WE’RE hoping for some weather. Seven men in a van going for a knees-up in a seaside town. The life the Reds give you.
I’m getting this done at half six on the morning before the game. Getting picked up in three hours. Driving down in handsome John Gibbons’ rented wagon for a day and a night in a coastal town.
There’s already been some debate about where we’ll do breakfast. Sandbach on the M6 has always been a favourite for away travelling Reds since way back when. The key, of course, is to make it there before McDonalds withdraw their breakfast menu.
Why do they do that?
We’ve been planning this trip for weeks. I think we all had an eye on it when the fixtures came out last June. That’s one of the great things about being a football fan that’s hard to convey to the non initiated. The wonder of the fixture list. What a phenomenon it is. It tells you your future.
I know exactly where I’ll be and what I’ll be feeling at 8.05pm on a Thursday in under two weeks’ time. I know where I’ll be next Wednesday evening. I’ve known I’ll be in an English seaside town for this weekend for about 10 months now.
It’s nice knowing because these are not routine things to know. The fixture people always throw fresh surprises and challenges for you. There will always be a level of excitement. Always a sense of going into the unknown.
Take last Thursday. Dortmund. I was hugging brothers before the game. See you on the other side, we said to each other. We knew we were getting aboard football life’s rollercoaster once again. We daren’t imagine what was about to befall us.
Bournemouth loomed larger because most of us had never been there before, and there is obviously something eternally great about the sea, and a town that sits on the sea. It’s funny how most of them in England are bit dreadful in all reality. Still, we need to know for sure.
To the cynics, this fixture for our Liverpool FC looks even lighter in weight than last week’s pre-Dortmund tie home game with Stoke City. Its got all the makings of being an end-of-season after the Lord Mayor’s show piss take of a game.
Remember kids, there’s no such thing as a meaningless Liverpool game.
- Liverpool 4 Borussia Dortmund 3 – Match Review
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- Liverpool 4 Borussia Dortmund 3 – Five From Fitzgerald
- Liverpool 4 Borussia Dortmund 3 – Post-match Podcast live from Liverpool
I’m very excited about this one. Can’t wait for the action. I love the Reds that little bit more this week.
The gift they gave to us on Thursday night should not be underestimated. Beating Dortmund in that way, on that stage, was one of the best nights of my Liverpool-supporting life. One of the very very best. I simply can’t wait to see the boys again. I want to see what they look like now. I want to see how they’ve grown. How straight their backs are.
This sort of game tends to bring out one of two polarities in Liverpool sides, in my experience. You either get The Mighty Reds or the insipid pale pinks. We either play with freedom and pride and harness our history and sense of destiny, or we just don’t show up.
No half measures, be assured.
We had a really nice win in the league against Stoke last Sunday. A thumping league win has been all too rare a beast round our way for too long now. Let’s see it built upon.
Whatever European glories await (or not) there’s a platform now to finish this league campaign with some power and purpose.
- The Friday Show: Borussia Dortmund revisited – click below to listen to a free clip of our latest TAW Player subscriber show
Eddie Howe’s mob down by the seaside may have little to play for on paper, having secured another season in the top flight with the minimum of fuss, but they didn’t toil to get into this league in the first place to not still regard the visit of Liverpool as a massive game.
Bournemouth will want some scalps to parade as mini trophies come the season’s end.
Howe will hope that there are heavy Liverpool legs on show at Dean Court. Jürgen Klopp won’t oblige. Jürgen doesn’t ‘rotate’ but he does look to send every one of his teams out with the tools for the job.
In Klopp’s case that means the lungs and limbs necessary to overrun. He simply won’t expect Thursday night’s weary heroes to be up to repeating the trick just three days after their Europa League exertions.
Joe Allen, Kevin Stewart and Lucas Leiva will vie for the two midfield slots vacated by injured maestros Jordan Henderson and Emre Can.
The defence may resemble the partially reformed version we saw take on Stoke a week ago, although both Brad Smith and Jon Flanagan will be suggesting to their gaffer that he needs to rest his mainstay full-backs, Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne, at some stage.
Daniel Sturridge and Sheyi Ojo surely start and are joined most probably by Roberto Firmino, who still needs games following his injury hiatus. We could see Adam Lallana again. We could see Divock Origi joining Sturridge in a front two once more.
The success in remodelling his team to dismantle Stoke a week ago should give the Liverpool manager the confidence to again be able to have his cake and eat it. To send out a team showing six or seven changes but still more than potent enough to rack up another three points.
Liverpool’s league ambitions are not a clear cut thing just right now, but win-gathering can only aid all potential causes.
The 11 to bring the points back as a seaside souvenir: Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Skrtel, Smith; Lucas, Allen; Ojo, Firmino; Sturridge, Origi.
Have a bevvy in the Goat and Tricycle, a great little alehouse.
Up the Reds!
My son’s not handsome. His dad is.
In the US, McDonalds now does the breakfast all day. It does simplify a road trip.
Up the Reds!
Reminds me in a way of our first ventures into Wales during the Wembley rebuild and what fun that proved to be.Stopped just outside Cardiff at a hotel and asked feeling flushed where the best restaurant in town was and after changing into our bessies proceeded.
To our amazement it was a chippy with two tables,our party of 8 ordered steaks all round with chips of course.
Thirty minutes later guy comes back and says only 2 steaks left,been chocker all night.being a chippy we tossed up for the steaks and the rest decided fish would do with mushy peas of course.
20 minutes later guy comes back and says only 2 fish left…yea been chocker all night story again.
Ended up 2 steaks,2 fish and 4 liver dinners.
Asked where the local pub was and was told it was around the corner,after a twenty minute walk we found a shop that sold beer but it was just closing.ok
Back at the hotel for a good bevvy then.
Sorry the staff go home at 10pm we were told on arrival ,Welcome to Wales.
We Always win in Wales.
Dont know if we made that song up,or we copied it from the locals,but that first trip was one of many that I and my 5 brothers made there.
Of course we learned from our first mistakes and were soon to be seen at some of the most prestigeous labour clubs in the region ,and being almost always a friday night often held grab a granny night,
No we didnt invent that either ,they have been having them for decades apparantly.Great fun was had by all and we were of course. being boss spenders always welcomed back next year,they didnt know that we also had another team in Liverpool as I dont recall Everton ever playing there. It was one of the few occasions that we were all allowed out together,jealous wives club was started in Liverpool,but one we often look back on with the most laughs.besides in Europe of course but thats another story.
Have fun for all of us in Bournmouth.
Lucky ye. Stuck here somewhere in suburben Belgium trying unsuccessfully to keep my children quiet while a house full of adults sleep in on a Sunday morning …. God. It’s been going on for hours and it’s not even 8.30 in real time. The things we do for love ….
Might go back to the highlights of Thursday night … sod it.