THIRD TIME’S A CHARM

April 22, 2008 |

There hasn’t been much to crow about lately. In this tragedy titled LFC, the antistrophe and the audience have grown silent and disinterested respectively. No drama, no scribes. Covering a team that is looking good and winning games is considered boring stuff.
In short, Liverpool and its surrounds have simply lost interest in the boardroom. Garrulous Texans comporting themselves like the children of American tourists have the footballing world yawning.
Hicks’ behaviour has big people using words like “petulant” and “puerile”. Kopites are simpler folk. They prefer “wanker” and some other terms better served in a Tarantino flick.
With little to play for domestically and fourth spot nearly clinched with only light squirmishes left in the campaign, the heavy guns will be trained on old big ears – and Chelsea.
This is the third time in four years that these two megaliths have found each other in the way at the semi-final stage. Liverpool has won the previous two contests. Unconvincingly. But they won. And each time at home.
This year the first leg is at Anfield, so Liverpool will be without the sanctuary of a home second leg fixture. Something Chelsea fans are quick to point out as being the deciding factor, because it was the home leg that proved the difference in both of the prior match ups.
It’s about all they’ve got to highlight. Try as the Pensioners’ supporters might try to whip themselves into a vengeance-induced frenzy, all they can do is talk. Because domestic records aside, there is nowhere else to hang their hats.
Drogba claims there’s nothing to fear. Except maybe from Liverpool. Because the Reds have consistently proven to be the bogeyman in Roman Abramovich’s dreams of European glory. With all the money he has sunk into the London club Big Ears still eludes his oil-sodden grip.
Should Chelsea win today, they may well be able to put a very troublesome past record against Liverpool to bed. And they can wax melodic about how they overcame adversity in the season long travails of a caretaker manager and injury-ridden lineup. They can point to the poetic symmetry of a Russian owner going to Moscow to win his first European Cup. Oh yes, and now they are only £470m in debt.
But with their old enemy firing down from a hill built on five European trophies they most likely won’t. And it will be all the more agonizing.

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