Posts Tagged ‘liverpool’
I was going to write a post about the tedious coverage of Liverpool’s journey to Madrid, which was essentially just a really bad commute.
But there was a signal problem at Queen’s Park which caused severe delays on the Bakerloo Line so I had to walk to Euston to get home from work this evening and had to very quickly get changed for tennis and now I am tired.
So I won’t.
There seem to be a lot of substandard young foreign players at Liverpool this season. But it’s fair to say that they’ve established a tradition over the last decade of bringing through players from abroad that are very obviously not of the requisite quality. It’s been a long legion of gawky teenagers who look more like confused exchange students than Premiership starlets. Biscan, Le Tallec, Sinama-Pongolle, Nunez are names that provide a small sample of the register.
Lucas Leiva is the flagbearer of the current vanguard, the pin-up boy of a thousand dartboards across Merseyside. He appears to have no discernible talents, except that he is quite good at kicking things. His reputation seems entirely built on his previous job as captain of the Brazilian Under-20 side, although I speculate that that fact may have been falsely added to Lucas’ CV when he sent it off to Rafa Benitez. We’ve all done it.
Lucas actually bears a suspicious similarity to Craig Bellamy. Which leads me to think that he isn’t Brazilian at all, but just a chancer from the Valleys with a forged Brazilian passport. I think John Toshack should be told.
This isn’t the most flattering photo of Rafa Benitez I’ve ever seen. I know he doesn’t really rate up there with Enrique Iglesias in the hunky Spaniards league but it looks like he’s sneezing razor blades. Either that or his body has been used as a husk by an evil alien bug thing like Vincent D’Onofrio in Men in Black. In reality he is most probably on the cusp of unleashing an impressive Hispanic “shit”. Which is fair enough: it seems to sum up Liverpool’s performance last night.
It’s coming to that time of year when one of those metaphorical gap-toothed ratty-tached fairground folk cranks up his engine and the transfer merry-go-round whirrs into dizzying life again.
It should gather pace in quick order: there is no international tournament to delay proceedings. Managers like to mooch and browse around the summer finals searching for a bargain like a schoolgirl choosing bangles in Top Shop. They should heed the caveat that a player’s form over handful of games in July for his country is not representative of his actual talents. Particularly if one of those fixtures is against England, who have the unhappy knack of making crap look like Cruyff.
Hence the questionable skills of the likes of Stephane Guivarc’h, Salif Diao and Karel Poborsky were hired to dilute the quality of the Premiership (although in fairness to Poborsky he proved his class in later spells with Benfica and Lazio).
So what can we expect from this summer’s activity? In most years, managers gather around the relegated teams to see what titbits they can scavenge. A bit like when the tramps fall upon the black bags on the pavement outside Pret A Manger to dine on their discarded sandwiches. This season that analogy probably does poor service to Pret’s estimable baguettes: there are slim pickings on offer from Newcastle, Middlesbrough and West Brom. It’s largely Benjis fare. With the odd exception: Stewart Downing probably, Obafemi Martins potentially, and David Wheater certainly. He’s apparently attracting covetous glances from Rafa Benitez.
It would come as no surprise to me to see a yellow Robin Reliant parked down White Hart Lane as football’s very own Derek Trotter, Harry Redknapp peddles his wares and puts his own mark on the Tottenham squad. In fact a lot of chairmen will be reaching their hands down the backs of their sofas to see if they can find some forgotten asset on the substitute bench or the reserve squad that they can cash in on. By selling it to Wolves.
Another modern trend in football is the long-running transfer saga, the developments of which are played out ad nauseam in the papers and websites until the football community unite in their boredom and nod off. So we’ll have to endure the ongoing soap operas surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Barry and new and exclusive this season, Carlos Tevez. Intriguingly Tevez is another linked with a move to Anfield. The big four in this England tend not to share their prized possessions, jealously guarding them from their rivals (unlike in Italy where the top clubs swap their stars like Panini stickers). This embargo is most strictly imposed between Manchester United and Liverpool. A player has not been directly transferred between the two teams since 1964. It was Phil Chisnall in case you ask.
Of course Tevez doesn’t technically belong to United. He’s the possession of a shady Iranian businessman who is reputed to have links with South American drugs-running and arms-trading. But that’s an entirely different saga. A whole new merry-go-round.
One tiny little goal scored in this week’s Champo League semis may seem a paltry morsel compared to the veritable KFC Family Feast of football we’ve been served up in recent weeks, but for me it represents a comforting return to the stolid tactical fare that is normally dished up, particularly on the European stage.
Don’t be mistaken, I like goals as much as the next fan. And I have slurped up the recent action like a greedy toddler with his milkshake. But my entertainment is laced with strange brand of paranoia. That the current pandemic of defensive incompetence is part of a hideous conspiracy to make football a more palatable prospect to a global audience.
The inane defending from normally solid yeoman such as Terry, Vidic and Skrtel suggested that they were now beholden to a restraining order stating that they are not allowed within ten yards of a would-be attacker. And was an electric circuit wired around Petr Cech’s frame which completed when he laid two hands on the ball thus delivering an unpleasant shock?
Similar thoughts resurface every time there is a freakish upsurge in goal-scoring – which happens more regularly than you think. I am never quite sure who is responsible for these sinister edicts but this is paranoia. It’s not supposed to be rational. It wouldn’t be paranoia otherwise. It would just be thinking.
Happily, normal order was resumed this week. The plot has failed, and cagey football has won through again.
Or maybe it was simply a failure with the circuitry on Cech’s electrokit.