-I thought this recent heat wave was just the result of normal atmospheric pressures and the time of year. Apparently, it is a result of Alberto Aquilani's agent flapping his gums. This guy hasn't shut up since May. First it was definite that Alberto would stay in Turin. Then they weren't going to match Liverpool's evaluation. Then Fiorentina wanted in, but they wouldn't match personal wages. Then he's definitely be staying on Merseyside. Today it's pretty close he's going to be part of The Viola. Whenever it's an agent talking, one has to be careful. Clearly, they don't have anyone's interest in mind other than their own. Chances are when something like this gets released, he's trying to up the public pressure on the buying club to cave into whatever demands is going to mean a larger commission. Or at least that's how my cynical, socialist, tree-hugging mind perceives things. Then again, if you live in Florence, are you ever that worked up about your football club? Or more worried about how the city smells due to that whole overground sewer thing?
We've spent a great deal of the summer debating where Aquilani will end up and where he fits. I think we all just want a definitive answer by now.
-Liverpool also had to quash rumors today about Lucas being sold to balance the books. No press seems to add two and two and get 17 more than the British sporting one. Yes, Liverpool need to recoup some cash and yes, Lucas would probably catch a pretty fair price if he were flogged these days, considering the rate of improvement and his age. But how many clubs with ambition sell their player of the year?
-Speaking of which, it is likely that Liverpool could start the season without Lucas and Luis Suarez. I recently learned that players are allowed up to four weeks of summer break if they want it, though not all of them take that much time. If Lucas took three weeks off after Brazil's pretty putrid exit from Copa America, that would only have him back in training around August 8th, or just a week's worth before the seasons started. Back that up a week for Suarez. And ideally, they both should get at least three weeks. I can't imagine two is enough. While it might not please us to sacrifice a couple of early points, having a strong Lucas and Suarez for a whole season is probably worth more points. This will also determine if Spearing goes out on loan, because he would seem to be the only member of the first team who has the energy and discipline to be the destroyer that Lucas is. As for filling in for Suarez? We'd probably have to find a way to combine Kuyt's, Downing's, and Henderson's DNA, and I don't think that would do it.
-I'm betting there's a segment of Liverpool fans that are going to bemoan the departure of Dani Pacheco, who came out and pretty much demanded it today. There would have been a time when I would have done the same. Rafa Benitez or Roy Hodgson barely gave the Spanish Under-20 a sniff. And we saw all the highlights of him with his national teams, and drooled at the thought. But when Dalglish came in, he was desperate to give any of the kids a look, and Kelly, Flanagan, Spearing, Robinson, and Shelvey all got a look-see (though some due to injury crisis). Pacheco never did. With Kenny's eye, if he had warranted one he wouldn't have been sent out on emergency loan in March. Pacheco may go on to be a star somewhere. But if Kenny didn't see anything worth taking a punt on, then I'll trust him on that one.