Before I begin, a quick update. I haven’t posted a blog for a few games now because, as I told those of you who were kind enough to ask for/demand a blog, I was weighed down with many, many mundane issues that have taken up my time. I can now reveal that was a lie…
Things had to come to a head, enough was enough, so I made a decision…
I went to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago to sort things out once and for all.
I gave Jurgen a call, arranged to have dinner with Philippe and I’ll now begin…
From my seat in the Anfield Road end, it appeared that Simon Mignolet is very small. Of course it’s simply that he was very far away at the Kop end.
In person he’s a very imposing man, a big strong strapping lad who towers over you, almost intimidatingly so…especially when you’re outlining the most witty descriptions of him that I’d heard, like ‘deranged gibbon’, ‘Dracula on prozac’, ‘Belgian beer bottle-squatting twat’ and ‘as useful as a langer in a lesbian orgy’.
Thankfully we saw eye to eye in the end and there were no hard feelings, and I like to think the chat worked. Migs was commanding, dominant, made a few good saves and never really looked threatened.
Before I departed Anfield, I stuck a note in his locker for him to read before any game in the future. It says:
‘You Are Simon Mignolet. Not A Langer’
I just hope I put it in the right locker or somebody could be very confused today.
I always had Patsy pegged as a straight-laced, formal type of guy, no airs and graces and certainly no sign of rebellion in his personality.
Therefore I was stunned when he arrived for our pre-arranged pep talk dressed like Jazz from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. To top all that he was giving me pure attitude, muttering under his breath with a constant smirk on his mush.
I knew what had to be done, and luckily someone got a picture of what happened next:
I know, I know, the new Main Stand is a bit fancy, right?
In conclusion, let’s just say that Patsy will be less in-Clyned to rip the piss in the future.
Shut Up Shop Ltd:
I smirked as I saw the usual Twitter meltdown when the teams were announced at 4.30pm with the name ‘Lucas Leiva’ at CB. The hysteria was approaching the levels I would expect if Donald Trump was seen riding a nuke headed to North Korea wearing a cowboy hat with ‘Kim Jung Un can kiss my orange ass’ on his t-shirt.
Unbeknownst to most, Lucas was actually stood beside me when that shit-storm kicked off, acting as my ‘minder’ while I leveled a few home-truths at the rest of the squad. As a senior squad member he demanded that I be listened to and respected…until it came to his turn that is…
Let’s just say that the reason he had a pop at that Joseph Musker lad on Twitter was because he was a bit upset at the home-truths I delivered to his doorstep:
Mind you, he’s right. Anybody spouting that kind of shite on Twitter needs to be exterminated, immediately. Isn’t that right Donald?
Oh, and before I forget, Harry Kane was released back to Spurs on Sunday afternoon at 2.54pm after Lucas found him in his pocket.
BILLY JOEL IS NOT JOEL MATIP’S FATHER….
I know. I’m still reeling from the news myself. It’s like the Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker revelation, but in reverse.
Of course it took 98 pages of birth certs, sworn affidavits, a DNA test and a very uncomfortable phone call with Billy Joel himself before I believed it, but I’m satisfied that he’s really not his father…after I learned every lyric Billy wrote too. That’s 9 months of my life I’ll never get back.
In any case, I asked Joel (as I asked all the players) if he wanted me to reveal what I said to him during our ‘chat’, and Joel is the only one who didn’t mind, so here’s what I said to Joel Matip:
Don’t go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore
I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are
Sorry. Not sorry.
Have you ever tried to have a meaningful heart to heart with a Yorkshireman?
It’s like trying to get a baboon to recite the Greek alphabet…you don’t get much back.
However I’m a master of motivation, so when my words didn’t cut the mustard, I decided to cut the gravy…
Yes, for every goal conceded by Liverpool for the rest of the season, James Milner will have one less pint of gravy that week. But I’m not a monster, so I included a motivational aspect too…for every goal he scores or assists, he gets an extra pint of gravy that week.
I’m not sure that’s the best idea I’ve ever had though because he fecking dived looking for a penalty within 30 seconds of our deal being agreed. It was 1.30pm last Tuesday…
Still, a clean sheet is a clean sheet, so that’s good, right? Mind you, with two weeks until his next game, he could look like the bloody Michelin man against Leicester City.
Captain Henderson is being lavished with praise today as the news emerges of a ‘player-only’ meeting that he called, excluding Jurgen Klopp, where the players all had an open, honest and frank exchange of views, which led to the performance we all saw against Spurs.
I can now confirm that it wasn’t a ‘player-only meeting’…because I was there and it was my bloody idea. Don’t believe all you read in the media folks. Alternative facts my arse.
Anyway, I don’t care who gets the credit, as it worked, and to be fair to Hendo he delivered one of the most passionate, goose-bump-raising, hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-bristling speeches I’ve ever heard (apart from when I listen back to my own). It was magnificent.
Nobody understood a bloody word, but we all got the gist of it.
I find that to get an open and honest conversation going with a player you sometimes have to do what they do, so they feel that you’re ‘one of them’ and can be trusted.
After applying 9 litres of Nivea to myself I now look 10 years younger, my scrotum has no wrinkles whatsoever and I literally slid out of bed last night. Remarkable.
My ploy worked though as Adam and I had a great chat covering lots of topics; from Bouremouth Lap Dancers to taking out Jurgen Klopps bins. Mind you, during our 45 minute chat Adam ran 12 miles around the room. He just can’t stand still. It could be boundless energy…but it could also be a reaction to the Nivea….
Whatever he’s doing, it’s working, especially when he’s got the three amigo’s in front of him.
Geordie Wine Gum:
Go on then…what sweet do you think I brought to my one-on-one meeting with Gini last week…
Yep, you guessed it….a bag of Revels.
No, I’m not being obtuse, there was a point to it. There have been games this season where Gini has been oustanding. The goals at home to Chelsea and City stand out, but he was pretty bloody good away to Arsenal and Chelsea too. However he’s also had a few ‘Coffee Revels’ this season which make you want to explosively eject your tongue from your mouth…
So the basis of my ‘chat’ with Gini was him munching through a bag of Revels and shouting out the games he’s played this season that match with the flavour Revel he happened to get.
I’m not one for predictions, but I seriously doubt we’ll be seeing a ‘Coffee Revel’ performance from Gini ever again.
Oh, and ‘Coffee Revel Vomit’ is as grim as you’d imagine. *shudder*
Since the advent of social media, the world is awash with people who claim to be ‘In The Know’…they know why players are so effective, or why they’re out of form…and to a man (or woman), they’re all full of sh*t.
It wasn’t until I sat down at length with Bobby that I discovered why his form had dipped so drastically. From the outside looking in I thought it was the almost symbiotic relationship with Philippe that he was missing…but I was wrong.
The truth of the matter is that Bobby Firmino has been a major twat and is now embarrassed to be…well, Bobby Firmino. Look, we’ve all done something in our past that we’re not proud of and we’d all rather forget, and Bobby is no different. To add to that he was facing a (deserved) court case where there was always an element of doubt as to what punishment he would be facing, and that’s going to affect you, no matter what walk of life you come from. If you’re a bricklayer and facing a serious court case, you’re not going to be laying as many bricks in the weeks leading up to the case, are you?
Once it became clear what the issue with Bobby was, I was tempted to just leave it alone. The court case was over, his punishment has been delivered and that was that, right?
Heh. Don’t you know me at all?
To cut a long story short, I got Bobby Firmino absolutely trollied – and I use that word for a reason. Basically I got him flutered/balooba’d/banjaxed/wankered/smashed/arseified (select your favourite) on 23 pints of Guinness, strapped him into a shopping trolley and rolled him down Abbey Road while I got 4 lads to walk across the pedestrian crossing as Bobby hurtled towards them. It was to demonstrate that what he did ran the same risks as he now faced.
The poor lad soiled himself, but got the message very, very quickly.
Maybe a weight is now off his shoulders? He was certainly back to form against Spurs…although his shite is still jet black and probably will be for some time.
Some have accused me of playing favourites as our meeting was over a candle-lit dinner and the rest of my player meetings…weren’t.
However you know you’re special, and I know you’re special and our dinner…was special.
I’ll never reveal this to the other players, but there was a specific reason why our meeting was over a romantic dinner. I wanted you to play footsie with me under the table…using just your left foot. I mean, you never use it for anything else and I’ll try anything to get you using it in a game…
Love you xxx
My meeting with Sadio was the shortest of the lot.
I can’t divulge too much information of course but suffice to say that Sadio looked me dead in the eye, told me none of this mess was down to him, admitted that he skewed that penalty in the AFCON on purpose after receiving my SOS SMS, and he said he’d sort it.
The man is true to his word. He eviscerated Ben Davies and friends.
My meeting with Emre didn’t go according to my plan. I called him ‘Jackie’ one time too many and was spark out after he hit me with a 6″ punch.
Yep, no similarities there at all.
At least he showed the same ruthless efficiency when he came on to see the game out. Job done.
What do you do when the Security company you hired to do a job suddenly goes down sick?
You bring on a bouncer. He asked Dele Alli for I.D. and then barred him from the penalty box.
You might think that getting thrown on with seconds left so the star player can get a standing ovation is a bit demeaning, but all these players are on appearance bonuses.
Those few seconds could buy TAA 1,890 Happy Meals.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp:
You’re welcome Jurgen, it was my pleasure, and I’m around to do it again if you ever feel the need.
However I think you’re set for the rest of the season now. They’re a great bunch of lads and it was great to get to know them all in person.
As for our meeting, I enjoyed it but I don’t think I’ll have another schnitzel for quite a while. I’m glad you took my advice and are taking the lads off for a few days in the sun. Thanks for the offer to attend with you but my small fella has something on Thursday night that I have to be there for.
Don’t forget the Factor 50!
Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne) or on Facebook (facebook.com/rantsofarebel)