|photo by Ben Sutherland||via PhotoRee|
Scott with his weekly musings:
Where to begin? Well, I suppose I could start with the shocking news that Liverpool's luck lasted all of another 45 minutes after the Swansea game. An unearned penalty and then an earned one, both converted by Stevie G., dictated the 2-0 scoreline at halftime. But then the Reds conspired against themselves as they continued to play half-assed at best, allowing the last place team in the league look like the better side. After conceding in rapid succession, they did manage a foray or two forward, but even then they managed to thwart themselves, literally shooting into each other on two separate occasions. With several other teams dropping points, being two goals up at halftime seemed like a great way to start the new year. But instead of being only 5 points out of 4th place, Liverpool now sit 7 points out and Champions League football next year, while still possible, seems to be fading away. Can this all change so quickly with the return of Daniel Sturridge? We'll know the answer to that as well as find out how the Englishman can handle pressure, hopefully within weeks. I still have my rose colored glasses on but one lens is definitely cracked.Just a few hours ago I had to deliver the news of Stevie G's season-end departure to my children. Never knowing a Liverpool side without the Legend, they are still unable to comprehend a future without him. But after I allayed their fears of a transfer to another EPL team, I was able to offer hope in the form of the conventional wisdom that says Gerrard will end up in MLS. Not having a South Florida team, nor any tremendous pull to the league until now, they are now excited about being able to cheer an American club at some point.As I have written before, Gerrard's influence in games has been waning and the consistent quality has not been there. Some will point to his flashes of brilliance or his willingness to play out of position. But, for me, with where this team is headed, it was always going to be a struggle to fit Gerrard in. Maybe it was a coincidence that we played so well against Swansea without him and so poorly against Leicester with him. But at the very least it is a talking point about how accommodations must be made to insert him in the lineup now. He is still a tremendously talented player with physical attributes to spare and, of course, Brendan could make it work by limiting his games and his role so that those flashes of brilliance are the norm instead of infrequent sightings during a 90 minute shift. But aging gracefully has never been the forte of the best of competitors. And given that Gerrard is one of the best there has ever been, I salute his decision to move on rather than cling on. You'll Never Walk Alone, Stevie G!In closing, perhaps this is not an appropriate venue, but as soccer is such a big part of my life, it is important to remember how precious a life is. I bid a monumentally sad farewell to Karen Scott. Despite Liz's efforts, Karen drifted away over the years to struggle with her demons. When someone takes their own life, so many questions go unanswered and so many judgments are made. But there is no denying that a tortured soul who has lost all hope deserves our pity and our compassion. I choose to remember Karen as the vibrant, smiley girl I knew in college. Rest in Peace, dear Karen.
This is farlieonfootie for January 3.