Wednesday, 4 August 2010

So Maybe There is a God?*


When last season ended I was just relieved it was over.  We were such a pale imitation of the previous campaign, bereft of ideas and with a manager too stubborn to change his system.  Liverpool looked broken.  There was no way we could keep Nando and Gerrard, it looked like the club were sliding on a particularly oily slide into the netherworld of football doom.

But now, on the brink of starting a new season, Fernando Torres has followed Steven Gerrard's example and pledged his future to the club.  I'm more than a little surprised that Roy Hodgson's appointment and the signing of Joe Cole changed the atmosphere at Anfield so much, but maybe the club just needed a lift.

I wrote a post a year ago saying goodbye to Xabi Alonso, a player who we missed terribly last season.  The sale felt like a backward step and the whole club seemed to feel the same way, misfiring from the very start.  Somehow managing to keep hold of Torres feels like the reverse of that.  It's a massive shot in the arm for Liverpool and if we can rid ourselves of the cowboy owners and get some real investment in place things are starting to look positive again.

I'm under no illusions, Liverpool have a long climb back from the dissappointment of last season.  I almost washed my hands of the club, I was that upset by the way it was being run.  Benitez had lost me completely, I was fed up of the excuses and performances that he said were fine, but just weren't good enough.  That's not the Liverpool way.  The American owners clearly don't have the club in their hearts, the new stadium continuing to stall and falter.  We've been on pause for so long now, nearly twenty years, but I remember reading something a long time ago, in a fanzine after a trip to Anfield to see us draw 0-0 with Forest, that chilled me.  It went something along the lines of, 'So this is what it feels like to be a normal club, but at least we won't have to wait 24 years for our next title.'  I read it and squirmed, you don't tempt the football Gods with statements like that.  It's ok to have a dig at Gold Trafford, just keep things in perspective and never ever assume anything.

It's great to be starting a season with our tales up, new investment potentially around the corner and more importantly our two best players saying they want to stay.

I for one believe that as much as a new stadium is needed there is only one place I want to see us parade the Premier League trophy and that's Anfield.  It may still be a pipe dream, but it's mine and the thought of it still makes shiver.

*There isn't by the way.  Just testing.