The Long Road to Premier League Relapse
Have you ever taken a break with your girlfriend only to get back together? The process begins with a conversation, generally in a neutral location; let’s say a coffee shop
, maybe Kayak’s Coffeeshop in Saint Louis, MO. You discuss all the things wrong with your relationship and why you should see other people. One party pleads, begs, and cries to let it go on a little longer, “one more week…this can work,” but there’s no hope. You’re both released back into the sea from whence you came like baby sea turtles: to return home if fate commands it.
Now you’re back on the open market dating Brazilians and Russians, hitting on 19 and 21 year olds, and having some “friendly” hook-ups. These encounters are alright, but something feels a bit off. The chemistry isn’t there, there’s no attachment, and the thrill is gone. A rebound sounded nice, but it just made you realize how much you missed your girlfriend and the familiarity that comes with knowledge of the intricacies of each other’s lives.
Right, that’s kind of what my summer was like. And how I missed you Premier League. It’s like old times again: Wayne Rooney wants out, Real Madrid are tapping someone up, and Arsenal have been linked to big name players that they are almost certainly not going to sign (David Moyes, feeling jealous, is doing his best impersonation). But not everything is the same. There’s some new furniture your apartment, your wine cellars been emptied, and everything seems a bit more Welsh.
We Don’t Walk Alone in Melbourne
With a summer tour in full swing, Melbourne turned into Anfield for one night. Liverpool were welcomed by their Australian supporters with open arms, and our good friend Dan Gribbon brought his camera to capture the Reds play the A-League’s Melbourne Victory in front of a whopping 95,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Rebuilding the Liverpool mosaic: Brendan Rodgers on the brink
By Matthew Dunne-Miles
It’s early August and Brendan Rodgers stands outside the Anfield locker room. Nervously he grabs the door handle, takes a deep breath and opens it with trepidation, ready to dazzle the team with some Socrates in order to prepare them for a season without European football.
As the door creaks open and he steps inside, a tumbleweed slowly rolls past his feet; there is deafening silence occasionally disrupted by the drip, drip, drip of a loose shower faucet somewhere in the distance.
'Is…is anybody there?' Rodgers enquires, his accent, concocted from bits of Sean Connery, Gerry Adams and the Go Compare man, echoes off the changing room walls.
He makes his way over to Jamie Carragher’s empty locker through a sea of dry ice, whilst vibrato guitar begins to play in the background. Rodgers presses his hands and face against the cold steel door and closes his eyes.
'Et tu Carra?' he whispers before looking down and spotting a note addressed to ‘The Gaffer’ on the bench below. He carefully unfolds it, reads the words he never wished to see and puts his head in his hands as the note drops into the mist below in slow motion.
'To Brendan, we've left. Sincerely, all your talent'
Originally, this was set to be posted yesterday morning as a commemoration of sorts to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough Tragedy. While polishing the post and gathering a few accompanying photos, I received a text message alerting me to the fact that something terrible had occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Like with most instances of breaking news, I scanned my Twitter feed, looking for any bit of information that might confirm the horrible event that my friend had alluded to, and then, seeing a few photos tumble down my timeline, the day changed.
Everything else seemed inconsequential; the workday effectively over. How could one dedicate themselves to their own interests when such an event had happened? How could we obsess over something as insignificant as football when people were still missing, families separated and victims in the midst of emergency operations?
A misery overtook me, and the rest of the day was spent sitting in front of a television screen, fervently searching for any update.
Today, while stories of the strength and resiliency of the people of Boston give us a sense of optimism and confidence, the pit remains in my stomach. But while I had initially thought to scrap this post, I realized that much of it applies to yesterday’s events. We cannot push away tragedy because it is too painful, and we cannot simply overlook the past, no matter how heartbreaking it may be. We must not allow tragedies to fade, but rather, keep them in mind, as we honor the victims by remembering them not as statistics, but as they were, people, with their own hopes, dreams and families.
Whether Hillsborough or yesterday’s events in Boston, we must honor their legacy by remembering them as they would have wanted, and never ending our search for justice.
Football is an institution, in more ways than one. And there are few more anti-establishment players than Luis Suarez. Not just because of his on-field theatrics and eccentric personality, but because he is the antithesis of the politically correct ideology that permeates football around the world.
Luis Suarez is perceived as a threat to that institution and is, rightly or wrongly, vilified as a result. In a way, you can call Suarez the Che Guevera of football. Although simplistic, it serves the purpose of this piece, namely to symbolize the relationship between Suarez and the institution as that of a ubiquitous rebellious figure against an inequitable structure.
Before we move on, It should be prefaced that the use of “Anarchism” here does denote the narrow and misunderstood semblance of left-wing political radicalism or pure anti-authoritarianism. Instead, like Anarchy as a doctrine—a philosophy that cannot be strictly defined and is always in flux—it is generally speaking the opposition or resistance to an unjust organizational hierarchy. For our purposes, that is a football world seemingly unified against a single player.
A new beginning for Liverpool?
Today Liverpool may have put in the most impressive performance we’ve seen this season. After being thrown aside at Anfield by West Brom, there were plenty of questions surrounding Brendan Rogers’ project. While we can’t speak to what Brendan may have said in the dressing room after the match on Monday, something clicked today, and it didn’t leave a trace of evidence that it was a fluke.
Phillippe Coutinho’s first Liverpool start sparked new life into the squad, and while a spot in Europe may be a reach at this point in the season, can we expect Gerrard, Suarez, and company to continue to improve? Consistency has been a real issue, especially when you consider that this was Liverpool’s first Premier League win against an opponent in the top half of the table. Where do you think Liverpool will be sitting in mid-May?
Mario, We Hardly Knew Ye - AFR Voice Ep.11
It’s been a magical weekend of FA Cup action, but now the dust has settled, Luton have finished celebrating, and Oldham’s Matt Smith has stopped shoving Martin Skrtel around the penalty area, let the latest of edition of AFR Voice take you through all the highs and lows of what was a truly rollercoaster weekend of fourth round drama.
We’ll be taking a good look at all of the weekend’s big upsets – Oldham dumping out last year’s finalists Liverpool, Brentford holding cup holders Chelsea, Leeds knocking out a much fancied Spurs side, as well as the MK Dons shoving Harry Redknapp back into the transfer window “gang war” in a bid to sign up yet more talent that may (but most probably won’t) keep QPR up.
We’ll also be saying a fond farewell to Mario Balotelli as he heads back to Milan, as well as what to do if a Premier League footballer’s car gets a puncture outside your house, and why unemployed French tutors should get on a train up to Newcastle, and pronto.
Then it’s off around Europe where Lazio are desperately trying to recruit a new ornithological mascot before the January window shuts, Cristiano Ronaldo’s hatrick still isn’t enough to upstage Messi in La Liga, and Zlatan gets a good megging in Ligue 1, before we head down to South Africa to give you an update on all of the happenings at the African Cup of Nations, including the real reason as to Cape Verde are proving to be such high fliers.
As always, you can get in touch with the team by tweeting @AFRvoice or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also subscribe to AFR Voice on iTunes and find us on Soundcloud.