Date: 19th August 2013 at 6:01pm
Written by:

penalty saveME: Doctor Doctor, Since 3 o’clock on Saturday I have felt quite buoyant and positive!

Dr: That’s the Premier League and 3 points for you!

Me: I like this, repeat prescription please!

Dr: I can’t promise anything, but recommend you stay away from the transfer window!

It’s amazing how 90 minutes (plus injury time) can have such an impact on your mood, and I was a Mignolet away from spending my Saturday locked in the toilet crying into my Andrex Quilts (only the best for my behind you know).

I am fully aware that this is incredibly sad behaviour, but comforted somewhat that I am not alone in these actions.

It is with this in mind that has got me thinking about this phenomenon that seems to plague Liverpool FC. From the man that brought you ‘Kopitis’ and ‘Goldfish Syndrome’ I proudly present ‘Butforitis’!


I’m hearing one or two asking whether I have lost my mind, and the answer is quite probably! Yet how often in recent years has the club suffered from this awful affliction? Let’s look at some potential symptoms as well as stated cases:

Symptoms include: a keeper pulling a worldie, a parked bus, 50p head and feet for our attackers, questionable officiating and a rival doing something completely out of character.

Recent examples of this include the performance of Alex McCarthey for Reading last season, anti-finishing masterclasses shown at Stoke and West Brom in recent years, most matches against Wigan, the Steven Gerrard disallowed goal against Stoke the year we came second, Luis Suarez against Everton at Goodison last season, and that infamous Macheda moment.

Ask yourselves, how many times have you read a match report, watched a game or chatted with mates and said ‘Liverpool were looking good and would have won BUT FOR…’

Personally speaking, too many times to mention, and following a bizarrely timed audition for the Nut Cracker (which I’m sure Rodgers would have been happy to provide for him) we were almost saying it again.

I often talk about my team with red-tinted glasses on, but I think it is fair to say we played pretty well against tough and stubborn opposition and deserved the victory.

We pressed, we passed, we attacked, we created but time after time we were thwarted. Like McCarthey, Guzan, Sorenson and more before him, Begovic was quite outstanding at Anfield, limiting and frustrating and keeping it close.

Regardless of how well or how dominant you can be as a side, a 1-0 scoreline keeps things twitchy and as the match draws to a conclusion nerves flow through the support to the bench to the pitch and mistakes occur, poor decisions are made and, like a Mogwai fed after midnight, bad things happen.

Only Agger will know why he chose that moment to try and touch his toes, and in a flash, the preceding good work, effort, and rifled goal, positivity was clearing house quicker than a Spice Girls song at a Motorhead gig (although that could be quite amusing).

As I watched on in utter silence and disbelief, it was as if I had fallen into a Delorean and been whisked back to any number of games last season, I could feel deflation, it was almost like my very own Kryptonite. Yet despite early nerves our Belgian star pulled off a double save to rival anything his Bosnian rival did.

I do not think there is any actual cure to rid ourselves of this syndrome permanently but do not underestimate what happened at Anfield on Saturday as what we saw as Walters and then Jones fluffed their lines is more than simply 3 points.

Confidence is a fragile beast at the best of times and something that can take weeks to build yet seconds to destroy. After the very positive display we put in, with the sheer joyous fluidity shown by Sturridge, Coutinho and Aspas, the 11 foot leap by Toure to beat Crouch and more, to get sucker punched to just a point following a moment of madness would have been unreservedly demoralising.

Instead, Mignolet scored us much more than 2 points with his touch of magic. You could see the importance of the saves in the reaction of his team-mates.

There are many aspects of Liverpool that FSG are to be held accountable for and many others that Brendan Rodgers himself is to be held accountable for but individual moments of brilliance or stupidity fall outside of this, but what is key in all this is Rodgers must take this moment of magic and use it to drive us forward.

Use this to show the tide has turned, lady luck is shining on us, whatever the first critical moment of the season so far, even though it is in its infancy, fell Liverpool side up.

I hope you enjoyed your trip to the doctor’s office!

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