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Liverpool's docudrama reaches its midway point, with a contract extension for Luis Suarez, a couple of new signings arriving, and more reasons to consider avoiding the rest of the season as one of its most prominent narrative hurtles towards a disappointing conclusion.
- We start this one about two weeks or so after the last episode ended--Luis Suarez signed his renewal on August 7th, and the last episode ended with Liverpool losing to Roma at Fenway on July 26th. During the in between, Liverpool drew with Spurs 0-0 in Baltimore, Gareth Bale had a minor meltdown because Charlie Adam is a shithouse tackler, Andy Carroll had a deal agreed with West Ham that proved false that eventually proved true, Stewart Downing scored a goal in Belarus, and Alberto Aquilani left for Fiorentina. Nothing to see here.
- Something I wouldn't mind them skipping over is EVERYTHING TO DO WITH LUCAS. Each week he becomes more and more likable; here we get him being the loving father and husband before carefully handing over the mate to Suarez, then later earning a tribute from the manager in a Win One for the Gipper speech that wouldn't be out of place if he was no longer among the living. Hopefully the series ends with Lucas not really being hurt and he's actually played every match as Liverpool are off to an 18-point start through their first six.
- The music during the Anfield introduction made me think we were going to flash to the locker room to see the entire squad hooked up to those sleep inducing machines from Inception. Something tells me that Jose Enrique gets this sort of treatment at every level, though:
- Liverpool really were terrific in the opening half against Gomel, and that match provided our first glimpse of what Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool could look like. We're seeing something closer to that product against better opposition, which is as good an indicator as any of progress. The finishing was there that day, and while it'd be insane to try to compare Gomel to anyone Liverpool have faced since, stylistically we've been able to see something similar in spurts.
- I would watch a series called Jimmy and Kenny in which they make coffee, play with the toaster, tell historically inaccurate tales about events that probably didn't happen, and chase kids off garbage bins. Instantly better than The Big Bang Theory and 90% of everything not called Gravity Falls.
- Joe Allen's arrival is interesting enough to watch, but Zaf Iqbal's sense of humor is really the star of the show. That and the poor bastard trying to will the fax with Swansea's signatures out of the machine. Also Allen and Brendan Rodgers going through numbers to try to figure out which number the Welsh midfielder should take, especially when someone off-screen shouts "69" because that's a joke that everyone still finds funny.
- Should have known this, and I swear I did, but I was still shocked when Jay Spearing talked about having been with Liverpool since the age of 7. Being in a country that doesn't really take anything seriously that early except spelling bees, it's still jolting to hear players talk about how young they are when they join clubs. Also jolting to see his house and his identical twin, Pops. More sentimentality follows shortly thereafter, however, with the now-loaned midfielder talking about the sense of responsibility he feels in taking care of his family by playing for Liverpool. Positionally irresponsible, maybe, but seems like a good guy.
- The sequence with George Septhon talking about his career ranged from unwatchable to heartwarming. Horrible to hear him discuss the near-miss with his own son and the unfathomable difficulties that followed the families of the 96 that died, but also pleasant to witness his zest for the club and enjoyment he takes in his role as stadium announcer.
- Somebody in the comments section a few weeks ago had noted how well the smaller players in the squad used their bodies to shield possession, and here we get an explanation of why they're so well prepared. Rodgers spends a decent bit talking about the importance of "getting your body there" rather than giving up possession cheaply, and with Raheem Sterling nearby--one of the players, along with Suso, who's done that to great effect early on--it seems the message sunk in.
- Curious as to the story behind the Oussama Assaidi recruitment, as Ian Ayre talks about him as somebody the team's been after for awhile, but he doesn't appear to be the type of player that Kenny Dalglish or Damien Comolli would have recruited. They might have paid 9000% of what he was worth, but Ayre's assertions that it was in the pipeline for a long time doesn't ring true.
- Similarly interested in who Ayre was talking about on the phone regarding the image rights deal and etc. I feel fairly certain it was Andy Carroll, but I also know we can't underestimate the global appeal of Joe Cole schilling Marlboro Lights.
- Finally, I don't know how we can ever trust Ian Ayre to "run the show" after seeing this picture that Erwin Morzadec tweeted to us. Brace yourselves: