Welcome to the second edition of this column which Gareth has catchily tilted ‘Five from Fitzgerald’.
If you don’t know how it works, I’ll quickly explain — I have five thoughts about the game and then list them here.
Just like this.
1) If Jane Austen had gone to Liverpool away games rather than write about romantic misadventure in the 18th Century she probably would’ve have started one of her novels with this:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that, irrespective of where you start your journey, it will always take you fucking ages to get to Selhurst Park.”
And she’d be right.
For those that have never been, Selhurst Park is in that part of London that can’t be bothered with the tube — denying you that basic London right of being able to speed around underground before bobbing your head up when you’re ready.
Instead, you have to work to get there, toiling in plain sight on a collection of transport providers.
Eventually you get there, bedraggled and jet lagged — thousands of thousand yard stares arriving from their disparate routes and journeys to join you. You walk past the programme seller that looks a bit like Dirk Kuyt and works just as hard, and you head straight for the sanctuary of your seat — to complete your journey and prove to yourself that it actually exists.
You’re beaten already — memories of previous battles and the pain of what you’ve just been through coalesce to create despair. You’d happily take a score draw and a hot bath if both were offered, actually if either were offered.
And then it happens, just when you thought all fight had gone — just when you’d given up.
The cheerleaders come out, followed by a lacklustre display of falconry and that bloody awful Dave Clarke Five song.
This is how they’ve chosen to represent themselves before you.
Rightly so, you have a word with yourself.
And the words are simple:
“Keep your score draws and hot baths — lets’s beat these pricks in their middle-of-nowhere home”
2) I didn’t really concentrate on the first half because I was distracted by a fella in front of me who had a hot cross bun sticking out of his pocket the whole time.
I told The Anfield Wrap’s Phil Blundell about it and I think it affected him too to be honest.
We both really love hot cross buns.
3) The fella in front of me ate his hot cross bun at half time, forcing me to watch the football instead.
When Palace scored, one of their fans pointed at our end, mimed the internationally recognised gesture for performing oral sex on a woman, and then mouthed: “That’s me and your mum.”
It’s not often you see mime anymore. I guess the developments in media and digital technology have rendered it a redundant art form.
Fair play to him for trying to get it going again.
4) I couldn’t really see as getting back in the game until we went down to 10 men and their goalkeeper gave us the ball.
Suddenly, a flare went off and the Palace fans were no longer glad all over. You see, that’s the problem with having a song called Glad All Over as your anthem — sometimes you’re not and, instead, you look like a bunch of lads who wished The Dave Clarke Five had released a song called “Keeper, Just Fucking Launch It!”.
They didn’t though.
5) That linesman must have had a bet on 2-1.
I’ve never seen anyone more determined to give a penalty. I thought his arm was going to fall off and his head explode at one point.
Anyway, Christian Benteke scores and amidst the madness I cast a glance towards the mime artist in the Palace end. He was already on his way, dejected and beaten, no doubt off to find consolation in his own mum for a change.
Well, it is Mother’s Day after all.
Up the Jane Austen Reds.