It's been a difficult two days here at the Liverpool Offside, given that there actually wasn't a here to visit. We've been able to run something nearly every day for the last year or so, but with a bumpy transition to a new website underway, we found ourselves in the strange position of not really having anything to do. If you hang around on Twitter at all, you already know that our server lost its legs during the transition over to SBNation. A few more hiccups are likely between here and there, but at least for now there's some semblance of normalcy.
So let's quickly run through the ins and outs of the past couple days before you're once again faced with the horrors of reading about clubs besides Liverpool:
* The NextGen Series continued yesterday at Anfield, and Rodolfo Borrell's squad salvaged a last-gasp equalizer to earn a point against Wolfsburg. The young Reds had looked good for large spells of the match leading up to the break, but sloppy marking on a free kick late in the half gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, with Hendrik Hansen finding the net from Maximilian Arnold's cross. Liverpool continued to create chances in the second half, and finally got their break when Krisztian Adorjan's cross was deflected in by defender Marvin Kleihs. Adam Morgan, who had come on earlier in the half for Michael Ngoo, had a chance to win it in the 93rd minute, but his effort on the break rolled across the face of goal after taking a deflection. The point sees Liverpool take up the second spot in Group 2, two points off Sporting at the top. The impressive Portuguese side host Molde tonight with a chance to remain perfect through the first round of group play.
The official NextGen Series YouTube channel will likely have highlights up later on in the day---they've done an impressive job covering the matches thus far, at least from a Liverpool perspective, so that'll be a good chance to catch up on whatever you might have missed.
"We've only got Glen Johnson (out) really. We are just waiting for some test results to come back. We'll take it on from there. Obviously Steven is progressing well. Martin Kelly is back in training too. Fabio (Aurelio) is also close to coming back and joining us. We'll pick and choose when is best for Steven. We'll decide which game suits him best. We'll analyse his progress like we do with everybody. We'll do the same for Martin Kelly. Everybody that is asked to play will be fit enough to play. We'll just wait and see - there is no rush. We've just got to use common sense."
Gerrard had earmarked the trip to London as his return date, but while it looks like he'll make the squad, it wouldn't be completely surprising to see him rested for at least one more match. Unfortunate for Glen Johnson to continue to miss out, and with Martin Kelly still working his way back, we could see Martin Skrtel at right back on Sunday. And while we didn't know he was injured (but deep down we really did), nice to see that Fabio Aurelio is recovering, even if it means he's only that much closer to getting injured again.
* Someone we're used to seeing on the injury list is Daniel Agger, but with a solid start to the season and a miraculously injury-free international break behind him, the Danish central defender is rightfully feeling confident:
"The coaching staff are helping. If you look at the squad now, it looks really, really strong with so many good players so I think it is good for us to have the belief to go forward and win games. We definitely have that now and if you compare it to last season, I think we're miles apart."
What's most endearing is that Agger never misses an opportunity to remind everyone just how bad everything was last season. He'll likely spend the rest of his life telling anyone who'll listen about the shithouse football that Liverpool played under Roy Hodgson, and for that we'll be forever grateful. Probably more important than his ability to do that, though, is his ability to stay fit for an entire year---we've long discussed the impact he could have on the squad over a full season, and while it's been good so far (he's logged a full ninety in each of Liverpool's four league matches), I'm still bracing for impact. So let's just not talk about it anymore.
That's it for an eventful few days of nothingness---as I mentioned above, it's likely that you'll have trouble accessing the site from now until the transition is complete, so please bear with us as this process unfolds. Things should be all settled by the weekend, and regardless of where things are at with the blog, you can find one of us over on Twitter.
In the meantime, we can continue to curse technology despite the fact that everything's amazing: