The Season Kicks Off, Drenched In Sweat

Top Row: Loan, Loan, First-Team, Who?, Sold Bottom Row: Squad, Vice Captain, Maybe Loaned, Certainly Loaned, Sold, Packaged In A Box To Zanzibar

We all know the reason for this trip. It really isn't about football, is it? We all kind of smile and nod, and either ignore or accept that Liverpool are spending mid-July in Southeast Asia because Standard Charter said we should, and FSC isn't silly enough to turn down the cash that will result from it. But in the long run, that can only be good for the club, and these games have to be played somewhere, right?

So Liverpool kicked off the preseason against a second division Chinese side in Gaungdong (and all the jokes there are far too easy). It's hard to know what to make of these things. The lads haven't kicked a ball in anger, for the most part, in six weeks. They're playing a far inferior team but one that is in the middle of its season. Oh, and they're in China in July, which is probably akin to South Florida in the summer on steroids with larger mosquitoes. Considering how the English do in the heat, it doesn't add up to a superlative effort.

Kenny had two different' XI's for each half. And each played some captivating stuff at times. But is that due to the inability of the opponent? When one considers it was Joe Cole weaving pretty patterns and moves, you might think that. But at least Liverpool were committed to passing and moving, which is what we all want to see.

They did concede some sloppy goals, but all three came in injury time of each half, when everyone must've been feeling crushed by the unrelenting humidity at that point (seriously, I've heard you can feel the air moving through your fingers when you wave your hand. Why is everyone so shocked that an albino like me never wants to go to Asia?). So I'm not too alarmed by that.

Other things I think I noticed:

-David Ngog, who I could have sworn was sold to Sunderland but I guess I need to read these things closer, looked as he always does against non-English opposition. Which is to say lively, tricky, somewhat lethal, and good. What do we make of this. The big boards says "not much".

-Christian Poulsen scored. That's nice.

-Martin Kelly looks no worse for wear after missing the end of last season, bombing up and down the right touch line as we remember.

-Charlie Adam grew into the game, but we already saw evidence of his "Chicks Dig The Long Ball" method of passing at times.

-Aquilani had some real classy touches, and I wish finding a spot for him in midfield wouldn't cause such massive headaches.

-I wish I noticed Dani Pacheco more. Or at all, really.

Other than that, there isn't much to glean. We'll see how the team grows from friendly to friendly, with the next one being Saturday against a Malaysian XI, which should be even stickier. My balls start sticking to my thighs just watching these games. It's gross, really.

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