I CAN’T do anything.
There are things that I could be doing, should be doing. I’m a writer; I should be writing. There are actors who will want words putting into their mouths at some point and this novel resolutely refuses to finish itself. It’s not happening. I can’t do anything. Can’t do anything but think about Liverpool. Can’t think about anything but Liverpool and the impending destiny that waits in a plastic flag bedecked corner of London.
I know what I’m like, I know how easy it is for me to write myself into a state of mania when confronted with this particular section of blank screen and I know I’ve said some of this before. But….
I can feel history calling. I can feel legend starting. I can feel greatness returning.
I didn’t go into last Tuesday with expectation. I went with hope — hope built by the way the league form was starting to build, the way those 11 lads in red shirts were clearly starting to click, the way there was an understanding showing through. I had a sneaking suspicion that we were coming through those August to December dark days but still questioned whether we would weather the worst of Mourinho’s currently terrifying Chelsea side.
Weather it? We embarrassed them in every area other than the one that would have really helped — the putting it in the net bit. A few more goals might have helped: with progression, with confidence, with ego, with humiliating the graceless idiot. We were impeccable. We were beautiful. We were utterly, utterly Liverpool.
So I enter tonight not necessarily with expectation — those London lads are still a bloody effective team and possibly up for a bit of a fight after Saturday’s laugh fest — but with confidence. Confidence that the 11 men that we send out know how to do the job. That they know that they’re as good as Chelsea. That they know instinctively that they’re not out of their depth. That, if anything, they’re better than the 11 in front of them. That they can break down the six men on the 18-yard line. That there’s every possibility that Chelsea are now more scared of what we’ll do than we are of their capabilities.
And they’re scared of our fans. Scared of the atmosphere, scared of the togetherness, scared of the communion, scared of the oneness. Mourinho wants his fans to give 25 per cent of what we gave last week? They can’t — they’re not us. Never will be. No history. They can give their all for 90 or 120 minutes and the small corner that we have will outdo them.
Accordingly, I’m not scared. I’m excited. Excited at the idea of what we could do tonight. Chelsea don’t lose at home though do they? They don’t if you believe that they don’t. Bradford clearly didn’t believe that. After last Tuesday I don’t think for a second that our boys believe that Chelsea don’t lose at home. I think our lads can feel destiny looking flirtatiously in their direction, crooking one finger with a ‘come hither’ glance.
I think Lucas Leiva feels destiny calling. Think he feels it an almost Hollywood-esque degree. Think he knows that returning to the ground that stopped him in his tracks just as he’d won over every single doubter that he’d ever had and showing that he’s back, back, back is the ultimate redemption tale. We do this one for Lucas, as Brendan used to love saying, we do it for him, we give him the final he deserves, give him the first medal and then follow it up before the end of the season with at least one more.
You know what else I do if I’m Brendan? I take Daniel Sturridge, the Daniel Sturridge who apparently travelled down in his own clothes — indicating that he won’t play any part — and I give him a trackie and I sit him on the bench. And I say, “it’s okay, Dan, I’m not risking you, you won’t come on, your job is just to be. To be Daniel Sturridge. Just sit there and be Daniel Sturridge. And see those lads at the back? The ones in blue shirts? They’ll be watching Raheem and Phil and Stevie and trying to figure out where they are but all the time they’ll have this one little bit of their brains that’s working overtime on ‘what if HE comes on? Jesus, if they did that to us last week, what happens when they bring on the lad that scores the goals?’.
Mind games? Mourinho thinks he does mind games? Thinks turning up at Anfield in April looking like a tramp, making out that he’s got flu, that he’s not up for it; thinks that’s mind games? You want mind games? We’ll give you mind games, we’ve got a Sturridge.
So, yeah, I’m excited. I’m ridiculously excited. I’m bloody excited. I’m counting down the hours until kick off, trying to find ways to make them go faster and in the meantime…..?
I can’t do anything.
I can’t do anything but look at the future, look at destiny, look at history starting, look at the first trophy of the new era and everything that follows.
Are you feeling this yet? Are you feeling the madness? It’s great isn’t it?
Brilliant piece, just how I feel! Will be setting out from home soon, but before I do I will just have to post this on my Facebook LFC Information page. Under your name of course. Thank you. #YNWA
I feel your pain. I’m in Sydney – kick off time is 6.45am and sometime between now and then I’m supposed to get some sleep. Unlikely.
So so so excited. At work staring at the clock thinking “If i ignore it maybe it’ll go a bit faster”, “If i actually do some work maybe time will slip away” and finally all that is punctuated by a slight “BRING ON THOSE CLASSES BLUE BASTARDS, LETS ‘AV IT!!!”
JOSE MOURINHO……just…….Jose…….The Special One……or ‘Shitcoat’ as he was unaffectionately known by Liverpool fans during his initial tenure at the plastic flag waving, JT’s one of us innit, history bereft, rouble (hedge) funded West Laaaaarrrrdan football club. Shitcoat, ‘kin brilliant that, typical scouse humour, no air, no graces, the deluded self aggrandizing knob, used to patrol the touchline in his C&A coat like some Grecian 2,000 inspired Don Draper, thinking he was the bollocks. Liverpool fans soon brought him down to earth, shitcoat! The team regularly brought him down to earth too, in the big games, the games that mattered, and that clearly still rankles.
He was at it again last week with his comments on Steven Gerrard ahead of the Capital One Cup Semi Final, Speaking about the move that never was in 2005, he chose his words very carefully and once again showed how much (Rafa and) we as a club have got under his skin. (Speaking of Gerrard) ‘…..His people were open to him joining a top side like Chelsea’ ……..let that sink in for a minute, a TOP side like Chelsea, ha ha ha. He knows exactly what he is doing there and I’m, not going to dignify it with a response about numbers of European Cups, never mind league titles etc. Christ we even batter them on how numbers of Charity Shields won.
A TOP side, with a small minded Manager who clearly can’t get over being out-battled by our players, out-thought by our Manager (at the time) and out-classed by our fans on those historic European nights.
After the Swansea game, after a 5-0 win no less, he was waffling on about……….yes, you know it before I even write it………the ‘ghost’ goal! What a whopper this man is, again I’m almost embarrassed to have to point out that if the goal wasn’t given then the Premier League’s best keeper would’ve been sent off and a penna would have been awarded. Ten years on and he is clearly still emotionally tortured over it, he has been involved in the Barca/Madrid rivalry, the Inter/Milan rivalry, managed in Portugal and still, it is Liverpool FC, our fans, Rafa Benitez and Luis Garcia that have made the biggest impact on him, I love that, and tonight we have the opportunity to twist that knife a little more.
Last season, he didn’t come to Anfield to try to win the league, he came to STOP Liverpool winning the league. That’s how much our club has affected him. From the absolute disgrace of Ashley Cole and Petr Cech wasting time from the first 30 seconds of the game to the 94 minute, ‘The Special One’ came to frustrate and nullify the relentless attacking machine that was Liverpool FC at the time. Gerrard’s ‘slip’ or more accurately, Gerrard’s unfortunate miscontrol, changed the whole complexion of the game, I don’t believe that shitcoat would’ve changed their approach if it was 0-0 with 70 mins on the clock, he came to stop us.
Shit gillet, shit hair, shit celebration (anyone else think it was a half arsed poor parody of the Mourinho that stormed down the touchline at Old Trafford after Porto dumped them out of the Champions League?) ……shit tactics, shithouse!
(I know I sound as bad as him but I still contest that if we Danny Sturridge and Jordan Henderson fit and on the pitch that day then we would’ve broken them down)
Six weeks ago, I was and I am sure, everyone else, would’ve been at least mildly worried about tonights game, but Brendan’s tricky Reds have played themselves back into the sort of form that can give us all belief, the current system suits the (attacking AND defending) players better, the new signings are starting to show the reasons why they were each seen as an investment for LFC’s future and Brendan seems to have gone through his period of self doubt and come through the other side (YNWA has never been more appropriate here, but that’s a whole other article).
We have an opportunity, the players reactions after Rickie’ Lambo’s goal at Villa suggests to me that this is a team ready to grasp an opportunity, hopefully the season is on an upward trajectory and the confidence that would inevitably come from a win over the media’s ‘Champions Elect’ cannot be underestimated. This season will start to look a whole lot better with a Wembley place booked and Danny Sturridge on the verge of a first team return, the confidence that will inevitably come from getting a genuine top class Premier League goal threat back cannot be underestimated.
I’m sure that Brendan and the players closely involved in last season’s heartbreak will be prepared for tonight, ready to take that opportunity. Jordan Henderson will be champing at the bit after last week’s stand off with the Elephant Man (having been forced to miss that ill fated game at the end of April), Lucas will be like a man possessed. The new players, Markovic, Can, Moreno, were clearly up for it at Sunderland and Villa and shouldn’t need any further cajoling.
In short, our season can start here, let shitcoat mouth off and ram his words back down his throat, show him the we are the world famous LFC.
Do it for Gerrard to sign off a great career at a TOP side……………. …….do it for Lucas (after he sustained that injury at Stamford Bridge that nearly finished his career at Liverpool)……………….do it for Xavi Alonso……………do it for Xavi Alonso twice…………………..for Fat Frank breaking his ankle ……………and for Gudjohnsen cheating him of his place in the Champions League Semi Final……………………….do it for Luis Garcia and the ‘ghost goal’………………..do it for Rafa (the man who got under Mourinho’s skin more than anyone else ever has) and the treatment he received from Chelsea ‘supporters’…………………do it for Danny Sturridge, who has revelled since he left there and has played with a constant smile on his face since joining a TOP side (he must be gutted how this season has panned out for him).
And do it for us, the fans, this season has been a long hard slog at times after the joyous wonder of Luis Suarez at al during 2013-2014, do it for shitcoat……….. COME ON RED MEN!!!!!!
I’ve been told the team tonight will be the same as last week.
Don’t know anything about subs bench.
Refuse to be down about the result. I recognise my LFC again. The whole … spirit, what can I say.
Gutted at the result, another trophy and another trip to Wembley slips away.
The Sakho injury killed us and BRod moving Gerrard next to Lucas didn’t help things. Allen or Lallana as unused subs seemed criminal. Balo was mixed and the Lambert move seemed strange with Balo already on the pitch.
I refuse to get too downbeat, we played well over two legs, Coutinho blossoming and Courtois getting MotM for both games says a lot.
Brendan though really needs to get a trophy in the cabinet soon though or at least a final to help his cause.
Can’t fault the effort – we were a bit blunt, their keeper
is fab. I always thought we had to score first……
Also our bench is nowhere near theirs.
We’ll be okay though. happy enough. bright future.
I’m fucking pissed off. I’m pissed off that I’ve got to write what I’ve got to write when all I should be doing is praising the team for bettering one of the best teams in Europe over two legs.
Gerrard is our top scoring midfielder this season. The other seven recognized midfielders (Coutinho, Henderson, Lallana, Lucas, Can, Sterling and Allen) have played 109 EPL games this season between them. They’ve scored 13 goals. 13 fucking goals. It’s risible. I suspect there are midfield squads playing for sides in the bottom half of the league who have contributed more goals.
Henderson was nothing short of fantastic tonight. Scrub that. He was just short of fantastic. You can’t miss free headers from the middle of the six yard line and be “fantastic”. Not when part of your brief is contribute goals and your team loses for the lack of one. Of course, anyone can miss from anywhere – it happens to the best strikers in the world. Missing from six yards when the week before you scored a beauty needs to be contextualized. The problem we have is that there is no ‘other’ context for Henderson, or Countinho or the other buggers. The pattern is not a mixture of goals one week, misses the next. It’s a recurring theme of a midfield repeatedly failing to contribute where it matters most.
If this carries on, Henderson could be the best English midfielder never to become an all-time great. The Jimmy White of football.
Did I mention Henderson was fucking boss tonight? Nearly?
Very good point here. We all know we are missing a good second striker but the others have to step up and shoulder their share of the scoring too. Poor shooting and finishing over the 2 legs have cost us a final.
Good performance nonetheless.