Despite an at times slow week on the news front, this turned out to be a surprisingly jam-packed Friday notes. So without further frivolity let's get right to the fun...
* Let's put this week's poll to bed right off the top, as the question of where on the pitch Steven Gerrard should be playing his football was never in doubt: 57% wanted to see him pushed up to a more advanced central position. Obviously I'm rather fond of those amongst the 57%, seeing as they voted the same way I did, and as such would like to offer shiny commemorative Canadian quarters all around--the ones with an embossed red poppy the US defense department thought were spy devices. You will have to pay my airfare, hotel, and etcetera so that I can deliver it by hand, but come on: a shiny Canadian spy quarter! Delivered by an anti-social, partially washed blogger who may or may not attempt to wear your skin! Isn't that worth paying pretty much any price for? No?
Well, anyhow, 23% of you went with keeping Gerrard in a deeper central role, while 17% said to put him out on the right, and 3% wanted to see him played in goal or something--the others weren't very forthcoming this week. While I'm somewhat less obviously filled with joy when people fail to agree with my awesome and all knowing rightness, you can all have quarters, too. I just won't pretend to be happy when I deliver them. Though I might at least give the Right Midfield folks a lazy single thumbs up and an apathetic shrug. In any case, if you want a bit more fuel for your "Where should Gerrard play?" fires, Nate at OYB is your dealer with lots of deliciously colourful charts and graphs comparing this year's West Ham display with last year's more advanced performance.
* Meanwhile, the Anfield question is on the docket this morning, with two options for getting your fix of should they stay or should they go conundrumy goodness. At The Tomkins Times, Chris Rowland puts a spade in the finances and emotions swirling around the issue of what to do with one of the most famous sporting grounds in the world, before getting at a sometimes overlooked potential trouble:
Of course if we opt for the redevelopment route, we will need the co-operation of the local council and public authorities. Staying may give the immediate area a much needed boost – if you think the area by the ground is run down now, imagine it without its supporting life force. The businesses that rely on match day income – the pubs, shops and chippys – would also be mighty relieved. But that co-operation may not be forthcoming. They see a new build, rather than redevelopment, as the catalyst for the regeneration of north Liverpool. As recently as October 2010, the council leader Joe Anderson said that redeveloping Anfield instead of building a new stadium would be unlikely to gain approval. “I would encourage them to stick to the commitment that is already in place because I think that is the best solution for everyone – for the club and the city”, he said. I also seem to recall Hicks’ and Gillett’s proposals for extending the imaginary new stadium in Stanley Park beyond its initial 60/65,000 capacity meeting opposition over the inability of the public transport infrastructure to cope with crowds of 75,000. This may not be a smooth ride.
In the end, though, he nervously edges towards the possibility of the dreaded groundshare coming true, whether it's the result of uncertain financial realities or a contrary council. At the same time over on The Kop--and dismissing the groundshare option out of hand--Brian Durand sets out a bit of history before getting on to the questions:
[Its] trophy room has been the residence of the League Championship trophy on no less than nineteen occasions. Yes, nineteen... as the first of those Championship campaigns came when Everton’s name was above the home dressing room door, two years before the well-documented rent dispute which led to John Houlding forming Liverpool Football club.
Well, I don't suppose that will do a lot of good should United end the campaign triumphant, but if you're at all inclined to hoarding shiny little baubles of useless information like scraps of twig and tinfoil, banishing the slightest useful thought from your head in the process, that right there is pure gold. Or a shiny bit of trivia tinfoil. Or something.
* Back in the here and now, it's Kenny Dalglish's 60th birthday today, which in a way seems a little silly to note since what is there really to do or say on a blog when somebody you're never likely to meet is celebrating a milestone? At the same time, it's not as though it's the sort of thing one can or should completely ignore--I mean, he is the current manager. He's also amongst the club's managerial legends based on his first go round, and by most accounts its greatest ever player. So, you know, he is The King. And kind of a big deal.
Well all right, then, if you head on back to those crazy days of January on the blog you'll find a solidly engaging 25-minute retrospective on his time as a player and manager. If you haven't seen it before, it's certainly worth a watch. Otherwise, here's hoping for a win on Sunday to cap things off for him and anybody else celebrating their birth between now and then.
in the meantime, while you consider that if you read and watched everything offered up to you in the links of this post you could probably get right through the morning without doing a shred of work, bringing yourself that much closer a couple of drinks that would then bring you that much closer to Sunday's big match...