Saturday 23 January 21: it was no surprise to see that the media slaughtered Liverpool yesterday, incredibly, for going 68 matches without a home defeat, how long did they really expect them to extend it?
Four years, wow!
My watching Graeme Souness brutal scathing attack on his own club – where he was magnificent – surprised me, although I agreed with everything about his being critical of their performance since the seven goal mauling of Crystal Palace (where they had 18 shots less than against Burnley), but he knows sometimes the wheels look like they’re falling off, both as a player and manager.
What he didn’t touch on was the possible reasons why?
I was in Egypt a few weeks back with Don (Shanks) and we experienced that every time football was mentioned Mo Salah was the topic of every conversation and nearly everything that moved, especially DIET PEPSI, had his face on. I even had a Bourbon and Mo!
If it had been 70s Chelsea when Chelsea was a local community every Tom, Dick and Harry would have been wearing all Peter Osgood’s clobber, everything but his haircut which was similar to Mo’s.
His face on our local 11, 22 or 31 would have been precious after I’d taken him to Take 6 or Just Men and then got his Barnet done with Steve Clipper August in Eaton Square. He might even have moved but for the prices of property where today he’d own quite a few alongside Frank, Jose and Roman – and then there was Tony Curtis, where Danny Gillen and I would spend an afternoon or two, and the wonderful Anthony Hopkins who Clipper was very close to.
This was next to my local, away from my Southfields home, The Duke of Wellington managed by Mr. and Mrs. Mercer and run by my great friends the Petros family, Eddie and George in particular, with Eddie and I being so close he’d tell me of certain customers but the one that made me chuckle most was the Robin Hood story, although I’d see Martin Landau (Mission Impossible) come in and out, Robin was scarce.
Richard Greene who was the man responsible for us paying taxes, so I wanted to have a word with him because Eddie told me of him: “Bringing back his empties” something unheard of since the 50s and early 60s – surely?
My uncle George (Mason), Leslie (May) and Tony (Davis) would doubt him although Eddie, I knew was not making it up, and I was proved right when early one Sunday morning in he came empty Pale Ale bottles in hand and getting his few pennies from Mr. Petros, with a wink my way.
As for Osgood, unlike Mo, this would have made him all the more committed to his fans each Saturday – Osgood was brilliant value both on and off the pitch – something I feel has gone wrong at Anfield, and I saw it creeping into his game last season and I wrote then that I even saw Virgil being the same, after the title was won, he strolled uneasily for a loose ball, very unlike him, he is quite unique in his casual all-round play but here you saw a little blip or over confidence or taking anything for granted, was is no much more recognizable when you are that superior.
However it never got a mention because they were so far ahead, but that’s time they need reminding.
The reason Liverpool were so invincible last season was because of Virgil and Mane with the full-backs close behind with their dynamic running and impeccable quality when crossing on the run.
There are flaws in the game of both the Egyptian and Brazilian who play alongside Mane, who if an Olympian would leave the other Mo in his wake, if a long distance runner, something I doubt because a man of such electric pace couldn’t possibly be both, you only have to look at horse racing to know that, if it’s not in your DNA it’s not in your DNA.
As for Mane if you took him out of that front three, even taking Salah’s goals into account, there was no way Liverpool would have been so convincing.
It was not this season that the slump began at all, and whether you like this or not, I saw it happening way back then.
Plus, we knew that a 25 point gap at the top has never been seen in the history of the game – maybe in Scotland – and teams were after their blood, because of the way they simply shrugged them aside in 2019/20.
It’s midday, so I’m signing off for now until my cycling tonight after a few Bourbon and Mo’s, although I’ve replaced Mo with 7-Up, something that might remind Mo of Crystal Palace and Jurgen of doing something similar?
As for Keane and Souness, it’s the same, take them off the Sky TV show and they would not be the same it would be a lot of former average performers talking as if they were yesterday’s superstars and to be perfectly honest as I have said in previous pages of this new book, I am so happy to have found Netflix which has taken over from doing the Sun crossword after twenty minutes of some matches and then there’s the unentertaining half-time chat.
Because of the poor quality of most matches I have been introduced to SUITS, OZARK and THIS IS US for starters something I never thought I’d be doing – and then there is Film of the Year: The Irishman where I think De Niro, Pacino, Pecci and newcomer Stephen Graham could be called better than any front four of all time
How I’d love Souness and Keane in our local one Sunday lunchtime they it really would not be so one sided, oh, and being the two great competitors they bother still are, I have a feeling they’d enjoy it more than sitting listening to a young lady and someone they’ve never heard of opposite them.
I’m all for what Billie Jean King achieved in tennis but she kept it all in the Women’s World of Tennis and as Brucie always reminded us: “Didn’t She Do Well?”
For me, he and Keane get into things that others on the show know nothing about as they were players who made the big difference in your team, both incredible competitors and very successful, but as I know they are in front of the cameras and the expectations of this happening high.
I love it. However, in the meantime if you look at the big picture with the Lockdown, and all that has gone with it, this season has been one of incredible surprises, for instance and Frank Lampard not been the player he has been under Roman he would be history at this moment and maybe going back to WBA scoring three early goals against them being his walking.
Graeme mentioned Villa smashing seven past Liverpool, with Van Dijk by the way, and then there was WHU scoring three goals in the final twenty minutes at Spurs new ground to grab a point. The examples are endless in this season of both weird and wonderful experiences, no crowds being the weird and for a team walking on the finest of tightropes last season scoring those magnificent seven against the already champions elect, wonderful.