Terrace Talk: The vitriol lies between bewildering and irksome

For a few seconds, just after Burnley’s second actually, I realised I’ll probably die watching this team.

Terrace Talk: The vitriol lies between bewildering and irksome

For a few seconds, just after Burnley’s second actually, I realised I’ll probably die watching this team.

It can’t ever be simple, can it?

Coasting along, maybe could’ve had a few more goals, but no; let’s get those panic stations up and running.

All week there was a plethora of fan articles, formulating a curious “Choking? Us??? Tish and pish, sir!” narrative which was most likely having the opposite effect to that sought.

Shakespeare wrote about protesting too much, and here we had some classic examples. I can’t be too censorious though, what with the salivatory national revelling in our future fate.

It isn’t enough that Liverpool should come second, it must be entirely their own fault. The vitriol lies between bewildering and irksome.

As much as you try to understand, a lot of it just feels abnormal, bordering on psychosis.

The fear of their own bilious spite being spat back into their faces has got them all on edge, I suppose. It’s only football folks, relax (he said, knee-deep in fingernails).

Some fighting our corner dwelt upon the paucity of defeats, conveniently forgetting it hardly matters now. Three points for a win has been with us for 37 years, enough time to grow accustomed to it surely?

Back in the glory days, win at home/draw away was a perfect strategy. When change came, Liverpool also adjusted and maintained supremacy.

When we finally surrendered to gravity, the delusion of Fergie Time took hold. Referees added time for both teams, except there was (usually) only one trying to win while another clung to its precious point. Draws are almost as bad as losses now, especially at this stage.

Speaking of losers, Everton’s triumphal reaction to tripping us up a tad wasn’t a shock, nor was their predictable collapse a week later. Such a soul-sapping, barren existence.

Some responded that we were like that with United in 1999.

Yeah, once. Don’t make it your life’s work, OK?

Then we had our own private hell after the Blues’ tawdry vaudeville. Wanting favours from teams who stand no chance of beating City is folly enough; when they drop seven players, as Watford did, you bare-face it out — like fixing insolvency with a lotto ticket; you never know… (you do).

Their disallowed goal, quickly allowed again, was another knife twisting in our guts.

How can people do this, year in, year out? Bad enough once in every five.

City’s April task, if all goes well for them, feels Herculean. If they get the odd tricky tie (they’ve had monumental luck thus far) our plan remains clinging on and hopefully landing the kind of miracle United got in Paris.

After all this season’s mockery, their blocking our way to the Premier League while taking the European Cup off City would be conclusive proof the Devil exists.

What else could it be? There’s a long way to go before that becomes disconcerting, but just thought I’d plant the venomous seed. Maybe we’re not so different from Evertonians after all.

As for Burnley, they did as much as they possibly could. Fouled, wasted time, hoped the referee was blind to their nonsense (he was), demonically blocked tackles and hoped we’d have an off day. Ooh, so close… Lallana’s selection drew audible mutters, only for most to choke on their presumptions. Not exactly brilliant, but definitely what was needed.

I like Trent, but lately I’ve thought he won’t end up as a defender. Time’s on his side and maybe he’ll rise to it, but he’s beginning to look a weak link. Matip hardly helps though, with Van Dijk doing the work of two sometimes.

Firmino’s goals were gifts but he looked more like his old self and Mané plunders on. Mo featured in some goals without ever really being on-point. So long as someone scores, his obvious threat is still utilised.

I need to lie down. Only eight more days like this to go (I hope).

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