Only a win is good enough

January 21, 1916
To-morrow looks very bright towards us. Football has latterly been played in a gale, and some players have become ruffled as the wind, and they have been sent off the field to cool their ardour. Much has been made of the fact that players cannot keep their tempers in this friendly session, but I have said before, and I say again: “This season’s games have been fought fairly on the whole, and players have shown such an earnestness in their movements and so genuine a desire for victory that one mustn’t complain unduly if they have at times slipped out of the rems and taken the law into their own hands.” To suggest that because this is a war season and friendly matches are the rule that players should be other than human beings in temperament is asking for a sound knock-down blow! Well, to-morrow we shall see plenty of life in the games, so far as our clubs are concerned. Everton, at Manchester City’s ground, will be hard-fought, and Liverpool, at home  to the greatly-improved Bury club will have their work cut out to win. Victories are as nought nowadays; still we like to see our favourite teams win – there’s no denying that fact – and to-morrow, if Liverpool don’t spring a pleasant surprise on us we shall be disappointed. After their noteworthy victory over Stockport at the County’s ground we had firm belief in the capacity of the Anfield men to go to Rochdale and steal a point, instead of which they lost. Liverpool, however, is a funny combination, and we mustn’t be surprised at anything they startle us with. To-morrow, maybe, they will run riot and pile up a crop of goals. I have been waiting some time the advent of their goal crop, for I thoroughly believe in some of their forwards and am convinced that the day cannot be far distant ere Pagnam, the hustler, gets his move on and, incidentally, helps on his already big total. There’s no doubt about Pagnam’s drawing power, and folk love to see goals scored. Then there is the added interest of Speakman’s return, Wandsworth’s show, and McKinlay’s continued trial at outside left. One critic says McKinlay has played everywhere except goal, but he errs. McKinlay has filled the breach before now when a goalkeeper has been injured. The start of tomorrow’s game is at three o’clock, and therefore the Liverpool officials look for a big crowd, for Bury, at their appearance at Everton on the opening day of the season, made friends, although they lost, and since Jack Lythgoe started his mission for goal-getting the Bury forward line has done some very useful work. All being well, we’ll meet him to-morrow. In any case I look to Liverpool to win and to keep up the high level of football that has been seen in the city this season.

Liverpool: Elisha Scott, Ephraim Longworth, Sam Speakman, Norman Bradley, Arthur Goddard, Walter Wadsworth, Ernest Pinkney, Wilfred Watson, Fred Pagnam, William Banks, Donald Mackinlay.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: January 21, 1916)

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