There is something quite soporific about being ill and watching Euro 2012 which I’ve had the misfortune/fortune to be over the last three days. The constant passing soon sends you off to sleep particularly if aren’t subjected to Peter Drury suddenly turning up the volume when someone hones in on goal.
Our man was at it again during the Greece v Germany game. Greece’s equaliser was deemed to have “paid off the debt” (please, please, God save us from this piffle) and one of Germany’s goals, presumably because Angela Merkel was in the stands, earned “political backing”. Every time there was a shot of Greek fans they were patronised, firstly because of the score then because of their countries economic situation even though one suspects these were comparatively wealthy Greeks (yes Peter they do exist) simply because they were in the stadium. Drury is fast becoming the Alan Partridge of football commentating, it’s only a matter time before he uses the phrase “liquid football” bring back David Coleman!
Elsewhere Portugal progressed thanks to the preening narcissist that is Christiano Ronaldo. I swear I saw him patting his hair down only for it spring back into it’s original shape. His bellowing at the camera at the end of the game did little to encourage those of us who were perhaps trying to warm to him after his period at Old Trafford!
England’s victory against Ukraine ensured them an unexpected quarter final against Italy. By the way anyone not got the Danny Welbeck bomb disposal joke yet? I was sent it four times yesterday! Anyway more on that game tomorrow and back to what this blog is really about which is Liverpool FC
There seems to be a rather annoying and slightly disturbing trend amongst today’s players of making what could be constituted as veiled threats to their club. This sometimes comes from the player himself or, if he’s not feeling too brave, his agent. Yossi Benayoun’s agent was particularly adept at this usually when his client’s form dipped (which was fairly often) meaning he was out of the team. Then there was Albert Riera who at least had the balls to speak out himself (click here for story) but was deservedly transferred out not I would like to think for football reasons, although that would be reason enough, but because he was an idiot!
The latest in a long line of players who have not read the book entitled “How To Win Friends and Influence People” appears to be Martin Skrtel, who apparently is being courted by Manchester City. This has made him flutter his eye brows and go all coy whilst at the same time perhaps getting delusions of grandeur concerning his status at Liverpool.
Apparently our Mart would be more than happy to ignore City’s advances in return for assurances about what Liverpool are going to do to make him stay. Quite what this means I’m not sure. Skrtel can’t be guaranteed Champions League qualification next season nor can he be assured silverware. Perhaps, and more importantly for him, despite being voted player of the season, he can’t be guaranteed his place in defence. So what is his beef? Enter the agent to do the dirty work. This one’s called Karol Cstonto,
“Some changes have been made at the club and he (Skrtel) wants to know what the aims and ambitions are. And of course, we will discuss the issue of Martin’s new contract. Liverpool is a big club and just because they haven’t made the Champions League this year doesn’t mean they would not do it next year. There are expectations on both sides, though.”
A wordy quote but I think three words stand out “Martin’s new contract” even though there are two years left on it! Presumably, if they are minded, this does not present a problem to Manchester City?
Martin Skrtel has just had his best season for us and although he wasn’t my choice for player of the year, I don’t begrudge him it. Presumably on the back of this his people talk about meeting his expectations? As I said earlier I don’t know about Skrtel’s personal expectations but he must have had a duvet gaffer taped around his head for the last few years he doesn’t appreciate what the club’s are!
Furthermore I feel Liverpool could legitimately counter with their own expectations regarding Skrtel. About him being more consistent for example, he still loses out in the air from crosses too much by being out of position, not following his man and basically letting himself be shoved out of the way, bad habits that belie his rather intimidating looks!
There is also the question of adaptability something we were (are) very fortunate to have with Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger. Skrtel appears to be a one trick pony in the centre of defence. Previous experiments at playing him at full back (Middlesbrough and City themselves spring to mind) were absolute disasters. We might also cite how we patiently stood by him in his first few years at Anfield despite a very nervy and average start.
One wonders just how Skrtel expects to satisfy his ambitions, on the pitch at least, by moving to Manchester City? In my book he is not as good as Joleon Lescott and nowhere near the class of Vincent Kompany. Skrtel I suspect can look forward to warming the bench at City. Will this satisfy his expectations despite the larger pay packet he will presumably receive? With Jamie Carragher slowly bowing out of first team football the opportunity is there for Skrtel to nail down a permanent first team place particularly given Daniel Agger’s penchant for regularly visiting the treatment table. Perhaps with a few more good seasons he might be able walk into the City team (I’m being kind here) however, although ambition is good thing, one can’t thinking Skrtel’s getting too far ahead himself.
Perhaps this is Skrtel’s agent taking and the player feels something different however it would clearly be naive to assume they don’t talk. Has a player ever sacked an agent for talking about him in a way he doesn’t approve of? Perhaps one can’t blame Skrtel for tying to make as much as he can out of what is short career however other players do the same don’ play silly words in public and generally handle it more tactfully?
Ultimately Skrtel is no different to any other Liverpool player, he is not bigger than the club and, just like others before, should be judged by one rule. If you don’t want to commit to Liverpool, for whatever reason, then there is a piece of wood built into the wall with a knob on it – open it up and go through it!