Thursday, 25 October 2007
Ugly, Ugly Football. Lovely, Lovely Halle
There really are times in life when you’ve just gotta sit back and admire Halle Berry. Because Halle, along with the other beautiful women of this world, would keep ya going through the bad times. A decent pint of Guinness, a juicy steak, a fry up or finding twenty quid on the ground help as well. All of these wonderful things could be the elements that make up a perfect day and then… you watch Liverpool. Whether you like it or not, that’s your day buggered up.
In the style stakes they’re not Arsenal and they’re not Man United. They’re certainly not Barcelona, but they may be a more expensively assembled Rangers. My melodramatic housemate said yesterday that if Liverpool beat Arsenal on Sunday he’ll give up watching football for a month, such would be the evil of this result. Now, while this is bollocks – he threatened to give up drinking once but that lasted oh… two days – I can kinda see where he’s coming from.
Of Arsenal’s seven the other night, they scored two goals (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQGt1Dtq4TA & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl99UpVxCVI) which, in terms of teamwork, were comparable to Carlos Alberto’s 1970 World Cup final effort (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZkR5Wb2KQs).
Okay the stakes were hardly as high, ala the argument over Messi’s Getafe dribble versus Maradona’s 1986 effort (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGmtIGUEGZY), but they still played beautiful stuff and have won 12 games on the trot which is, to put it mildly, fucking incredible.
Man United looked immense as well in Kiev (politically correct big paper spellings don’t exist at Okeydokefootball). When you consider who was out on Tuesday the only problem Ferguson will have this year is who to pick when everyone is fit. Though, then again, this is United so everyone will never be fit at the same time.
Liverpool can win a game with a few dodgy decisions against Everton, grind out away points at Wigan and beat Villa away too – but all of these have required late goals and crucial missed opportunities by the opposition. Besiktas scored when they got the chances, and many more teams will do this to Liverpool as the season wears on.
They will win nothing this year with the present hit and hope method – Monster Mash simply doesn’t have the range of passing to work with Gerrard who is consistently 20 yards ahead of him. Alonso, even when he is back, will have to pick up his form dramatically after a poor 12 months. Meanwhile Babel is not been given enough of a chance and poor old Crouchigol is being ignored to a criminal extent. As for Sami, I can’t stay mad at you chief, but you’re no longer up to a long run of games and I’m hoping Agger is fit at last for Sunday. Overall, decent players are being held back by Rafa's tactical obsession with the opposition.
At this stage, I’m not sure I care if they go through to the knock out phase of the Champions League. If last night’s game is how they will play for the foreseeable future then it will be a penance to watch them grind away with the patently unworkable partnership of Voronin and Kuyt up front. Liverpool fans currently feel like apologising to other supporters every time the team is on TV instead of some decent football. These are indeed, depressing, confusing times. Thank god for Halle.
Elsewhere, it looks as if AC Milan are doing a better impression of Liverpool than Liverpool themselves by playing pants in the league but well in Europe. Madrid continue to win and Celtic continue to be as big an enemy to football as their Glasgow rivals. Actually that’s unfair, considering Rangers’ result against Lyon the other week, Celtic now find themselves thoroughly second best in that little, and quite boring, local scrap.
Great win for Rosenborg too and Chelsea are beginning to look dangerous. Man City will be a good test for Grant’s men when they meet at the weekend.
Showmen always say to go out on a high… so here’s my effort: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpo3EVoEblc
Later folks, JJ