New boy Castor punches orphans as he tries to come to grips with reaction to the season’s first trophy winners.
If the mad ramblings of local Liverpool supporters are to be believed, no longer is the title decided by each team playing each other home and away over 9 months of hard graft but instead a friendly in the middle of August between the previous year’s league champions and FA cup winners.
I have been stunned by the sheer volume of Liverpool supporters who have decided that their club is now ready to take the title away from Chelsea based on Sunday’s result. Apparently the rest of us might as well give up because Benitez managed to mastermind the defeat of a team far below their best, with players out of position and a sprinkling of untested new signings. Yes Liverpool deserved to beat Chelsea but the Reading Under-11s would have given them a game on Sunday. It seems though that none of this has registered with anyone associated with the club – even their players seem to be giving the big “I am” as the local papers here in Liverpool are full of Sissoko spouting off saying that they are ready to challenge Jose Mourinho’s men.
When I dared to question Liverpool’s credentials last week (casually mentioning hefty defeats to Kaiserslauten, Grasshoppers and FC Mainz) I was shouted down – “Meaningless friendlies” they cried. When I mentioned they struggled to overcome a Maccabi Haifa side that clearly did not have their minds on football I heard the reliable “New players haven’t settled yet”. Yet neither excuse was afforded to a new-look Chelsea playing a friendly to gain fitness against a team that had already prepared for and played competitive football.
I haven’t heard one Man Utd player or fan telling us because they won the Amsterdam Tournament that they are going to go 100 games unbeaten. Watford beat Italian side Chievo at the weekend, so surely we should see them pushing for 4th place this season?
Sadly this is hardly a new phenomenon amongst Liverpool fans, more of an annual tradition. In August its “Yeah yeah we’ll push Chelsea/Man U/Arsenal all the way this year, 1st title for 16 years etc etc”. Come May after a few shock home defeats to relegation fodder it becomes “Well we finished 3rd or 4th and got back into Europe which is as good as winning the league if you think about it – with 2 or 3 players we’ll push for the title next year”. Rinse and repeat.
Instead of such blind optimism, what I’d really like to hear is why the signings of Bellamy and Pennant will counteract the signings of Shevchenko, Ballack, Obi Mikel and Kalou and allow Liverpool to make up ground from last season- I could honestly use a good laugh.