LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 25, 2017: Liverpool supporters welcome the team coach ahead of the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I CRACKED a bit on Wednesday. Which was problematic because I cracked a lot on Saturday. There isn’t that much more to crack.

I realised I’d cracked when I dropped to my knees on the aisle and slapped the concrete repeatedly after Daniel Sturridge’s miss from six yards. I looked up to stares. This weirdo.

Thing is, I’ll take that in a concrete-slapping context. Thing is though, that had been going on all game. Look at this weirdo. Look at him shouting. Screaming. Singing, even. Look at him. A nudge over on the left. Look at him. Keep your eye on this fella. He’s on one.

And bar one bloke three rows in front not doing dissimilar things — shouting encouragement, asking for one more, shouting next one — there was mostly complete silence. A bit of joining in with whichever rendition of You’ll (fucking) Never (fucking) Walk (fucking) Alone (fucking) we were fucking singing in that phase of the game.

There’s an issue with these things, these pieces — like the tone can be misconstrued as, “I’m boss me, the rest of you need to look at yourselves”. It’s why I don’t do them. I don’t think I am boss or anything like that. Christ, I don’t even go to all the games. Gibbo does that. I’m not even going to Wolves. I need the weekend off, I need a winter break.

I don’t think everyone needs to be rowdy for 90 minutes. I think that’s ideal but it won’t happen. But what shouldn’t happen is people making noise being made to feel weird, being left on their own — trust me, you’ll definitely encourage Alexander-Arnold on your own in the Lower Centenary if you aren’t careful.

Same thing happened to Jono, elsewhere in the ground. He was giving the referee down the banks. Prick this and prick that no doubt. No one said this was pretty, by the way. That’s why it excites you when you are young. Prick this. Prick that. Around him:

  • Nudges
  • Eyes on
  • Sniggering behind the hand.

One fella clapped him! Clapped Jono for shouting at the ref. Mate, shout at him yourself. It all helps. It all fucking helps. It is sort of the point.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 25, 2017: Liverpool supporters during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This:

  • Football grounds should be cauldrons of opposition or encouragement.

This:

  • This Liverpool side needs a bit at the moment. Yeah, they’ll do your head in when they cock up so groan and then fucking shout encouragement. Remember yourself.

This:

  • Forget the Kop. We don’t need to sing lovely songs, we need to call people pricks. You can do that anywhere in the ground at any time.

This:

  • It’s your fucking League Cup, you bellends. I couldn’t give a shit about a day out at Wembley yadda yadda yadda Ronnie Whelan — so why am I the one making the noise and slapping the concrete?

I don’t think any of this is about where people are from or how much money they have or anything like that. I think all of this is about people not wanting to be embarrassed. Not wanting to be nudged about. I think too much of this is about not wanting to not be cool, not shout the right chant or shouting the uncool one. I think this is about it being something you get used to watching because tickets are hard to come by or something you have seen too many times before. Unsure and jaded. The Liverpool Way.

Listen:

It’s perfectly straightforward this. Tuesday is the most important day of your life. You might have other things going on, so let’s boil it down further. It is the biggest night of your year. If it goes well you might get another one bigger. If it doesn’t there’s every chance that is 2017 supporting The Reds. That is it. Everything else becomes process again. The process of top four. The process of starting the next campaign. Everything becomes the process. Your outcome is broken. Fucked on the concrete of Chelsea.

Listen:

It’s perfectly straightforward this. Go bananas. Every free kick is a Liverpool free kick. Every Liverpool player is a good player and it is a sheer fucking cosmic injustice that the brilliant bit of play they just attempted didn’t work. Every time the ball goes out of play it belongs to Liverpool. Every tackle on a Liverpool player is a foul. Your hands aren’t your hands. They are Liverpool’s hands. Clap them. Your throat, son, isn’t your throat. It is Liverpool’s throat. Use it.

Listen:

It’s perfectly straightforward this. Practice against Wolves. Go to Wolves and shout and scream and if any cunt so much as nudges or sniggers behind his or her hand, if anyone has an eye on you, ask them what they are doing. Fucking shame the bastards. Have it out with them there and then. Put a marker down. For Tuesday. Stretch your legs. For Tuesday. Have a warm up. For Tuesday. There is only Tuesday.

I’m off. The last thing I need is a warm up for Tuesday. I’ve a note from Dr Nevin giving me the all clear to have some time out of the firing line. To clear my head. To focus on Tuesday.

Tuesday is everything. Make it everything. Make Liverpool everything. And then we see.

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