Recipe for ’Eggs on face’
1) Take one invitation to preview the next Norwich match on a Liverpool podcasting website
2) Add a little wine
3) Liberally sprinkle with over-confidence born out of the Bournemouth match
4) Remove any trace of Luis Suarez
5) Allow Liverpool fans 60 minutes to simmer with discontent with Brendan Rodgers
6) Boldly predict that City will get something at Anfield
7) Apply eggs to face three days later when City get hammered and wish you hadn’t tempted fate
I wouldn’t suggest listening to my ‘debut’ on the Anfield Index podcast as it’s very (VERY) long.
Besides which, I have probably bored you many times over with my assorted thoughts and ramblings on all things Norwich City on this very website.
However the conversation offered an interesting insight into how Liverpool fans (Hari and Simon) are feeling as we approach Sunday’s game and it’s worth pulling out some of the key points.
It would seem fair to say that the only way Brendan could become less popular is if he became the editor of the Sun newspaper and ran a headline story on how the Beatles were rubbish. To be clear, Hari and Simon are not your scouse equivalents of those on Canary Call either. Their view is that most Liverpool fans have little or no confidence in their manager. If Brendan’s team could play as well as he can talk, then there would be no problem but it seems as though his words on the beautiful game and footballing philosophy are becoming pretty hollow. The faithful have perhaps lost their faith.
Liverpool fans idolised him. Other football fans think he’s a cheating racist who liked to snack on defenders. Norwich fans (even now) have cold sweats at the mention of his name mainly because you knew he was going to take the match ball home with him. In Benteke, Liverpool have a replacement who once terrorised Bassong at Villa Park so there’s no room for complacency. However the fact remains that John Ruddy will be sleeping a lot easier knowing that the number 7 shirt is now worn by James Milner. As well as terrorising Big John, Suarez was a key part of the Liverpool team who would have won the Premier League if Stevie G had longer studs on his football boots. However since his transfer and with the subsequent drop in performance, the credit that was once afforded to Rodgers for that season seems to have departed on a plane to Barcelona.
Whatever you thought about Chris Hughton (and I don’t want to open old wounds), he had a game plan and stuck rigidly to it. The feeling is that Rodgers has lost his way and no longer has a clear plan and approach. It is perhaps reflective of a man under pressure who is desperately searching for the answer and becoming more confused as a result. A bit like when I find myself opening a kitchen cupboard and staring blankly at the contents without the foggiest idea of what it was I was looking for in the first place. Compare all this to Alex Neil whose focus and meticulous preparation is arguably his greatest asset. We know that the eleven players he sends out on Sunday will have been chosen because his analysis and insight suggests that they represent the best combination to deliver three points. There is a sense of drive and purpose to everything that Alex Neil does and it’s something which is not currently apparent in his Liverpool counterpart.
I’ve mentioned previously that fans of other clubs (and pundits on Match of the Day) are not best placed to judge the fortunes and merits of our team. However, it’s always interesting to see how we’re perceived by those without yellow and green tinted spectacles. For what it’s worth the view on Merseyside is that Norwich won’t get relegated and they’re expecting a close game which could go ‘either way’. Whether that’s born out of frustration with their current position or through a genuine appreciation of what Norwich have shown so far is unclear but it’s an interesting insight into how the Anfield crowd may be feeling as kick-off approaches.
When asked for a prediction for Sunday’s match, I went for 1-1.
If City can replicate anything from the display against Bournemouth then it seems like there’s a real opportunity to prey on the current unrest of the Liverpool crowd. I’m (half) expecting the eggs on the face come Monday morning but at this moment I genuinely believe that we’re going to take something from a fixture that (on paper) would appear to be the hardest test of Alex Neil’s City career.