THIS is the problem. Or this is a problem. One of the two. Whichever it is, the problem is this: I can’t get anything done.
I mean, I get days like this sometimes — I presume we all do — where the things that we’re supposed to be doing seem pointless and we can’t focus on them. Days when you can’t get started and the things that you’re trying to start just don’t seem worthwhile because you’ve got this thing sitting at the back of your mind and it won’t let you concentrate on anything else.
I’m supposed to be writing a novel — and why not? Somebody has to, don’t they? Might as well be me. But it’s not happening, it doesn’t feel right. The dialogue won’t flow. And, trust me, I’m good at dialogue. I’ve tried to trick my mind with music; tried to make myself concentrate with Neil Young and XTC and Dinosaur Jr and Iggy and Cowboy Junkies and the sheer majesty of Gruff Rhys’ Skylon.
It’s not working.
And it’s not working for one very simple reason. I can’t stop thinking about Wednesday night.
Somebody tweeted, a guy called John Henry although clearly not that John Henry. Like to think that John Henry’s listening but my ego levels out just before we get there.
This John Henry said something nice. Said that he’d been listening to Unwrapped and that he could swear that somebody had just said that they wanted to see us put six past a weaker team. Called me a soothsayer. Which is both nice and a first.
I’ll take the credit for the number but I was thinking of a home win and I seriously wasn’t regarding Southampton as a weak team. I thought Wednesday night would be a challenge.
Wednesday night. Jesus Christ, Wednesday night. How am I supposed to stop thinking about Wednesday night How is anyone supposed to stop thinking about Wednesday night? It’s impossible, isn’t it? How are you supposed to stop contemplating glory? Why would you want to?
I can’t stop thinking about the passes, the multitude of glorious passes. The ball from Joe Allen across and around the defence for Sturridge’s first which I thought he’d taken too wide until he did THAT. Until he did the shuffle and the step and the feint and the shot and the goal. (The Jam, Tales From The Riverbank now if you were wondering, may narrate every piece from now on with a soundtrack).
The pass from Jordon Ibe, after we’d talked about the difference in Ibe’s game dictated by the fact that he’s not being told to behave like a winger and hug the touchline and instead cut inside and attack the man in the middle and see what happens (Talk Talk, Happiness is Easy) and what happens is that he slides the ball through for Origi and Origi suddenly becomes the lad who played for Belgium that summer, becomes the lad we thought he was and scores an honest to god worldie.
I can’t stop thinking about the way that Emre Can makes up for the sheer insanity of his challenge after 40 seconds that sees the Saints think they’re going marching on by jinking then lobbing with a ball that has Matt Le Tissier purring and claiming that he couldn’t have played it. For the younger ones out there, Le Tiss was a pretty decent player, people forget that. And he’s purring about Emre Can who looks lost in the first 10 — along with everyone else — but then becomes immense.
I can’t stop thinking about the way that we made six changes; the way that we start without Jordan Henderson, Nathaniel Clyne, Simon Mignolet, Mamadou Sakho, Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, who I think we’re all putting in our first 11, but we’re not weakened because Jürgen Klopp knows that “our strongest team” isn’t the same as “our first eleven”.
There are factors, there are always factors. Jurgen knows how to deal with the factors. (The Clash, Straight To Hell) We’re in a position now where Klopp can decide that Divock Origi is the man we need and then make him be the man we need.
I’m getting it wrong in the second half, I’m on Twitter saying that THAT is the way you score your first goal because I’m not convinced that he’s touched Moreno’s shot. Not taking the hat-trick away from Divock but could we count that one as two goals so that Alby gets the credit he deserves? Sure Southampton won’t mind, doesn’t make life much worse for them.
Alby needed to make up for his part in the first goal, too. Mind wandering. Again. Concentration levels like mine, maybe he was still thinking about how great the City game was. The “goal” would have made up for that but the goal’s taken away so he delivers that ball for Ibe to chest and hammer and suddenly we’re not talking about Ibe’s end product issues anymore. A sub on the hour and he makes one and scores one.
And then another sub, Brad Smith, makes the sixth.
Brendan nearly kills that lad’s career with the Chelsea appearance when he uses him to prove a point about money and transfer committees (Quo, Paper Plane, it’s great, Peel loved it) but he’s put himself back in with that cameo. And Connor Randall’s done himself no harm again. He’s shaky for the first 10. Again. After that though? He’s immense. Again.
Lucas is Lucas, Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren are as solid as they need to be and Adam Lallana takes dogs’ abuse and keeps his head up and performs and performs until all you can hear is “six-one, Adam Lallana’s winning six-one” and the fans of St Mary’s are doing the leaving early thing and it’s all gorgeous. (Springsteen, Racing In The Street).
Jesus Christ, we’re seriously doing something else now. Chelsea then City then this.
Six points off the top, everybody to come to us, us to go to nobody of any note. Two games from a final, three from a trophy. Time to hit a winning habit. A turnaround in 11 games, getting better all the time.
I doubted. At 1-0, I actually doubted. Got that wrong. Apologies all round. Didn’t spot the formation either. There go my soothsayer credentials, right there. Thought we were a flexible 4-3-3 but Jurgen was open about this one: a diamond. Something different again. he’s doing different all the time. He’s got more than we realised and we realised he had everything.
Only one complaint. I want to watch it again. Now. I want Newcastle away. Now.
I want this on a daily basis. I want to watch Jürgen Klopp’s Mighty Reds do something new and incredible every day of the week. I’ve watched that third City goal about a million times, I have a feeling the six from last night may catch up but that’s all repeats.
I want the new, I want the amazing, I want to just keep going, I don’t want games to stop at 90 anymore, I want them to last for days, want each one to roll into the next. I haven’t felt like this since that season we nearly did it when I couldn’t stop thinking about Liverpool. I can’t stop thinking about Liverpool.
Fourth of December. In with a shout in three competitions (Roxy, Editions of You, genius), who saw that coming on October 3 when we were thinking of what Goodison would bring and all we could see were draws?
Look at what we are, look at what we’ve become, look what Jürgen’s done. Already. Look what he’s done already.
Look at what’s to come. Four competitions. Who says we can’t win them all? I’m saying it now. We’re winning stuff. We’re winning everything. We’re something new and I can’t think about anything else.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo