Forget The Open, The Olympics and the test match the big sporting occasion this weekend is our first pre season game against Toronto!
As ever it’s always temping to read all sorts of things into these games because they are the first of the season even though they are in an uncompetitive environment, and we will have some players missing on Olympic duty. Then of course there are a number transfers rumours, the latest being Swansea’s Joe Allen, which if they materialise will put a different slant on things.
I guess there is also a temptation to see how we play, as if the system Brendon Rogers is allegedly trying to get us to take on is something that is totally alien! Anyway it will be nice to see some football again, it’s been around three weeks since the Euro 2012 final, far too long in my book!
Back home it appears interest in Liverpool doesn’t solely extend to the fans of the club. Yes the season hasn’t even started yet Fergie can’t resist having a little poke at us by suggesting that one of the reasons Kenny was sacked was due to his handling of the Luis Suarez racism row.
“I wasn’t surprised at Kenny leaving. Their owner John Henry has obviously looked at that and felt it wasn’t handled in the right way. It certainly wasn’t a nice thing to happen and it must have been part of it.”
With hindsight I guess we should have seen this coming. Only a few days earlier Suarez had spoken on Uruguayan TV about how he felt The Mancs had contributed to his ban.
“People at the club are sure that it was a way that Manchester United used to put me out of the team and stop Liverpool, but in England, Manchester United have this political power and you have to respect that and shut your mouth.”
Suarez then went on to talk about how there was a misunderstanding over the handshake with Evra (just offer it Luis) and how the whole ordeal had affected his family personally.
As I’ve said before I wonder whether Suarez has regretted taking Liverpool’s advice not to appeal? Clearly the club had one eye on the fixture list and wanted Suarez to get his ban completed as soon as possible? One can only speculate but perhaps Suarez is now regretting not taking up the option (he could still do it?) to appeal or, having seen the way John Terry Anton Ferdinand case panned out, taking the matter beyond the FA disciplinary system to court?
Fergie’s latest attempts to pass opinion on the way we do things is business as usual. He’s done it before, a lot. He’s like an old char lady gossiping about all and sundry when really he should have better things to concentrate on like becoming the best club in “Manchester” (I know Old Trafford isn’t strictly in the City) clearly their pre season is going well? In short it’s no surprise, Fergie gets more predictable as he gets older.
Re his comments, of course one doesn’t know what went on behind the scenes at the time of the Suarez Evra incident however publically, unlike Liverpool, The Mancs maintained a pre “trial” silence. After the “handshake” incident they were proactive in trying to smooth things over and move on. Gosh I hate writing this but it’s true.
Fergie’s opinion is one of many that we’ve heard on the issue. He and Kenny go back a long way and wouldn’t be surprised if our man “returned fire”, he is one of the few people n the game who isn’t backward in coming forward when it comes to taking on Fergie. However, perhaps he won’t this time, there is an element of truth that Kenny could have done better yet we need to always remember, he was paid to be football manager not a diplomat. Despite this, he found himself out on a limb, pushed forward into being a spokesman over the affair with the club shamelessly, cowardly and embarrassingly hiding behind his long Adidas jacket!
It is no coincidence that the club’s head PR man paid for this incompetence with his job however did Kenny, as Fergie suggests, experience the same fate? Kenny has a long history of never criticising his players in public and although I suspect deep down he wrestled with it a bit, his approach regarding Suarez was consistent with that. After the incident Fenway said he had their support and I suspect Kenny would still be in the managers post had we won the FA Cup. I always had the feeling that he was never part of their long term plans (too much history and too popular?) and they took their chance when we lost to Chelsea? This would have happened regardless of the Suarez issue?
As for Fergie ones first reaction to him commenting on our business is “what arrogance” but then again the world is full of people, fans (such as myself) and media a like, who do exactly the same thing. Nonetheless I am still surprised that his comments can be heard above the sound of stones smashing into the glass walls of his house!
Finally we are playing Gomel or Renova in the qualifying round of the Europa League…. no I didn’t either!