THERE is a scene in Paul Thomas Anderson’s best film Punch Drunk Love when the lead character played by Adam Sandler is embarrassed in a restaurant and then goes to the bathroom and absolutely kicks fuck out of it. He wallops it from pillar to post. He straightens up and returns to his table.

After this draw that’s all I can think of. That’s all I want to do. That or sit on the floor and pound it.

There is the general notion that you do this sort of thing — writing and talking about football — and you rise above everything. Shrug. Move on. Write a wry sentence or two.

I feel like I am about to have a breakdown. I have nothing. I am drained dry. If I felt I could get away with it I would just collapse into heaps of sobs. The night is young. I still might.

I understand this is just a game. I understand this is just the halfway mark. I understand kicking fuck out of a bathroom. I understand why this is wrong and ridiculous.

I’ve no fucking moves beyond absolute heartbreak. Going to York tonight. Talk we are staying in the Heartbreak Hotel. Who’s the bastard in the black? The desk clerk.

Anthony Taylor then. My feelings in this order:

  • This space doesn’t normally feel the need to talk about referees
  • Before a ball is kicked today, it’s my opinion that he isn’t good enough to be a Premier League referee
  • Before a ball is kicked today, I think given his previously displayed ineptitude, the Liverpool manager should have done everything he could to ensure he doesn’t referee a Liverpool game. In exactly the same way Rodgers made Lee Mason persona non grata in 2013-14.
  • His performance today for both sides was little short of disgraceful.
  • He’s Wythenshawe’s finest. I want to be crystal clear about this: there is not any suggestion of bias here from me. I doubt he is actually competent enough for that. It’s just that it shouldn’t be possible for anyone to even make the suggestion. He shouldn’t be refereeing Liverpool games. Nor Manchester ones. Because he’s from a district of South Manchester.
  • In short, though, he’s fucking shite and should be none of our business. Howard Webb was a far better referee and he shouldn’t have been near Liverpool games or games with a Liverpool interest either.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - Monday, January 2, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp argues with referee Anthony Taylor after he awarded Sunderland two penalties to give them two equalising goals for a 2-2 draw during the FA Premier League match at the Stadium of Light. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Regardless, while a tough game, Liverpool should have found a way to take it out of the hands of both Taylor and Sunderland.

They should have found a way to make it easier. They toiled too much. Jordan Henderson’s absence from the side bit hard, The Reds too ponderous in the middle of the park. Too many yards in the legs.

The manager chose to ask his players for one more big push rather than change them. A percentage call. Who knows if it is right or wrong? All I know right now is that I am glad he is our manager. I want him to come to York. To talk to me. To reassure me.

These two sentences are equally true:

  • Had you offered me 10 from The EV, Stoke, Manchester City and Sunderland I would have taken it at once.
  • This is the worst I have felt after a point since 2009 against Arsenal.

The day we next play a league game at home I am 36. The day we last won a league I was nine. I’m on the floor. I’m in pieces. Because I might be 37 before we next win a league given this.

I hope I am wrong. I love these lads. I love this manager. I love that away end. I love the diaspora. I need proving wrong. I need picking up off the floor. I need a bathroom to kick fuck out of.

Adam Sandler wins through in the end. He channels his anger. Honours Emily Watson. Promises never to leave her again.

18 more games. I’ve got a bone to pick. I don’t want you monkey mouthed motherfuckers sitting in my throne again.

This space won’t talk about referees or misery this season again. I promise never to leave you again.

18 more games. Into these 18 times.

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Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo

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