by Anthony Stanley (TTT Subscriber Dannyluke10).
Twenty minutes into the game and the beer tastes rancid as the fear is returning. Slowly but inexorably, the fear is returning.
All day I’ve been breathlessly looking forward to this; time to banish the ghosts of the Villa debacle, to regain our mojo following the less than convincing performance on our return to the Champions League. Chores are done, distractions of work sorted, kids brought to the park in an attempt to earn brownie points that I anticipate will be reciprocated by 5.30.
The team sheet is announced at 4.30. I eagerly scan Twitter, my eyes jumping to the attacking players. Is it a diamond? If so, who partners Balotelli? I nod with satisfaction (no, let’s be honest, I thump the fucking air) when I see Borini will be playing up front with his compatriot. Result, just what a lot of Liverpool fans wanted. My gaze drifts back through the team and here are the first troubling jolts of anxiety. Lucas is partnering Hendo with Stevie behind. That’s a midfield triumvirate where only Jordan can be expected to run and press with any efficiency. But I get our manager’s thinking and, as ever, he has my trust; Lucas may supply grit, nous and strength. I’m ambivalent towards the selection of Skrtel at the back; none of our central defenders fill me with too much confidence at the moment.
By 5.50 I’m shaking my head in a resigned miasma that emanates from deep within. 2-0 to the Hammers – both goals eminently preventable. Mignolet hesitant, marking poor, questionable decision-making.
Some thoughts fly through my head with bewildering, dizzying and depressing haste.
When does a blip become symptomatic of a larger malaise? When does the bedding in period stop being an excuse for apathetic performances?
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