The big kick-off has been postponed and as a result we’re spared for a few more days before we discover whether blind hope is to be either speared by reality or carried forth on the shoulders of cockerel emblazoned heroes.
I suspect most of us have only limited expectations for 2011/12 at the moment. None of the holes in the side appear to have been adequately plugged and our rejects either aren’t wanted or are overpriced meaning that there is more cash in a Currys shop till than there is burning a hole in Levy’s back pocket.
The lack of player turnover means not only that the club has been spared the cost of a pre-season photo shoot (they can use last year’s team snaps with Orgasma photoshopped on to the shirts) but also that we’re in danger of being stuck on the grid whilst the newly pimped up rides of the scouse, mancs and chavs speed towards the first corner.
So what can we expect in the coming months? What is the view from the rose-tinted spectacle wearing optimist and how much cold water can the world weary cynic reasonably poor on his hopes?
Gomes wasn’t good enough last season. There were too many blunders especially in the big games.
The Octopus will be well aware of his failings of last season and after a few weeks with Tony Parks will be back on his game for 2011/12. Welcome back the player of the year 2009/10. And we’ve got backup. In Friedel we have a man who realises he’s potentially been handed the gloves of glory and will prove that he is more than just a insert-your-own-scary-baldy-bloke-here lookey likey and is living proof that keepers only get better with alopecia. Sorry, ‘with age’.
Even if Gomes had spent the summer having shots and crosses fired at him and a cattle prod being applied every time he dropped or flapped at one it wouldn’t be enough. He’s lost it. In the second half at Stamford Bridge he was more jellyfish than Octopus. Brad just ups our count of competent but blunder prone keepers to three, no more than that.
Arguably our best stocked area with Bale and Rose providing cover for Assou-Ekotto on the left and Corluka fighting off competition from Walker and maybe Kaboul on the right. Don’t mention Hutton.
On the left, Assou-Ekotto will have another strong injury-free season and will perfect a whipped in cross that is as stylish as his afro. On the right, much as I’m a fan of Charlie’s work, it’d be great if Walker’s apparent determination to succeed is matched by his efforts on the pitch and some much needed Road Runner type support is given to Lennon.
Benny’s cult status as the king of the shoulder shrug continues to grow whilst on the right Walker gets a few starts only to hurl himself into one charge forward too many and end up out until January. Corluka takes over and changes the soundtrack from Dick Dale back to Heart FM.
Dawson, Gallas & King. If all are fit and keen that’s a trio to be reckoned with, don’t hold your breath though. Kaboul and Bassong provide the main backup. Merge the two and the resulting being might just have enough brain cells to concentrate for 90 minutes.
King playing more than the odd cameo is fantasy rather than a hope. The truth is that he’s only months away from hanging up his crutches. Keeping in touch with reality, Kaboul seems to have most if not all the qualities needed to become a top player. This is his breakthrough season; he & Dawson could end up combining as a formidable partnership with Gallas providing more than adequate cover.
Gallas to get given a game alongside Dawson as soon as he’s fit but that won’t be for long. Dawson will once again be the mainstay with the others rotating in and out, depending on suspensions, injuries and Harry’s whim.
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