“Liverpool fans can continue to chant ‘no history’ at us but we continue to make it. They have their history, we have our history. They are a club with a history in Europe that Chelsea doesn’t have, and their history is magnificent, but I think for 17 years they don’t win one championship and we won two in the last three years. Of the 12 pieces of silverware in English football in the last three years, Chelsea won six, Liverpool two, Manchester United two and Arsenal two, so we won the same number of pieces of silverware that the other three clubs won all together. So I think we are going in the right direction. The FA Cup final was a special final, an historic one, more than a normal FA Cup final. It was also the end of a period when in three years, we won every competition in English football, so it was special.”
Those are the words of Jose Mourinho in (partial) response to the constant stick Reds fans give his squad.
I will say this; Yes, 17 years is a long time not to win a league title. But, three years of collecting trophies isn’t as impressive as it seems, especially when it prefaced by a league title drought of 40-some years. Decades from now, when fans look back and notice five or six years of silverware at Chelsea, they won’t be bowled over. Half a decade does not rich “history” make. Try dominating the landscape for multiple decades and then we’ll talk.
I’m reminded of a banner I saw a few years ago, which went something like this:
We dominated the 70’s
Ruled the 80’s
Took a break in the 90’s
Now we’re back.
For the record, since the turn of the millenium, Liverpool have won six (major-ish) trophies (2001 FA Cup, 2001 UEFA Cup, 2001 League Cup, 2003 League Cup, 2005 Champion’s League, 2006 FA Cup), equaling Chelsea’s six (2000 FA Cup, 2005 League Cup, 2005 EPL champs, 2006 EPL champs, 2007 FA Cup, 2007 League Cup).
As I spent this this week at Jury Duty, the reckless speculation of summer continued. Not shocking. What was (kind of) shocking was that the ‘hottest’ gossip involved not Liverpool, or any of the Big Four, but rather, Man City.
Yes, Manchester City.
Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra made a formal bid for the club, and then came the claim of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s impending appointment as manager. But what I most enjoyed was the rather tepid reaction of City fans. The general consensus was something along the lines of:
But, the former England boss is most certainly an improvement from Pyscho, and with the money of a man with a spotty human rights record behind him, the possibilities on the blue half of Manchester are certainly bright(er).
Back on the Merseyside, Reds fans were informed this week by George Gillett that Liverpool had now entered “Phase Two” of their summer wheelings and dealings. Phase One, according to GG, was identifiying “a number of our existing star players whom Rafa wanted to sign on long-term contracts.”
George added, “Now we’re moving on to phase two, which is bringing players in.”
The phases, for those of you scoring at home:
- Sign exisiting star players
- Bring players in
Maybe there isn’t a Phase Three; GG didn’t elaborate. In fact, I have no idea how many phases there are, or if there are any sub-phrases. Of course, this is not to be confused with the three-phase business plan of South Park’s Underwear Gnomes, which is as follows:
- Collect Underpants
As you see, the Underwear Gnomes don’t know what Phase Two is, which most likely complicates their ability to achieve Phase Two and move onto Phase Three. Liverpool does not have this problem. We know what our first two phases are, and one of them is already accomplished.
“Time to go to work. Work all night.
Search for underpants, hey.
We won’t stop until we have underpants.
Yum tum yummy tum tay!”
With that in mind, I offer you the week’s review of Liverpool transfer “news”…
- Scott Carson is ready to quit Anfield in hopes of securing first-team football to advance his international career. The 21-year old recently set an English record for Under-21 caps (breaking Gareth Barry’s and our own beloved Carra’s marks) in a 13-12 penalty shoot-out loss to Holland at the U-21 European Championships. Scott expects to be at Liverpool for preseason training, but where he ends up after that is anyone’s guess. With Dudek and Padelli gone, Carson is the definite #2 to Reina’s ultra-definite #1. I think we can all agree he’s not unseating Pepe anytime soon. So, what happens? A ‘keeper of this talent can’t/won’t play second fiddle much after the age of 23, but Rafa won’t be keen to sell him. In fact, Rafa has stated that Carson will be at Anfield for the next season. Another season-long loan isn’t out-of-the-question, but where would Scott go and who will act as cover for Pepe? David Martin? Maybe we should ask the
allmost-knowing Underwear Gnomes.
- In a quest to match the oddity of Diego Forlan’s name being linked with Liverpool, Craig Bellamy has now been linked with a move to Juventus or Roma. While I’d be more than willing to take their lira, I (and plenty of others) can’t help but notice the parallels between Bellamy and Ian Rush. Unfortunately, only one of those Welshmen would have moved overseas after a 30-goal season. Mr. Bellamy, I was a fan of Ian Rush. I wanted an Ian Rush mustache. You, sir, are no Ian Rush.
- Former Liverpool man and now Bolton manager Sammy Lee has used his connections to secure the services of our 20-year old midfielder Danny Guthrie for the entire upcoming season. I like to see the youngsters get loaned out to gain experience with plenty of first team playing time, and it’s even better when it’s at the Premiership level. It’s just a shame Sammy won’t be around to see it, as he’s my pick for ‘First Manager Fired’ for the new campaign.
- Reports are that Marseille are close to bringing Djibril Cisse back for another season on loan with a pre-determined price for next summer (< £8m). Bolton and Benfica are also rumored to still be in the mix. Sammy! Please help us out here!
- Craig Bellamy is not going back to Newcastle, not if a drunk Alan Shearer has anything to do with it. When told that Big Sam was considering a move for the no-neck Welshman, the striking legend had this to say:
“Has no-one learnt their lesson about signing Craig Bellamy? If only Rafa Benitez had rung me I would have told him exactly what he was like. I hope there isn’t anything in (the Newcastle reports). I was having a few days away in France with Gary Speed and Steve Harper and the wives and I picked up the newspaper. I was having a fantastic day. But when I read Bellamy for Newcastle I thought I would definitely have to have another drink. I had several.”
- Now that he’s told West Ham to fuck off, Spurs are now linked ahead of Liverpool as the next most likely destination for Charlton’s Darren Bent. This is somewhat ironic, as Bent’s signing would probably mean the departure of Jermaine Defoe, a player linked with a move to Liverpool last season. I also find it funny because I’ve always considered Darren Bent as the poor man’s Jermaine Defoe. But now, Bent could cost anywhere from £10 to £14 million, with one report claiming Charlton won’t let him go for anything less than £17m. Defoe, in case you were wondering, came to Tottenham in 2004 for £7m. Quite frankly, even though I’m not keen on his comeback, I’d rather roll the dice on Michael Owen’s knee for £9m before severely over-spending on a good-but-not-great Darren Bent. Defoe might be a quality signing at under 10 million, though.
- Shuan Wright-Philips will apparently be allowed to escape Stamford Bridge for a mere £10m. (Yes, for a loss of 11 million) As per unwritten rule, Liverpool are immediately linked with any winger of quality (and a few without quality) and are supposed to battle it out with West Ham, Villa, Spurs and Newcastle for his services. Let’s go ahead and flash forward to 2009 when it’s Steve Sidwell looking for an exit from Chelsea.
- You thought the Diego Forlan rumors were done with? Not yet, but hopefully soon. Martin O’Neill is now ‘understood to be interested in bringing the submariner to Aston Villa. And yes, £15 million is still being bandied about. Riiiiiight.
- More Benayoun talk: The latest crap-tastic rumor is some combination of Benayoun, Bellamy and £4.5 million. Any chance Rafa has Yossi mixed up with Carlos?
- Reports are that Liverpool officials have jetted off to Madrid to negiotiate the sale of Fernando Torres. Word on the street is that Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has told potential suitors that the 23-year old will cost every penny of his release clause’s £27m. While it would be fantastic to sign a player of this caliber, it would be extra sweet to beat United and Chelsea for his signature. Do remember, Torres had “You’ll Never Walk Alone” written on the flip-side of his captain’s armband as seen after a recent match.
- Roma are supposed to have rejected a £13 million bid from Liverpool for Brazilian winger Alessandro Mancini. (He’s quality, you see) Unfortunately, a part-exchange involving Craig Bellamy has also faltered. I suggest we slap a porn ‘stache on Bellamy and see if we’ve got ourselves a deal.