Liverpool Half-Term Report: Rodgers Is A Stop-Gap Between Managerial Calamities

Gerrard is past it and Sterling isn't as good as some are making out. And no, Sturridge isn't the answer for a top 10 side. If only we had Santi Cazorla...


Team: Liverpool

What’s going right?

The planned disassembling of Stewart Downing’s self-esteem has gone without a hitch - big pat on the back there. Apart from that, with Liverpool having been ‘a club in transition’ for the past 25 years, very little. Although, saying that, if I peer right to the bottom of Unwarranted Optimism’s barrel I can see something that looks a bit like hope. But it isn’t. It’s Daniel Sturridge.

What's not?

How long have you got?Our squad carries all the menace of a Richard Curtis script. Our once-dependable glovesmith has morphed into some class of Westerveld. Club captain and militant Phil Collins fan Steven Gerrard seems to be unravelling in agonising fashion – a bit like a testicle tumbling from a recently torn bawbag. Priapic toddler Raheem ‘Red Herring’ Sterling bears all the hallmarks of overhyped, unfulfilled potential - one goal, a couple of assists, 14 children and a lot of exciting but ultimately fruitless scampering. Our manager, a man who inspired in me little more than the belief he’d at least keep his mouth shut and restore a little post-Suarezgate dignity to the club, has, thanks to this utterly dickish Profound Diviner persona he seems to have adopted coupled with the most ill-advised fly-on-the-wall docu-pocalypse since Being: Mugabe, become an object of ridicule so perfectly formed I’m half expecting to find out he’s actually Bono.

Got the right manager?

There’s the rub.He’s neither the right not the wrong manager. He just is. Hardly a ringing endorsement but I’m happy to give him a couple of seasons before making a fully-informed character assassination. If you’re after positives, I really admire his ability to look like a CID plod peering into the back of a spoon. You’re not a deity, Brendan. You’re a man who inherited a tried-and-trusted template at a very well-run Swansea. In short, if he phases out the p*ss-weak, look-how-enigmatic-i-am, fag-packet philosophising, the envelope stunt plagiarism and the shocking knitwear, he may have a chance. Otherwise, he’s merely a stop-gap between calamities.


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Star player?

A lack of stand-out performers that aren’t Suarez means you’d think there could only really be one recipient.But I’m going to throw a cantankerous curveball and opt forour very own Nosferatu,Mr. Jonjo Shelvey. Not for anything he’s done on the pitch. Rather for something he did as he stepped off it. He wins simply for the index finger jousted in Auld Tuber-nose’s direction on his way to an early bath. [Oh, Jesus, that’s what I’ve been reduced to: handing out accolades for a momentary flourish of old school aggro. Kill me now.]

Who would you like to sell in January?

Can we sell Torres again? If not, I’d happily take a jar of defunct currency for all of the following: Downing, Henderson, Cole. But you knew that already.

Who do you want to sign?

All I care about is that we emerge from the January transfer window looking less inept than we did last time. I don’t hold out much hope though.

Best chant so far?

Chants? Where we’re going, we don’t need chants…

Best opposition player/team you’ve seen?

Two words:SantiCazorla. I could happily masturbate just thinking about him.

Biggest **** of the season so far?

John Toxic. There are few human beings less deserving of the time and energy it takes to formulate loathing. But I will always make an exception in his case.

End of season prediction?

I’m way too old to flirt with sanguine delusion.We’ll finish just inside the top ten. Because that’s where we are as a club right now - arguably easier on the eye than we were under Dalglish but no more effective a footballing force than we were under Roy Hodgson. Merry Christmas.