*WARNING– I use expletive language in this article because how can you not?
A defeat is not the end of the world (although it feels like it is). The apocalypse is not happening (although it feels like it is). Not every defeat is full of warning signs (although this one feels like it does). We might still win the league (although it feels like we won’t).
Losing is tough. Losing when most of your rivals have won is tougher. Losing when you’re 2-0 up to Bournemouth (no offence, Bournemouth) at half-time and cruising is even tougher. Witnessing a collapse of epic proportions in 45 minutes is beginning to feel like a curse; that second half against Crystal Palace in the 13/14 season and that second half in the Europa League final against Sevilla are some of the most obvious examples.
There are no two ways about it. A defeat sucks. It is horrible. God awful. It ruins your week, ruins your sleep (I had a nightmare which involved Bournemouth players just scoring goal after goal), ruins your enjoyment of food, of drink, of Match of the Day, of going on Twitter. It makes you hate everything. Not just the players and the goddamn toxic thunder kit, but mundane things – like happy people, lads in Barcelona kits (“ARE YOU HOPING TO TAKE LITTLE PHIL FROM US SOON?”) and the prospect of watching the finale of Westworld. Because who cares about robots taking over the world when the Reds are not taking over the world and we are going to lose the league to Chelsea when May rolls around?
Alright. Deep breaths. Reel back the over-reaction a bit.
Let’s start again.
After Ake tapped in that last goal for Bournemouth, I was lying despondent on my sofa and I threw away my phone in disgust. You see, I turned the game off a couple of minutes ago because I couldn’t bear the tension and I was following it on Twitter instead. Yes, I have been permanently scarred by that Crystal Palace game and the 6-1 hammering by Stoke; I now have a hard time watching a Liverpool game the whole way through because I am afraid we are going to find a way to fuck things up somehow.
When the final result was confirmed, my brain was whirling like mad. This is the worst thing to have happened, I told myself. The worst thing to have happened after the day Chelsea crushed Manchester City 3-1. We were winning. Cruising. Crushing. That beautiful finish by Origi? Sublime. And somehow, we managed to throw it all away.
It hurts to see that, despite all the improvements we have made, we are still capable of collapsing in such a way. It hurts that we still look vulnerable, indecisive, and prone to stupid errors. This is worse than Burnley. At least at Burnley, it was not a collapse; it was just ineffectiveness. Here, we were in total control and we wilted. We gifted them the game. League winners simply do not lose 4-3 to Bournemouth when they’re 2-0 (or 3-1) up.
So I ignored everything about football – all the bashing, the moaning, the analysis – and I did what a normal person wouldn’t do. I popped in Bridget Jones’ Baby and tried not to imagine bashing Loris Karius’ pretty face in. But then there’s a scene in the film where the best friend is in one of those giant plastic balls with Ed Sheehan and Renee Zellweger is making love to Patrick Dempsey while Thinking of You is playing, and I couldn’t think of anything else but bashing Loris Karius’ pretty face in.
Let’s hope Jurgen knows what to do. Let’s hope the players know what to do. Let’s hope us fans know what to do. All is not lost yet. Let’s regroup and go again, like Bridget Jones did after she fell head-first into the mud in her pristine white jumper.
Next few games look huge. Let’s get into them. Bounce back. I don’t want to spend anymore weekends wondering if Colin Firth will get back together with Bridget.
Up the self-imploding, frustrating, horrible Reds.