No butterflies in my stomach when I woke up this morning. No pre match nerves that build to a crescendo as the ref’ blows that whistle and the game commences. Well that’s not strictly true. There’s always excitement and anticipation on a day when the Reds are playing, and it always starts the moment your eyes open. It’s just that feeling you get when you are actually going the game is unrivalled.
So I will be consigned to listening to the radio or worse still following the game via twitter (finding a stream that works is always painful, and ultimately frustrating). This is the terrible price of complacency when it comes to F.A. Cup tickets.
I had reasoned that I would have no trouble getting into the game, given most people are likely to be skint post Christmas, and that the magic of the cup has probably faded in recent years. The tie being against lower league opposition would probably help my cause too. Or so I believed. The game is completely sold out.
There is of course another kind of complacency that can break a supporters heart, and that’s the kind that starts with team selection, manifests its self in a sloppy performance and ends in embarrassing defeat. There can be none of this today in my view.
Make no mistake this competition is important to Liverpool this season. There’s no Europe, or League Cup to fight for. So unless we tear up the record books and actually win the league, this is the only realistic chance of silverware.
Don’t get me wrong, qualifying for the champions league will be a massive step forward for the club, but they don’t hand out trophies and medals for fourth (just pounds). A famous banner in the clubs museum reads “Moses said come fourth, Rafa said nah we’ll win the cup instead” or something like that. I couldn’t agree more, although to get both would be even better.
So I’m begging Rodgers not to take the game lightly. I could understand to be honest. Tough game against Stoke away next week, coupled with our leading scorer struggling with a knock, means the manager may contemplate giving him a rest. He may also feel this is an opportunity to give the youth a run out. All I can say is – Just don’t.
If necessary start with a full strength team, and if we can get into a comfortable position, then take the players off for a rest. Let’s not be calling on them to rescue the situation. The kids are alright, but bring them on when the team is comfortable please.
Villa aside there weren’t too many upsets yesterday. The headline writers will have been gutted this morning. Let’s not be the ones to cheer them up tonight.