IRELAND

GETTING away with murder takes balls. Getting away with murder means you have committed murder and fronted it. You’ve stared it down. You have the balls to go “And what?”

And what?

Well what is Liverpool need to improve. Liverpool need to get better at football. The first half was dreadful. So many individuals misused and under performing. So many issues around shape. What is great on paper may not be when dealing with actual aggressive footballers. Because QPR were for the first forty five actual aggressive footballers. They made Liverpudlian lives hell. They got about their task. They created endless doubt. Zamora, half fit Zamora, begged a million questions and didn’t get enough answers. He played on Lovren. Exposed Lovren. Can couldn’t get in it. Nor could Gerrard. Nor could Balo. Henderson, Lallana and Sterling left on the brink of being half decent without enough mates.

And what?

Question marks all over the pitch. Some answered, some not. Johnson splendid. His best performance since Cardiff away especially when surrounded by endless absences. Smart for the goal, smarter, braver off the line. There are loads of reasons to worry about Johnson. But he has the balls to get away with murder.

And what?

Balotelli missing at 0-1. A dreadful miss. An absentee performance after making all the right noises in the week. This isn’t about graft. It’s about decision making and composure and it has to improve urgently. This Liverpool side needs it like nobody’s business. Work smarter. Always smarter. Balotelli is a man who needs it too much. Don’t break the back of the net. Just hit it.

And what?

Bold Gerrard decisions aren’t easy. The shift helped. The Henderson energy higher helped. Joe Allen helped. Coutinho helped. Liverpool need boldness. We had boldness last season. The manager needs to be encouraged not discouraged. He can do anything. He shouldn’t do nothing.

And what?

Why not try not to give free kicks away lads? Because you sure as shit can’t defend them. This is a group issue. It’s about the group. One man is responsible for the group. Responsible for the group not being able to meet and deal with the high ball. One man.

But that man is also responsible for fronting it. For imbuing his team with this essence. We can always score. We always have one more go in us. What a gang of lads. What heroes. Heroes are pointless if they aren’t flawed. Liverpool are Batmen. They aren’t Supermen yet. Give them the reason and opportunity to be heroic. To go and go.

And what?

Well this. This. Fucking this. This is an adventure. 2-3. Injury time goals in abundance. Incompetence in abundance. Balls in abundance. Getting away with murder in abundance. I remember Benitez getting a 2-3 at Pompey. I remember listening to 606. I remember the first caller on 606. Wanted him sacked. I remember these people. We went top of the league. I remember these people.

And what?

The what is this: If you can’t enjoy that, glory in that, adore that. If you can’t take that display of balls away with you. If you can’t, for one night, dismiss a post mortem and wallow in watching these Reds, these ballsy Reds, these oh-so-flawed Reds, these fucking Reds, if you can’t do that. If you can’t do that.

Then your life is “and what”. Your life needs to ask if it needs the football. If you are better off doing something else.

Me and John Gibbons have been doing an event in Dublin. An event with fantastic people. The room was in excelsis deo when Liverpool went 1-2. It beat that into a cocked hat at 2-3. You could smell the hormones of relief. Of victory. Of joy. Imagine being in that end. Imagine getting away with murder.

John Gibbons said to me “Is it always like this in Ireland?” He laughed when I said I had to do a thousand words. These Reds. These Reds. A win is always a win. It should always be like this in Ireland. It should always be like this everywhere.

In excelsis deo. So and what, lad? And what?

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