At an old temple in the depths of Takano ...

Posted by a partridge in seat_5c on September 1, 2006, 10:58:16 PM

At an old temple in the depths of Takano,
In the province of Ki,
I spend the night listening
To raindrops through the cedars

[by "ryokan"]

now I know what you're thinking, what the blue blazes has this got to do with LFC, it's Friday night, Partridge has been on the pop again...well I haven't, at least not since lunchtime...I am merely sitting here with a cup of tea, and enjoying it, in the same way as our friend the monk was enjoying listening to the raindrops through the cedars...yes, this post is about enjoying the present...

over the last few days I've seen various threads and posts questioning the state of the squad, winkling out the scapegoats for the next few months, picking apart the games of great players suffice to make them sound like problems to be solved, questioning the decisions of a manager who is clearly one of the very best in the global game, looking forward not to the Derby but beyond to Chelsea and beyond that to the next transfer window where all the usual hopes will be raised and satiated and dashed all over again...

were these posters to spend the night in the old temple in the depths of Takano I suspect they would not be listening to the raindrops through the cedars...they would be horrified at the state of the temple, and would be demanding that the Temple Board do something about it...the neighbouring province have a spanking new temple and so should the good people of Ki...and if the Temple Board weren't going to do something about it then they should look to outside investment...

templeorarily relaxed at the thought of the prospect, they may be able to hear the rain through the cedars...well that's not on is it...cedars are all well and good but other provinces have got better arboles, and if we want to progress then we should really be looking to bring in some of those fancy cherry trees with all that pretty blossom in the spring...

well never mind all that now...lets try to appreciate the sound of the raindrops through the cedars eh ?

as I wrote elsewhere and I reckon its worth repeating, we have the strongest, most well-balanced squad I can ever remember at the club, at least as strong and well-balanced as our major rivals if not more so...yes we may have had stronger first elevens, but never this strength in depth...our oft-criticised Board have provided the funds for this squad of players, I suspect breaking their budget for Kuyt judging by Rafa's public gratitude for their backing...barring a catastrophic injury crisis, we have good enough players in terms of their footballing abilities AND we have enough of them...

good enough for what ? you know what...we're all thinking about it aren't we...

there are imponderables of course...many of these players have proven they can do it on the biggest stage in a one-off game...but can they do it over the course of a season ?

have they got the team spirit and mental toughness over 9 long months of football ? do they BELIEVE they can win it ? will they turn this belief into results ? have they got the collective nerve to either lead from the front and hold it or come from behind to snatch it in May ?

it's not about whether our so-and-so got 76% for  passing last season but someone else's so-and-so got 81% so we should get him...it's about pressure now...doing it game-in game-out...taking each game as it comes...

and so it is for the fans...this could be a huge season to be a Liverpool fan...to go to the game every week, home and away, or just home, or just at home watching on telly...can YOU handle it ?

our club possesses some of the finest players in World football never mind English football...are YOU capable of enjoying watching them play for us week-in week-out, showing us all their impressive array of destructive and creative talents, without worrying about the Chelsea game 3 months away, or if so-and-so was out of position for 3 milliseconds, or why those proverbial blue blazes again the manager has played HIM of all people ?

are YOU capable of enjoying all this talent, watching some of the quality football being served up for you, while at the same time knowing that every dropped point could be crucial later on, knowing that the assertion that every game is a must win game is to all 'in tents and porpoises' true ?

are YOU capable of enjoying the ride, even the bits that require a mental note to buy some fresh underwear when West Ham take the lead at Anfield with an intentional rocket shot from Bobby thinks we're all daft Zamora, before we storm back to score 2 before surviving a tricky moment or two ?

1990 seems a long time ago now because it is...thinking it unlikely that whoever it was would win 626-0 at Anfield in the last game of the season, I, like everyone around me, celebrated that title at Highbury in a midweek draw against the thus dethroned Champions...it was extra special 12 months on from the Michael Thomas Disaster...Alan Bleasdale (well-known Liverpool playwright and Red) was up on some balcony sticking out of an executive box high above the Reds in the Clock End...we made clenched fist gestures to each other, or I like to think so...it capped a decade of regular matchgoing for me during which I expected to win the league every season, and on reflection I almost certainly didn't fully appreciate the magnificence of what I was watching year-in year-out...how could I ? it was virtually all I had ever known...I thought it was the rules...how could I know that after 1990 it was all about to stop ?

now we're back in the old temple in the depths of Takano, in the province of Ki, it's night and the raindrops are falling through the cedars...it will be a long night, and it may or may not bring sunshine in the morning, but this time I'll try to enjoy listening anyway...I hope you will join me...

© a partridge in seat_5c 2006

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