Never were truer words spoken. I have moved to a different country. I am meeting lots of different people. I am learning new things every day. I am realising that everything doesn’t work according to a checklist. In short, my life has changed a LOT. But all of it is dominated by one thing. Liverpool FC. Liverpool Football Club. The 2013/14 season of Liverpool.
I am crazy about football. I think of calendar years in football season terms. It is always 13/14 rather than 2013. I shout and cry like a madman when my club wins or loses. I call it my club even though I have never been to England let alone Liverpool. For some reason that only football fans can understand, I feel affinity to an entity in a part of a country which I haven’t ever visited or may not even be able to visit. That is football. Bloody hell eh?
I am elated when Liverpool win and descend into the deepest despair when Liverpool do not get the result that is expected. Till last year, it was more of the latter than the former. But this season, since August it has been different. My club has been good. It has been great, playing the kind of swashbuckling football that is the envy of all.
Our team is wonderful. It is incomplete but it is a joy. Our strikers are the best in the league. One is a maverick genius who creates moments of such pure magic in every match that we blink our eyes and wonder whether if we just saw that. The other is a prodigy in his own right. An instinctive footballer who was mistrusted by all but is now proving his talent week-in week-out.
We have a tiny Brazilian magician who is inconsistent yet but is a delight to watch when on song. We have a precocious winger right from our youth ranks. He is the pride of all. We have two young midfielders who work hard and contribute when the chips are down. Our defense provides lots of comic relief. Finally we have our captain who is a titan in world football. The best midfielder that the English shores have seen. We are a young team. With a young manager. A brilliant guy who has his own ideas and has adapted the best ideas from elsewhere. The team never loses hope. The fans are learning to do that.
We are fun to watch for the neutrals. We play beautiful fast football. We score lots of goals. We thumped the top team. We thump mid table teams. We thump bad teams. We have scored more goals at this stage of the season than any team in premier league history. We are on course to outscore every but one team since the 38 game season started. We have our flaws. But we seem to be learning from our mistakes.
We are also in a title race. That is unbelievable progress in 2 years. All the supporters expected a challenge for the 4th place and maybe losing out by a few points. Everyone just wanted improvement and a sign that there was progress. Till now, the team has exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations. We have the weakest squad in the top 6, but still are placed just 4 points from the top. Everyone has sat up and noticed us.
Of course, no trophies are handed out in March. But it has been a wonderful ride so far. We might crash and burn from the next match onwards. We might also go ahead and win the damn thing. Everyone is dreaming. The elusive 19th. People are afraid to say that aloud after so many false dawns and crashed dreams. But screw that. I want to believe in something. Football, the great escape. I walk around the house singing “We are Liverpool tra la la la”. I sit and contemplate about the various permutations in the matches left to play. I wonder what will happen If.
I wait for the weekend when my beloved Liverpool play. I know that Liverpool will score. That has been the one constant this season. I smile.