Red All Over Ireland – Issue 198

ImageIt’s been too long a wait since the Southampton game – in truth we football supporters have little patience anyway. We are always looking forward. In June when the fixtures come out the potential end of season points tally are already being totted up – “Ah Hull away in December, 3 points there will set us up nicely for the very tricky Spurs game coming up, and we have a great run-in and should win the last six”. I do it every season.

After winning our first three games this campaign, I was told that we should be winning the next six as they were all very winnable. That would have been 27 points on the board after 9 games! It would have been very nice indeed. Of course it wasn’t to be. It’s impossible to predict the twists and turns throughout a 38 game season, but even the most optimistic red would not have dreamt how close this side are to the summit of the table when pouring over the fixture list last June. It’s just great to be even looking ahead to what are vital games in the race for top honours and we are well and truly part of it.

Going to print we don’t know the outcome of the Man United game but no matter what the result the redmen will still be in a strong position to return to Europe’s top table once again next season. This coming week we face two teams in a relegation battle and another with their eyes still firmly fixed on a top 4 finish. Cardiff are fighting for their lives and after looking like their appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjær was going to be a mistake on the tanned ones part, the victory over the already doomed Fulham may well have kick-started their fight for survival and the game against Cardiff is unlikely to be done and dusted before the end of the first half as it was last December at Anfield. But it’s certainly a game we should be winning.

Sunderland have been involved in a cup final and a cup semi-final in the last few weeks and won neither of them. The semi-final defeat at Hull bared no resemblance to their decent performance in the League Cup final reverse to Man City. They won’t have Fabio Borini available for selection at Anfield of course, the Italian has had a productive loan spell in the North-East and should report back to pre-season training at Melwood with renewed hope that he has a future at the club. Speaking of Sunderland, I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Doig recently. Eric is the grandson of the famous Sunderland and Liverpool goalkeeper, Ned Doig. Born in Arbroath Ned was actually on the books of the club when they beat Bon Accord 36-0 in the Scottish cup, and to this day is still the clubs most capped international with two caps for Scotland.  Moving to Sunderland via Blackburn, Ned made his name under the guidance of Tom Watson at Sunderland, winning an incredible four league titles before joining Watson at Anfield and winning a second division title. Buried in an unmarked grave Eric finally erected a headstone in honour of his grandfather last December, situated just a few feet away from his manager Tom Watson.

The home game against Tottenham Hotspurs will bring the month to an end and a victory here would surely see us create a big enough gap between ourselves and the North Londoners. It’s been a strange few months for Tim Sherwood. Winning at Old Trafford and impressive victories at Newcastle and qualifying for the last 16 of the Europa League. On the other hand, they can ship goals at an alarming rate as we reds know only too well. But what we will know by the end of this month is whether us reds can still dream of league glory – Over to you lads.

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Would Shankly have survived the football forums?

The reds at home to Cardiff almost 54 years to the day since Bill Shankly was appointed manager of Liverpool Football Club. Not the best of starts for the new boss, a 0-4 reverse at Anfield. Can you imagine the reaction to such a start today. Lets go back in time and fast forward to the present day – it’s doubtful Mr Shankly would have survived in the current climate.

FOOTBALL FORUM 18th DECEMBER 1959

Hunt59: Best of luck to Mr Shankly in his new role as Liverpool FC manager. Let’s hope we start with a victory over the blues from Cardiff.

KemlynRoader: I second that. What a coup for Mr Shankly to obtain total control of first team affairs as well. Unheard off, he must have good methods of persuasion.

Kopite1947: This is a new departure and one I’m not best pleased with – Mr Shankly turned us down once before and we go back cap in hand – No thank you Mr Shankly. The club missed out on the great Liverpool captain, Matt Busby, and we will never live that down.

PhilTaylor1950: With Hickson and Hunt on form I can see no reason whatsoever why Liverpool can’t challenge for a top four finish this season and whilst it may take Mr Shankly a few years to get us promotion and back to where we belong I believe it will be worth it. We have found the right man gentlemen. I can assure you of that.

LiddleBilly: Does anyone know what time the soccertram leaves for Anfield this Saturday?

MoranLB: Soccertram leaves from the Aldelphi every half an hour from 12pm onwards. Don’t think there will be too many at the game this Saturday. Some say they can’t make out the players from the back of the Spion Kop. I said it when they were installed two years ago, Floodlights will not work and won’t attract more spectators to football. And I was right.

DashingDaveH: I hope Mr Shankly will be paying a good deal of attention to the reserve side, we have some very good youngsters with a special mention to young Callaghan who I feel could do a good job for Liverpool FC and could play in the first team until the late 1960’s at least.

StubbornStubbins: Anyone going to Charlton for the Boxing Day Fixture?

Balmerlegend: Well I would like to travel but would we make it back in time for the return fixture on the 28th? Maybe we could ask Mr Shankly for a lift back ha ha

20man: Please pray that Danny Malloy is playing this Saturday afternoon. He’s now scored three own goals against us whilst playing for Cardiff. I predict a revenge 3-2 win for the reds this Saturday.

 FOOTBALL FORUM 19th DECEMBER 1959

(Liverpool FC 0 Cardiff City 4)

Hunt59: If Mr Shankly doesn’t know what a tough job he has on his hands he does now. But he’ll get it right.

KemlynRoader: Cardiff got the start they needed, jolly good team they are as well. Up to third now.

Kopite1947: I told you giving a manager sole responsibility for the job would lead to problems.  I gave the director’s box a piece of my mind at the final whistle

PhilTaylor1950: Hickson and Hunt never got a sniff from Sullivan and Baker who were in top form. Mr Shankly will have a good look at the youngsters I hope and build a team for a promotion push next season.

MoranLB: Danny Malloy didn’t even get on the score-sheet. I was at the back of the Spion Kop, I could barely see with the poor lighting and cigarette smoke. But at least I was warm. Back again for Charlton.

StubbornStubbins: Young Jones played ever so well on his debut – with Callaghan playing well for the reserves this team may look very different in the new year when Mr Shankly gets a good look at them on the training pitch.

Balmerlegend: I like the way Mr Shankly speaks, he has the common touch he said afterwards “Naturally I’m disappointed but it’s just as well that I’ve seen the team give an off-form display in my first match. I’ve learned quite a few things this way,” Seems a honest man.

20man: I had Danny Malloy down to score a o.g. on my coupon – only hope we have of getting promotion is winning the pools. Maybe John Moores will come across to this side of Stanley Park and invest in the reds.

 FOOTBALL FORUM 19th DECEMBER 2013

(Liverpool FC 0 Cardiff City 4)

Luis7: Keystone cop defending, this has been a woeful performance.

stevielegend: I can’t believe the board has given this man full control over team affairs. This is a fcuking joke.

5times: What a loada shite. New players required Shankly, and no money, we are doomed.

KD: Absolutely pathetic, while Moran was our best player there seems to be no communication at the back when he plays, Allen was good on his debut and Hunt is terribly overrated and never looks arsed. Good luck Shankly.

Lucas09: Fooking joke, we’ve nothing in midfield – Hunt is ok up front but we never looked like doing anything. Nothing but two wins from our two games against Charlton now.

GlenJ: That is up there with the worst Liverpool performances I have ever seen and I was at the 5-1 home defeat to The Arsenal seven years ago – even at this early stage Shankly needs to look at himself in the mirror. The team selection was all over the place. The communication between Morris and Campbell was awful. That midfield needs some major surgery. Fcuking shit

RafaB: It was a really bad result we know that, but how we perform next game against Charlton will tell us a lot more about the team and the new manager. Embarrassing result.

RobbieF: Show me somebody who thinks Jimmy Melia should be in the team and I’ll show you an idiot. Send Dave Hickson back across the park as well, useless.

Ronnie5: Take a photo of the league table because unless Mr Williams invests heavily we won’t be challenging for promotion this or next season. Mr Shankly must be wondering what he has got himself into here. We are on the way to no-where.

Rush9: We need to win our next two against Charlton IMHO. And hope that Sheffield Utd and Cardiff drop more. At least Everton are having a shit season as well. As for Mr Shankly – he’ll be lucky to last the season with this performance, talks a lot, but nothing to show for it.

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