A GOOD one not to go to, I said. A good one to miss, I said. Half twelve, Saturday. Tickets scarce. A good one to miss.
I can’t calm down, here. I can’t stop my heart from pounding. I think I could run 10 miles. I am absolutely up the wall because I am not there, and haven’t used all this nervous energy jumping up and down and screaming and shouting and singing. I am absolutely up the wall and these people, you people, our people expect some words about that.
All my words about that are broadly in opposition with each other. That is a good point. That is two points dropped. I’m very proud of the Reds. The Reds have let us down. It’s a terrific performance. It’s a poor outcome.
There’s nothing but these mixed emotions off the back of that and making sense of them is probably going to take some time, and not as much dancing as I’d like.
We were so nearly dancing. So nearly dancing at 0-2. So nearly dancing when Liverpool could make it 1-2 late on. Just so nearly dancing. So nearly having one of those afternoons on a Bank Holiday Saturday where everything feels possible, and it is that most rampant of joys to be alive. So nearly there, in that afternoon and early evening of promised land. Tops off, full throated.
Still more. More twitching. More nerves. Eyes here there and everywhere. Reds on four points. Reds could be on six. Reds should be on six.
Tons to be positive about. Tons and tons. Jordan Henderson was very good, excellent for 60. Roberto Firmino the absolute business. James Milner settled left back. Joel Matip’s debut was strong. From front to back the Reds had a dodgy 10, and then a great subsequent 50. The game became tighter after Spurs equalised, encouraged by that goal they grew into the game. They were never quite the better side, as Liverpool had been, but they looked dangerous.
The key moment in the game is Mane’s disallowed goal. It looked a smidgen off to me, but whether it is or not it hurt. Liverpool were two better by that point but, by the time the game finishes, Tottenham were able to say that a point was fair, and not feel daft in doing so.
There are no happy endings in games like that, other than that games like that are occurring. What I mean is that Liverpool were playing top of the table, blood and bone football. Not the idea they were getting a win today to disappoint tomorrow. Instead it felt as though both sides knew how much the game mattered. It reminded me of some Liverpool/Chelsea encounters of the last decade. The cynics may say that is because both Manchester clubs will be over the hill and far away. To which the response is — who have they played?
Because Liverpool have gone to North London twice and should be returning with six. Points. And goals. It contextualises the Burnley failure further — the reason why beating Burnleys is important is that you can never relax against sides like Spurs. They are too good for that, they bounce back.
All football teams are a work in progress these days. Perhaps they always were, yet the Reds feel more work in progress-y than most. More work in progress-y than ever. Is that because we know the path for progress, or because there is still a great deal to do?
I’m left pounding these keys, absolutely pounding them. Regulating my breathing. An afternoon where I don’t know whether to stick or twist. Disco or decline. And all I want is 38 discos. Have the chance for 35 more. I want them, and I know I could just have them and yet. And yet.
I want the Reds to walk away more certain than me. They should be buoyed, they should be. Form being regained where it needs to be in Henderson. Quality demonstrated where it needs to be from Milner. Firmino running the show, bossing the gaff. But we need wins and a run of them soon. I want to be carried away, Reds. You can do it, you can carry me away. You are good. You looked better than Tottenham in their own yard for more than long enough. I’m greedy, Reds. I want the lot from you. I feel you have it in you, but please bring it to me.
I could run 10 miles.
I can’t stop my heart from pounding.
Up the Reds, yes, but let’s go. Let’s just go. You’ve got it in you to make this some nine months. I want it all. I want it now. A good one to miss? I want none of them to be worth missing, not for a second and you can do this Liverpool. I promise you, I know you can do this.
Up the greedy Reds. None greedier than me. None greedier than you. I want them to be greedy. I want them to be sure.
Make me sure Reds. Let’s go Liverpool.