Ahead of the issue, preseason games feel like going out with a pretty woman after a long dating drought: it has all the hallmarks of the real thing. But then reality dawns, and you realise that you’re just messing around at home with a blow-up doll; going through the motions, but with nothing at stake. To make matters worse, some desperate sods are filming your fumblings.
This has been Liverpool FC, but not as we know it; recognisable, but at the same time unfamiliar. The pace isn’t there, and for many of the games, many of the most familiar faces haven’t either – in some cases it’s been generous to even call them reserves.
To torture another metaphor, it’s been like finally hearing the second verse of a TV theme song: you know the tune so well but the words don’t quite scan, and you realise why the 30 second on the opening credits is the section that was chosen.
But a lack of familiarity and fitness aside, can we read too much into what we’ve seen? And what of the fate of the most alluring performer so far – Alberto Aquilani?
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