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Editorial 253

Welcome to Issue 253 of Red All Over The Land.

I’ll just start off by thanking everyone who has contributed to Red All Over The Land during the past ten months or so, starting with the pre-season Issue at a baking hot Chester and concluding with this copy.

At the outset of the season I said if we could emulate last season and win a trophy then it would have been a good season.  Well we haven’t won a trophy as of yet but without fear of contradiction surely, this season has surpassed the dreams of the majority and certainly of those who still live in the real world?  If we miss out, and being honest, the chances are, as things stand, we will, nobody should even think about criticising Jürgen Klopp nor the squad because in just about any other season we’d have popped the champagne corks and boarded the open top bus weeks ago.  We’ve gone toe to toe with a Manchester City side constantly described as the best team of all time.  So if we did actually pip them, what would we be?

Then there’s Europe and as the Issue hits the streets around the fields we have the might of Barcelona looming.  Not just Messi but our darling Luis as well, plus, if you like, Phil Coutinho.  Cast your senses back to the time Brendan took us into the Champions League.  We failed to get past Basel and struggled to beat the likes of Ludogorets.  Yet here we are now, in the last four for the second successive season and already qualified for it again.

Throw into the mixer we’ve gone through the season without Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez has missed just about half.  We had to bed in Fabinho and Keita and that took time.  Now the bed looks as if it was made for them.  For the first time in maybe many Reds life the team is now littered with genuine world class players and those players have helped others come to the fore.  We go to games now feeling something special and expecting something special.  When was the last time that was happening?  Kenny’s team of 88 maybe?  Progress?  That’s progress.

So the future and what does it hold?  Sadly a question nobody can answer but the prospects look good.  FSG stay in the background and leave Jürgen to manage and the likes of Mike Gordon and Peter Moore to do what they have to do.  It all adds up doesn’t it?  I have high hopes for some of the younger players providing their heads aren’t turned by unscrupulous agents and I believe if Jürgen wants a player, then the money will be passed over.  On the other side, if a player wants to leave, we know we’ll get the real value and maybe a few dollars more.  We’ve stopped acting with the expertise of a Charity shop.

Finally, the sad thing about bringing this issue out is it feels incomplete.  I’m hoping to have to bring out a special summer special instead of the usual summer special and light years removed from the Shock Horror issues that accompanied the late 90’s.  Most of the time it’s been a pleasure to be selling around the fields of Anfield Road and the reasons for that are simple. Jürgen, the team and you.

JJP When my head is in the clouds I get a bit misty eyed.

Editorial 252

Welcome to Issue 252 of Red All Over The Land.

“How’s yer nerves” was what someone I knew used to shout at goalkeepers regardless of who they were or who they played for.  I would say at the moment mine are pretty good although each and every time I step into a football ground I do get the feeling my insides are having a go at the occasional summersault.  Because I didn’t watch the games against Manchester United, Everton or Fulham for varying reasons, I remained calm.  I thought getting something from both Old Trafford and Everton wasn’t too bad and the Fulham game was one I thought we’d win but not by the avalanche some were forecasting.    However, at the games against both Watford and Burnley I found it hard to stop fidgeting and that sort of stuff even though one was a comprehensive win and the other a pretty much routine.  I can’t believe we’ve stayed in contention for so long although on the other hand, when you’ve got the number of points we have at this stage of the season, you can’t help but feel we should be almost home and hosed.

This brings a different problem and one due to the world we now reside in.  Every little thing is scrutinised beyond belief, there’s talk of bottling it if we fail at a place such as Old Trafford and no matter what your source of information is, the question seems to be “Can Liverpool handle the pressure”.   Yet we’re in contention for a league title and not doing too badly in the European Cup [at the time of putting this issue together].  How can our manager be criticised for competing against the odds that saw Manchester City favourites to win just about every domestic pot going back in August.  We drew four games out of six and the critics  along with Social Media was having a whale of a time.  Had we won two and lost two of the drawn games they’d have probably said we’re doing better than expected simply because we’d have amassed more points.   Jürgen can’t win if he gets a draw but would have done if he’d lost a couple.   Weird world we live in.

The win in Munich was possibly one of our best European displays away from home for a long time.  Hopefully we can overcome Porto and look forward to a semi final and keep the season going.  It might look the best draw on paper but maybe Real Madrid thought that when they were paired with Ajax last time out and it’s Ajax who are still in the game.

Congratulations to the Under 18’s on reaching the Final of the FA Youth Cup, deserved reward for a pretty exciting season and something we should look forward to as fans.

Football’s had a few problems in recent weeks with fans getting on to the pitch and confronting players and things being thrown from the Stands at players and/or coaches.  The surprising thing has to be that the ones who do these things must surely know they’ll get caught although I’m not sure what’s happening with those who gave Sterling racial abuse at Chelsea or those who did likewise to Salah at West Ham.  I believe in recent years football’s tried to sweep such stuff under the carpet but now maybe its finally got to act.

Apologies for a few errors in the last issue, not been an easy time in the shed due to family concerns but anyway, hopefully this one comes out a bit better.   

JJP  Somebody said to me the other week, “It’s a good day for the race”.  I said “What race”.  They said, “The human race”.  I said, “Have you read the papers”?

Editorial 251

Welcome to Issue 251 of Red All Over The Land.

It would be fair to say in January we didn’t hit the heights we’d hit in December and it would appear everybody had a reason why.  Only in reality what we did in December was something exceptional and to have maintained such a level would have taken some doing.  The problem for the current Liverpool squad – and I include the manager in this – is it has set standards the vast majority didn’t expect, including the genuine fanbase.  As things stand at the moment we’re in a three way fight at the head of the table and instead of enjoying the fact the Premier Division has finally got a real live title race to savour all you read about is pressure.  Why should Liverpool be under pressure?  Back in August during a balmy summer the title race was a foregone conclusion before it started, another one-horse race.  Liverpool [and Tottenham Hotspur] should be commended for making the season what it currently is, not condemned for occasionally seeming to falter, like we did against Leicester and West Ham when we could only draw.

The one thing which came apparent during January was our squad is nowhere near as strong as maybe we’d been led to believe.  The Cup game against Wolves showed that but there can be no doubting injuries have taken their toll.  That’s not the fault of the management team, it’s a simple fact of footballing life.  I do think we were somewhat hasty in allowing Clyne to depart on loan but having said that, we’re not privy to what goes on behind the scenes.

Back in 1996 on FA Cup Final day some Evertonians were supposedly wearing T-Shirts claiming to be a ‘Manc For A Day’.  It might have brought a bit of scorn from the Red population of Merseyside and beyond but it came and went and that was that.  Yet what’s been going on in recent times, and this season in particular, is the almost hatred of Liverpool for having the nerve to challenge at the top.  I’m no fan of SSN which I view as nothing more than Tabloid Telly and their recent poll asking supposed fans of teams if they’d want their team to lose so as to stop their main rivals winning a league was something less than infantile and would have been had it been on the last day of the season.  To do it in February was nothing more than taking the game into the gutter.  However, SSN wouldn’t recognise shame if it sat next to Jim White in the studio.  A former Manchester United manager often accused the BBC of being Liverpool fans, one thing you could never accuse Sky of being is that.

It doesn’t seem all that long ago when we were begging in the High Court to set us free from the chains of Hicks and Gillett.  Administration and so much more looked us in the face.  In January 2011 we begged again, this time that the Boston Boys freed us from the morbidity of Roy Hodgson’s tenure of management.  That was pressure.  The recent financial results will probably be a one-off and there were many contributing factors.  The main one actually being, the ownership of the club and the management of the team.  I seem to recall the aforementioned TV channel in 2010 saying our supporters should worry more about the team instead of the owners.  Well look at us now!!!

JJP Somebody asked me why I like to live in the past, I said have you seen the present?

Editorial 250

Welcome to Issue 250 of Red All Over The Land.

When I first started out with Red All Over The Land I don’t think I had 250 issues in mind.   I was a bit gooey-eyed when I reached Issue 50.  My thanks to everyone who has supported Red All Over The Land down the years.

Had I been typing this editorial after the final game of 2018, even I would have found it hard not to be positive about football life.  Only things change quickly and as somebody once told me, “You’re only as good as your last game”, in which case if that had been after Wolves – eek!  Only we won down at Brighton and more Salah penalty controversy – or rather more rubbish.  Some pundits should get out a bit more and try and find a life.

When we kicked off December it was hard to visualise just where we were.  Two points adrift of The Sheiks Supreme but the experts still suggesting it was going to be a procession.  The wins against Everton [honest we did win], Burnley and Bournemouth were necessary to just keep on the tail of the Manchester City cloak of Invincibility.

What followed bordered on the exceptional.  The wins against the Salford Satanic Verses [bye José], Wolves on a wet Friday in the West Midlands followed by some sensational stuff against the Geordie’s and The Gooner’s – well like I said, if this was being written then?  All I can say is, I’ve seen some wonder stuff from Liverpool down the years, but what this team produced in December was up there with the greatest teams.

Losing against Manchester City hurt, it shouldn’t have done because they’re further down the road in terms of just about everything than we are, but it hurt nevertheless.  We didn’t deserve to win but the difference between the two sides was nothing more than marginal.

Even though we’re four points clear, I still think Citeh are favourites and the FA Cup loss at Wolves showed just how far we are behind in terms of depth of squad.  The win at Brighton didn’t raise excitement levels, but as they say, a win is a win.  It was a penalty.

There’s a long way to go but rest assured if we don’t win it, the likes of SSN will constantly remind us of another failure, its what they do so well.  I just hope we don’t buckle because this chance might not come again for a long time.

In 2014 I always viewed Chelsea as the trip hazard, plus the fact to have won the league we would have had to re-written even the Sky history book of football.  There are even more obstacles in our way this time around but I think Jürgen is slightly more streetwise than Brendan was.  We may need a siege mentality because that does help.

Just to make this Issue a tiny bit nostalgic, I’ve gone into the archives, reproduced the very first editorial and rehashed a few of the cartoon sketches from Fanzine history.  Thanks again.

JJP: Living in a world of my own, in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies

Editorial 249

Welcome to Issue 249 of Red All Over The Land.

As I put the final issue of 2018 together we’re top of the league but face a daunting few weeks to stay there as the insanity of the pre-New Year football schedule moves into overdrive.  We may or may not still be in the Champions League and we’ve got a not so tasty away date in the FA Cup at Wolverhampton.  Jürgen and his fellow managers have a point when they say it’s too much for the players but I don’t think too many fans find it easy either.  I’ve said it before, all it needs is someone with a functional brain to sit down and take a look and it can quite easily be sorted.  Only perhaps the fixture mayhem suits TV and if that’s the case its okay then.

It will come as no surprise, the derby gets a mention in this issue.  Football can change moods in the blink of an eye and there can be no doubt this game did just that.  However, after match comments can sometimes shame individuals who should know better.  The Everton supporting Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson was derisory and insulting in his post match tweet about some of our fans missing the winning goal because they were in a taxi on their way to JLA.  If he thought he was being funny, he wasn’t.  Just as bitter and twisted as some of the rest.

Some of the reactions to Jürgen’s celebration were as over the top as maybe the celebration itself.  I can remember back in 2009; we were hammering Aston Villa at Anfield and when we scored one of the goals the Sky camera panned on an almost motionless Rafa and words such as, “Come on Rafa, show some passion” were used.  Jürgen’s reaction was totally the opposite but it was just a reaction.  Let’s be honest, nobody in the ground expected the goal [see VvD] and the reaction of every Liverpool fan was the same as that of Jürgen, only we’re not allowed to run on the pitch.  As for former average footballer and now less than average pundit, Danny Mills to say, amongst other things, Klopp should have been arrested, well by comparison some of the things he did on a football pitch should have carried a life sentence.

Away from home this season in Europe we’ve not really showed up and by the time this Fanzine is on sale we’ll know our fate.  The worst possible case scenario could be finding ourselves in the Europa Cup and all of what that could bring.  On the other hand if we did find ourselves in the Europa would that finally give some of our younger players an opportunity or would it be something to try and win?  Or we could be out so would that help a title challenge?  Last season Europe was a spectacular show, this time around maybe that’s not the case.

I’d have preferred a better draw in the FA Cup not because it’s Wolves but not too many Premier sides want games against Premier sides in Round Three.  Clubs view the FA Cup now as more of a chore than anything but I’d still like to think we can win it.  Jürgen’s FA Cup record isn’t great so maybe he can think about improving it.

I don’t have a date planned for Issue 250 as yet, but when it comes out I will try and make it something of a special event. Reaching the 250 milestone wasn’t what I intended 23-years ago but it looks like it’s gonna happen.  For now, I’ll wish you all what you’d wish yourselves at this time of year and thanks for your support.

JJP: My dad once warned me about wine, women and song.  I should have listened, he drank, was in a band and married three times!!!

Editorial 248

Welcome to Issue 248 of Red All Over The Land.

Are you enjoying the season so far?  As I send this latest Issue to Mister Printer Liverpool have slipped to third in the table behind a rampant Manchester City and vastly improved Chelsea, but still haven’t lost.  However, to read some comments from across the spectrum, from fans, pundits and so-called experts et al we’re not really looking good enough to compete with Manchester City who are currently blowing teams aside with consummate ease.  We trail them by a couple of points but we’re the only side they’ve failed to score against.  I’m happy being a pessimist but even I understand we’re less than a third of the way through the season and we’re not doing too badly.  The next six or seven games might see a few twists and turns.  Maybe we won’t be able to run the mega rich City all the way, but then again…

Perhaps Manchester City are rewriting the history books in more ways than one?  Their support now view Liverpool as a bigger rival than Manchester United.  The day this Issue went on sale there was the Mancunian derby; in previous years of only minor interest to anyone outside Manchester but if we’ve beaten Fulham who will our support want to win?  Personally my only concern is Liverpool and if we continue to progress I couldn’t care less what happens when Salford and a team formerly from Moss Side lock horns.  As one of our former managers once said, “You can only win your own games” and that’s fact!

As far as we’re concerned maybe we’re not playing with the same intensity [as Brendan Rodgers might say] as we did last season but we’re actually doing a bit better in defence and how many years is it since we’ve able to say that?  A problem I have is when Jürgen goes off on one about International breaks and the number of games we’re facing over the next couple of months.  I fully understand where he’s coming from but it’s the same for every other club; in fact Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have it worse due to League Cup involvement.  Didn’t we invest in the squad to accommodate the fixture list?  As a supporter I don’t like it but until those who run the game in England find a link towards common sense we’ve got to live with it.

It’s the eve of the Red Star away game, a potential tough looking game in Serbia where a hostile reception seemingly awaited, so much so Jürgen thought it wiser to leave Xherdan Shaqiri at home simply because of his Kosovo background.  Says a lot about football today.

Well this is Issue 248, we’ve had some good sales of late but now winter is setting in and the fixture list is harder on Red All Over The Land than it is the team so it could be the final one of 2018.  However, we will see how things go.  If it is, festive greetings to everyone when it arrives.  If not we’ll repeat ourselves in the next one.  Now that’s pressure Jürgen.

Finally, the helicopter disaster at Leicester was a shock to everyone.  It’s a miracle it wasn’t even worse knowing the proximity of where it all happened.  I’m from Leicestershire and I know how the community has been affected.  It will take time for people to come to terms with it, if coming to terms with it is possible.

JJP: Living in a mans world but obeying the voice of a woman.

Editorial 247

Welcome to Issue 247 of Red All Over The Land.

This issue has come out earlier than anticipated – sales of Issue 246 were a bit better than expected, helped by the decent weather and no doubt the promotional blitz on Twitter which I’ve finally started to figure out after about five years.  However, like on the football front, I don’t anything for granted, winter is coming and if it’s anything like last winter it will be hard work standing around selling a Fanzine.  Even so, thank you to everyone who has helped spread the word and thanks to the new contributors who have come on board.

As I said, I don’t take anything for granted on the football front either but I do think the club is heading in the right direction.  If a warning light flashed it was maybe in the two games against Chelsea.  The League Cup game was an opportunity for some players to show Jürgen what they can bring to the show, but in reality it showed old habits die hard.  Cup competitions in the modern game have become opportunities for some players to showcase talents so going out the League Cup denies the likes of Curtis Jones and a couple of others any chance of featuring this side of January.  Sadly that’s the way it is; if anybody tells you going out the League Cup might be a blessing in disguise tell them to tell that to the players on the fringe.

The game at Chelsea saw us playing well and thankfully we got something from the game just when it didn’t seem likely.  I think the game showed it will be a bit harder this time around for the ‘famed’ Fun Boy Three to do what they did last season.  That’s why we need a player such as Daniel Sturridge to come in and give us other options and to use a quote used earlier in the season about Allison, Dancing Dan is an option, not a solution.  Back in the 13/14 season Daniel Sturridge was by far the best English striker in the game.  Injuries and other issues might have changed that but the two goals he scored against Chelsea could be proof he’s far from finished.  I don’t know if Jürgen needs any more convincing but all I can say is I’m glad he’s still with us.

The fixture list can be cruel or kind and at the moment for us, it seems to be one big game after another – Spurs, PSG, Chelsea [twice], Napoli and Manchester City hasn’t left us much time to breathe.  Mind you, I suppose it keeps everyone on their toes.  I don’t think there are easy games in the league and there never have been but they come with different pressures and different expectations which sometimes might be determined by how others view things.  A couple of weeks ago nobody seemed to be thinking Chelsea might be a title threat but now they’re thinking they could be.  It shouldn’t be a surprise, Chelsea’s side is stronger now than when they won the title just a season ago.

As far as we’re concerned I’d prefer we kept a lid on things and when I hear what Jürgen sometimes says, I think he’s of the same opinion.  If anybody thinks the title is going to be won in October I’d advise them to think again.  As for me, like with the resurgence of Fanzine sales, I’m sort of enjoying the ride.  That’s not be being positive because whenever I get positive there seems to be a trap set somewhere nearby.  What we’ve seen from this Liverpool side over the past couple of years has been a pleasure to watch, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get better.

JJP.  I always did what my parents told me, and look where I’ve ended up!

Editorial 246

Welcome to Issue 246 of Red All Over The Land.

This Issue had to go to Mister Printer before the game against Spurs but at the time we’d played four, won four and although it was far too early to have any genuine significance, we were top of the table.    With due respect to the sides we’ve played, they were four games we probably were expected to win but the forthcoming games fall into a different category.  If we’re still top come the October International recess then maybe we can take a totally different look at the landscape surrounding us?

I’ve heard and read so many debates about what Liverpool should achieve this season and the general prognosis seems to be we should be the main challengers to Manchester City in the title race.  It’s also been suggested Jürgen Klopp has to win a trophy regardless and if he did, wouldn’t it be wonderful?  The Kaiser could sleep easy knowing the monkey was off his back and later in life he would be able to look back on his Anfield career as a success.

However, here’s a little conundrum I’m not going to try and answer; I’ll leave it to whomever.  Liverpool push the eventual title winners to the wire but get nudged out in a thrilling photo finish.  Unfortunately we fail in the domestic Cups and after a valiant effort we fall short in Europe.  How would such a season be viewed in nine months time? Success or failure?  Or we finish fifth in the league but win one, or two Cups.  Success or failure?

I ask this because one so-called journalist was belittling Jürgen saying he had to win something.  However, he also said José Mourinho was more successful last season because Manchester United finished second but won nothing, than the previous season when they finished fifth, but won two trophies.  I wish these experts would define success.

The draw for the Champions League made interesting reading.  PSG are another of the mega rich giants of the game in terms of money if not history; it will be a tester.  For those who thought Roma was like being thrown into the Lions den, the trip to Napoli could make Rome feel like a tea party.  Forget the pre-season knock about.  Those of us old enough to remember will know what Red Star Belgrade used to be about.  Serbia, a wonderful place to go in the warmer times, but not sure about November and apparently their support might rival that of Napoli.

The transfer window all over the world has finally taken time off until January but we didn’t unload the players we thought we might so Herr Klopp has a few additional bodies to call on should he need to.  I was a bit surprised but in contrast, this time last year we were short on numbers, now we’re not.  We’ve got a mixture it would seem of quality and quantity but how much we’ll see of some of them remains to be seen.

Finally this Issue of Red All Over The Land has an extra eight pages and at no cost to anyone except the Fanzine.  We’re trying to promote local businesses like HSOAB and HOMEBAKED – the info inside is self explanatory.  Oh yes, and news of our festive cards.  We’re getting new contributors as well so it all helps to [hopefully] make the Fanzine better.  Not only that but we’ve increased the print run. Wow, I hear you say!!!!

JJP…Like some football managers, I want to play Mind Games but I’m missing a few pieces.

Editorial 245

Welcome to Issue 245 of Red All Over The Land.

There was a time when the close season and pre-season was more or less the same thing but it’s not like that in the current climate.  Pre-season fixtures almost create a mini-season and every year it seems to take on a different significance.  The build up started on a scorching hot day on the Welsh borders in Chester and finished nine games later at Anfield.  Most of the time however, the games told us very little because players returned from their summer exploits at different times with Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson [plus Simon Mignolet] not being back until a week before the season would start.  We’re not on our own with several other clubs being in the same situation.  With 2018 being a World Cup year and 2019 being a non-competitive International summer you’d have thought the powers that be might have considered starting the season a week or two later?  From where I sit, it would have been the sensible thing to do but when it comes to football administration, the sensible is the last thing on the minds of those who govern.

Due to the unavailability of so many players we got the chance to see a few of the Academy lads showing what they had to offer.  Unfortunately because of the haphazard way football below first team level is run most of them will have to be farmed out on loan to get a ‘real’ game – either loaned or off-loaded and that’s not how it should be.  However, as players started to return things on the pitch looked better and the show in Dublin was exactly that, a show.    I know Napoli weren’t what Napoli would be in a real fight but nevertheless, it was some performance.  I quickly discounted the games against the two prides of Mancunia because their line-ups didn’t reflect anything like what they will field and neither did ours.  Only in Dublin we weren’t too far away.  Due to time constraints and space, our Dublin review couldn’t make this issue.

We’ve made four new signings and all four should enhance the strength of the team and, more importantly, what we have as back-up.

So what can we expect?  I find it amusing to read about Liverpool challenging Manchester City for the title because who said Manchester City are going to be the team to catch again this time around?  Just concentrating on last season’s top-six, none of those are going away and West Ham have been out on a spending spree as have others.  If we can go close to replicating what we achieved last season, to me it would represent success even if the media might be shouting differently.  It’s not a case of lowering expectations it’s just a case of being realistic.  Mind you, a trophy of sorts would be nice.

From a Fanzine point of view it was a decent summer with subscriptions at a five year high and I’m hoping they will continue to show improvement.  However, putting this Issue together hasn’t been easy as there have been a few ailments recorded in the shed.  You get the long hot summer you’ve craved for but you can’t enjoy it like you want to.  It makes you sick – well it did me.

JJP…They say there’s always someone worse off than yourself; I doubted it until José Mourinho came on telly.

Editorial 244

Welcome to Issue 244 of Red All Over The Land.

Well here we are and here we go…again.  A few pre-season friendly games to whet the appetite for when it all begins for real.  Surely, after last seasons wonder stuff everyone must be looking forward to another campaign?  Even the pessimists have been overcome by shorts bouts of optimism.

We have say something about THAT night in Kiev.  Yes, we lost but if there’s ever a case of pointing to what might have been, THAT night was it.  Losing Mo Salah at a time when we looked Masters of our own Destiny was cruel.  Cruel for the player, cruel for the team and cruel for the support.  As some feared, we just hadn’t got the back up to cope with such a situation.  Despite the propaganda machine many feared Loris Karius was the proverbial accident waiting to happen and he was.  Its a situation only those in control can rectify.  What was more of an embarrassment was the ‘concussed’ debate.  We allegedly have a top rate medical team on hand.  If what was said about the state of Karius is true, what were the medical team doing?

Last season was a success because we not only reached the final of what is becoming the most important competition in football [including the World Cup] we’ve qualified to compete in it again.  Some of the football witnessed was of a stunning quality.  To finish where we did we had to head off the likes of the defending Champions, Chelsea and Arsenal.  If you study the financial resources of both London teams, putting their noses out of joint wasn’t an easy task.

At the time of putting this pre-season issue together we’ve only signed Fábio Henrique Tavares who you may know as Fabinho and he will take his place in the squad alongside Naby Keita.  Naturally we’ve been linked with a Armada sized fleet of others but as always this Fanzine will continue to ignore every rumoured coming or going – until, if and when, the rumour becomes fact.

As far as RED ALL OVER THE LAND is concerned, little or nothing has changed.  Certainly not the price.  We’d like a couple of hundred new subscribers but there’s no point in living in dreamland because when you wake up that’s all it was, a dream.  On the subject of subscribers, thanks to everyone who took time out of their summer schedules to re-subscribe.  Subscriptions are the lifeblood of a Fanzine and those who subscribe are the salt of the earth.  We’d love more sellers because there’re so many nooks and crannies around the fields of Anfield Road that we can’t cover but we’ll carry on trying to attract new members to our sales force.  I’m trying to keep the website updated, along with the Facebook page and Twitter accounts but time isn’t always standing by my side.  Having said all that I’m going to carry on for as long as I can and try to improve a few things.

This issue is a something of a recap – it was always going to be but hopefully, it’s a decent read and makes a bit of sense somewhere along the line.

JJP…Some say I live in the past; but isn’t that where everybody comes from?

Editorial 243

Welcome to Issue 243 of Red All Over The Land

Well, we’ve made it to the end of another season and on the Fanzine front it’s been something of a pain but that’s nothing to do with anyone apart from myself, my PC and the world of technology.

If, over the next few weeks, we secure a top four finish then, coupled with reaching the semi finals of the European Cup [sounds better] the season will have been a magnificent success.  Some of the football we’ve witnessed this season has been a pleasure to watch.  We did wonder, back in October if things were going in the right direction, performances such as the one at Wembley against Spurs was hard to take but when the season started to take off it was almost rocket like.  Yes, there were the occasional blips that made us question things but this time they were just blips and quickly passed through the system.  Look, even I’ve enjoyed the football.

Those two nights against Manchester City have been allowed entrance to folklore and the home game will sit comfortably alongside any other great Anfield occasion.  Unfortunately, there was the infamous welcoming committee for the visitor’s coach and as suggested in Issue 242 illogical comparisons to Hillsborough [and Heysel] were levelled against our support.  If anyone connected with Manchester City thought it was bad, they might get an eye opener should they ever go to places like Istanbul where its not just a coach that gets welcomed at a ground, it starts at the airport.  The Anfield welcome was mild by comparison to some.

Nothing should detract from the football Liverpool served up at Anfield.  We were playing against the team touted as one of the greatest of all time and one that’s currently by far the best side in England and, we outclassed them.  I don’t care what the stats and percentages said because as regular readers, and we have a few, know, stats and percentages are for the misguided [being polite].  In Manchester we took an early knock, took a bit of a shelling but as historians may tell you, those who win the battle don’t always win the war.  City cried foul, blamed the referee but the history books will tell it so well, Aggregate score: Manchester City 1 Liverpool 5.  Once we’d got on the scoreboard we were as comfortable as we’d been at Anfield.

Credit to the travelling masses who not only filled the away end but also a tidy percentage of the home seats.  The celebrations at the end didn’t just tell the story, they shouted it.  The games against Roma will be another story.

In between must have been the most low-profile derby possibly ever?  The 0-0 draw didn’t really bother us, didn’t please them and the only talking point was Rooney’s utterances to Fat Sam when subbed and that’s of no concern to us.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the Fanzine throughout the season.  We hope to be back next season, same price as last season and all that stuff.

JJP. Living some crazy dream.

Editorial 242

Welcome to Issue 242 of Red All Over The Land.

I can’t be certain but thanks to the International break I think this is the first time we’ve brought an Issue of the Fanzine out which covered just one game – the show in the snow v Watford.  It doesn’t mean things aren’t happening because in the modern version of football, indeed life, there’s always something going on and, if you’re not careful, they can dominate your mind.  It’s also been a bit on the stressful side as well, bloody computer went down and had to do everything via a laptop so any grammatical errors please don’t blame me?  All the settings changed and there was some head banging going on.  Believe me when I say things like that can dominate your mind.  I just hope the quality of printing worked out okay.

The deeds of Mo Salah have captured headlines all over Europe and every time he scores a goal we think the world is such a wonderful place.  Then we read the headlines, the twitter leaks, blogs or the thoughts of someone allegedly in the know: “Real Madrid to bid….name your figure”.  It’s been anywhere between £150m and £250m and if its not going to be Real Madrid it could be PSG.  It annoys; it irritates and eventually it could unsettle the player and that’s what it’s designed to do.  There those in our midst who will read, listen and believe.  It won’t matter if the club comes out and says he’s not for sale at any price; because they said the same about Suárez and Coutinho.  Spurs will be having the same issues surrounding Harry Kane; rumours are an ill the game can’t stop.  It works both ways; you can see that by the number of players we get linked with.  I’m not sure how many goalkeepers we’ve got lined up, but it must be four or five.  I don’t do rumour.  I try to deal only with facts; but you can’t get away from it, rumour gets everywhere.

It’s been said that just finishing in the top four won’t really be a success this season and the words of Arsene Wenger about it being like a trophy echo mockingly in a deafening crescendo – how I wish he’d never said it.  What finishing in the Champions League qualification spots would show is, how far we’ve come since The Kaiser arrived.  Jürgen Klopp has rebuilt this team but there’s still a lot of work to do.  I still harbour reservations about the goalkeeper; about the central defensive pairings and I believe Jürgen is still inclined to tinker with the midfield trying to find the best combination.  Although I don’t enjoy the phrase, we are ‘Work in progress’.  If we finish outside the top four it would be a disappointment but getting a top four slot would be an achievement and I feel we deserve at least that.

This issue went to print before the Palace game at Selhurst and that’s just one of a tough looking April fixture list.  The two games with Citeh will certainly be a test of endurance but their playing resources have rightly seen them listed amongst the favourites but we can only hope and, if your inclined, say a little prayer.

On Social Media, another of the games bugbears, there’s been stuff about how our supporters intended to welcome the Manchester City team and it gained the expected response from Manchester City supporters and the Manchester Evening News.  Naturally the rest of the media cottoned on to it and like Manchester City fans and the Mancunian papers they’ve brought Hillsborough into the equation.  Personally I doubt we could intimidate Manchester City, after all they went to Napoli and won and no matter what we may try to do, we’re a long way short of a Neapolitan level of intimidation.  Let’s do our bit inside Anfield, that’s what really helps.

JJP.  Taking up straw-clutching as a pastime.

Editorial 241

Welcome to issue 241 of Red All Over The Land.

Despite what happened at the Stadium of the Damned there should still be a good feeling around the Fields of Anfield Road.  I was going to say negativity had left the building but after losing against the second best team in Manchester, some will start casting shadows of doubt.  In the modern world it’s the norm.  I know I’m not seen as the most positive of souls but I’ve always maintained I’m a realist and I realistically think we’re doing okay.  We were never going to challenge for the title but a place in the top four, if we achieve it, would be good.

Unfortunately the draw for the Quarter Finals of the prized European competition didn’t take place until this Issue had more or less gone on sale but whoever we ended up with should make April worth looking forward to.  That, and a nice friendly ‘derby’ of course which, thanks to the inadequacies of the FA could turn out to be slightly more hostile than usual.

For the FA to say they weren’t charging Bobby Firmino with anything was fine but for them to include the untidy addition of, “Because there was insufficient evidence” left a Grand Canyon sized yawning gap.  Only to be fair to the FA they were probably busy trying to get their feet out their mouths after one their own compared ‘The Star of David’ with a ‘Swastika’ when trying to find a way of  justifying their hounding of Pep Guardiola.  I’m surprised they haven’t thought up a way of telling us we can’t sing one of the Mo Salah songs because it suggests we could become followers of the Muslim faith?

The performance in Porto rendered the second leg to be more or less a dead rubber.  The showings at Anfield against West Ham and Newcastle were two extremes.  Against West Ham we scored four, might have had eight and even had David Moyes mentioning our name without the sneering, snivelling overtones he may have used when at Goodison.  The win against Newcastle could be described as workman like.  We didn’t really have to break sweat which, on a day when the temperature rarely exceeded freezing would have been hard.  Our second game with Porto was exactly what it was always going to be and that’s understandable.  It was good to hear the appreciation from the Anfield faithful with some good songs and a fair amount of humour as well.   Compare that too the game at The Etihad the following night where boos rang out.

I know there are people who think FSG aren’t the right people to have control of financial matters at Anfield suggesting the club doesn’t spend enough and they have turned Liverpool into a selling club.  Odd that because the only two genuinely high profile players sold by the club in the past five years are Luis Suárez and Philippe Coutinho – both wanted to go.  Yet a club such as Chelsea spend far more on players than Liverpool; sell more high profile players than Liverpool and then we hear their manager whinging they haven’t spent enough and that’s why he sent out a team at The Etihad to try and keep the score down.  And he’s moaning about Roman Abramovich remember; the man who started this crazy war.

I’m not going to say anything about what Jamie Carragher did after the game in Manchester.  It’s nothing to do with Liverpool, all down to Carra and Sky.

 JJP Wondering where the fine line that divides insanity and genius is.

Editorial 240

Welcome to issue 240 of Red All Over The Land.

This was due out v Spurs but circumstances beyond our control interfered.  Hopefully, it’s a case of better late than never.

This team of ours has often gone from one extreme to another and it’s surely tested more than the patience of Reds everywhere.  There’s a cliché in football which likens some clubs to a ‘Yo-Yo’ meaning they fluctuate between divisions but it’s something which could describe this Liverpool team as it fluctuates between the sublime and the ridiculous almost on a weekly basis – no make that during a game, I’ve just remembered Arsenal and Seville!  For every Manchester City performance there seems to be a Swansea lurking and that’s without thinking about the exhilarating and the abject displayed in the FA Cup.  Yet as this issue goes to print we’re third in the table.  So despite all the brown stuff which hits the fan when we don’t win, The Kaiser and his troops must be doing something right.

We’ve now seen VAR first hand and if you go back to the game against Tottenham, maybe we’ve seen it second hand as well.  As far as I could see, all it did was complicate matters further and maybe highlight a problem we have in the Premier League with the standard of refereeing.  It was there to help, but the way referee Craig Pawson used it, it was like it took control of everything but his stop watch.  It wasn’t being used v Spurs but had it been, a confused looking Jonathon Moss might have ended up in a padded cell.  Mind you there were about 50,000 in the ground who thought he should have been in a prison cell.

The closing of the Transfer Window seems a long time ago but the Fall Out could stay until we see where we end up come May.  The Wise ones said we should have gone out and spent big on a replacement for Coutinho but I don’t recall any of them actually saying who we should have bought?  Others said we shouldn’t have sold the player but what’s the point in holding someone against their will?  I didn’t like they way Coutinho tried to manipulate his way out in the summer but once back in the fold he delivered some goods.  He wanted to go, same as VvD wanted to leave Southampton.  Blame shouldn’t be heaped on FSG because it would appear Jürgen was reasonably content with it all.  It doesn’t make the manager an FSG mouthpiece or their puppet, as some have suggested, because he has to be trusted.  He and the club were right not to spend, spend and spend in January and any signing knocks the younger players we have coming through further down the pecking order.

At the time of sending this to Mister Printer the FA still hadn’t come to any decision regarding Bobby Firmino following his altercation with Everton’s Mason Holgate.  Five weeks have passed and although the FA aren’t actually known for their swiftness this time they’ve taken dragging their feet to another level.  I thought about getting them a mobility scooter!

JJP Still trying to draw conclusions on the wall

Editorial 239

Welcome to Issue 239 of Red All Over The Land.

Where to start?  Inside four weeks we’ve had disappointment and elation in the ‘derby’.  We’ve had Seville revisited at The Emirates.  We’ve finally signed the defender we all hope will be an answer to many a Kopite’s prayer but we’ve sold Coutinho and Emre Can has told us he might prefer Italia to England.   Throw in the fact we’ve crammed in eight games since the last issue came out and had to survive Christmas and New Year indulgencies but beating Everton in the Cup sort made it all worthwhile.

Going back to the first ‘derby’ I thought the Everton support was a disgrace and it’s time Everton Football Club did something about their supporters chanting ‘Murderers’ and ‘Always the victim’ which are now common place when they come to Anfield.  I know a fragment of our support can be as bad as any but there were nearly 3,000 Evertonians at Anfield and just about all of them joined in.  See the article by Semolina Pilchard in this issue.

The signing of VvD had been on the cards for a long time.  However, when he did finally sign the suddenness of it must have taken a few by surprise.  Although it had nothing to do with them Sky ran a poll to see if their viewers thought the price was too high.  Maybe we should conduct our own poll to find out if anyone thinks the Sky presenters are worth what they get paid because I know how I’d vote.  The facts are, as Jürgen said, the market sets the price and I dare say everyone who bought a gift for a loved one at Christmas also paid over the odds but SSN didn’t run a poll on that.  I don’t care what he cost, the winning goal against Everton shut the Blue Brethren up and you can’t put a price on how much that’s worth.

We should all applaud Rhian Brewster for his bravery in speaking out on the matter of racism in football.  Unfortunately we will have a problem on our hands if Bobby Firmino said anything untoward to Holgate after being shoved into the crowd.  If he did, then he will have to face the consequences; he knows that and so does the club.

As far as matters on the playing front go we’ve had a mix of everything.  What happened at The Emirates wasn’t really a shock; it’s how we’ve been playing for a long time now.  The draw with Everton definitely felt like a defeat but the draw with WBA didn’t feel like anything.  We’ve even dug out a few wins which is something different and a look at the league table and the fact we’ve progressed in two Cup competitions show Jürgen is getting things sorted.

Looking forward I’m hoping we’ll invest the Coutinho cash wisely and if you look at the players who have come to club since Jürgen arrived they’ve not been too bad.  I don’t do speculation nor do I have a wish list so let’s just leave it to the manager and the club.

There’s been so much happening I have had to hold a few things over until the next issue like the continuation of Mark Platt’s excellent publication, ‘The Red Journey’ and I was going to do a review of 2017 but space just wouldn’t permit.  That’s how it goes sometimes.  Just to add, some of the articles arrived before the departure of PC, which is another problem Fanzines have with the January sales!

JJP Don’t do New Year Resolutions, prefer Revolution.

Editorial 238

Welcome to Issue 238 of Red All Over The Land and seasonal greetings.

It’s not been the best month I’ve ever had in Fanzine Land.  Circumstances beyond my control caused a delay in getting this issue out for the Everton game.  After selling reasonably well against Southampton, I hoped it would be the same v Chelsea but the weather felt almost arctic and ended up too cold to hang around the fields of Anfield Road.  Stoke away was the same and then at Brighton the stewards adopted the “We’re Little Hitler’s and you can’t sell here” approach.  I couldn’t afford to turn a couple of hundred copies into pulp although some might think it a good idea.  I hope everybody who buys the Fanzine or subscribes understands my predicament.  I apologise for any errors in this issue.  Time hasn’t been my best buddy either.

For more reasons than just football Seville turned out to be something of a nightmare thanks to the Spanish Police, Seville Stewards and Alberto Moreno.  I’ve heard many stories of how the police and stewards spoilt what was a good trip and away from the arena, one enjoyed by the supporters who travelled.  As far as Alberto is concerned it’s like somebody said, “What did you expect?”

On the other hand it’s been raining goals at the right end and Mo Salah has looked the find of the century and if he doesn’t get them, we’ve plenty of others who will.   The performance against Spartak Moscow was a sheer delight to watch and everything seemed to be as we would want it to be.  This team of ours doesn’t really play ‘The Liverpool Way’ but it does appear to play the Jürgen way?  I’m still not 100% sure what that is.

I have to say Philippe Coutinho, like Suárez before him has paid his dues and forgiveness has been granted.  The world of football is a world of rumour so it’s best to just ignore them and wait and see.

The FA Cup draw gets mentioned, well it could hardly be ignored but I for one wish it had been someone else other than the Blue Brethren.  Even though we delayed this issue we don’t know what the European Cup draw served up, but whoever we got will give us something to talk about over Yuletide and beyond.

Unfortunately January brings Jim White back into focus and the Transfer Window. Thirty days of more rumour.  I don’t do wish lists even at this time of the year because it’s all pointless, but at least one defender would be nice, two a bonus.  Over to the money men then.

Having started off on a depressing note in the world of Fanzines I must say 2017 hasn’t been too bad.  Fresh people are getting involved albeit slowly and we could do with a lot more people selling.  There’s also the world of social media we should be exploring in more depth.  Twitter, Facebooks, a Website, and anything else that arrives in the world of new technology.  If you can help please get in touch!

I do say this more or less every year but I don’t know how much longer I can carry on.  However, whilst I still enjoy doing it I won’t pack up and getting to Anfield regardless of the weather and selling Red All Over The Land makes the trip worthwhile.  You meet amazing people there.

 JJP Standing in the corner like Christmas Past!

Editorial 237

The game down at Wembley was like getting a kick in the breadbasket from a hobnailed bovver boot.  Tottenham happened in front of a worldwide TV audience; it happened in front of the biggest ever crowd to watch a Premier League game inside a stadium; there was no hiding place.  Maybe it wasn’t as bad as the 6-1 loss v Stoke in 2015; or maybe it was because there’s been an increase in the level of expectation since that day.  In the editorial of Issue 236 I said we couldn’t blame the manager for players missing chances but there are times when those behind the scenes, including the managerial and coaching staff, plus whoever makes up the so-called Transfer committee etc; do have to take some of the blame.  After the loss to Stoke we thought something might be done to sort out the defence.  Two and a half years on, we’re still waiting.  I’ve spent time watching the Under 23 side recently and there’s no defenders who look likely to make the next step and if there’s anyone in the Under 18’s they’re a few years away but in all honesty we can’t wait any longer.  The January transfer window will soon be available and it could be a watershed in the current regimes time at Anfield.  Get it wrong again then, like at Wembley, there will be no hiding place.

The social media rubbish towards Dejan Lovren and his family was a disgrace but unfortunately players leave themselves open to these situations by simply being involved and often contributing to all the modern day outlets which are there.  Of course, that’s no excuse.

Thankfully we’ve now seen the back of the detested International breaks until next spring.  What we now face is a glut of fixtures which will test our resources to the limit.  In the main there will be two games a week right through until the end of January including the Festive period when English football goes into overdrive.  Thankfully Sky saw sense – which is an amazement in itself – and decided against the Christmas Eve fixtures but just to show their contempt for supporters we now meet Arsenal on a Friday night when all supporters, not just Liverpool’s will have travel issues.

When we played Manchester United recently a few things disappointed and they get a mention in this issue.  One has to be the atmosphere and I don’t want to offend any Liverpool supporter who’d travelled across continents to get to the game but when locals CAN’T get a ticket and others who’ve been regular match goers for years CAN’T get a ticket it’s annoying when you arrive at Anfield and the first two lads you see are making their first visit, have tickets and wearing the obligatory tourist half ‘n half.  No matter how the club want to view things, this can’t be right can it?

JJP…Wants to travel through time buts treads through treacle

Editorial 236

September wasn’t a good month for our team was it?  It probably doesn’t come remotely close to being the worst month we’ve endured result wise but when it came to frustration it wasn’t far from the upper echelons.

Of course in football today when things don’t go as fans want, it’s usually the manager who gets the blame and Jürgen’s had his turn in the barrel.  Only is that fair?  To me the problems we have are down to the players on the pitch; it’s as simple as that.  We all know about the defensive situation and we all have our views on the goalkeeping rotation lark.  Yet our worry hasn’t been just about conceding goals, it’s also been the failure to score – and I doubt anybody foresaw that as an area of concern.  The words, “We should have been out of sight” have been uttered after almost every game other than Manchester City.  There’s no point in singling out any individual because the problem is a collective one.  Against the Geordies we seemed to lack conviction, the players seemed mentally lethargic but at the end of the day, we didn’t win simply because we failed in front of goal.

Maybe another problem is a lack of leadership on the pitch.  During the reign of Rafa we had inspirational leaders throughout the team.  Starting with Pepe Reina who let everyone know what he demanded.  There was Carra and Hyypiä.  There was Gerrard, even Alonso and Mascherano.  We don’t have that now.  This may read like a pot shot at Henderson but I don’t see him from the same mould and I don’t see anyone else either.  You don’t just need strikers and defenders etc; you need leaders.

I see the pundits and experts have just about written off our chances.  According to them we won’t win nor challenge for the title – I don’t know who told them we would.  The armchair fan is the same and accordingly even a top four spot could prove beyond us.  All after seven games!  Contrary to some opinions I’m neither a pessimist nor cynic.  I see myself as a realist.  I know our financial clout is way behind that of the Mancunian clubs.  Don’t blame The Kaiser or FSG for that.  Ask yourself, could [or would] Guardiola or Mourinho manage now without money at their clubs disposal?

In the previous issue there was fair bit of stuff thrown in the direction of Phillipe Coutinho.  Since his transfer wish wasn’t granted he’s been our best player only the saga isn’t being allowed to fade away.  The rumours/stories or whatever about Barcelona being prepared to give an agent £9m if he could broker a deal tells us more about the game today.  I don’t think the word ‘corrupt’ even comes close.

The story about Sky contemplating a game on Christmas Eve shouldn’t have surprised anyone.  The outrage from supporters groups is admirable but like last season when festive games were being switched for the benefit of both Sky and BT, with total disregard for supporters [and players], we said, it’s the price clubs pay when they sell their soul.  Remember Liverpool v Manchester City, New Years Eve?  Clubs should find the guts to unite and tell the TV moguls to go and screw themselves.  Only when the TV boys have a lust to satisfy in far flung corners of the world such as South East Asia and the like, it ain’t gonna happen.  TV money has also ‘corrupted football’.  They are the pipers; clubs simply dance to their tune.  Supporters don’t come into it!

JJP….I know God is the answer but what was the question

Editorial 235

Welcome to Issue 235 of Red All Over The Land.

This issue contains plenty of comment regarding the Coutinho saga which isn’t surprising.  The whole situation was disappointing and became something of a Soap Opera at a time when the only thing which should have mattered was football.

There has always been and always probably will be, a transfer system and going back into the very distant past there was the occasional controversial matter which cropped up.  Only in the current world its gone further than being just controversial.

Nobody should have any problem with anyone wishing to better themselves, it happens in every walk of life and football is no different.  Only in the normal world, from which all sport seems far removed, we don’t usually pledge ourselves to a company or cause via a contract and unless there are extenuating circumstances contracts should be binding.  Extenuating circumstances don’t include players holding clubs to some sort of ransom or vice versa.

Surely the worlds governing bodies should be able to come up with some solution to remove not just the controversy but also the acrimony which seems to follow and, in many cases, the childish behaviour of all involved.  I believe agents came into football to help players protect their interests; now they’re nothing more than a curse on the game.  Then again, the governing bodies are as corrupt as anyone so it’s never going to happen.  It’s a part of football which should be filed under ‘Sick Society’.

On the real football front, before the debacle at The Etihad there had probably been more positives than negatives.  I was happily thinking Jürgen might have a few selection posers which is better than having a few posers for selection.  Only then the negatives came flooding back.  I’m paranoid about our defence and goalkeepers and I don’t think I walk alone.

Even so we have to look forward to seeing how this team evolves.  No matter how I feel when a result goes against us – and I can be just about the worst person to be with during a game – I accept The Kaiser is building for the long term; not the short.  Too many demand the instant fix; including the media and pundits.  We’ve tried the instant fix, it doesn’t work.  Anyway, I had to send this to Mister Printer the day after the Manchester City game, so I couldn’t dwell on it too much and I’m glad about that.

We’re entering a strange period for this Fanzine, too many away games.  After the game with Burnley we could have six out of the following seven away from Anfield and as much as I’d love to, we won’t be selling in Moscow or Maribor and with Tottenham playing at Wembley I’m not sure how things will go there.  The idea is to have a new one out for the pleasurable visit of the Satanic lot from Mancunia but we’ll have to see how things go.

Finally on the game at The Etihad what Sadio Manè did wasn’t intentional and I sincerely hope City’s ’keeper is okay and gets back into action soon.

JJP…thankful I don’t live in Wayne’s World.

Editorial 234

Welcome to issue 234 of RED ALL OVER THE LAND.

This Fanzine will have gone on sale the day we opened at Watford but as I prepared to send it to Mister Printer’ in the wake of a 3-1 win over the team formerly known as Atlético Bilbao and accepting our pre-season form hadn’t been too bad even allowing for the fact it was just friendly football there seemed as much uncertainty around as there was when the final whistle blew against Boring Boro last May.  I don’t think I’m alone in thinking we’d have signed a centre half by now but despite checking forums, websites, official and unofficial sources, we haven’t; although we could – or could not – still be signing Virgil van Dyke; that was a first class cock up wasn’t it?  Have 125 years of the Liverpool Way come to this?  Bodies are spinning in graves!!!  We did sign a full back at a slightly lower price than others who swapped allegiances and no matter how much they cost, we’ll be told to give them time.

There also must be some surprise about the fact we don’t seem to be able to sell either.

However, the damned transfer window still has a few weeks to run so maybe by the time it closes we’ll know a bit more and let’s hope Phillipe Coutinho hasn’t been lured away for anything less than £125m – in fact I hope he’s not been lured away.

Of those we acquired Salah has looked good but the best bit of business could be the signing of Dom Solanke.  I’m getting old but the thought of him and Ben Woodburn running wild in Liverpool shirts in a few years time might keep me going for a little bit longer.

The cost of players nowadays has gone absolutely daft and although I’d have expected us to have recruited a centre half and a class full back there has to be a realistic price we should pay.  It’s often been said every player has his price and that’s true.  That price is a sensible one.  It’s time FIFA and UEFA got off their oversized backsides and started making sure sanity comes back to the game…some hope, especially when the insane run the game.

Anyway you will be pleased to know RED ALL OVER THE LAND hasn’t increased in price.  The cost of printing has, the cost of posting it to subscribers has, but just like when we thought Harry Kewell was good value in 2003 so we put the price up, now we don’t think anyone’s worth the money so we’re keeping the price down.  And that sounds daft as well.

So we start our latest Euro campaign in Germany which, no doubt, will please The Kaiser, he seems happier in Germany.  Firmino will be looking forward to going back as well and no disrespect to Hoffenheim but it’s better than having to go to Turkey…in Euro terms it’s just down the road.  Nicer beer as well!

In this issue we’ve back tracked to the end of last season, had someone at the post season game in Sydney and tapped into bleary eye-witness accounts from the German leg of world tour.  We’ve also had nights in the company of Terry Mac and Jimmy Case.  We had someone sat in front of a screen trying to understand why the club now question your loyalty by telling you can’t have a ticket for this game or that game because…  Probably because someone in China wants one or Thomas Cook feel like overcharging some poor misguided soul who thinks they’re getting a bargain.

JJP…still living in a dark world & looking for light

Editorial 233
Sorry there’s no ‘Guest Editorial’ this time but space was a bit tight so you’ve got to put up with me.
Well here we are, the final issue of the season and all things being favourable we’ll be back with Red All Over The Land in August. The price of the Fanzine won’t change but rising costs of postage has had a small impact on overseas subscription prices but I’ve done my best to keep them to a minimum. Subscriptions, as I’ve said before, are the lifeblood of a Fanzine and that gets taken into consideration.
As the season draws to an end where we will finish is keeping us in suspense. However, we will be playing in one of the two European competitions next season and regardless of which one it is, we need to get players in and move a few out. I don’t go in for speculating because the manager knows what he wants and the club should simply back him.
I’m doing this Editorial on Easter Monday following the win at The Hawthorns which, of course, followed the win at Stoke. The nerves got tested – again – but we got through both games with a maximum return. The ‘derby’ was fun, the Bournemouth game wasn’t but that sums up how 2017 has been doesn’t it?
In this Issue, as you will see, there’s mention of events forty years ago when Liverpool went to Rome and won the European Cup for the first time. It was great putting the articles together using old Fanzines and talking to a few who lived through it all. Of course, since then the European Cup has been lifted five times and although the balance of power in the game has shifted several times and in several ways there was a pure innocence about everything in 1977, although we probably didn’t know it at the time.
The history of Liverpool Football Club is well documented but it can sometimes be a burden. Jürgen Klopp hasn’t got to live up to those glorious times because those changes in the balances of power altered everything. Although some seem to think we have a divine right to be challenging at the top the simple fact is, we haven’t. What we should want Jürgen to do is, create his own pages in the history books so future generations of supporters can look back at those times with as much pleasure as those who can remember Rome. Unfortunately the innocence has also gone, football is now cut throat and often unpleasant. Too many supporters of clubs now not only expect success, they demand it. Unfortunately even success can now be deemed failure which is why a top four finish is seen as better than winning domestic Cups.
Thanks to everyone who has bought, sold or contributed in any way to Red All Over The Land, whatever the football’s been like you’ve all made bringing a Fanzine out worth the effort.

Editorial 232

Liverpool lost a real legend when Ronnie Moran passed away recently.  This issue of Red All Over Land pays tribute to a man who served the club like no other has ever done so and it’s unlikely anybody will ever do so again.  However, summing up his part in Liverpool’s history and doing him justice isn’t easy.

I first saw Ronnie Moran playing for Liverpool in the very early 60’s.  He was a full back and looked like what I thought a full back should look like.  That is, older than the forwards because most full backs always seemed to be losing their hair.  Full backs didn’t need to have nifty skills back then, just a few sly ones.  Ronnie was typical of the footballer of his era.  If he wasn’t in the first team, he was in the reserves and no complaints.  We all know about his Anfield career so I won’t repeat it but like so many I have a special memory I can treasure.

I was standing at Liverpool Airport along with less than 50 other Reds waiting to fly to Vladikavkaz in southern Russia.  Due to Home Office warnings and the fact that Vladikavkaz was close to a war zone not too many fans were travelling and our flight and tickets were all arranged through the club; hence we all assembled in the Departure Lounge together.  I was looking out the window at the plane which had been chartered to fly us to Russia and Ronnie was stood next to me – coaching staff and players were still allowed to mingle with the support back in 1995.  The plane looked like it was out of a museum and of the Aero-Flop class and whether it was really air worthy was a source of debate.  I looked at him and he looked at me and he said, “Are we going on that fecking crate?”  Or words to that effect.

Mister Liverpool has gone, not many of the Boot Room left now but what a man!

The topsy turvy world our team lives in has surely dominated our football thoughts.  Hopeless in one game, ugly in another, capable of taking Arsenal apart and picking up a deserved point at The Etihad.  It’s like one of those old scary movies – you don’t know what’s around the next corner; we don’t know whether to sleep with the light on or off and nobody has any idea how it will end.

This issue came out after the final International break of the season when we faced Everton.  We’ll have waited nervously whilst players jetted back from all parts of the planet, hoping they returned home from National Service fit and well – apart from Daniel Sturridge who’s goes from one sick bay to another and I’m not even sure why he’s been on leave of absence this time around.  It was a virus, then it was something else – or is he just being phased out quietly?

We, of course, have the Hillsborough anniversary.  In this issue we include a chapter taken from Kevin Sampson’s book, ‘Hillsborough Voices’.  There will be no memorial Service at the ground this season but I’m sure we’ll all take time out to reflect on April 15th.

Welcome then to the penultimate issue of this seasons Red All Over The Land and I hope to see some of you around the fields where real football fans used to be.

Editorial 231
The great Bob Dylan once sang, “The times they are a-changing” and the political mood at the time certainly was changing at an alarming rate. In football today however, the rate of mood change is more than alarming.
Going out two Cups in the space of a few days hurt and annoyed. After the Southampton and Wolves losses we were on a downer but there was a pick me up after a decent show against Chelsea; only the mood crossed back to the dark side with the Hull debacle. The exhilarating football we’d witnessed early season apparently forgotten. Sometimes our memories are very short term.
We had a week to stew in the juices of our own misery before taking on Tottenham at Anfield. We beat them with something to spare and the mood changed back to nearer optimistic. It’s hard keeping up with it all.
We went from seemingly playing a game every other day to not playing at all so everyone in our squad got a long rest plus a few days in La Manga to warm chilled bones. Apart from Daniel Sturridge who came home sick, no change there then?
Unfortunately this issue had to go to Mister Printer before the Leicester game and if there’s anywhere in football where there’s been a mood swing of unprecedented proportions it’s Leicester. From chumps to champs to chumps all in the space of less than two years. Whilst our boys were on the sun loungers Leicester were losing at Millwall in the FA Cup before jetting off to Seville for a Champions League game, which they lost but did better than expected. When they got back Claudio Ranieri, coach of the century last spring discovered the sands of time had run out and as we all know he was out of a job.
This issue went on sale against Arsenal and the mood surrounding Arsene Wenger changes almost hourly! We could have either added to Leicester and Arsene’s woes or handed out lifelines. The way we’ve been playing, who knows?
If the mood around our club is to retain a positive sign, Jürgen’s players need to prove something. Any excuses about an overcrowded fixture list have been washed away. We play less football between now and the end of the season than any of the top six. The whole team needs to show the first half of the season wasn’t just pie in the sky. If they don’t then maybe they’ll need to know come May, the times once again could be a-changing.
Ian Ayre has gone, bye-bye – he gets a mention elsewhere and in a few years Melwood and a million memories will also pass. The times are changing everywhere it would seem. Only not in this Fanzine, we’re still as miserable as everybody says we are and don’t see the point in changing – but maybe we will! Depends on our team.
Welcome to another issue of Red All Over The Land. If it’s raining I’ll be under a tree in the Plaza – sorry Fan Park – somewhere around where garden sheds used to be.

Editorial 230
In the few weeks since the last issue came out on FA Cup Third Round day a lot seems to have happened; but not much to our advantage.
The Joel Matip case wasn’t just odd it was annoying. He’d retired from International football, the story should have ended there. In any other walk of life he’d be suing someone but football left the real world a long, long time ago. I don’t trust FIFA; I don’t trust African football and just for the record, I don’t trust English football either.
In December I put together Issue 228 of RED ALL OVER THE LAND in a state of shock following the Bournemouth debacle. I had to send this one to the printer in the wake of the sad and sorry shambles shown by our team against Swansea. To the football world at large it might have been viewed as a shock but to anybody who is an Anfield regular these days, one who doesn’t watch the game through red tinted glasses it wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. Shipping soft goals, for the want of better words, is an art we’ve perfected. Try explaining to someone; Swansea didn’t create a chance, our goalkeeper didn’t have a save to make; we lost 3-2. They’d look at you as if you’d gone daft. Unfortunately its happened so many times and not just this season. Publicly Jürgen may not say too much but there is no doubt inside he’s probably seething. However, only he and those who handle the playing side can sort it out. Plus, after all the statements about the availability of Matip, he comes on for the final seconds of added time when he was stuck up front. If anybody tells me he wasn’t picked because he wasn’t match fit I’ll go and bang my head on the nearest wall – or maybe theirs.
We’re in the final days of the transfer window but unless something out of the ordinary happens, we’re basically not overwhelmed by it. I think the Boston Boy’s got their fingers burnt in 2010 with the Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres episodes and learnt their lessons then. Clubs do buy players but half the time they buy players unwanted by the selling club. Although I wouldn’t mind us investing in a young player or two; there’s little or no point in adding to an already inflated wage bill just for the sake of it – even with the issues we have with defending. I think the only thing the transfer window does is keep Sky and Tripe White occupied with a few extra basins of bile; I sometimes think that’s what it was started for.
This issue goes on sale as we play Wolves in the FA Cup at Anfield; team selection will be interesting. Recent Premier League results may change the dynamics and thinking. Going to print before the League Cup semi was decided wasn’t ideal but it’s the way things go. I dare say where we stand in the table by the time issue 231 lands on the streets will be an indication as to where we’re going for the rest of the season. I’d like to think it’s Wembley once, maybe twice and a top four finish is still within our reach.
Hopefully you’ll know now where I stand; it’s around the fields out of ear shot of the Fan Park stage.

Happy New Year to one and all and welcome to Issue 229 of Red All Over The Land. I’ve started with a new idea which is guest writers on the opening pages and you will have by now, hopefully read Kevin Sampson’s New Year message. My intention is to try and change a few things as we move towards the spring and maybe even brighten up the whole Fanzine; although amongst the things I received for Christmas was a vinyl copy of Leonard Cohen’s final LP, so morbidity is still with me. The way I’m looking at 2017 is, if vinyl can make a comeback, so can the printed word and that’s good news for Fanzines such as this one.
On the football front I spend time wondering what this team of ours can achieve and what should we realistically expect – or hope for? Firstly though, what have we achieved? Well we’re going to games at Anfield believing we might win whereas last season I’m not sure that was the case. Jürgen Klopp seems to have changed the player’s philosophy and they go out now with far more belief than they’ve had for some time. We’ve seen them win games with quality football or by grinding out a result. Everton [away] and Manchester City at home being examples of winning in a slightly more ugly fashion than we’ve become used to. In those two games the reinstated Simon Mignolet never had a serious shot to save which probably says a bit more about the maligned defence. There is still a vulnerability there but at least The Kaiser seems to be working on it. I’ve never been Simon Mignolet’s biggest fan but he’s far more secure than Karius. I think had Mignolet been in goal then we may not have fallen apart against Bournemouth and we might have done better against West Ham; but that’s water under the bridge. Vulnerability reared its ugly head at Sunderland as well where our sluggish showing was matched only by a totally inept referee. I’ve a feeling Jürgen might be getting a letter from the FA about his comments.
So what can we hope for? I’d view a top four finish as success and if we can win a Cup, then that would make it a real successful season. With a few additions to the squad in the summer we could be a genuine force next season.
I think we’ve got the best manager in the Premier League; he knows success only comes via hard work. I’m not suggesting managers like, Guardiola, Conte and Mourinho don’t work as hard but they only manage where there’s money. Jürgen Klopp has never had that luxury – not in the same volumes. He’s building for that eventual new dawn and whilst we saw so many things emerging in 2016 I honestly believe a lot more will emerge during 2017.
Enjoy the Fanzine and weather permitting I’ll be selling somewhere around what used to be a street.