Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pre-Season Part 3 - Corruption, Bullshit and New Signings

The FA Not Investigating Liverpool.  I Wonder Why

There has been nothing but silence from the Premier League since Liverpool’s grovelling apology over their pursuit of Virgil van Dijk.  Then the most respected and well placed Saints man in the media, Jeremy Wilson, wrote that because Saints had not offered any more evidence and accepted the apology, the Premier League deemed the matter closed and no action would be taken against Liverpool.  The article didn’t really provide any new information in the form of quotes so we can only hope it’s not true and Liverpool get the transfer ban that they deserve. 

It would not be remotely surprising though if it was true and Liverpool were let off for breaking every rule in the book regarding transfers.  History will probably be re-written and the whole episode will be remembered as being Saints fault somehow.  The justification for this will be the time honoured ‘everybody does it’ approach and Liverpool will play the victim – they’re good at that after all.  There still has been no word from Klopp which is surprising considering the main stream sports media all gather for a group wank whenever there’s any reason to get Klopp’s face on the TV.  However, they can’t possibly ask him any difficult questions.

So the moral of the story is – break as many rules as you like, as many times as you like and if you get caught, apologise and you’ll be allowed to get away with and repeat time and time again.  I hope that we try the apology approach if we give a penalty away next season and then the referees will let us off and give us a free kick instead.

Meanwhile, there has been no word from Virgil, just rumours of a move to Chelsea though I guess this may change soon with players back in for training.  Two players who I guess won’t be back straight away are JWP and Nathan Redmond who played prominent roles for England U21’s in their run to the semi-finals of the European Championships where we predictably lost to Germany on penalties in the semi-final.  JWP was class throughout the tournament and put his penalty in the top bin.  Nathan was decent in the group games but unfortunately was the fall guy, missing the vital penalty.  He’d missed it in the walk-up where he looked absolutely terrified.  Jack Stephens and Matt Targett didn’t make it onto the pitch in the whole tournament which was tough on Targett in particular who had to watch the abysmally bad Ben Chilwell of Leicester play in his position. 

Jan Gets Sent Off.... Straight to Southampton

Last seen getting sent off against England was Jan Bednarek of Poland and he’s since joined us for a fee of about £5million from Legia Warsaw.  He looked raw as you like in the games I saw so I feel that this is one or the future and is a bit of a no lose gamble.  He does however look like Toby Alderweireld’s long lost brother so if he plays anything like our ex-loanee then brilliant.  I imagine though that he’ll be 4th choice behind Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida and Virgil, if he stays. 

Sam Gallagher signed a new deal which shows that he’s going to be in and around the first team this season after a good season on loan at Blackburn.  He wouold have been useful this season just gone with the way we played.  At least then we may have had someone with a bit of physical presence in the box when we threw all those hopeful crosses into the box.  Also signing on for another 5 years is Jack Stephens who proved he potentially has what it takes at the end of last season.  As I’ve said before, I feel that his performances were somewhat over-hyped in Saints desperation to find something positive to say about the second half of the season and whilst he had some very good games, there were some real shockers in there and plenty of mistakes.  Going into the season with Jack and Maya as our first choice partnership is not something I want to think about too much.

Going out the door was Jay Rodriguez and I have no reason to disagree with the commonly held view that this is the best thing for all parties.  His Saints career died at the Etihad 3 years ago when his knee went.  A year and a half of recovery, a new injury and a stop-start season last year and it’s time to move on.  He was a player that you always wanted to do well but in the end I think it became obvious that he was never going to get back to where he was or be the sort of player who would ever become a first team regular again.  The extra yard of pace that made him different and able to play in wide areas was gone and though he’d beefed up to cope with the demands on his body, he never looked comfortable as an out and out striker.  The odd flash of the old Jay like Bournemouth away was mixed in with performances where he looked like player with a hangover, not sharp in the slightest and somewhat lacking in determination. 

He’s joined West Brom which will be interesting.  Tony Pulis is a huge fan of his but it’s hard to see where he fits into a Pulis team.  Unless he plays off a big lump of a striker then he’s going to be out wide which as discussed, is not his strength any more.  If he does get regular games then maybe he will get back to his best but that was very unlikely to happen here so good luck to the lad.  Maybe he’ll reinvent himself as a centre back as Pulis tends to have at last four on the pitch at any one time.  I really hope he does well though because in a world of shithouses, Jay stands out as a genuine good guy and in that respect, it's shame that he's going.

 A Good Guy... and a Shithouse

Training restarted with Mauricio meeting the players for the first time.  Virgil was present and correct which prompted another round of delusion from Red Bastard Scouse Land.  ‘He’s only there to hand in his transfer request’ and ‘he should be on strike’ etc etc.  A more spectacular shower of wankers you will struggle to find anywhere in the football world.  His birthday seemed to trigger some more rubbish as an article was re-hashed which basically said he only wanted to join Liverpool and no one else.  It had no new quotes or anything factual so fake news I guess but it’s focussed my mind on what I think about all this.

The fact is that our captain is a shithouse.  He could put all this to bed at a stroke by giving an interview, apologising (even if it’s insincere) and pledging to get his head down.  The fact he’s done none of this suggests that shithousery is still the order of the day and it also makes me think that Liverpool are still hanging on in there.  I don’t see how he could join Liverpool and them not get charged and found guilty of tapping up.  As far as we’re concerned it’s the Fonte situation from last summer.  Captain wants out, sulks like a spoilt little prince, is the proverbial bad apple, gets his way in the end.  I think most could deal with him moving.  Personally I don’t give a shit either way but we can’t sell him to Liverpool, even if they’re the only team in for him.  It would be too much of a climbdown and why the fuck should Virgil and Liverpool, the two parties who have behaved with a lack of class, a lack of respect and a lack of decency throughout, get what they want.  The Premier League have a lot to answer for – they could have laid down a marker for the good of the game but they chose not to.  Personally, if I was Les Reed I’d wait for one more tiny squeak out of a Liverpool source and then go in all guns blazing with another complaint.

So, our last three captains on the field have been Virgil, Fonte and Lallana.  We thought all three were stand-up characters but they’ve all shot that out of the sky.  I think a bit more care needs to be taken over the next choice.  I would argue that it needs to be someone who is not likely to be chased by a big club so that kind of rules out Oriol Romeu who would be a fantastic choice based on leading by example and being a solid character. We could go safe with Steven Davis or we could think long term with JWP who is obviously earmarked for the role at some point.  He’s still only 22 but why not?  I have a feeling that he’d become a better player with the responsibility.

We’ll be getting our first taste of a Pellegrino team in action in the next few days out in Austria.  Nothing will be gleaned from it in terms of preferred personnel but there may be the odd thing of interest like if Virgil plays or maybe a player playing in a slightly different position – Boufal further forward or Gabbiadini on the pitch at the same time as Austin perhaps.  The only thing that is sure is that there will be more and more Liverpool connected wankers speaking in the media as they get closer and closer to the season starting and them still having Lovren in their defence.

As time has gone by and Liverpool, neutered by their own actions and grovelling apology, have relied on an army of ex-players and Scousers in the media to keep their pursuit of Virgil in the limelight. Jamie Carragher, Steve Nicol, Micky Quinn, Jamie Redknapp, Danny Murphy, Sami Hyypia and Steven Gerrard have all felt the need or been told to pipe up about the issue and then you have the biggest wanker of them all , John Aldridge.  If it goes quiet for a day or so, then another pipes up out of nowhere - Mark Lawrenson hasn't had a go yet so I'm sure he'll be next.  Coincidentally, they’ve all felt the need to do this despite the apology and silence from Official Anfield.  As I write I hear that Klopp was actually questioned about it and said nothing, almost blaming the fact that the media ruined it for them.  You and your club broke the rules pal and you got caught.  That seems to be lost on anyone of a Red Scouse persuasion.

An Apology:

I’ve just read this back and I apologise that a majority of it seems to be about the Red Scouse Bastards.  Be vigilant, if you drop your guard for a second they’ll seep in like a bad fucking smell.

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