Desperately Seeking a Shithouse

Shithouse emojiThere a wide variety of shithouses. From Keanes to Herreras, Mascheranos to Fernandinhos there isn’t a particular size or shape, creed or color that identifies a Premier League shithouse. One characteristic, however, does—gnarl.

They don’t have to be hard. Nor do they need to be big. They just need to be good at being bad (reads: get away with it more often than not). A shithouse revels in the villainy. Relishes the needle. They are artisans in arseholery. Captains of the cynical.

Everyone loves their own shithouse. The mucker that does just that, mucks it up. Few things outside of a shithouse-on-shithouse coming together elicits more anticipatory, gleeful hand rubbing.  

Javier Mascherano

Who didn’t love this shithouse? Courtesy: football365

Shithousery, after all, is an art form. It is exactly why shithouses and their generally aberrant behavior eludes more stringent stricture from referees.

Shithouses are well known to refs. They probably discuss them at Professional Game Match Officials Limited meetings. And yet, they let them engage in said shithousery. Week in and week out. They are accepted as part of the game. Both in the stands and on the pitch.

You can almost rank EPL shithouses. Most teams have at least one.

You won’t, however, find a current Liverpool player in the top 10 of that list. There’s an argument for Emre Can. But he’s not a true shithouse. He is stung into shithousery. It is not an innate quality. Like Axl Rose singing Opera, it can be entertaining, but it’s hardly art.

Luis Suarez

Absolute shithouse Courtesy: Daily Mirror

The last true shithouse to don the famous Red is arguably Luis Suarez. He had the needle. He had the gnarl. He would hang a late challenge on an opponent and look at the ref with absolute, unpracticed incredulity as he was shown a yellow. The biting was a bridge too far, though. Shithouses like to leave their marks in other ways—and other places.

It has been noted by many smarter, maybe those that are shithouses at heart, that Liverpool are too, well, nice.

Don’t mistake this as a lament. The way that Liverpool Football Club currently play their football, when in full-throated chorus, is a thing of true beauty. The inclusion of a shithouse would somehow sully performances that could well be immortalized in bronze. On pedestals. In the Louvre.

However, it is when things are ugly, when the calligraphic movements around the pitch are reduced to shorthand, we lack the real ability to bare-knuckle it through the most important rounds.

This is evidenced in two of the most recent matches, the Derby and against West Brom. Both came to stymy, stagnate and general stink the joint out, and both sets of opposing players were allowed to shithouse their way through wasting close to a quarter of each match.

Marko Grujic Liverpool Football Club

Shithouse-in-waiting? Courtesy: This is Anfield

The Anfield faithful weren’t having it, but the men in Red seemed resigned to it happening. Rather than remonstrating with the ref about the 35 seconds that Jordan Pickford needed to get the ball back into play every time it went out of play, they meekly waited. And Craig Pawson, less shithouse and more bellend, seemed equally disinterested in speeding it up.

You’d think that this would’ve been addressed for the next match. Nope. Same thing. And no one in the ref’s face and/or ear offering an alternative view.

A shithouse would’ve been useful here. Although a shithouse might not be able to directly influence those around him when the other team seems disinterested in holding onto the ball, he can make it difficult for those that hold sway in a less nuanced way.

Outside of inspiring fear of injury and pain, one of a shithouse’s most effective weapons is to sow seeds of discord and doubt. Whether the ref knows it or not, he has been alerted to shithousery by one who deals in it.

Liverpool Football Club could use a shithouse. Teams know that they can impune themselves at home and away against us, because there is no one on the other side of the park capable of administering retribution, by fair means or foul.

The Reds have needed one in their employ for quite a while. They need a curled lip, a snide heel clip and a snort of derision when someone has the temerity to question intent.

With the way that Liverpool is skillfully and routinely slicing teams up, there are going to be those fixtures where gravel and grit will be a necessity. Where pleasantries will need to be summarily executed. Where cold, calculated cynicism is called upon. Where the hero will be a villain.

And who doesn’t love a good villain?

Oh, Oh, Oh, Coutinho. No, Really.

So much column space dedicated to wantaway Philippe Coutinho. So what the hell. Here’s some more.Philippe Coutinho for Sale SignOne immutable fact about the modern footballing fan is the need for absolutism predominates all debate. And yet, I can’t bring myself to do it. So if you are looking for hard line stances on FSG or Coutinho (or have an aversion to the word cunt), then abandon all hope. Or get back on Twitter and get your fill of echo chambers and confirmation biases.

It all starts with FSG. And funnily enough, it’s where it will all end.

FSG have looked like cunts before. As recently as two months ago, actually. But the base of their cuntisimilitude is that they were convinced they could revolutionize (or reinvent) the European football operating system.

So, they came not to play. Rather to game. But Moneyball has proved to be neither money, nor ball. A balls-up perhaps. In the effort to be pennywise, they have consistently proven to be pound foolish. And worse, repeatedly made a storied and proud club to be the league laughing stock and cuckolds.

And yet they persisted. Even in the face of consistent failures. Adhering to “the system” unwaveringly was either hubris or rather a calculated effort to pad bottom lines. Which, according to the recent This is Anfield report they have, making more money in player sales than anyone else in all of Europe since 2010.

In either scenario, it was never going to win them any friends—especially amongst an informed fan base who were already cynical of American carpetbaggers. And it hasn’t. The FSG-outers are in full voice. As you would expect. FSG has all but loaded the weapon that their detractors are pointing at them.

Jose Mourinho habitual cuntSo back to being a cunt. Nobody really likes to look the cunt. However, if you continue to act in a manner befitting or characterizing said cunt, then you are most likely are a habitual cunt. And this is where you have to feel a little sympathy. Even when the “tight bastards” are making world-record bids, they can’t give the money away. Something about can’t win for losing.

 

With Philippe Coutinho, FSG, and all of its social medially-maligned minions can make themselves look less like cunts. And it isn’t hard. They already have the Luis Suarez template. Offers came in, but in their blackened and gnarled Moneyball hearts, they knew that even at his substantial price tag, it would come at an even more substantial loss.

They have drawn a similar line in the sand with O Magico. Now they will have to put their money where their mouth is while even larger amounts of money are shoveled onto a plate that they can’t seem to get money off.

The fact that FSG has indicated they have all this money to spend (or at least have it available) means that they don’t need the Coutinho money. If they say “yes,” the howls (or bleats) for their summary dismissal will reach fever pitch. Then it IS about the money. And at the expense of potential glory. Imagine the what ifs. Oh just imagine them.

It doesn’t really matter which camp you are in regarding the inability to get a big deal over the line, the fact is, Liverpool Football Club cannot seem to get their preferred targets in—even with Champions League football on offer. Well, almost. So if Coutinho goes, what is the likelihood they could land a similar talent? Even if the transfer window lasted until The Simpsons last episode.

Philippe Coutinho as a Right CuntWith only a few weeks left in the transfer window, even the most optimistic LFC fan would deem this window a poor one. Primarily because FSG (or someone in their employ) acted like a cunt and what seemed a dead cert now appears dead in the water. And the “here’s an even bigger bag of money for your already egregiously overpriced player” option has come up bupkis, too.

So what does this have to do with Philippe Coutinho? Right now, Philippe Coutinho looks a right cunt. Which seems completely out of character. With Sterling (spits) and Suarez you could see it being how they would conduct their business.

My Spidey sense tells me that this is engineered almost parallel to his actual intent. He genuinely seems like a kid who just wants to play football. Above all else. The Philippe Coutinho that said he wanted to become statue worthy is probably closer to the actual Philippe Coutinho. Quick to smile, never a shitty word, clocks in, clocks out, family man. Yet he sent the email.

An email, yes an email. Signalling his intent to leave the club via electronic mail is well, a cunt move. And if you had any trepidation as to dropping that epithet, then you should feel completely comfortable with it once you find out he sent it after practice the day before the domestic season kicked off.

Philippe's email to LFC

He wants to go. And probably has for a while. There has been enough eyelash batting in the last few seasons to indicate that he’s interested. But not like this. He is probably taking advice from the wrong people. And by some accounts, it’s coming from ex-Barca coaches that he currently plays against. Given the source, it’s probably complete twaddle, however….

The greasy fuck-me-now-or-lose-me-forever play by Barcelona seems to be their “go to” option when things aren’t progressing at a clip that they are used to. And why not. They are Barcelona. They don’t take you out for a steak dinner. You take THEM out for a steak dinner.

The Ousama Dembele situation is further proof of a strategy that cuts a club out of the picture when they don’t get the answer they like or want. They don’t so much as turn heads as they do grab behind the ears and lead a player about.

It is vexing that the Brazilian has lowered himself to their ploy. Seasoned heads realize that badge kissing and outpourings of fealty are inherently empty gestures. Yet this still stings a little more. If not because he seemed like a good kid, then because this felt like the season where he could build the pedestal that he wanted to be immortalized on.

Philippe Coutinho Holding an injured legThis sudden 180 also leaves his teammates and his coach completely in the proverbial pooh. And that’s not saying anything as to what position it has put his employers in. Jurgen Klopp, by all accounts, was looking to build his offensive juggernaut around a reinvented Coutinho. It was something that everyone had probably bought into. And we were enervated by.

That key element in unlocking stubborn defenses now remains locked in an isolation of his own devising. And perhaps even worse, the likelihood of finding a replacement in the time remaining is slim. We are not naive enough to think that creative talent akin to his isn’t out there. But are there a) any available right now and b) are they the right fit.

Klopp doesn’t buy to have. It’s based on fit. Or at least his previous transfer dealings would suggest. It could explain why he is so fixated on two targets with few seeming concrete alternatives. With Coutinho handing in a transfer request he would be forced to gut it out with his current crop of players, or rush in and more than likely drop a large portion of what he got from the transfer on that replacement—who may or may not be the answer.

Even if it wasn’t a panic buy, Liverpool has a tendency to get fleeced more often than not. Ironically enough, one of the occasions where the club wasn’t lubed up was in the January deal for Coutinho. But it seems certain that should Coutinho head to Catalonia, extra zeroes would be on the transfer request. They know we have the money, and, well, we’re Liverpool.

So back to our menstruating maestro situation. Our own butt-hurt Achilles (depending with Mirror article you read) seems set on moving on at all costs. Which is fine. Well not at all really. Not right now.

However, if he stays, which I personally hope he does, he is a wantaway. His ethic and dedication will be subject to scrutiny. By his teammates, his coaching staff and the people that bought his jersey. He might not give a monkey’s how he is perceived, but again, it doesn’t feel quite right.

We should, by all accounts, motherfuck him out of hand. It would be completely justified. The timing, the manner, the convenient back injury, all just make him easily pariahed.

And we need convenient villains. Probably more than we need inconvenient heroes. We need lazy trump cards for argument’s sake rather than well-researched closing statements.

There’s no real easy out for anyone here. FSG have painted themselves into a corner. Coutinho has painted himself into the other corner. Fans are painting with even broader strokes (which isn’t unusual) and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool FC are painted the color fucked.

Peering over the shit sandwich, however, Crystal Palace and the home opener are coming into sight. Maybe Coutinho plays. Reports say he won’t. Regardless, the number 10 (or lack thereof) won’t detract from the majesty of the occasion. Not for me.

The £70 Million Question

Liverpool are rumored to be set to splash the cash on two targets this summer. But which one is worth £70 million: RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita or Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk?

Pat –

Seventy million pounds. Seventy meeeellliioonn pounds. Think Dr. Evil as you say that number, because that’s surely how penny pinchers FSG think as they hear demands from RB Leipzig and Southampton.

Though you’d think the latter club would offer a frequent buyer promo at this point to LFC. Or at least be bundling another player or three like Amazon does, all clad with spiffy new Under Armour kits. (Shameless plug alert, if you shop Team Bezos, consider setting the Craig Willinger Fund as your Amazon charity. Just go here. Cheers!)

On one side of the transfer coin flip is yet another center back, Virgil van Dijk, who would move into the revolving door of a spot since Carragher retired. Mamadou Sakho. Tiago Illori. Kolo Toure. Dejan Lovren. Joe Gomez. Joel Matip. Ragnar Klavan. Seven bites at the cherry to partner with Skrtel, Agger, or one another and the proverbial pit has been hit every time.

Over the same time, two half-hearted attempts have been made at finding a true holding midfielder. That’s a position lacking in quality, aside from the ever-underappreciated Lucas, since the turn of the decade. This after reaches for Charlie Adam’s corners and the Welsh Xavi.

Neither Emre Can nor Gini Wijnaldum are that player. Both want to get forward more than making the proper, scything tackle at the right moment. And Hendo, whose feet are more injury prone than Sturridge on international duty, still doesn’t know when to take the tactical yellow. Armband or not, he’s not the right guy.

We need a new holding midfielder to contend. Look at the last few champions: Kante over the past two years at differing blue clubs, Matic returning to Chelsea prior to that, or Yaya Toure before he didn’t have a lack of birthday candles at the Etihad. Moving a #8 there certainly wasn’t the answer. And this isn’t a recent trend, going back to Xabi and Mascherano for us, Keane for United, Viera for Arsenal, and Makelele or Essien for Chelsea.

This isn’t to say we’re set at center back. The position needs an upgrade that isn’t somehow resolved by an in house French international. But, look at the final nine matches of the season:

Lucas: 6 starts, 5 full matches, 11/18 points won (10/15 in those he went 90’), but just six goals conceded.

In the ten matches prior to that run, when he averaged less than half an hour a match, just 13 of 30 points were taken and 16 goals conceded.

Could it be that the back line’s issues aren’t just the two center backs, but that the midfield hasn’t provided proper coverage necessary? Lovren benefitted from Schneiderlin at Soton, but hasn’t had the same protection as a Red. Naby Keita, last year’s Bundesliga runner up for PotY, is worth the money and will improve Liverpool’s defense more than yet another dart throw at CB. One who has yet to win anything outside of a one-team league in Scotland, as van Dijk has on his resume.

Daz – 

I remember watching the first game that Virgil van Dijk played against us in a Southampton jersey. Simply because he was head and shoulders above everyone we threw against him—in stature and control. With the typical tribal amnesia I forgot about him. Until we played them again. And he was mustard again.

As for Nabe Keita. That’s pretty much all I got. Never seen him play. I’ve seen the Youtube clips. I know he got some Bundesliga award. Apparently he’s pretty boss. Still haven’t seen him play though. And if you listen to those in the know they will tell you he would be the perfect fit in a Klopp system. And yet….

The simple fact is that Klopp isn’t a “holding midfielder guy.” He’s said as much. His teams are all action. I’m not saying that we couldn’t use Keita. We probably could. God knows that the way Liverpool play leaves whoever is behind the ball vulnerable.

Maybe Keita represents the best of both world’s in Klopp universe. He must be more than just a holding midfielder. I can’t fathom a reason that he would convince the board to shell out that much cheddar otherwise. So perhaps, slapping a title on him is a bit lazy.

But in some of the matches in the first half of the season, we could’ve spotted some squads Karius and played 1 at the back. Fluid, relentless, a gang in red. A holding mid would’ve been a passenger. And unless you are United Airlines, you don’t pay £70m for a passenger.

It is oft said (to the point of being nauseating), defense will win you titles. And the 2013/14 season is proof of that. You shouldn’t fall short of first if you are putting 100 plus balls past the amassed opposition net minders.

Fact is, we’ve been without a momma and poppa partnership in the back since, shit, probably Henchoz and Hyppia. Since then, a lot of also-rans. Some ok, some not so much so. The talent wasn’t lacking. Neither was the drive. It was chemistry. Or lack thereof. And occasionally Skrtel going full Skrtel.

Most recently, a log slide of bad luck, injuries and “ill-informed” decisions hampered almost any chance of partnership development. Lovren and Matip showed the most promise, but they both had their packet of crisps moments. So chemistry, instead of being allowed to develop, was quickly slapped together in a Premier League-fired test tube.

Is there any indication that VvD will be the Yin to Matip’s Yang? No. None at all. But I’ve seen van Dijk play. He’s good. Very, very good. He’s an upgrade on anything we have now—despite what is being touted as a “sparce” resume of accomplishments. £40m seemed about right. Seemed. Now the price is the other side of fucking ridiculous. But arguing the inflated market valuations is content for another time. And hey, it’s not our money, right?

The fact is, we need better defenders. A holding mid in a Klopp set up will more than likely still be seen sniffing around the 18 yard box when the Reds have the rock. The fact that Keita offers goals lends itself to that assertion. So, yeah, the center backs will most likely be left holding the bag quite frequently. VvD looks like he could be a solid bagman, you know, in the protection racket.

I’ll get me coat.

Grit and Grace, Brass Knuckles and Lace

Jordan Henderson is many things (and goes by many different titles, according to Twitter), but a defensive midfielder he is not. Burnley’s second is proof of that. All that Andre Gray wanted there, was a kicking right off the park. Soak up the card, set up the wall, roll your dice with the free kick.

Sweep the leg, Jordan. Courtesy liverpoolfc.com

Sweep the leg, Jordan.
Courtesy liverpoolfc.com

Nothing new there, though. Has there been a DM since Javier Mascherano left to win everything, ever at

Barcelona? Lucas Leiva? Perhaps. Probably more by reinvention really, carving out a career as in the midfield where it seemed impossible. Since then, well, take a look at social media. They all seem to know.

Then there’s the Left Back thing. The fume. Oh the glorious fume. Wall-to-wall fume. You can’t breathe for it.

A team that concedes five goals on seven shots in two matches is either incredibly unlucky or incredibly shit. Or has a problem with pegs and holes. Is it down to one cog or two puzzle pieces amiss? Or is something else?

The Liverpool FC approach has become a type of footballing noblesse oblige, standing above—not amongst—the ball carrying savages, looking kindly at their methods but not engaging in them. A dog at the fight with no fight in it. (more…)

He Won’t Go Again

I was at Anfield for the insipid 0-0 draw against West Ham towards the end of the 2012/13 season. It wasn’t so much the droll match that I remember as it was the Bag of Hammers at the other end of the pitch chanting “where’s your famous atmosphere?” I remember it coz I could hear it over the marked lack of atmosphere. It was the end of a season that wasn’t much in the way of atmospheric to be fair.

Week_34

David Will’s postcard from the epic win over City. Courtesy davewill.bigcartel.com/

This would seemingly have nothing to do with David Will. Pretty sure he wasn’t making Liverpool Football Club postcards back then. Wasn’t much to immortalize in that game anyway really.

And now, it seems, he won’t be making postcards. At least not any of Liverpool Football Club.

It seems the Club will have its pound (a thousand of them to be exact) of flesh. This time in licensing fees. A move that has priced him out of the market. A market he created. This is where West Ham questioning our famous atmosphere has everything to do with David Will.

For £1,000 we had had another little piece of the atmosphere evaporate. A little slice of local flavor gobbled up. A local business spit out.

It’s just business. Of course it is. And one that is doing quite well, by all accounts. And by accounts, I mean Forbes, which has the club valued at $1.55bn (ranking it as the 41st richest sporting organization). That and their other venture, The Boston Red Sox who are pecking even higher up that list (18th at $2.3bn). Really helps to put the absolute necessity of that £1,000 into perspective.

Such is the cost of doing business with the club. And cost them it will.  (more…)

West Ham 2 – Reds (in White) 0 — Ratings

West Ham vs Liverpool Football ClubAfter two scrappy 1-0 wins on the bounce, we just ran out of scrap. Or we just never showed up with any. 50/50 balls looked a lot like 30/70 balls.

This result has been coming for a while, you feel. West Ham away is never a should win situation, but the lads looked like they weren’t really up for it. If you can’t put away one with 65% of the possession, you need a GPS and a passport to find your way into the 18-yard box.

Potential rationalizations:

  • Played on Weds/tired
  • Eye on the Capital One Cup
  • Missed Hendo
  • Missed Sturridge
  • Need more quality
  • The weather sucked
  • The pitch sucked
  • LFC sucked

Not usually one for numbers on players (unless it’s on the back of their jersey, but I’ve been drinking so here goes.

Simon Mignolet        6

Might’ve been more effective if he’d played at full back to at least try and stop the crosses that everyone on earth besides our players knew posed the biggest threat. Not much he could do on either of the goals.  Good stop on Carroll.

Nathaniel Clyne        4.5

Looks knackered, doesn’t he. All of those minutes and overlaps look like they finally caught up. Might’ve been better on the first goal. Probably not on the second.

Albie Moreno             5

Seems more hesitant than he used to. More of a paper tiger than a bull making it to the byline now. Challenge in the first half looked like it knocked him back a bit. Final ball. Final ball. Final ball. Put in on the board. Spray paint it in his kitchen. Add it to his tattoo collection.

Dejan Lovren              6

Did all the things he needed to do—except track Carroll for the second goal. But that’s splitting hairs a bit. Solid enough. Actaully really nice to see his renaissance under Klopp. For those of you still looking to slaughter him, get thee to a taxidermist. Get behind the lad.

Mamadou Sakho       5.75

Hasn’t quite gotten back to his imperious best. The swagger is more “er” and less “swagg.” And it hurts to say that. Same as Lovren really. Can’t point to anything egregious or stupendous. Which is good report for a center back. Unless you’re James Collins and you get MotM. Bastard.

Lucas Leiva                 5

Someone please stop giving him the band. It’s like it cuts off blood supply to important bits that need it. Another one that just seems meh. If you’re an island of Meh, that’s not terrible, but if you’re the captain in a sea of it, well, not so good. Nice effort on goal. Up yours, Noble.

Emre Can                     6

Gotta love his passion. Could probably body an ICBM off the ball. The one off the cross bar could’ve been sumptuous. Too many touches in tight areas though. He missed Hendo. And Hendo missed him.

Roberto Firmino          4

Never quite sure which one of his incarnations you’re gonna see with him. Probably did something good, but the mesmerizing power of his inability to bring a ball under control—and then pass it—was all that remains in my memory. I’ve seen better touches from an anvil.

Philippe Coutinho        5

1700. That’s the collective yardage of his strikes from distance today. Stop. Please. Let someone else have it and cock it up. Better touch inside the 18 yard box in the second half might’ve given us a sniff later on. Hope the pre-injury magician pitches back up soon. Maybe Sturridge will bring his his top hat with him.

Christian Benteke        4

Loud exhale. Deep inhale. Murderous rage controlled. Jekyll. Hyde. The argument about playing to his strengths abounds. Not sure what those even are at this point. Sitters with the nod go missing. Open nets left begging. One-on-ones fluffed. And then two match winners out of nowhere. Loud exhale. Wasn’t very good today. Who’s next?

SUBS

Brad Smith                    5

Nice ball into Benteke 8.17 yards out. Pity it almost ended up as a throw in. Wouldn’t mind seeing him try to go by someone. Just once. Gonna be a tidy player one day.

Adam Lallana               4.75

Would’ve been a 5 if he could’ve played a pass that made it to it’s end user. Ran around a lot. Got a good sweat. Might’ve done something brilliant. At that point it was tough to see anything through the bottom of a pint of Guinness.

Joe Allen                         5.0

That facial hair is really coming along nicely. Maybe he can learn to head on net from 8 yards at while learning grooming tips at hipster camp.

White Away Strip         -0.5

Bin it. Just, bin it. Shows the shit stains when we play like it. We will never speak of it again.

Many Points, One Goal

Klopptimus Prime

Klopptimus Prime

Six points off the top. Six. Points. Off. The. Top. Someone lash a hashtag on that. Stick an @ in front of it. Considering where we were on October 4th—which was somewhere east of arse and south of elbow—this current development probably deserves its own haiku.

Or does it? Six points off the top is where we were when Rodgers was shown the door. In early October, City sat on top of the pile with 18 points while the Reds were smack in the middle with 12. Now the difference is between 29 and 23.

But this isn’t about comparison. Because there isn’t much of one, really. Limping to wins, unsettling draws ripped from the jaws of victory. Higgledy was very much in the vicinity of piggledy and consistency was nowhere to be found. And in some instances, direction, too.

And then came Klopp.

I’m not one for fawning. Admittedly, I was a little giddy when Herr Normal was announced, but I wasn’t going to gush about the appointment of a well-worn set of spectacles, a hat and a five o’clock shadow fresh off a sabbatical when there was so much to be done with a beset, beleaguered and bedraggled bunch of spiralling attitudes.

Then I heard him speak. And I’m a believer. I even got into the Kloppisms. Klopptimus Prime and all that. But there was still that nagging little issue of him doing something worthwhile beyond dazzling with earnest speech and beguiling with a genuine, if not crooked, smile. (more…)

Straight Outta…

Yup, The Wooligans have tossed their hat into the latest meme game.

 

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Mario Balotelli Must Die

With all the heated debate (and equal amounts of hot air) going on around Raheem Sterling, it’s easy to forget that there are other strikers at the club whose position’s are equally in doubt. Daz is here to remind us.

Why? Always him. Courtesy mirror.co.uk

Why? Always him.
Courtesy mirror.co.uk

To more than a few Liverpool Football Club supporters, he’s already dead. Brendan Rodgers’ selection process with regards the mercurial striker is akin to last rights. And his agent has him dying in a red jersey. Regardless, Mario Balotelli’s reputation will not leave Anfield alive.

For the detractors—the ones who want him dead (and there are many)—there are enough arguments to whet the executioner’s axe. The three gilt-edgers against Man U at old Trafford, the two almost theres against Spurs and the what-the-fuck-was-that?! against QPR. Then there were the 2.7 million or so efforts from distance that in his head probably ended up a lot closer to the back of the net than their final resting place in row Z.

(more…)

Spot On Mario

It wasn’t 8-0, but winning the first leg over Beşiktaş was another result in a run of fine displays from Liverpool FC. Pat and Daz look at the main talking point, that the best penalty taker on the field actually took the spot kick.

Pat –

Are you having a laugh, Danny? Courtesy DailyMail.co.uk

Are you having a laugh, Danny?
Courtesy DailyMail.co.uk

Man, we talking about penalties.

Seriously, penalties.

That the talking point coming out of Liverpool’s win over Besiktas was Mario Balotelli taking the ball out of Jordan Henderson’s hands to put it on the spot is laughable.

Even Carra agreed:

 

But that’s the microscopic view of this game. Especially considering how long The Wooligans have been dormant. Part of me doesn’t even want to write this blog lest we jeopardize a result against Southampton on Sunday. (more…)