International Roundup

"I'M GOING TO GET SENT OFF NOW! IS THAT ALL RIGHT WITH EVERYONE?!"

We'll get to the Hillsborough Report's publication later, when there's been more of a chance to go over it and all the findings that will assuredly disgust everyone. But for now, we'll stick to the football as we all congregate again to start up the league season. That's right, start again. Because without a win, Liverpool's hasn't really started, has it?

-Basically, no one got hurt, and that's what matters. So the big concern is whether Luis Suarez can fly back from South America today and be ready for the match Saturday. Seems like a huge ask, but he's done it before and will probably do it again. Well, he'll have to, because there's no one to replace him, is there?

Steven Gerrard almost got the full 90 against Ukraine, except for the small issue of an idiotic tackle from behind near the death that got him sent off. Once again, he was applied deeper for England than he has been with Pool, and I don't know if that's a good thing or not. He doesn't have the pace or the discipline to be a true holding player, does he? Or maybe getting to use his instincts in that way save some fading legs? Still, I wouldn't mind seeing what a midfield of Allen-Sahin/Henderson-Shelvey might look like on Saturday, if to only save Stevie's legs for ManUre the following week.

Elsewhere, Skrtel captained Slovakia to an easy win over Lichtenstein, and no one else really had much of a major role outside Joe Allen getting a tonking in a Wales shirt. Hopefully no new pulls or strains are discovered on anyone when they return to Melwood.

-Hey, the Yanks did it! Only they can turn what really should be a home-banker into a nervy occasion where you can see the abyss crawling up quickly behind you. But three points and all that. Needless to say, watching a team thrash an opponent for a half, only to find wayward finishing and the woodwork keeping the scores level brought an all-too familiar queasy feeling back.

As the Jurgen Klinsmann reign goes into its second year, the shine is quickly fading. After watching Danny Williams run the show from the middle of the park, I'm left to wonder why I had to waste my time watching him anywhere else. With Alitidore banging them in for AZ, why was I subjected to watching a clearly jaded Clint Dempsey huff and puff his way through a second 90 minutes in four days that he's not fit for? Why am I watching Jermaine Jones at all? Oh, and Jose Torres put in another just good enough performance that I'll scream for him to be included more often before he turns totally crap again. Whatever, if all the king's men can put Stuart Holden back together again, Torres probably won't matter as much.

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