1st March: “Getting the trophy can be a
nuisance. It’s a bit of a nonsense. Pity
they can’t give you the trophy in the dressing
room”. Seeing as it’s such a chore,
let’s try and spare poor Keano all that
‘nonsense’. Have you ever heard such
arrogant shite in all your life? No wonder they’re
hated. I’d say this was the perfect jinx
on their chances, except there’s this: “Dudek
a hero? Close match may end with Jerzy’s
revenge……I can see the Reds of Liverpool
nicking it”. Three words: Mark. Lawrenson.
2nd March: At least Andy Gray tipped United,
so we were a bit more chipper on the way down.
This was the first time I’ve gone through
the centre of Wales rather than down the motorways,
and we sailed through. We were on the Stella by
half eight. It’s not big and it’s
not clever. Great fun, though. Bowie and Roxy
on the stereo, we had such a good time getting
there that I just wanted to keep going and forget
the match. Great singing in the pub, and you started
to get a sense that this would be our day. Why
do a few twats have to spoil it though? Why has
this Shipman thing kept on going? It really is
sick, and if you can’t stop for the Mancs
do it for the 96. Show a bit of respect. The atmosphere
transferred smoothly to the ground (it doesn’t
always), and what can you say? The match went
our way 100%: the deflection, Steph’s clearance,
Dudek’s colossal display and United screwing
up late on. L 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 0. They couldn’t
get out fast enough. I love to see those empty
seats – now who was it who said that? More
drink, more music. One of the best days out I’ll
3rd March: The win was portrayed as the usual
soak it up/hit ’em on the break job, but
I felt there was more to it. Even sober, you have
to say that we did try to keep the ball more.
That’s reflected in the 49/51 possession
split – we were hardly under siege, were
we? Still, you can see the manoeuvring that’s
taking place now. The manager says “we came
second in the league and reached the CL quarter
finals, now we have this trophy. We will keep
improving and moving forward” – and
how sly and deceptive is that? Even Chris Bascombe
joins in: “The troubles of the Premiership
can justifiably be shoved to one side. Whatever
happens between now and May, this season will
be considered a valuable one”. Oh dear.
Check the teams for the early rounds, then tell
me this trophy was ever a priority. We are not
‘improving’ and ‘moving forward’,
nothing like. The rest of the season has to be
as good as yesterday to even begin to change that.
4th March: But there are darker manipulative
forces at work. We’ve beaten the darlings,
so that means one thing only: revenge. Owen rightly
says we have to be more creative, but look how
it’s being painted. “Quit threat”,
“Owen hints at departure” etc etc.
I wouldn’t blame him if he did leave, but
he hasn’t actually said he would.
5th March: He’s been docile for so long
that Demento seems to be making up for lost time.
“There is overconfidence at Arsenal and
it is a failure in some people” wait for
it wait for it “it never happens here”
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Whose captain said, on the
eve of a cup final, that he hated going up to
collect trophies? It’s not the only gibberish
on show – that churlish, spiteful article
from the Manchester Evening News is doing the
rounds on the Internet. It’s absolutely
hilarious. Should any Manc still be clinging to
this Mickey Mouse/not bothered stance, listen
to Ruuuuuuuuud: “It’s been hard……to
lose a final against Liverpool is terrible……I
have a miserable feeling about the final in my
body”. Never mind, matey. Here, have a lump
5th March: Cardiff-mania takes a complete hold,
as there’s now talk of offering Gerard a
lifetime contract. Joy of joys. Parry may say
that a change has never even been considered,
and Houllier can deny any contact with Monaco,
but no-one’s fooled. Sunday was great, I’m
not knocking it, but when there’s bonkers
references to the “six” trophies he’s
won you know that a major propaganda campaign
is taking place. I’m fed up with Liverpool
fans being schmoozed for our intelligence and
how much we know about football, then being spoken
to as if we’re five years old. Explain this
contradiction: we’ve beaten United six times
out of seven and yet “they are a better
team than us”. Doesn’t that remind
you of the 80’s and Ron Atkinson?
6th March: Henchoz’s out for 6 weeks. He’ll
be missed. He always does look as if he’s
on his last legs, but this is the second long
absence this season. Wear and tear? Or just a
hint of how much emphasis and pressure we put
on our defence?
8th March: Big Sam tries his mind games before
today, but it’s one thing saying you only
have to stop Owen – doing it’s another.
L 2 BOLTON 0 was the work of two players, and
they both scored. It was also about the man inexplicably
left on the bench – Milan Baros. To play
one up Contain & Counter football against
relegation strugglers at home was disgraceful.
Campo, looking like Leo Sayer on steroids, ran
the game. And when we had a free kick on the edge
of their box and played it all the way back to
Dudek it proved too much for some. Booing may
be wrong, but it’s about time fans let the
manager know just how much they despise his football
‘philosophy’. Yes we won, but how
you do it is almost as important. Any belief that
this leopard is ever going to change his spots
must surely have been diminished by this.
9th March: “Bolton have so many great individuals”………and
that’s your excuse? What about our great
individuals? Don’t they deserve a chance
to get the freedom of the park and express themselves?
Sorry to sound like a moaning traditionalist,
but I don’t go to Anfield to watch Bolton
play. We were just lucky their finishing was woeful.
Oops sorry, because when we win it has nothing
to do with luck does it? Only when we lose. The
usual buzz words: mentally strong, focused, determined,
professional, defiant, habit, attitude, work-rate,
team strength, spirit, discipline. Does anyone
12th March: Carragher wants Larrson to play on
Thursday as “I don’t want us to win
and hear people say it’s because he wasn’t
there”. Does any of that actually matter?
Let’s win first, then say nowt and the rest
can do what they like. Why has everyone at Anfield
suddenly decided to talk crap? The words “leading
by example” occur to me for some strange
12th March: But once again, we still can’t
match The Master. This morning’s headline
screams “Splash Out Or We’ll Regret
It”. A manager says his squad is “a
bit thin, we need three new players”. Here’s
a clue: it’s the same bloke who spent £80m
on four players. Good job we’re not a plc,
isn’t it? I’d hate to think of our
manager having his hands tied like Ferguson’s………
13th March: Happy now, Jamie? He got his wish
for Larrson to play, and it took him two whole
minutes to get a goal. The team certainly recovered
well though, and CELTIC 1 L 1 was the least we
deserved for our efforts. We kept the ball well
and certainly kept the crowd quiet (no mean feat).
Even so, there weren’t any gilt-edged opportunities
to get a second leg and, like Blackburn before
us, you get a little worried that we don’t
make our domination count. I’d have well
settled for a score draw beforehand. Heskey isn’t
a patch on Owen, but at least to hit a chance
on his left side with his left foot – not
keep taking extra touches to get it on his right.
Traore did okay after a shaky start, and all told
it’s a good night’s work.
14th March: But of course there’s only
one talking point. El Hadji behaved like a prick,
and the club have been swift in its punishment
and condemnation. No doubt there’s going
to be a huge uproar and sensationalism about the
incident, but the club is keeping it in perspective
and doing the right thing.
15th-16th March: Jesus, I wasn’t kidding!
World War 3 is about to begin, and everyone’s
going bonkers about a bit of spit. This will all
be dealt with elsewhere in the fanzine, but the
usual suspects (and some unusual ones) stuck their
noses in and indulged in the expected platitudes.
A lot of it was utterly disgraceful, and some
will never be forgiven for it.
15th March: Light relief from Kenwright at least.
Still coming out with his tired movie clichés
about Moyes: it revolves around Clint Eastwood
this time. Doesn’t Clint usually ride into
a place full of deadbeats, perverts, cut-throats
and back-stabbers? Doesn’t he usually leave
the place in a terrible, terrible mess? Doesn’t
he usually piss off when some other town offers
him a few dollars more? Stick to musicals, you
fat blabbermouthed old ham.
16th March: Well, the second half was waiting
for. Hand on heart: when Dudek screwed up, didn’t
you all think “that’s that, then”?
Credit to the Reds for coming back, but if TOTTENHAM
2 L 3 proved anything it was how poor Spurs are.
Well done El Hadji for ignoring the crowd and
that grubby little mollusc Taricco, as blatant
an act of gamesmanship as you’ll ever see.
I’m happy about the win, but let’s
have some perspective. It’s taken us 20
months to achieve our second comeback win in the
league since the new Millennium began. Owen and
Gerrard are fabulous at the moment, and that’s
why results have improved. I keep thinking back
to the “blip” and how poor they both
were then. It’s not a coincidence.
17th March: Goddle can deny any involvement if
he wants, we’ll never be able to prove it
anyway, but Taricco is a horrible piece of work
and it was obvious what he was trying to do yesterday.
It’s a man’s game, everyone knows
it goes on etc. Doesn’t make it right though.
Christian, my arse.
18th March: “To me, El Hadji – and
all my players – are like my children”.
Aaaaah, innit sweet? Give him a bib, then. In
all fairness, Houllier has handled the situation
superbly. He knew it was wrong, but fought back
when it looked like a witch-hunt, and that’s
exactly how I felt about it all. Good work, fella.
20th March: I didn’t like what he said
about O’Neill though. “He must have
a good agent”. That’s a bit snotty,
isn’t it? O’Neill has repeatedly rubbished
any link between him and Liverpool, calling it
“embarrassing” at one stage. He’ll
be linked with jobs for one good reason: he’s
a bloody good manager, and most clubs would be
made up to have him. He’ll be touted as
the next Liverpool manager because we may need
one soon, and remarks like yours only speed up
20th March: And performances like that will send
the rumour mill into overdrive. That was shocking.
L 0 CELTIC 2 (1-3) produces another record –
the only Liverpool manager to be knocked out of
3 European competitions in 12 months. That CV
just gets thicker and thicker. Our first leg reluctance
to grab the game by the throat certainly paid
off tonight – for Celtic, that is. The boss
speaks of his ‘children’, but he’s
a smothering parent and nowhere has his influence
been more malign than with Heskey. Hartson’s
got a third of the talent but ten times the bottle.
It was just one embarrassing aspect of a humiliating
evening. I suppose this is a blessing in disguise,
21st March: “It was only a slip in terms
of the result, not the performance. That was still
there”. Ladies and germs, we have a winner.
We’ve found someone who sat through Liverpool
0 Celtic 2, and thought our ‘performance’
was still there. I’ll give you ten seconds
to think of the name of the deranged, obviously-chemically-altered
imbecile who th-………actually,
you don’t need 10 seconds do you? “We
missed Diouf. When you dominate the opposition,
he’s someone who can beat people and create
………that’s it. No, really.
I’m buying a rifle. I can’t take this
22nd March: I’m not sure a bullet would
stop him anyway. We can still finish third apparently
– even though we’re 9 points behind
Newcastle and we’ve got to go to Man U,
Everton and Chelsea. Of course, there could be
an outbreak of rabies at St James Park (with Craig
Bellamy there, you never know) but let’s
try and do the best we can without making stupid
statements before now and May, mmmmm?
23rd March: Well done. I make that ten hours
and forty three minutes without making a complete
prat of yourself (well, a man’s gotta sleep).
“I’m not saying England played Michael
against his will, but I think we’ve paid
the price”. And when did this heinous, devastating
international take place? Last June, against Brazil.
Yes, Liverpool (and only Liverpool, naturally)
are suffering from World Cup Fatigue. Again. Now
I’m no doctor, but until the World Health
Organisation registers WCF as a real illness,
I’ll be viewing these remarks as the demented
ramblings of a desperate man out of his depth.
23rd March: To be fair, there was some good football
during L 3 LEEDS UNITED 1. To be slightly less
fair, it also showed that lessons aren’t
being learned. At 2-0, we stopped doing what got
us into such a commanding position and, sure enough,
Leeds got back into it. Full marks to Murphy for
scoring the second, despite the usual Leeds whining.
It says a lot about a team when they (a) cripple
one of your players (b) don’t put the ball
out (c) when they lose possession, expect you
to put the ball out and then get miffed if you
don’t! We may not have a team that plays
the Liverpool Way, but it’s nice to know
some clubs respect their traditions.
25th March: Like the blues, for example. “I
spoke to Phil Don. His explanation was that the
ref told his linesmen to watch out for more aerial
challenges - to me, that is victimisation”.
Yes, David. Only in The Land With No Marbles can
“keep an eye on Ferguson” be a Conspiracy.
“Why should they do that with Duncan and
not the others?”………“Duncan
is six foot five and plays six foot five”.
And we think our manager is mad. Playing six foot
five? Does that mean he plays (a) dirty (b) shite
(c) hardly ever (d) all three? And is Moyes crazier
than a bag of ferrets? Draw your own conclusions.
26th March: Ah, the penny’s dropped. “If
we don’t make the Champions League, it is
going to have an impact. There is no point in
pretending otherwise. The CL is our aim and is
where we need to be”. Not that Rick’s
faith in Gerard is weakening at all, and you would
be a liar and a communist to suggest otherwise.
The man himself has no doubts: “I have every
faith in these players when they have to deliver”.
Except after World Cups, games during November
December January and February, home ties against
lower league teams with ten men, away games against
the worst Premiership side in living memory, Swiss
no-marks, the second best side in Scotland (have
I left anyone out?)…………
27th March: Any remaining doubts about Diouf’s
intelligence are settled. “If he had done
that in the street, I’d have laid him out”.
Ah, nothing like a bit of contrition is there?
After the loyalty and steadfast support Gerard
(admirably) showed him, a head down/gob shut policy
might have been appropriate. And I thought the
people who raised the subject of Anelka were simply
being mischievous. Turns out they had a point
27th March: With 9 days to go, there’s
only one thing on Roy Keane’s mind. No,
not mayhem (good guess) but our visit to OT. “I
thought I could make it for Fulham but I let it
settle. I want to make sure I’m 100% for
the Liverpool match”. Hmmm, that would be
our cup final then?
29th March: Liechenstein 0 England 2 –
it makes yer prard an’ no mistake. Knives
out for Emile again, and of course he was hobbling
round like a big ponce once more, but that was
a perfect cross for Michael’s opener. At
the risk of repeating myself, just WHEN was the
last time Paul Scholes (a) did anything in an
international (b) received a thimbleful of the
stick Heskey gets? Simon Schama might know.
29th March: A quick trip to Gerard’s office
might be in order for The Serial Talker. EHD’s
perfectly innocent remark that we have fallen
behind Arsenal is ‘remarkably’ transformed
by the Express into “We’re years off
Gunners”. The boss should tell him that
you can’t say anything to the papers because
they’ll twist it and make you look stupid,
but he’d be a bit cheeky teaching him a
lesson he hasn’t learned himself. Perhaps
he doesn’t want anyone to look at Diouf’s
words too closely? “Two years ago, they
were on the same level where Liverpool are now”.
Actually, we were one point behind them with three
cups in the bag – I’d say we were
ahead. That we’ve fallen so far behind should
spark some kind of debate, but it probably won’t.
30th March: The Rivaldo ‘link’ is
old news, and probably bollocks anyway, but it’s
an implied criticism so Gerard just can’t
help himself. “The key is to bring in young,
talented players and get them to understand the
philosophy of Liverpool”. And then (as if
that wasn’t barefaced enough) “that’s
why I want to keep the heart of this club British”.
Deep breath, here goes: Ferri Song Kippe Nielsen
Hamann Smicer Camara Westerveld Henchoz Hyypia
Arphexad Meijer Diomede Babbel Ziege Biscan Riise
Dudek Sjolund Baros Xavier Vignal Traore Litmanen
Anelka Diouf Diao Cheyrou Diarra Le Tallec Sinama-Pongolle.
So you can see why Rivaldo wouldn’t fit
in here …………