A pretty random news day two days prior to Atletico's visit to Anfield...
First up is a couple of Ian Rush related bits. News broke yesterday that he's re-joined the club in an official capacity to support commercial development as well as in the role of youth ambassador. The former basically just involves being Ian Rush, while the latter will be a bit more involved, I imagine. The Welshman on the move (from the above link at Goal.com):
"My role is to provide the technical input into the development of the Soccer Schools programme and just as importantly help our business team to assess the quality of the franchised operations and the standard of the courses being offered under the Liverpool badge to kids around the world."
And it only took him a matter of minutes to sound off from the comfort of his new role, questioning the PFA for their choice of Joe Hart over Pepe Reina on the XI of the year. It's a tough position to argue with---Reina is likely Liverpool's player of the season by a longshot, and while Hart's had a fine season, the Golden Gloves may again go to Liverpool's number one despite such a tough season at Anfield.
It wouldn't be a week at Liverpool without some sort of story about Alberto Aquilani, although this week everything is sunshine and roses. His three assists against Burnley probably didn't hurt, but now it's his versatility that's getting attention and not the universal acclaim as "worst purchase of the year" by everyone with a keyboard. Rafa has picked out his ability to move freely throughout the midfield area as a major bonus, and the Italian's partnership with Steven Gerrard is, as we saw at the weekend, something to look for in the future. We'll see if we can count Thursday as a part of that future.
Maybe the biggest news in the young week is the club's securing(ish) of Jonjo Shelvey, the highly touted 18 year-old, in a £3 million deal. Coupled with the earlier signing of Raheem Sterling, another English starlet, it looks like Rafa's vision for youth program is taking a positive shape. Of course, the deal's not final yet and anything can happen, but it seems like a step in the right direction as the season draws to a close. Good stuff on both signings and their implications for the club by nate over at oh you beauty.
Match preview and more to come tomorrow, in the meantime, enjoy what's left of your evening.