IT is surprising how often my thoughts and random daydreams always come back to Sam Allardyce and his life.
I can’t help it. I have tried to scratch him from my mind but it’s no good.
I think about whether he can sing and, if so, whether he sings around the house.
My favourite Allardyce sing-song daydream is of him walking from room to room, mirror to mirror, belting out Creedence Clearwater Revival like there is no tomorrow while trying on various ties around his big jowelly neck, perennially struggling with his top button.
I think about what he likes to eat for his tea and always end up debating whether he is a traditional English meat-and-two-veg man, who lives for a piece of white bread to mop up his gravy, or a European food snob who has six courses every meal and an amuse-bouche to refresh his palate in between.
I wonder what his house is like — whether he has got a favourite chair, why he has always got a cut or a sore on his face and why he is always chewing.
He is my favourite waste of time — whenever I see him my mind wanders.
My current Allardyce jam is to think of things that he might and might not smell of. Have a game, it is great. Below are a few of my favourites to get you started:
Things Big Sam probably doesn’t smell of:
- Freshly-cut grass
- Shampoo (except possibly Vosene original)
- Mountain air
- New-born babies
Things Big Sam probably does smell of:
- Lamb chops
- A pint of brown mix
- A cattery
- Mince and onion Frey Bentos
On Saturday, I sat, for the 77 minutes I was there, in a cracking seat on the halfway line of the Main in a spec that will probably cost somewhere north of eight grand next year.
I spent the first half trying — and failing — to detect any of the above scents and wondering what it was that Big Sam was chewing on.
I came to the conclusion that it was individual well-done pieces of liver wrapped in the skin of a sausage. He might be carrying a bit of weight but by Christ he has got the jaw of a salt water crocodile.
Wherever he goes he besmirches the environment and Saturday was no different.
A team with no ambition, no quality (Jermain Defoe on the half turn aside) intent on ruining the game somehow managed to walk away with the same reward as Liverpool.
They arrived with the ambition of getting a draw and somehow managed it. How was that possible?
The Reds were by far the better team, had the best player on the pitch, all of the chances and had scored the only two goals by the time I got off yet Big Sam gets to leave his greasy fingerprints all over Anfield and leave with one of our points, when they deserved shite all.
While I didn’t see the last 13 minutes I have had a look back at it since in some sort of act of self-harm. And it appears that Big Si the Mig lined his wall up on Walton Breck Road, maybe in a move of solidarity to the absent fans, and then borrowed Pepe Reina’s ’2011 onwards smoke hands’ to defy the laws of physics and let them back in it.
Well in, The Mig — power to the people and that.
The second goal is what it is, the news of which was met with disbelief by those of us walking away from the ground and for me was swiftly followed by a feeling of guilt and remorse.
Leaving Anfield for the first time before the final whistle felt wrong and counter intuitive. I didn’t do it lightly and hopefully I won’t need to do it again.
It was a surreal situation and people made a decision based on their gut feeling as to whether they should stay or go.
Fans shouldn’t get stick either way, decisions should be respected. As a great man once said, we are all Reds here, mate.
However, a big mention must go to the lovely elderly gentleman in the Main Stand who took exception to the whole thing, started calling everyone “cracked” and tried to wrestle the people leaving while swinging his walking stick about his head because he couldn’t see. Nice one. Are you Ian Ayre’s auld fella?
Plenty of others have written brilliantly on the ticket price subject so I won’t try to cover the same ground.
What amazes me though is how the club have got themselves into this situation in.
They are clearly now in PR panic mode, trying to claw back the ground they have lost with their abject initial press release and response.
They are guilty of ineptitude, arrogance and complacency — thinking the odd £9 titbit and cheaper tickets for some would be sufficient to appease the local pests and disguise the greed and need for an extra two million quid. Was it worth it?
All of the hassle and negative press, being appointed the flag-bearer for capitalism across the Premier League, alienating your fan base and possibly your newly-appointed manager for two million quid?
What is your next move, Liverpool? Have you figured one out yet? I hope it is better than your last one.
As moves go, dragging your universally-ridiculed CEO back from his weekend in the wilderness with Bear Grylls, not allowing him time to wash his face, comb his hair or change out of his mufti-wear so that he looks like he is lost, confused and possibly being held captive, wasn’t a great start.
Combining that with his unparalleled ability to condescend and tell people they are free to form their own opinion but if it isn’t the same as the club’s then it is wrong, was a little incendiary.
It might be best to treat this whole issue as a fire and imagine Mr Ayre is a lovely big can of petrol and his mouth is an aerosol.
Where do we go from here, Liverpool? What is your actual next move? I don’t know how you extricate yourself from this pickle without fully climbing down.
Let’s hope that by the time we next meet at home the lingering bad smell is related to Big Sam and his greasy lamb fingerprints left all over the corridors and handrails rather than the soul-destroying smell of greed that seems to be smothering us all.