Terrace Talk: The return of the old national antagonism

What can a miserable old duffer do when there’s nothing to complain about?

Prophesize doom, of course. The bad thing may be temporarily averted but only so greater pain can be afflicted further down the line. It’s a curious, sterile existence.

As the Reds get closer to what would be an amazing achievement, the old national antagonism is rising rapidly.

Everyone’s snotty on social media anyway, you take that as a given, but there’s just something about Liverpool doing well that gets on everyone’s tits. Good, then.

I’ve heard the song about Steven Gerrard’s fall so much in the last four years I’ve sworn that if we won anything of significance ever again, I’d be completely insufferable about it.

I don’t get why City sing it. You win the league you celebrate your own achievement surely? Not revel in someone else blowing it and virtually handing it to you. Would we be the same if the situation was reversed? Doubtful.

Not that we’re any nicer to them, in other respects. I can’t be with City after several decades of them being football’s court jester.

Compare it to when Lenny Henry was doing Othello. I’m just not having it. He was very good apparently, but I couldn’t treat it seriously.

They reverted to Comedy City after the 5-1. “If everything that didn’t go our way had gone our way, we’d have won.” Who are you, Everton?

That’s the kind of appalling pap Mark Hughes has made a managerial ‘career’ out of.

Even Guardiola was at it.

The obvious shove on van Dijk before their only goal of the whole tie was shrugged off as nothing. Everyone else wanted the drama, y’see.

We’d ridden our luck in every round during 2005, so nail-biting comes naturally. Salah’s goal was a moment that’ll be celebrated for years, Garcia-esque.

Some Twitterbod managed to get film of it from nine different angles. I could watch them all day, each one ending with Mo’s tranquillity, as if looking down imperiously on his subjects.

“Are you not entertained?” It was all over after that and everyone knew it, shades of Coutinho’s goal at Old Trafford two years ago.

A clean sheet at home works wonders.

Later on there was much gloating about Barcelona’s humiliating exit, with Coutinho hopefully playing the role of 2005 Michael Owen. There wasn’t so much smirking when we got the same draw with Roma, away leg second.

Numerous loons inferred the draw was fixed and known to clubs beforehand. The fact Roma probably wanted us as well was far too complicated for Liverpool-haters to process.

I’d have been happy enough with Bayern. There’s something about teams that are strolling/have strolled to their domestic title that seems to hinder them in the Champions League. The others seem far hungrier.

Roma are more like we were before Istanbul; win it or don’t bother coming back next year. It’s a powerful impetus.

As good as the ride’s been Klopp was anxious to emphasise how we need to do this every year, that the Bournemouth game was every bit as important.

Yeah, yeah, heard it all before, settle back and let the snooze begin.

But not even a hint of complacency; the players got well into it, scored early and kept right in the opposition’s faces before finally Salah took one of his numerous chances — predictably, the hardest one.

Efficiency, is it now? What’s going on? After all my moaning about Alexander-Arnold’s defending, he was sensational against City in both games and again on Saturday. Humble pie duly gorged.

There’s always a cautionary voice whispering away, though. This season was all about consolidation and progression but now it might have a glorious conclusion.

The jitters have returned like ‘Shakespeare’s sorrows’; not as single spies but in battalions. Wouldn’t have it any other way.


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