Red All Over The Land – Issue 188

ImageSaturday July 13th – it’s a special date in modern history – For it was in 1985, for those old enough to remember (I guess most buying this fanzine are in that age group) that the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium and across the Atlantic at the JFK stadium Philadelphia took place. I’d say there is a few reading this that would also love to aim a Geldof “Give us your f**king money” at FSG as we try to compete with the megabuck clubs currently occupying the Four Top(s) spots at the moment.  (Turns out Geldof never uttered those words at all – another myth that puts even SKY’S transfer deadline day rumours to shame – well those with Simple Minds etc)

It goes without saying that 2013-14 is a big season for Brendan Rodgers and his men. Last season, mistakes were certainly made in the August transfer window and the clubs transfer policy seemed to be in Dire Straits. Andy Carroll was let go by the club with no suitable replacement forthcoming. In January we fared much better as the Liverpool FC transfer committee delivered Daniel Sturridge and the outstanding Philippe Coutinho as the club enjoyed a solid second half to the season. Apart that is from the Oldham debacle in the FA Cup, The Who, I hear you say, yes indeed Oldham, and the lowest point in the season surely, even one of The Smiths weighed in with two goals for the home side.

Saturday July 13th 2013 and it’s the start of pre-season action and no better place to begin than at Deepdale and a game against Bill Shanklys old side Preston North End. It’s an early start for the Motley Crue from the North-West of Ireland to catch the 7am flight from Dublin – but the excitement of the first game of the season meant sleep was at a minimum anyway. After landing at John Lennon it was straight to the city and the train to Preston. Everyone was in fine fettle even with the news that rail-works meant a detour through Ormskirk. But it didn’t dampen what was Beach Boys weather. The reds are out in full force and it’s great to see so many kids making the journey with their families – at least it’s affordable.

It’s always great to meet up with fellow reds after the summer break and today is no exception as stories are swapped and requests for the Celtic friendly dealt with.  A few too many pints near the ground and the carnival atmosphere inside the stadium reminds me of the Wigan game last season. New Preston signing Kevin Davis gets introduced to the home crowd; they could have done with him today as Preston didn’t offer anything to trouble our new Number One Simon Mignolet in the away goal.  Didn’t hear the Mignolet song, no doubt the KOP’S very own Style Council choir will come up with something even better than the Sunderland ditty. At the time of press it’s looking like Pepe has taken his leave and re-joined Rafa who’s taken over at Napoli. Best of luck Pepe, thanks for the great memories and the equally great goal celebrations but the writing was on the wall the moment Mignolet signed on the dotted line. Welcome Simon, our first Belgian redman!

The old chants get an airing as ex red John Welsh helps us on our way with a trip on Coutinho and he dispatches the penno with a cheekiness we are becoming so used to. Give him a contract extension quick! The Preston hordes join in on the ‘Shankly’ chant before the familiar ‘Dalglish’ and not to make him feel left out in any  way; ‘There’s only one Brendan Rodgers’ gets a blast from the away end. Jordon Ibe fires in from long range as he impresses the red mass. Further goals from Sterling (set up by new signing Alberto) and a shot from Iago Aspas settles the issue. A nice first day out for all as the great man’s grand-daughter Karen Gill presents the Shankly Shield to Daniel Agger. First trophy of the season – i used to count the Charity Shield as one in the bag when we were Kings – it’s laughed at now of course. What Brendan would do for a cup this season, it’s certainly something we should and will be aiming for with no European football to contend with this season. Kind draws please. Roll on August 17th

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The tour of Indonesia and Australia is on as I write – the scenes in both places have been magnificent and very humbling for the players as well I hope. Please can we get that Anne Williams Iron Lady waver over to Anfield, well done to all concerned.

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