WE see things they’ll never see.
Here we are again, the Reds after a proper European night, writes CHARLIE CHRISTIAN.
It feels good, doesn’t it? For all we endlessly talk about winning the league, I think these nights mean the most to us — the nights which make the hairs on the back of our necks stand up more than any other.
It might ‘only’ be the Europa League, something I feel almost embarrassed saying in my Millennial, Sky generation youth. Europe is Europe after all, of course. But that wasn’t just any Europa League night, was it?
That was Liverpool traveling to the absolute cream of Europe and laying down a very clear marker.
We might be deficient in many areas and our league position might suggest mediocrity but make no mistake, under the floodlights on these nights we can have anyone.
The job is only half done of course and conventional logic tells us that Dortmund are still the favourites to progress. They are Dortmund, after all, right?
#LFC have progressed from 11 of their past 12 European ties in which they have drawn the first leg away from home. pic.twitter.com/P74Mo7eohe
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) April 7, 2016
But then, no. Last night proved that conventional logic goes out of the window when Liverpool play in Europe.
Just look at that Dortmund side. Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Reus, Bender, Hummels — those five alone would walk into most of the world’s top teams and that’s without mentioning the outstanding supporting cast they have surrounding them (Lukasz Piszczek, I’m looking at you in particular).
Exactly 11 years ago this week, Juventus came to Anfield. Over time, that night has morphed into a series of numerous incredible Anfield spectacles which eventually formed the road to that night in Istanbul but the example is pertinent.
Just after our goal #LFCOn that particular occasion, Juve came with Alessandro Del Piero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front. Our equivalents? Milan Baros and Anthony Le Tallec. Such a juxtaposition seems almost surreal but we know not to take such things at face value when it comes to Liverpool’s continental travels.
In the build up to last night’s game, most ‘neutral’ spectators had Dortmund down for a relatively easy win. Hell, so did a lot of good Liverpool fans and I can’t blame them for that. How could I?
Thomas Tuchel’s starting lineup in comparison with ours was utterly terrifying and the prospect of facing that side next week still makes my heart skip a beat.
And that’s where my recollection of us conquering Juventus way back in ’05 becomes relevant. We didn’t progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League that year because we had a selection of the world’s best. We went through because we had a manager who knew how to get the most out of what was available to him and a crowd which so consistently, so passionately, willed it to happen.
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, of course we don’t. But to me at least, the parallels are clear. This side may well be underdogs but being underdogs suits us just fine in times like these.
It was the author Neil Gaiman who said: “Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.”
I’ll leave the formations, the tactics and the set-piece plans to Jürgen. So you should, too — on Thursday of next week, it’s up to us to trust our dreams, our heart and our story.
We’ll see things they’ll never see.
A good night of fun football in a great footballing theatre no doubt – but I would swop all future European nights and all future cup runs to see Liverpool Football Club win the league as an adult
Everything for the league, everything at the Club must be done for that end, above everything else , as Neil Atkinson says
My favourite moment as a Liverpool Football Club fan was in the Spring of 2014 when Liverpool Football Club drew 3-3 with Palace.
True it meant our league ambitions were cruelly ended but I have never been more proud of the gang of lads in the Red shirts playing football for Liverpool Football Club.
They tried valiantly to win by such a huge margin that in our final game against Newcastle, Liverpool Football Club would have been in with a fighters chance of overturning City’s goal difference.
Failing is more beautifully heroic than winning sometimes. As fans of Liverpool Football Club we would have been in Excelsis Deo.
What a thing. A great set of lads.
Can someone tell me which team was it to progress against us n those 12?
And been reading the TAW for a few months- I have to say I am impressed. Keep it up lads.
Brondby in 95
I’d have thought it was Celtic in 2003 , the first leg was the infamous Diouf spit
Yeah, fair point. I didn’t actually register the ‘past 12’ or last 12. I thought it was just 11 out of 12 times and remember the embarrassment of Brondby. Both very low points.
Brilliant piece! Well in.
You and I are going to live forever?
I can’t remember the last time I was this anxious to get to a second leg. To paraphrase The Easybeats, “I’ve got Thursday on my mind! I’m gonna have fun in my city! Do do do do do do do!”
Great article and great comparisons, we need to be at our best next week but Anfield will be bouncing and the lads n fans bang up for it! Great video after the goal, Gibbo having it large… Lol..
We are Liverpool Football Club – we exist purely and solely to win trophies
So let’s win a trophy. Simples.
There is very little in life that I would
not do for a league title – legal or illegal – I would do almost anything…Having said that, the League is gone, Top 4 is gone. All hands on deck and everything now for European glory
Everything for glory in Europe NOW
It would put down a marker to the rest of Europe that says “we are Liverpool Football Club..we are BACK”
With the gorgeous Klopp at the helm, the Red-shirted lads would be back amongst the pin-up boys of the European elite once again – and our ‘brand’ would be reinforced by all the marketing men seizing own Glory for commercial success.
We will have the best of both worlds because we gain financially from on -field Glory, and also, no-one will ever forget that we will always be different. No one will mistake Liverpool Football Club, for oil-rich City or Chelski….we have always been different and we have always had class and we have ALWAYS had success throughout. New found commercial wealth after on-field Glory will not tarnish us
Everything for Euro Glory – everything for Europa Cup success
At the start of every season the league will always be our priority (but just not now, not at this stage, this year)
Let’s fucking do this
Here’s my next fleeting fantasy. The sweet redemption of Lucas. Lustrous Old Man he is, wise as bones. I’ll confess I finally replaced my Official Kit this year. It was time to upgrade from thst itchy Adidas Mascherano thing that clung to me like the $125 I could never escape wasting. It’s bloody humid in DC too. But that Jersey isn’t all unredemptive. It’s also covered in the memories of The Pogues in Roseland Ballroom on a ostensibly normal Manhattan night. I had no idea wearing that Jersey would save me from taking an entirely unexpected beating from a coked up J. Crew model I bumped into at coat check. Saw the devil in his eyes and my world exploded and my world exploded into 6 or 7 drunken Micks chanting Jaaaaaaaavier Mascherano and raining blows down upon him in righteous fury.
The next day upon regaining some sense of what had happened the night before (the Pogues will do that to ye even without a shot to the face) the world told me we best Scum 4-1 and Vidic saw more red than me. Now that’s a shirt.
Still it had to go and at first I was given to go with the safe sanity of the practical but thank god madness stepped in. Maybe I wanted to have the name of a player on my back stick around longer than a year but maybe I wanted to be followed around by an uncomfortable $145 waste of money that meant a little bit of magic.
So Lucas it was and Lucas it had to be. If he goes next year (personally I don’t think so, but on this issue I’ll gladly let emotion cloud reason, fair play to the heart) then I’ll be devastated and a part of me feels it’s our collective lack of imagination that makes us list all those things Lucas lacks and ignore how his been a really unique servent to the club.
“I’m excited, the club has signed a proper Brazilian!”
That’s the words of a man who gets it. He’s singing along to local radio for the sake of fun. He’s capable of doing a big job still and he’s a practical head; he might take too many yellows but he’s also is that rarity amongst our squad of the player who knows when he HAS TO see yellow. Remember Arsenal 2007 when Aurelio didn’t drag Walcott down? If we’re in Europe for real now, we need a player who would have taken yellow and been decisive about it.
But there’s also what he’s overcome and what he’s given us when lessers might have given nothing and taken a paycheck or held a Big Sam sized chip on his shoulder for never getting to be what he was surely destined to be. We forget how good Lucas was. We honestly do. Growing up watching the Washington Ethnic Slurs^tm I’ve seen more careers ruined by blown ACLs than anything bar concussions. He had a little extra bit of pace that’s gone now and in a game as intense as the English top flight that loss of a percent can be devastating.
The best praise I can bestow upon Lucas Leiva is that during a career spent experiencing a sample platter of all the worst being a part of Liverpool has to offer never once stopped trying to work to help the club. Never once. When we booed he turned himself into a midfielder who could have blossomed into something truly brilliant and when that was cruely cut short and he found himself an afterthought and the victim of a manager in over his head Lucas was helping settle Coutinho (a player we now know was looking for a family and a home) and then he sang our praises to Firmino because he genuinely loves this club.
FSG and Klopp are both now known to be ruthless and if Lucas goes this summer I won’t be gobsmacked but I’m not going to be replacing his shirt any time soon.
I’ll be glad he thought we were worthy of his talents and all the light he never showed the cameras but kept the club out of total dark.
Hear, hear. Lucas may not be the best player in our squad, but hands down he is the best man. I love Hendo, and I hope he comes back stronger next season, but if there was any justice in the world, Lucas would have been given the arm band when Stevie left.
Well said Matthew.Always gives everything.