DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE
The Fiver's always tried to cultivate an erudite air with a selection of clever books by its bedside. And yet whenever it has managed to lure an unsuspecting animal, vegetable or mineral back home, for some reason they seemed unnerved by the selection of Albert DeSalvo biographies, Incontinence: A Self Help Guide, and Ashley Cole's seminal text, My Defence. But just as that little library doesn't make the Fiver (any more of) a bed-wetting serial killer on enormous sums of money, just because John W Henry once read Moneyball, it doesn't make him some kind of sporting mastermind. Or, for that matter, Brad Pitt.
Yup, when Dubya took over at Liverpool we were told it wouldn't be long before his crack team of scouts would be uncovering 5ft 4in, 15 stone players who would go on to score 58 goals a season. But Andy Reid was already playing for Nottingham Forest, so instead Liverpool are only 6% less shambolic than when Henry and Co first arrived and, after the sacking of Kenny Dalglish, they haven't even got a manager. Or, now that we think of it, an assistant manager. Or a performance director. Or a head of sports science. Or a press officer. And with a rate of attrition like that at Anfield, is it any wonder Merseyside is an unemployment blackspot?
Still, it looks like Fenway Sports Group are finally learning because they've put all kinds of dead hard sums into their footballing supercomputer and come up with some undiscovered talent to replace Dalglish: Chelsea's former manager. Yup, it appears Andre Villas-Boas is a frontrunner for the job, making Liverpool slightly less innovative than Chelsea, whose cunning behind-the-scenes tactics consist of identifying a problem, throwing loads of money at it and then throwing even more money at the problem they've just made worse by putting David Luiz in defence.
Meanwhile, Liverpool's managing director, Ian Ayre, explained the reasons behind Kenny's departure. "The most important element which isn't quite there is the football," said Ayre, stating the bleeding obvious. "We have to get the football right," he added, following up his statement of the bleeding obvious by stating the bleeding obvious. "Our revenues are as high as they have ever been and you take those revenues and then invest those into the team to invest on the pitch," he continued, uncovering a new branch of science called "economics". You don't get that kind of insight in My Defence.
QUOTE OF THE DAY I
Random Liverpool fan: "The problem with Kenny was, you should never go back."
Sky Sports News reporter: "Who do you want next?"
Random Liverpool fan: "Rafa."
QUOTE OF THE DAY II
"I got carried away in the excitement of the moment and I certainly didn't mean any disrespect to Sir Alex Ferguson, who I admire as a man and a manager" - Carlos Tevez upon being photographed brandishing an "RIP Fergie" banner during Manchester City's Premier League victory celebrations on Monday night.
"It seems like Ferguson is the president of England. Every time he speaks badly about a player or says terrible things about me, nobody says that he has to apologise. [But] when someone comes out with a joke or banter, you have to say sorry – but I don't say sorry" - Carlos Tevez, yesterday.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
258,909: The average number of pounds paid daily by Manchester United on interest repayments and bond buy-backs over the last nine months; a drain on club resources many in-no-way deluded fans claim will have no impact whatsoever on transfer dealings or on-field performances.
"Re: the letter from David O'Leary (yesterday's Fiver letters). As you didn't put '(no, not that one)' after his name, does it mean the letter was indeed from 'that one' or does the fact that you wrote David O'Leary rather than Dvd O'Lry automatically mean it wasn't 'that one'? I think we need clarification" - Brendan Mackinney.
"Re: Liverpool Football Club conspiring to undermine the Fiver (yesterday's Fiver). Perhaps if the Fiver (GMT) took the big clock that hangs in Fiver Towers off the wall and adjusted the time to British Summer Time, we would have our tea-timely email at tea-time and not the 13 minutes past four it has been arriving at of late. That way we could have at least had 300 words of made up jibber-jabber on the King's dismissal and not a scant paragraph" - Jonny Bell.
BITS AND BOBS
Having been told by Manchester United that the club will not be renewing his season ticket for the Old Trafford substitutes' bench, Michael Owen has alerted League One clubs to his availability. "I don't think the Championship would be an option," he said, as his Mr 15% rushed an updated version of that brochure to the printers.
Jack Wilshere's knack-woe shows no sign of letting up, with the Arsenal midfielder set to undergo surgery for patella-gah suffered as he attempts to recover from longstanding ankle-ouch. "His ongoing rehabilitation has seen a long-standing slight issue with his patella tendon in his left knee flare up," droned a club statement.
In better news for Gooners, Barcelona have rejected the opportunity to try and sign Robin van Persie from Arsenal this summer. We have no quotes to back that up, mind ... but we read it somewhere so it must be true.
And Alex McLeish has responded to his many critics among Aston Villa's support by taking a couple of retaliatory verbal swipes. "I have nothing but the highest respect for the club and sincerely wish it and the fans great success in the future," he said.
STILL WANT MORE?
Proper Journalist David Conn knows his stuff. So when he says Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group perhaps don't know their stuff, you'd better believe him, or at least read his blog.
Robbie Keane's Father Dougal impression at the Whitehouse, a photographer almost losing his snout on the sidelines and Bayern's Big Cup final heartache all feature in this week's Classic YouTube.
Not football: in the latest of his Olympic videos, Barry Glendenning showcases the glamour of life as an elite Team GB athlete by travelling to Barnet to help some long- and triple-jumpers to push a VW Polo around a car park.
More not football: if England are taking on West Indies at Lord's, then the least you can do is follow it with the two Bobbys' over-by-over report.
Jonathan Wilson knows so much about Romanian football that he can recite all 108 teams from the six regional groups of the country's third division in less time than it takes Gheorghe Hagi to eat a bag of Skittles. Here's his take on the rotten core of the country's game
And AC Jimbo and his Football Weekly ... ExtraaaaAAAAAAAAaaaaaAAAaaaa chums discuss King Kenny's fall, why Steve Kean shouldn't talk to anybody in a pub ever again and Chelsea's chances of getting a shoeing in Big Cup, while failing to remember who the hell Luton are playing in the Conference play-off final.
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