By Ian Salmon
WE all have stories. We all know what we did today. This is mine.
I wasn’t there. I tried to be there but I wasn’t. I was in The Sandon. It was the next best thing. There was alcohol. No food. Alcohol. There was the fact that I didn’t have a ticket. There was the queuing for a ticket, the loitering around the ticket office, there was the scattershot tweeting, there was the contacting of any contact no matter how tenuous, there was the ‘do you know anybody who….?’. There was the ‘if you haven’t got a ticket, stand against that wall’ counteracted by the ‘queue up here’ that meant that those that had arrived ten minutes ago were suddenly ahead of you in the queue. There was the moment that you realised that the final tickets had sold out ‘just then’.
And then there was the Sandon.
But before that there was the welcome. And we stood with a friend whose nephew was with him and we asked ‘what’s it like for these? When we were their age this is just what we did, we never had THIS. And it was better than cup finals and it was better than homecomings and it was worth a goal start but we didn’t get that goal start.
And then there was the Sandon and there was a slip, there was a slip in the time added on for Chelsea’s constant time wasting and then there were ten men behind the ball and there was the question ‘what’s your formation Jose?’ and there was the answer ‘nine, my formation is nine’ and Jose parked the biggest bus you’ve ever seen. And we pushed and we probed and we were restricted to Gerrard’s long shots and it didn’t happen and we committed and we committed and there was a breakaway and then it was two and it was all over and everything was open again and we were depending on others, depending on Everton to take points from Manchester City.
And none of it matters. None of it. It happened, it’s gone, we’re 18 months ahead of where we thought we were going to be. We hoped for fourth, we’re top of the league with two games to go and it’s not in our hands anymore and we’re depending on our neighbours and how glorious will it be if they give it to us and it doesn’t matter.
It. Does. Not Matter.
I should write this sober. I haven’t. I’ve written this when it mattered. How much I’ve drunk doesn’t matter. All that matter is this;
We. Go. Again.
This is not over. This does not slip.
We go again.
We go again.
Pics: David Rawcliffe / Propaganda