They say a week is a long time in football, but for a football fan it’s even longer.
As we’re not at training every day to witness who’s on form or who’s in the treatment room we need to hold on to scraps of information fed to us by the media. When match day comes around the waiting gets unleashed by a sense of passion and desire that, possibly ashamed to admit, doesn’t exist in any other aspect of your life.
At the moment the seven days in between Liverpool games are becoming unbearable.
In September/October you could fill the week up by re-watching the highlights, watching the pundits discuss matters, listening to the sports shows on the radio and before you know it it’s Friday and you’re getting your lucky boxers out of the wash ready for the game. Well, maybe that last bit is just me.
Now, however, the week is filled with constant theories of how the forthcoming game will pan out, mentally picturing the possible line up as well as going through every tried and trusted good luck charm in the book. I’ve lost track of the number of times I ‘touch wood’ in a day (that’s what she said).
Adding in listening to the brilliant The Anfield Wrap podcast for my pre and post-match analysis and my routine is set. Now all I need to do is calmly watch the Tricky Reds and I can repeat the set for the next game.
That’s easier said than done when you know how much is at stake and how little time is left for others to overhaul you.
The fact that others can overhaul you is still a worry but also a motivational factor, something that Steven Gerrard was keen to instantly point out.
Watching Gerrard make sure his colleagues stay focused was inspirational, reassuring and also emotional. This is a man who desperately wants to see his team win the ultimate prize, a supporter able to make a difference and a footballer who knows, given the right levels of professionalism, that the full collection may just be complete.
Gerrard, much like Jon Flanagan, fits perfectly into the role of both a player and a supporter. Both know all too well of the wait for a league title and it must be on their minds as much as it is the fan in the stands, making their professionalism in the last few weeks truly remarkable.
The post-match interview with Geoff Shreeves was amazingly reassuring to any Kopite watching.
Given the emotion and the vast importance of the result against Man City, it could’ve been all too easy for Gerrard to get carried away and pronounce some comment smacking of over exuberance. His ‘one game at a time’ attitude may not have been what Shreeves was after but, in terms of this title race, it’s exactly what was needed. I’ve never heard the word ‘Norwich’ mentioned in a post-match interview so much when the Canaries haven’t featured.
So, as we all know, there’s four cup finals left and though the wait in between them might be frustrating it’ll be a small price to pay if it’s to be rewarded in May.
We go again.
By Michael Williams – @mikewilliams_05