Welcome to Issue 266 of Red All Over The Land.
I’ve never done an editorial after a 7-2 beating. After the 6-1 loss at Stoke I had the whole summer to go before I had to think about it but this time I’ve got a Fanzine to get to the printer just a week after the mauling. I had a cover idea which I had to bin and come up with another. So, while our players jetted off to answer their international callings they should dwell on the pain and suffering left behind – especially to a poor Fanzine editor who had to try and change his whole way of thinking.
Talking about 7-2 defeats and changing a way of thinking the reaction to the Villa game on the Social media platforms was, I suppose, to be expected. Champions don’t lose 7-2 against anybody let alone a team that would be in the Championship if goal line technology had worked last season. As the cover says, “Doubters to Believers and Back Again”. It was our fourth league game of the season and against Chelsea and Arsenal we’d looked exactly what we are, ‘Champions’; totally outplaying two sides considered to be a title threat. Against Leeds we looked good going forward but not at the back and the 4-3 scoreline perhaps gave an indication to how freakish this season may well be?
There can be no doubting several players let the side down at Villa but our defending since February has been questionable. Even when Ali has been in goal we’ve let in a few dodgy ones. Sadly when Ali is missing Adrián doesn’t always look comfortable. His errors last season played a large part in Liverpool going out the FA Cup and The Champions League and he’s been culpable other times as well. Jürgen was right to come out and defend him because that’s a managers job, open criticism doesn’t work but what gets said back at Melwood might. From a personal point of view I don’t think he’s good enough to play at the top level but at the same time, last season those currently throwing the poison darts were singing his praises. The same can be said about Joe Gomez as well.
Prior to the game in the West Midlands, Sadio Manè and Thiago Alcântara tested positive for the virus, later so did Xherdan Shaqiri – did any of this have an effect at Villa? Unlike Bojo and Donald Duck I don’t consider myself an expert on Covid19 but that’s three players testing positive in a small workplace; well it made me wonder. As said, I’m no expert. Although they’ve had a rethink about Shaq?
I don’t like football being played without fans and I think there was an unnecessary rush to start another season. I think the absence of fans is one reason we’re seeing strange results; for the players it must be little different to playing on a park. Clubs are losing millions each time a game gets played and it has become football for the sake of it. The TV moguls obviously want something to show and sport, even without spectators is an easy product to get hold of and any subsequent consequences don’t matter. That’s another personal view and here’s another, I don’t think International games or Champion League games should be happening either.
I need to thank everyone who has sent an article in to the Fanzine, so much flowed in I’ve had to hold some over until the next issue. I’ve added four extra pages but due to the weird way Royal Mail sets its prices any further pages would have tipped me over the edge. Issue 267 will be the 25th anniversary Issue and I never thought that would happen. JJP “Even the President of the United States must sometimes stand naked”. Bob Dylan said that. What a horrible sight it must be today.