I LIKED Stan Collymore the player.
I know he messed us around, refused to move in to a house in Liverpool and all the rest of it after his British record £8.5million move to Anfield back in 1995.
The boy could play though and his partnership with Robbie Fowler was a great one – producing 55 goals in 1995/6 and 47 in 1996/7.
In fact, Stan the Man left for Aston Villa with a better than one in three record of 35 goals in 81 appearances – not bad for a player often dubbed a "flop" at Liverpool.
I remember standing on the Kop on his debut and I was right in line with him as he turned a defender and curled in a beauty from 25 yards to win the match against Sheffield Wednesday.
He belted in another peach against Burnley in the FA Cup which was quite timely as it was so cold I couldn't feel my feet at the time.
And of course there was his winner in the 4-3 epic with Newcastle.
So like I say, despite the problems, some fond memories. But now my memories are being soured by Stan Collymore the pundit.
First there was his unecessary and unrealistic banging of the drum for Jose Mourinho to be installed as the new manager at Anfield via his show on Talk Sport (or Talk Shite as it is 'affectionately' known by many on Merseyside).
And now he's jumped on the Liverpool-bashing bandwagon via his Mirror Sport column.
First, it was a pop at Jamie Carragher - well, OK, he hasn't been at his best so I'll let that one ride.
This week? Well if in doubt, why not dust off, remould and present an old argument as your own?
There's a few favourites sitting in the cliche jar for the desperate media man - zonal marking, Rafa's negativity, amount of money spent...
No doubt they are for another week. No, this week it was...wait for it...Liverpool are a two-man team.
So shall we go through the counter arguments again? Dirk Kuyt (15 goals last season and continuing where he left off ), Yossi Benayoun (in the best form of his Anfield career), Glen Johnson (settled in like a dream).
Not only was Stan's article lacking orginality - or insight - but it was also a huge contradiction of an article he had written just a WEEK before. Then he said:
"Although I still don’t believe the Reds have enough squad depth to win the title, Yossi Benayoun’s hat-trick against Burnley showed there is penetration and imagination in their ranks beyond Steve Gerrard and Fernando Torres."
Well you can't have it both ways, Stan.
Could it be that Collymore, and the many of the other Liverpool-bashers in the media, are doing this for a reason?
Could it be that these hit-hungry, reader-chasing experts are merely baiting the trap for typically passionate fans of one of the most well-supported clubs in the land?
Well, as Rafa would say, it's a possibility.