I CAN take the despair, it’s the hope I can’t stand. If I had a euro for each time I’ve heard John Cleese’s ‘Clockwise’ quip, I’d have €4.50 by now.
Not about U****d’s n*nt**nth, oh no. As soon as Webb’s glistening cranium dazzled the Chelsea defence into submission, everyone in this neck of the woods knew all optimism was a hideous hoax.
I’m talking about the wretched form of City and Spurs and now a fresh batch of fantasy was being dangled in front of our salivating hordes.
We no sooner formulate a strategy of calculated detachment — always gonna happen, monkey off our backs, closure at last, wait till next year, blah blah — than the chance of a Champions League spot emerged from absolutely nowhere.
It is a bit rich claiming we can now get on with the future and forget the burden of our past when we’re about to reappoint the man who won our 18th title and put us out in front in the first place.
That said, we do feel good about ourselves again. After a few weeks of Kenny we were praying not to be dragged into the relegation skirmish.
Win a few and we were hoping for top six. Win a few more, allied to the stumbles of the Champions League “certainties”, and Dalglish begins to look like Midas with a four-leaf clover.
It has at least given us the air of calm expectation, so much so that the late non-show of the certs threatened to drag us into a rat race we were not fully prepared for yet.
I’ve been distracting myself with the superb book on the Hicks/Gillett era, An Epic Swindle by journalist Brian Reade.
A devoted Red, it’s a fan’s eye view of the whole sorry mess. Good as it is, there’s certainly potential for another take on those four years, perhaps from a clinical neutral perspective devoid of a supporter’s susceptibilities.
I find it curious that we now talk about the club becoming more efficient because when Dubai arrived on the scene in late 2006, too many Liverpool fans abandoned that stance and began to make computer-game wishlists of world stars heading straight for John Lennon Airport.
The reality, as we know now, which Brian transcribes so vividly, turned out to be very different indeed.
So now it transpires that all we ever truly wanted (no, honestly) was for Moores and Parry to disappear and put people in their place who knew what they were doing.
The scars remain and it’s hard not to be bitter. A simple comparison of the power switch of Murray at Rangers with that of Moores here is enough to curdle the blood and fluster the face.
And so to Craven Cottage. Fulham’s placid riverside locale and its delightfully bonkers owner is one of the season’s few pleasures. Hopefully our new chairman will make us all so happy one day that he can act as he pleases and erect wonderfully inappropriate statues. Still, if it keeps the kids quiet.
It’s two years since Benayoun’s late goal convinced us we would be reaching number 19 first. We’ve walked through more than a storm since, but if anything this was an even better day.
There isn’t a player in red that hasn’t grown in confidence since the turn of the year.
Spearing and Lucas were magnificent, again. It makes you wonder if they can be bettered by anyone else in this squad, and I mean “anyone”. How long before the unmentionable is mentioned? Suarez? Well, you know the drill by now and Johnson was also brilliant. Maxi was exceptional.
I don’t care about City, Spurs and our stupid last-gasp dreams now, do you really think we care? I wouldn’t swap what we’ve got going now for anything anybody else has.
Well, almost anybody.
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