It's been a fun week to follow Liverpool, with the crushing boredom of another international break coming along just as the things were starting to pick up followed by the kind of ridiculous insanity in the press that seems to come along before every United match. And by fun I of course mean absolutely hideously unbearable. Unless of course you happen to be a blogger, in which case at least the later will have given you something to write about in spite of the former…
* Last week, we asked who people would rather see at right back for Liverpool against Manchester United in the expectation that both Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly would be fit and ready to go by Saturday, and today the club has confirmed that both players will be available from the start when the match rolls around. This is good news for the Liverpool Offside, as we wouldn't have looked half foolish devoting an entire post to who should start against United only for one or both of the offered options to end up lame after all. And it's also probably good news for the club.
In any case, last week 61% of respondents thought that Martin Kelly was the right choice to start, while the remaining 39% stuck with Glen Johnson. Assuming Liverpool doesn't manage to kill English football before kickoff, we'll get to see if Kenny Dalglish and the coaching staff are on the same page as the fans come Saturday afternoon.
* Speaking of Dalglish and killing English football, apparently nobody gave Liverpool's manager the memo explaining how Liverpool's new owners are in fact killing English football. Otherwise it would seem to make very little sense for him to say nice things about them as he looks back on their first year running the club:
The greatest compliment I can pay to them is that they're as good as the people who ran the club the first time I was here. That's a hell of a statement because the people who ran the club then, Sir John Smith and Peter Robinson, were two of the best any football club could ever have had.
John [Henry], Tom Werner, and the rest of the investors that have supported this football club have been absolutely fantastic. Since I came in January they've been nothing but supportive towards what we have to do. Their ambitions and aims are exactly the same as our most ardent fan—they want to have the success that everyone craves. And they've started off very encouragingly.
High praise indeed from Liverpool's legend of a manager. Unless of course you believe the London press, in which case it's probably just PR spin to deflect from the unforgivable evils being undertaken behind the scenes.
* Most will recall that Robbie Fowler headed to Thailand earlier in the year, the striker looking to keep on playing just as long as possible, but what most won't know is that last week he added manager to his list of duties for Muangthong United. After wrapping up his contract with Australia's Perth Glory, he had been considering retiring—and heading back to England to earn his coaching badges—before being approached by the Thai club. Fowler, though, struggled to settle in his new league, finding playing time hard to come by for a side that were domestic favourites and expected to go far in Asia's version of the Champions League.
As for the club's fortunes, they performed to expectations in the league but found themselves knocked out of both domestic and international cup competitions, leading to the sacking of their sixth manager in five years. Fowler will be in charge until at least January—unless, judging by the club's track record, he loses two in a row—and has now recorded one win against no loses and no draws in his managerial career. He's also given Robbie Fowler the player one start so far in said managerial career, with an assist from his best performance so far in Thailand to show for it.
Ed will be along in a little while to preview the big match, but in the meantime, while you try to figure out what nefarious doings John Henry might be getting up to on the eastern shores of North America…