Part of me hates these games. They’re so stressful and the feelings that come with this match go way beyond football. Win and I’m over the moon – life just seems so much better. Lose and I have no appetite for football – or anything else for that matter. If we get beat I’ll want to lock myself away from the world with just a beer for company.
Form counts for nothing when Liverpool clash with Manchester United. Either team can be on a bad run and raise their game to produce a win. And so the momentum begins. The week that precedes this fixture is when the nerves start. Listening to pre-match interviews get the adrenalin pumping. By the morning of the game I’ve already worked myself into a frenzy. And I’m not only hungry for football but looking forward to a feast. I guess people would class Liverpool versus Manchester United as football’s equivalent of a feast: a mix of blood and thunder, with generous helpings of guile and class. Well for neutrals this may be true, but for me the emotion that accompanies this fixture often makes it hard to enjoy. Unless of course we win!
In about an hour I’ll be meeting some mates in a pub where we’ll build ourselves up for the match. The beer will be flowing and we’ll become more and more hysteric as we wait for kick off. I won’t be able to stop the pressure or the intensity from growing inside me. And as I look around the pub I’ll see other supporters, perhaps sub-consciously, gearing themselves up for the match. Just like boxers preparing for a fight, we’ll be getting ready to do battle. The pub is our dressing room. And at 12.45 we’ll go head to head with our opponent. Kopites together. The noise and the passion will reach unbelievable levels.
This is the biggest day of our season and our ambition of getting into the Champions League, added to the recent bad feeling caused by the Suarez/Evra situation will just add to the occasion. As I write this, I’m telling myself we can’t afford to lose. As I make my way to the pub I’ll tell myself we won’t lose. And by the time the match actually kicks off I’ll have convinced myself we are going to win. That we are going to stuff the Mancs. Because we are Liverpool and that is what we do. I hope I’m right!