Good afternoon guys and welcome to another Thursday Blog with me, Gordon ‘Gino’ Kinnear. You know, I am amazed at how the name Gino has stuck as, a lot of you won’t realise this, I didn’t pick it up until I played Soccer Manager. It was not long after I had got to know Dale Price (Dale Piero) that the name became part of my SM profile. I had put up a new profile photo of myself with my daughter, Elise, and Dale said he thought I looked like some guy out of The Sopranos lol. He just came out with the name Gino and started calling me that. That was quickly latched onto by the likes of Prince Michael William and the name stuck. Eventually I added it to plain old Gordon Kinnear and the rest is history.
Talking of nicknames, when I was a kid my nickname was Tweet. This was because of my surname. As happens now, a lot of nicknames are made up by adding a Y to someone’s second name so that made me Kinneary, which of course sounds like canary. Since the most famous canary in they days was Tweetie Pie, the name was shortened to come up with Tweet. It must be all of 37 years since I was last called that and I doubt I will ever be so again.
The Kinnear household has been pretty quiet this last fortnight with nothing major taking place. The wife and daughter are still trying to stick to their diet but I have seen some signs of weakness recently and wonder if they can keep it going much longer. I still haven’t accompanied them to the gym but that is mainly because the wife is struggling to recover from her asthma attack that seen her hospitalised for 3 days. The good news is that last week everybody got paid so I have saved plenty of cash haha. I am the only one that has a weekly pay with everyone else being paid monthly so I collected a few quid from money owed.
This Sunday as everyone should know is Mother’s Day. My mother died about 12 years ago so it doesn’t really apply to me but I do help the kids, even now when they are grown up, decide what to do for Alison. This year the two girls are going to take her out for a Sunday High Tea at some place, not sure where and I thought that was quite a good idea. We all like to go out for something to eat and this year the girls have even asked me if I would come as well. Yeah ok, I agreed, but that doesn’t mean mum comes out when it’s Father’s Day haha. Now, call me a cynic, but why do I feel that on Saturday night the girls are going to ask me to bring my wallet, you know, just in case. Yeah, yeah how many times have I heard that one before.
Away from the family life, I watched the League Cup Final last weekend, or whatever it is called (is it Capital One Cup?) and thought I would have a little bet on it. Looking through the bets available, the one that stuck out most for me was a generous 7/2 on Manchester City to win and BTTS (both teams to score). I thought that was the bet for me and stuck a tenner on it. Raheem Sterling is a guy I won’t forgive for a long time after the chances he missed that ultimately cost me a winning bet. In the end I thought Manchester City just edged it and deserved to win on penalties but Liverpool certainly gave it a good go. What about the race for the Premiership title though? Who could have imagined that the league table would look like that with 10 games to play. Leicester City have been a sensation and are maybe even carrying that little bit of luck required after a disappointing draw with West Brom was made to look a great result when Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City all lost. And after all the flack and criticism Louis Van Gaal has suffered at Manchester United, what a story it would be if they had a great late run and took the title. It is still possible with them lying equal with Manchester City now. It is certainly the most fascinating title race that I can remember since the Premiership was born all those years ago.
Well, as I said, it’s been quiet around our place and there is nothing else worth mentioning so it’s a short real life episode this week.
I thought I would add a little bit about Soccer Manager today. I am pleasantly surprised to see the old interface still being an option after hearing that it was going to end at the beginning of February. It is now March and it still goes on. Long may this continue as I cannot get into the new one, and trust me, I have tried a few times. I do, however, have to try and use it if I am out and about as the mobile version of the old one is unplayable. Maybe the longer I try and play it, the more used to it I will get but I am certainly not holding my breath on that one. If the old one eventually disappears then I am still undecided on what I will do. I really want to carry on in this great game but if I was finding it too frustrating then I would have to think seriously about quitting. I really hope it doesn’t come to that.
One more thing, now I don’t know what all of your opinions are but the Adam Johnson case has come to a conclusion and quite rightly he is facing jail time. I fully agree that he deserves all he gets as he knew this girl was 15, and to be honest it made me think about when I was first meeting Gemma (my ex-girlfriend that I mentioned on here a while back). Gemma was 16 when I first started meeting with her and the Johnson case made me think what could have happened if Gemma had been lying to me and she had only been 15. However she was telling the truth and I knew she was because she went to school with my son (OMG that looks much worse in print than it does when I just thought about it). Back to the Adam Johnson case and I might be in the wrong here, but when it came on the news about what the girl had said after the case, I couldn’t believe it. Her comments about him ruining her life and how he took advantage of her made me angry. She knew fine well what she was doing and even if you read what she said in messages to him it was quite clear she was up for it. For her now to come out and make out she was innocent in all this is a joke. Anyway, that doesn’t excuse Johnson for his actions and jail time is the only answer.
Life at Anfield in the Top 100 is currently tough. We are so out of form that I wouldn’t tip us to beat a schoolboy side at the moment. Rumours, however, of my job being under threat are just that ……. rumours. My task this season is to make sure that Liverpool are still a Division 1 team next season and since we are currently 16th, the target is, as you could say, on target. Next season is when I am expected to start taking Liverpool in the right direction and gradually make them a force to be reckoned with.
Since my last blog we have had mixed fortunes in all competitions. In the league we have managed 3 draws and suffered one defeat, albeit it was a heavy 4-0 loss at Barcelona, but although we haven’t had a win, we have done enough to currently sit outside the bottom 4. Tonight we face Valencia, who just this morning named David Senior as the new boss. Valencia are currently second bottom of the table and that was enough for the Valencia board to act and they sacked Simo before deciding to go with Olympiacos boss, Senior. David is a relatively new name to me but he has been around SM for a long time. Our paths may have crossed in our early days but there was league, that I was in, that was as high profile as the Top 100. I wish David a lot of luck as Valencia boss starting tomorrow morning. For tonight’s game Liverpool have a horrendous list of players that will miss out. A flu bug ran riot around the club on Monday and although nearly everyone has got rid of the bug, many players didn’t train and are not match fit. The list of players who wont play tonight is Bender, Campana, Dede, Destro, Erkin, Gabbiadini, Kolasinac, M’Bia, Markovic and Rafael. That is a huge burden to carry in to tonight’s game but, who knows, maybe it will take the pressure off those who do play and we might get a result. I will give league debuts to two players with them being Origi and the recently acquired Mendy.
In my last blog I said that if we were to progress in any of the domestic SM cup competitions then we would need to put a jinx to bed. This was that we could not seem to beat any team that started with the letter ‘A’ and since we had been drawn against two such teams in the cup and shield then we would have to go against the grain to progress in the competitions. Well in the Top 100 Cup, a Pinheiro Toze goal enabled us to beat AS Roma and progress into the last 16, where we have drawn Manchester City. We beat City 3-1 at Anfield earlier in the season and are confident we can repeat the win when we visit the Etihad on Tuesday. In the Shield we were not so lucky and we exited the tournament as we went down 3-2 at Arsenal. I thought we put on a good performance and we deserved to at least take the game to penalties but it wasn’t to be and that competition has gone for another season.
The Regional Cup is a new competition this season and we were put into the northern section of The Churchill Cup where we would face Celtic and Sunderland at home and go on the road to Everton, Manchester United and Newcastle United. Before the competition I was quite hopeful that we could finish in the top two but it has certainly not turned out that way. The first game was at Anfield where Sunderland were the visitors and I have to say that we put in probably our worst performance since I took charge and we went down 1-0 in a game that we should be winning. That was a major blow and I feel it has played a huge part in the team’s lack of confidence at the moment. Our second match in the competition seen us at Old Trafford and we went down 3-1 and again I was disappointed, not by the result, but by the lacklustre performance by the guys. I have to put it down to the flu bug that swept the dressing room and perhaps I shouldn’t have put out the team that I did. Our next game in that tournament is a week on Wednesday, when we visit Newcastle. It is ‘last chance saloon’ and anything other than a victory will see our interest end. In between, we have a friendly with Aston Villa next week and we will try a few things in that game that may help us for the Newcastle game.
Our youth team played two games since a fortnight ago in the Youth Cup and picked up one win and one loss. We beat the previously unbeaten CSKA Moscow 2-1 at Prenton Park which put us back in the race for a qualifying place but we then went down 3-1 at Tottenham, putting in a poor performance to boot and getting what we deserved. At the half way stage in the Youth Cup we are bottom of Group D and again our next game against Sassuolo is make or break for the kids.
Overall our performances have not been good enough to say the least and there is much room for improvement. Despite this, I feel if we can just get back to back victories then the luck could change and we could go on an unbeaten run that would lift everyone at the club and in particular the fans in the stands. We are currently six games without a win in all competitions and that is something we have to rectify quickly.
On the transfer front there is nothing doing at the moment but if the current form does not improve then we may have to take another dip into the market and see if there is anything we can do to improve our fortunes. This could mean maybe cashing in on a couple of players such as Origi and Sakho but we will see how things work out over the next couple of weeks.
Well that is it from me this week. A more of a subdued blog than the last one but hopefully still one that you enjoyed so once again its thanks for taking the time to read and I will be back in a fortnight’s time. Next week is another Fannie Licker interview and that should be another entertaining episode in the series. Until next time, I thank you all once again.