Friday, 30 July 2010

Why Roy is the perfect tonic to a champagne socialist

I originally intended to pen a piece on the problematic left-back position after football journalism’s Twitterati went into overdrive to plug the gap left by the departures of Insua and Aurelio with, well, Aurelio and Insua.

There was going to be an allusion to Wheel of Fortune in there somewhere, perhaps some brief merry-go-round imagery as well. I was even contemplating using that old joke you were told in school that your best position was left-back in the changing room.

Fortunately, as I sat down to trundle out the first horrific pun, I was stopped by a loud sound about 35 miles away which reverberated through my house. The sound, I suppose, could best be described as a pop. Darting to my window, I saw no ill-intentioned rocket flying through the air; nor could I see any evidence of an earthquake, tornado or other assorted natural disasters.

Relieved, I sat back down. Not to worry. It was just Alex Ferguson, the world’s biggest champagne socialist, opening another bottle of bubbly. Even better, he’s reminding us all why – despite his trophy haul with those across the M62 – we’re glad he’s never come near this football club in any positive capacity.

Liverpool fans should not have to worry about off-the-pitch problems, but that’s the unfortunate reality we face. As I said in Well Red magazine this month, the necessity to have aptitude in accountancy has taken enjoyment from the club and from football in the wider sense.

For those of us lost in the club’s numeric nightmare, all we want is a figurehead in the dugout who represents us. A shop steward in Bill Shankly’s holy trinity of players, supporters and manager. Roy has only been in charge for little over a month, but he’s already grown into that role more than Ferguson has in over 24 years.

Ferguson has publicly backed the Glazers because they give him what he wants. Little empathy for the people of Old Trafford by a supposed man of the people. The owners give Ferguson what he wants, to hell with the repercussions of it when he’s long gone. It’s a bit like Icarus looking forward to his tan as he flies towards the sun.

At least Roy is on our side.

Liverpool’s search for a left-back and the indecision from the board – that indecision being: how do we find money for a left-back now that £5 million for Insua is not in the bank yet? – is a worrying microcosm of what Hodgson has had to deal with so far. Clearly the board are not there to simply sign the cheques.

A free Joe Cole could not, should not and will not mask the fact Hodgson is expected to make a net profit for the club this summer. Never in his 34-year career has he had to act so stringently; never before has he acted as a juggler, his multi-coloured balls replaced by dollar-signed bags of swag laced with dynamite.

But any worry that the juggler is being controlled by the clowns at the circus that is Liverpool Football Club has been alleviated with the manager’s actions in his first month of the job. Roy has proven to sceptical supporters, myself included, that he is here with the club and fans at the forefront of his mind. For that, if nothing else, he deserves our unmitigated support.

It’s not even the opening weekend, and already our manager is exhibiting more class than his Scottish rival.

Maybe Roy was made for the Liverpool job after all.

1 comment:

  1. I am a lifetime reds fan (and hence a lifetime manutd hater). I, as yourself was also a sceptic when hodgson was appointed, and i, as yourself, have been pleasantly surprised by the way roy has handled himself since he got the job.
    to say that "he’s already grown into that role more than Ferguson has in over 24 years" is a bit farfetched to say the least. hostilities and loyalties aside, you can't accuse red-nose of being selfish and not looking after the interests of his club. he's just playing both sides. to come out and bash his board full on, would only work against him. stability breeds success, and that is also the case with the stability between the board and the supporters.
    roy has had a good start to his liverpool career given the circumstances, and he will always be considered a nicer bloke than red-nose, but he's got a lot to prove before he can be compared to the fergie dynasty...
    now if only any of these takeover rumours are true and we finally get rid of the american cancer, and get some proper financial backing before the final week of the transfer window. unfortunately i won't be holding my breath, as we've heard it all too many times before...