REMEMBER Stevi Ritchie off the X Factor?
Me neither, until he sang You’ll Never Walk Alone at half-time at the riotous FBA awards last night. Not for the first time in his career, he emptied the room in seconds.
But, not because he’s terrible, or that he came dressed as one of Roy Evans’ and Simon Hughes’ Men in White Suits, but instead because loads of the footy lads don’t like the Reds; hate our song; and in one word they are currently – petrified.
They are petrified of Liverpool, scared to death of Jürgen Klopp and his mad teeth, and having nightmares about Roberto Firmino, whose movement is such that he’s in everyone’s front room.
By the way, the Football Blogging Awards at Old Trafford were great; sponsored by wine, women and song – and Budweiser, and Sam Allardyce. It felt like the entire room had Jamie Vardy banter in their soul, but we won and, on reflection, we should all have gone dressed as Danny Murphy with 1-0 tattooed on our heads.
Anyway, back to business; literally so for the Reds, after what seems like the longest of all the international sabbaticals. It felt so drawn out this time, I almost played cricket and drank Pimms in the garden, pretending it was the close-season.
During the break, two things happened that reminded me of days gone by; days when the media looked to make mischief and derail the Reds. It never worked then and it won’t work now.
So, those two things. I’ll get onto our Phil in a moment.
Firstly though, despite not reading the Daily Mirror this week, by some form of cyber osmosis I could hear Darren Lewis chatting wham about Daniel Sturridge. If Darren was at the FBA’s last night he would have been sole nominee for the “Overly Earnest Came Late To Football” award.
Daniel Sturridge to West Ham for £28million. Daniel Sturridge to Stoke for £28m.
Dan Sturridge will probably go to the both of them. A stint at the old Olympic Stadium first, blow a few bubbles, pop a hamstring on Usain Bolt’s stretch of asphalt and then off to sunny Stoke on August 31st, sealing a gong for Sir Jim White.
He’s bang on is Darren.
Sturridge would prefer to spend his winter in those cable cars that whiz above Stratford than playing his part in Liverpool’s title bid. And if, by summer, he hasn’t already gone to London – where he’s from, innit you journo lads? – he’ll trade the Champo League for the Potteries and a prefab in Burslem.
The reality is that Dan Sturridge is a bit peeved and rightly so for a lad who backs himself off the back of 57 goals in 102 appearances for Liverpool. Attitude wise, the recalcitrant Brummie-cum-Cockernee striker has done no more than moan his arse off; with a claim well and truly staked through a brace when he started in the League Cup against Spurs. He then complained further with a crossbar challenge cameo off the bench in the mauling of Watford.
Oh, for more problem children like Sturridge. Even Kloppo admits he’s moved to tears by Daniel’s precision and brilliance in training. But Darren Lewis reckons he’s offski. Move him on Jürgs; Studger’s a bad egg.
If that’s not enough, and the Reds are happy to just play the same 11 all season until all their legs fall off, we’d better prepare for life without Phil Coutinho as well. He’s off to Barca, you see. Not to play FIFA after training with his mate Neymar but for the Gothic Catalan architecture. Ole, Ole.
Even our own Phil Blundell, worrying his head off, thinks it’ll be sound if our Phil just gets off, despite Kloppo saying the Brazilian wizard of the dribble “feels really well here”. I think what Dr. Klopp is inferring is not that Coutinho is healthy but that it’s unlikely he’s leaving for Spain in the immediate future. Or, not “in this moment” as the mad German bastard often puts it.
If there really is something to get annoyed about during this latest season hiatus it’s that we’ve got our knickers in a twist over selling our best players again, despite there being no real substance to any of it. The media have won in the sense that at least it’s stopped everyone looking at the league table and reminding their fearful little selves who is top of the pile.
A fortnight of heads in sand and some solace for those who fear Liverpool FC, but that’s all. A futile attempt to halt the red juggernaut.
Is Klopp worried the break means we lose momentum? “Absolutely not”, he says the other day while dreaming of bowling greens and his pint in the Freshfield(s) – sic.
The media, the mockers and the lads who walked out when Stevi Ritchie did his remarkably good Gerry Marsden audition are shitting themselves. They are doing their level best to unsettle us and it was ever thus. They’re really keen on goading us with a patronising “Ah, it’s gonna be your year is it?” while secretly worrying it is.
Let them have their Sturridge and Coutinho moves. Let the unsettled duo pair up with Joe Allen and Lionel Messi.
It won’t matter.
We’ll just bring arl Gerro back and play him as a 10 on one leg. We can then give him a rest and he can take Sturridge’s seat on the bench. He can furrow his low brow; and pull a face when he gets left out like the best of them. And no-one will breathe a word about him having an attitude problem and wanting away, and then say he’s from Glasgow.
Tell MK Dons do one. Welcome home, son.
Just one problem though, Ste. Kloppo’s living in your house, spilling his German brews all over Alex’s cream Axminster. And Firmino, like he is all over the globe, is in your front room.
Only 1,000 words today, lads. I’ve got a terrible hangover.
Up the fearfully good Reds, and thanks to the FBA’s and Stanley Collymore for a great night.