Mornings and salutations, Liverpool Offside, I'm back. Did you miss me? Not really?
To be perfectly honest, I'm a little hurt by that. I mean, when you go away for a couple of days you at least expect people to miss you a little bit. You think maybe they'll start a Youtube channel dedicated to shaky-voiced shaky-cam demands for your return. Or they could start an online petition. Maybe put together a PayPal fundraising drive, or even threaten to burn down the head offices of The Offside and SBNation if you don't return.
Honestly, with thirty-five weeks of blogging experience, you'd like to think you've aquired some level of base competence. You'd like to think you've developed some minimum ability to entertain and inform from your time spent writing blogs like Gilmore Girls As Cats and WAGStalker, and that it would translate. In fact, it's downright insulting to think those thirty-five weeks of experience wouldn't.
I hardly think it would just disappear overnight, which leaves me feeling more than a little like Roy Hodgson. Which reminds me...
* I'm sure we'll partake in our share of Hodgsonosity over the next few days, which some will love and others hate, but for the time being it's down to the at times rabidly anti-Liverpool UK Fanhouse to fire the first shots of "Holy shit Roy Hodgson is going to manage his new club against the club he bombed out of in fiery explosive failure with the fans clamoring for his head" week:
Hodgson has also claimed that he feels more appreciated by the Albion hierarchy, a clear dig at John W Henry, the Liverpool owner who ended his excruciating spell without a flicker of emotion in the New Year.
Maybe he feels more appreciated because the expectations are so much lower. Failure to secure Liverpool a place in the top six would have been a unmitigated disaster, while finishing 17th with West Brom would earn him the freedom of Sandwell.
I'm not sure what's more surprising, that Hodgson has taken shots at John Henry and FSG that I managed to somehow miss, or that Fanhouse is running an article that doesn't blame every ill known to mankind on Liverpool. One thing that is certain is that it signals the start of what should be an interesting few days of bluster and unavoidable media coverage.
* Wrapping up the international action, everybody appears to have come back healthy, which when you get right down to it is really all that matters. However, beyond that obvious goodness, Dirk Kuyt went right on showing people that he can score for both club and country, netting a brace in the Netherlands' return match against Hungary after scoring a single marker on Friday. Meanwhile, Andy Carroll scored his first goal since joining Liverpool, even if it wasn't in a Liverpool shirt. Regardless, it isn't that often that an international break can be termed an unqualified success, but with all of Liverpool's participants coming back uninjured, and with Carroll getting to run around for sixty odd minutes while also finding the back of the goal as he works his way back to full fitness, it's hard to find any negatives in the just finished break from league play.
* And speaking of injuries, Nate of OYB is on an infographic kick of late, which means the rest of us get to stare at pretty shiny pictures outlining Liverpool's injuries this season and their European road-trips over the past decade. Charts and graphs and all the rest are always worth your time, but the long and the short of it would seem to be that February was a horrible month for Liverpool players getting injured, Steven Gerrard has groin issues, and Liverpool has a fondness for spending time in Bucharest. With that last part presumably not having anything to do with Gerrard's groin issues. Probably.
In the meantime, while you consider the coming Hodgpocalypse, the immanent return of Tea and Crumpets with a special guest star, and that there's a quite decent chance we all only exist to be replaced...