We need a cure for travel sickness

DID you ever pretend you were a rock star in your bedroom as a kid? Pick up a tennis racket and whirl your arm like Pete Townshend? I broke a thousand light bulbs that way.

That’s the beauty of home: close the door behind you and be whatever you want to be.

Liverpool have played ten times at Anfield so far. Won 9, drawn 1, scored 25 goals. We reign supreme! Unfortunately there’s a big bad world out there into which we occasionally have to venture. I’m looking forward to the Emirates, where there’ll be 55,000 Gooners and 4,000 first-time buyers examining every cranny and testing the sound levels. If we’re impressed, we’ll take one!

There will be a football match too of course, and maybe their goal drought will continue. You wouldn’t bet on it though would you? Noel White came clean on the day my last column blasted him for his anonymity. It was a snide thing he did, but there’s some old-school respectability in his actions since I suppose and it at least got us some of that there siege mentality.

No sooner had he complained about wasting money than Kuyt suddenly gets his act together. He was picked for three games in a row and seems to be getting better.

Food for thought, Rafa? We’ve qualified in Europe with two games to spare, sparking a debate about our knockout opponents and whether we can wangle ourselves an easier tie in early spring.

People have short memories. We came first last time, and got Benfica. There was enough warmth created by the gleeful rubbing of hands to put new holes in the ozone. Whoever we get, we get.

Bordeaux were bloody awful home and away. 32 teams selected from the best leagues in Europe and still there are passengers. One is loath to mention the idea of a super league since you know the greedy swine need little encouragement, but I’m not sure how long they can sell this dreck to the masses.

As the match inevitably became The Steven Gerrard Show (don’t they all?) he finally managed to nail one of the numerous chances the nondescript ‘plus ten others’ created. Something’s still not right but let’s not give the fraudulent faculty of ‘experts’ any more work. Every paper seems to have a body language translator nowadays.

Speaking of translators, playing our matches on the same night as Chelsea has one advantage: we didn’t have to watch those car-crash games with Barcelona.

Mourinho is the Jerry Springer of football, the ringmaster of Cirque Du Chaos.

Maybe they will win it this year after all (unless we meet in the semi-final) but when the reaction of the world outside is “you get what you pay for” what’s the point? Their recent game with Reading impacted on ours at the weekend.

Within 30 seconds there was a clash between Hunt and Reina every bit as jarring as that with Cech. This time the Reading man came off worse.

Maybe it’s not a cliché and there’s an actual Goalkeepers Union after all? They had a secret meeting and poor Steve Hunt is toast.

Things weren’t helped by the team’s unwillingness to grab the game by the throat. Since the continental coaches came there’s been an attitude at Anfield that going for goals and (God forbid) entertaining the fans is a waste of effort. As if scoring 5 goals today meant we’d squander our allocation for the rest of the month! Bordeaux left their déjà vu behind. It was all too easy and prompted musings that things would liven up if only we were given a ‘real’ challenge.

Trouble is, whenever anyone actually does that we buckle. What a strange team we have at the moment. Reading sat back even at 0-1, and we’ll treasure the memory of Carragher and Hyypia going close with long-range efforts.

Minutes before half time fans were streaming out of the stands. The food must be brilliant here, I really must try it sometime. One guy walked past me with a dozen hotdogs. Sitting like a mute for 90 minutes is hungry work clearly.

The consensus was that it was okay swatting relegation candidates on your own turf but unless you put up a struggle on your travels it’s all pretty pointless.

You can be Hendrix behind closed doors, but on the outside you’re still the X Factor reject you always were.

More in this section



SUNDAY AUGUST 1ST

Knocknagree v Kanturk

PFIC FINAL

PÁIRC UÍ CHAOIMH 7pm

Ireland's Top 10 Hidden Gems

Ten of the best golf courses in Ireland that too few people know about.

Read Here
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up