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Date: 2007-08-17 08:32
Subject: No one will ever compare
Security: Public

The iconic image of our very own King, having his own 30th anniverary this week. I will never tire of seeing that smile. One of the reasons I'm glad I'm the age I am is being able to remember so much about the great man. It's saying something that the memories are so vivid because we got only snippets of football on telly in them days and I never went near Anfield. There were all those Finals of course, when his smile would light up the stadia on its own. And the World Cups - although he would invariably end up looking rather miserable after those. He's the reason why I don't have much interest in England really. My first exposure to international football was the '78 World Cup and England weren't there. It would have made no difference if they had have been actually, there was only one team with Kenny in.  I wouldn't really say I support Scotland particularly nowadays but since '78 I've supported all the home nations equally (well maybe some more than others, depending on how many Liverpool players they have).  I'm much more British than English.  I have plenty of Irish blood in me, and a bit of Welsh, but no Scots as far as I'm aware.  I've always had a tinge of regret about that. 

I fell in love with Dalglish at the age of 9 and the feelings are still very much there 30 years later. He's never been able to do wrong in my eyes. Over the past fifteen or so years Neil Finn has overtaken him slightly in the all-time hero stakes but only just. A great man in every single respect, no one will ever compare in a Red shirt.

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Date: 2007-06-29 18:55
Subject: Rafa has a beard!!
Security: Public

I don't know why that's such a shock but it is! I actually think it really suits him and I might start fancying him if he's not careful (have a bit of a penchant for beards especially goaties and especially dark goaties).

Not much else to say at the moment other than my poor credit card didn't know what hit it earlier in the week when Crowded House tickets went on sale, and that I'm very sad that it looks like little Luis will be leaving us (I think I will miss the song as much as anything though. Maybe we should still sing it when we're bored, like we do the Gary Mac song).
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Date: 2007-06-19 20:39
Subject: "Give me something I can write about"
Security: Public
Why do I always return to this blog in the close season? Actually I've decided to abandon my other lj and post here from now on. Will stick to non-life stuff though, will keep my moans and groans for elsewhere, but will waffle about general pop culture stuff rather than just the redmen.

I'm trying to avoid looking too much on RAWK and the like, in the hope that if I leave it long enough I'll get a nice surprise when I go there. But I can't keep away and so nothing is happening, like a watched kettle. Things will surely start happening soon though.

Xabi's re-signing gave me a nice feeling for a few days. I was really convinced he was off as he's not seemed that happy for ages. On the lap of honour at the Charlton game he gave Gerrard a run for his money in the miserable stakes, and he's seemed a bit detached from his team mates. Bless his little sad face after the CL final though, he looked devastated. Far more than his stoic manly look of disappointment at the World Cup. Did any of our boys actually cry in Athens? I'm afraid I couldn't bear to watch too much after the final whistle (and seven vodkas during the second half didn't help the eyesight). I'm hoping they didn't as I like the idea of them all being butch and manly and not like that big baby John Terry, but a few of them probably did shed a few. I've never cried over losing a football match in my life (not even in '89) and I'm not sure I ever will. I think I've managed to maintain a certain detachment from being too disappointed over things like that over the years. Winning is a different story though...
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Date: 2006-11-30 19:34
Subject: Oh dear, is it my fault?
Security: Public
Music:Dana's Theme - Ghostbusters Soundtrack
When Momo got injured and it was evident that Zenden would get more games, I thought it a shame that the roles weren't reversed. I think Bolo is a rather unattractive person on the pitch, in every respect, yet is there a more gorgeous creature off it? His rightful place is surely in the Sky studio, immaculately groomed in a black suit, with those blue eyes of his and his hair and teeth and...., well it looks like I've got my wish sadly. Sorry Bolo!

On a positive note though, looks like Xabi might be back sooner than expected, thank God. Saw him chatting with Aurelio in the Director's box last night and it looks like Fabio has gone back to the "Roy Keane" look he sported at the beginning of the season (unless my eyes deceived me and it was someone else entirely. Quite possible!). I'm probably too old to be lusting after players these days (or at least those under 30) but I'm quite taken with young Fabio when he looks like that.
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Date: 2006-06-16 08:53
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Well, a nice couple of days for the Liverpool boys. Was in work on Wednesday so only got to listen to the Spain-Ukraine match on the radio unfortunately. Was thrilled when the first goal went in and the commentator said it was Garcia’s. Was even more thrilled when it turned out to be Xabi’s! When I watched it later I felt a bit sorry for him - his first international goal and he reels away so excited to find that everyone thinks it was Luis’s. And I’d imagine Luis is a stubborn little fucker and would take some persuading otherwise (although I’m sure he knew it wasn’t a clean goal anyway and thought it went in off a defender). Just read Xabi’s blog though and he says he didn’t know it was his goal and didn’t care at the time. Hope that’s the case and he’s not covering up any disappointment. I feel very protective of him for some reason. Maybe it’s his little boy haircut!
Great to see Spain getting lots of plaudits. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get far but it’s nice to see and lovely for our boys. I think there was talk of us putting in a bid for Villa at one point, but if he carries on the way he has been there’s no way we’ll be able to afford him.  Torres is already a no-no.
The BBC showed a short interview with Xabi after their highlights and it was interesting that he seemed to struggle a little with his English like when he first arrived at Anfield. He must have forgotten it a bit after speaking his own language full time for the past few weeks.
England were painful for the majority yesterday but thank feck Crouchy got on the end of Becks’ cross. He missed so many sitters that I was really fearful about the backlash he’d get afterwards. No one could have missed that one though and hooray that it was Peter who was there (although he was a little lucky it wasn’t disallowed seeing as he was all over the T&T defender). And then of course The Stevie G Special! It was doubly pleasing that he managed in one shot what Lampard couldn’t in about 200. Being English I should really want the team to win no matter what, but I really couldn’t bear for Lampard to be the star. Yes he gets lots of shots in but that’s because he gets the opportunity, while poor Stevie languishes further back. I never used to dislike Frank but I do now. Maybe it’s because there are people who still insist he’s better than Gerrard which of course is absolute nonsense. I really don’t mind Terry though for some reason, despite everything. There’s no one who works harder (and of course he kept that certain goal out yesterday).
Poor Mikey :( I think a spell on the bench might do him good though - he often used to produce his best when coming on as a sub because he’d get so worked up at being left out. We’ve seen it time and again.
Will miss both early matches today which is a pain but will enjoy the highlights when I get home. Still think the Argies have been the best so far, as much as I love the Spanish boys (although I didn’t see all of that match so can’t really make a fair judgement I guess).  
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Date: 2006-06-11 12:36
Subject: Catch up
Security: Public
Hardly had a minute to myself lately but thought I should make the effort now the WC is in full swing. First off though, how unlucky is poor Djib?! To miss the World Cup is one thing but then to be stuck at a club where you're not really wanted, as much as you might love the place, will be awful for him. Mind you, I'm sure he'll find plenty to amuse him in his five months out. Once the initial pain of the leg and upset at the situation subsides, I'm sure he'll be fine.  Feel guilty at being frustrated at the the affect it has on our transfer plans this summer though. But these things happen and you just have to get on with it. 

And Didi! Don't go!!!! I know he's only got a year left with us at best but I'm so sad about him moving on (especially to Bolton - if he wants to stay local why not Wigan or another NW team? But then I suppose they don't want him). It's always so sad when a much loved player gets to the end of his tenure. I hope the person on RAWK (I think) was being sarcastic though when he/she said Didi leaving was as big as shock as Dalglish resigning. Hmmm, hardly the same. Nevertheless I will miss Didi a lot. I thought earlier last season that I would have him in the team ahead of Momo and although that's changed now he'sstill fantastic back up and he's changed so many games when he's come on.  Aside from the club though it's nice to see that he still wants to stay in the area.  I love it when ex-players stay local. I think John Barnes still lives on the Wirral and of course Kenny, Jocky and Lawro still live in Birkdale. Even Michael Thomas stayed up here after his short stint with the club. It's not a bad old place, all things considered.

On to the World Cup then. Managed to miss the first match and was cursing as it looked pretty good. Have watched all of them since though, making the most of it seeing as I'll miss all the afternoon matches this week. Am cursing that I'll miss Spain/Ukraine particularly. Will have to record that one. Can listen to the radio in work but it's not quite the same is it! Ah well, can absorb all the Spanish loveliness when I get home (and no doubt find a Ukrainian or two to lust after seeing as they're often my type). 

Speaking of Spain, have to laugh at Xabi's WC blog.  I love him but he does sound as dull as dishwater sometimes the way he writes. Actually, I can relate to that as I always think I come across as having zero personality too from the way I write. And of course we know Xabi has  a fantastic personality (and the rest!).

I think England will take a few games to get into their stride as they always seem to.  I'm not normally one to chastise refs as it just feels like sour grapes if the decisions go against you, but I don't think yesterday's gave a single 50-50 decision to England which counted for a lot. Hopefully we won't get him again though.  As much as the boys weren't thrilling like we'd hoped, they weren't terrible either and I'm sure they'll get a lot better. No more afternoon matches now either which will help.

Really enjoyed Sweden/T&T and Argentina/CIV. Felt guilty for wanting Sweden to win because I like Olof Mellberg but was pleased with the draw in the end and Hislop played a blinder as usual. Thought Ibrahimovic was excellent in his run-up play but he couldn't seem to hit the target. For the Argies, both Riquelme and Saviola were excellent. It pains me to say it but Crespo and Drogba showed their worth too.  Argentina were well worth the win though.  Not long until the Holland/S&M match. I don't think I know any players from either side apart from Robben so will have to put that right (I don't suppose Kromkamp will get on at any point but you never know). Ahh, Marco van Basten *sigh*. 

(ETA - just watching Holland now and have realised how many of their players I do know. I suppose I just think of van der Sar and van Nistelrooy as Man U players. Had forgotten about van Persie too. Nice goal by Robben just then).

The French Open final starts soon too. I really love Federer and hope he wins but don't mind Nadal either. Should be a great match.
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Date: 2006-05-18 20:33
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Location:a rainy town north of Liverpool
Music:ELO - Last Train to London

Gah I hate the bit just after the end of the season, although at least it's not as bad as when there's a major championship on the way later. But this bit in the middle is maddening.  Don't know what to do with myself.

It was good to watch the Champions League final last night and not really care who won. Part of me wanted Arsenal to win because they deserve it after all these years (and I don't like to invite bad karma by wishing ill on rivals). But Barca should have won it again before now anyway. Shame there had to be so much controversy but then when isn't there after a game these days. It seems to be just part of the culture of football now. There was me thinking that the match on Saturday was controversy-free but lots of people have still managed to find something to moan about. This one-man-team thing really grates. Some would even suggest that without Steven we'd face relegation. Ah well, it must be a sign that we're back if everyone hates us again! I really try my hardest not to hate Chelsea because I don't think they've yet earned that contempt.  Hating Man Utd is a sign of respect really (although I don't really hate them either, just certain aspects of them. Same with Chelsea. I admire several of the players I have to say, they work tirelessly for the team).

Watched One Night In May for the umpteenth time after the final last night. Just never tire of it. It's a really well made programme, really well edited, and the soundbites are lovely. Vladi saying how proud he was to part of the team *sob*; Sue Johnston describing just perfectly the excitement pre-match and after the second goal; the girl in the crowd screaming "YES! YES! YES!" and stamping her feet like a child (a particular favourite that one).  Have always liked Brian Reade too so good to see him on there (I saw him at Speke Retail park the afternoon we lost to Fulham. Was listening on my portable radio and we'd just let the second goal in when I spotted him. Nearly went up and told him but he was on his phone).  I did have it on my hard drive after converting it from tape but recorded it again in high quality because it deserves it.  Need to clear my hard drive soon otherwise there'll be no room left for all the loveliness from Germany. 

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Date: 2006-05-16 21:20
Subject: It's the little things - favourite moments from the past few days...
Security: Public
  • Xabi dancing. He does like to dance doesn't he?! And his being self aware enough to know he was crap and should be replaced.
  • Riise's comments about wanting to snog Stevie but that he decided against doing it on the pitch. Begs the question: did he eventually do it elsewhere? (((((JAR)))))
  • Stevie and Carra's hug. I just love their relationship. So much mutual respect between them but a deep friendship too.
  • Carra not being able to look during the shoot out.
  • JAR's tears after his pen (((((((((((JAR)))))))))))
  • Djib's interview with Garth Crooks on BBC, deflecting praise for his fine finish because he wanted to talk about how special Steven Gerrard is. And not being able to find the words. I keep watching this over and over.
  • Luis's hair! And him trying to avoid getting champagne on his suit. And just generally being cute, as ever.
  • Bolo. Just lovely.
  • Pepe and Nando's unbridled joy. So sad that Pepe won't have his best mate in Germany with him.
  • Djib's face on opening the medal box "is that it?" Sami: "yes, that's it!"
  • Momo's Mali vest. And his dancing.
  • Didi. Just everything about him. So much respect. Bet he's so happy he didn't go to Bolton. Bet he's not even that bothered he didn't make the World Cup squad now.
  • Kromkamps girly squealing as he lifted the cup. He seems so quiet. I hope he's settling in okay, I worry about people like him.
  • Finns. Maybe Jan should take note of how he's settled these last few years.
  • Rafa. As a banner during the parade proclaimed "BEST IMPORT SINCE THE SPUD!"
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Date: 2006-05-16 20:41
Subject: Still no words...
Security: Public
Location:this universe thankfully
Tags:fa cup final

Have still not quite come down since Saturday. Well, that's a lie, I came down with an enormous bump yesterday morning, felt incredibly flat after all the excitement, but watching the match again last night soon changed that. It has to be said we were awful for huge chunks of the match, but it's a FACT that without our generosity West Ham wouldn't have looked as good as they did. Xabi gave the ball away more in one match than Luis has managed in his two seasons with us (maybe a slight exaggeration). There was someone called Kewell on the pitch at some point but I've not come across anyone who noticed him yet. Indeed I can hardly remember who else was playing on our team either, some were so anonymous. And all three of West Ham's goals had "luck" written all over them (and will anyone dare tease Carra about his own goal the way he did Stevie for fear of what might be in store for them in future?!). But then there's Steven Gerrard. Would the Hammers have won if he was in their team? Well no, because Steven Gerrard is superhuman because he wears a red shirt. He loves Liverpool more than any player has ever loved a team ever. Until Saturday Kenny Dalglish was my favourite ever Red. It may have been the alcohol but I think I still stand by the text I sent to my friend at 5.45 pm that evening: "Steven fuckin Gerrard is the best fuckin player there's ever fuckin been fuckin ever!!!!" (and I've not sworn since about 1980).

Even the alcohol couldn't make it quite as good as Istanbul but the admiration for that man made up for it. Every person I met on Saturday night just shook their head in wonderment when he was mentioned. I keep thinking back to how depressed we all were last July before he changed his mind. I wonder whether there's an alternate universe somewhere where he went to Chelsea, played around 30 games, fell out with Jose and was actually really miserable rather than just looking it. I wonder if he thinks about that too.

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Date: 2006-05-12 15:00
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Getting stupidly nervous about the game now (although my icky feeling could have something to do with inhaling some of the powder from the red dye I put in my hair last night!). I'm convinced the boys are going to lose because fate seems to be against them this year. John Lyall and Ron Greenwood will be doing their best for the Hammers upstairs, blowing the ball into Pepe's goal. It's amazing how many times things like this happen! It didn't work in '96 of course but then Uncle Bob never did have much luck with the FA Cup. And I'm thinking he maybe saw those cream suits and decided he wanted nothing to do with them that year!

And of course '96 was also the last time we won the Youth Cup...

But we shall see. Should be working but instead am hunting for any Final gossip I can find on the various sites. It's looking hopeful or doubtful that Xabi will be fit depending on where you read, and there are lots of variations on the same interview with Morientes. I'd love him to be the match winner tomorrow but I'm sort of hoping Cisse plays with Crouch. I love Nando with Robbie but he doesn't really seem to be on the same wavelength as Peter. But they'll probably both get on the pitch at some point so we shall see.

Was thinking the other night that I might write a short history of my time as a Liverpool fan. There's not that much to write, it's just a timeline of life stuff really, but I'll give it a go.
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my journal
August 2007