Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: It’s back to the future with Liverpool soap opera

You'll never walk alone was never more apt for Brendan Rodgers this week as everywhere he turned there was a television camera poking up his nose.

It was the start of Being: Liverpool, a new fly on the wall documentary about life at Anfield, and despite being a conscientious objector to all things red on Merseyside, I tuned in with hope in my heart.

Of course this is not new ground for Channel Five, going back to the future was something that was all the rage in the Eighties, a tale of an all-powerful dynasty that has fallen on hard times and is now really just a sad pastiche of itself with a couple of big names, ageing support actors who are past their best and a never-ending line of bit-part players — Dallas or Liverpool FC, take your pick really.

A word of warning though, it has been made possible by Reds’ owner John W Henry, last seen as Marty McFly’s father.

What is it with Americans and initials? John W Henry, Ben E King, Johnny B Goode, George W Bush, R E O’Speedwagon… the list goes on.

Never mind who shot JR, it’s looking like it’s going to be a case of who fired BR, but that’s for the future, although I’m sure there was a DeLorean sitting on Brendan’s driveway.

I digress. Mr Henry’s involvement has clouded things a little, with ‘facts’ not getting in the way of a showcase for America, with reference to a ‘three-years of mediocrity’ and chairman Tom Werner pointing out that ‘we came to a conclusion with Kenny (Dalglish) that we needed to move in a different direction.’ I’ll translate. “Kenny, there’s the door. Cheerio.”

There were some nice family moments with Rodgers and the ‘exceedingly normal’ Steven Gerrard. Indeed. I’m sure the white grand piano Stevie G had in his marble-floored hall belonged to his nan.

There were less lavish surroundings for Lucas Leiva, who had Luis Suarez round for the evening for a bit of South American time and a quick blast of the Montevideo version of Monopoly, only for the game to end in uproar as the Uruguayan crashed over the board in an effort to earn an extra 200 pesos for passing go.

And talking of going, there were a few mentions but no live sightings of Andy Carroll, with Brendan promising ‘it’s going to take something incredible to leave the football club,’ as footage was then played of a Sam from London ringing Swap Shop to offer a Carnlough edition of Monopoly and a bag of dulse. Deal done.

But the highlight was Liverpool’s summer trip to the States and what a state as Jamie Carragher attempted to do some yoga.

This is a man who probably thinks yoga is something made by Yoplait but one move that had them all in stitches was called The Cat, prompting a miaow from Jonjo Shelvey.

He wasn’t laughing on Sunday, was he?

Bizarrely, even Mark Lawrenson seemed to be on United’s side come Match of the Day 2, saying Shelvey had to go, Suarez didn’t deserve a penalty and Valencia did.

Then again I think he was just a bit giddy as he was sitting beside Freddie Ljungburg and his potty-mouthed antics of saying naughty words that had Colin Murray’s face more red than his David Fairclough pants.

“Ivanovic goes down like Jimmy Krankie,” Mark began on Saturday and then followed it up with “Oscar should have had an Oscar.” Lawro, don’t be a grouch, it’s all fandabidozee.

And I think I am to be congratulated for not gloating about the result at Anfield. I’m not saying United were fortunate but the fact that there is to be a reconstruction of the game on this month’s Crimewatch says it all.

But remember, please don’t have nightmares, unless it is in a Bobby Ewing type way and you all suddenly wake up and find that Michael Thomas didn’t score that goal and you won another 12 titles.

Belfast Telegraph


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