I WAKE up in Brixton. I was meant to be there, like. This isn’t another lost weekend that has involved me waking up 200 miles away with no money, phone or memory. I’m just staying with a mate.
Saturday I’m in Essex. I have a family memorial service which turns into a lovely family BBQ, which turns into the pub and a “nah, I’m going…oh go on I’ll have one more” dance which lasts until the pub quietly ask us to leave. I then fall asleep on the tube. When we get back to our home for the weekend we do that thing where you try and be really quiet only to realise there is no one in. About 15 minutes later Andy stumbles through the door more drunk than me.
I’m staying in Brixton because it is where Andy Thornley lives. He’s a wonderful man. Better than you in every possible way. I’m sleeping on a double airbed. The kind that gently deflates through the night and sends your wife hurtling up in the air every time you try and roll over. After a few failed attempts at a lie-in we get up and go for breakfast.
We all go to a wonderful Italian cafe called San Marino which does great coffee. We sit out on the street and I feel like I’m in Milan. Brixton is great. They have a market on and we buy some pastries for the train from a stall that claims to be the ‘oldest organic bakery in London’. Although to be fair, I don’t think anyone cared much if anything was organic or not during The Blitz.
Too soon we have to go and get the train. We embrace and I make a mess of kissing Katie on both cheeks because it’s weird and uncomfortable but they do it in the south so what am I supposed to do? Let’s see how continental it is when I inevitably headbutt a poor girl. We then jump a tube to Lime Street.
Our train is full of Liverpool fans heading north. I should have brought some six month subscriptions to sell, really. Could have made a few quid for the lads. Laura is reading our friend Gilly’s book so I put my headphones in and listen to AFQ Friday. I should have listened to all your warnings about not listening to that show in public. Laura keeps telling me to stop laughing. I think it was Ste Armstrong studying the form to bet on Junior Eurovision that finally did me. But I went in a lot of places.
As we pull in, the train driver wishes “all the local Liverpool fans” a lovely day. If it wasn’t obvious enough that this was an Everton fan being tongue in cheek, he then said he hoped Burnley battered us. I get off and meet my dad who drives us to the game while complaining about having to feed my cat for the last two days. Doing a favour for you while moaning at you for something else is pretty much my dad’s happiest state.
We’re fairly handy so we nip into the Glenbuck Hotel to watch the end of the Spurs game. They are very much winning. It soon fills up with people we know. Then fills up even more with people we know. Forbes, Lewis and Gilly are there with their kids. Biggs and Ben without. They’re probably a bit young, like. In fact one of Ben’s girls is less than a month old. At least another year until she can start coming the Glenbuck.
I get in for You’ll Never Walk Alone which is positively early for me. The fans are in fine voice and I sense we might be about to see something quite good. LOL @ me. The Reds have me off again. They don’t seem that interested at all in passing quickly to each other or tackling Burnley’s lads. I’m no tactician, but you have to wonder how long they can keep that up for. It isn’t long. A striker who never scores scores and we are 1-0 down.
I hope for a reaction from the players. The one we get is deep depression. Emre Can looks like he’s forgotten how to play, Adam Lallana looks like he only wants to press players he’s heard of and Phil Coutinho looks like he’s realised football is absolutely pointless and wants to go to Thailand to get stuck into Buddhism and Sangsom buckets. It’s not exactly the reaction I was after, to be honest.
But Gini Wijnaldum is a lovely fella, so saves us a half-time of wondering if we can get on the Anfield Road roof with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s ball and jump off by kicking the ball in the goal. He makes the whole thing look so straightforward, honestly we just pass it to each other a couple of times, put an OK cross in, and score. You start to think there might be hope for the gang of useless bellends yet.
At half-time I write something witty and wise for The Anfield Wrap Facebook page that won’t upload because the ‘Fan Wifi’ is absolutely dreadful. So you’ll have to take my word for it. The second half kicks off while the loading thing is still whirling round and I’m on the concourse shouting at my phone. I’m sure half-time is getting shorter, you know.
The second half isn’t much better. Jürgen Klopp takes Phil off and my dad is fuming, but Emre blams one in and we all forget. He does a lovely knee slide in front of The Kop and they all look quite pleased, which is nice. They should remember how that feels. We then sort of see the game out, although it gets nervy right at the end when they look like they are going to score but don’t.
I wasn’t expecting everyone to go out after Liverpool 2 Burnley 1 on a Sunday, but it turns out they did. I just got my dad to give me a lift home. Been a long weekend and all that. The most exciting event on the way back was stopping for bread.
I’m getting some mad messages by the time I get back but I’m happy with tea and a film. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, if you were wondering. Not as good as the original. I do break from the film to watch Robbo do a live Instagram, though. I ask him a question and sit there listening to him answering other questions for a while before my wife asks what I’m doing:
“Watching Robbo on Instagram.”
“Turn him off!”
“I’m waiting for him to answer my question.”
“Why don’t you just ask him tomorrow?”
She had a point, like. But the Reds had three. And that’s all that matters.
Up the win ugly Reds.