Archive for August, 2017

The Blog #2

Just two days to go before the first home game of the season and following the game in Germany there should be a dose of excitement around the fields of Anfield Road but instead there’s probably an equal amount of trepidation, frustration mixed in with anticipation.

What will be the topic of conversation leading up to the game against one of our bogey sides Crystal Palace?  The first appearance of Mo Salah in a Liverpool shirt at Anfield should have been the number one point of discussion or the TAA goal in Germany but probably won’t be, more likely it will be “Will he stay or will he go” [Coutinho] mixed in with “Will we or won’t we sign a defender” [VVD or whoever].

Meanwhile the club are boasting about the new super store and telling fans the best way to travel to and from Anfield this season.  The tourists and the day-trippers no doubt need this information – only the club forgot to tell them the best place to buy a half ‘n half – whereas the diehards don’t need it, they’ll just turn up and take whatever’s on show focusing on what’s happening on the pitch not what’s on sale in or around the Fan Parks that are springing up.  As for me I’ll be doing weather watch hoping for a dry day to help with Fanzine sales – you do know what a Fanzine is don’t you?

A Fanzine gives the views of the fans, the diehard types who can remember the days when we didn’t panic each time the opposition thought about pumping a cross into our penalty area.  A Fanzine tries to be slightly more open about things like the Liverpool transfer policy, assuming Liverpool’s got a transfer policy.  Does the Director of Football – or whatever his tag is – Michael Edwards actually earn his undoubtedly high salary, does he in fact, exist?  After all we did little or no business in January and we haven’t exactly dominated the transfer activity pages since the dammed transfer window reopened on July 1st.  The latest Chief Executive Peter Moores jumped on board telling tales of how he watched the redmen when he was a lad – I think there’s a pre-ordained script now because Ian Ayre and Christian Purslow both cited similar on their CV apparently.  He was wowed by the volume of support for the club/team in the Far East but, although I could be doing him a disservice, he doesn’t seem overly pro-active in leading the club forward on the transfer front.  I heard somebody say – or maybe I read – the club don’t want quantity they want quality.  So the diehards and club agree on something only from our perspective is there any chance of seeing something done to deliver said quality?  Mister Edwards, Mister Moores anything to say?

One ordeal managers now need to cope with is the press conference which in Jürgen’s case will no doubt be a grilling on the Coutinho situation.  You can no detect signs of frustration creeping in when our manager gets asked the obvious question with an obvious answer.  Seven days into the season and on the back of a decent Euro result he [and we] shouldn’t be subjected to it all.  I wonder what the odds are on Coutinho still having a bit of backache.



Hoffenheim 1 Liverpool 2

It might not have been perfect but like Jürgen said, it was okay.  An away win in Europe regardless has to be seen as a good result but as the old cliché says, we’re only half way through.  In the greater scheme of things Hoffenheim aren’t one of the biggest clubs in Germany but they finished fourth in a division that might be on a par with the Premier League despite what the marketing bods think about the ours being the world’s greatest.  Last season they didn’t lose a home game and when you think sides such as Bayern and Dortmund had been there, that’s no mean feat.  I don’t think we played at our best but we still got the win and probably left disappointed about the goal we gave away, but we feel that way most games these days.  The penalty they had was a penalty and Lovren had made a couple of dodgy tackles by then but seconds before the reckless tackle the flag should have gone up for offside so Mignolet saving a penalty kick I might have still been able to save was justice of sorts.  It’s hard to think of Trent Alexander Arnold [TAA] as something of an answer to our defensive woes and he still makes errors of judgement when defending – see the Hoffenheim goal for example – but what a talent we seem to have on our books.  If he excites Steven Gerrard then he must be good!  The free kick he took and scored was almost out of our retired Captain’s album, nuff said.  James Milner might be forgiven for wondering why he can’t make the starting eleven at the moment but maybe he nudged the Kaiser in the back with his effort that gave us a two goal advantage at the time?  Yep it was deflected but who gives a toss. TAA was slightly guilty at stopping and waving for an offside flag when they pulled one back but he’s a fast learner for someone who’s of such tender years.  Manè was probably the best player in our side and he looks better now than before he got crocked in the ‘derby’.  So it’s all set up for next Wednesday, we could well live on our nerves but that’s par for the course these days.

Football Crazy By Graham Mack

English football clubs are missing out on revenue because of a dumb rule THEY agreed to more than fifty years ago.

We got news this week that it’s going to get harder to watch the Premier League on TV this season. A lot of people have been watching games on Kodi through PCs, X-Boxes, Google TV and Amazon Fire Sticks. It’s estimated that as many as a third of football fans watch soccer this way even though it’s illegal.

Now if you’re caught, you could have your online stream cut off. The High Court has issued a “blocking order”. Under this order, UK Internet Service Providers will have to stop people from illegally streaming matches. At the moment fans can only legally watch Premier League games if they pay for it with a Sky Sports and BT Sports subscription.

That sounds fair because Sky and BT have paid for exclusive rights. But what about the games that are not televised in Britain but are televised in other countries and pretty easy to find on the internet?

I’m talking about the games that are played on Saturday afternoons. The traditional kick-off time for soccer in the UK is 3pm on Saturdays but no games are televised at that time. It’s all because in the 60s, Bob Lord, the chairman of Burnley Football Club at the time, believed that allowing the broadcast of football at its most popular time would be detrimental to attendances at live games.

He gathered together the rest of the chairmen from the Football League and persuaded them all to agree to his suggestion that soccer should not be televised between 2.45pm and 5.15pm. So now when a network has bought the rights to a 3pm kick-off, the game is moved to a different time or different day, it gets ‘Skyjacked’.

No legal ruling has ever been put in place over this, but the Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League have continued to abide by this stupid rule ever since.

Sky and BT are worried about losing money because of illegal streams but what if you already pay for a BT and Sky subscription and your team is playing on Saturday at 3pm? The only way to watch the games on TV in the UK is illegally. If you do that, BT and Sky don’t lose any money, you’ve already paid them!

The real losers here are the clubs. They miss out on extra revenue because they’re not allowed to stream the 3pm Saturday games on their own TV channels and websites and charge fans around the world for the privilege. The irony is that in the UK, their own stupid rule has created a demand they can’t capitalise on.

Craic on!

Listen to the latest Mack Nuggets at;




Not a good week for the ticket office. First it seems that up to two thirds of the auto cup payments for Hoffenheim at home failed and fans were asked by the club to process the payments themselves; then the sales announcement for the away game told fans that they could collect or have tickets posted special delivery – except when you went to buy, the only option was to collect. The available for collection date (now called “fulfilment” – what American clap trap is that?) was provided via a link – except the only information was about Watford tickets. And finally, for the Hoffenheim home tickets, as they went on sale, “collect” was the only option. Except if you went to the ticket office to collect on the Friday i.e. 2 days after the initial sale, you were told they were being posted out.  I don’t think it is the ticket office to blame, but whoever runs the website isn’t dancing to the same tune.  Or someone has forgotten the season has started. Oh, I forgot – anyone travelling to Hoffenheim straight from Watford would have had to receive their tickets by last Friday – except those being posted weren’t being sent till the same Friday. And if you bought your tickets on the Thursday the collection day was Saturday – so how could you be at Watford? Why didn’t they just tell us to collect our tickets in Germany? Much easier all round.”

The Blog #1

On Friday night I watched Liverpool Under 23’s play away at Swansea at the Welsh clubs academy.  It was pouring with rain and the pitch looked a bit like it was set on a school playing field.  The Liverpool side was something of an assortment of players who’d been on loan last season but had returned but will probably be back on loan soon – either that or they will find a new club before the Transfer window is slammed shut.  Other had been upgraded from the Under 18’s and can be listed as ‘prospects’ – at least for now.  There was also Danny Ings.  Ings was returning after another long layoff and this was his first bit of action since last November.

Contrast the Ings situation with what else went on Around The Fields of Anfield Road on Friday.  It was the eve of the new season and we all knew about the Barça bids for Coutinho and the players desire to go to Cataluña.  The club had said no deal regardless but then Coutinho who was reported as being unfit for duty because of a bad back announced to the world he wanted a transfer and emailed the club requesting one.  Meanwhile his family [allegedly] said Liverpool don’t let players go amicably and cited Luis Suárez and Steven Gerrard.  It was all well and good them telling us how Coutinho loved the fans and the club but handing in – or emailing – a transfer request of the eve of the season smacked of someone who couldn’t give a toss about the fans or the club.

There can be no doubt as soon as the Neymar business began Coutinho would be earmarked by Barça as one possible replacement.  Players don’t have loyalty in great abundance these days although there may be a few still dotted around.  Neymar wasn’t considering the Barça position when he made it clear he was off and Coutinho isn’t in the slightest way bothered about what happens next at Liverpool if, and more likely when, he goes.  If this had occurred in May or June, our club could have got someone lined up but twenty four hours before the opening game and a crucial early season period coming up hasn’t left the club with many options but to try and stall things.  He’s not only upset the fans, he’s disrupted the club and possibly even the dressing room although his teammates usually know what’s going on anyway, maybe even before the club.

Jürgen has surely got enough on his plate trying to sort out the messed up defensive situations that should have been sorted a long time ago without having to think about who’s left in the market place to replace Coutinho?  As for the player if he does have any feelings for the club and the fans he would at least give us another year but I suppose his bank balance would be better if he went to Spain.  Barcelona’s always going to be a Champions League club but are they moving forward at the moment or slipping a bit further behind Real Madrid?  If they see Coutinho as the player who can get them going again then we know how much they got for Neymar so maybe we should be asking for nearly all their money from that deal for his replacement?  For Liverpool to find a suitable replacement at short notice won’t be cheap either.

Mind you, the club spent a good deal of time on Thursday telling us we’ve now got a shirt sleeve sponsor so goody goody.

Meanwhile after suffering the torment of another defensive nightmare I thought back to Danny Ings on Friday and what a contrast in attitudes.


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