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  1. With the recent Covid outbreak at the club hampering preparations for the League Cup tie in midweek and causing a postponement, they club has also had to close the training ground in an effort to curb the spread. Jurgen was absent at Chelsea last week, and Pep Lijnders is currently self isolating so Peter Krawietz looks like he’ll be the one taking charge for this game. I’ve not seen anything yet (apart from blooshite theories copied over from their echo chambers) where we are being blamed for not being able to select players or the manager being absent. Still enough time for that though. An inexperienced line-up is predicted to take part in this one on Sunday. Poise. Energy. Tenacity. Ruthlessness. Urgency. Class. Heart. Invention. Organisation. I don’t ask for much. We last met this lot 2 years ago in the 4th round of the cup. The first game at their place saw Jurgen select an XI filled with youth, squad players and a couple of first-teamers. We made awfully hard work of it and the experienced players were very poor that afternoon. It ended up being a 2-2 draw, facilitating the need for a replay. A replay scheduled slap bang in the middle of the Premier League’s enforced winter break where players were not permitted to take part in any games, even lucrative friendlies out in the Middle East. Jurgen took that rule literally and insisted that his first-team squad would all be rested. Even the coaching staff. Oh did the shit hit the fan with the gobshite population of Great Britain. Jurgen and the club were accused on all sides of disrespecting the FA Cup (the FA themselves have done a bang-up job with that all on their own), and Shrewsbury’s chairman decided to crave the limelight like many a small-time club chairman and whinge about how we were doing his club out of much-needed revenue with our decision. Jurgen stuck to his guns, the first-team squad continued chilling out in warmer climes, and Neil Critchley and his squad of under 23s and under 18s took to the field for the replay at a near-capacity Anfield in early February 2020. This was in that bygone era known as the pre-Covid days. They did the club proud with an excellent performance that totally subdued the visitors, and the tie was settled by a spectacular headed own goal by the visitors’ defender Ro-Shaun Williams. Queef in goal, Neco at right back, Harvey (with) Man Bun and Curtis in the wide attacking positions all featured that night, and all have graduated to the fringes of the first team since. All that talking by everyone else, and our lot just got on with the task of winning the game with as little fuss as possible. The film that topped the box office was the latest instalment from the DC Universe, Birds Of Prey, centred on mentalist Nu Yoik sexpot Harley Quinn, played by Aussie sexpot Margot Robbie. I haven’t seen it but I have seen the bang-average Suicide Squad in which she first played the character. DC Comics in general haven’t managed to find genuine success on the big screen anywhere near as well as rival Marvel. In the last 20 years, Batman has seen huge success but that was the Christopher Nolan trilogy which is one part very very good, and two parts barnstorming. Outside of Batman and Superman, they’ve not had much joy translating their other superheroes and villains to the big screen. Oh, and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker of course. The game on Sunday presents the youngsters with an opportunity to make a name for themselves like their alumni from 2 years earlier. I don’t know how inexperienced we will go, and whether or not a handful of first-teamers will be involved. I imagine they’ll be kept back for the Arsenal game on Thursday. Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill will definitely not be making light of the Covid situation at Anfield. He has first-hand experience of how badly it can cripple you and change your life, having caught the virus and spent several weeks in ICU. His team are currently mid-table in League One, but when up against the likes of Liverpool, teams raise their game so our lads have to be wary of that. Just go out there and give it all they’ve got. Hopefully, David fucking Coote doesn’t pull a David fucking Coote. Get the job done.
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