SO THIS is February, and what have we done? Losses to Newcastle and Liverpool, wins at City, Bolton, Arsenal and Stoke City, but that doesn’t tell half the story really. The results say one thing, the inquests into them and the events surrounding it all gave us a bit of a bonkers month.
Coming on the back of that horror show against Blackburn Rovers (which could really come back to bite us on the arse when you think about how we finished the month), the Newcastle game could have been our rebound off the ropes and perhaps it should have been but not for the first time this season we didn’t turn up and Newcastle did. News people will focus on Wayne Rooney and the return of the stroppy number ten. It’s one thing pissing Fergie off when you have a proven record of brilliance; it gets you a slapped wrist and a seat in the stands. When you piss Fergie off without the proven record, then the brilliance is in your own head and not so much on the field. When that happens the only route for you is the one leading to Upton Park. Good luck, Ravel. If he was half as good as he apparently believed himself to be, he would have said ‘yes’ to any contract offered by Manchester United, and given himself the stage big enough to house his massive ego. Fans will forgive lots if you stand on the pitch and back it up. (Some might not even forgive you then, eh Wayne?).
Then onto Liverpool: The game baffled me about as much as the events surrounding it. There were calls for Patrice Evra to be dropped for the visit to Anfailed. In the wake of the Luis Suárez racial abuse issue last October, we had King Kenny and our own boss appeal to the fans for calm. Liverpool fans’ reactions to Evra during the match suggest they didn’t pay much attention to the appeals, but you have to ask how seriously Liverpool have taken the whole thing anyway. The booing of Evra by their fans was in my mind seriously out of order. Evra spoke his mind, the matter was dealt with and he is booed for complaining about racial abuse? Liverpool Football Club’s continued defence of Suarez and Kenny’s rather ‘blah’ response to questions about the booing, suggest a flippant approach. “Liar Liar” is a Jim Carrey film, and had no place being yelled in Evra’s direction, especially when you consider the reaction Liverpool and Liverpool fans gave the Sun newspaper when they (wrongly) suggested the Hillsborough Disaster was largely down to their fans. They did not stand for it, they got their apology, but here it’s okay to boo and call Evra a liar and for their club and manager to try and brush the whole thing off and move on? Always the victims.
They chose not to appeal, apparently support the squashing of racism in the sport and yet equally and unequivocally support their player. I find it hard to see how they can do both those things in good conscience. There is only one answer in my mind, and it points to the reason for the lack of condemnation for the boos and the liar chants of the fans, Liverpool Football Club ultimately believe the same thing. Poor Liverpool, being victimised again, questionable fan conduct again. Alan Smith, ambulance, just saying. Never their fault.
Let’s end on a few positives though, because the month was full of them. Let Liverpool have their fun in the FA Cup, we have a League title to contend for and thanks to a few good performances against admittedly less demanding opposition, we are in place to do that. We shut the Emirates Stadium up with a late winner there, before home victories against Bolton and Stoke. These are the points we may be glad for in a few months time, although it does make you look at the Blackburn game and wonder what if?
Dimi’s new hair, Javier taking pens, clean sheets for Anders and Ben… level on points, bring on February and Chelsea.
In a bit. GTS