THEY’VE got previous in that there London. Great train robbers, artful dodgers and now Mad Frankie Arnesen (allegedly).
That incessant claptrap about Scousers only camouflages their own light-fingered liberties. We’re not like that oop north, oh no. Flat caps, whippets, honesty and fair play are the order of the day.
Okay, that isn’t strictly true. Still it’s nice when you can hide behind other people’s foibles occasionally. The Eduardo and Kakuta ‘scandals’ have no doubt provoked a similar reaction from our former Lancastrian allies in Trafford: uh-oh, are we next? Diving has always been here. Even the sainted Dalglish fashioned his own little rep back in the day. It was John Barnes who perfected today’s unwritten law that if you reach the ball first then fall over, it’s a penalty.
As for transfer fraud let’s not dwell again upon how we avoided court over Ziege or just why Robbie Keane cost so much.
Sure you’ll get the odd Evertonian or some other small club claiming otherwise but they’d drop their trousers in a trice if any old billionaire so much as leered at them.
Which partly explains my disgust with football as a whole and Liverpool ‘Football Club’ in particular. Selective myopia is the key to it all.
When the carpetbaggers crawled through the cracks in our fortress, that was the moment ‘win at all costs’ gained dominion. Months earlier in late 2006, when Dubai was ready to unbuckle and make Abramovich look like Kenwright, there were no protests, no petitions, no marches – just a salivating greed and (after 4 years of Chelsea baiting) rank hypocrisy.
Swallow diving in the box and employing Ian Fleming’s child-catcher as Chief Scout pales in comparison to the foul-infested fissures that were opened that day.
Expert in the art of gallows humour, some Reds have predicted that Hicks and Gillett will give FIFA a dossier of our transfer discrepancies in order to trigger a two-year ban of our very own.
The last window closed with nothing but a bitter breeze blowing through. It was inconveniently followed by hints of player unrest, explicit in Babel’s case and implicit in Riera’s.
Young Ryan has imbibed so often in the last chance saloon that I’m surprised his liver hasn’t collapsed. Two seasons, and the lad can’t even trap a ball properly. Given one of the opportunities he claims he was promised, against Spurs, he squandered possession continuously and left Insua to the tender mercies of a rampant Lennon.
We can point fingers at the manager after we find out just how much of that £11m fee we’ll recoup, very little I suspect, but when a wise man said “God helps those who help themselves” he could well have used the Dutchman as a template.
As for Alberto the local press reported his claim of a disagreement with Rafa and left details out, such as Barcelona’s alleged interest in him. He made the right placatory noises after this revelation, but the cynical may wonder if that anecdote was a warning that there are other fish in the sea.
The retort is simple enough – learn to swim in the tank before you start thinking about oceans – but we seem to be leaking more players than is necessary and we’re hardly blessed with talent in that position.
It was a forlorn hope that Rafa could make slight adjustments to a very good squad, just when it looked like we were going places. Now the ‘second team’ is as reliable as a house made from eggshells. Even if we wanted to expand, every spare dime is being snaffled by the bank thanks to Butch and Sundance.
It may be old age or a telling blow from football’s moral malaise but I care less and less these days. What are we actually asking Rafa to accomplish here? It feels like some macabre puppet show, where he’s tying ropes to the limbs of a terminal patient and making him dance for one last semblance of normality. Could that be the reason why I get so ratty with him sometimes? The more successful he is, the greater the subterfuge and the less chance that supporters will notice we are slowly sinking into the quagmire.
Maybe I’ll feel fine after we beat Burnley.
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