by Brian Reece
Travelling back with my son on the 19:48 train on coach E from Liverpool Lime St to London Euston after a trip to Anfield to see Liverpool beat Valencia 2-0, I was engaged in a good old fashioned debate with some Liverpool fans.
The main topics where Alberto Aquilani, transfers and where we will ultimately finish this season and last but not least how badly organised the pre-season game was for travelling fans, so I will cover these topics in order of discussion.
Alberto Aquilani is a name I have tried to avoid since I have written many articles about this man over the past few weeks I just hoped everyone had forgotten his name on the train home but unfortunately his name popped up and the debate started, the collective view from fans was Aquilani was a good player in Italy but not in the Premier League and that he just hasn’t been able to adapt to the English game which is a fair comment, it was also noted that in Aquilani’s view he was possibly not given a chance to show what he’s capable of due to being loaned out last season when he was completely fit.
Aquilani may still get that chance if the documented move fails to become finalised before the end of August, so Aquilani fans may still get their wish and see him play now and then for Liverpool this season, in my opinion I hope Liverpool get rid of him and let him go back to Italy where he will have more time on the ball to think what pass to make and wont get hit by a crunching tackle every couple of seconds, because Aquilani cannot deal with the physical side of the Premier League, every supporter (even me) would have liked Aquilani to be successful at Liverpool but it just hasn’t worked out for him.
When the topic of transfers came up the conversation took a more boisterous tone, it seems that I am not alone in the world after all, many Liverpool supporters agreed with me on the subject of players like Insua, Degen, Jones, EL-Zhar and the atrocious Polusen, but one name which spilt the group was Joe Cole who has consistently under performed for Liverpool and needs to leave the club if nothing more than to reduce the wage bill, the supporters of Cole claimed that he would be a good squad player which is fine and dandy, but I would not except a squad player to be earning £100k per week, I would except my first eleven players to earn that sort of money not a squad player.
Joe Cole has talent but has lacked form since he arrived and couple that with a lengthy injury things just haven’t gone in Cole’s favour since joining Anfield, that doesn’t mean that I think we should keep him at the club because I wasn’t best pleased when he came in the first place, I remember him saying “it was a no brainer” coming to Liverpool, am sure it was on your wages Joe am sure it was.
What all fans on the 19:48 train did agree with was the signing of Adam and Downing, both looked good against Valencia and both will be good players for Liverpool, so will Henderson given time, he has the potential to really develop into a fine player but there are no guarantees but the quality is there.
About 21:00 the beer was flowing so I felt it my duty to throw out the question where Liverpool would finish this season, I have to admit that my timing could have been a little bit better given that most of us had consumed at least 6 cans of Fosters already and my son was looking at me thinking I was inches from being branded a lout, but nevertheless I charged on with the question and all hell broke loose, people actually started calling each other names I haven’t heard since I lived back in Upton Park almost 20 years ago, as fun as it was initially to see I had to try and maintain some sort of order and clarity about the debate as it was getting hotter than a personal rub down from Haley Berry.
The general feeling was that we would finish fourth, to which I replied why fourth why not third, second or first, we can achieve anything if we play in the same manner and with the exact same confidence as the end of last season.
Plus we have the added bonus of better players this time so it is a strong possibility that we just might surprise a few people this year, Man City and Man Utd we be right up there we know that already, but Chelsea and Arsenal are vulnerable so if we go on a good run who knows where it will lead us.
By about 21:50 we where all half drunk and tired and as I looked around I was listening to supporters saying that it was cutting it a little fine to make this train as it was the last train back to London that day, which is a very good point because why should fans who don’t live in Liverpool have to cut their match experience short just to escape from the ground to find a taxi just to make the final train, it simply is not fair on Liverpool supporters who travel far to see the team play, either Virgin Trains need to put on an extra train or Liverpool need to start games earlier, or in my opinion both.
Finally at 22:14 we pulled into London Euston and we all exchanged twitter and facebook accounts and made our way home, but one thing that was agreed amongst all the passengers of coach E was that sooner rather than later Liverpool we be a force to be reckoned with and that Liverpool will win the title within three seasons, and that we had just made a journey with friends