Liverpool performances and results still come with negative narratives attached to them, but The Reds are silencing the talk over and over…
OH, come let us adore them.
This is about Liverpool. Not about Newcastle nor the pundits or commentators. For once, it’s not even about the referee. You know what you’re getting there so there’s no point in feigning surprise. No.
This is about Liverpool. It’s about Curtis Jones forcing his way into the first team when there are bigger names around him and staying there by protecting the ball in vital areas and getting us going time after time. Curtis Jones, you’ve been gone too long.
It’s about Trent Alexander-Arnold volleying the ball while practically sitting on someone’s lap in the front row of The Kop. He shouldn’t try that. You can’t shoot from there. He tried and gave us a moment.
It’s about Mo Salah. I’ve read tons about him this morning, but I’m yet to read a single word of praise for his courage. Seriously, the stugots, the cajones to do that. To stand up for a pen when he’s just hit possibly his worst one ever an hour earlier.
If he misses that he goes off to the AFCON with sourness in his heart. But he doesn’t hesitate for a second. He takes the pens and he’s taking this one. There you go. It’s 4-2 and that’s the game. Testicular fortitude in spades.
It’s about Wataru Endo. A man of his age and experience finding a faster level and adapting to it in weeks. He wouldn’t leave them alone last night.
It’s about Jota. A couple of cameos since Christmas and we’re already two goals better off. ‘How do you replace Mo in January?’ Good evening. I’m better than Figo, don’t you know?
And it’s about Joe Gomez. The third prize of the left-back competition? Everything on his right foot? Nah. Simply glorious. My mate asked me if there’s a Joe Gomez Fan Club where you could get a membership pack and a button badge. Maybe a sew-on patch? My mate is 53 years old.
This is about Liverpool.
Let them whine about missed chances and Diogo having the temerity to go down when he’s been taken down. If it’s not about one thing it’ll be about another.
Last night, we had Jürgen Klopp being furious at half time, Mo being off it, that’s not a penalty, Darwin Nunez is shite, that’s not another penalty and, my favourite, ‘there’s no contact but there is contact’. Fuck him and fuck them. It was 4-2. It was 4-2 to Liverpool. That’s what this is about.
Today is the sort of day where you wake up and wonder why your veins are singing. Then you think back. And smile.
Look, we don’t know what this is yet. Manchester City have a run in them and they were always the benchmark this season, but being five ahead of them on New Year’s Day is a wonderful place to be. Regardless of what happens, these are the days we work for. We’ve made massive deposits in the goodwill bank over the years and now it’s time for the dividends. I like that we get to have them.
Five clear of City and we achieved it on a night of weather not seen since Macbeth creeped into King Duncan’s chamber with a really bad idea.
And we can do that because of faith. Faith and the lads mentioned above along with all their mates.
That ball from Alexis Mac Allister? That’s the ball I still think I can play but can’t. I reckon you’re the same.
‘Luis Diaz has been quiet.’ Apart from winning a pen and creating the first goal? I like our players to be quiet like that. Dom Szoboszlai working his arse off, Virgil van Dijk being Virgil van Dijk. The keeper a spectator but, Jesus, it feels so good to have him there.
A title challenge? Of course it is and even if it’s a misguided one (it isn’t) there’s something wonderful about seeing incremental improvement. Form coalescing before your very eyes.
That’s Newcastle done. Home and away. Make your excuses, lads. Clutch that straw. Look at those six points while you’re doing it.
But it isn’t about you. There’s only one club this is about.
It’s the FA Cup next and as I type I don’t care what happens there. I’d be happy for Arsenal to be given a bye, to be honest. I hope we take it seriously enough for me and my mate to play upfront for The Reds. Me playing just off him. Him with his sew-on Gomez patch resplendent on his shirt.
Obviously, that mood will change. I’ll want us to go heavy and be in the next round, but at the moment I’m spending too long looking at the league table and working out numbers. It could be my specialist subject on Mastermind this morning. You can test me.
But that’s just a table of maths. Last night was about poetry. Poetry in a storm.
Oh, come let us adore them…