Monday, 28 April 2014

Keep calm and carry on

It’s an old, WWII, motivational saying and one, which, has become more famous and has been much-adapted in recent years. But the original message is the most appropriate in our case; keep our heads and we CAN regain our Premier League title.


Bag of nerves!

I watched, alone, every single second of the Liverpool v Chelsea game and rarely have I been more nervous. The last time my footballing emotions were anything like that was THAT Q.R.P. game at the end of the 2011/2012 season.
My wife was visiting her mum and was due back to watch the Palace game with me and upon her return, I didn’t hide the fact about how ‘on edge’ I’d been during her absence. I was 100% honest when I told her that I was glad I’d watched the game alone; I was no fun to be with for 100+ minutes [half time interval included].
Ironically, once Chelsea had done, as I suspected they might, their smash ‘n’ grab at Anfield I was slightly less nervous watching our boys at Selhurst Park. Before that, texts were flying to & from about frayed nerves and one mate, and dedicated Blue, asked me to text him the final Anfield scoreline, as he had to leave the pub [to make his way to Selhurst Park].
I was more than delighted to be able to text, “Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea!”
Other travelling Blues were treated to a live screening of the match from inside the ground itself and that sparked the mood from our corner-side of the stadium. And it wasn’t long before Edin Dzeko continued the party tempo.
I expected Palace to hit back – especially with their amazing, coordinated home support – but it just didn’t happen. Yayaknee strapped-up an’ all – was immense and, as I suspected, was put on to ‘do a job’ before being withdrawn as a precaution. What a monster of a midfielder he is!
What a shift the whole team put in – With Yaya peaking at a 9/10 the rest were 7s & 8s. Demichelis continues to look a COMPLETELY different player from a couple of months ago; Zabaleta continues to baffle the scientists [after an almost ever-present season] with another colossal display. No sign from our Captain of a sore knee any longer – alongside Martin Vinny was superb!
Even Kolarov produced a couple of moves / shimmies that I wasn’t aware he was capable of and, in general, gave a solid 7/10 performance too. I recently, through my Blog, berated Garcia after the Sunderland game; stating that I’d be disgusted if he ever pulled on a City shirt again. I applaud his 7/10 performance against W.B.A. and his 8/10 against Palace yesterday. Some consistency please lads…
Nasri put in a fine shift to his credit and I just love the energy and guile that Milner brings to the party! Aguero looked sharp and was a constant threat and although he (STILL!) lets himself down with horribly bad touches at times; Dzeko’s work rate and link-up play was excellent yesterday – and, of course, there he was again with another vital goal in another vital game. Isn’t that 22 for the season now? Huh…

Two ways of looking at it…

Getting back to the “Keeping calm…” theme; on the one hand I have to applaud the Liverpool fans for their incredible support against Chelsea yesterday – especially from the Spion Kop end of course. Apart from OLD footage of the same-said-stand; I don’t think I’ve seen so many banners and flags in a British, club-football ground!
Amazing support…but not without a touch of arrogance. There’s an ‘air’ about them that just screams, “We HAVE won the league!” as opposed to we’re gonna win the league. Fine line between confidence and arrogance? Yeah…and I personally think that they’ve crossed it.
My afore-mentioned, die-hard Blue was at Anfield for our recent visit and he told me the same thing; outside, he said, you’d have thought they’d already ‘done it’! What was the point in us turning up, he added…
Quinny - Why so anti-City?
It’s also been mentioned in other forums, in places of work and ‘down the pub’ recently; our cause doesn’t appear to be helped by the constant TV & Radio barrage of ex-Liverpool players and Manchester City ‘bashers’. Even the [only] 2 ex-City players who seem to be given a voice these days never have anything positive to say about us. You’ve got bitter and eccentric-sounding Rodney Marsh having a pop at Yaya and anything else in sky blue that moves and the incredulous Bile Quinn! What DID we do to upset him?!
Other than that you’ve got Mark Lawrenson & Alan Hanson on the BBC, Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports and did you see Graeme Souness on the same channel after our game yesterday? For someone who is usually quite level-headed and, to his credit, often quite complimentary about City; what an utterly bitter man he was after Liverpool’s defeat and our victory yesterday!
Not content with having another ex-Liverpool man in the studio; on his 'day off' Sky even focused on bloody Jamie Carragher and his family in the flippin’ stand during yesterday’s defeat of his beloved team.
Then you’ve got the troop of ex-Manyoo players sprinkled in for not-so good measure; often including Peter Schmeichel (ex-Blue too of course but you’d hardly know it), Dwight Yorke, (more recently a shell-shocked-looking Paul Scholes) and, of course, Sky Sports’ darling, Gary Neville. In fairness to Gary; he’s about the-more neutral and common-sense-sounding of the lot…
I’m sure there are more [ex-Liverpool & Manyoo pundits] but you get the picture – pro-Liverpool or City bashing rammed down your throat at every turn!
No wonder I’ve recently learnt (thanks to the idea by my wife) how to delay our digital radio long enough for it to coordinate with the TV pictures with the sound turned down. A dose of Fred Eyre and Ian Cheeseman is just the antidote required at times…
So taking a leaf out of Yaya, Vinny and Manuel’s book of coolness, let the rest get hot-headed and bitter; as long as we plough 100% effort into the last three games we’ll cross the line first.

Toffee-delicious irony – let’s throw a few Parma Violets in there…

Well, I had to think of one of the most disgusting (to me) sweets I could imagine. The little purple horrors were (and still are I’m sure) like chewing potpourri!
But the quirk of fate that leads us to Liverpool’s, Champions League-chasing neighbours is not delicious in the slightest. Goodison Park is rarely a good hunting ground for us and although a certain ex-red manager used to hold a curse over us for the most part; a far more dangerous manager and Everton side awaits us next.
They are vulnerable – just ask Crystal Palace and Southampton. And, of course, they’ll be without their inspirational loanee; a certain Gareth Barry [who will be ineligible to play against us, he parent club]. But although they’ve won 2 and lost 2 of their last 4 games; 8 wins from 10 is pretty decent to say the least.
However, I will add this. Including Arsenal – who often fade to some degree at this time of the season – those 8 wins haven’t been against necessarily in-form and / or decent sides. Have a look for yourself.
Dare I suggest that Silva might even make a Yaya-like, 60-minute appearance next Saturday evening? As long as we’re not risking him too much that would be wonderful! And so I repeat…another 6-day’s rest and 100% effort and we CAN come away from Merseyside with 3, oh-so-very-vital points.
Do that and then it’s only home games against Aston Villa and West Ham United that stand in our way. Ooops…sorry; was that a little arrogant?

No comments:

Post a Comment