Liverpool open the new season at Anfield with a match against Eddie Howe’s Premier League debutants. The newly re-laid ‘faster’ pitch comes in for some criticism, as it is discovered that it is in fact a large travelator painted green. The players also need to weave between nails, hammers, wheelbarrows and discarded cups of tea strewn all over the pitch, a result of the ongoing building works on the new ‘Main Stand’ which is still taking shape.
Liverpool start strongly as they did at Stoke, and take the lead with Ings notching his 3rd, 4th and 5th goals of the season within the first 10 minutes of the match. All three goals are set up by Jordan Ibe, who is bizarrely wearing ‘Sterling’ on his back. Nobody is quite sure why.
Brendan, learning from the Stoke match, then decides to shut up shop and withdraws Ings, Henderson, Lallana, Clyne and Mignolet, but only replaces them with Firmino. He explains afterwards that it was the perfect chance to try out James Milner in his new false-striker-false-midfielder-false-rightback-false goalkeeper position.
Milner actually adds a 4th goal, saves two penalties and wins the Man Of The match award, in a 9-4 defeat. Brendan is beaming in the post-game press conference, and lauds Milner for his ‘willingness to buy into my ethos’. Brendan is also full of praise for Raheem Sterling, who he says is maturing into a world class attacking midfielder. He denies all knowledge of a player called ‘Jordan Ibe’, the sale of Sterling to Manchester City, and the existence of Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh. James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo is seen to give the ‘twirly-finger’ gesture on his way out of the press conference.
In unrelated news, Jurgen Klopp is reported to have invested in some property on the Wirrall. He’s also rumoured to have invested in a plane, a banner and some paint.