagination? Unpredictable was it not? Must do better or, better still, concentrate on the football!
On the pitch it was a reasonable, stoic performance from England. They defended well although at times they appeared nervous as France knocked the ball around their lines trying look for an opening. However, on the whole they remained disciplined and professional in the face of, how can I put this tactfully, a less than sympathetic Italian referee.
It may sound odd going against one our own players but I was pleased Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got the nod over Stuart Downing and his performance justified what was a brave decision byRoy. Steven Gerrard played his part and of course it was his free kick that set up Lescott’s goal. However, arguably he, along with Joe Hart, could have done better in their attempts to stop Nasri’s goal? In his defence this was part an overall malaise which sawEnglanddropping deeper and deeper after their goal. It was almost as if they had surprised themselves by taking the lead and were wondering what to do next! Nonetheless this result, against what looked like a decent French side, should give them confidence for the remainder of the group games but, if they are to progress beyond that they will need to improve and come out of their shells a tad more often?
In the other game it was old gits night as Andriy Shevchenko turned back the clock with two goals againstSweden. Also featuring was ex red Andri Voronin who was substituted in the second half presumably because he has a rehearsal with his thrash metal band. On which subject although I feel for them having travelled all that way, wasn’t it refreshing not to hear the England supporter’s turgid old brass band and their depressing, tired old hackneyed ditties drifting down from the stands. The organisers, with impeccable taste refused them, or their instruments, entry to the game!