Scott is back on the beat for Liverpool:
An exclamation riddled with assonance is the only way to begin after Liverpool's Ivorian tower was stretchered off, with much difficulty by the poor, fluorescently-clad aid workers, during the club's Capital One Cup tie against "lowly" Notts County on Tuesday. With the cupboard approaching bare as quickly as the transfer deadline day, Brendan Rodgers must now negotiate the likes of the Evil Manchester United Empire on Sunday with his most seasoned defender likely unable to play. His thin team now having to skip another meal, the skipper must also solve the riddle that is Liverpool's performance in second halves this year.
Stoke City was only one game. But then Aston Villa turned on the burners last weekend and nearly leveled the score on a then-hapless Liverpool in the second half. Only Gabby Agbonlahor's profligacy spared the visitors, despite a credible penalty claim in the 90th when Brad Guzan brought down Daniel Sturridge. And now, after charging out to a well-deserved 2-0 halftime lead over Notts County, the Reds inexplicably let the League One team back into the game and needed extra-time heroics from Sturridge and Jordan Henderson to seal the deal.
Liverpool better solve this riddle before hosting David Moyes and Co. this Sunday or I'll be switching to the consonant form of alliteration and lingering on the 6th letter of the alphabet.
This is not to say, of course, that Liverpool's play to date has been devoid of bright spots. Sturridge has been on a tear, Raheem Sterling's goal against Notts County was a magnificent individual effort and Henderson's bold, nutmeg-enhanced scoring move bordered the sublime. Add to that Steven Gerrard's lacerating passes, Philippe Coutinho's imaginative dummies (when not being muscled off the ball - something that must be remedied), the seemingly multi-limbed Simon Mignolet and the inspired overlapping play of Luis Enrique and Glen Johnson, and you have much cause for optimism.
I'm also optimistic about NBC hosting the Premier League this year. Unlike FOX Soccer, they are not afraid of an English accent and only bring in Americans who actually know the game (and who have bountiful hair, as has been pointed out here by others more worthy than I). Commentating is an art and, quite frankly, an English accent was the polish on this gem that was deadpanned in the booth when Coutinho tossed himself to the ground after being slightly bumped: "Are you suggesting it was in some way exaggerated?"
This is farlieonfootie for August 30.