It's Friday, which means it's nearly time for us to get ready for a sunny Sunday afternoon against Stoke in the springtime. But before we get to that, we've got a few news and notes tidbits to help carry us into the weekend…
* With a book looking back on his time at Liverpool being released, Dietmar Hamann has been doing a bit of the sharing anecdotes with people in the media in an effort to raise awareness of a product or service thing. This has led to him sharing various anecdotes concerning his days at Liverpool with people in the media, including Guardian's Small Talk. Which is good because now you can read about Hamann celebrating winning the Champions League by smoking in the showers with David Moores, getting arrested in Japan because of Jamie Carragher's mates, and laying down in the road to get a taxi to stop when he wanted to go home only to discover he couldn't remember the address. And also about why he usually stuck to drinking in Everton pubs:
Sometimes you'd get a bit of hassle when you'd drink in Red pubs. Only people coming over and wanting to have a chat. I didn't mind but I like some quiet time now and then and people didn't bother me so much in the Everton pubs so if I wanted a quiet drink and a read I'd just go in and relax a bit because I knew the fans from the other half of the city would be respectful.
If you're looking for a lighter way to get through what's left of your Friday, it's more than worth your time to spend a little while getting reacquainted with the Didi Man. Good luck getting a taxi when you're done, though.
* We've talked a fair bit in recent weeks about Liverpool's ever-dwindling chances of making it into the top four this season and with it securing the Champions League spot that management and ownership set out as the minimum goal for the season back when money was being splashed around last summer. In the end, like it or not, it's a fairly unavoidable topic, especially given that even with a feel-good victory over Everton most recent in the memory the club has managed less than a point per game in the second half of the season. Given that, it's no surprise that Liverpool players like Jose Enrique have recently been asked about quite how they see the club's chances of making an unlikely push for fourth:
We have to be realistic about the Champions League and we are 10 points behind so it is going to be really hard. But we are still trying because the league hasn't finished yet.
All season we have not put together regular wins. If you look at Arsenal at the start of the season they did not win their first three games and everyone said they were bad. Now they are one point behind Tottenham. We are like that. I know Champions League [qualification] is so difficult but there are still many points to play for and if we play like we did against Everton you never know.
We're going to skip the big, number-filled post telling you just how hopeless and unrealistic any thoughts of Champions League qualification are this week and instead keep things short: Arsenal are on pace, both based on season-long and recent form, to get at least 70 points. To match that, Liverpool would need 28 points in their remaining ten games. That's 2.8 points per match for the mathematically impaired, or nine wins and one draw. So I guess what we're saying is that Jose Enrique's right that there's still a chance. But that really there isn't.
* After breaking Steven Gerrard's not-groin in a meaningless friendly against the Netherlands five minutes after the penalty shoot-out against Cardiff in the League Cup final wrapped up, Worst Manager in a Prestigious Job candidate Stuart Pearce has inquired if Craig Bellamy would be available to join Team Great Britain as one of three over-age players at the London Olympics. With an eye to employing those who won't be in Poland and Ukraine for the Euros, Bellamy joins a list including the likes of Ryan "Best Player in the history of the Local Cluster" Giggs and Joe "Look ma I can tear it up as a semi-regular starter in the French League oh shit I'm winded" Cole as possibilities for joining a squad that will otherwise be made up of players under the age of 23.
Less of a cause for concern and actually more of a kind of good thing—even if a player being sent to play under Stuart Pearce is always a cause for at least some concern—is the news that Raheem Sterling has also been contacted about joining the side. He might seem a little slight to be a target in the route one football so beloved of Pearce, but at his age the chance to play on a stage like the Olympics will always be a positive. Which is to say in short that Raheem Sterling getting to go would be as much of a good thing as Craig Bellamy going wouldn't be.
We'll be back with any breaking news—or if there's no breaking news we'll be around next with a preview for Sunday's FA Cup match against Stoke—but in the meantime Nate of Oh You Beauty just got this stuck in my head so it's only fair* I pay it forward…
*Plus I'm drawing a complete blank on any actually vaguely related-to-the-content musical accompaniment and used the "And now for something completely different..." card just the other week.