Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday December 28 2009
Chubby Alonso from Vital Liverpool has done our regular interview exchange:
1) So is this the season you fail to make the top four and then what, Rafa out or will you all stick by him?
I think that you know as well as I do that what we (the fans) want isn't the important thing so it doesn't matter what we want. Dumb and Dumber (the American owners) must as much as possible keep the fans “happy”, not something they do that often though, and getting rid of Rafa isn't going to make the majority happy. At the moment a top four finish isn't looking good but if we beat you at Villa Park our chances improve. Should we miss out on the top four then I don't think that there will be much choice but to sack the Spaniard, not that I think it would really help much so long as the Yanks are around.
2) Why is Rafa seemingly so well supported by Liverpool fans, I can't quite see it myself apart from the great CL win obviously
Rafa has his way, it's not a way I always agree with but he has a winning mentality and a cold as ice mannerism. The Reds Boss can't be without fault for the way this season has gone but I don't think that many would've done much better under Dumb and Dumber than he has.
3) Gerrard seems well out of form, any reason or has he maybe just had enough of the 'this year is our year to win the league' chances passing away?
It's hard when you're not only a fan but a player as well, people like Stevie will feel the pain of failure as much as anyone because it's his club and not just because he plays for them. There are too many below par players at the moment and you can't always carry them can you. Stevie is our talisman once he gets to peak form again, and injuries haven't helped him, there should be a knock on reaction to others.
4) The title is over now, do you think Rafa will concentrate on the CL and is that enough for you folks?
You can never say never but I think the majority have accepted that we can't win the Premier League this season, Rafa can't concentrate on the Champions League can he as we're out! However I think you mean concentrate on making sure we get into the CL again next season? We still have the Europa League (even if it's not the one we wanted) and FA Cup to play for but a return to the CL is a must next season, even if it means we don't win anything.
5) What if anything do you think about MON and Villa - also MON has been linked with Liverpool, what do you make of that?
You've developed a very good squad over the years under Martin O'Neill and having so many British players as well is a good thing. You're improving each year and I'd expect you've learned from last season when you dropped away at the end of the season, I also think you're stronger this season than you were last time so that'll help. O'Neill is a good Boss and I enjoy watching him as a pundit however I'd not think he'd last very long under Dumb and Dumber though, he'd be too outspoken. If they weren't around, and nor was Rafa, we could do a lot worse.
6) Heskey is being linked to Liverpool again, would you welcome him back?
A lot of players are rumoured to be interesting Rafa, eventually the tabloids will get some right! It's well documented that we've got limited funds so it's not something that I could see us doing anyway even if an attacking player is something we need, not that he'll offer much goal threat will he? I'm not even sure I'd want us to spend much on a 32 year old who would have a limited shelf life and isn't exactly what we're looking for. In my honest opinion it'll not happen as he'll stay with you and I'd be happy with this really.
7) Villa have beaten you once, how will you stop us doing the double and if you could pick one player of ours not to play this game to help you, who would it be and why? Ashley Young is out with suspension by the way.
If we stop you from scoring that'll help however we've not looked that strong defensively for large periods of this season. If we could get back to the playing to win we showed last season rather than the playing to avoid defeat, something that Rafa has often been guilty of, that'll also help. It's good that Ashley Young is out but Gabriel Agbonlahor has a lot of pace and that could trouble our defence as it's not the quickest.
8) Prediction if you would be so kind?
My predictions haven't been that good this season but few could have predicted how this would've gone but we've got to even the scores and gain some revenge for Anfield earlier in the season so I'd have to go for a narrow Liverpool win. 2-1 perhaps.
With thanks to Chubby Alonso. My interview will appear shortly at: www.liverpool.vitalfootball.co.uk/
Date:Monday December 28 2009
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