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Houllier's Health, Adam's Hoofs, and Other Wednesday Notes

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Since we started off Monday's news and notes with a bit of Chelsea, perhaps it's fitting for United to kick things off today, as in the lead-up to their unfortunate victory over Shalke in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final Mister Ferguson mentioned his trophy-envy and that he wishes his club could be counted amongst the likes of Real, Milan, Liverpool, Bayern, and Ajax on the continent.

Such a shame that's one perch he's never getting to the top of. Though shame probably isn't the word I'm looking for, unless it's the shame I'll feel if the world conspires to hand us a Champions League final where I find myself hoping for Jose Mourinho to succeed...


* I was somewhat remiss not to find a place to mention Gerard Houllier's most recent health troubles when they first came up just prior the Birmingham match, a game where most watching will have heard the Kop chanting his name in a message of support for Liverpool's treble winning former manager.

Houllier's recent chest pains are related to his illness suffered with the club in 2001, and though doctors say his heart is working perfectly, he will not be back on the sidelines for Aston Villa for the remainder of the season. It does at least mean, though, that he's out of any immediate danger and will be allowed to return to his home to further rest and recuperate.

Besides it being previously unclear if Villa would seek to continue on with him as manager after this season, there is now the added uncertainty over whether Houllier will take this latest scare as cause to re-evaluate his role in the game and whether continuing on as a manager is worth the health risks even if football is, as they say, in his blood. Additionally, that final stretch of the season that he will miss includes a season ending match at Villa Park against Liverpool on May 22, when one imagines the traveling Kop will be in full voice to again send him their best wishes. But whatever the future holds for him on the managerial front, we'll be hoping along with Kenny Dalglish for a full and speedy recovery for Houllier.

* Meanwhile Paisley Gates takes the time to take a closer look at Charlie Adam, and while it may on the whole be a slightly more positive view of him than you're likely to find around here, there's still a hard look taken at what is a staggeringly poor pass completion rate for such a reputed pass-master. The fact of the matter is that despite being 5th in the league in attempted passes Adam is only 18th in completions, and with a chalkboard from Blackpool's recent match against Wigan that Jamie Carragher would be proud of to visually drive home the point, it's certainly cause for concern--or should be for anybody hoping that pass and move is the future of Liverpool Football Club. Still, it's good to get a slightly different take on the player, and it comes with video. Which is always fun and stuff.

At least if Adam leads Blackpool back into the Championship as is looking increasingly likely, it's hard to imagine him still commanding the kind of fee Blackpool wanted in January. Though in any case, given that his glaring shortcomings with them are the same as his glaring problems from his Rangers days, it's hard to see him being the sort of big name, big money signing that has Reina sounding so excited to stick around all of a sudden.

* Moving back to some Champions League related discussion, This is Anfield seizes on the midweek lull as an opportunity to catch up with Liverpool's 2005 competition winning side to find out where they are now. Amongst names like Alonso and Hyypia whose careers most are likely still aware of, and the obvious duo of Gerrard and Carragher, there are some lesser known or longer gone names to catch up on from Kewell to Baros to Smicer to little Luis Garcia and his pitcher of sangria. And there's also Steve Finnan, who is apparently unattached but not officially retired. Just in case Liverpool really needs an emergency fill-in at right back over the final few games of the season.

Well, that's it for the next few hours at least, though as always we'll be back with another post in a little bit. In the meantime, while you consider the fading away of so many of Istanbul's heroes, the approaching end of yet another season of Premier League football, and all the rest...