Cover your eyes dragon flies, we’re about to get political! Better yet, keep an open mind and read on.
Politics real briefly. In the wake of Donald Trump becoming President-elect of the United States, New Balance’s vice president of public affairs, Matthew LeBretton, stupidly praised the Trump victory because he opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Why on earth would this man alienate a huge segment of people who wear New Balance? This resulted in some on the far right of the political spectrum getting together to declare New Balance the, “Official shoes of white people.” Seriously.
I immediately thought of New Balance’s sponsorship with Liverpool FC. I haven’t heard or seen them mention the Reds, but they should. Be human for once and jettison the typical PR back peddling from the issue. It’s a real issue, a real important issue. They should take today’s featured image and post it wherever Neo-Nazi’s hang out to show them they are actually representing diversity.
Secondly, check out Jordan Henderson’s arm band today. The Premier League has rolled out the Rainbow Laces campaign to promote inclusion for the LGBT part of our fan base. Listen, this isn’t going to eradicate all the ‘phobias’ people have towards the LGBT community, but it’s a starting point for those of us who love equality and love unconditionally to say, “You and I get the bigger picture and anyone wanting to be divisive, insular, and xenophobic can go to hell. Diversity makes us stronger.”
Today the Mighty Reds were able to break down the stingiest of defenses and walk away with all three points. The match provided us with a number of talking points.
- Oh $#!D+ Philippe Coutinho is injured. From a medical perspective I hear people say, “I hope it’s not a break.” However, ligament and tendon damage can cause him to miss the better part of a year with potential surgery and subsequent rehab. A broken bone takes six to eight weeks to heal in comparison. We’ve all got fingers crossed our little magician will be back sooner than both of those scenarios.
- Today the Black Cats played some stifling defense. David Moyes said he’d park the bus and for 70+ minutes it worked a charm. But really, what choice did he have? Did Jermain Defoe even touch the ball? We are forcing teams into this style of play. It is up to us to break them down (just don’t take so long!). I have a better feeling when we play City than I do Sunderland, because City will be foolish enough to come out and play, leaving plenty of space to exploit.
- Loris Karius was solid when he had to be. I remember towards the end of the Pepe Reina era we would dominate games, the opposition would have one shot, they’d score, and we’d lose. That’s not an indictment on Reina, that’s just the way it happened. Karius won’t silence all his critics with this performance, but he’s starting to show what he’s capable of and to the media class…clean sheet!
- Jurgen F!@#ing Klopp. I’m at home sitting on my couch with Little Bear sleeping in my lap, Henderson sprays a ball out of touch and I groan. The Kop groans. The main stand groans. Klopp is having none of it. He’s off the bench in a flash screaming and waving to the supporters to get behind their club. The supporters felt it. The players felt it. God I love this man.
- Divock Origi. I am not the only one today who thought, “Good, no controversy with Origi coming on ahead of Daniel Sturridge, out injured.” Following Roberto Firmino’s lead, Origi shows the willingness to provide Klopp what he wants: adaptability. No one wants to see Sturridge leave because he can’t do the job. We want him to find a way at all costs to fit in with Klopp’s agenda and start banging in the goals. Or, at the very least, put pressure on the squad to improve. Unfortunately, some of us can’t shake the feeling that the future is now with Origi and Sturridge will be gone in the Summer.
- Sadio Mane. He seems a far cry from that player who knifed through two Arsenal defenders and scored a goal burned into our memories. He’s looked a lot less menacing of late, static even. When we’re winning, inevitably supporters will let some things slide, but without the usual distractions we want to see a well oiled machine out there. Mane appears to need a tune up.