I Was There

Posted: January 22, 2010 by mcdonaldtaf in Post Game
Tags: , ,

In the film Bad Boys 2 after Will Smith’s partner, who has shot to injure (and not kill) throughout the film, shoots several people dead he yells at him “that’s how you shoot, from now on you shoot like that”. As I reflected on the mid-week game this morning that scene kept popping back into my head; and my thoughts weren’t aimed at Degen for not pulling the trigger when he should have either. The thoughts being reflected in my mind were aimed at the fans.

In October of last year, when the dramas of this season had only just begun to unfold, I wrote “During the next 12 months we [should] come together in unity behind our great football club. God knows after yesterday’s result we need it!”. Then in December, when things had significantly worsened,  I suggested “As we all know, times at Anfield are challenging and difficult at this moment. It is a time for strength of support to well up around the club. It is in these times of adversity that the ‘kop faithful’ has delivered time and time again.”

There was little response to either of these suggestions. To be fair how could there be? At the time I was getting maybe 600 hits a week on my blog and a good % of them would have been returning visitors. But at Anfield there seems to be a natural way in which things happen. I was naive to think my input was required, not that I will refrain from sticking my nose in again.

It has not been easy, the last few months. Coming off last season expectations were higher than ever. You’d be hard pushed to find a blog or forum where ‘this season was supposed to be it’ isn’t mentioned. It wasn’t to be though. Out of the Champions League, League Cup, F.A. Cup and barring a miracle the Premiership at the mid-way point and it was almost like you could see the liverbird’s head drooping, looking sadly at the ground searching for answers. Let’s not kid ourselves, the last few months the misery has been palpable.

Maybe it was the constant media battering of our manager and club, or, possibly the large number of ‘Rafa loyalists’ who had perched themselves on the fence, ready to fall down on the other side. It could have been the anger generated from forums and blogs I simply don’t know, but the natural order – The Liverpool Way – rose on Wednesday night. The fans lined up to welcome the coach with songs, chants and flags. The atmosphere within the ground was electric from start to finish. The singing and chanting rarely abated and there could be little doubt of one thing – we were together.

The players responded and the cycle of players feeding the fans, feeding the players commenced on several occasions. I don’t think Tottenham’s players, management and fans quite knew what had hit them. I’m pretty sure that Harry Redknapp left the ground wishing he had played us last month. That’s not to say that fans had previously sat there like mutes, but anyone who was there on Wednesday night will know it was special. Anyone who had to give up their ticket due to the re-arrangement of the fixture will be kicking themselves.

At the end of the night I checked the liverbird sat on top of the Shankly gates as I walked past. It’s head was held high, maybe a little higher than usual? There won’t be shockwaves sent through the Premier League but there could well be an extra element of fear for those who visit for the rest of the season. Tottenham, a side rightly touted as a top four challenger, came to Anfield. There was no Torres, Gerrard, Agger or Johnson but there was belief. From belief came the result, from that comes confidence. The thought of getting those four players back into a confident Liverpool side makes me grin from ear to ear.

Anfield before the game

The dramas of this season may not be over yet, and I’m not even getting into the discussion of who should manage, or even own us, next year (most will know my views already). We are not out of the woods but if Wednesday can be replicated for the rest of this season, if we can do ‘our part’ – you know what… we’ll be fine.

There are a lot of positives flowing around at the moment and I hope that come the end of this season I can say ‘I was there’, come the end of next season when we step closer to or win the Premier League ‘I was there’. ‘I was there’ the night we turned the corner and the fans came together and the club started heading back to being in one piece.

That’s how we support, from now on we support like that!

  1. Your best post yet. I listened to this match on liverpoolfc.tv, and David Fairclough said that the atmosphere reminded him of the CL’05 semi final vs Chelsea. As someone who was at the CL’05 semi final vs Chelsea, I can tell you that there are fewer greater compliments. Come on red men!

  2. RobboHuyton says:

    Agree with above, your best piece so far mate. Don’t think it was anywhere near Chelsea 05 to be honest, that’s the loudest it has been in my lifetime, but it was pretty good nevertheless. What I liked is, around the 65th minute there was a bit of frustration at not putting the game to bed, the moans started. But they were drowned out by ‘Fields of Anfield Road’ and rightly so. I often think when everyone gets on the players’ backs it affects their play and the ball becomes a hot potato.

  3. Chris Lawley says:

    Wonderfully written, passion, optimism, belief. Its not just the performance of the players that make me proud to be a Liverpool fan it the performance of the fans.

  4. Ian says:

    Great post, love the feeling. It was Sky for me unfortunately but the whole thing left me with a warm glow.

    I agree with RobboHuyton about Chelsea 05, certainly the loudest in my live games including St Etienne and the oft forgotten UEFA Cup Final 1st Leg against Bruges in 76 when we were quickly 2 – 0 down (and outplayed) and the whole ground was bouncing as we came back to win 3 – 2.

  5. Kunal says:

    Great article.. true supporters get behind their team at the stadium when they really need it.. they don’t call in to Five Live or whatever crap it is! Let’s get behind our team the way Shanks would be proud of!

  6. mcdonaldtaf says:

    Thanks for the comments guys. Let’s just hope that this is ‘the corner’.

    I agree entirely with your comments Robbo. If the fans continue to support and react like they did on Wednesday it will make a huge difference for the rest of the season.


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