Today, this columnist awoke to the revelation that tax avoidance guru and all-around blandness salesman, Gary Barlow, is set to feature in the next Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi. That’s Gary Barlow, out of Take That. In Star Wars. As an actor. After repeated failed attempts at gouging out my own eyes with a spoon, in response to this ‘news,’ and with my pathetic efforts at self-immolation lacking a certain spark, I steeled myself against the day. This, however, was a highly inauspicious start and set me on edge.
Predictably, the unpleasantness was only beginning and coincidentally there was, again, a Mancunian flavour to it. Having tweeted something about watching the Oasis documentary ‘Supersonic’ and getting very caught up in the nostalgia, – I may have referred to the fact that Liam Gallagher is probably my spirit animal -, I was greeted by a barrage of sniffy comments and a mini-exodus of followers. I was pondering the fickle nature of my departed online chums when the woman in front of me in the queue for coffee informed the entire shop loudly that “the bastard machine is broken.”
Thankfully, the soothing world of LFC-related trivia was a balm to my caffeine-deprived brain and it was with great enthusiasm that I read of Georginio Wijnaldum’s interest in the welfare and advancement of Liverpool’s developing talent. The Dutchman, it seems, is genuinely concerned with helping the club’s youngsters to nurture their abilities and maximise their potential. Here is a man who would make an excellent Jedi master, passing on the ways of the Anfield Force to the next generation. Take note, Barlow.
“When I see a young player come into Melwood and speak to them about how old they are, how the early stages of their career are going so far and what they would like to achieve, I always think back to my own experience,” Wijnaldum told Goal. “It reminds you of what point you were in your development then, what were the challenges and the lessons, so it helps when you give advice. What I like about them is that when you speak to them, they really listen. They are hungry for advice and it reminds me that now that I’m one of the older players having to speak to them and teach them.”
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