It felt like they’d used up all the fireworks on Wednesday, at times, but they still won. What a team.
That presentation had the irritant hallmarks of modernity; excessive light and noise, especially the awful music. There may’ve been a 30-year wait, but time marches on, and not always forward frankly.
One thing you can say, the combination of rockets and Jordan lifting that trophy almost completely blotted out Coldplay in the background. Always a plus, in my view.
The lads seemed to enjoy it, anyway. I suppose they’re as safe and healthy as anyone in the world but there were still concerns with an unnerving amount of high-fiving and hugging. Poor old Kenny, who’s already had Covid remember, probably went home and washed his hands with petrol and a match. The Premier League bigwig was largely ignored and largely grateful about it.
There were still fans outside, of course. Somebody will always express their individuality by doing exactly what they’ve been told not to, however moronic it might seem. Like the zombies in, they just naturally gravitated towards a place they dimly remembered. Amidst title euphoria, it feels petty to be judgemental.
The 5-3 score-line was an echo of Klopp times past, the rollercoaster lubed and revved up for one more nostalgic hurtle. We’ve all got used to caviar, but it’s nice to have a guilty cheeseburger now and then.
The Lampard strop was hilarious. We hate Chelsea, they hate us. It’s somewhat comforting to know that even a deadly virus and a world in peril can’t change the basics.
A lecture on arrogance from Stamford Bridge, though, that’s a new one on me I must confess.
For all my cynicism the evening brought one or two tears to these crows-feet eyes. Let’s blame the dust and never speak of it again. TV’s former Red pundits abandoned all pretence of impartiality on the night, which was understandable. This was not a time to be scathing.
Keita scored a cracker but still somehow failed to convince. I’ve been suggesting the Pogues’ ‘Navigator’ as a song we could use for him whenever we’re allowed back in; not that it will influence his performances of course but it wouldn’t hurt. It might even help since it’s rarely felt like he truly belonged here somehow.
The final day of the season was suitably surreal, with everyone’s attention diverted by more pressing matters elsewhere. It’s going to get stranger still, with the other competitions being resolved while we’ve got the deckchairs out for real.
Back in the day, the title might have been won, presented and tucked behind cabinet glass for another year but the team didn’t clock off. I recall the 5-1 thrashing of Sheffield Wednesday in 1988, the chilling horrors of their stadium less than a year away. It was never the safest of places before.
And a 6-1 at Coventry in 1990. The players, unencumbered by the nerves of the title chase, would let rip and thoroughly enjoy themselves. At Newcastle, they initially played as though they’d already enjoyed themselves too much already.
Helps if you’re awake at the start, obviously. Team selection gave clues to everyone’s commitment levels to whatever cause you concoct for a non-event.
It was Gayle of course who hammered nails into Brendan’s title coffin down at Palace, and VAR stuck its snout in before eventually, reluctantly giving it.
The urge to watch something else grew stronger, like the concept of “terrace talk” wasn’t ludicrous enough already. I kept in touch thanks to my shouty neighbour, but it didn’t sound like I was missing much whenever I flicked away. I wondered what he was like when we put four past Barcelona, his head must’ve exploded. He enjoyed our goals, anyway. Not a bad bench, that… So that’s it, then. Enjoy your break, champions, such as it is. It feels like football is now perpetual.