Terrace Talk: Nice guys don’t win? They said that about Bob Paisley too

Meh. As European Cup triumphs go, I’ve seen better… OK, I’ll stop being an unbearable gobshite. For now.

Terrace Talk: Nice guys don’t win? They said that about Bob Paisley too

Meh. As European Cup triumphs go, I’ve seen better… OK, I’ll stop being an unbearable gobshite. For now.

In my preview, the stench of failure lingered. Number Six wasn’t even a notion in the background. Mindsets — what you gonna do?

That’s the way it affects/infects some of us, unfortunately. After a season where 97 points wasn’t enough to come top, I’ll bet there were a lot more than me shivering at the thought of another Kyiv.

Fans like me don’t deserve this manager. All through his reign there’s been a tendency to dismiss him as a shouty, grinning, holy fool.

Maybe now the proper plaudits will pour in, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t.

It took 30 seconds to dilute our fears. Some of them, at least.

A season where any little thing going our way was incorporated into a massive conspiracy theory had to take one more bow before the final curtain.

I’m honestly not sure what’s tripping people up, but it’s beautiful anyway. Ref gives penalty. VAR ref confirms penalty.

Television’s hired ex-ref says penalty, but you all know best, right? OK.

We’ve put up with an entire season’s nonsense from idiots claiming VAR would “sort you pigs out once and for all”. You can’t help laughing.

It probably wasn’t how Salah envisaged his moment for an entire year, but he’ll take it. After that, I’m not sure what happened.

Tension and temperature played a part, but it was more than that.

Anyone who knows football knows these occasions rarely measure up to the hype. What could?

The worst words in the game, “so near, yet so far”, can mess with even the most beautiful minds.

All that mattered was getting over the line, and with Liverpool’s modern record that could never be smooth sailing.

It’s happened, anyway. “Elite” is a word that gets bandied about far too much. It’s ugly, really — anti-sport, even — but you know what they say about tents and pissing in or out.

Only Real and Milan hold sway over us. Not Barcelona, not Bayern, not United. We should probably resist all temptations to lash out at those who hate our guts.

I know it’s hard sometimes, because it’s been relentless these last few months.

It’s tricky keeping your nose above the rising bile, but this is our achievement and any black eye it’s dealt to somebody else is merely an ephemeral bonus.

If you’re seething right now, sorry, but that’s not our fault. I know we always say that, like… It’s OK telling yourself it’s just a back-handed compliment, but it does get a bit much sometimes.

I called a few things right in Friday’s preview, which makes a refreshing change. It wasn’t going to be a classic, surely the understatement of the century.

Salah would want to put last year behind him; check. Allison over Karius would make a big difference; check.

There wasn’t anything miraculous about what he did, but the calm and authority he’s provided all season was pivotal when we needed it most.

In fact, this triumph had its roots in two bad things that happened to us last season.

Nobody thought losing Coutinho was advantageous, but his ludicrous fee paid for two players that turned an occasionally thrilling, often maddening team into a winning machine.

It may seem tacky and inappropriate to mention Loris Karius right now, but there were justifiable fears he would be Klopp’s go-to goalkeeper until Kyiv.

If that’s what made Liverpool’s minds up that they could no longer mess about, then even that cloud helped conjure this silver lining.

Tottenham? It felt like Harry Kane’s ego helped us a bit. You understand a player not wanting to miss such a big occasion, but contrast that with Mo Salah at the World Cup.

If you can’t fully contribute, have the team’s best interest at heart.

True, we possibly did the same thing with Firmino, but Klopp fixed it eventually.

Divock added to his great moments of the season, the 12th Liverpool player to score in a European Cup final.

Not bad for someone who most fans wanted sold last summer.

It’ll be Spurs having the discussions over what to change and who stays this summer. I don’t envy them one bit.

There’s a train of thought that suggests paddling through life is far better than learning to swim but run the risk of drowning.

As Jordan lifted that cup, such thoughts felt like heresy, but the winners are obligated to think that aren’t they?

All the mockery, all the gleeful goading about forever bridesmaids, all of it evaporated in that one glorious moment.

Liverpool management and players celebrate with their fans yesterday after returning home with the European Cup.
Liverpool management and players celebrate with their fans yesterday after returning home with the European Cup.

In this seven-year dry spell, many minds turned to the days when we won trophies regularly, trying to Sherlock our way to a solution as to why we couldn’t do it now.

It ends in a dilution of that old greatness, that an awful lot went our way and there isn’t a lot you can do to change fate.

Napoli were a Van Dijk red card (not given) and a late Allison save away from knocking us out of the competition altogether. Small margins.

We’ll get busy celebrating this, but soon enough they’ll need to mull over how to use it to move further forwards.

After that league season, so much frustration had built up.

If ever you ‘fail’, there’s always talk about going back to the drawing board — and do what, exactly? Do better than dropping 17 points for an entire season? Good luck with that.

The cup takes some pressure off. Friends have told me more than once how they just love watching this team, so anything else that comes our way is a bonus.

A noble sentiment, but one you know won’t wash in the harsh corridors of power.

The European Cup (I can’t ever call it the other thing) gives us a great moment to stop and cherish what this manager has done.

Nice guys don’t win? They said that about Bob Paisley too.

If we’re doing it a different way, count me in for the ride.

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