I couldn’t believe it when I looked at this week’s football fixtures.
It’s. Still. The. International. Break.
It feels like ages since proper football’s been on the telly. Thoughts, opinions, feelings all put on hold until the Reds return. No new team selections, performances or results to analyse.
All emotions cryogenically frozen.
Instead of fretting about Bobby Firmino’s latest performance or worrying about how Klopp gets the best out of Thiago, we Reds instead get to occupy our minds with some of the lighter aspects of football fandom.
- The leaked kits
You always see loads of concept kits or unofficial leaks of new strips around this time of year. You get the sense though that these latest designs are going to be actual kits Hendo and the boys will be donning next season.
I like them.
New kits always divide opinion but I think Nike have got a lot right here.
First of all, the colours: red home-kit, white away, yellow third are proper Liverpool colours. I’m well into that.
Secondly the designs are also enough to evoke memories of past players and moments in time. That yellow third-kit in particular gets me thinking of Kenny in ’83. Arsenal away, arms aloft — you know the photo.
Finally, I like the modern twist given to the shirts. The home one for example. Diagonal, pink pinstripe is a good interpretation of the classic LFC home shirt.
Yep, new shirts. They’ll definitely be overpriced. Will hopefully sell loads. And should look great on some shiny new signings in their announcement videos come the summer.
- A new centre-back?
Never mind the summer, the name Ibrahima Konate has suddenly appeared on our radar this week.
When I heard we were linked with an RB Leipzig centre-back my first thought was please not the lad who sliced his clearance for Sadio’s goal in the first-leg.
Thankfully, it’s not him.
In fact Konate sat happily on the bench for both legs. Wonderstruck no doubt, watching Nat Phillips in all his glory. He must have some confidence if he thinks he can displace Big Nat on the back of those two games!
Leipzig are a good team with the best defensive record in the Bundesliga this season. Saying that Konate has only played nine league games in 20/21.
And there lies the concern…
All accounts are that this lad is fantastic. He’s 6ft 4. Strong. Great in the air, good on the ball. And he’s meant to be rapid. David Ornstein says he’s potentially the best of his generation. German observers have likened him to the best of the current crop, Virgil van Dijk.
But is his injury record a concern? The commonly held opinion seems to be that the injuries are one big one and a series of smaller problems, growing pains and the like. As a result, once he’s settled down he should be able to have a relatively clean run of health and go on to fulfill his massive potential.
Saying that, we don’t have the best of records with signing injury-plagued players from Germany. Matip, Thiago, Naby all great players but pick up far too many injuries for sure.
Either way, I hope the medical is more than just sticking a few ECG patches on him as he smiles for the camera.
Be interesting to see how it all pans out though…
Virg, Gomez and Matip are undisputedly class. But questions remain over their fitness in the short and long-term. Kabak seems too good to turn down at £18m and Konate seems all but done. That’s five top drawer centre-halves.
I think Klopp will go the season with all five. I can’t see him risking moving one on and ending up short again. Besides, Joel Matip is the only one he’d consider selling and I don’t know how much value there is in that transfer.
Nat Phillips, Ben Davies and Rhys Williams will be looking at a loan move. Potentially a sale of Phillips or Davies if the price is right.
And I think Gomez and Konate may have to do a few games at full-back. They’re no Trent or Robbo. But let’s be honest, neither are Neco or Tsimikas.
- Everton’s stadium
Everton’s Bramley-Moore stadium plans have finally been approved.
This is great news for the city. More regeneration, jobs and development will be a big boost.
I’m a bit jealous of the location. Getting into town after a game at Anfield is never an easy trip. Transport links to the area are poor. Everton fans will benefit from that for sure.
But Blues seeing this as their re-awakening need to be careful what they’re wishing for. The success rate of teams after moving stadiums isn’t great. Will Everton be losing the unique challenge that a game at Goodison can offer? Could Everton be losing their soul?
It’s also worth pointing out that Bluenoses may have to stop with the daytrippers digs at Liverpool. If they’re trying to attract new fans then they’re only coming from one place.
Anyway. Fair play to Everton. I can’t wait to see what it looks like and I really can’t wait to see Mo Salah bagging the first Bramley-Moore hattrick.
- Alisson’s Tash
Speaking of great Mo’s. Doesn’t Ali look the dog’s danglies.
Wish I could grow a tash like that. What a fella.
Hey! Look at that!
International break. Not a ball kicked in anger for almost 3 weeks and there’s still plenty going on after all.
Normal service resumes at the weekend though. And I’m really looking forward to seeing what Klopp does with the team.
Bobby’s back and he does like playing Arsenal. But Jota is up-and-running after his brace for Portugal. I hope he goes for all four. Like he did City away and in-essence like he did at Sheffield United, albeit with Curtis playing as the 4th forward.
Ultimately though, it’s Madrid next week that’s the biggy.
Get a win in Spain and I know for sure there won’t be a spare moment in my head to think about anything other than going all the way to Istanbul.
Up the Reds.