Bring your own ref

We’re off to Liverpool. Isn’t that fun?

It’s the fourth league game and the third away. If that’s not bad enough, it’s another of the Get It Out of the Way ones that have to be endured every so often.

Liverpool should be a great trip. The city’s unrecognisable from the hellhole it used to be and they’ve got one of the few surviving inner city grounds with proper pubs and chippies instead of sharing an out of town leisure outlet with KFC and a Wacky Warehouse. The trouble is all the baggage that comes with Anfield – all the daytrippers and TV luvvy hype and Kop worship and what would Shanks have said and corrupt refereeing. You know it’ll be there because it always has been.

What will also be there is the most insufferably defensive manager in football, a man who looks like he should be standing on the touchline of a schools match, trying to impress the kids with loads of jargon about applying the press and utilising the channels. He still hasn’t got over it. This summer, as ever, they’ve spent the GDP of a small European country and as ever supporters from Tintagel to Timbuctoo have said that it isn’t enough, they can’t compete and where’s the oil state who’s going to take them over.

It’s on Sunday because we were in Europe midweek, which is something we’re still getting used to. With a bit of luck (something we’ll probably never get used to) Emiliano Martinez will be back. The alternative doesn’t bear much thinking about. And barring some Arsenalesque bending of the transfer window rules there won’t be any last-minute signings in the team. After the last few matches this one will be a chance to show what we can do against a team who aren’t beaten before they kick off. We got a draw here last season and should have won. What we’ve done once we can do again, at least.

And finally, as ever, please none of that victims/sign on/murderers shite. We shouldn’t even have to ask.