IT’S still not going particularly well, is it?
Despite the improved performance and result against Chelsea on Tuesday night, it remains a very bloody long time since Liverpool won a game of football. I refuse to count the FA Cup replay against Plymouth at Home Park, because there were people in the squad I’d literally never heard of, and it would have been very difficult indeed for me to have been more apathetic about a match with such a lack of prestige surrounding it. So, in my book at least, Liverpool FC haven’t earned a victory even once yet in 2017, since the home win against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.
That’s crap. Shite. Terrible. Needs changing.
And so it’s a damn good job we play Hull this weekend, because they are simply not very good at kicking the soccer ball in the soccer net more times than other soccer teams. They play Oumar Niasse up front and Lazar Markovic on the wing, for Christ’s sake. I’m not arsed that they’ve got a fancy new olive-skinned manager who knows stuff about formations; this must be three points.
If it’s not, the rest of the season will most likely drift towards nowhere, we’ll end up in the Europa League, and we might as well be liquidated.
Benitez In Owner Dispute Shocker
— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) February 2, 2017
NOW, let me be clear here; I absolutely adore Rafael Benitez Maudes.
The man can do no wrong in my eyes. He is directly responsible for the only sustained period of success I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness as a supporter of Liverpool Football Club, turning over teams he had absolutely no right to turn over on a regular basis and bringing together an 11 made up of some of the finest footballers I’ve ever seen in the flesh. I grew up on all of this, and have struggled to adjust to the seemingly perennial mid-table mundanity which has followed the end of his tenure. He once patted me on the back when I was about 11, and I’ve never really gotten over it. Simply put, the man is my hero.
But he doesn’t half make some fucking daft decisions, doesn’t he? Benitez’s commitment to working with maverick, mentally-unstable owners is both to be admired and also deplored. You’d think he’d want a break from the arguing at some point, like, but apparently he only ever submits his CV to the most trigger-happy of rich lunatics.
I mean, if he’d just Googled Mike Ashley back in March 2016, he’d have found reams of information on the absolute state of the conditions he makes his employees work under. If Sports Direct are going to force workers to give birth in warehouse toilets for fear of being sanctioned, then I wouldn’t just take him at face value when it comes to transfer budgets.
Since his time at Valencia, he has insisted upon exclusively managing clubs where he can have a kick-off a few months in. Here’s the full list:
- Valencia — Was bought players he didn’t want. Made analogies about furniture as a roundabout way of telling them to get fucked, in the end.
- Liverpool — Don’t even know where to start, and you should know about it, so I’m going to leave it. I’ll just say this: Snoogie fucking Doogie.
- Internazionale — Inherited a treble-winning team, was on a hiding to nothing, and having told owner Massimo Moratti to sign new players or sack him, was duly sacked.
- Chelsea — I’d actually repressed this stint from my memory entirely. Fans held signs demanding he be sacked and booed him regularly, and his contract wasn’t renewed by Roman Abramovich.
- Napoli — Went swimmingly at first, posed as a gladiator for the club’s official calendar, before falling out in public with owner and filmmaker Aurelio di Laurentiis over the team’s lack of form.
- Real Madrid — His hometown club, but was something like 74,894th choice for the job and never had Florentino Perez’s backing.
- Newcastle — Took charge of a team destined for relegation with a universally unpopular owner, and has taken him to task in public once again.
I mean, fair play to him for willingly searching out that amount of aggro, like. He must live for confrontation.
My theory is that, while at Liverpool, he absorbed the most common Scouse personality trait — a relentlessly hard-faced stubbornness and desire to prove a point that reaches borderline sadistic levels. And I’ll love that about him forever.
Frankly, I Don’t Give A Damn
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 2, 2017
FRANK Lampard has retired from professional football, which can only mean one thing; the internet has ramped up its levels of nauseatingly sycophantic hyperbole to the maximum levels.
It happens whenever a successful footballer announces they’ve quit the game. Journalists are first to laud the player in question, using identikit tweet formats they must have saved in their drafts for whenever necessary, usually making a comment on both their playing ability and politeness during interviews, just to make themselves feel superior.
Then supporters get involved, followed by the usual glut of footballers from past and present, and everybody circle jerks over vines of long-range goals for a few days until everybody realises the player has grown old, become irrelevant, and nobody actually cares anymore. It’s happened with Lampard, it happened with Steven Gerrard, and it will happen until the end of time.
What has particularly enraged me about fanfare around these two, however, is all of the Paul Scholes-centric revisionism. I mean, get on the absolute kip of this poll:
Right, let's settle this once and for all.
Who would you rather have in your team?
— Oddschecker (@Oddschecker) February 2, 2017
Let’s get this straight, Scholes was very good at football. He was part of one of the most successful teams of all-time for almost two decades, playing across a few different positions in the midfield and very rarely giving the ball away.
So, yeah, not bad. But he wasn’t unbelievably good. Both Gerrard and Lampard have frankly ridiculous goal-scoring records for midfield players, at times carried their teams to honours, and defined almost everything about the way in which their sides played football. They were the fulcrum of their clubs for years, the ultimate symbol of Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.
Scholes was never Manchester United’s best player. He was probably never in the top three individual players in a United 11. He helped his club to reams of success, certainly, but he never dragged them there. There’s certainly a debate you could have as to whether Gerrard or Lampard were better (I’d argue there’s very little in it, to be honest) but Paul bloody Scholes should be nowhere near that conversation.
Quite why people appear desperate to talk him up is baffling to me. It’s not like there’s a vast highlight reel of spectacular goals of his to look back on and think, “Oh bloody hell, he was actually much better than I thought, him”, like there is with the other two. I assume it’s just a hipster thing, in that people are desperate to appear knowledgeable and so pick the less spectacular, and frankly less good, option of the three just to feel high-and-mighty about themselves. Whatever the reason, people need reminding:
Paul Scholes — good, but not that good.
Soccer Stars Weigh in on Muslim Ban
THERE’S a new President of the United States — in case you haven’t heard — and it turns out he’s a completely terrible feller.
Yes, ‘Ol Donny Trumpy has wasted absolutely no time in securing his status as one of the worst human beings to have ever lived, as during his first fortnight in office he reduced funding for abortion services in third world countries, advocated the use of horrific torture methods, and now effectively banned Muslims from entering the USA.
You can’t really unlock your phone or catch a glimpse of a TV at the minute without his big Cheeto face staring back at you as he somehow manages to come out with something even more heinous than the day before. Political commentators are queuing up to deplore him, the Prime Minister is determined to lick his arse as much as much as possible, but I know what you’re really wondering; “What do mediocre members of the US Men’s National Soccer Team make of the Muslim ban?”
Well, I’ve got you covered.
Now, if you’re one of those biffs who comes out with nonsense like, “Politics and sport shouldn’t be mixed,” despite the fact that they are two fundamental foundations of society and are inherently influential upon each other, then feel free to skip to the end.
Here’s what captain Michael Bradley, son of former Swansea manager and Voldemort lookalike Bob, had to say:
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 29, 2017
What a nice feller Bradley seems. He’s taken the time to give a considered, humanist response which outright states that his country is in the wrong, and lambasts the man at fault. Excellent. I hope the Reds sign him and make him captain.
— theScore (@theScore) February 3, 2017
Geoff Cameron, though, I’m not quite so happy with.
Now, for any legal types out there, I’m not for a minute suggesting Cameron is a nailed-on racist. What I am saying, however, is that he is displaying active support for a policy which discriminates exclusively against citizens of predominantly non-white nations.
So I’ll leave you to make your own mind up.