Parasitic columnists show true colours

IT’S amazing the damage a few wins can do. The acidic juices that normally rip through my creaking carcass have had nowhere to flow of late.

Even Babel contributed on Saturday.

Thankfully I can always reroute my rancour towards life’s biggest parasites – English football columnists.

They accepted that Adebayor’s unique brand of cosmetic surgery was outrageous. They were far less perturbed about his celebration, the chance of sticking it to fans overwhelming them as it often does.

There were catty calls for Gooners to get a life or at least some perspective. That’s rich coming from you lot.

We’re not just propping up the football industry; we’re making huge contributions to your business of providing ill-informed dross on a rain-forest-destroying scale.

24-hour news and phone-in stations, supplements on Monday and at least six pages the rest of the week, plus matches on subscription television almost daily for ten months (11 if you count summer tournaments).

Ticket prices remain wallet busting even in recession, kick-off times altered no matter how inconvenient, that’s before you’re informed no tube trains will reach a stadium where you’ll be lucky not to be frisked like a common criminal. Then a former hero badmouths you all week, tries to maim two of your players, scores the goal that finishes you off and races 100 yards (past 40,000 of his new idolaters) to make you look stupid.

And you’re supposed to flick a switch and say “whatever”? You bloodsuckers had better hope and pray none of us ever discovers a sense of proportion or you’ll all be out of a job, so think on.

Our club went on a charm offensive last week, with big sponsorship deals and naming rights gossip.

Cynics say the new stadium might as well be called Atlantis or Shangri La, but there are a few dim souls still swallowing this twaddle.

Of course they go and spoil it by shunting hundreds of dedicated Reds from their usual vantage point in the Kemlyn to accommodate more corporate freeloaders without warning.

Full price for Debrecen, a game live on terrestrial TV, the first taste of terminal boredom aka group stage of the Champions League. The ground was virtually full, abruptly cutting short all campaigns for respecting supporters’ intelligence.

As for the match there was another casual start against a team we considered fodder. Once we realised they weren’t surrendering we upped the tempo only to display our usual poor finishing, Riera especially.

Lucas still divides us, effective enough but without the diamond moments that will silence those Reds who groan at the mere sight of him.

Perceived as a manager’s pet he gets under the skin in the way Heskey once did, and Kuyt two years ago. Harsh, since the manager (and thus the player) has no other option. We’re told Aquilani will begin jogging soon. Hurrah!

Fans should be muttering about Mascherano whose Barcelona dalliance affected the mood of the camp almost as much as Alonso.

The manager sounded foolish trying to blame Argentina’s World Cup woes, but the subterfuge seemed to work as Javier played his best game for some time.

In fact Rafa had a good week. Torres finally responded to criticism by rediscovering his genius and commitment, though he still mouthed off ludicrously to a linesman, whilst using Babel when the Hammers were out of subs and wilting was also a great piece of management. Defensive frailty is now the topic du jour. Because of Agger’s sick-note tendencies, the Carragher-baiting had gone subterranean, especially as Skrtel wasn’t much use either, but it returned with a vengeance after Saturday.

The clock is ticking a little louder for one of our greatest servants, he’ll know that more than anyone, but you get the impression he does not always see eye to eye with the manager and the usual internet zealots take that as a cue for mischief, his mistakes merely providing ammunition.

Odd that Rafa’s post–Villa tilt at “senior professionals” was followed up by detailed comment about their various ‘woes’. Torres, Gerrard, Mascherano – but not Carra.

It feels like an uneasy truce has developed after last year’s right back shenanigans, but sometimes you can read too much into this stuff. We’re shipping goals while zonal marking takes its usual straw-clutch battering and the full backs push ever forwards. I’ll take 3-2 over 1-0 any day. A little fine-tuning plus the return of Agger should help everyone settle.

Then we can all get vexatious about something else.

Trafford Time, perhaps?


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