Even when it's only a few days, filling the time between matches is often one of the more difficult tasks to accomplish---there's mostly just people talking, followed by other people talking, followed by us talking, and then there's a bit more talking before things are polished off for around 100 minutes or so when the playing finally starts and the talking finally stops. Save for the rare abomination in which the actual match is more painful than the waiting, it's sweet, sweet relief.
But we've still got 24 hours to wait, so we're just going to keep talking:
* Those who do most of the talking, or at least have the largest audience, are the lovably bipolar members of the British press, who find time to lionize and demonize anyone and everyone in between purporting the latest hypothesis about why this is England's year for real this time. It's endearing stuff, trumped only by the experience of watching them with Kenny Dalglish. At least from a Liverpool supporter's perspective, it's great to see the boss in action, as he's clearly not into the typical style of interacting.
It's apparently rubbed some members of the media the wrong way, and Anfield Wrap contributor Rob Gutmann has a well-formed response to those who've had their feelings hurt by the Liverpool manager:
Kenny’s press conferences are, ironically, hugely entertaining to Liverpool fans. Watching him spikely spar with the media, telling them fuck all, whilst also taking the piss out of the eternally hapless, like Sky’s Vinnie O’Connor, is never anything less than compelling viewing/listening. If Kenny is prone to occasional rudeness and to putting down certain journalists it is because he (rightly) feels that they are insulting his intelligence by asking certain questions.
It is abundantly clear that he is not in the business of giving anything away that he feels may assist his opponents or damage his team, yet questioner after questioner, at any given Liverpool press conference, will attempt to outmanoeuvre him by making the same enquiry in a number of guises. It is relentless and predictable and Dalglish tires of it. Sorry Matt Hughes and others, but that’s just the way it is.
And I think that about settles it---there was bound to be some sort of push back against Dalglish's press conference style, and now that it's arrived, I think we can watch the foot-stamping of those who feel that they're entitled to full disclosure or pats on the butt every time they note someone's been playing well. That being said, I'm not so fond of the fact that he hasn't returned any of my emails asking for the team sheets 48 hours ahead of time so I can start gaining some credibility with most of you assholes.
* Agreeing with someone you typically despise is an uncomfortable experience, so it's with a certain amount of hesitation that I announce the head-nodding I engaged in while reading Robbie Savage's latest effort in the Mirror. It's not the most profound set of observations, but relative to his other work, it might be worth of a BPA nomination:
There should be bit-parts for Adam and Henderson, but also for Maxi, who is improving and shows hints that Liverpool could play the Barca way, with quck, short, mobile players drifting in between the lines. Leaving Carroll, Henderson and Adam on the bench doesn't mean their Liverpool careers are over. It doesn't mean Dalglish has wasted his money. I'd take at least one to come good. But it does mean that, for the first time in a long time, Liverpool have proper options. And that can only be a good thing as they start the long road back to the top.
The hope is that if it's clear enough to Robbie Savage, it's clear to those that matter when it comes to the team selection. One of the only mediating factors, however, is the timing---Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday might prove to be too much for Luis Suarez, Lucas, and Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard's twenty minutes was encouraging but didn't really announce a full return, and the full ninety for Maxi, Dirk Kuyt, and Craig Bellamy was marked by tireless running. But whether or not we get an eleven on Saturday that includes those names, it seems clear that for the immediate future, Liverpool would be best served having them involved on a more regular basis.
* It's not a complete week in the world of Liverpool if there's not a Fabio Aurelio fitness check, and, like clockwork, Kenny Dalglish has included the Brazilian in his weekly update. Nothing more concrete than "back in training," which is just a shade above the report that we got on Glen Johnson, who's in "light training." We can likely expect neither at the weekend, and the only clarity we have is that Johnson re-injured himself against Stoke while Aurelio was just sort of...Aurelio. Further confirmation that it's back to the training table for Daniel Agger, who's out for around a month with one or two fractured ribs.
Back in a little bit with the preview for tomorrow's home date with Wolves, but in the meantime, consider passing the time with a relaxing glide through lush mountain scenery: