NEW YEAR, new optimism. And, keeping with tradition, what better way to bring in 2013 than by suggesting a few resolutions for the football family on Merseyside and beyond?
Brendan Rodgers: Try to tone down the hyperbole.
It was a well meant gesture of support, but Joe Allen hasn’t been helped by being tagged as the Welsh Xavi, in much the same way you were setting yourself up for a fall by stating a top-two finish wasn’t beyond Liverpool this season. It is.
Bill Kenwright and the Goodison board: Somehow, somewhere, find some money for your manager during this transfer window. Everton may ultimately not be strong enough to finish in the top four, but the arrival of at least one significant talent will give David Moyes’s men a fighting chance.
Luis Suarez: Keep staying on your feet and keep scoring. There’ll soon be some more strikers to ease the goalscoring weight on your shoulders.
Tim Howard and Pepe Reina: The last few months haven’t been the easiest for our Merseyside custodians. Both need to regain the confidence to remind us why they have long been regarded among the Premier League’s finest.
John Henry and Tom Werner: Liverpool supporters have been left somewhat confused by a transfer strategy that the American owners appear to be making up as they go along. Fenway Sports Group have been in charge long enough now to pick a particular route and stick to it.
Nikica Jelavic: Relax more and the goals will flow once again.
Warrior: Produce a better Liverpool away shirt. That purple effort is an absolute abomination. Also, be careful with the shade of red on the home kit.
Judging by the recent trip to White Hart Lane, it would appear to clash with Tottenham’s white shirts.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Stop sulking. There’s no shame in Lionel Messi being better than you.
Ronnie Moore: Just keep doing what you have been doing. For Tranmere to be leading League One beyond the halfway stage in the season is nothing short of miraculous.
And with the 50-point target having now been maintained, at least the fear of relegation has almost certainly been banished – with 20 games remaining.
Anthony Taylor: Stop sending off players for next to nothing.
Football is still a contact sport, isn’t it?
Jose Mourinho: Just admit you’re now only hanging on for the moment the Manchester United job is finally available.
Roberto Mancini: Give up on Mario Balotelli. He’s had his chance. Why indulge him any further?
Harry Redknapp: Purchase a cattle prod, because it would seem the only way to get some of your overpaid, de-motivated QPR players to start breaking into a sweat.
Leighton Baines: Get a haircut. Not that there’s any jealousy there.
Liverpool: Mix it up. The passing philosophy is all well and good, but there’s nothing wrong with throwing bodies and long balls into the box now and again. After all, to play like Barcelona, you really could do with Barcelona’s players.
Everton: Don’t lose faith in your enterprising football. It might not be doing the clean sheet total much good and resulting in some avoidable draws, but it’s working.