Another week, another round of Charlie Adam rumours. And another day when those rumours, in the end, amount to nothing much but a new round of rumours. When we weren't busy tracking supposedly new revelations from supposed in the knows who more often than not are as in the know as a magic 8-ball, we managed to pull ourselves away from the LFC Offside Twitter account for long enough take note of a few other stories floating around of interest from a Liverpool standpoint. These, then, are the Monday news & notes...
* Today it was revealed that Pepe Reina has had successful surgery on a double hernia, which sounds twice as painful as a regular hernia and also wasn't
something we'd known was a problem Reina was having until just about right now. The club and player certainly have done a good job keeping it quiet, though, seeing as he played out much of the season—and even in a post-season friendly for Spain—knowing that as soon as his goalkeeping responsibilities ended he'd be going under the knife.
In any case, he had the surgery last Thursday in Munich under the supervision of Spain's national team doctor, and with it going smoothly he is expected to be fit and ready once pre-season training kicks off.
* Meanwhile, Luis Suarez may himself be taking a couple of weeks off before getting back together with the Uruguayan national side for the Copa America, but that didn't stop him from sharing his bullish thoughts on Liverpool's potential to challenge for the title next season:
I think the form we showed over the second half of the season bodes well. We've been playing well and I think we've been getting into the type of form that we know we'll have to keep up for a whole season if we want to be title contenders. This is something we're optimistic about for next season and if we can hit the ground running and maintain the good form then I think we've got a good chance of doing well.
Time for everybody to set their expectations unrealistically high and then convince themselves that, really, those expectations aren't that unrealistic? Not so fast, counters Steven Gerrard:
I'd love nothing better than to lead the lads to some silverware next year but I don't want to raise expectation by saying that will definitely happen. It would be stupid of me to raise expectations any more than they are already. At the beginning of every season at Liverpool expectations rise, and now that Kenny is staying and with a few signings I'm sure it'll go through the roof.
Getting in the Champions League will be the main aim.
Well, there you go, then. A strong shot at the top four, or a real run at the title? I can tell you which option seems the smarter, more reasonable one right now. But I can also tell you which option I'll have hitched my hopes to come August, and I'm fairly certain they won't be the same one.
* And moving from possible future players to current players to past players, over on Sports Illustrated Jen Chang took some time before the United States-Spain friendly last week to talk to former Liverpool players Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa along with David Silva. Which of course means that Xabi talked at least a bit about Liverpool, but this time around Arbeloa too managed to get in on the reminiscing action by letting everybody know he's still keeping tabs on his former club:
I think the style under Hodgson, they played maybe too many long balls. I think Liverpool is the type of team that has to play more football. Technically they have some really good players and they need to play more football. I think with Dalglish, who was one of the best players in the history of Liverpool, they look more confident and they improved a lot.
Seems right in line with what most of the fans thought and felt about the managerial switch, though one suspects that all of Hodgson, Dalglish, and the fans wouldn't have minded having the excitable Arbeloa around last season—particularly with his freequently confident play at both right and left back for Spain and Real Madrid. As for Xabi Alonso and his need to mention Liverpool at least once in any interview he gives, he managed to come up with what might be the final word when it comes to the ongoing question of who exactly the club might be able bring in or make into the new Alonso:
I think that Lucas, for example, has improved quite a lot the last few years, he has won a lot of importance in the team and has become quite mature. But [let's not] think about a new Alonso. Try to think of a new pattern, a new pattern of play, a new idea of how to play and that comes from Kenny, as well as Steve Clarke who's done a great job. That's going to be important to create a style, and that's what they're going to try to work on.
Well, that about does it. Unless Charlie Adam makes a midnight flight to Liverpool in the Babelcopter. Which probably won't happen, even if somebody on Twitter will almost certainly claim it's about to go down. In fact, I think I'll go do that in just a minute. In the meantime, try not to let the silly season drive you to complete hysteria...