It’s somewhat of an understatement to say that being a Liverpool fan at the moment is not much fun. We have to put up with dismal performances on the pitch, a demoralised squad, half of which look like they couldn’t give a damn, being out of every competition in January except the Europa Cup, a manager whose favourite formation is the testudo, board members abusing fans in emails and owners who seem to lurch from one disaster to the next.
The only consolation is that it couldn’t get worse right? Right? .....Wrong
There have been rumours flying round Liverpool (the city that is), since Wednesdays meek surrender to Reading that Steven Gerrard is not injured but is in fact suspended by the club for a clash with Coach Mauricio Pellegrino over tactics and in some versions, has given Christian Purslow an ultimatum, refusing to play for the club again while Rafa Benitez remains manager.
Anyone smell something? Smells like crap to me.
My personal favourite version of the rumour has Pepe Reina brawling with Sammy Lee (I would pay good money to see that)due to bad blood between the two of them over a training ground incident, Gerrard shouting “Get that midget out of my face” in reference to Lee and Pellegrino wielding an axe!
There is probably more rubbish written about Liverpool (and not just by me!) than any other club in England. I don’t know what the hell we’ve done upset certain media outlets but there does seem to be some newspapers and columnists who really despise the club and will happily turn a molehill into Mount Everest in an attempt to further destabilise the club.
This particular rumour has been reported on TalkSport, a national Talk Radio station and has been hinted at in several newspapers. Some people give credence to these rumours due to Ryan Babel looking a bit surprised that he was being brought on. Babel always looks surprised, I’d be willing to bet he’s still surprised that water’s wet.
Now it may well be true that things got heated in the dressing room, anybody who has played a competitive sport has probably been in a dressing room where two of your teammates are going at it or are having a blazing row with the coach. In fact, I hope they were arguing. It at least shows that they cared enough about the pathetic first half performance to want to do something about it. Ok it didn’t work, we were much, much worse in the second half and non-existent in extra-time, but it shows that some players have a bit of fire in their belly.
I really can’t see Pellegrino getting physical with any player, let alone the club captain. Pellegrino always comes across as a pretty laid back, gentle guy who wouldn’t say boo to a goose. When he was a player after the club, despite being a complete disaster on the pitch, Pellegrino was a very popular member of the dressing room. He went into Milan’s dressing room after the Champions League to collect the runner-up medals Milan’s players had discarded to give to the Liverpool squad members who would not be receiving a medal so that they didn’t feel left out. He's known as one of footballs nice-guys and it would be out of character for him to get into a physical confrontation with anyone, let alone Gerrard.
I can see that the players are starting to get fed up playing in such a restrictive system that Benitez employs and it’s looking increasingly obvious that they are not enjoying their football at the moment but the out and out mutiny being hinted at by these rumours is ridiculous. Gerrard is a professional and I find it hard to believe that he would openly behave in such a manner. I also think he has more sense than to think Purslow would respond positively to such blackmail and as such, I don’t believe this rumour for a second.
The truth is probably the more boring version of events. Gerrard was injured against Reading and couldn’t come out for the second half. The rumour buzzing around the ground that night was that he’d pulled his hamstring on the way out for the second half, which would probably account for Babel being a bit flustered as he would not have had any time to prepare himself.
As for Babel, what is that man’s problem? Babel wants more gametime, nothing wrong with that, but what you do to get more time is get your head down, train hard and work your arse off when you do play. What you don’t do is go on Twitter and complain to the world, announcing he wasn’t going to be involved a day before the Stoke game. While I think some of the things he’s said are true, that is not the way to do things and certainly not the way to endear yourself to a manager who clearly is not impressed with you and a set of fans that are getting increasingly frustrated with your performances.
So just another regular, quiet week at Liverpool and with all of our Top 4 rivals not managing a goal between them this weekend the Stoke game definitely looks to be 2 points dropped rather than one gained. When you only have one shot on target all game and that looked more like it hit Kyrgiakos than the other way round, goals will be hard to come by. Also, to those pundits asking how Dirk Kuyt could have missed that header. The answer is simple, he’s Dirk Kuyt!
There are rumours that Liverpool are on the verge of signing Kenwyne Jones on loan from Sunderland. Sunderland are denying it, which in transfers usually means that you can expect the deal to go through in the next couple of days. Jones is a big target man. We play one lone striker. When Torres is fit where will he play? Does this mean we’ll go even more long ball than we do now? And why in the name of God, after unloading Voronin, do we need another striker who can’t score?