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Liverpool finally get the Premier League season underway in episode four of Fox Soccer's six-episode documentary, with a behind-the-scenes look at the opening day loss to West Brom.
- Hey, has anyone made a David Brent joke about Brendan Rodgers yet? Oh good, I can be the first, because it's really original at this point. Look, I get that Rodgers can wax a little overly lyrical about philosophy and work and football and etc., but there's little point in critiquing what he has on offer when asked to sit behind his desk and talk about the goings on. "Mostly I just fuck about for awhile and play Minesweeper until Ian tells me to stop" doesn't really make for captivating viewing. Although I would probably pay to watch Roy Hodgson try to turn his computer on to play Minesweeper.
- I enjoyed the sequences with Jonjo Shelvey and Jamie Carragher, mostly because I bet that chump kid in the Jelavic jersey felt like a real doofus (unless it's his son, in which case...does he want to come to Liverpool?). Also to hear Jamie Carragher squawk at his son to tuck his jersey in, because that's probably the exact thing that led he and Alvaro Arbeloa to come to blows four years ago.
- Joe Cole carrying a car seat for Raheem Sterling is funny because it's not Joe Cole playing football, which he tried to do the next day and got hurt minutes after coming on to save Liverpool. That's never funny.
- Hearing Clive Owen talk about Pepe Reina being at Liverpool for eight years made the goalkeeper's career with the club flash before my eyes, and underlined my hopes that he'll come good sooner rather than later. I know the statistics about him slipping gradually, but his best days don't seem that far removed. He's shown signs of recovery-type substance over the past few weeks, and maybe the clean sheet against Stoke will spur him on through the season. Or be a one-off because the opposition didn't really want to kick the ball as much as they did everyone around them, in which case we'll just drink.
- So who are the three names Brendan Rodgers wrote down? My money's on the cook ranting about the Scouse, Stewart Downing, and Jimmy the front gate guy, who'll later be revealed to have had an affair with Kenny's wife. How could you Jimmy?
- Zoltan Gera's volley. Woof.
- Not sure what was more ridiculous on a month and a half later's viewing--the straight red for Daniel Agger or Shane Long's run-up to his penalty. The red looks even worse from the pitchside camera they used, as there's even less contact apparent (with Phil Dowd trailing well enough in position to see that very fact) and a flop that seems easily identifiable. But Long's comeuppance for the embellished fall might take the cake; the forward might as well have been playing hopscotch on the way to contact, and the resulting product is just baaaad. Like, Joe Cole's volley versus Stoke bad.
- If for no other reason than this, Rodgers deserves our sympathies because there's no way talking to a room full of angry, sweaty men in their underpants can be easy.
- Clive Owen: "There's also the impending closure of the summer transfer window, with question marks swirling about players and ownership." Ray Houghton: "I think they do need another two, three top player just to move this side on." Ian Ayre: "Would you like to buy a sponsorship for the left butt cheek of the warm-up shorts?" So the transfer window episode's going to be a whole lot of fun.
- Oussama Assaidi just shreds Sebastian Coates two or three different times in slow-mo and then later puts one past Pepe Reina from point-blank range, which is either all sorts of encouraging or really depressing. We'll choose encouraging in a break from the party line--Assaidi barely got any touches on the weekend and was less effective against Udinese at Anfield, but I'd guess he sees more minutes after Raheem Sterling's struggled on two consecutive occasions, and we'll hope that the performance against West Brom is more indicative of his future returns.
- Chastising of the lazy jokes aside, I do find it a little strange that they shifted the focus of the end of the episode to Brendan Rodgers entirely, set to a soft rock emo-ish soundtrack. It makes the isolation of quotes that likely were delivered as part of a more extended discussion seem all the more cheesy, and even as someone who is a strong Rodgers advocate, I thought the closing segment took a turn towards Yogi Berra.
- Next time on Being Liverpool: "We don't have enough people to score a goal." Fuck me.