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With covid testing in football, it’s now a case of two out of three. Liverpool v Arsenal

By Bulldog Drummond

There is an article in the Guardian about how soulless and hopeless everything to do with PSG feels.  It includes the paragraph…

“A 37-year-old Qatari billionaire buys a football club with an unlimited budget to attract the world’s best players to one of its greatest cities. Over the course of a decade he wins seven league titles by a combined margin of 101 points. On paper – and let’s set aside the morality of the thing for a minute – this sounds like the most riotously fun project in the history of football. And yet for some reason, it’s not. It feels malcontent and unsatisfying and overwrought and over-serious and thoroughly joyless.”

It’s an interesting warning of what happens now the money can come from anywhere, as opposed to the days when Arsenal won the league five times in eight years with all the finance coming out of gate receipts.

Now it is all a case of billionaires, with victory going to the billionaire with the most billions.  And yes Arsenal too of course are owned by a fairly rich chap who himself bought it from a fairly rich family who had been running the show since a coup in the late 1920s.  Indeed, that’s a reminder – that’s how it used to be done.  Through a boardroom coup of the type when the Hill-Wood family took over Arsenal.   Now we don’t even get that.  It is just money, and is seemingly so boring that even Kylian Mbappé feels it would be more fun at Real Madrid.

Arsenal are trying to beat the system by beating the old adage that “you can’t win things with kids”, a  route many have tried before.  Five years ago Barnsley were regularly putting out a team in the Championship, with an average age of 23.  In 2018 they finished two from bottom of the Championship and were relegated – although with the squad that little bit older they came back up the following season.

Of course, it gets tougher when you also lose players at the same time to an international tournament.  Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are all unavailable because of international “duty” and that’s even before we get to the injuries.

But we can be thankful to miracles, such as the fact that so many of those covid illnesses that Liverpool had turned out to be false positives – these running at a rate never seen before in the history of medical science.  I find that interesting because a lot of the dance clubs I visit ask me to show a lateral flow test result, and I’m sure Liverpool FC’s method of testing is more efficient than me testing myself.

Even the Guardian has now picked up on the fact that there is something odd about the biggest number of false positives ever since in the history of covid testing all happening together in Liverpool, although as it adds, “The EFL has said it will not be investigating the postponement.”   

Klopp said, “A false positive is a positive test.  You get a test result back positive and, when you are able to do a retest a day, a day and a half later, you get a result that makes it look like a false positive because this test was a negative.

“It doesn’t change anything for your quarantine but you need to prove it is wrong or right so you have to do a third test and between the first and second and second and third tests you cannot use the players.”

But when the rate of false positives is this high – higher by orders of magnitude than has been happening anywhere else, you also have to do two other things.  First you have to ask why, and second you have to go and get the third set of does done at another centre by another totally independent team.  That didn’t happen.    

Of course, it may be that by pure chance Liverpool had a world-breaking number of false positives in one go, and that it allowed them to postpone the match to have one or two other players come back, and of course, there is no proof of anything being amiss.  Indeed Mr Arteta has been the diplomatic gent throughout, as he always is, saying, “It’s something that’s not in our control.  “The EFL is responsible to check every single player’s status and make the decision whether the game is played or not. The decision was to postpone the match and I’m sure they had the right arguments to do so.”

7 comments to With covid testing in football, it’s now a case of two out of three. Liverpool v Arsenal

  • Nitram

    “The decision was to postpone the match and I’m sure they had the right arguments to do so.”

    I’m sure they did, but as it’s Liverpool they wont be checked and we will never know because of course Liverpool never do anything wrong.

    Oh, except of course when it comes to signing youth players.

    From the Associated Press:

    “LONDON (AP) – Liverpool has been fined 100,000 pounds ($125,000) and banned from signing youth-team players for at least a year after admitting to rule breaches in its attempt to recruit an academy prospect from Premier League rival Stoke”.

    Funny how we don’t hear much about that do we ?

    Oh, and of course hysel.

    From Liverpool FC Wiki:

    “The small contingent of police positioned along the thin fence failed to adequately control the situation and the Liverpool fans began to charge the Juventus fans in terrace Z, breaking through the fence and overpowering the police. The panic-stricken Juventus fans began to pile up against the wall, which eventually collapsed, causing many fans to become crushed. It is then that the majority of the deaths and injuries occurred”

    Funny, we don’t hear much about that little incident either do we ?

    Oh, and their shameful exploitation of their own neighbors.

    From the Guardian:

    “People’s farewells are bitter, filled with anger and heartbreak at the area’s dreadful decline and at the club for deepening the blight by buying up houses since the mid-1990s then leaving them empty. A few residents are refusing to move, holding out against the council, which begins negotiations with low offers. These homeowners believe they should be paid enough not only to buy a new house but to compensate for the years of dereliction, stagnation and decline, and crime, fires, vandalism, even murders which have despoiled the area. Their resentment is compounded by the fact that they are being forced to move so that Liverpool, and their relatively new US owner, Fenway Sports Group, can make more money.”

    Don’t hear much about that either do we ?

    The truth is, whether there was or wasn’t any shenanigans on Liverpools behalf, given all the above shameful and tragic events hardly ever, if ever get a mention, I cant see a few errant COVID results causing much of a stir can you ?

  • porter

    I was in a bar in Spain watching the events at Heysel with Spanish , Belgian ,Dutch and Norwegian friends and as the comments started to fly round the bar , I think that they were more surprised that I wasn’t.
    I tried to explain what it was like on the terraces when Liverpool visited and nothing in the world will get me to accept the verdicts handed down on that and the later incident at Hillsborough.
    Over Christmas I was given a copy of Amy Lawrences book on the 1989 season told in quotes from variouis people players , commentators and fans . Page 108 is quite illuminating , a story told by a then kid that watched the incident unfurl from hid Nan’s house situated on route to Leppings Lane.
    I will ask Tony if it’s all right to quote from it because it flies in the face of the medias narrative and I don’t want to cause him trouble.

  • Nitram

    Porter

    Back then many football fans were animals and got treated as such. I know, I was there.

    We were herded, corralled, ejected from grounds, not allowed in grounds, looked upon by many as a shameful sub species, and frankly we deserved it all.

    Before a home game there was more talk about intercepting the fans coming in on the ‘specials’ for a ‘punch up’ than the match. Before an away match it was all about ‘taking their end’.

    Frankly a lot of what I have heard is history re written.

  • porter

    I manage to avoid a lot of it , but then I was playing Saturdays so a lot of my time on the NorthBank was midweek and when games were called off.
    I used to arrange my own transport and travel away independently and apart from minor damage to my car ( Look after your car mister ?) I avoided a lot of the trouble that followed the
    travelling fan .
    However the taking of the North Bank was a regular feature for Liverpool , United and West Ham’s firms ,not so much Spurs whose fans only got uppity in the High Road and Chelsea who got relegated.
    Our pre season friendlies with Rangers got a bit tasty too.

  • Nitram

    Porter

    I had a serious injury that put me out of action for 4 years between ’78 and ’82 so I went to a lot of matches during those years. I did occasionally drive but the ‘specials’ were always my favorite way of going away. You used to have to queue up for your train ticket, and your match ticket, at a house out the back of the North Bank before the preceding weeks home match.

    I lost count of the times some numpty pulled the ‘communication cord’ on the train. The most frustrating was on the way back from the midlands 200 yards outside St.Pancras. Oh happy days.

    But back to the serious point, the fighting was ridiculous.

    I went to a midweek match at Anfield prior to our FA Cup Final against Liverpool. Liverpool won the match 1 – 0. I went with my Dad, my Brother, his Wife, our friend and his Girl friend.

    We got jumped on the way back to the car as we entered Stanley Park. Yep, angels that lot.

  • AllanC

    Surprised that no-one has mentioned the favourite scouse hobby of getting more supporters into a ground than they have tickets for. Hillsborough, Athens, Millenium Stadium to mention a few. All with no denunciation from the club. The Man City coach being attacked a couple of times. The episode of the release clause in the Suarez contract. This being confirmed by that pillar of decency, Graham Taylor. What a shower. Why are the EFL not taking the false positive situation further? Don’t know why I asked that!

  • porter

    Allan to answer your question just find the common denominator.
    Rick Parry is the current chairman of the EFL, the former chief executive of Liverpool,

    The surge on to the North Bank was well anticipated just after kick off .If you had a position behind the goal , you knew that you would get shoved out of the way or worse as the all wanted to get there and wave their scarves and sing their silly song .
    Incidentally on last nights sky broadcast that song was played so loud that you couldn’t hear the commentary , I should think it was being piped through the clubs loudspeaker system.

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