I work for a living in Manchester. You know when you realise Liverpool have someone very, very special is when United fans don’t talk about themselves, or us, or our rivalry, they talk about one person. Let me tell you they talk about Mo Salah. They talk about how much he wants to leave. How he has his sights set on a better club. This is all I hear recently from them when getting a coffee from the kitchen. I’ll be cornered by two or three of them “He’s off him”, “Madrid are after him”, “£200 million, he’ll be gone”, “If PSG want him they’ll get him, proved it with Neymar didn’t they” they nod along in furious agreement. He’s got them worried Reds. I’d argue we’ve got them worried Reds
I know they’re second at the minute, I know they beat us 2-1 earlier this month, but I promise you every united would swap our position for theirs. They’d swap their trajectory for ours. They wish they had our manager. They wish they had our Egyptian king. They wish they were still in the Champions League. They wish they played football like us.
Again, I know we lost that game but we are the club on the up and the fans know it. The 3000 fans at Old Trafford on 10th March were a credit to this club. They sang our songs for what seemed like hours before the game and long after that final whistle in a show of defiance and solidarity behind the players and the manager. We are loyal supporters and we come from Liverpool. We were letting them know that we are behind them 100%. We may have lost this game but we’re with you all the way.
This was not lost on our manager. I couldn’t wait to read his notes in the programme when I got to Anfield for the Watford game. I knew what the basic message was going to be before I’d started reading. But what I did read made me fear for Watford. “We heard them before the game, we heard them during the game and, most importantly of all, we heard them after the game when we needed them the most. To hear them singing so loudly after the game had been lost gave me one of the strongest feelings I have had since I came here as manager. As well as pride at representing people who support Liverpool in this way, I also felt a strong responsibility to bring them the success they deserve.” After reading that I thought, wow Watford are in for a tough afternoon here. So it proved with Mo Salah scoring four in a 5-0 win.
Mo Salah is that good now he’s making defenders do stupid things. Stupid amateurish things. This is because they are petrified of him and have no way of knowing how to stop him. I can’t remember seeing a defender clamp his legs together and just fall over backwards in an attempt to stop an attacking player apart from Boateng vs Messi, and he looked a total fool doing it. But, this was the only option available to Miquel Britos as he attempted to stop Salah’s 33rd goal of the season in the fourth minute of the game. It didn’t work out well for Britos either.
Mo wasn’t finished there though was he? How many is he going to score this year, he could actually break Ian Rush’s record for the most goals in a season by a Liverpool player (47) in his first year! He’s doing things I’ve never seen before. Take his hat trick goal. I was sat in the main stand, row 9 Anny Road end for the Watford game and nobody knew how he scored that around us. Nobody. He looked to have been fouled was on the floor the ref taking an eternity to make the decision to award the pen, then Mo’s running off giving it the big on in front of the kop. We all cheered, laughed, rubbed our heads and started asking “what’s he done there? How’s he scored that?” He’s the real magician, not that lad who left for the Barca sunbeds!
To be honest we didn’t get out of second gear against Watford. We won 5-0 and didn’t leave second gear. What a team. What a set of lads we’ve got here. That for me is a big change this year. We are beating the lesser teams. Every year I can remember Liverpool have struggled with the lesser teams at home. West Brom was our last slip up on 13th December. There’s been a lot of football since then.
This leads me onto Crystal Palace away. Not an easy game for the Reds as history will attest. We owe Palace. We owe them still for the sheer joy they took from that 2013/14 game. We owe them for that semi-final in 1990. But most of all we owe them one for enabling that man Hodgson to
showcase his 4-4-2, table Hodgeball to a worldwide audience who watch the premier league on a weekly basis. He’s a tactical dinosaur who Klopps men should rip through and destroy. Please don’t let me down lads. Please. Imagine Saturday afternoon, basking in the Easter sunshine after a few beers and the Reds have battered Palace, sent us to second in the league and sent Hodgson off to ponder what he is doing still darkening the door of the football elite. Bliss.
As mentioned above, if we win that on Saturday, we move to second in the league and then we have the biggest of games to look forward to. Manchester City in the quarter finals of the Champions League the Wednesday after. Four games from the final in Kiev. These are exciting times for the Reds and us. We should react in that way. This could be one of those nights that are spoken about forever in our history. Inter Milan in 1965, St Etienne in 1977, Olympiakos, Juventus, Chelsea from 2005. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that? All of us, or as many who can physically get there need to get to the ground early. Even if you haven’t got a ticket for the greatest show on earth. Get down there. Take beers. Bring your mates. Have a laugh. Sing. Be merry. Create an atmosphere.
Anfield and Liverpool exist for these occasions. Don’t miss out. If we can give the players one percent more and City’s one percent less that could be the difference and even if we can’t it’ll be the same level playing field it already is. Liverpool have beaten this team already this year. We can do it again. Let’s pray these players stay fit and healthy and when the time comes let’s help them get this first leg advantage.
Come on Liverpool, Make Us Dream