Morning, boys and girls.
I’ve always secretly had a begrudging respect for Liverpool’s horde of past glories. During the 80s, my classmates would bombard me with gleeful yelps of celebration the moment their beloved Reds secured a major honour. As the sole Gooner representative during my formative schooling, I took their cries of mockery quite hard, but retained a surreptitious envy and admiration for the accomplishments.
However, once players and managers alike took to the field wearing Suarez T-shirts in one of the most ill-advised protests I’ve had the misfortune to witness, a healthy chunk of that respect was lost. Lost, never to be rediscovered. The dopey racists…
Tomorrow, when the game kicks off, I’ll be stuck in work having to spend more time as a lone Gooner surrounded by Liverpool fans only too happy to warble enthusiastically about winning a trophy. 20 years on, and little has changed but my respect for their club. For my sanity alone, I hope we stuff them.
The team news is promising. After their well-documented and unnecessary exertions on international duty, the slight knocks picked up Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen aren’t expected to prevent either from taking part. Tomas Rosicky is a small doubt, but should also feature. Aaron Ramsey is definitely still in the treatment room with Wilshere, Mertesacker and Santos.
Perhaps the most shocking news of all is the return of Abou Diaby. The man of many injuries has returned to training. I know what you’re thinking; if someone so much as violently passes wind within 3 feet of him, he’ll be out for the rest of the season, but let’s give him a break. Not literally, of course. He’s had enough of those. Very poor choice of words on my part…
I’m an unabashed fan of the leggy Frenchnan. Were it not for a cretinous call centre worker once in the employ of Sunderland, his career could have looked very different. He has talent in spades, and whilst some question his application, when he’s on top of his game he’s a match for anyone. Had he not suffered that injury, perhaps we’d have seen more of that.
My team to start tomorrow would be;
Szczsney; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Walcott, Gervinho; van Persie
Yossi Benayoun performed admirably against Spurs – one last time; HAHAHAHAHA!!!! 5-2!!! – and could state a case for a starting role. Away from home against a side expected to attack, I think the pace of Walcott and Gervinho supplying van Persie will be more effective. Liverpool’s extra-time victory in the Carling Cup could leave them with a few weary legs, but at home they’ve shown good form of late. A result like like Sunday’s, as glorious as it was, won’t stand for much unless built upon. We’ve laid an impressive foundation, all we need now is to continue the good work and put in another performance worthy of the shirt. This time, let’s not wait until we’re 2-0 down.
Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Enjoy the game this afternoon, wherever you may be watching. Leave me a comment below and keep up with my in-game expletives on Twitter – @_ArmchairGooner.