What we have witnessed this season, now onto 2014-15. Liverpool FC 2 - Toons 1

Posted by Harindergeist on May 13, 2014, 12:30:51 PM

There is always something I pin my hopes on. A sign, an observation, a pipedream or two. Yesterday we had rainbows in the South, a biker group called God's Squad on the M40 and Cafu coming to see his Scouse version. Not to mention 40 odd thousand fans ready and waiting. For all the cynics we have in our collective I doubt any of them didn't have half a hope that Big Fat Sam may produce a miracle at the Etihad Stadium

My journeys are very often alone. It's not because I'm a loner, far from it. Just because no-one lives near me really and I've kind of got used to it. It's usually me, the car and a podcast or two. I'm sure this will change though next season and RAWK has a lot to do with that. This inevitably is bad news for the missus though as it only means I'll be even more up for the visits to Anfield and beyond.

With that I think it's only fitting to thank Mrs Kaur for her understanding. A footballing fans widow of sorts from August to May every year. Each weekend dictated by where I'll be and whether I will make that function or party. I'll give up Anfield for a worthy cause or to take care of those closest to me. If it's some no mark who's got a pretentious get together then you'll find me coming off junction 21a of the M6 before you see me anywhere near them.

Thank you Mrs Kaur. For just letting me be me every time I go to the match. Just don't hold it against me when I start taking the little one too  :)

Talking of journeys my one had a twist. A very Scandinavian one at that! Hedging my bets I'd already planned to stay the night in Liverpool. Win, lose or draw I was going to stay and be around the city that has produced a club that has global support. I already agreed way back towards the end of February that I'd help Aristotleish for Newcastle. When one is coming all the way from Iceland early planning certainly helps. Nobody had any idea what the run was going to turn into then so he'd certainly picked a great match to come for respective to the build up to it since then. He just wasn't the twist though here... Norway was  :)

I'd parked in town at The Central and flagged a cab. Cabbie said he'd be happy to take me on my own but would rather get as many to the ground in one journey. Cue 3 complete strangers holding a lot of hot coffee also looking to go to the ground. Oh, and a random gentleman from Chester. 5 in the cab and off we go.

"So where is everybody from?" I ask

"Norway" say the 3 from err Norway

"Chester" said the other man.

"I'm meeting another Scandinavian called Anton from Iceland, do you know him? he's on Red and White Kop!"

"No but meet this lady, she runs the biggest LFC blog in Norway..."

"I've written a couple of books too" she said.

My ears pricked up a little more at this point. I know of a lady. From Norway. She's written a certain book but it can't be her. Five or so minutes pass and I've just got to know

"Hi, sorry. You said you've written a couple of books..."

"Yes, Liverpool FC - Heroes"

"I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!! You wrote about David Fairclough. You were on the Anfield Wrap too a few times!!!"

Welcome to Liverpool Ragnhild Lund Ansnes!!! Well I was very very excited now. The last time I shared a cab to Anfield with totally random strangers was back in 2012 for the 2nd leg of the Carling Cup Semi Final.

The other Scandinavian meet and greet was Aristotleish aka Anton. I kept it simple with him. If we win and/or win the league keep the cards. I’ll get new ones. If we lose well I’ll see you back here outside block H. I’d have no issues in replacing cards as we’d be just way too busy celebrating.

Once in I went straight up and joined my family. When I first got my season ticket in 2011 there were 3 of us together so this was like a bit of a reunion across generations. An amazing uncle who’s seen us win everything, his son who’s seen it all but the league, my brother in law and myself who’ve been knocking around for a long time now. I love this about my family. Most are red, a couple on the wrong side of East Lancs Road too but they are nice guys, and all love going to the game (well the LFC fans do). If I could I would get everyone I know to the matches home and away. In 2011 my mission was to get to as many matches as possible. With a Carling Cup win and FA cup final visit the run meant a staggering amount of games for a person who got to under 10 in a year. In some years lucky to even get to one. Even with all that has happened in life and work I can’t stop myself from continuing that mission. I guess like all the other out of towners who come up and travel all over I’m addicted. Committed and addicted… a beautifully dangerous combination!

Stoke is my final frontier by the way. I can’t stand Stoke. I bypass it. One day that may change for the away. Maybe when Stoke has human inhabitants :D

Back to this match. Seeing a line up without Loic Remy and Hatem Ben Arfa boded well. Seeing a line up at the Etihad with a bench like that made me pray harder for that miracle.

First half

Well it couldn’t be any more stranger if you tried. They were having some scarily good moments on the counter with Gouffran powering through a few times and we were breaking as much play down via Glen Johnson as possible. This season, like so many, I get to see him on that wing. I get so see the movement and swiftness at times of things that it makes your mind boggle.

Nothing makes my mind boggle as much as Glen Johnson though. In stop/start mode like those new fangled ECO engines he just never seemed to switch it off so that the engine just kept running.

The deflected goal was a kick in the teeth. We hadn’t been commanding and I don’t think they’d done anything special to warrant a lead but they got one courtesy of a Martin Skrtel deflection. Cruelly that side of the net crisply sounded for Newcastle to be in the lead. Fate would have it that the very same side of the net would be making that sound twice more. I should add we did score via Suarez and a free kick prior but Dowd said no.

When I heard the Geordies sing about the Man City scoreline that little pipedream became a bigger one. One that we could only hope a galloping and marauding Andy Carroll could turn into a reality.

Oh – I know the above isn’t in any chronological order as such. It’s how my mind was though. Timing has been an interesting factor this season as a whole. The timing of an 11 game run. The timing of crucial goals meaning 3 points instead of 1.

The timing of Sturridge missing :-( Fantastic cross from Henderson. Wide by Sturridge. I just didn’t want today to be one of those days and it coming on the last day of the season against Newcastle United who have been on a road to nowhere since January.

First half musings

• Why Glen, why?
• Paging Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan to the Man City aisle
• Paging Glen to the “I love you, you play for Liverpool, sort it out, cheers in advance” aisle
• We’re coming 2nd. I don’t want to believe it. I’ve got the second half to get used to it
• Just what will I do at the weekends until mid-August?

Second half

Cissokho for Flanagan. I didn’t see that coming. Man City now 2-0 up. That one I kind of did.

Another 10 to 15 minutes of us pushing and progressing but without that final bit of quality. I know we’ve been going all season and really didn’t think the tank would be empty today. Maybe we just need to be reinvigorated. Cue Coutinho for Allen.

Finally we scored. It was a fantastic free kick by Gerrard and the way Agger met it was just as brilliant. All I saw was this huge leg come up and put into the net and then him crash into the kop electronic boardings. His muted celebration somewhat expected… I wouldn’t be jumping up and down after that bang with the board :D

1-1.    We definitely finish ahead of the bus wankers.

And then we did it again. Same kind of free kick. Same kind of placement. Different scorer! Thanking you Daniel Sturridge!!! 2-1 to Liverpool and an early shower for Shola Ameobi. Don’t know what happened but all happened within a minute of us scoring the second. We’d also rediscovered our voices. We’d been so charged up for this match that even before we kicked off the chorus of “Liverpool, Liverpool” shook everyone.

That’s 2-1 and we carried on waiting for Fat Sam’s cavalry to come charging through with 3 goals at the Etihad. Anything was possible.

The 2 goals really did seem to charge us up for a grand finale. We played better and with more purpose after this and could have had a few more but it wasn’t to be. We played out the last 10 minutes happily keeping the ball and even when Newcastle went down to 9 men we seemed content. The blur from that to the final whistle and then the players coming back out seemed to be the time when I further got used to second.

There is nothing I ever read into reactions during that parade. Having seen it a few times now every action can be polarised into something. The one that cannot be mistaken though is Brendan Rodgers thumping his heart. What was once seen as an appointment that could have gone so wrong is now seen as brilliance. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Over a season there has been many what if’s and if only’s. One thing won’t change though and will only get better next season and the fact will remain…

…we are poetry in motion :)

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