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Looking Back at 2010 on the Liverpool Offside: January

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As 2010 slips to a close, Noel and I remember a bumpy year.

Full disclosure to start---this was initially Noel's idea, but seeing as how this was a one-man project for most of the year, it'll be riddled with my recollections of the comings and goings on the blog. As I methodically eliminate regular visitors and commenters with the tedium, Noel will swoop in to rescue what's left of my dignity and the site's traffic. Glorious job, this.

Anyhow, Noel had suggested that we pass the down time---which, incidentally, might get a lot longer---by re-running some posts from earlier in the year. Whether they were memorable for the content they covered (mostly), the profound intelligence of the writing (rarely), or the plain absurdity of the effort (always), we'll be running posts from January until December over the next week or so.

For those of you who have just discovered the site, it'll give you a chance to second-guess that choice. For those already familiar, it's another piece of evidence to support the case for deleting it from your bookmarks. For everyone, though, it's a chance to say, "how did these assholes end up with this gig?" The answer is booze, my friends. Lots of it.

So, without further ado, let's start to look back with a couple different pieces:

January saw the beginnings of the email exchange that I concocted with nate from oh you beauty---with so much swirling around the former manager's head, I decided it would be a good idea to enlist his support in trying to make sense of Rafa Benitez's time at the club. It's long---six parts and thousands of words---but I think some of the points are just as relevant even after he left. The links to all six parts are below, even though the dialogue extended well beyond the month of January. Full credit to nate for sticking with the project and, you know, writing other good stuff too.

Intro---Part I. Statistics---Part II. Tactics---Part III. In the Transfer Market
Part IV. Man Management---Part V. In the Press---Part VI. Looking to the Future

One other piece from the month that's somewhat worth mentioning, and it's basically the "same shit, different day" narrative of Fernando Torres leaving. Eleven months later, we're right back where we started the year. The reasons aren't necessarily financial this go-round, but it seems like for one reason or another, he's had one foot out the door since he arrived. Optimism:

Stories from the Times and the Daily Mail that Rafa Benitez is worried the higher-ups won’t reject a “silly money bid” for the Spanish striker, as well as the necessity to meet the new financial qualifying guidelines for the Champions League. Which is three years away, but still, PANIC!!!

It’s not like we’re in uncharted territory here–Martin over at the Arsenal Offside wrote a piece about the football media that would be fit to run in said media, only if the media weren’t completely full of shit. It’s high time they canceled the group retreat at the beginning of the season run by Michael Bay and Glenn Beck, in which they identify different mad libs involving the literary equivalent of explosions, asinine headlines, and elaborate conspiracy theories. Make tin foil caps. Mix and match topics. Sprinkle a dash of cliché. Voilà! Headline.

Back in the late afternoon tomorrow with February's edition. Until then, enjoy what's left of the day.