“Everything is going perfectly to plan. I couldn’t be happier.”
“I genuinely think this group of players are capable of winning the Premier League.”
Ha ha! Er … Good one? April Fool?
“I think we got value for money in our transfer deals over the last couple of years.”
Ha, ha! Stop it!! You’re too funny. You got us – April Fool.
That’s the gist of what Kenny Dalglish has been saying in the last couple of weeks. It turns out it isn’t just a woefully pre-mature April Fools gag, he actually believes it. For possibly the first time in the long and passionate love-in that has been his association with Liverpool, King Kenny is under serious pressure. Maybe no-one is expecting him to walk on water, but at the moment, saying he’s threading water is putting it kindly.
One win from their last seven Premier League outings is bad enough, but the manner of the recent defeats is a bigger concern. Making QPR look like Barcelona for 13 minutes at Loftus Road and the insipid performance in losing at home to Wigan has really ramped up the pressure on Kenny, but it’s good to know he has identified the problem.
“We’ve got a problem winning games in the league,” said Dalglish whilst wielding the hammer of understatement ominously close to the head of the nail of the obvious.
The Reds travel to the Shiny Tracksuits And Chavy Runners Direct Arena on Sunday for a game that looks trickier than coming up with an excuse for casual racism. Newcastle have been one of the teams of the season. Alan Pardew was greeted with all the enthusiasm the natives normally reserve for warm clothing in winter, but the style and standards of their performances this season have put them in with a decent chance of a top four finish. They may ultimately fall short of a Champions League place, but the Europa League looks on the cards and the opportunity to unleash their bare beer bellies on continental Europe will represent major progress for the Toon Army.
Away form has been Dalglish’s saving grace this year, but he can’t take anything for granted against one of his former clubs. King Kenny might be about to find out that it never reigns, but it pours.
Elsewhere in this week’s round of Premier League goodness, one of the most interesting gamesis John Terry bringing his Chelsea team to take on Aston Villa. Have the Blues turned a corner or are they just slightly less crap than they were? And could Aston Villa be sucked into the blood, thunder and giving out about referees of the relegation scrap?
Everton should be able to beat a West Brom side who were clearly thinking about their summer holidays against Newcastle last week.
But for the curious decision of the referee on Monday, Fulham should have got a point from their trip to Old Trafford and the residual discontent means Norwich are great value to upset them at the Cottage.
Arsenal will think they can extend their 6 game winning run when they face QPR and they’re probably right.
Wigan versus Stoke sounds about as appealing as a kick in the testicles, but the visits are decent value for a win.
Wolves have won once so far this year and they will move one step closer to their impending relegation if they lose to Bolton, which is certainly a possibility, even with home advantage in their favour.
The fawning praise of two remarkable managers will fly when Tottenham host Swansea in Sunday afternoon. There should also be some nice football and some goals. Spurs will get more of them than the Swans, which – under the rules of association football – will make them the winner and the proud owners of three new points.
Man Utd will probably be wholly unconvincing, but receive enough favourable refereeing decisions to see them through at a Blackburn who aren’t as good as they were a few months ago. Man City take some stuttering form and the lingering suspicion that match officials show favouritism to their city and title rivals into the game with Sunderland.
Sir Alex’s mind games are having absolutely no effect on the club. April fool. You only need to read a couple of Patrick Vieira quotes to see they’ve taken the bait and Roberto Mancini needs to keep his players focussed on winning matches That’s the main theme in this week’s fantastic episode of Ballcrack. Watch it, share it and steal the jokes and pass them off as your own. It’s what YouTube was made for.