2nd April: Big Em dropped, Rooney does well,
Owen injured, Gerrard bunged out on the left and
smacked in a brawl. Not on a par with JB getting
booed or Redknapp getting injured, but still another
entry for the LFC “Christ, do I not like
England” scrapbook (fairly bulging at the
seams now). And let’s see if Dyer gets the
same criticism as Owen would get for that, ahem,
3rd April: Well, would you credit it? A Man United
employee consumed with self-interest? There’s
a first time for everything. Peter Kenyon wants
televised games at 3 o’clock on a Saturday,
and to hell with the small clubs who will go to
the wall as a result. After all, who’d really
miss a nonentity club like, say, Newton Heath?
There is also the danger to United and Liverpool
fans, who will all drop dead with shock when one
of our matches takes place at a civilised hour.
4th April: I knew we’d suffer after Rooney’s
debut, and Sir Bill doesn’t disappoint.
“Jenny and I were standing cheering, with
tears in our eyes”, “I even thought
he was best at God Save The Queen”, “I
once got carried away when David Unsworth played
against Japan” – and downright furious
when the opposition harpooned him. The guy’s
a loon, but if a smile a day keeps the doctor
away then Kenwright is almost Christ-like. “I
spent most of the day at the Gielgud Theatre working
on Tell Me On A Sunday starring Denise Van Outen”
– the words “tickets half price for
matinees, bring the kids!” seem to have
been cut out of my Echo.
5th April: “Liverpool at the very least
will get a draw – I just can’t see
United winning”. Honestly, can you think
of a single reason why Mark Lawrenson carries
on? MAN UNITED 4 L 0 was like a masochist’s
dream. The feeblest of pre-match practical ‘jokes’,
a goal and a man down in five minutes, Biscan
and Traore centre halves, a substitution that
virtually screamed “please don’t hurt
us”, a referee whose bias even made the
Mancs gawp in amazement and our worst defeat here
for 50 years. Add that to some disgusting behaviour
in the away end, and the day was complete. It
can’t get any worse, surely?
6th April: Oh yes it can. Gerard was saying “Sir
Alex’s problems are probably even worse”
on Friday, but now it’s all about “a
lot of our players have been travelling and lost
some energy”. And yes the ref was a bastard,
but they strolled to a four-goal win and saved
energy for their match with Real thanks in no
small part to Liverpool taking Baros off. We got
whacked despite Gerard’s “damage limitation”.
We lost Owen in 1998, and still drew 1-1. Spice
Boys, eh? “I’m backing Emile 100%.
We have 7 games to play and he will play in all
seven”. So tell me: is this team picked
for the good of the club, or for the express purpose
of saving the manager’s face?
6th April: After yesterday, you’d think
he’d keep his mouth shut and his head down,
stay at home and count his innumerable blessings.
But no, Demento rails against UEFA for fixing
the draw in Real’s favour (despite countless
group stage walkovers for United) and criticises
Real for spending so much money. I kid you not.
There doesn’t appear to be any remarks about
Del Bosque’s slack bowels, but I wouldn’t
put it past the addled oaf.
7th April: “My concern is that we get the
strongest possible referee”. And who would
you suggest, Alex? New French official Michel
Rilé, perhaps? Meanwhile, Houllier makes
Sami Hyypia play for the Reserves. According to
the Echo report, it’s “to keep up
his match fitness”. Baros didn’t play,
despite only getting the same 5 minutes Sami did.
“Biscan, Babbel, Diao and Cheyrou were also
looking to impress the manager”. They lost
1-0 at home to a Middlesbrough team full of kids.
Makes you wonder what would happen if they didn’t
give a shit………
8th April: Gary Neville’s pre-match sound-bite
was “we won’t be happy with 0-0 this
time out”. Good, then. And Ferguson says
“a lot of their players will try to get
at the referee” – you mean they might
race 50 yards to tell him to send an opponent
off? Thank God we don’t do that sort of
thing in this country, eh? All of which is academic,
since United are totally outplayed. And UEFA are
charging Blotchy with bringing the game into disrepute.
These continentals, they just don’t seem
to realise how football is supposed to work. You
roll over – on and off the pitch. The referees
sort of understand (penalties aren’t given
against United, no matter how blatant), but no-one
else does. Filthy foreign scum.
9th April: After being given a lesson, at least
the Daily Mail rallies round. “Ruud Lifeline”
screams their back page. Imagine another English
team being given a chasing like that, then imagine
the headlines. Liverpool Humiliated, Geordies
Take Beating, Chelsea Almost Out Already, Everton………well
I did say ‘imagine’ didn’t I?
9th April: Smokescreen alert. Why is Phil Thompson
making such a big deal about Ian St John now?
The bloke’s never given Houllier a break,
and is largely ignored by Reds. Could Thommo be
trying to paint all objectors to Gerard as similarly
motivated by petulance? Perish the thought. If
Phil really expects people to believe that he
and Houllier have no problem with “constructive
criticism”, then it simply displays their
complete and utter contempt for our intelligence.
The sad thing about St John is that other, saner
voices are making the same accusations. And they’re
not going to be silenced by your hysterical bluster.
Intriguingly, Chris Bascombe lists the 10 Worst
Seasons out of the last 40. Not one of Roy’s
full seasons is amongst them.
11th April: Someone’s paintballed Wayne’s
house in Croxteth, causing a thousand pounds’
worth of improvements. Rooney’s dad blames
jealousy, so read into that what you will. I admit
I’m green with envy. Many is the time I
wish we had a young striker who played well for
England – do you think I’ll ever see
it in my lifetime? Cue more gibberish about Rooney-mania,
and some cack about sports shops in Liverpool
selling out of Y’s. You couldn’t find
a kebab for love nor money in Sunderland last
week, but you kept quiet about that I notice.
And the Echo runs a story about the King’s
Dock dream dying, right next to “Dog Bites
Man”. One beaut rages against the council:
“I blame them for being so short-sighted”.
Well, it did take them quite a while to see that
Everton haven’t even got the piss, never
mind a pot to put it in, but they got there in
the end. “It wasn’t just about Everton,
it was about raising the city’s profile”
– they really do believe this shit, y’know!
11th April: Yeah, you’d never catch us
talking rubbish. Just imagine how embarrassing
it would be if, for example, the following occurred;
(a) we got battered by United (b) United got outplayed
by Real Madrid (c) our goalie said we were capable
of playing at the same level as Real. I mean to
say; think of the shame………
12th April: Thommo’s said we will win the
last six games, and Houllier expands the war of
words to ALL ex-Liverpool players working in the
media. No wonder the players think they can now
talk tripe with impunity. Gerard even says he
envies Everton. Just what you want to hear from
a Liverpool manager a week before the derby. “Now
is the time to take risks” ………8
months after the season began. That wacky French
humour. L 2 FULHAM 0 gets the job done against
a side who could not make their disinterest in
the rest of the season more blatant if they carried
buckets and spades and wore “kiss me quick”
hats. Baros was keen, and actually managed to
stay on the pitch long enough to break sweat.
Once again we stopped playing at 2-0, with Dudek
and the woodwork saving our blushes. Even a team
that doesn’t care can cause us problems.
There was a time when the Kop would make mincemeat
of an opposition sub called Elvis, but fun’s
been outlawed. Liverpool fans are only happy nowadays
when the final whistle blows. For the record,
today’s result means that Fulham (still
in relegation trouble) have only got one more
home win than Liverpool now. So that’s okay
12th April: Chris Bascombe can often make you
think again about something you’d taken
for granted. Thommo’s bonehead boast about
winning the last six matches, for example. It’s
Chris’ theory that Phil and Gerard are going
to get slagged off no matter what happens, so
they may as well try and rally the troops by being
upbeat. A fair point, though once again the Shankly
comparison gets on your nerves and once again
there’s no mention of the man who won twice
the number of titles Shanks did, as well as 3
European Cups. You needn’t ask what Paisley
would do to anyone at the club who’d said
something like this. The only question would be
over whether he’d use them as a paperweight
or throw them to his dog for a snack.
13th April: Not that Neil Warnock actually needs
a reason, but his team’s called United,
they’re in red and playing at Old Trafford
= referee conspiracy. Poll gets in the way of
a United player in Arsenal’s half. About
a minute later, Arsenal score. It can only mean
one thing – Graham Poll is an Arsenal fan
who “should be banned if he can’t
get out of the way”. Nice try Neil, but
not Premiership standard. Demento is foaming at
the mouth because Alan Shearer elbowed one of
his players. “These are serious incidents”.
Jason McAteer wasn’t asked for a quote,
nor was the Fulham lad that Ruuuud pulverised
(shurely “dribbled past effortlessly to
score goal of the month”? – ITV)
14th April: Maybe I’m watching a different
sport? It seems we’re now ready to bid for
two Fulham players, as they were all so impressive
on Saturday. The Echo can’t decide whether
Malbranque is a midfielder or an attacker (he’s
down as both on tonight’s back page). I
have the same problem – I can’t decide
if he was awful or anonymous. Chris B gets an
Elvis gag into his match report (“a little
less conversation, a little more action”)
while bemoaning the number of Elvis puns in other
match reports, and Tommy Smith praises Smicer.
Seems the Schizos have taken over at Old Hall
15th April: Rest In Peace.
15th April: We have no choice. Sami’s suspended
and Steph’s injured – it’ll
be Biscan and Traore at Goodison. Let joy be unconfined.
“It will be a big test for Igor but I have
the utmost faith in him. Anyone who has seen him
perform at centre half will know his qualities”.
How the hell does he keep a straight face? And
Everton are “delighted” Paul Durkin
will be the referee. What are the odds on them
still thinking that on Saturday at 5 o’clock?
16th April: I’ve just been reading Trevor
Hicks’ disgraceful comments from yesterday.
There’s a reason it’s called a commemorative
service. It’s so fans can remember our fellow
fans who died – it isn’t your platform
to make cheap cracks about fans who stand up.
These “misguided lemmings” have come
to pay their respects, not to listen to you scoring
points when nobody can hit back.
16th April: I guess we won’t be hearing
too much more about Ian St John from now on. Tonight’s
letters page in the Echo printed more letters
in favour of him than sided with Thommo or Houllier.
A little bird told me “tweet tweet tweet
tweet” – which was a waste of my time
and yours. So I spoke to someone in the know instead
who says the response was largely in favour of
St John. Seems Liverpool fans are finally growing
tired of the ‘mind games’ being employed
to try and convince us we’re watching quality
football when we quite clearly aren’t. I
mean, who in their right mind expects people to
believe this rubbish?
16th April: Quote in the Express today: “We
watched the video and we saw how well we played
in the Bernabeau”. I repeat: who in their
right mind ………
18th April: Alan Stubbs wants the manager of
the year award to go to the Moyessiah, and uses
George Burley as an example of a non-trophy winning
recipient. That would be George Burley, the ex-manager
of lower league side Ipswich who lost 6-0 and
5-0 to Liverpool in the same season? Dear God,
I know I don’t live right and I hardly ever
pray to you – but you know that thing about
lightning striking twice?………
19th April, am: “The momentum seems to
be with Everton, I can see them shading it by
the narrowest of margins”. Thank you, Lord.
“David Moyes is convinced Liverpool’s
days of Merseyside domination are numbered”.
Thank you, Lord. “Merseybeat changing to
blue”. Thank you, Lord. “We are ahead
of Liverpool and we aim to stay there”.
Thank you, Lord.
19th April, pm: Igor injured after 5 minutes,
forcing Carra into central defence. Thank you,
Lord. Everton reverting to their natural wellying
(ball or man, either will do) selves. Thank you,
Lord. Super goal from Owen. Thank you, Michael.
Even better goal from Danny. Thank you, Danny.
A referee prepared to stand up to their barbarity.
Thank you, Lord. EVERTON 1 L 2, and our days of
domination (erm, ‘days’? Try decades)
go on. Thank you, Lord.
20th April: “Some of the decisions were
harsh”. You knew they couldn’t keep
it up for long! So what happened to the “excellent”
Paul Durkin, eh? Oh well, just another bent derby
referee. If you laid them all end to end, they
would reach Europe………ah, you’ve
heard it? Moyes may not have Fergie’s talent,
but at least he’s got similar eyesight:
“territorially, we dominated the game……
I thought we performed really well……it
was cruel on us”. Maybe they all go to a
special school to learn this drivel? Nice touch
from Gerard about the 96, it stood out in last
night’s ‘highlights’ (all 30
seconds of them) amongst a tidal wave of Evertonian
delusion, including arch wag Degsy. Everyone knows
the most dangerous place on Merseyside is between
Derek Hatton and a television camera.
21st April: Or if you’re a Liverpool player
driving around Goodison Park after a derby. Even
if you’re an ex-player. Of course, people
don’t know this because it never gets reported.
Priorities are skewed; Wayne Rooney spits, page
1. The Hillsborough memorial defaced, page 7.
Nice to have a sense of perspective, eh? I looked
and looked, but could not find the words “I
blame Heysel” in the various reports. They’re
21st April: Has somebody had a word? Is the message
finally getting through? Gerard says “we
know what we want to achieve and we will do our
best, but every game is going to be difficult”.
Calm, cool and sensible. He forget to say it becomes
even harder when you set up chances for the opposition
and don’t start playing until the last five
minutes. L 2 CHARLTON 1 was about the spawniest
victory I’ve ever seen at Anfield. The Kop
wasn’t exactly bubbling at 0-0, which is
unusual given what happened on Saturday. After
Djimi’s little bit of trickery, a silence
descended that would have done us proud on the
15th. How we won is a mystery, although I wouldn’t
be mightily surprised to see the words “Dean
Kiely” and “Malaysian businessman”
in newspaper headlines in a few years’ time.
Needless to say, when the sound of laughter rises
above the sound of cheering after a winning goal
it speaks volumes.
22nd April: Been reading about Murphy throwing
a bottle at Thompson, as opposed to kicking a
ball in his direction. He did it in front of 40,000
witnesses and the national press, as opposed to
privately at Melwood. It’s okay says Gerard,
Danny apologised. In private, as opposed to being
forced to do it publicly. And anyway, Houllier
is “glad he was upset because it shows he
has character”, as opposed to showing a
lack of respect for his colleagues. And Danny
is a favourite, as opposed to someone you can’t
wait to get shut of at the earliest opportunity.
23rd April: The secret of great comedy i-TIMING!
After Monday’s torturous ‘performance’
this week’s LFC magazine prints an interview
with St Michael, telling us that we are not far
off the title. “When we started off great
this season, I think everyone thought this was
our year”. Hmm, I think I’m on the
verge of spotting the flaw in that sentence.
23rd April: United go out of Europe after a farce
at Old Trafford. No doubt we’ll be getting
told it was a classic, but it was a defensive
nightmare and actually Real aren’t that
great. Maybe I’ve had a convenient loss
of memory, but has a former United player ever
been subbed at Anfield only to be subjected to
at least two minutes of abuse by the whole ground?
I know Stevie played well, but it was hardly an
eye-catching performance was it? Never forget,
folks – we are the obsessed, bitter ones………
25th April: Some of the rubbish written about
Wednesday is laughable. Greatest game ever, because
it involved ‘them’. Greatest team
ever, because they beat ‘them’. And
now this morning’s slop by John Dillon in
the ‘Express’. “They added further
lustre to their European standing” (translation:
one European Cup final in 35 years) “when
they rose in awed appreciation of Ronaldo’s
hat trick”. Not a word about the incessant
invective directed at McManaman, but it’s
clear Dillon’s senses aren’t working
properly. “I can only remember this happening
once, at West Ham”. And he can’t count
either. It’s happened on numerous occasions
at Anfield, and our teams have been roundly applauded
on other grounds (Charlton 4-0, Leeds 4-0 in 20
minutes etc). People say we shouldn’t get
too annoyed, but future historians will rake through
the papers to write about these times, and it’s
blinkered biased twats like Dillon who will provide
25th April: Vegard Heggem is thinking of retiring
from football. All obvious jokes aside, it’s
a sad story because he looked the business when
he first came here. I do think it a mite ‘coincidental’
that Liverpool are thinking about whether or not
to give him a new contract. Mystic Steve puts
fingers on forehead, goes “mmmmmmmm”,
goes into trance and predicts “LFC do not
renew contract and Heggem retires”. It’s
just one of my many gifts.
26th April: “You’ve been told not
to fucking ask that. Cut that off. Cut that off.
Fucking idiots, you all are. You do that again
and you won’t be coming back here. You fucking
sell your papers and radio stations on the back
of this club”. And the last marble rolls
out of Stretford. The poor hack in question was
probably only asking for a sound-level check.
I wish I was a journalist, I’d have the
bastard in a straight-jacket after five minutes.
Meanwhile, things turn weird in the Midlands.
WEST BROM 0 L 6 provides only the bare outline
of this strange game – it should easily
have been double figures. Albion were absolutely
pitiful, so bad that even Liverpool realised they
were there for the taking and cut loose. Baros
and Owen showed they can work together, mainly
because Milan was totally unselfish. And he scored
twice, so expect another quote from the boss about
his staff’s incredibly poor judgement. We’d
have been given a harder game by traffic cones,
but we’ve played against rubbish before
and let them off the hook. A great day out.
27th April: A quick glimpse at the table shows
what a weird season it’s been. We have two
more away wins and two more away goals than United,
and less home wins than Villa or Fulham (a team
that isn’t even playing on its own ground).
And the thing we’ve dreaded all season is
fast approaching - Chelsea away matters.
27th April: Do journalists live in some parallel
universe? Try this: “until the locks of
United’s bank vaults are blown off, the
Spanish matadors will continue to reign supreme
in continental combat”. So………let
me see if I’ve got this straight………
United have failed in Europe because they haven’t
spent enough money. Now it was bad enough when
Ferguson complained about referees after April
5th, but this surely takes the prize. PS another
paper says that United will buy Patrick Vieira
for £40m. Which means that four of their
players will have cost a combined £117m.
28th April: There’s an injury scare for
Riise, which is hardly surprising. Because Dudek
isn’t fully fit, John Arne is taking the
goal kicks. Which entails a forty yard sprint
to get back level with Sami, Djimi and Jamie.
And Dietmar, boom boom. No wonder he’s knackered.
At least he’s not in midfield any more,
otherwise he’d be as goosed as Henchoz looks.
28th April: Graham Poll was at Goodison Park
on Saturday, but left relatively unscathed. As
one of the 3,456 officials on their blacklist
he’s obviously learned his lesson. There’s
no way he would tell a linesman to “keep
an eye on Ferguson” – something Aston
Villa’s Joey Gudjohnson will no doubt be
thanking him for at a later date. The Icelandic
midfielder now has Duncan’s elbow scabs
embedded in his cranium, but these things happen
when you face someone who ‘plays six foot
five’. Poor old picked-upon Duncan will
have the video evidence studied by the FA. They’ll
no doubt pass it on to Christie’s –
footage of The Legend actually playing will be
a priceless rarity in years to come.
29th April: If Shrewsbury do get relegated, can
we claim Everton were beaten by a non-league side?
Maybe that’s a bit far-fetched, but we’re
not alone. Ratters is garnering the help of his
devoted Echo readers in some kind of voodoo pact.
“All we can do is beat Carlisle, beat Scunthorpe
in the last game and pray results go for us elsewhere
– keep your fingers crossed!”. Will
30th April: It was Shrewsbury 2 Carlisle 3. They
were relegated and Ratcliffe has resigned. Hey,
this finger crossing lark really works.
30th April: Robbie returns to Anfield on Saturday,
so naturally the wind-up (build-up shurely? –
ed) starts today. Fowler was quite calm and considered,
though he admitted he didn’t like the “We’ve
got St Michael” banner at Elland Road. Robbie
lad, if you’d read some of the stuff on
the Internet ………Houllier, in
return, comes up with “when I think of Robbie
I think only of positive things” –
a claim of such jaw-dropping fakery that I’m
amazed his tongue didn’t disintegrate when
the words came into contact with it. “I
really can’t say anything bad about Robbie”,
he said, as his wooden nose crashed through the