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Xabi's Still There, Poulsen's Still Here, and Other Monday Notes

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It's Monday. It's the offseason. So that must mean we've got some Xabi Alonso-related tidbits to get to that will make us feel all warm and fuzzy in the afterglow of a lost romance whose embers are kept stoked by furtive, whispered words of hope and the possibility that all might not truly be lost.

Either that or left feeling annoyed that every time you start to forget about him and move on, he does his best to remind you just what you've been missing.

Or something. I'm off for a tub of ice cream and a good cry. In the meantime, the Monday news and notes...


* It wasn't all senior international action over the weekened, as England's u19 Euopean Championship hopes ended—and with them the hopes of the five remaining Liverpool prospects on the side—with a 1-1 draw against Spain on Sunday that meant a second-place finish in their group on goal differential and the resulting exclusion from the final round. Andre Wisdom, Thomas Ince, Conor Coady and Jack Robinson all played 90 minutes, while Micheal Ngoo assisted on England's equaliser before being taken off in the second half.

It may be disappointing for the young Reds, but it's not the end of Liverpool's involvement in internationals at the youth level this summer, as the u17 World Cup kicks off in Mexico on June 18. For that tournament, Raheem Sterling and Adam Morgan will be joined by Brad Smith, Tyrell Belford, Matty Regan and Jack Dunn on the England squad, while Tom King will compete for Australia. The fact that I—and I suspect many of you—already knew two of those names strikes me as vaguely terrifying.

* Oh, right, you want the actual Xabi Alonso interview? It's right here. Or at least a transcript of it is, as LFCtv is being especially vigilant about getting copies of the interview taken down from Youtube and the like. If you're a season pass holder you'll be able to watch the video there, otherwise it's down to reading texty words on a pixely screen if you want to see him name drop Steve Clarke to let you know he's still watching the club closely, talk about raising his kids to be fans to let you know how much he still cares, and get somewhat pushed into a corner where he can only answer "Why not?" to the possibility of rejoining Liverpool at some point to keep your desperate and unlikely dreams of an eventual reunion alive.

* Meanwhile in players who are still with the club but everybody kind of wishes they weren't still we shouldn't be too dickish about it news, Christian Poulsen has committed—or recommitted, or something—himself to the cause:

In the second half of the season we found ourselves as a team and I am looking forward to seeing how Liverpool play next season because I think a lot of things have gone on this year, so if we can have more of a stable season then it will be interesting

I am sure Kenny is the right man to lead Liverpool to success in the future because in the short time he has been here, we have only gone one way—and I hope that will continue in the future.

There are of course two ways to look at this. One is that he's saying the right things, talking in positives about the club, the team, the manager, and suggesting he thinks he can still do a job. The other is that he's being paid well over the odds and was previously perfectly content to sit on the bench at Juventus until Liverpool offered him a chance at a larger pay packet to sit on theirs. It's also hard to see quite where he sees himself fitting in if the squad is indeed strengthened as he suggests—and all the rest of us assume—it will be.

Still, at the end of the day it's the sort of thing a player is supposed to say while he's at a club. For once, though, people will be dearly hoping those words are naught but empty, professional platitudes.

That about wraps things up for this particular Monday, but if you just can't get enough of Xabi's sweet-nothings, well, I'm sure he'll mention Liverpool again any minute now...