LIVERPOOL: PROCEED WITH TOTAL ABANDON | The Anfield Wrap

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”.

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC

CLOSE CALL: Ashley Cole clears off the line in the game against Chelsea at Anfield. Pic: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda.

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.

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Stoke City FC

STOKING THE FIRES: Daniel Sturridge celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Stoke City. Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda.

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.

Football - FA Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur FC v Liverpool FC

WHITE HOT LANE: Jordan Henderson celebrates his goal in the rout at Tottenham. Pic: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda.

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.

Football - FA Premier League - Manchester United FC v Liverpool FC

SPOT ON: Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring the second goal against Manchester United from the penalty spot at Old Trafford. Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda.

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.

BUILT A TEAM LIKE SHANKLY DID: Brendan Rodgers. Pic: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda.

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.

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