Terrace Talk: Drink up Liverpool, because these really are the best of times

The loss of Salah at Wembley didn't seem nearly as heavy a blow as in Kiev four years ago. This team have more depth and more will
Terrace Talk: Drink up Liverpool, because these really are the best of times

No keeping a lid on it: Liverpool's Luis Diaz celebrates with the trophy lid on his head after winning the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, London. Pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

I can’t take any more of this. Tickets should come with free defibrillators.

After 90 minutes where the lack of goals defied the laws of averages, physics and belief, we of little faith feared the worst. ‘We’ really ought to know better by now. I deserve the worst, but thankfully Klopp pays no mind.

A month ago, I’d have taken two trophies gladly without fear of the usual bitter mockery of others. Now? I want them all and with this team, even the most extraordinary of odds can be reversed.

A win at Villa meant the death of our title hopes would be a slow, lingering one. Never simple, is it? A fourth title in five years still isn’t enough for Guardiola, it seems. Why the hell is he bringing up the 1970’s, especially when he doesn’t know anything about them?

If he was Liverpool manager, there’d be nationwide chants about him cracking up by now, which made his claim about everyone supporting us even more foolish.

Is it the guilt talking, does he know respect for City can never be 100%? Shouldn’t he have gotten used to that at Bayern? Tuchel’s been trying it on, too, which seemed slyer and opportunistic.

Whoever invented the concept of mind games should be shot. It feels like everyone’s ganging up on the one man trying to stop everything becoming a one-horse race.

Plenty of people support the Reds, I wouldn’t have this column otherwise, but plenty hate us too. Your enemy’s enemy etc. Our current quality is the only reason City aren’t getting called out 24/7. You only have to go on social media and check every preposterous conspiracy theory about us to realise this.

Yeah, yeah, always the victim. There’s nowhere to turn, is there, except to blot everything out.

Salah got his player of the year award, something always given prematurely. He’s not been remotely the same since Afcon or the witless contract speculation, and while City’s main man stormed into the home stretch, ours has wilted alarmingly. Not exactly Devon Loch, but close.

What we’ve done during his peripherality is remarkable, a testament to Klopp’s squad-build and man-management. Sadio has always been the most overlooked of the three, no cutesy “Bobby” crap or lyrical coronation for him. He just gets on with it. Well, usually… So Liverpool were at Wembley, with a Quadruple technically alive but practically on life support. Chelsea’s cup record is daunting, it’s an annual trip for them. Worriers don’t need reasons, but suddenly there were a multitude of them.

In the early minutes, it should‘ve been all over. If there are any complaints (and seriously, who but me would have the nerve?) we can’t finish teams off. Even a 3-0 against City couldn’t be taken for granted.

Losing Salah didn’t feel as much of a game changer as it obviously was in Kiev four years ago, but it’s not ideal, is it? Certainly not when you insist on leaving Jota on the flanks. Even then he contrived to miss an absolute sitter.

Diaz really has been fantastic, who deserved a winning goal more than him? As extra time loomed, it began to look like the whole season was about to capsize. What, if anything, would these magnificent players have left?

Ice-cool nerve, for one, apart from Mane who’s got so much credit in the bank we’ll forget the heart-stopping penalty. Tsimikas became the hero, but there’s been others in this run. Don’t forget Gordon, Elliott or Minamino.

We’ll worry about the injuries later. When Houllier won three cups, it was all about nerve, luck, attrition. It’s been like that for Klopp too, although this is clearly a better collection of players, the best we’ve ever had most likely.

As Jordan lifted the cup, I suddenly realised a special truth. The season isn’t even over yet. Drink plenty, you’re going to need it.

These are the best of times. Cherish them.

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