If you think that things have been quiet in Liverpool this summer, notwithstanding the endless fleet of Securicor and Group 4 Security (sometimes known as G4S if they are insecure about previous misdemeanours) vans arriving and departing from Goodison Park with shedloads (timber, 4*6, easy to lift) of cash, then it’s probably because Jurgen Kopp has been spending some time away from the city.
In fact, Jurgen has been back in his home country, attending the annual EZB conference in Bayerdortgladbach. If the EZB looks a bit alarming at first, possibly with right-wing tendencies, fear not as that position is still up for grabs at Liverpool. EZB stands, of course, for ‘Entschuldigungen hinter Zähne und Brille.’ The red side of Liverpool will immediately remember this from when the conference was held in Northern Ireland a few years ago with the English translation: ‘Excuses made behind teeth and glasses.’
This year’s conference speakers explored the latest learning behind how to make seemingly reasonable and even plausible excuses for the most absurd failures, whilst hiding behind over-sized glasses and gleaming sets of teeth. This year, one of the special guests was Anthony Scaramucci, Communications Director of the White House who spoke via video link, just nine days after his appointment, sharing his own tools and techniques for achieving ongoing success.
Sven-Goran Eriksson also hosted a special break-out session at which he talked at length about new research on contract-breaking, while always being able to blame the other party. Still able to smile cutely while talking, and drawing on his own long-term managerial success with 16 clubs, Sven was happy to attend, not having much to do these days since being told he was tired of Chinese food back in June.
Jurgen was hugely encouraged by what he learned and arrived back in buoyant form – much as Daniel Sturridge, allegedly, though that may have been an early application of Jurgen’s new thinking whereby he launched a pre-emptive strike against any medical conditions known to man being the cause of yet another poor season.
Encouraged by smiles and nods all round, Jurgen, then made his excuses early by stating boldly that Liverpool were not ‘a selling club.’ This latest move was obviously intent on dampening down rumours about Sadio Mane being a) fit and b) preferring scouse to lasagne.
Philippe Coutinho is obviously quite a good player because he is Brazilian and never tries to defend. He has also been pouring over his new Spanish-English-Portuguese dictionary in between preparing for the important ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik Cup’ competition, named after Jordan Henderson’s new, radio-controlled foot which can now fit seamlessly into his mouth at any moment.
Jurgen – remembering another session at the conference: ‘when washing up liquid is not necessary to clean-up fairy tales’ – also declared that “if you say he is not available to be sold, where is the interpretation? The word ‘not’ means there is no interpretation. There is nothing new.”
Lexicographers have been searching high and low for dictionary definitions that will confirm this new meaning of the word ‘not’ but have been hampered by finding lots of interpretations in some 196 countries across the world so far…
Jurgen, though, is on a better run than most of his players and, not sounding remotely like Alf Ramsey has also indicated that Liverpool can win the Premier League after a “bit of bad luck last season.” Many football observers from as far away as Tranmere might beg to differ about the interpretation of ‘luck’ and pooh pooh such optimism, as well as many of the team’s performances that they saw with their own eyes (and many without the need for glasses.)
Thankfully, Jurgen – while grinning broadly, his teeth glinting in the headlights – did go on to qualify this statement with the assurance that, “We’ll be playing for the championship. We don’t start a season by not having any ambitions.”
So, Liverpool fans can relax and look forward to a planned relegation to English football’s second tier without the need to make any more excuses for 27 years of league failure. Jurgen is one step ahead of them all.