WHAT’S your perspective on hope?
I think that’s where we are now. What it all comes down to.
What do you choose? Do you believe it’s the hope that kills you? Or that once you choose hope anything is possible?
Do you still believe? Do you dare to allow yourself to dream? Or are you too afraid of what the pain will feel like at the end if you choose hope and the holy grail doesn’t arrive?
I’ve written on these pages before about life and love, dressed up in a beautiful red football kit. I’ve talked of dancing in the aisles and singing in the streets, of laughing with your friends and hugging complete strangers. I’ve encouraged you to give all of yourself even though it’s a risk. Even though there can be no guarantee of winning.
The question for each of us is how many times are we prepared to keep dreaming. To keep taking the risk. To keep believing.
It was fascinating watching the buildup to the Manchester United-Manchester City game. Liverpool fans all over the world telling ourselves that United are crap and don’t really have a chance, while simultaneously believing that it was possible.
That even crap teams pull off shock results sometimes. That they only needed a draw, a world-class goal out of nowhere or a man of the match goalkeeping performance that we’ve witnessed so many times before from David de Gea playing against our lads.
We didn’t get any of it. For all the talk of United fans wanting a City victory to stop us winning the league, I can’t imagine any of them enjoyed watching the pitiful display we witnessed last night.
The gulf between the sides was so frightening that the blue half of Manchester was able to win a crucial derby at a canter, not even adding to the fatigue in its players’ legs in the way we’d hoped.
For a league season in which the lead has changed more than ever before, Manchester City has reclaimed the summit with three games left. But we play next.
In what is arguably the greatest ever head to head for a title at the pinnacle of the English football league, the shouts of “over to you” being tossed back and forth between these two great sides has been a weekly occurrence for longer than I can remember.
And it’s our turn again on Friday night. As our charismatic leader often says, we can only look after our own business. We can only control what lies in front of us. And, right now, that’s a Friday night home game against the team rooted to the bottom of the division. A beleaguered opponent wishing the months away so that it can regroup and put the past 12 months behind it.
Our job is to lay down a marker. To blow Huddersfield away on a night of drinks and joy and laughter. That’s all we can do this week, before shouting “over to you” to Pep Guardiola’s men another time.
We play our next two games before them, which means we just need to do our job and put the pressure on them to do theirs. Make no mistake, if they beat Burnley, Leicester and Brighton to finish the season with 14 wins on the run and 18 out of 19 in the second half of the campaign, they deserve the title.
But it’s by no means certain that they will.
I always felt that Burnley away would be a bigger test for City than United, which speaks volumes for our former great rival.
While the negativity searchers among us will point to the fact that The Clarets are now safe from relegation as a reason to lose hope, I have no doubts that Sean Dyche and his lads will want to show the world that they are capable of matching Manchester City as they have so many times against the big boys of the Premier League in the past.
Regardless of anything else, that game still represents the end of an energy-sapping and leg-destroying run of games for Raheem Sterling and his mates, and the threat that Burnley poses is a completely different animal to that of Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur.
One thing we can guarantee is that Ederson and whichever centre backs are tasked with helping him to defend his goal will not have as little to do as they did at Old Trafford. The aerial bombardment will be intense, and that’s before factoring in the possibility of our old friend Peter Crouch coming off the bench to snatch a late draw or win.
That would just add to the plethora of things that have gone our way in this epic quest that will be talked about long into the future (mainly by Evertonians) if we do go on to win our first league in three decades.
I still believe that too many things have gone our way for it not to be written in the stars. Sometimes football just does funny things, and often this very special football club does very special things that defy logic and have opposition players, managers and supporters shaking their heads in disbelief.
I’ve seen it too many times before to give up hope now.
I’ve seen the greatest striker in the world in 2005 miss an open goal from three yards out in a European Cup final then spend the rest of the match – up to and including missing a penalty in the crucial shootout – looking like a ghost and repeatedly looking like he’d come face to face with destiny and seen that it wasn’t on his side.
I’ve watched shots fly past goals that still look as though they go in when watching replays 14 years later. I’ve heard managers talk of results not having any rational explanation after witnessing their side implode when confronted with the power of this mighty football club.
This is not over yet. Not by a long way. All we can do now is enjoy ourselves and do whatever we can to help our boys win three more league games. What happens after that is beyond our control.
But what is in our control is to keep believing. To never be afraid to continue to hope, even beyond the point at which everyone else has given up. That’s where the real glory is. That’s where the true supporters and the true believers can hold their heads high and say they never stopped.
Through the wind and the rain. Our dreams will always be tossed and blown, that’s part of the journey. That’s part of what it is to be a football supporter, to choose to have this weird thing as such a big part of our lives.
Without the hope what’s the point? Without going into each of our remaining league games believing that the ultimate glory can still be ours, we are just wasting an opportunity to live our best lives.
Imagine if you spent the next three weeks moping around, only for City to drop points in dramatic fashion against Brighton on the last day, in the dying seconds. What a waste of three glorious weeks of your life that would be.
My favourite thing about our defeat in Kyiv last season was the mood of everyone I knew and everyone I saw and heard after the game. People repeatedly saying how much fun it had been and how not winning one game of football wasn’t going to take anything away from the glorious adventure we’d been on.
It’s the same now. Of course we all want to win. We want it more than ever before. But we can’t let the fear of finishing runner up to one of the greatest sides in modern football take away from our enjoyment of the next three weeks. This is what we’re in it for. These Reds, this football, these battles. This is what it’s all about.
I choose hope. I choose to believe that no matter what happens in life, we should keep giving everything we’ve got. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
I will keep hoping, keep believing and keep falling in love. I will dedicate everything I have to enjoying this life as much as I possibly can and to helping as many people around me to enjoy theirs.
To live our best lives. To sing and dance and laugh and cry. Regardless of the outcome. Regardless of whether someone gives us a shiny trophy at the end of it all or whether we just have to keep hoping into next season.
I will hope and believe and love to infinity. Because that’s all I can do. What happens after that is out of my control.
I believe that once you choose hope, anything is possible.
Keep believing. These are the best days of our lives.
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Really how we all should be and having read this , I will try to be
If 90 odd points isn’t enough then so be it. We march on to next season, using the injustice as an extra incentive to win it.
PS They won’t win their last 3.
and where will they drop points you reckon?
They’d drop points if they suffered the officiating we have most games, without a shadow of a doubt.
Glad to have you back, Copey! Brilliant piece!
And you are spot on. This race hanst finished yet. We are still right behind them, even if the finish line is in sight now.
We dont lose faith. We just keep on winning. Put the pressure on City until the end.
Let’s get the 97 points. Make tme earn the title in the remaining games. Fair play, if they should do so. Our manager and players cant do more than they did this season! And I’m proud of it. Proud to be a supporter of this team!
Earn the title… Some of it has been afforded to them by poor officiating and the fact that some teams don’t even turn up to play them. That and the fact the media are behind them at every twist and turn.
What a piece. Back to believing again. COME ON BURNLEY. (Always a classic away banana skin)
I was praying that wind and rain we had all day yesterday would be there in Burnley for this game.
just needs some official to be like they are with us towards City in this game and allow Emerson to be fouled all game and for Burnley to be able to kick all their players and break a few legs. Oh and to award burnley goals that should be chalked off.
I needed this article today.
A brilliant read. As a Liverpool supporter working in Manchester I read this during my lunch break and immediately felt better. We need to be behind the REDS until the very last kick of the season. Keep going, keep putting the pressure on and keep believing. COYR
what a piece! inspiring!
Nice work, PC…
Brilliant Paul. Should be pinned up in the dressing room!
im onboard, cope! thank you.
Inspiring. One song has been going round my head for about 6 weeks: The Impossible Dream
“This is my quest to follow that star, No matter how hopeless, no matter how far. To fight for the right, without question or pause, To be willing to march into hell for the heavenly cause”.
If you don’t know it, look it up. Sing it. It helps.
Cal, I’m a big Elvis fan and I love this song. Im going to Barca away might just starting singing it in the square..
Great article Paul. I must confess I was a slightly non believer after last night.!top man!!
“For all the talk of United fans wanting a City victory to stop us winning the league, I can’t imagine any of them enjoyed watching the pitiful display we witnessed last night.”
This is the flip side of hope. Placing hope on people who themselves have lost it is a recipe for disaster – a fool’s hope. They can also take you down with them.
Watching the City supporters celebrating the victory after the match like they’ve won the EPL, made me feel frustrated especially thinking about the game against United who lost 3 players during the match. Yet last night with those players back, they were made to look pedestrian by City, while we could only manage a draw.
Yes, you are also right about a wide gulf – but I think it is between City and the rest of the us. UEFA will not punish them for anything and as long as they have Pep they will continue to build with their wealth to go again next season (or at least until they win the CL with their billion £ team).
My hope is we still beat them to the EPL title. If City win this league title they will be crowned the new PSG of the EPL.
We have six more to win and I take comfort in knowing that in these last few games I can rely on a team, manager and supporters who still have hope, belief and desire to be the best.
United were awful against City they did nothing. The good news is they will fail to make the CL places for next term.
As for when we played them. We also had injuries and a lot of players who were recovering from bouts of illness. Plus Mo was off form.
If we played Man Utd tomorrow then that scoreline would look like a Harlem Globtrotter cartoon scoreline in our favour.
People wrongly looked to that game as the one to do us a favour. However it was wrong to do so as this Utd is spineless… But in a way I am truly loving that :)
positivity is fine, but we are really *clutching* here. just enjoy the last 3 games.
let city wins their last 3. still got CL s/f to come.
So then let’s just pack up and go and sit on the beach then?
Hoping against hope, until the end.
Our beloved Liverpool will receive the glory that is due our end.
I believe in God who gives us miracles to witness.
I remember Istanbul 2005 when all was lost and whispered in my heart that we need something to raise us from the dead. Only God could do something like that.
2013/14 and 2018 was all about blowing teams away on the front foot and we failed falling flat on our faces.
But this year, it feels different. Our CL group-stage looked like we would go out but we are here on the cusp of reaching another final.
Our Premier League season, we may have drawn some games and lost a 7 point lead and the rest of the world may be laughing at us……but you know what, I believe that we will win the league…God-willing, a miracle is needed for us to win all our remaining games in the next two busy weeks AND for city to stumble just once to supposedly inferior teams.
All we have is hope…all I have is God who brings restoration and miracles in due time. I believe Klopp was not joking when he said there will be a Title in his 4th year.
It’s our TIME….this is Liverpool.
Count me in Paul.
I wrote a reply as soon as this article came out, for some reason it never appeared. It was about hope as I personally wish things.
My hope is that the Footballing Authorities (that’s the FA and UEFA) start to take a serious look at those who flout their rules and penalise them in the same way as the SFA penalised Rangers when they flouted the rules.
My hope is that also we finally get officials who actually understand the rules and apply them.
When you look at this season, how often have Manchester City, a financially doped up man City been rewarded unfairly in matches. Not only are they ‘bending’ the rules off the pitch, but they seem to gain more than any other team on the pitch.
Let’s go back to the game at the Eithad. The FA appointed a Mancunian Referee to officiate the game. That’s really fair isn’t it. This official then gave every key decision (and many others) all in Man City’s favour. Let’s look at the ball that didn’t cross the line for the goal that wasn’t given. I can accept the ball being 10mm still not over the line, however this meant the ball was still live. That being the case, then take the whole incident back to Mane putting the ball past Emerson and Emerson then taking out Mane. It’s a pen. Emerson is the last line of defence, so its a pen and a red card. But hey not given. We then come to Kompany, who jumped two footed and hit Salah around the knee with studs up. He did not get near the ball. He was not in control of the takle. It’s a straight red. However to make it easier, Salah is away and clean through and Kompany is the last defender, meaning again, it’s a straight red. Apply the rules and they are down to 9 men and possibly a goal down. There’s no way they go on to win, that’s then 3 points off their total and 3 points on ours. meaning they drop to 86pts and we go up to 94pts, equally it removes certain numbers off their goal for tally…. This is what really needs discussing along with the bending of FFP to their advantage.
The only time this season we have seen fair decisions in a game against City was the recent CL game at the Eithad against Spurs. We have seen none of this in their PL games.
So hope. I hope that for the last 3 games that we enjoy all the decisions that City have had all season. I equally hope that City get the same nonsense we have enjoyed, such as going to Burnley and being kicked from pillar to post with no support of the officials, having your best defender have his leg broken, as he and the ball are actually off the pitch. I then want the same sort of goals to stand that Burnley scored against us. One offside and the other a foul on your keeper. That I truly hope for today.
I also hope when they play Leicester that the weather is awful and makes it ridiculous on the pitch. That Harry Maguire can forearm smash in the face their forwards in the box to take them out and then hack down another as they are racing through on goal, to then remain on the pitch and score an equalising goal in added time that is added on to already added on time when there wasn’t any.
Equally I hope that the media would stop being the biggest gobshites on the planet and start to call it as it is, that Man City are not playing to the rules and being afforded favouritism by the officials and that it truly is bizarre that in one of the biggest games of the season that a home town Ref is appointed to oversee it.
They talk about Refs coming to Anfield and giving us everything… If that’s the case then tell me how many penalties have we had at Anfield in the last 5 years and just how many at the Kop end of the ground. You will be amazed to discover that in last seasons game against Spurs at Anfield that Tottenham got as many pens as we had in some 3 seasons in around 10 minutes at the Kop End.
So hope takes many forms. Mine is to see cheats not prosper.