A mish mash of news today:
-As Rob mentioned yesterday, today the transfer of Sebastian Coates is looking closer and closer. Still, this is agents and parents making noise, and we haven't heard much from the club. But he does fit the profile, doesn't he? His best years ahead of him, but able to fill a role now. I don't think he'd automatically be first choice when arriving on the British shores, but considering Daniel Agger's history of pulling up lame from taking in oxygen, Martin Skrtel already being hurt, and the skittishness of Jamie Carragher (or maybe that's the skittishness he infects those of us watching him with, or both), Coates would see his fair share of action this season. This is nothing but good news, as if you saw the Copa America, you saw a budding monster.
-Dani Pacheo is headed out on loan to Atletico Madrid. If nothing else, he'll get an education on what being on a complete loony bin of a club looks like. Pacheco was the great hope for a lot of Pool supporters, lighting up the u-19's with Spain as he did and some spikey performances in the reserves. Two years ago, in Rafa's final season, he showed some flashes with cameos from the bench. But it never got more than that. While nothing that happened under Hodgson made any sense, if Pacheco were really ready to have made an impact then Kenny would have found a role for him instead of loaning him out. Still, if he really lights up La Liga, which is a better spot for him than the Championship would have been, there's still time to make a name for himself.
-Anyway, there's a game today. Usually, I disregard the Carling Cup until we make the quarters, if we make the quarters. It's a competition that's nothing more than a nuisance until it looks like you might have a chance to win it. But not so this season, for a couple reasons. First, there's last year's debacle, losing at home to Northampton. Liverpool will be desperate to put that right. Second, the Reds haven't made a serious run in this competition since losing a quarterfinal in 2007 to Chelsea. And quite frankly, combined with our recent incompetence in the FA Cup, it's about time we made a Cup run, isn't it? Thirdly, without European competition, Liverpool simply need the games to get everyone involved. And we need the entertainment. Without a fair share of midweek football, we'd all have to like, deal with life. And who wants to do that?
Still, expect the Pool to run out The Others tonight. Aurelio, Flanagan, Shelvey, Spearing, possibly Conor Coady, Maxi, and Ngog should all get a start one would think. Maybe a couple other kids will off the bench. But I bet Kenny has a big gun or two on the bench as well in case things aren't going well and that needs to be corrected.
I won't sit here and tell you I know the first thing about Exeter, because I don't. But I do know that they don't have a league win all season in England's Third Division, and they should probably be swatted aside with a minimum of fuss. But these things never work out that easily, as they'll have had this game marked since it was arranged. It'll be one of those things that old, English analysts slobber about where Exeter tries to show Liverpool "what League football is all about", as if the lower divisions were some sort of more noble calling. So expect a couple of crude fouls. But also expect a 3-0 win that had a few nervy moments at the beginning.
The game is actually easily found, it's on Fox Soccer Plus and online at Fox Soccer.TV. Feel free to use this as your thread.
Update: For the most part I was right, but Suarez and Meireles start as well. Perhaps in a bid to gain them some fitness, or to cinch this up, or both.