Some of you may remember a US stand-up comedy show directed by Spike Lee of the same name. That version was released in 2000 and starred the talents of Steve Harvey, DL Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and the late Bernie Mac.
The 2014 version, however, is based at Anfield and stars the talents of Brendan Rodgers, Steven Gerrard, Mario Balotelli and the entire “defence” of Liverpool FC. Unlike the US version which won rave reviews and spawned multiple spin-offs and various films, the Liverpool FC variant has opened to decidedly mixed reviews and at the time of writing there are no planned spin offs.
The potential comedy value of Liverpool went up a few notches at the start of the 2013/14 season when manager Brendan Rodgers acquired the services of the prodigiously talented Kolo Toure from Manchester City. The Ivory Coast funny man came with an excellent record of comedic value after it emerged in 2012 that he pretended to be a car salesman named Francois when he had an affair with an unsuspecting model. Then came the numerous comedy moments during Liverpool’s game against Fulham where he scored a spectacular own goal, and bundled into the referee during the same game.
Doubtless inspired by Toure’s leading role, the Liverpool defence decided that they would also add to the laughs by having one of the most laughable defensive records in the league in 2013/14. The team that was boosted by the free scoring talents of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge was severely let down in the final 3 games by some hilariously inept defending. (A reminder at this stage that throwing away a 3 goal to nil lead with 15 minutes to play is not title-winning form).
However, Rodgers doesn’t seem to be done yet. Building on all of those laughs from last season, he and the players seem to have made it their mission to provide even more guffaws this season by actually not defending set pieces at all. Unfortunately I don’t have the stats to hand but I can state with absolute certainty that 85% of the goals conceded by Liverpool this season have been via set pieces. It doesn’t seem to matter who is playing – Srktel, Lovre , Sakho, Toure, Johnson, Moreno, Manquillo – the result is always the same. The defence looks like a group of gents who were out getting pissed the night before a Sunday boozers league game.
Sunday’s game against QPR pretty much summed up Liverpool’s season thus far. There was so little cohesion or unity amongst the players, one would have been forgiven for thinking they had met up ten minutes before kick off. QPR completely and utterly dominated the play, Bobby Zamora dared to Zlatan, QPR conspired to hit the woodwork three times and somehow both teams went into the half time break deadlocked at nil-nil.
The second half of the game was, to paraphrase Dizzee Rascal, bonkers! In summary:
Balotelli had a contender for miss of the season
Richard Dunne conceded his 10th career own goal to gift Liverpool the lead
Liverpool surprisingly conceded from a set piece
Coutinho created enough space to squeeze a nice goal into the far corner
Liverpool surprisingly conceded from another set piece
Raheem Sterling showed everyone how tired he was by sprinting half the length of the pitch before QPR graciously conceded another own goal
One thing is for certain though – this game was great preparation for the Champions League game against Real Madrid in mid week. The Original Kings of Comedy will be coming soon to a city near you. Be sure to book early so you don’t miss belly aching laughter from the best in the business!