Archive for November, 2016
The big screens that dominate the fan Zone around Paisley Park focused on our past triumphs against Leeds United starting with the one in 1965. On a night where brass monkeys wouldn’t dared venture out for fear of balls freezing off 52,000 ventured to Anfield to witness something of a reunion in the League Cup [what’s the bloody ELC?]. The present Leeds are light years removed from the team of Revie and if the ‘Don’ was around today they’d probably seem like strangers in the night, recognisable only by the white strip he bestowed upon them to them think they were Real Madrid not long before Shanks decreed we’d wear all Red because it made us look bigger. The Leeds support wasn’t a lot different though, a mixture of the gallows humour and the obnoxious yet still passionate about a club that’s been dragged through more dirt than most will ever see. To be fair they created most of the atmosphere and perhaps because it was ‘only’ the League Cup [what’s the bloody ELC?] even Jürgen couldn’t be arsed about whipping up the crowd. Unlike against Spurs, his pick and mix eleven didn’t play with the same fluency as we’d hoped but we won and as The Kaiser mentioned afterwards, “It’s not about being pretty it about getting into the next round”. Had the boy we mentioned in the last issue hadn’t scored maybe the big talking point would have been the silence of DJ George. No names of subs given, there were six and our flashy scoreboard gave the second goal to Milner who wasn’t even on the pitch.
Somebody said as they left the game, “We made hard work of that” and it wasn’t far off the mark but the important thing was we won and despite Sunderland’s style we worked bloody hard.
After the Watford game we said that not too many sides will give us the spaces we prefer and last week that was evident against Southampton and Southampton were at home. Moyes said Sunderland would park a bus and that’s what they did. This is how it’s going to be when teams like Sunderland come to Anfield. To be fair to Sunderland they did what they had to do and showed some discipline in doing it.
I don’t think Coutinho going off early in the game made a lot of difference, Sunderland had already set out their stall and I think at times in the first half there was some frustration around but some of our players weren’t doing what they do best, like Manè for instance who seemed to be running into blind alleys rather than using whatever space was available.
Sunderland caused a bit of panic in our defence just the once in the second half and my heart was in my mouth, but we kept going at them. The Kaiser was at his most animated, orchestrating the crowd and urging the team forward and whether Divock Origi’s effort was a shot or a cross, I don’t care and I’m sure I saw the Kop roof move a little aided and abetted by the noise and a certain amount of relief. The penalty at least meant the last couple minutes could be watched without any further bouts of anxiety.
Nice to see Ben Woodburn get the chance of a little cameo appearance, he was featured in the current issue of Red All Over The Land which has just about sold out.
I’d like to start by thanking everyone who has helped in making this Fanzine reach the ripe old age of 21. It’s a long list, too many to mention, but thanks again.
Back in 1995 when I started this Fanzine the media, including the Liverpool Echo, had been suggesting Liverpool could/would win the title. We’d destroyed the then Champions, Blackburn Rovers at Anfield and gone to Old Trafford in the face of total hostility [Cantona’s first game back after being banned for criminal activity] and got a draw. Only then came what would be known as ‘Black November’ when we couldn’t buy a win and the title dream started to fade before a New Year revival reignited it. It all ended on a sour note, we didn’t win anything and had the famed ‘White Suit Final’ to haunt and remind us, of what might have been.
In the summer of 1995 Stan Collymore had been signed with banner headlines suggesting we’d found the missing link, the final piece of the jigsaw only he wasn’t anything other than an enigma and that’s being kind. Twenty-one years later we’re still trying to put all the pieces together and come up with the right formula. I honestly don’t know whether we’re closer to fulfilling the dream or just as far away. Each time we think we’ve got it right we’ve fallen over our own feet but just like 1995 we’re dreaming again. There can be no doubt Jürgen Klopp knows what he’s doing even though I disagree about the goalkeeping situation. In 1995 I thought David James might be the Achilles heel as well.
The League Cup game against Spurs may have given us a glimpse into the future, finally seeing some potential on the pitch in the form of the young lads the manager picked. I know we’ve seen them before – ‘Ones for Tomorrow’ [Circa G. Houllier 2003] – but those in the side against Spurs showed up well.
We’ve wasted almost as much money in the transfer market as the British Government has done on Wars but finally there’s a sneaking feeling we might have got some things right. I remember just a few short years ago the club being pillared for signing the likes of Jordan Henderson but he’s now club captain, maybe still a few doubters but not as many as there was a while ago. I don’t know if Jürgen has any special gifts but he’s made players such as Lovren and Lallana look like half decent and he’s found something in Firmino more than a few disbelievers doubted was there. Ah just seen Lovren at the Palace! I’ll forgive him though because he did score.
So, twenty-one years on, nothing much has changed. We’ve still got dreams and songs to sing. Twenty-years is a long time, how much longer can I go on I don’t know. To quote the winner of the Nobel prize for Literature, “Life is an Ocean, but it ends at the shore, you may not see me tomorrow”. I don’t know when tomorrow is and I only use that in the Fanzine sense.
In the meantime you should still find me somewhere between Paisley Square and 96 Avenue close to where someone’s outside toilet used to be.
Still Wearing Black.
This game spoke volumes for the current Liverpool side but it might have also sent out a message which might not be too our benefit in the future. Unlike certain teams Watford came to play an open game and was simply picked off and went back down the Yellow Brick Road knowing six could have easily been ten, maybe more. I think we can expect a few others thinking, “Right, at least ten behind the ball and in our own penalty area when we play that lot”!
This team of ours looks a frightening prospect especially if everyone is in the mood and they looked as if they were against poor old Watford. Many ‘experts’ consider Daniel Sturridge the best English striker and he can’t even get in the side but when he came on, he hit the woodwork twice and had a big hand in the final goal.
The hardest task The Kaiser could have is keeping everyone happy and also seeing the side keep a clean sheet. There were sighs of disappointment when Watford scored but as a critic of our ‘keepers I’d say Karius had a decent enough game when it came to making a few saves, still looks unsure when a cross comes over though but after yesterday that would be nip-picking.
A year ago Jürgen Klopp talked about the early leavers at Anfield but not too many left the scene as early as they have been doing of late. I don’t think the atmosphere was anything great yesterday but I put that down to people just wanting to watch what was just about poetry in motion. For me, because I was at the Anfield Road end, the final fifteen minutes of the first half was almost spell binding. To pick out a man of the match would be unfair it was one of those days.
Finally a word of praise for the Watford fans. I know we had the usual bile about Anfield and a library and one or two other predictable bits but they never mentioned Steve Gerrard falling over once.
Thanks to everyone who purchased a copy of Red All Over The Land and/or a pack of Christmas cards. If you want to be part of the long running Fanzine, visit www.redallovertheland.com or lookout for the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Thank you.