This morning I began listening to what seems to be a hugely promising podcast series called S-Town. The character around whom the opening show circles, John B McLemore, is a bit of a misfit in his community, a man whose verbal eloquence and mental dexterity contrast pleasingly with his redneck accent. At one point, noting how critical his interviewee is about his place of birth – the Shit Town of the title – the host refers to John’s “virtuosic negativity.”
As the news broke earlier, in a series of increasingly bleak tweets from those in the know, that Sadio Mané was far more seriously injured than initially thought, a worst-case-scenario later confirmed by Jürgen Klopp in his Tuesday press conference, your columnist was suffused with the darkness that is all too familiar to Liverpool fans. Given the daily hardships with which the world honours me, I tend towards a positive, optimistic demeanour – I mean, you have to to maintain sanity – but occasionally the ugliness of the world is just too much, and in the hours since Klopp’s confirmation, I could give Mr. McLemore a run for his money.
Referring to the serious damage to Mané’s knee, the gaffer was very downbeat in his assessment. He lamented, “losing Sadio on Saturday was like, ‘Oh my God. Can’t we have one day where everything is perfect?’” But that was not the worst of it. The question was asked. The dreaded question. Was it possible the Senegalese flyer might miss the rest of the season?
“Unfortunately that’s possible but why should I say it now?” he offered, pretty much breaking the blackened husk of a heart in this writer’s chest “I don’t know. It’s possible when a knee is swollen. You have to wait for a final assessment when the knee is not swollen anymore. It’s not often that I heard afterwards, ‘it’s nothing, it was a bee or whatever’. It’s swollen for different reasons, that’s it. It’s possible.
“But the more difficult a situation, the better it is to handle it. It feels better afterwards when I look back. Obviously, our way is not the easy way, look at the club history. That’s no problem. My job is only to find solutions and that’s what we’ll do this time.”
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