LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2016: A standing ovation for Liverpool's Joe Allen as he is substituted during the Premier League match against Stoke City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

ALL right, everyone. You know the drill by the now, here are five thoughts on the game of football that happened earlier.

1) Pre-Match

I caught up with Neil Atkinson and Rob Gutmann before the game while Leicester continued their bizarre march to the Premier League title.

Their second goal goes in, securing the points, and most people around us cheer. One fella, who made the mistake of leaving the house wearing a “Normal One” t-shirt, then makes his second mistake of the day by clapping enthusiastically at the television in the corner.

I’ll be honest, I don’t get it.

It’s not that I have anything against Leicester, or the charm of the underdog, or even that I’m a contrarian that doesn’t want everyone else to be happy. It’s none of those things, It’s literally that I don’t get it — i.e. I don’t understand how they’ve done it.

It’s like one of those magic eye paintings.

Everyone else can see a beautiful boat, atop a glistening sea, and all I can see is Jamie Vardy’s bird face and the phrase “Chat Shit Get Banged”.


2) Buy a keeper.

Just before the match, Simon Mignolet went to fist-bump Kolo Toure and missed.

For those of you that didn’t see it, imagine going to hang your shirt in the wardrobe and missing the wardrobe.

3) Madness.

Just before the second half started, Anfield DJ George Sephton played One Step Beyond by Madness. In front of me, a Scandinavian chap got his iPhone out and clicked on the Shazam app to find out what the song was.

That’s weird, I thought.

Of all the ska songs, I would have thought that One Step Beyond would have been a big hit in Scandinavia — mainly on account of it having hardly any words and not being about the socio-economic decline of Coventry.

I was wrong, though. This fella had never heard of it before.

Wanna know something else about One Step Beyond?

In 1992 Madness reformed after a six-year hiatus and played a gig at Finsbury Park in front of 75,000 people. They opened with One Step Beyond and an audience of middle-aged spread started jumping up and down at the same time.

It caused a mini-earthquake and it registered as 4.5 on the Richter scale.

I didn’t tell the fella any of this because a) I thought this information might make his head fall off into the lower Centenary and b) I didn’t want him to think I was a boring prick and tell the rest of Scandinavia about me.

4) Match Review

The fella I sat next to this week was incredibly quiet. To be honest, I don’t mind that as I’m a fairly unreserved sort myself and feel the game doesn’t need commentating on ALL THE TIME.

But this guy, he was next level.

In 90 minutes he said just two words.

It was when Ryan Shawcross passed the ball back to the Stoke keeper and, just before it reached him, it bounced unevenly.

“Nasty bobble,” the man said.

That was it, the only two words he said during the entire game. There were five goals but he was a purist — he came for the inconsistency in the turf and finally got his reward.

I respected him and hope to see him again.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the Premier League match against Stoke City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

5) All of Divock Origi’s Men

After starting his Liverpool career looking like a goalkeeper who had been sent up front, it’s pleasing to see that Divock Origi now looks like a goalkeeper who has been sent up front that scores goals.

Made up for him to be honest.

As we leave the ground though, all the talk is of Leicester again. Someone to my right says “it’s refreshing” and someone to my left says “you can’t knock them”.

Suddenly, I’m convinced this whole season has been fixed in advance. It’s the only answer for what’s happened, and I decide to “follow the money” just like they do in All The President’s Men.

So here’s the plan.

I’m going to round up all the people who bet on Leicester to win the league in the summer and rendition them to some terrible place, probably Australia, and torture them until they tell me what they knew.

I’m going to wear a Jamie Vardy mask, a t-shirt that says “Chat Shit Get Banged”, and then, right in front of them, I’m going to take all the Walker’s Salt and Vinegar crisps that are in green packets and put them in blue packets where they belong.

They’ll hate that.

Finally, one of them will crack, they’ll tell me they’re ready to talk.

I knew it.

I take off the mask, I’m all ears. At last I’m going to find out how Leicester have done this.

Before me the Leicester fan composes himself as he reconciles the fact that his torture has come to an end and he’s about to unburden himself. He looks awful, a thousand yard stare accompanying the eyes that have long since sunk into the back of his head.

In a moment of guilt, I wonder what I’ve done to him and, in the process, what I have become in my quest for the truth.

But nevermind, the time is now.

He leans forward, takes a deep breath, and then he does it — the cunt sings the ‘Slippy G’ song to me.

Up the jealous Reds.