THE time is 5pm on Sunday and LIVERPOOL FC have beaten Swansea 5-0.
Gerrard, Sturridge and Suarez all have their name on the score sheet – as well as debutant Philippe Coutinho.
All is well in the Kingdom of schizophrenia.
Brendan Rodgers can sleep soundly now, knowing the haunting screams in the trail of defeat will not reach him the next few days.
A victory does that to you; it silences the voices – in every sense of the word – and allows you to float on a little cloud of endorphins, embalming your naked and vulnerable skin; sending you to your enclosed, gravity-free room where no harm can ever find you.
That is what it is though: A cloud. An idea. A feeling. As fragile as it is soothing. I guess that is the reason why we fall so easily through it. With good reason as well; the season so far has not exactly given Liverpool fans many occasions to float around among the white, puffy clouds. With every win comes the fear of losing the next game.
However, this should not come as a surprise to us. We knew we were in for a bumpy ride – regardless of manager – and Brendan Rodgers also warned us about it. No constant stream of cognac, cigars and chocolate this season. Lots of cabbage and overcooked pasta, and sometimes thin soup. We knew it. But did we accept it? I’m not sure I did. It’s easy to be the sensible ones during pre-season: Just give us something to hold on to. Something that tells us we are making progress and gives us genuine reasons to believe next season will be better.
Fast forward seven months: Serenity now!
After the games against West Brom and Zenit I imagine many started to doubt. Because I certainly did. “This isn’t going anywhere. He’s not fit to do the job.” The panic sneaks up on you; the annual feeling or realisation that tells you this was most certainly not the year either. Something needs to be done. The lambs are still screaming.
You start looking through various leagues and wonder which big-name manager could be available. These things can keep you up at night, you know. Not good. No serenity. Just you and your thoughts, alone in a dark room, with strange noises outside. Nothing compared to the ones in your head though…
What did we really expect from this season? Trophies? Developing an identity on the pitch? For me it was exclusively the latter. Trophies can never be expected in football – certainly not cup trophies. Too many uncertainties. One mistake and you are out. The only thing you can do is choosing a path you believe in and do your best to reduce the amount of uncertainties to a minimum.
I believe you get what you deserve in the long run. In football, that is. Results are a consequence of what you do on the pitch; do it well enough and you reach your target in the end. This season, LFC have not performed well enough for it to be considered a good season so far. But it’s not terrible either. We still have issues to sort out, but no matter what you think of Brendan Rodgers and the job he has done you cannot deny the fact he is onto something when it comes to developing our attacking game.
Our latest ‘glorious’ defeat against Zenit St Petersburg last night has left me feeling giddy and still, strangely, genuinely optimistic about the future. All in all this season has given me many reasons to believe. I feel we are on the right path, and I sense improvement.
I am a football fan. Today I am fine. Tomorrow I may not be.