I COULDN’T sleep last night. I woke at 1.30am after trying to get an early night and was wide awake for three hours. Wide-eyed and wired. Why? It could be other things. It could be thinking about work or thinking about bits of writing.
It could be The Reds. That nervous energy of a game that feels must-win. The Reds because the game is afoot and the game makes you lie awake at night and contemplate.
If it is The Reds then there is a long eight months ahead. Because there is a long eight months ahead. Liverpool aren’t likely to go anywhere but forward. It is exciting and exhilarating.
It may even lead to sleep. There was an assurance about The Reds today that could — should — make us all rest easier. There was nothing that Hull City could do to get at Liverpool. They were toyed with from the start of the game to the end. They knew Liverpool were better and Liverpool knew the same. Only my subconscious wasn’t in on that reality.
Therefore the game became dull quickly. Around the point Liverpool make it 4-1 both sides have accepted the result to the game. Hull verging on playing dead, Liverpool verging on being bored.
If we fancy having a very churlish face on, there’s a point here, which is that goal difference matters and has mattered hugely in our recent history and this was a chance to hammer the for column.
That would be churlish though because The Reds were marvellous. Completely outclassed Hull in every department and further laid the blueprint for Liverpool’s home games against the likely bottom 10. Everything made sense from the outset and Hull acquiesced to the reality so early.
Roberto Firmino was again outstanding for the first 30 minutes. He was baffling for the Hull players. They spend the whole game passing him on. He’s everyone’s man. He’s no-one’s man. How do you cope with it? He is the outstanding performer. The one who sets the tone.
Henderson, too. Ever more assured and frankly bullying his Hull opponents today. It will be harder than this but it was a splendid display of flat track centre-midding.
Neither of these lads scored. Neither assisted. Imagine that, imagine playing this side. They attack from all angles. Joel Matip should have scored. Gini Wijnaldum should have scored. Neither did. Instead Liverpool carry more threats than I have ever seen and all of Adam Lallana, James Milner, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho deserved their goals — all are so very good in tight spaces, all play football on the turn.
Liverpool spending their lives on the turn. How can you cope other than playing dead? 5-1 felt like a bare minimum, Show Them The Way To Go Home first heard on 39 minutes and it never felt too early. The M62 must feel like sweet relief from physical and mental exhaustion for Hull’s players. Rest now boys. The worst is over.
If anyone should be having sleepless nights now it should be Liverpool’s opponents. It should be Liverpool’s rivals. Rest easy, boys and girls because The Reds are coming up the hill.
Up the half turn Reds.