LIVERPOOL ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: (THE SUN OUT) (SALES OUT) In this handout image supplied by Liverpool Football Club new owner John W. Henry arrives at Melwood training ground on October 16 2010 in Liverpool England. Henry's New England Sports Ventures (NESV) successfully completed the £300million takeover of Liverpool following a bitter legal battle with former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Our penultimate home game comes up on Monday evening, and being the forward thinking writer that I am, I didn't do anything. However, upon approach from Noel, of The Liverpool Offside, I was given the opportunity to have a rather strange yet fondly orchestrated question and answer battle in preparation for a game that, only a few months ago, would have pitted us against our former manager. Here are my slightly twisted questions and their responses. For my answers to his similarly peculiar questions, check out liverpool.theoffside.com.
1. My Nan often told me as a wee child that Scottish people were bad people whose accents hurt your ears. She also explained to me, in fairness, truthfully, that they like to fry lots of things and upon googling such myths I've since become a believer in the Deep-Fried-Mars-Bar-Scandal. However, it seems in football, that my Grandma had the wrong idea. In fact, they seem like a rather intelligent bunch north of the footballing border, so, needless to say, you're pleased our former gaffer Roy Hodgson has gone and been replaced by Kenny Dalglish, a Scot who I'm sure you're a wee bit familiar with?
Liverpool and Scots go together better than kilts and haggis, and have for just about as long as there's been a Liverpool Football Club. In fact, aside from the goalkeeper, the very first squad was made up entirely of Scots. At the time it was a reaction to Everton holding a monopoly on the best local talent, but it soon became a core component of the club's makeup, a reflection of its willingness to look first to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and then even further afield for players, tactics, and training methods that would give it a leg up on the competition and eventually see Liverpool the dominant English side in Europe. Roy Hodgson, though, never seemed to understand the club--his unfailing embrace of defensive shape and a flat 4-4-2 and long-ball tactics may have, if anything, been too quintessentially, stereotypically English to every really fit with an identity built on a history of watching pass and move football from European terraces and whose very beginnings involved looking north to Scotland instead of south to London. And as for Dalglish, well, he's just all kinds of awesome and there isn't a man, woman, or child who isn't glad to have him back.
2. I'm aware that the above isn't technically a question, so I haven't stuck to my question and answer promise. I'll try harder to stick to format on this question, so here goes. Like all Arsenal winning streaks, good things eventually come to an end, such as this season. So, with this season effectively at a climax, what are your hopes for the coming Premier League term?
The club's been on form for second this season--or around third or fourth most years--since Dalglish returned, so with a handful of quality signings over the summer it's not all that far fetched to hope to at least be in the title discussion come next year, and I think for most a solid top-four showing is the expectation.
3. I'm not known in my college for my fashion knowledge (no rhyme intended), but it has never stopped me from having an opinion on other people's attire and layout. For example, I once saw a girl that had utilised, albeit effectively, a condom as a sock. It no doubt kept her foot nice and dry, and of course 'safe', but I was the first to shake my head at the fact she had technically adopted a sandal and sock fusion which is so rightfully condemned in popular media. Her choice of condom was also elaborately incorrect, as she had opted for a flavoursome one of red colour, when she could have easily dressed in one from Durex's 'extra-safe' line and escaped my ridicule. Her colour choice brings me on, albeit strangely, to Liverpool FC's logo. Are you a fan of the green and red, or would you like something different?
The overdone green and red jumble that is the current club crest is, well, an overdone green and red jumble that would be better were it relegated to historical curiosity status. Unfortunately, a return to the days of a simple and unadorned liverbird seems unlikely, as being an image in the public domain the mere thought of a badge the club couldn't enforce the copywrite on would send half the finance, marketing, and legal departments into apoplectic shock. Where that leaves things realistically is hard to know, but over the past year the club and Adidas have moved towards using the current badge in a single colour to match whatever design it's paired with, and at the very least that's an improvement.
4. If Pepe Reina were a cartoon character, whom would he be?
You just want me to say Tinky Winky the purple Teletubby, so I'm going to go with Grape Ape instead. Though if he was a purple Teletubby, it would probably have to be a purple Teletubby on steroids seeing as he can at times look like the Premier League player most likely to succeed in American football.
5. According to Eddie Izzard, AV is the way forward with regards to electoral reform. Also according to Eddie Izzard, if you've never seen an elephant ski, you've never been on acid. I, by no means, mean to denounce his support for AV (because as boring as the concept is, I agree with it) but his latter quote proved false when I once saw an elephant skiing and I wasn't, I promise, on drugs. You see, drugs aren't everything, kids. However, where do you think Liverpool would be now had you been under the guidance of Kenny Dalglish all season?
I think I may have already answered this, which is exceptionally embarrassing. And the heels don't help. Still, even if one accepts that some of the early season troubles were down to things outside of the manager's direct control and that being a close second--even if that's the form the club has been on since his return--would probably have never been in the cards, it's hard not to think a Champions League slot would have been wrapped up by now.
6. My favourite film character was a guy called Slevin in a film called 'Lucky Number Slevin'. His dad was killed after gambling some money and losing it, and Slevin, being the intelligent man that he is, grew up with the intention of exacting revenge on the men that had killed his father. As his age ripened, he did indeed carry out his vengeful attack and it made for a very interesting film. So there you go, there's my favourite film character, now who's your favourite Fulham player?
Zoltan Gera. Mostly because his name is Zoltan and so it's hard not to imagine him as a villainous space emperor dropping asteroids on moons and moons on planets and planets into suns. And, you know, other stuff that evil space emperors would probably do. Like having a death star filled with an army of Daleks. Or something.
7. And, finally, what will the score be on Monday evening?
Something to something, in all likelihood, and with one or more somethings also possibly being nothing. Because answering this question has never gone well for us.