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Boo-boys, Group-think, and Other Wednesday Notes

raul meireles dirk kuyt goal

A funny thing happens when the transfer window opens. Rumours swirl; players are leaving and others arriving. People are certain of it because all the papers say so; all the people with inside knowledge—be it actual or simply claimed—say so. And the world turns into an echo chamber.

Or at least the part of the world that is whatever club one follows' corner of it does.

Soon people become emotionally invested. Invested in a player coming or going. So emotionally invested in their club and manager doing the right thing—of only being able to do the right thing—that individual reason and judgment departs in a search for whatever facts conform to their need to make this seemingly inevitable decision right. Or, if there are no facts to support such necessity, gut instinct and faith in those above gets trotted out. Same as it ever was.

None of which is to say that a manager you trust or a club you love—or the whole team of scouts and support staff, all of them working to put millions upon millions of pounds to good use—shouldn't at least be given the benefit of the doubt. None of which is to say that you shouldn't trust in those people who have the experience and have gotten the big decisions right before, or ignore that they are usually far better placed to make those kinds of decisions than you.

But then, giving a potential transfer in or out the benefit of the doubt once it actually does happen because you trust the manager and trust that he might know more than you is rather different from becoming a lemming...

* On to the actual Liverpool news floating around the intertubes, as the academy-heavy England u17 side defeated Ivory Coast 5-4 in a warm up for u17 World Cup kicking off in Mexico on Sunday. On one hand, with Adam Morgan, Raheem Sterling, and four other players you probably don't know yet involved in yesterday's friendly and expected to feature heavily in the competition, it's another chance to track the development of Liverpool's promising youth players. On the other hand, if you felt a little too much like an Arsene Wenger last Sunday watching the England u21 side go up against Spain, then prepare to feel horribly unclean.

Speaking of the u21s, for those interested in seeing how Jordan Henderson looks against a weaker opponent than Spain that might allow Phil Jones to not hoof the ball over his head for ninety minutes, England goes up against Ukraine tomorrow at 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST

* And over on The Liver Bird Blog, they're doing their own series of summer guest posts, starting off with a look at the boo-boys who make up an ill-informed segment of the self-proclaimed best informed supporters in the world:

Last season of course Lucas shone for the most part and now the boo boys are on the look out for a new target.

Lucas is in good company of course, Ronnie Whelan used to “get it” from the fans that just “didn’t get it.” Steve Staunton was another, so bad we signed him twice!

Does any one remember Luis Garcia (he drank Sangria)? I recall a tap in against Chelsea in 2005 that briefly shut up the boo boys who’d been on his back all season and changed our history forever.

It's funny, in a way, that some of the players who initially were given the hardest time managed to develop into some of the club's most beloved figures. Though of course for every one of them there are many who never quite managed to turn public opinion. With the reprehensible, unjustifiable bile being spewed in some quarters towards Raul Meireles in order to justify what a handful have convinced themselves—based on absolutely no evidence—is a likely departure, one can only hope it isn't the early signs that this regrettable vocal minority have found themselves a new and undeserving target.

* Meanwhile over at Dirty Tackle, Brooks Peck managed to tap Jordan Henderson's phone in order to bring you exclusive coverage of his first conversation with Steven Gerrard, rocketship captain. And also Henderson's new role model and idol:

Gerrard: Anyway, I was talking to Kenny Dalglish a few weeks ago because he always asks me for advice about which players he should sign and what time he should eat dinner every night. And he was like, "Oh Steven Gerrard, who should I sign and what time should I eat dinner tonight?" And I was like, "You should buy Jordan Henderson for £20 million even though that's a stupid amount of money because he's going to be the next Steven Gerrard and you should eat dinner at 8 p.m." And he was like, "But my wife wants to go see a film at 8:15." And I was like, "..." and he was like "..."

Henderson: Um, wow, that was kind of you to say, Steven. I don't know if I would say I'm the next you, though.

Gerrard: Well, I did, so you are. You listen to Phil Collins every day while your wife and daughters clap for you, right? Because that's required to be a Steven Gerrard.

You should go and read the rest. As for me, I'm going to try and deal with my sudden urge for a goat cheese cupcake.

Well, that about does it for the Wednesday news and notes. I'm sure the rumours will start up again on Twitter in a few hours. In the meantime, have you called me an idiot yet for sticking to our season-long belief that stats, facts, and tactics, despite not telling the whole story, at least do tell an important part of it? If not, you really should. Then we can move on to posting articles about Charlie Adam is great because Kenny probably wants him long ball long ball blood and guts la la la can't hear you have some cute British kittens...

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