It's is one of football's accepted clichés, but Liverpool's form this season makes a mockery of the term 'team in transition'. It's just a weak facade for failure...
Football managers are often lauded for their mind games, man management and tactical planning. Isn't that the least we should expect, given that it's their actual job..?
You've just started an act of intimate love, an act that perhaps has caught you unawares; it's not your birthday, nor is there a blue moon shining but anyway, it's on, and thank the lord for that, right? Trouble is, you've been caught unprepared and need a wee quite badly. You should have excused yourself at the beginning but now you're ten minutes in your sex machine is now well lubricated. Now you've got a big problem.
I've never been a woman and I never will be, unless I already am and just have a massive clitoris, so I'm not sure if this applies to ladies, but being a man and needing a wee is not a good thing when you're going to have sexy rumpage. It inhibits all sorts of things happening properly or with full force and somewhat takes your mind off the task. Bladders and sex are not happy bedfellows unless you liked being weed on. Not my bag.
But it's not going away, is it? So you've got to take a toilet break, but you already know there are problem. First, you are in a state of advanced priapic response which means you can't actually have a whazz until you've lost a bit of firmness, which may take quite a long time and even then, you are in danger of spraying the bathroom like an errant garden sprinkler as you hurriedly try to force a thin, reluctant stream of water out of yourself as quickly as possible. So ten minutes later you return with wee on your toes to find the romance of the situation has evaporated and your big chance has passed for another year. Ladies, you have no idea what we suffer for our art.
So what do you do? This is one of those occasions in life where there is no win to be had unless she's so damn randy that she'll wait like a milk pan almost boiling over until you return from the toilet, which as any student of female sexual response knows, is the least likely of scenarios.
While I hate to bring in the thought of David Moyes to any bedroom scenario for obvious aesthetic reasons, this is the exact situation he finds himself in with Wilfred Zaha. Unless I'm much mistaken Zaha has a lot of talent. He's done really well for England Under-21s and, while still raw, is an exciting player - an exciting player that can't get a run of games for Manchester United. Just two starts so far suggest something is wrong. Either Moyes is a narrow-minded idiot who doesn't know a good footballer or the purchase of Zaha was another of his predecessor's more irrational £15m purchases. The latter seems less likely.
Moyes is under pressure and, when under pressure, seems to react by becoming ever more conservative, which rather precludes using Zaha at all because a creative, adventurous player like Wilf is always likely to blow a bit hot and cold. Moyes seems to like a seven out of ten player and Zaha is more of a nine or a four. If he puts him in for a run of games and he's no good, Moyes knows he'll be criticised, but if he doesn't play him, given United's drab league start, he'll be attacked for being unadventurous and not playing anyone with a bit of flair and relying on a 40-year-old instead.
So now he's stuck and has started raising the possibility of a loan. But surely, with United, even when winning looking like a team of zombies, they need someone who can stir the blood. But when things go poorly, you feel less and less like taking any chances and thus retreat into a spiral of conservative inhibition, which is exactly what United do not need right now. Sending him out on loan is just a cop-out in order to not have to make a real decision. Zaha is already 21, young but not exceptionally so. If Moyes doesn't rate him he should stop dithering and sell him in January. If he does then give him a run of games...a case of p*ss or get off the pot, perhaps.
Buy Johnny's novels here.