An hour. An entire bloody hour of writing. Hit save. Hit e-mail. The little cheese well thing appears on the MAC screen and everything goes to shit. Gone. Vanished. Fallen apart with no way of recovering. It had looked so good and now? Back to square one, trying to piece the sodding thing together from memory. Furious and disappointed at the wasted time.
If you wanted a better bloody metaphor for Liverpool’s season, you wouldn’t find one.
Liverpool - the Liverpool that we saw January to March - have gone. We may have most of the same lads on the pitch but they appear incapable of doing the same things to the same level. The movement, the fluidity, the creativity - all gone. We can’t blame the current, ever lasting, Sturridge injury issue; we were better than this last time he was injured. Something has gone horribly wrong at Anfield and it’s hard to know exactly what and exactly when. It may have been when we didn’t show up for the FA Cup semi final, it may be a hangover from that ‘occasion’ being ‘too big for us’. It might be before that; there were signs of struggle, signs of weakness, of the 3-4-3 being found out. Something happened though and we moved back to the caution that we started the season with. The caution and the isolated, ineffective lone striker.
I no longer know what formation we’re playing at any given moment. I think I’ve stopped caring. I think I gave up on the season altogether last night. A week or so after the players and management team seemed to.
I watched last night’s game on a stream. I’d love to say that I was involving myself in the boycott of Hull’s decision that Stoke fans should pay £16 to see their team in Humberside, Everton £35 and us £55 - just another example of the entire football industry’s disgusting attitude to their ‘consumers’ - I wasn’t. I wasn’t going anyway. I watched it on a stream as the TV companies wisely shied away from showing the match.
It was horrible. Static, fragmented, broken, faltering, like watching the ghosts of Liverpool wander through an unquiet landscape struggling to find reason for their existence. And the stream wasn’t much better - kept buffering. (See what I did there? Got to amuse myself somehow. Please yourselves then.)
We had nothing. No movement, no creativity, no cohesion. We’re in the bad days again and it doesn’t look like Brendan can pull us through this time. It looks like he may have actually put us there. His decisiveness has gone. His head has gone. He looks like a man who’s lost his purpose, lost his ability to make difference. There was a rumour last week that he’d been summoned to Boston. End of season review. On a season that hadn’t actually ended yet. Or perhaps FSG thought it had. Perhaps, post semi final, they’d seen enough. Perhaps Klopp’s availability had forced their hand. Perhaps Brendan’s notice letter is sitting on his desk as we speak. Maybe it’s all over bar the shouting.
If it is, there’s no glorious last stand going on. Six points against WBA and Hull would have seen us breathing down United’s shoulder, worrying them in the race for fourth as they prepare to face the massed ranks of Chelsea. One point from the two games leaves us trying to convince ourselves that Spurs and Southampton won’t overhaul us. Perhaps we don’t fancy Thursday nights in Macedonia. Maybe it’s all a plan.
If it is over, could we possibly have some fun in the last four games? Could we see Branegan and Yesil and Rossiter and Sinclair and Williams? Could we, please, please, please, never see Mario or Glenn or Rickie’s statutory last ten minutes ever again? If you’re staying, could you start building for next season now. If you’re going, could you at least give us a laugh on the way out?
Because this last fortnight has been no bloody fun at all.