Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is unlikely to be able to match the legendary Bill Shankly in his quest to return the Merseyside Reds to their former glories; and a Torbay art connoisseur has unveiled a new addition to his collection, write Football Editor Walter Everywhere and Arts Correspondent Nora Droptodrink.
We spoke to returning hero Dalglish in front of the famous kop yesterday, in an attempt to explore exactly how he is trying to employ the methods and the spirit of "Shanks" Shankly in the battle to make Liverpool competitive again at the top of the Premier League. We asked about Bill Shankly. Frankly, we were wasting our time.
We were unable to understand a mumbled word of the Scot's guttural utterances. His staring stock-still granite face was opacity itself. We could not tell if he was joking, or angry, or just a granite statue. So we made our excuses and left the Merseyside shrine to all that is football passion incarnate.
But we had seen enough to begin to realise that Dalglish is no match for Shankly in the stature stakes. Bill Shankly's statue outside the Anfield Visitor Centre is over 8 feet tall. It dwarfs the 5 foot 8 inch Dalglish.
We decided to speak to a noted female Football Expert. Gaynor Twohalves - for it was she - who, along with co-author Di Mondformation, wrote "From Macassar Oil To Ronaldo's Hair Gel: A History Of Footballer's Hair", confirmed that it was very unlikely that Kenny Dalglish could ever match up to Bill Shankly.
"It is very unlikely that Kenny Dalglish could ever match up to Bill Shankly. What is much more likely is that Kenny Dalglish will never match up to Bill Shankly. Bill Shankly is more than a match for Kenny Dalglish, who is no match for Bill Shankly. I would say that it is not at all likely that Kenny Dalglish could ever match Bill Shankly.
"If you go to Anfield, and look at Shankly's statue, you can see that it is much taller than Kenny Dalglish. If you took Dalglish, and stood him next to Bill Shankly's statue, then he would be dwarfed by the statue. Similarly, the statue would dwarf Dalglish. That, I think, is decisive."
But Gaynor Twohalves was not finished yet. There was more incisive reasoning to come. The game is never over until the fat lady sings. Although you couldn't call Gaynor Twohalves fat - in fact, she is on the bony side of comfortable, for me - there was still a fair bit of injury time to play with. She went on.
"Finally, there is the matter of personality and charisma. Bill Shankly's statue dominates the Anfield soccerscape. Although Kenny Dalglish has a very effective granite face and taciturn, dour, curmudgeonly manner, and has all the animation of a statue, he cannot hope to come close to the sheer magnetism of Bill Shankly's statue. Dalglish's inanimate manner might have been good enough for Blackburn Rovers, where there are no statues of Bill Shankly with which to compete, but he cannot hope to match Bill Shankly's statue at Anfield, which possesses a statue of Bill Shankly with which to compete."
Meanwhile, Torbay-based Austrian art enthusiast Berndt Umber has revealed a new nude painting. Umber has amassed a fine collection at his Georgian Farrago Street home, and, in an unofficial gallery scenario, he often opens up his house to visitors. He will be opening up the house again this weekend, and there will be a new nude work for the visitors to enjoy.
Umber has acquired "Throstle Hall in April" by Dorset amateur artist Walter Vole. Vole's radical approach to painting - he painted in the nude throughout the warmer months - might well have created controversy in 19th century Dorset, but we don't know for certain, because there is no record of it.
Church News: The Vatican has denied claims that a narwhal - the mottled, medium-sized, toothed whale with a helical tusk that lives in the Arctic seas - is being lined up as the next Pope. Reported sightings of a narwhal in conference with top cardinals have been dismissed as "ludicrosi" by Papal aide Lucio Lastic.