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The Sleeping Giant

A new season, once again. Tired after a long day? Want some quick maths to impress you? Here goes. I’m now entering my 8th season as a manager, that means this is my 3rd at Liverpool (look at those maths skills). At this point I must be considered the greatest living manager in my parallel universe, if not of all time. 5 league titles in a row (2 x Bundesliga, 1 x Ligue 1, 2 x Premiership), 2 Champions Leagues wins, 1 Europa League, 1 European Super Cup, 1 German Cup, 1 French Cup, 1 Coup de la Ligue, 1 Carabao Cup, 1 F.A. Cup and a partridge in a pear tree. 9 Major trophies and 5 League titles. Unbelievable. But I’m not done yet.

As [all five of] you are aware the challenge at Liverpool was to make the club the dominant force in England once again. In recent history, we’ve now achieved that with two league titles and a sprinkle of European conquests galore. But we are still one shy of the 21 markers laid out by our bitter rivals United. So this season is about winning the League for the third time in a row. A personal challenge I’ve yet to achieve with one club. So, shall we begin? No? OK. I’ll just draw out this opening statement even longggeeerrr fffooorrr nnnooo rrreeeaaasssooonnn ttthhheeennn…
Fuck that. Buckle up. Here we go.

July:

‘I’m not sure how I felt about it, boss.’
I looked at Coutinho, my friend, my disciple, in utter disbelief. ‘What do you mean?’
‘I just feel like the franchise has lost it way, the original was about a small-time gang of car thieves, now they’re international spies driving on the moon.’
‘Are you telling me you didn’t love Fast & Furious 27?’ Phil shrugged his wee shoulders. ‘I don’t know what to say to you anymore, I am gobsmacked. I don’t think we can be friends Phil, not after this. Not anymore.’

Transfers:

Incoming:
Rashid Biryukov, GK – £10.75m. He looks a talent. Real, serious talent. Like, Lafont needs to look over his shoulder type of talent. I was searching relentlessly for a keeper last season after the Grabara debacle and Rashid was brought to my attention but by then I’d moved for Lafont instead. However, when Lafont picked up his injury I was forced to play Zidane and he just wasn’t up to scratch so I thought hey, why not make the goalkeeper position like every other position, competitive as feck. His release clause made it a no-brainer too. Potentially best signing? Maybe.


Krzysztof Maksymiuk, CB – £40m. At 21 the polish youngster is already considered Elite. He might well be the best in the world after a few years here. A monster of a talent. Not looking forward to spelling that name though.


Filipe, CB – £13.75m. Another one the scouts picked up on. At 20 y/o he is a wonderkid who is blessed with pace and, ultimately, is comfortable with both feet, meaning as he develops over the next two-three seasons, he is capable of covering all three of my CB positions. Potentially another player who could be the best in the world. Not bad hey.

Total: £65million

Outgoing:
Luca Zidane, GK – £10.75m
Andy Robertson, LB – £30m
Dane Hall, CB – £5.5m
Phil Coutinho, CM – £38.5m
Several youngsters were also sold, Stephen Graham – £8.25m, Nigel Connelly-Timms – £3.8m.
Total: £97million

Net Spend: +£32million. The net spend boys weren’t happy with me again but you know what? See this? That’s my middle finger. Go and swivel on it. Also, I feel like I should be in credit with those lads now after all the shite they gave me last season, and that didn’t end too badly did it?

After this window, I found myself really in love with this squad. Like, waking up at night, thinking about the roster and cuddling into my pillow with a big smile on my face. If the team was good and talented when I arrived you could also argue it was overly bloated with ageing players and packed with high wages. Now it is a team filled with high-quality youth and each position is massively competitive. It feels like my team now. Built by myself, in a way I’m happy with i.e. slowly, with the right pieces of the puzzle. But, as always I will be judged on one thing only: results. So hopefully that talent can translate to further trophies for this club. Especially as I only have one year left on my contract and there has been no sign of a new one being thrust in front of me…

Preseason:
MTK, 2-0
Kasimpasa, 3-0
Sivasspor, 8-1

Now, I know what you’re thinking, who the fuck are those teams? And you’d be right in thinking that because it’s exactly what I was thinking myself. When Javi approached me with that list I looked at him as if he had told me he’d pissed or shat himself. Utter bemusement. Where are the big preseason games? The Hollywood fixtures? Sheesh. Ah well. We battered everyone in what was a pretty short and snappy build up to our preseason trophy games – the Community Shield and the Euro Super Cup. See below for those results.

August:

‘Listen, lads, I need a word with you all.’ The team was sat in the changing room, fully dressed in the red of Liverpool, boots spit-shined, facial hair and eyebrows all meticulously pruned. The real season is about to begin. ‘I don’t know about you lot but I’m fucking sick of losing our first competitive game of the season.’ The lads all nodded in agreement. ‘So what are we gonna do about it, hey? We’re going to win. Please, just fucking win I’m begging you.’

LOSC, 3-1

Woah, Javi actually arranged a preseason game with a team I’d heard of, nice one Baldy-locks. Anyway, what we all want to know is, how did we get on in the two opening games of the competitive fixture list?

Trophies:
Community Shield – Man United, 2-2

Shite game to be honest but the important thing is we managed to win, albeit on a penalty shootout. But I’m not arsed. Any chance to beat Mourinho is one I’ll savour, especially as they beat us last year in this very same competition. My first Community Shield this, it’ll look really nice at the back of my garage.

Euro Super Cup – Fenerbahce, 3-0


Another victory in Europe. Apparently, this is sort of a prestigious trophy, I didn’t realise that. I thought it was something to stuff used tampons in. Oh well. Onwards to the real stuff anyway, Premiership football.

Premiership Season:
Tottenham, 0-0
West Ham, 1-0
Aston Villa, 3-1


7 points from a possible 9. Not a bad way to begin the season. Not bad at all. Admittedly the game against Spurs is disappointing as it was played at Anfield but I can’t complain overly much as its the first proper game of the season. And, I think I’m right in saying we lost the first two last season? I’m too lazy to check, sorry.

Anyway, it also means we end the episode undefeated in every competition, which is rather nice. Hopefully, that bodes well for the season. Although some of the teams were utterly shite, let’s be honest. But we shall end it on a positive note, the team is looking good. I want to try and concede a lot less this season, hence the heavy investment, we’ve been far too poor defensively during my time here. Much easier said than done that. We’ll see how that pans out though.

So that’s all, for now, folks, until next time.
Toodle-loo.