Editorial Issue 279

Welcome to Issue 279 of Red All Over The Land.

The past few weeks haven’t been the best here in Fanzine Land.  Things had just settled down on the NFC front and we’d worked out a reasonable way of coping with it.  Only we then get told fans need to take proof of Covid vaccinations to ensure they get into the ground.  It caused more confusion for the match goer, but I doubt many were actually asked to show anything as they passed through the turnstiles.  The weather for the game against Villa hampered sales and then at the League Cup game with Leicester it simply poured down.    Covid caused the cancellation of the Boxing Day game and our sellers had problems with the stewards at Leicester.  Throw in a raft of Issues with the Christmas Post which I could have done without.  All meaning, this Issue has come out at least two weeks later than planned and unfortunately it is a bit dated.  I can’t think about Issue 280, but it should be out in early February.

The fact Covid caused Liverpool to call the League Cup game off down at The Emirates was greeted with the usual scorn.  We’d already played games with players and members of staff missing as the virus ran rampantly through Kirkby.  I don’t know what they expected us to do but as far as I’m concerned, and I’m sure the majority of Redmen, it was a sensible thing to do.  I don’t care what fans of other clubs think and in truth that’s where most of the criticism came from.  Glenn Hoddle chipped in as well.  Wouldn’t he be better off checking with his God why all this is happening and then spreading the word?  Two years ago, there was the call for the season to be cancelled as Covid ripped through the world.  Now they’re telling us we should play or be dammed!  Everybody wants to be playing but the welfare of players and club staff needs to be considered.  The League Cup is a competition most clubs could do without.  In an overcrowded football calendar why have a two-legged semi-final?  All competing clubs would have been happy with a straight knock out game.  Just to repeat what has been said on these pages more than once, football and common sense rarely sleep together.

Our bid for Premier League glory has been blown off course with the results at Tottenham, Leicester, and Chelsea.  The criticism of the performance at Leicester was justified but we didn’t play too badly at either Tottenham or Chelsea.  We played Tottenham without a midfield.  We played Chelsea with players and the manger isolating.  Not long back a draw at Chelsea wouldn’t have been seen as a bad result.  The problem is Manchester City have gone on a roll and unless something goes chronically wrong, they will win the league.  They have the strength in depth others can’t afford, not just Liverpool.  Chelsea has a stronger squad than we have thanks to the Abramovich billions but they’re in the same boat as us and it’s not that many weeks back when some experts were seeing them as possible title winners. 

However, January brings the Transfer Window of Opportunity.  Will Liverpool’s owners give the squad a booster – after all boosters are all the rage?  Well, that window has been open for almost a fortnight but the sound of wallets being opened hasn’t yet been heard – well not at the time of sending this to Mister Printer

I don’t think this Fanzine is up to the standard I aim for, although you may ask “What standard is that?”  Added to all the time-consuming Festive activities I had to get involved with I’m still working off a laptop which doesn’t have the facilities and packages I’m used to.  I hope to sort this out sooner than later.  I didn’t have these problems when I relied on Sellotape and glue and a stapler.

 JJP: Staying sober in January.  Maybe.

 

Half & Half Day

We don’t like half & half scarves and there were plenty on view for the Third Round FA Cup game against Shrewsbury.  Not just round the necks of the fans but on the pitch as well. Our line-up was half the first team and half the Academy; that’s what the Covid crisis is doing to us. However, after going one down we did win 4-1 and can look forward to another home game in Round Four this time against Cardiff.  Kaide Gordon caught the eye, scored a good goal, had a shot saved and looks ready to step up to bigger things than Under 18 football. With Mo on AFCON duty when we got a penalty it was down to Fab to do the honours, which he did, scored a great fourth as well. Nice to see Bobby Firmino back and a lovely back heel to get our third. Not a rousing Cup-Tie by any stretch of the imagination, but we won and that’s all that mattered.