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Merry Christmas, Joe. Love, Roy

Right, so what the hell are you doing here today? And more to the point, what the hell am I doing here today? A quick note or two, though, if we all are indeed here for a moment or two? Right: The Blackpool match will be dependent on a noon GMT pitch inspection tomorrow, so we won't know until then. Ed may be by later with a preview, or he might hold off until the last minute and post the June review later today, or he might be stuck talking to relatives in Fargo. It's a grand mystery is what it is, so make sure to check back constantly to see what Ed decides to do.

In any case, my real reason for throwing this post up rather than taking the day off to drink spiked egg nog while crying quietly in a corner is that Roy went and said some ridiculously stupid things about Joe Cole. It's also pretty much what most fans have been saying, which means I actually agree with some of his points, but then again I'm not the one managing Liverpool Football Club. To whit:

Joe has to come to terms with the fact that he has come here after an unsuccessful period at Chelsea with high hopes of taking Liverpool by storm and unfortunately it’s not happened. That’s life.

He should have great confidence in his ability as he is a very good footballer. As far as I am concerned, everything he has to say should be said on that patch of green grass.

He should be convincing me and everyone watching that this is a player who can help Liverpool win things. And you couldn’t say that has been the case so far.

I don’t care how many things are written or said, you can’t make black into white.

What I’m saying could be transformed into "Hodgson criticises Cole," but it’s not that. I’m just analysing the situation.

Well, I suppose that's fair enough. And probably not too far off the truth. Except that we're edging into uncomfortable territory given the you, Manager, LFC, etcetera. Still, it's probably true and not completely out of line...

I was involved in the discussions with him, but the initiative and the desire to take Joe did come from Christian [Purslow] perhaps more so than myself because I wasn’t in the position to say these are the players we should be targeting as I hadn’t been offered the job at that point.

He’s not so much a player I can take responsibility for. I’d have to share the responsibility for Joe, less so than people like Poulsen, Meireles and Konchesky, who are players I was happy to bring to the club.

Wait, so you're washing your hands of Joe Cole but reaffirming your belief in Poulsen and Konchesky? Well, that's just a mixed bag of all different sorts of fail right there. I want to rant and pick apart the twisted logic, but it's Christmas and...

When that player comes in and you work with them for two months, you realise the name is great and it rings big bells but, in actual fact, he is no better than the player you let go. He’s maybe even worse.

Oh. Well, I guess you've been working up to completely disavowing Cole for a while now. And yeah, I agree he hasn't shown enough. And I agree I'd rather have kept Aquilani, too. And I realise he's an injury-prone never-quite-was who was puffed up to ridiculous levels on account of his passport by those more concerned with the glory of England than the glory of Liverpool.

Still, it doesn't help anybody to talk like this in public. Not when you're the manager. It makes it more likely that Cole and his ridiculous, un-transferable albatross of a contract will go down as an utter failure, and it makes you look even more foolish for letting Aquilani get shipped out for a loss.

But hey, perhaps it's all some big motivation attempt a la dragging Johnson through the mud, and Hodgson will claim all the credit once he bags a brace on the frozen tundra tomorrow. Hurumph.


Try to have a good one, wherever you are and whatever you're doing. I'll be on the scarce side through tomorrow, but then again I suspect many of you will be, too, so however it all shakes down with maybe-maybe not matches and Ed's time demands, hopefully putting this up will mean there's something new whenever you do wander by, o' dearest reader.

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