|"He really is a c##t isn't he?" Blair on Chirac in 2005|
#1 ~ Ye Hole In Ye Wall
Oddly overlooked for any visit at all, the 'oldest pub in Liverpool' seemed a good place to begin this journey into the part-known. A solid pub, steady pint, and a detailed discussion on whether you'd ever want to wipe your bottom with a cagoule, all add up to a suitable start.
Black Or Blue
Well, we lost. After all the build-up, it felt a bit of a flat exit and even when we were drawing, well in the game and within Barkley pulling his shot a couple of inches lower, away from having a great chance at going through to a (eminently winnable as it transpired) Wembley semi-final, I never quite felt we were on our game at The Emirates.
Aside from such specifics, to hark back to last week - would we have 'rested' Southall for the Newcastle quarter-final to give Kearton a game (we had more to play for in the league to justify such a move then)? Would doing that have made the fans and opposition more or less likely to think "these fancy this here"?
#2 The Saddle
If the decision to change the goalkeeper was indicative of a long-term direction, so too for me was the terribly poor showing by Steven Pienaar. One of Moyes' best signings overall, the South African must be one of the hardest working players to have played for the club, but that fact could be working against him at the moment as he looks one of the most worn-out of a collectively tired squad.
In a wider, and more critical, context too, his role is one that is tells a bigger story about a lot of the current first XI - its grim to admit, but they're just not used to winning things. Pienaar himself has still had some marvellous games this season (mainly in games at home where he has more of the ball, more chances to deliver, and one of two sloppy balls aren't the end of the world), I wouldn't want him unceremoniously dumped and he's still got a role to play - but as a first choice in big, proper games where you have to make the right choice when a chance comes along only a couple of times per half? You'd have to say no. Has he ever had a good Derby? Can you remember any touch of the ball he had in the Semi or Final in '09?
There was a moment on Saturday when we worked a short-corner, Pienaar had time, space and men in the box to pick out and he nudged a flat cross straight onto the head of the first man and it was cleared,which seemed unfortunately demonstrative of the nearly-but-not-quite era he has been a key part of. This seems the time to give the younger guys (Deulofeu, Barkley, Lundstram, Stones, Kennedy, McAleny etc) a realtivley low-pressure chance.
#5 The Rose & Crown
A crow-bar and flame-thrower in the toilets and a gang of 'good time girls' doing Pure Shores on karaoke - passable IPAs.
The Ian Wright documentary on ITV on Wednesday was a bizarre programme. It managed to be redolent of both a wrestling 'shoot' interview and Bernard Butler-era Suede with its honesty and tales of badly-parented, oil-smeared London poverty-ridden upbringing.
What was perhaps most unusual or thought-provoking in the long run was the question: if ITV can so easily and cheaply (the only other person seen on screen was an old teacher, who can hardly have demanded much of a fee, especially given that he was thought to be dead) make a talking-point, worthwhile, revealing programme, what the hell are they doing the rest of the time?!
Wright talked frankly about his estranged dad who then died early, his 'abusive & alcoholic' mum, how distraught he was when David Rocastle died and the ragged and 'demenaing' time he had at school and in manual jobs. For some reason though, the bits later on seemed even more frank to me; how close he was to swerving the offer to train with Palace because he couldn't afford to miss a few week's wages, how surprised he was when people recognised him after scoring in the Cup Final - and especially his nervous excitement before starting at Arsenal. Him sitting up talking to Rocastle til 5am before his first day's training talking about every aspect of the club and how much bigger things were going to be was vivid stuff.
To be totally accurate, maybe this wasn't 100% unscripted & 'Uncut' , but it was much, much closer than pretty much any other interview I can remember seeing, particularly with a footballer. If the enjoyable but shallow Keane/Vieira show from a few months ago was 'The Fab 4'~esque (both talked semi-off-the-record but very much in character throughout) this was much closer to being an authentic account.
And it was only half-an-hour, so I assume we'll get the second part next week where he will recount the tale of shitting in Caprice's hand-bag when she was seeing Tony Adams, shed new light on Eddie McGoldrick's bizarre scissor-related injury during a pres-season tour of Finland, spitefully and implausibly rate Thierry Henry as a 4/10 performer and state he "wrote down every single thing Pires ever did on the pitch - and got to six, including the hair-flick"
The Asphalt World
I've been doing a short evening course, which sadly finished this week, on Social Investigation In Liverpool In The 1800s. The source material has been fascinating, mixing official surveys, fiction, journalistic reporting and things that dip a toe in all three fetid puddles at once. Some of the detail that this has highlighted has been eye-opening indeed: the average life expectancy for a 'labouring class' male in Liverpool in 1837 was 15!!
|How I picture anything involving streets/towns in history|
It was muddling along fairly harmoniously until she asked "what are kippers?!".
Seriously! Never heard of kippers!!
#29 The Vauxhall Vaults
|VV Ooo ya|
|"Men of a good position, who fill honourable offices in this town...leering & chatting whilst partially intoxicated"|
Amazingly, there were more customers outside the pub than in it - we had to run the gauntlet of a gaggle of youths loitering as menacingly as 12 year old oddballs can muster. To some extent, you can accept and even empathise with hoodlums hanging round even such an abject excuse for a pub as this. But odder was to come after we left (we only stayed for one). The same troupe followed us along the road and affected a 'welcoming commitee' manoeuvre to Freshways corner shop too. To our increasing incredulity, they asked us, with heightening aggression to go in the shop and "gerrus a box eh lad?". A box?? "go ed, don't be sly gerrus some eggs" Eggs?!
Haha, we chuckled at the absurdity of their position, to their increasing chagrin we probed:
What did they want eggs for? Were they going to go home and make a massive omelettes? Did they know there were absolutely no age restrictions or requirements for ID to be shown when purchasing what they wanted? That what kids were doing these days, at 10 o'clock on a Friday night, going out and wangling deals for bakery products? Why,again, did they want EGGS?!
"To throw at dickheads like you"
Gah! Had off! We'd been lampooned with the line of the night, just going to show, you can never write anyone off - maybe the VV will turn it round become a much loved local after all.