Welcome to Issue 283 of Red All Over The Land.
This was going to be the final Issue of the season but because of Jürgen Klopp and his Liverpool team it won’t be. I couldn’t just do this one and leave it at that so Issue 284 which was planned for August will now come out…er…soon. It felt like I would be leaving the last chapter out of a book or dropping the last episode of a drama. I’m sure you know what I mean.
Daft as it sounds, I don’t think we’ve been playing all that well although it could be that the team has been taking a breather from maximum effort, just get by and save some fuel and as we know, there’s been a shortage of that. We got away with a bit at The Etihad but deserved the draw that kept us in the running for all those Cups they keep going on about. We did what we had to do to get past Benfica in the Champions League and now hope for more against Villarreal, another surprise package in the Champions League. That first forty-five minutes at Wembley against the FA Cup favourites Manchester City was a joy to behold and for me, the nerves only kicked in when they announced four minutes of added time. Let’s hope on FA Cup Final Day, the trains will be running, and that Europe hasn’t gone to war. I do sometimes wonder if someone is trying it on you know!
I don’t know what some Manchester City fans are on these days. The lack of respect for the Hillsborough dead showed just how pathetic they’ve become. Their fans want big club respect but won’t get it acting like they did at Wembley – that is those who bothered to make the effort to get there. In terms of a global fan base theirs is a small hamlet compared to the worldwide numbers who follow Liverpool and Manchester United. As for our fans, they turned out in their thousands again despite travel problems and were a credit to our club and the city of Liverpool. City can buy trophies but in the eyes of the football world they’re small fry.
As this is coming out on derby day the game against Manchester United will have been played at Anfield and Manchester City will have played Brighton. Will we be a little bit wiser or still living in hope? It’s become that kind of season but regardless of what happens what a season we’ve had. Old timers such as I have never known anything like it and from a Liverpool point of view it may never happen again, so just enjoy. That is, if your nerves will let you. Even if we don’t add to the Cup collection, it’s still been one hell of a ride.
We do now seem to have a far stronger squad than ever before, and I think that’s why the domestic Cups have been treated differently. Jürgen can now rest players and replace them with players of a similar quality rather than a few from the Under 23’s etc. We still don’t have the depth Manchester City and probably Chelsea has but we’re getting closer. Players don’t have to be rushed back from injury and we can use the old rotation lark without it making too much difference. Even so, at the time of putting this down on paper we’re still not favourites for the League nor The Champions League, but we might be even money for the FA Cup.
The FA Cup! Yes, Chelsea again and our manic media already brewing up Chelsea want revenge headlines. Well, I want revenge for 2012 – I still say the Andy Carroll header was over the line before John Terry or whoever got to it. I want payback for a lot of things Chelsea have inflicted upon us and football and that’s without mentioning any names. I also want a ticket for the final!
JJP: Walking on the sunny side of the street for now. Still a boring old sod though.