Liverpool Down

I suppose it is the lack of culture in me that caused me to blaspheme in a sporting sense today. Yes, I watched most of the All Ireland football final between Cork and Down and even managed to send a local friend and Down supporter a text telling him that Down were corked. Still, I was really more interested in the result of the Manchester United game against Liverpool played around the same time.

At least sporting blasphemy doesn’t yet lead to beheading, hanging, stoning or exile although I am sure my friend might temporarily think that a fitting penance for me, albeit for texting him rather than supporting a foreign team. In any event he will get his own back because in addition to following Down he is also a United fan. And at Old Trafford this afternoon his team were determined to put Liverpool down.

I have fond memories of Liverpool Football Club from the days when they were a good side capable of producing finessed flowing football. The team was one dash of serious colour on an otherwise grey prison backcloth. Then they were red. Today they are just grey, an effect borrowed from the prison of their own mediocrity.

There were more Manchester United supporters in the jail than Pool fans and they were pretty raucous. I found it soothing to go though all my time spent there without United ever winning a league title, if we don’t count the second division title they took in 1975 after a Denis Law goal for Manchester City had sent the team he had helped to win the European Cup hurtling out of the first division the previous April. Their fans are unlikely to be heard boasting about that dubious success. The final year in jail was the closest Man U came to seizing the Liverpool crown, before being shunted aside at the finishing line by the great pretenders of Leeds United.

Once free the competition that electrified the prisoners was no longer there. United went on to win many titles but by then jail rivalry had gone out of it and it didn’t seem important any more; the edge had been blunted.

Still it is always a source of joy for a Liverpool supporter when the team manages to beat Manchester United. And today would have been no different. Unfortunately, United took it courtesy of an outstanding performance by Berbatov in which he netted a hat trick. Even applying the arithmetic of the peace process can’t make it a draw. Berbatov’s 3 to Gerard’s 2 makes it a clear victory for United and a defeat for Liverpool.

To read that Liverpool sit just outside the relegation zone, two above it where they are dangerously perched on the cushion of Stoke, is stinging to say the least. But it is hardly a surprise. For long Graeme Souness has been warning that the team he once captained is poised to meet the same fate as Leeds did once they were knocked off their throne in the early 1990s. Roy Hodgson was a good coach for Fulham with its limited expectations but it is impossible to see him reversing the fortunes of this Liverpool team. As Ronnie Whelan lamented on RTE during the week, Liverpool are on the floor and are not for getting of it any time soon. Manchester United, no longer the power house of a few years ago, are also a team that Whelan and many others think are on the downward spiral. So the real measure of Liverpool’s performance this afternoon is even worse than it might have first appeared. They were beaten by a Manchester United team well past its best.

I don’t believe Liverpool will feel the trap door open beneath their cumbersome feet. But from where they sit at the minute it stands to reason that relegation is a more likely prospect than taking the championship. It must be tempting for the fans who stand on the Kop singing Walk On to change their tune and sing the words of a song performed by their fellow Liverpudlians, The Beatles, Yesterday.


  1. When Liverpool were winning everything United did have the capacity to stop them attaining doubles and trebbles. However Liverpool seem to lack the same 'thorn in their side' ability. Look on the bright side though, United's result against Rangers recently shows both Liverpool and United may be able to survive at SPL level. CAN'T HELP LAUGHING!!

  2. I was a Liverpool supporter as a child during the era you speak of and can appreciate your sentiment. You have to look today though at the debts clubs are labouring under - Man U's in particular is like the US federal defecit; never going to be servicable. There must be some kind of a moral in there somewhere.

  3. LOL Anthony just landed!what was the score in yesterdays match,between L/POOL V UTD, the cops are just away from my door,said my dog was chasing a man on a bike,I told them to f##k of my dog doesnt have a bike!!!

  4. Belfast girl goes to the council to register for housing benefit,"how many children have you?"asks the council worker,"10" she replied,the council worker then asks"what are their names?"Liam,Liam,Liam,Liam,Liam,Liam,Liam,Liam,Liam,Liam.""doesnt that get confusing?"asks the council worker "nah"she replies "its great cos if their out playing I just have to shout Liam yir dinners ready or Liam get to bed and they all do it" "what if you want to talk to one of your sons individually?" asks the council worker"thats easy "she says"I just use their surnames"!!!

  5. Gav,

    Just a case of sport becoming business. Greed can explain a lot of the world’s woes, including those of the sporting world.

  6. And still the owners are doing their utmost to ensure the team stays down. They are the iceberg that has holed a Titanic club. Both rotten to the core


  7. Wasn't sure either where to whack this up or to put it up but.....

    ...But sometime around midnight Larry Hughes became a daddy again. Best of my knowledge everything is good and no complications..he is happier than a pig in shit.

    Hopefully his good luck will rub off on his footy predictions. For the last few months we have been placing 2 bob bets on loads of teams and neither of us has won..Although we came close a few times....