Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It Doesn't Happen Often...

...but I will be pleasant about the round ball game for once.

I know a lot of good Liverpool supporters (as I do of many other clubs), so I'll be out cheering them on tonight and won't even criticize a goalless draw if they go on to win on penalties. As well as their supporters the club also seems to feature a much higher than normal number of players who seem to genuinely care about the club, from Gerrard on down, give it 100%, and even seem pretty keen to get on with the game most of the time rather than messing around on the floor. Even more remarkably the same players don't seem to throw away this ethic the second they pull an England shirt on.

I've got a pretty good idea what the pubs of the Village will be like. I'll probably opt for Base Camp as it tends to be free from the likes of the Village Idiot and the Toxic One. Most people will get behind Liverpool; they are just that type of club few people can genuinely dislike. There are a couple of Italians who go in there and I guess their different sympathies will add to the atmosphere rather than be the source of agro; it's just that kind of town. I've no doubt there will be the usual bunch of morons who would probably support a Taliban XI if they were playing any other premiership club from that which they disgrace by their support.

Update 8:15PM: Getting the hang of this football supporting thing. If your team is going forward you either make a lot of noise or seize up in absolute terror of them making it a mess of it. When the other team goes forward you shout 'offside' a lot.

Update 8:35PM: Half time tragic goal from a free kick for the Italians to leave it 1-0 to them, despite Liverpool doing most of the little that happened.

Update 9:20PM: One of those moments I love to hate about football. A bit of a clash between Liverpool and Milan player, for which the Liverpool player is, on balance correctly, penalised. The Milan player is lying on the floor clutching his forehead (untouched in the collision) trying to upgrade it to a yellow card. What would happen in Rugby is certain; the referee would reverse the penalty and yellow card the Milan player for play acting. They really should have a citing process after the game in which any player on TV evidence shown to have behaved so unsportingly should be sentenced to start each of the next 10 games effectively on a yellow card, as well as wearing a pink shirt with 'CHEAT' across the front and back to warn future refs.

Update 9:27PM: Disaster, a (pretty good) goal to Milan for 2-0.

Update 9:30PM: Liverpool get one back for 2-1, but only a couple of minutes left on the clock so it looks like consolation only.

Update 9:40PM: It's all over what a shame, but not in anyway disgraced. I've been hearing about some of the shenanigans in Serie A of late and have to agree that if true, it's not sour grapes - Milan really should not have been there tonight. Good try anyway Liverpool, the better team lost.

Normal service will return shortly.

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