THERE is a tale. Possibly an apocryphal tale but a tale nevertheless. Colonel Tom Parker, fairground huckster, shyster, illegal immigrant, lousy gambler and – quite crucially – manager to Elvis Presley walks into Graceland on the hit of Elvis’ death and says to the gathered, devastated, mourning family “This changes nothing.”
This changes nothing.
THIS changes nothing.
This apparent throwing away of the league, this sacrifice of a three goal lead while hunting for a better goal difference, this waste, this depression, this physical illness that’s gripping so many of us, this ‘last minute against Arsenal, 1989’ – all of this changes nothing at all.
Yes, it’s in City’s hands but it was already in City’s hands. We needed to score a stupid amount of goals or we needed either Villa or West Ham to take a point or more from City. Now we quite simply need Villa or West Ham to take more than a point from City. Or a point each would do, let’s not be overly greedy here.
But that’s impossible isn’t it? Yeah, ’cause nothing else impossible has happened this season has it? Nothing mental. Nothing at all. When was the last time something unexpected happened in this league? Quarter to ten last night. Before that it was Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge. Do we really need the whole list?
Can you imagine how ‘Big Sam’ feels at the moment? Can you imagine how his ego is being stroked by the chance that the story on the last day will be about him, how the script is about how he proves the fans that booed him wrong by having West Ham prevent City from winning a league that appears to be theirs?
Last night was horrible, inexplicable, heartbreaking. It’s done. Put it behind us. All there is now is Newcastle.
This? All of this?
This changes nothing.
Pic: David Rawcliffe / Propaganda
I agree Ian. I feel very philosophical this morning. Yes, blowing a 3-0 lead in any game is stupid (ask AC Milan), but followers of this club will know stranger things have happened on the field of play, so all is not lost. When you take away the heartache of our talismanic captain Steven Gerrard’s loss of possession/slip vs Chelsea last weekend, when you stop shaking your head in dismay at the rabbit-in-the-headlights last 12 minutes of the game last night, and when the dust settles on whatever happens at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow night, we still have another game left. And when we wake up on Sunday morning and the crowds start to flock towards the ground the reality will be, no matter what City do at home to Villa tomorrow night, Liverpool Football Club will go into the final round of games in the Premier League in with a chance, however, slim, of winning the title. And that hasn’t happened for a very long time. So yes, we have been up and down on a fantastic roller coaster this season. It’s been a blast, an utter pleasure at times, and hugely depressing at others, but we have made progress. If, at the start of the campaign. you’d offered any Koppite the chance to go into the final round of games with the possibility of winning the title, we’d have all bitten your arm off. We have made massive strides this season. Rodgers has got the team playing exciting, attacking football. The ball is being passed rapidly around on the floor. We shoot at the goal a lot, and it often goes in. We have strikers who have bagged loads of goals and who are feared by defences up and down the land. Anfield has become a bit more fortress-like again and we have cut out the lazy 1-1 home draws against the likes of Stoke and teams-who-have-just-come-up-from-The-Championship. Yes we can defend better (cf. last night) but the title hasn’t been ‘blown’ in the last 9 days any more than it was by Kolo Toure’s square pass to gift West Brom a point at the Hawthorns in February or by a lacklustre display away at Hull in December or, perhaps most crucially of all, losing those two back-to-back away games against City and Chelsea between Christmas and New Year. We need to reflect on the bigger picture, not castigate the manager for failing to capitalise on a situation which none of us dreamed we could ever be in in the first place. If you took the same results we have had this season and reorganised them in another order so we made a late, undefeated or winning run of, say, 6 games to finish second (as now seems likely), then everyone would be singing our praises. So be positive folks. Champions League football is coming back, which means we can attract more top players to the club, players who I am sure Rodgers will select to blend into his approach to the game. Next season might be even more exciting, who knows? But this season hasn’t finished yet. There’s a long way to go. Sure, the idea of having to rely on the lamentable Sam Allardyce for a favour does stick in the craw slightly, but what odds a £35 million ‘flop’ former Liverpool striker flicking in a late West Ham winner with his ponytail on Sunday? After everything else that’s happened this season, you’d be a fool to bet against it. The title race is still very much on, and now it’s City’s turn to feel the nervous tension.
So true. I love this team. That goes besides that i love Liverpool. It’s just the team and the passion and the skills they have. They ain’t flawless, oh no sir, but the way they try to outscore their flaws and turn the whole game in that plane of beautiful madness they know they are masters of.
They had to keep a result and kill a game at the start of the season but that feels eons ago. Now with the stakes so much higher still refused not to attack Chelsea or Palace, or whoever. It certainly ain’t the most rational or practical approach, but every minute of the ride is priceless. The mistakes are obvious, but can’t blame them, just admire and love that team, because of that denial to be rational. Instead show what the true meaning of “death by football” is – not a tedious passes around the center line, but go all out and pursuit the perfection, give everything and then, when all hope dies and you are humbled you are ready.
You gave everything and now you will be given back accordingly. They will win it for themselves, because this team has a cause and it is all about football, not winning at all costs. They will learn their lessons, but at least didn’t had to sacrifice their drive and that style they will be remembered with.
Sit back and watch a new great dynasty’s being born – with the best possible dna – Liverpool’s.
Bit dismissive of everyone to think that neither Villa or the Hammers are capable of nicking a win,
Unlikely yes but not impossible and last nights game shows why the Prem league is always touted as the best,
Anything can happen and that’s why love the escapism of sport,
Cannot wait for tommoro night.
Just imagine for one minute what that would do to the Neviller, Tyler & Smyyyth.
I have ridiculous belief in Brendan Rodgers. Please please let him & him alone decide who he wants to sign in the summer. If we do then the future is bright, very bright indeed.
It’s nearly true – the only thing that changes is that we need a little bit more than what we did before the Palace game. It’s been one mad season so let’s not give up, just yet – it’s not over yet!
Great article Ian……we all need to accept its part of a bigger picture – hard to take, but still not over!!
I can see it now, after a mediocre 89 mins stu downing smashes a 30 yard screamer into the top corner to to put the hammers ahead, runs to the nearest camera gives a wink and his finger on his lips as a message to all us reds that said he was useless.
( but then we probably concede an equalizer in our game a minute later)
The day after the night before and I don’t feel that hysterical. Relatively calm, I think.
I thought the game looked the spit of QPR away under Kenny a couple of years ago. The Sakho and Johnson headers have got to go in. Christ, particularly Sakho’s. Moses at the end. Clattenberg decided to channel his inner Webb on the penalty shouts (he booked Skrtel… For getting fouled? Any takers?)
Eh. If City do what’s expected of them and smash through their last two games than fair play to them for picking themselves up after that few day span of losing at Anfield and drawing at home to Sunderland.
I’m ready for it to end (I never want this to end).