It’s a huge weekend for… Liverpool FC, Nigel Adkins, Spurs’ goalkeepers and handshakes
Finally, vindication. Finally, the truth. Finally, redemption. It doesn’t matter if you know the truth, the truth still needs to be known. Scars will not heal, wrongs have not been righted and the lost cannot be found. But finally, Liverpool football club and its family can sleep knowing that the truth has now outed.
I am not a Liverpool fan (indeed, as a Forest fan I knew people there that day, and at four years old could not comprehend the tragedy), but this is not about which club you support, because it’s not even about football. It is about humanity. And when, at 2.55pm at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, the Liverpool fans sing You’ll Never Walk Alone and think of their lost ones and loved ones, they will do so with a pride that says “we put this right”, and Sunderland fans could do worse than sing it to. Simply writing about it makes my spine tingle.
Bill Shankly was wrong. It is not more important than life or death. And the events of April 15th 1989 demonstrated that hauntingly. I just hope that finally, the families of 96 sadly-missed people can be proud of their club and their city.
Ian Holloway knows that simply impressing people in the Premier League means nothing without the substance of points. Southampton may have the well wishes of the neutral after their opening three games, but they have no points.
A trip to Arsenal makes things no easier, but Adkins must be hoping that his side does not simply play well, but instead demonstrates a backbone, a steely side with which to accompany the joys of their August football.
An early season headache for a Portuguese manager. Having lost his job at Chelsea through trying to move the old guard out too quickly, AVB has now been criticised by the tabloid media for apparently attempting to do the same with a 42-year-old goalkeeper at White Hart Lane.
Brad Friedel has been a wonderful performer, but Hugo Lloris cost £12million and is the French number one. Pick the Frenchman and he makes a mistake, it was the wrong choice: AVB loses. Pick the American and he makes a mistake, AVB has unsettled his keeper: AVB loses. Pick Friedel and he performs well and Lloris begins to get uneasy: AVB loses. Pick Lloris, Spurs win at the Madejski and his goalkeeper makes some decent saves without his side coming under significant pressure: AVB wins.
Welcome to management in England as a foreigner, take two.
After the shittingly awful week football has had, it would be nice to think that this weekend could be about sportsmanship, fair play and wonderful football. Luckily there is a West London Derby in which Chelsea’s captain is approaching a hearing at the FA related to alleged racially aggravated comments during the fixture last season.
And we all shake our heads at football’s disgusting underbelly of immaturity, unpleasantness and ignorance. Oh joy.