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
JUST BELIEVE :)
Christ you must be the only other person I’ve read for whom this does not really matter.
Not because Mourhino is welcome to the big steaming turd parked on the green and pleasant of football. But because we know, ‘turd’s will happen, but for us its onwards and upwards regardless.
Perhaps too many were suckered into both the ‘its written in the stars’ and also the nonsense spouted by the Chelsea manager this week.
Nothing is written until we write it. Mourhino would have donated his left kidney to not be humiliated by Liverpool.
And win the league or not, I like the story we’re writing, and so relieved its the polar opposite of our opposition today.
Yes, lets go again !
Not sure about you’s but – I need to go again!
Excellent, Neils was really good as usual. You want my truth? Here it is:
I wasn’t there. I was on the edge. The edge of my couch in Portland at 0600. There is no Premier League watching pub culture here on the west coast because of the 0445-0800 kick offs. Not like in Atlanta where I’m from, where I would’ve been packed in, standing room only, covered in hugs and spilt beer, singing Fuck Off Chelsea FC.
No, there I was texting my Northern Irish buddy in Oklahoma “you up?”, “yeah”, “Jose brought half the London bus fleet”, “FFS”…
I’ve seen Liverpool play at Anfield, saw Fowler score there, saw Owen’s last goal for the club at Giant’s stadium in ’04, got my picture on a full page of Four Four Two with a drunk buddy, holding an ‘Atlanta Reds’ banner. You might’ve seen it. I’ve played the game since I was 5. Proper leagues, pick up leagues, Army cups, against my dog, against the brick wall.
I’m a full blooded American who fell in love with Reds 19 years ago.
Yet today I was sat all alone, watching that giant blue bus, with another one behind it for good measure, parked on the final third of my TV.
What a weirdo.
Then I had that thought, ‘They’ll probably score on us in stoppage time’. Then the slip. Fucking Adidas. Fucking groundskeeper. Fucking anybody. Maybe just maybe Mignolet might… Jesus. Ba. FFS.
Ok, a draw will do, I’ll take a draw. Dirty bastards.
Shit that really happened in stoppage time? Flash thoughts: ‘Is this how it ends?’ ‘We might not win the league next year or ever again’ ‘Platini just admitted Financial Fair Play isn’t going to be what we hoped’. Spiral, spiral, spiral.
You know you’ve had those thoughts.
We go again. No emotion on Stevie’s face, good, he’s up for it, not rattled, let’s have it.
I’ve stood in a mini mart on a dusty base in Kuwait watching Liverpool beat United on one of the tube TVs that were for sale in the back. Myself and one other Liverpool fan, against about 15 other soldiers who couldn’t name anyone but Rooney, but they knew they liked United. Looked at us like we were odd ‘What’s up with those two supporting the team that doesn’t win every year?’.
Two days later I rolled north into Iraq and followed the rest of the season on the spotty internet.
I was stood in the Brewhouse in Atlanta on May 25th, standing room only, Damon Albarn and DJ Danger Mouse next to us. 24 hour party people.
Today I was alone. Oddly I was calm compared to the City and Norwich matches. Before kickoff I thought ‘it’s out of my hands now, all of our hands’. My shirt and scarf wearing will do no good anymore, it’s in the hands of the football gods. And under the wheels of that big blue double decker bus.
I never felt like the goal would come, like I’ve felt in all the other matches. And then Gerrard hit one… saved. And then Gerrard attacked the corner…saved. Passed into Suarez… Fucking hell Suarez and Sturridge and Asp… never mind he’s shit anyway.
I thought Coutinho might… Horrible. Too many bodies in the way.
No, if it’s going to happened it’s going to be Gerrard.
Then Sakho left stranded on the halfway line. At least not Torres, please not Torres. Still hasn’t scored on us.
I needed to hear and read words by other Red’s fans to make me feel better, I needed my people. Get in Anfield Wrap, get in. Neil Atkinson and Ian Salmon, you made me feel better. Even arguing with another Red’s fan online about whether the Lucas sub was right (I indeed thought it was), was cathartic.
Fucking Jose. What a weirdo.
We all learned today that we talk and read about anti-football and use the phrase ‘parking the bus’ far too often. Today it was displayed quite like we’ve never seen it.
Rodgers was being generous when he called it a 6-3-1, more like a 9-1. Fucking Jose.
We’re not out of it, not by a shot.
I will share with you a quote, Lord Nelson, Battle of Copenhagen, 2 April 1801; that were it shared by anyone who hasn’t been to war, might seem hyperbolic and quixotic. Thus it”s not. Football isn’t war, but it matters to people and therefore it matters. In the light of 25 years of Hillsborough, it really matters: “It is warm work; and this day may be the last to any of us at a moment. But mark you! I would not be elsewhere for thousands.”
I would not be elsewhere for thousands.
We. Go. Again.
Whether we win it or not by points I feel we have won it with hearts…..I feel the players and the manager have won the league…..the trophy isn’t just the win….its the dedication and the biggest pleasure our players have given….. gerrard we love you like nothing in the world of football….i will accept hundred mistakes from you….because these mistakes are nowhere to the dedication you have given to fans like us….its been 24 years…and even if i have to wait for another 24 years i won ‘t break down….liverpool fc you are the love of my life..
too many wise guys were larging it (including TAW )before anything was in the bank. Overheard two nuggets in Sothport ‘ beat Chelsea ….Palace beat City…we are champs……big celeb for Newcastle game’.None of those things happened…so we care
Individual costly errors are the only reason we haven’t the league won well by now. Much as I love Brendan’s bravery in play, that ball across the backline has cost us again and again this season. Southampton are the only team to have outplayed us this year, all other losses were self inflicted.
I don’t think anyone would argue that LFC have exceeded all our expectations this year and for that we should be grateful and happy.
However (didn’t you know that was on it’s way!), once in a position to win the league you can’t but be a tad disappointed at what happened yesterday. To come up against a team managed by a horrendous individual and to be beaten by a mistake made by a true legend of the club is hard to take.
We must win our last two and make City earn it. Who knows what may happen. Our aim is to take it to the last game. Once that’s over, whatever the result, then I hope FSG make the necessary funds available for Brendan to strengthen the squad and then “we go again”.
I have a dream…
That one day Lakaku will soar 100 feet like a Goliath
I have a dream
That one day Moses will rise at the palace of eagles, I have a dream
That the hammers will bring iron to those from the east, I have a dream
That on the day of reckoning, when all past endeavours are judged by the almighty, those that have lost faith and belief will blush, and what colour will they blush?
RED RED RED
Immortality on the wings of the Liver Bird await those with courage
Ian. Your story is from the heart. Surely this chapter isn’t over! Keep the faith!