Anfield from the press box

I had rather hoped that I would be updating this blog more regularly but alas this has not been the case so I apologise to my many readers (all five of them!) and promise only that I wil try to do better.

It’s been pretty quiet of late. I’ve been getting the head down, trying to get on top of this dissertation although last night I got a welcome reprieve from an evening with the books when I was offered the chance to be part of Click Liverpool’s live coverage of Liverpool’s hosting of Birmingham, a game that disappointingly finished 2-2.

It was my first foray into the press box at Anfield and indeed into the inner bowels of the stadium. The plush carpets and the warm and welcoming press room where soup, sandwiches, tea and coffee were aplenty. Unfortunately I’d been the chippy beforehand.

As the journos were busy tapping away on their laptops and Mark Lawrenson was shooting the breeze with the BBC folk, joking about Andriy Voronin’s nickname being Bon Jovi I took it all in and learned a bit about how Click is covering each Liverpool home game with exclusive minute by minute reports.

I was charged with the task of collating the stats as the game progressed, not as easy as you would think especially when temperatures felt like they were below zero and every so often I had to wiggle my toes just to ensure they weren’t frozen.

Fortunately I had gloves for my hands, my colleague Richard Buxton wasn’t so lucky as he rubbed his hands together for heat whilst incessantly and impressively typing out the game’s action.

In some ways the atmosphere was so much better in the press box as you could take it all in, the view was fantastic and you could hear Alex McLeish go mental on the touchline as well as witness at close hand Birmingham’s new owner, Carson Yeung, sit comfortably in his ridiculous dead animal coat.

But then again there are draw backs like not being able to jump for joy when David Ngog opened the scoring or swear continually when Cameron Jerome put the visitors in front.

Afterwards I took in the press conferences of McLeish and Rafael Benitez, both good football men, both disappointed. The former by David Ngog’s dive for the penalty and the latter by the result which makes it one win in nine games for the Reds.

These are dark times at Anfield but yet there is a togetherness about the place and you can sense it just as much in the press room and the inner depths of the great stadium as you can in its famous stands.