Hello good people, trust you’re all staying safe and keeping others around you the same way.
I have to kick off by mentioning the latest bollox coming out of the mouths of Liverpool fans.
Firstly, on the local front, a regular social media stalker called Morne (Twitter handle: @MorneDenere) says to me: “Learn from a proper club, we buy players that will fit the system and turn them into stars” aimed at Chelsea’s current strugglers, Saul and Hakim Ziyech.
Yes, Saul needs as many minutes as possible to “adapt” to the Premier League and yes, Ziyech (for me) has no place at Chelsea or top flight football in England unless he changes his infuriating attitude, but as with many clubs, especially the moneyed ones, it’s not difficult to find a list of players who have flopped. Liverpool as many or more than most!
And does one title in 30 years justify a “proper club”?
I responded by mentioning just a few duds imported to Anfield over the years. How many of you remember Paul Konchesky, El Hadji Diouf, Iago Aspas, Mario Balotelli, Bernard Diomede, Andy Carrol, Fabio Borini? There’s quite a few more that stand out but you get the point.
And then the current fallacy, which you can hear the Kop chanting every week: “Got no money, we’re going to win the league!”
OK, terrace chants in England are famed for humour…
But the reality is VERY different and Jurgen Klopp’s continued “astonishment” about the way his three main rivals are spending fuels the bullsh!t fire. The reality is that last year’s wage bill at Anfield was £325m, second only to Man City.
And according to Forbes, Liverpool are the fifth most valuable football club in the world as of 2021.
The same club which put staff on leave, with the intention of applying for the government’s furlough scheme. The same club which, a year after the furlough hustle, agreed to form a part of the European Super League.
But with the addition of TV money, a full house at Anfield for all home games and merchandise being sold globally, why are they pleading poverty? Is it because they’ve spent over £1 BILLION in the last 10 years? 1 BILLION!
And then of course there’s the accusation that clubs like Chelsea are funded with “dirty money” and I agree… Roman Abramovich made his fortune by taking advantage of the collapse of the Soviet Union, buying up state assets.
But let’s look at Liverpool. How about major sponsor Standard Chartered?
In 2019, a US attorney found that their dealings with Iranian clients had “undermined the integrity of our financial system and harmed our national security”.
Then there’s Hollyfrontier, a petrochemical company with multiple clean air act violations. Richard Warke of the FSG board (who owns the club) made his dough from the sale of a 2000-acre goldmine in Colombia, the most infamous country in the world for environmental issues at mining operations, with killings of Indigenous People and Afro-descendants mounting in the hundreds. That blood-stained m*****f****r re-invested it in more mines throughout the Americas!
Sometimes we need to cut through the banter and look at the cold hard facts. Liverpool are a rich club, funded in part by (literally) blood money…
Annnnnyway, on to the football and another crazy weekend. After three wins on the trot against Pep Guardiola, Thomas Tuchel was completely undone on Saturday.
Chelsea were terrible. Apart from a switch in formation that didn’t work, City’s ultra-high press threw the Blues completely.
The usual smart playing out from the back was disrupted and the players appeared unable to handle it.
The disappointment was however softened with Villa taking the points at Old Trafford. Hopefully we’re done with the Ronaldo euphoria and back to the reality of where United are really at!
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago after Chelsea beat the Villans 3-0 that I thought Villa were the better side and knew they’d take it to Ole’s wannabees, who face Everton, Leicester, Liverpool, Spurs and City in their next five matches! I reckon they’ll pick up five points from those.
Brentford’s brilliant draw against Liverpool was special, what a game… love the energy at that club.
Also loved Yoane Wissa’s yoga-zen celebration in front of the world after he equalized to make it 3-3.
And then the startling destruction of Spurs at the Emirates! It’s incredible how a team with such good players (on paper) can be so [email protected]
Of course next weekend is all about the late Sunday kick-off as Liverpool host City.
It’s early days but it just feels like there’s heaps of pressure on every fixture… football really is back!
Hopefully if we encourage those who aren’t vaxxed to get jabbing, things will get back to “normal”. Take care, chat next week…