I may be proved wrong. The Liverpool supporter who faithfully promised to produce answers by yesterday may still resurface (he’s been silent for a week). We don’t even know yet whether the match will be on. But Salut! Sunderland cannot start the season on a blank, so turned to a disloyally Red, as opposed to Red and White, fan in the family. Lets hear from Nathalie Randall* , a terrific little footballer herself …
As I write, Kenny Dalglish has spent an estimated £100m in an attempt to get Liverpool back into the top four. More can be expected before we kick off but is he on the right track?
After our recent track record under Hicks and Gillette with spending millions and getting nowhere but in severe debt, I am a little sceptical of the amount we have spent on players like Downing, Carroll and Henderson. However I think the players we have bought is a promising sign for the future. I just wish we hadn’t spent so much to get them!
Jordan Henderson: we were torn between serious regret that we should be selling a home-grown talent and wonderment at the fee. Liverpool fans were divided, too; what was/is your take?
My take is/was – Henderson has potential to be a top class player but £16mill + for potential is a massive risk. The plus side is he is young and the right ideas are all there in his game so although maybe not immediately, he could be a top player for us.
What have you made of Liverpool’s pre-season, or do you buy the mantra that results don’t matter, it is purely about fitness?
I’m slightly worried but we have been playing players like Cole and Poulson simply to up their profile and sell them so I am not unduly concerned. I recall seasons where we have awful pre-seasons only to perform well in the actual league. We have also missed some key players at times like Suarez.
What are your minimum and maximum expectations for the season ahead?
I would like us to get back into CL contention as a minimum but I am aware with so many good teams out there this will be a challenge. And finishing above Man Utd is always a bonus.
Are you happy that a dark period, in terms of Liverpool ownership, is behind you and what do you make of John W Henry?
I am still a little concerned as to where all this money has come from and whether it will return to bite back at some point because I recall we spent a huge amount under Rafa too. John W Henry seems to care about the club more than our previous owners and seems to have a good rapport with the fans but time will tell on that one.
Are you as excited at the start of a new season as you have always been, or has money, cheating and disappointment had an impact on your interest?
Always excited – its been a long summer with no football!
Following on from that, have diving, feigning injury and trying to get opponents booked or sent off become so commonplace that we should accept the as part of the modern game?
We shouldn’t be surprised when it happens but it doesn’t mean we have to like it. I love how Barcelona play, for example, but am constantly put off by the cheating when I watch them play. I’m sure we have our fair share of cheats (Suarez and Gerrard have both been mentioned) but I don’t like it and am critical when they do.
Who are the greatest players you have seen in Liverpool colours, who do you wish you had seen but didn’t and who should have been allowed nowhere near the colours?
Greatest player I have seen – John Barnes. Absoloutely mesmerising with the ball at his feet. Would love to have seen King Kenny play. As for who shouldn’t have played, I can choose from so many. Will go with Sean Dundee, Torben Piechnik, and Isthvan Kostma.
And what, presumably in second place after Istanbul, is your greatest memory of supporting the club? FA Cup final 1992, Liverpool vs Sunderland.
Being there as a kid with my dad. Great day out (for me!).
When you beat us in the 1992 FA Cup Final, our supporters noticed that your lot seemed quite blase about the whole thing, just another day at the office. Is that a reflection of the competition’s decline or just that you were playing lowly opposition?
I was too young to see it like that at the time, for me it was fantastic day (see above).
Name this coming season’s top four in order.
Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool
And the bottom three?
Swansea, Norwich and Newcastle
Where, if not already mentioned, will Liverpool and Sunderland finish?
Liverpool 4th or 5th. Sunderland 7th.
Is there any Sunderland player you’d have taken with or instead of Henderson?
What is your view of our club, and of Newcastle United?
Newcastle seem a club in decline, a clueless chairman, a manager out of his depth and they are selling their best players so I can see them stuggling. Morale will probably be low. Sunderland have made some really shrewd signings and I think Sessegnon could be a great buy for you this year so I think Sunderland can expect a more rewarding season.
Name one thing Liverpool FC or the football authorities generally should do to improve the game or the lot of ordinary supporters?
Harsher penalties for cheating.
Will you be at the Anfield match and what will be the score?
No as my dad as stolen my car so he can go and also failed to get me a ticket. 2-1 to Liverpool.
Nathalie Randall on Nathalie Randall:
I am Nathalie, the traitorous Liverpool supporting football playing daughter of M Salut. As a seven-year-old, I was transfixed by an Arsenal v Liverpool game, especially when watching John Barnes play. It was the start of not only my love for Liverpool but my love for the game.
Interview: Colin Randall