Friday, March 27, 2009

Whoa, I got some 'news' to talk about here

While Colin and I settled in to grind through this international break, it turns out there's some actual Liverpool "news" that warrants a thought or two. Let's hit these up quickly, bullet-point style, and then hunker down again and hope these two Spain v. Turkey matches leave everybody involved unscathed.

• David Silva to Liverpool? – That's apparently what Rafa has on tap for this summer. I mean, a winger who can operate on either side? Yeah, where do I sign. Right here? On this line here? OK, here I go. Look, Valencia stopped paying their players several weeks back. That's how bad their debt situation has become. The rumor mill says £25 million, but c'mon – Valencia doesn't have a leg to stand on. Only Barça and Real Madrid can drive the price up. But the boy is out the door. Sure, it's only a goofy international break rumor. It means nothing, really. But damn, that's fun to think about. OK, off to a good start here. What's next?

• Hicks and (to a lesser extent) Gillett look to consolidate their positions – Wow, that's kind of a downer, isn't it? First it was Gillett talking about selling minority stakes in his other sports franchises. Then Hicks came out and made it clear he wants minority investors in the Texas Rangers. What to make of this? Well, they have to refinance that £350 million loan they used to help buy the club, and the new arrangement is due to be settled this summer. They didn't have the money a few weeks ago and were looking to sell to Kuwaiti billionaires. Now, with the events of the last two weeks, Hicks and Gillett appear to have decided this whole Liverpool Football Club thing just might be their speed. It's a tricky proposition. I mean, will they ever build the stadium? But Rafa won the battle of the board room, got his contract extension and – BANG! – the players went on to rattle off three of the most enjoyable victories supporters have witnessed in a long time. For now, I withhold judgment on this move. Just keep the club stable, keep the money situation secure and fer cryin' out loud don't screw anything up!

• Steven Gerrard is the best player in England – This is the one that is so much fun to smile about. Ultimately, it's just some goofy award, but three or four weeks ago, Nemanja Vidic was the odds-on favorite to take this silverware. Then he got sliced into ribbons by Fernando Torres on a sunny Saturday at Old Trafford, and the English public has a new gilded hero, one that is homegrown and surging through the public's consciousness. Let's look at the odds for Gerrard right now to capture the PFA Player of the Year: Paddy Power, 13/8; VC Bet, 6/4; BoyleSports, 11/8; betfair, 18/11. Paddy Power still favors Vidic at 6/4, but elsewhere it's VC Bet, 7/4; BoyleSports, 6/4; and betfair offering 19/12. Basically, it comes down to the League. Who's gonna win it, right? United is still the favorite, clearly. I guess we'll have to see. But it's a wheelbarrow full of laughs to watch the replay of Torres' goal at Old Trafford and see, while Liverpool celebrates the equalizer, Vidic just walking back toward the center circle. He sniffs quickly and rubs his nose, oblivious to the single blade of Old Trafford grass stuck to his sweaty temple, a souvenir from the spot Torres dumped him like so much rubbish while El Niño went on to put one past Van der Sar. And, of course, there's that moment later where Stevie G. outmaneuvered him, and Vidic's only recourse was to drag the Liverpool captain down with no back cover.

OK, I'm getting a little worked up here. Time to get back to the international break or I won't make it to April 4.


Darrell said...

bullocks and rubbish....cmon now really?

Lewis Mathieson said...

Steven Gerrard is the best player in England.

Jim said...

Darrell, watch the highlights. I've got 'em on DVR for you. Torn apart, put to the sword, however you want to phrase it. Vidic would've won that award easily if that match never happened. Now ...