It’s a much needed break from the footie for me. With Liverpool not in action again until Tuesday, and the business end of the season approaching, I’m having a footballing detox for a few days. Lord knows I need it.

I didn’t bother watching the Manchester United game the other night. Along with my detox, I can’t bring myself to want to see Paris Saint-Germain win any match, even if it’s against the Mancs. They are the worst of the worst of modern football, aren’t they? Possibly even worse than City.

Nothing against the lads on the pitch, I’m sure they’re sound lads (although Mbappe is slowly becoming a bit too much like his mate Neymar for my liking), but it’s literally owned by the government of a middle-eastern oil-rich state with an appalling human rights record. There’s also the fact that they’re cheating through financial doping and seemingly no one cares. Which should worry you.

I managed to wait until Wednesday morning to find out the result from one of the newspapers which made me feel very much like I was living in the 1980s. Ah the glory days, provided you ignore the hooliganism, the violence, the horrid public image of football supporters and the run-down and decrepit stadiums.

United losing doesn’t usually fill me with joy or happiness, just relief. I’ll be honest, right up until Wednesday morning I was quite afraid of Solskjaer bringing United on a mad run, akin to that of Chelsea’s in 2012, and somehow undeservedly finding themselves lifting club football’s greatest prize in June.

They’re not out yet of course. There’s a second-leg to play and anything could happen….blah, blah, blah and all that shite. One of my favourite things about European knockout stages though is that you could win 6-1 at home in the first leg and the tie is still in the balance because of a precious away goal, but if the away side gets a draw in the same game they already have one foot in the next round.

Also, PSG are really good at football, even if they are the crap at everything else.

In hindsight, it might have seemed stupid to have thought United could go all the way to the final in Madrid. Not lest as two months ago they were only marginally better than West Ham, but it’s just what they do.

By the same logic, in my mind, they’ve already won this year’s FA Cup. There’s no point in even watching the fifth round at the weekend, you may as well just give them the trophy now and allow everyone else a bit of time off.

I can’t think of anything more on brand than United winning the Cup, Liverpool falling short in the league and Solskjaer’s boys somehow ending up with more silverware than Klopp’s men, despite the clear gulf in quality between the two.

There is one thing more typical of a club actually, that’s Everton being shite. It’s absolutely wild that Everton are ninth. It feels like there should be an inquest into how we’re in February and they’re in ninth place.

If they had three fewer points, I’d be getting really excited about a possible Everton relegation. They’ve played a game more than everyone else, they still have to play all the top six bar Manchester City and they’re only nine points clear of 18th placed Southampton, with plenty of teams below them starting to hit form. They’ve also fallen off an absolute cliff after Origi’s December derby winner and sections of their support want another change of management. Unfortunately, though, 33 points after 27 games looks like just about enough at this stage to be okay, but lose against Cardiff in their next league game and then we’ll talk.

Declan Rice has chosen to declare for England which apparently is big news. I guess you would play for England if you were really good at football whilst also born and raised in Kingston upon Thames.

Some of the clamour around Rice’s decision has been nonsensical over here. He’s English. He was born in London, brought up in London, speaks with an English accent and was playing for Chelsea’s academy when he was seven years old.

At the risk of sounding very Brexit indeed, Ireland shouldn’t bother trying to bring English lads with a grandparent who has a vaguely Irish name through. FIFA’s ‘granny rule’ is ridiculous. It undermines the fundamental concept of international football. The FAI shouldn’t be focusing on poaching England’s leftovers, they should be building an Irish team to represent Ireland and we’ll all have much more of a laugh qualifying for one tournament every twenty years and being generally shite than seeing us get to every second Euros and exit with a back line born and bred in Hertfordshire.

If we could all stop singing ‘Stand Up for the Boys in Green’, that would help too.

Liam Divilly

Still call it the UEFA Cup, I follow a foreign team and yet despise modern football. Basically yer da but thirty years younger. Irish student and LFC supporter.