For all of the preparation. For all of the work. Rewarded with a tremendous start to the season, only to hit a stumble towards the winter. One step forward. Another back. And with Chelsea to pay a visit.
I tried a Google search for "Liverpool FC vs Chelsea 1961" and couldn't understand why nothing showing the Blues was returned. Then I remembered: they ain't got no history. - via static1.wikia.nocookie.net
After their strong start to the season, Shanks and the boys hit their first rough patch beginning with the ever dreaded international call ups. Now, I was once again schooled in the difference between the past and the modern iteration of the game. Specifically, the fact that there wasn't a break in league play to accommodate for international games. Specifically, this hit the two big signings of Yeats and St. John as they were both recalled by Scotland for their tilt against Northern Ireland. LFC, of course, dropped the result against Middlesbrough without their two stalwarts. Shanks was nonplussed.
In truth, Shanks seemed to be thoroughly consumed by the squad. Peace's prose once again highlighting that devoted (or obsessed) leaning in the way that the results and details of the fixtures were mixed in with the banality of every day tasks at home. Shanks simply lived football.
On the pitch, Shanks did his very best to get the most out of his squad. Rotation. Benching. Exhorting. Tweaking. Ultimately leading to the day that Shanks had circled on his calendar: January 6th, 1962. Chelsea Football Club visit Merseyside. England will be focused on Anfield. Come on you Redmen.
- The passage referenced above that highlighted how Shanks constantly thought about how to improve the team was absolutely riveting. The juxtaposition of the meticulous and precise movements in the home against the seemingly random but inspired moves by Shanks on the pitch were an absolute treat.
- Shanks is a football manager with a serial killer's obsessive mind. Discuss.
- But seriously, Wikipedia says they've got history. So conflict. Such confused.