NEIL Scott wrote a piece for The Anfield Wrap called “Proceed with Caution”. I refuse to read it, writes MARTIN FITZGERALD. This is a point-blank refusal. Unequivocal. Nothing he could ever do would ever make me read it.
It was received really well by those more tolerant than me and those more considered than me. It probably has loads of valid points and it probably makes loads of sense.
Someone on my Twitter timeline said it provided “balance, much-needed balance”. Someone else said something along the lines of “at last, wise words amid all the hysteria”.
I blocked them both and reported them to Twitter. UNFOLLOWED. BLOCKED. REPORTED.
Neil is a fine writer and appears to be a lovely bloke. We’ve only met once, when we did the Anfield Wrap podcast straight after losing to Chelsea at the end of last season.
We both had our sad face on but I remember thinking: “Him, that Neil fella, he seemed like a lovely fella”.
He then wrote a piece for issue 10 of The Anfield Wrap magazine called “Becoming Brendan Rodgers” which was one of the best things I’ve read all year. You should all definitely read that.
I remember thinking: “Him, that Neil fella, great writer him.”
I’d love to tell you what I think about his new piece but I can’t. Because I refuse to read it. Because I’m an idiot. Because I will not, under any circumstances imaginable, read a piece before this season starts called “Proceed with Caution“.
You see, the thing is….how can I put this? There’s this gang of lads. There’s this brilliant gang of lads.
Something physical is happening to me as I start to write about them. Something physical. A glow. You remember the old Ready Brek adverts? That is what is happening to me as I start to write about them.
If you know these gang of lads it’s happening to you now, too, as you start to think about them. You have that glow as well. You got that glow watching this brilliant gang of lads against Dortmund. Dortmund dressed like bees. This brilliant gang of lads busy like them.
The days and nights these lads gave us last season. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve seen all the Liverpools but I’ve never seen anything like it. Spurs 0 Liverpool 5 was the best Liverpool I’ve ever seen.
From then on in, it’s a blur. The goals, the running, the pace, the through balls. Busy, busy, busy. We tried to beat Crystal Palace 100-0. We tried to make the scoreboard blow up.
We’ve brought in reinforcements, too.
There’s a lad at the back with the most incredible arms; a lad in central midfield who looks imperious just by standing still. And then there are the lads in between the lines. The pain they are going to cause in between those lines.
We’re going to travel, too – we’re going to Europe.
In French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch they will be all be saying: “I’d heard about these lads, I’d heard all the stories. Now I’ve seen them with my own eyes. It was all true”.
There’s this captain. There’s this brilliant captain. This captain that has carried us everywhere and done everything for us. This captain that is capable of anything. Give him a week and he could turn his hand to just about anything.
There are people singing songs about our captain. People who aren’t our people. What a waste of their time. But if they want to waste their time they can.
You sing your songs about him and we’ll sing ours. But we’ll sing ours louder. Because we love him. Because we’ll be singing about him for years. You won’t.
There’s this manager. There’s this brilliant manager. He understands that captain. He understands that gang of lads. He’s their biggest fan.
He started a revolution and it brought people with it. I saw it with my own eyes. People changed.
People who weren’t on board for years. People who always looked back. So many people were stuck looking back. It could drive you mad, all that looking back. We were stuck looking back and we were broken. We needed someone to make us look forward and make us look at what was in front of us.
Look at how good this is. Forget the broken past. Break with the broken past. Look at what I can do, with my brilliant captain and my brilliant gang of lads.
We started to look forward. Every last one of us. Looking forward to a weekend. To that brilliant manager, his brillant captain and his brilliant gang of lads. Every last one of us started to get on board.
Then there’s us. There’s loads of us. Together, undivided and looking forward we found our voice.
We got in early and we met a coach. Who meets a coach and says hello? We do.
The people I met along the way and the people I hugged. They all hugged back. We were so undivided, so joyous, right to the end. Boss nights. And Boss Nights.
What is a league table but maths played out in a list? As if that could change what had happened to us.
Summer’s over but my joy remains intact. My love for this team is stronger than ever. And I won’t sleep on Saturday night.
I want to get carried away. I will proceed with total abandon. Whatever happens. Total abandon.
Neil Scott wrote a piece for The Anfield Wrap called “Proceed with Caution” and I refuse to read it.
I’ve read Neil’s piece. It was a fine, fine piece. It had ration and sense and reason. I also like Neil. I’ve not met him but we’ve swapped obscure Bunnymen references on occasion. I see where he’s coming from. I see his wisdom, I see his caution, I see his reason.
Unfortunately I’m not very good with wisdom and reason and caution. I was readying a piece of my own. A piece of mania and over-excitement (not to the point where I claimed England would win the World Cup but mania nevertheless) – I think you may have saved me writing it.
The above. All of it. All the above. It’s what we are now, it’s what we do now, it’s how it is. I’m far more excited about Sunday lunchtime than a man of my advancing years should be and I’m alternating between fury at the media writing off our top four chances (top four? That’s a previous target, we’re not doing that one anymore) and hilarity at the naivety of their worldview.
I have only on complaint with your (also fine, fine) piece; it’s not mad enough. It needs madder. It needs this: I have total and utter belief that we are going to win everything this season. Everything. Every trophy. Every game. Every challenge. We will sweep all before us, we will leave devastation in our wake. Football may never be viewed in the same manner again. We are writing history as a new idea. Football wasn’t invented in 1992, we invented it in January and nobody has done it like us. Nobody will ever do it like us.
We are going to win everything.
I felt and feel it too but I need another Louis to make me feel certain.
great words all the same, I too am too old to be feeling this way but I share your dream
I luv you !
this article is so good i have got a mostly on.
I felt it while reading this. The excitement I try to push down… It welled up.
Indeed we’ll win everything.
Now if that doesnt make you abandon yer caution and feel the glow,noffink will though I wish I felt the buzz as strongly as homo erectus Stu does – though perhaps thats just my age but, just in case,it’s off to the supermaket later for my oats.
I believe in hope, not predictions. I want my expectation to build as the team wins game after game. Last year I thought the Reds could go all the way– until Christmas week. After that I was dubious. I expect the Reds to go all the way in everything this year. They won’t, but that’s not my problem. I anticipate them being all conquering, but will be satisfied if they do very well and play exciting football and maybe, just maybe, they will achieve some of my expectations.
This is what I’ve been waiting to read since after last season’s last fixture. Brilliant, Martin! Thank you!
I smile at a lot of stuff i read on TAW nothing over the top so my co-workers don’t notice im not really working !! but that just made me grin like a dafty . All so very true Martin
My life is full of caution and reason. I myself could not read the article too. I throw caution out the window when it comes to the tricky reds! Its all part of fun and getting in that emotional tornado. Leave caution and reason at the workplace! Football, especially liverpool of late is indeed a window to abandon. Great article ps liverpool – champions elect , there i said it. If im wrong im wrong if im right then…
Liverpool will win EVERY game 8 nil. Joynty sez so.
Shame he didnt get newer teeth for the new season – some fangs added in homage to a now ex-red.
The opposition in Europe will be terrified when they see us approaching. The same way children run away terrified on seeing an 80’s Radio 1 DJ approaching their school for a ‘visit’.
Great article Martin – 100% agree!
The bookies and pundits seem to be of the opinion that we will be scrapping for 4th place and ultimately finish 4th or 5th behind Chelsea, City, Arsenal and Man Utd. These are the same prophets who expected us to finish 5th/6th last year!
Liverpool WILL win the league. Here’s why:
City will lack the desire to fight for the title again. There are a number of seemingly disaffected players – Yaya, Milner, Sinclair as well a potentially destabilized Joe Hart with Pellgrini’s favourite Caballero coming in. This combined with a world cup hangover for many of their players will mean the title will be out of City’s reach this year.
Chelsea finished 3rd last year and have signed Costa and Fabregas to complete their team. Costa has had 1 great season in Spain, a poor World Cup and now has a different league to cope with. He may thrive in England but it is not a given, the other options up front – an ageing Drogba and a broken Torres don’t look great. Fabregas is on a downward spiral after over 10 years of football at the highest level – evidenced by Barcelona’s keenness to offload after years of trying to sign him back from Arsenal. Mourinho seems be on a downward spiral of his own – he lacks the intensity of his first spell at Chelsea, returning tail between his legs to work at Chelsea and now even he doesn’t seem to believe his own hype any more.
United finished 7th and have signed an unfit left-back and a decent young midfielder while selling 3 of the most successful defenders in recent history. Their first choice back 3 is likely to be Smalling, Evans and Jones – most teams in the league will fancy their chances against that defence. Up front and in the number 10 role, they have quality but midfield an defence are still an issue.
Arsenal – every year they hope to challenge. They have quality and they will beat most of the lower teams in the league but when the pressure comes they will crumble like a meringue in a vice. Tactically, Arsenal have little variation and Wenger will be out-thought by better tacticians – Mourinho, Rodgers, Van Gaal, Pellgrini
Liverpool who finished 7th have improved their defence with the acquisition of Lovren to provide leadership and organisation as well as depth at full back in Moreno and Manquillo. In midfield they have excellent options in Can, Gerrard, Henderson, Allen & Lucas.
Suarez, the league’s leading goalscorer has gone but fortunately in Sturridge we have arguably still have the best striker in the league. Additionally, Rodgers is no longer compromised by trying to fit 2 strikers into his system. Hopefully another striker will be added to provide back up for Sturridge in addition to Lambert and Borini if he stays. Behind the striker, Lallana and Markovic have been added to Coutinho and Sterling to provide creativity and goals. I expect Sterling to help fill the Suarez void by going to another level by increasing his goal and assists output.
The biggest reason for optimism though is the manager. Rodgers has the capacity to improve individuals and teams through his coaching and management as well as being tactically strong. I expect the reds to hit the front early and dominate the league.
This made me so happy.
This is why I support this beautiful, wonderful, brilliant club! Thanks, Martin.
Butthead loses first match at home.Got to love it