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Purslow Piñatas, Poll Wrap, and Other Friday Notes

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With the round of thirty-two in the Europa League navigated by the skin of their teeth, it's already time to start thinking of the round of sixteen and a home date against Portugal's Sporting Braga at Anfield on Thursday, March 10th. Which would be no reason to panic, except perhaps for the part about the second leg being on the road and it being a more difficult opponent than the one Liverpool just escaped from by the aforementioned skin of their teeth even if as Geza points out in the comments the tie has now been flipped so that Liverpool will play the second leg at home. And there's also that bit Ed got at yesterday about the rather frighteningly thin squad options once you move past the first eleven.

I'm also now consciously aware that my teeth do not appear to have any kind of skin on them, which I'm fairly certain is normal. Unless everybody else has skin on their teeth and just hasn't said anything about it to me to spare my feelings. Which is a worrisome possibility...


* So, in case you missed it when Justin mentioned it in the comments yesterday. Or when Ed mentioned at the end of the wrap up yesterday. Or when every other paper and website mentioned it in the meantime, too. Well, anyhow, Christian Purslow is gone for good, no longer even some honourary advisor special something or other in name only.

Liverpool FC confirms that following the successful transition of the Club to its new owners, Christian Purslow is to step down as special advisor and non-executive director.

LFC Chairman Tom Werner said: "We will always be grateful to Christian for his vital contribution to the Club during his time as Managing Director and latterly as Special Advisor.

"He has played a fundamental role in securing the future of the Club and in the sale of LFC to new ownership."

For all that he's become something of a favoured piñata for yours truly, he will always deserve a nod of thanks for the role he played in the ownership change. But then there's also the part about changing managers and changing players and ridiculous last second contract extensions and basing half of his decisions on what the back page of the Daily Mail told him to do and the other half on, I don't know, let's say reading tea leaves. Yeah, so there was all that stuff, too.

* Meanwhile in less snarky distractions, EPL Talk takes a quick look back at the 1981 European Cup final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. So go watch Alan Kennedy win it all in the 82nd minute a couple of times. And be glad that it suddenly doesn't seem completely beyond the realm of possibility that Liverpool could get back to that point again, back to where it belongs, in the not too distant future.

* Back here on the Liverpool Offside, the poll question was fairly straight forward this time around, and the answer was pretty clear, too: 67% of respondents said Liverpool should gun for fourth place, even if it means conceding the Europa League. That left 33% to say they'd rather Liverpool put more weight on the competition they had complete control over.

It was never about which people wanted more in a general sense, but instead about how people wanted to see things approached given the current realities, and despite the long odds there was a clear preference to see LFC put everything into achieving a Champions League berth. Given some of the squad selections yesterday against Sparta Praha, it might not be a stretch to suggest that Kenny Dalglish appears to share the opinion of that majority.

In the meantime, while I head out into the streets to celebrate the final passing from the club of a Football Manager extraordinaire and his failed London revolution by whacking a paper-mâché likeness of him with an old pair of sneakers...