Tomorrow, Newcastle plays Liverpool at Anfield, the same place Alan Pardew made his managerial debut with our club (a 3-1 win, I might add). This game holds special significance for all of us. First, we're neck and neck with Liverpool on the table, so we can't afford to drop points. Second, Newcastle and Liverpool have a fierce rivalry, including a couple of 4-3 classics in the mid 90's that were some of the finest fixtures ever played in the Premier League. The spectre of those classics looms large every time we take the field against the Reds, so the atmosphere is always more electric than just another West Brom clash. Finally, my father and best friend (a curmudgeonly, balding Jew from New Jersey who looks vaguely like this) are both die hard Liverpool fans, so naturally I have more invested in this game than usual.
Our good buddy SamFels over at Anfield Asylum has agreed to do a question and answer exchange before the match. You can find my half of the answers here, and can see some very insightful commentary from a Liverpool fan following the jump. [Disclaimer: SamFels did get a tad a salty with his language, and the spirit of artistic integrity, I've decided not to bleep it. Besides, we're Newcastle fans, so &^%$ it, right?]
1. At 8-7-3, how has the season matched up to your expectations so far? Was 6th on the table where you expected Liverpool to be, or were you looking for higher? Do you think the current Liverpool squad is a Champions League club?
2. Since King Kenny came in, along with new ownership, Liverpool seems to have new look, feel, and swagger to their play. What has the difference under Dalglish and Fenway Group compared to Rafa/Hodgeson and Hicks and Gillette felt like? What are some of the tangible changes you've noticed?
3. We might as well talk about it... what's your reaction to the Suarez situation? What is your stance on what he said, how Liverpool reacted, and the F.A.'s final decision?
4. Since you made us a very, very rich club in 2011, we should probably discuss what you paid for. How have Carroll and Enrique been since their transplants to Anfield? Do you think it was worth the money? Any other Newcastle players you've got your eyes on for 35 million dollar coup this coming transfer window?
5. Who has been Liverpool's MVP so far this season?
6. And finally.... what's that final gonna be!?