THE music stopped. Liverpool had scored more goals than Swansea. Don’t ask me how many more. Just more.
More is enough but this manner of enough is exhausting. Andi Thomas recently wrote that no one is having any more fun than Liverpool supporters. That wasn’t fun. It is heart thudding stuff. It made me faint. My head is light, stomach is empty.
I am not alone in this. Loving football brings loads of people together in a crazy way.
It wasn’t a rollercoaster ride, it was a rollercoaster ride breaking mid loop, left dangling, soft daft gel fringed lad from Stoke telling you not to panic.
I’ll panic. Oh I’ll panic. This is me panicking. Quivering. Wishing it will all end knowing it’ll be all the end for the ending. My head becomes full of everything, full of this mad year, clattering around. Australia, Suarez and Rodgers. Sturridge, Spurs and Fulham. To this quivering panic.
How do professional footballers do it? What a gang of lads we have here. What a gang of lads. Flawed but with balls.
Never known anything like it for spares. Everyone is looking. I’m looking! I agreed to give my ticket away a few months ago to some visitors, thinking I’ll get sorted. Obviously. I did, finally, yesterday, but it was a close run thing.
You’d think we were in with a chance of the title.
We are. We very much are. But it’s too mad. Far too mad. Everything’s far too mad. I need things to calm down. Like for instance sitting Henderson next to Gerrard for ten minutes at thirty. That would have been less mad. But we didn’t do that. To keep it mad.
Here’s another mad thing: I’ve met Russell Brand. It was good. Me and Russell had things in common and things not in common. If you have been paying attention to this quasi column you’ll know I love a list. Here is a list:
- We both have a fine line in knitwear (mine’s on a budget).
- We both love showing off in front of people (he shows off in front of far more people. Lucky bastard).
- We would both love to see significant social and economic change in this country based around the inherent decency of humans.
- We both love football.
Loving football brings loads of people together in a crazy way.
So here’s a key difference:
Russell meets Sarah Marshall. I meet Peter Marshall.
Peter Marshall in Leaf. 1130. I’m sitting next to him today.
Loving football brings loads of people together in a crazy way. This is important.
Things Peter Marshall said to me before, during and after the game:
- “Shankly loved Tom Finney. Talked about him all the time. Loved him.” Did you see him play? “Retired in 60. My first game was 61.”
- “What a player he is.” [Suarez]
- “It’s decadent this. Decadent defending.”
- “He’ll be a great player Henderson. A great player.”
- “I’m so excited at the moment. Excited like a child. The most excited I’ve ever been.”
We are entering the realm of the Keegan. Things spiralling out of control. Goalkeeper coming for nothing. Wobbling. The realm of the Evans.
But there’s more steel. So much more steel. Allen, Henderson, Gerrard. Proper steel. The back four could do with some of that. The defending is decadent. Peter is right. The keeper needs to consider the spatial concept of the penalty area soon.
Toure appeared to calm them. If ever a sentence has connotations it is that one.
The Allen change was fantastic, Joe had everything that was lacking, emphasising the flaws that started the game.
Car. Graves and Girling.
Mike Girling: “I’ve got battle fatigue.”
Steve Graves: “Because it matters.”
“Two hours of post traumatic stress.”
“Because it matters. It matters.”
Best thing that happened all game was Johnson not giving it back on 67. You terrible bastards Reds. Equally out the cloying non-celebration and round of applause of Shelvey. (I joined in. Will do an hour in front of a mirror tonight.)
Best thing that happened all day was Suarez’s cross.
Best thing that happened all day was Henderson following up like a demon.
Best thing was that we were all together. 45000 panic stricken folks. Panicking past ourselves. Together. Our numbers buttressed by people who couldn’t get tickets. Those who weren’t ever around. Panicking past ourselves because we know.
Best thing that happened was the final whistle going. Mike Jones’ despicable whistle blowing.
Too many best things. Too many worst things.
…. So I wish you could all have been here. But we are all. Shrieking, screaming, walls of noise, grabbing the skies, pulling ourselves up into the skies.
I gave my ticket to visitors. They flew in. At John Lennon Airport it says “Above us only City, Arsenal and Chelsea.”
They aren’t very good.
They are good.
They aren’t very good.
Those lads in red look very good going forward. Very good indeed. They look the business going forward. They are in recession going backwards. But they are very good indeed.
Another crazy win.
Pics: David Rawcliffe / Propaganda