IT seems like months since we were last blessed with the presence of the Reds. It has been 16 days. Sixteen long days to ruminate, to worry about Manchester United, worry about Jose Mourinho, worry about Mourinho’s alehouse United, worry about the ale house, worry about which ale house, worry about our goalies who don’t like to catch it, worry about the weather, worry about clobber, worry about your coat game, worry about your tea before the match, worry about injuries, worry about the results over the weekend.
It’s been a worrisome 16 days.
It’s also been 16 days of looking at the Premier League table, adding up some figures, thinking about points-per-game ratio’s, dreaming of title charges, of the next game being the biggest of the season, of Mourinho’s dejected sullen face framed by the new Main Stand, of buying new coats, firming up pre-match plans, of being excited.
The worry, excitement, dreams and purchases tell their own story. They tell a story of a Liverpool side that matters, of a fixture that really matters. If Liverpool win we go joint top, cementing our belief that we are ready to challenge. If Liverpool win, United will be six points behind us, cementing our belief that they are shite.
A lot has been written about Mourinho in the last few days, in comparison to Jürgen Klopp but also to his former self. Not a great deal of it has been too favourable. The general consensus is that he is becoming yesterday’s man and is in danger of being left behind by an ever-changing game. I’m not sure whether that is the case or not but what I am clear about in my head is that he is one of the greatest managers of the last 20 years, without a shadow of a doubt.
His record speaks for itself.
He has a great ability to get results, has won all kinds of leagues and cups and continually manages to convince superstar players of the need for them to sacrifice their individual talent for the good of the team. He is a manager who deserves respect for the achievements he has made.
However. And this is a quite the however — the biggest however imaginable. He is also a gobshite. Not a run-of-the-mill gobshite; a full-on, egotistical, self-centred, unfunny, attention-seeking, bellend of a gobshite. A special gobshite.
Remember the film Twins with Danny DeVito and Arnie? Well they were both made by getting a squad of the world’s greatest intellectual brains, mixing their ejaculate and using it to impregnate another of the world’s greatest scientific brains to produce a superhuman (Arnie) and a bit of a pudding (DeVito).
Well imagine re-running that scenario but instead of the genius scientists, we got samples from big Donnie Trump (shouldn’t be too difficult), Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Piers Morgan and Robbie Williams and introduced the mixture to Katie Hopkins. Mourinho would be on a similar level of gobshite to their pudding offspring.
Continually talking in riddles, continually believing he has been wronged, that the world is against him, that everyone, everywhere has got it in for him. Since the minute he walked off the pitch while his Porto team were celebrating their European Cup win he has been a gobshite. I’m not sure there will ever be an occasion where he isn’t a gobshite.
That said, I’m glad he is United’s manager. I think they are well suited. I think Liverpool fans, worldwide, need to hate Manchester United’s manager.
I certainly need to hate Manchester United’s manager. I have grown up hating Alex Ferguson, wishing and hoping for the day of his departure. He was also one of the best in the business, but he was an arrogant, bullying shithouse. Since he left it just hasn’t been the same. Davey Moyes Football Genius was too bad at his job to hate. You can’t hate someone when you want them to be a bit better than they are, it’s too tricky; the mind can’t compute it.
It was the same with Louis Van Gaal. Because the United fans didn’t like him I couldn’t find the level of hatred needed. As a consequence the lows of four successive defeats in the league weren’t that low. That may be partially down to the UEFA Cup results, it may be partially down to the change of our manager, but Van Gaal’s role and position at United can’t be ignored in that.
Mourinho though is a perfect match. He brings an added impetus to an already white-hot rivalry. When Van Gaal’s United spawned a victory at Anfield I could write it off as they were still shite, they weren’t building towards anything and we weren’t exactly challenging at the time.
If United were to win later having been outplayed then the low would be the lowest of them all. Inconsolable times. But that is what makes the biggest of football matches. That level of risk and reward needs to be at its highest. You need the fear of the worst possible outcome to allow you to enjoy the victories when they come along. You cannot have the highs without the lows.
This game is arguably the most important league game between the two sides since 2008-09. It’s the first time since then that both sides could feasibly win the league. It is the biggest home league game since Hull this season or Manchester City in 2014, depending on your outlook.
Mourinho, the snubbed bride, wants nothing more than to beat us — he likes nothing more than to beat us. Remember that. Remember that when you finish work. Remember it when you are on your way to the ground, or worrying about your coat, or your tea or the alehouse.
Use that hatred of him — and them — and harness it. Remember the lows, Reds. Remember the O’Shea 1-0, The Tevez 1-0, the early Ferguson years when they used to beat us for a laugh and harness that emotion.
Remember Mourinho putting his finger to his lips, remember him cry-arsing over a ghost goal, remember him gauging eyes or verbally abusing doctors and harness that emotion.
Remember the highs of the John Riise free-kick (forget the other 3,000 that hit the wall), the Gerrard screamer, the Fowler lob, the Torres top bin, the Kuyt Hat-trick, Fab Aurelio’s free-kick, Dave Ngog’s last-minuter. Remember them all, Reds. Use that emotion to create a wall of noise. Fuck them back off down the East Lancs with their hands over their ears begging us to shut up.
Remember, Reds, these three points are our points and they want them or maybe they only want one. Either way, that should make us all angry.
Let’s go Red Men, let’s get into these.