On the beers, Brian Clough and a mini Liverpool preview

I didn't know how to start, with Brian Clough or on the beer - one reminded me of the other so I went alphabetically and ranked by importance.

I mention beers, because I've got a Friday night planned just drinking beer and talking football in the pub, probably. I can't say for not sure that the conversation will be just football however it tends to fall that way for me, I can't wait.

There was something else about the beer thing, but I've gotten this far and forgotten, so I'll skip straight on to Brian Clough and hope it comes back to me.

As you'd expect with the film out, there are a lot of interviews with former players and in case you didn't know he thought a lot of Martin O'Neill as a manager and by listening to this interview, it's fairly clear O'Neill thought quite highly of Clough too.

I wonder what Clough would have though about us fans these days? Back in his day there wasn't an internet and while he was a popular figure in the media - the demand wasn't as it is now, although he probably saw the beginning of it.

He'd have something to say about our discussions these days, it was either his way or no way and his team did have a certain style - but you can't deny it's effect and back to back European Cup success sort of gives him the right to say pretty much anything he wants. So from the grave.

Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win a game of dominoes.
Brian Clough, 1979

Moving on, this Sunday is Liverpool and with Rafa signing a contract extension until 2014 yesterday, they'll be a good atmosphere at Anfield and while we'd like to hope there is a lapse in concentration, there won't be one.

It's going to be one of the toughest games of the season on Sunday and I can't see anything else but two things; a big win for them or a scrappy win for us. I can see goals basically and the way Liverpool are playing at the moment, when the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United concede four, we're going to have to play a little differently if we are to hope of getting anything.

I know on our day we're a very good side, but of the likes of those two teams struggled against a current Liverpool team, you don't have to be a genius to predict how the game will likely go if we set out our stall with four in the middle.

We'll see another Manchester City or Spurs. Manchester City overran us in the middle in the first half and made us look like kids. Spurs, didn't so much overrun us or create that many more opportunities, but the quality they had put the chances away and Liverpool have more quality and they'll create as many chances if we allow them the time and space in midfield.

See what I'm doing - I'm quoting the best manager of his era and possible one of the best ever to grace our league and then I'm talking tactics. Well, like I said the other day, I'm sort of convinced about this in my head, so I'm sticking by it.

There are no more games to define our season - they're simply opportunities to make something of it; our best chance for a very long time to finish in the top four and through sheer blindness, loyalty and hope, I'll be having a punt on an away win, because this slump we're in will come to an end soon.