Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Anfield Shrine Column - Issue 193 of RAOTL

Originally published in print. Issue 193 of Red All Over The Land Fanzine

A last minute deadline day effort again this issue… after missing the last one, I was determined to pen a few words. The Ed’s new policy of shorter runs of more frequent issues is a good one in my book, but it certainly pushes an over worked, lazy bastard like myself.

Anyway… to the job in hand. It feels like a long time since I was at Anfield, having missed Fulham for a little trip to Belfast and the good old international break cropping up again as well. After a massively thrilling derby we’re still sitting pretty in 2nd place. I don’t think anyone predicted that as Christmas approaches did they?

Obviously I think we all know there is no point getting carried away by any means. But you can’t really fault us so far, and I think Rodgers is doing an absolutely sterling job. However, Christmas is going to be massive for us, and the 2nd half of the season is looking a lot tougher than the first.

I’m aware that my columns seem to be consistently negative considering generally I'm not one of those relentlessly negative, moaning bastards, but here are a few reasons it might not be the season to be jolly…

The biggest tests are still ahead… having already secured all my home tickets for the rest of the season, and with a quick look at the fixtures it doesn’t take a genius to see that we have a tough time ahead of it. Still to play City, Spurs and Chelsea  home and away, with Old Trafford still to go to and Arsenal to come to Anfield we have a lot of big tests ahead. I’m positive… to a point, but we really need to show we can are deserving of that 2nd point and get some big results.

We still look a bit shaky defensively… and I’m not sure anyone quite knows what our best back 4/5/3 is… including Rodgers! We have lots of options, but the combinations and partnerships aren’t quite working yet.

We’ll have to fight to keep Suarez in January… I think it’s a fight we’ll win, but no doubt the usual bollocks will emerge again and we’ll be forced to knock back a few offers. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have some top clubs sniffing around more of our talent as well – like a Ben Sherman shirted 40 year old round your bird in MOJO (one for the locals.)

The top clubs will spend in January… as much as we are revelling in their struggles, there is no way Utd will allow a repeat of the summer, they will spend big in January I’m sure (hopefully on more average Everton players!) But they won’t be the only ones, expect Chelsea and City to do the same. Who knows with Arsenal!

We never do well at Christmas… this might not be true, and it might just be my perception (I’m shit with stats and I can barely remember last weekend, let alone last year) but it seems to me that we haven’t had a very happy festive period over the last few years.

However, with all of the above in mind… I am going to be positive. We couldn’t have done much more so far, we’re 2nd in what is a very open league this year and we’ve only really had one or two seriously poor performances. Our squad is looking in better shape than it has for a while, and who knows hopefully we’ll strengthen in January as well.

Bring it on…