So let’s forget the ropey league form especially as we are away from home and let’s forget talk about how this season as a whole has panned out in terms of team performance and in the signings we’ve made. The inquests, if they are merited, can be deferred for another time, for today is our day in the sun, a day that fans of all clubs should enjoy if they are lucky enough to get there, The FA Cup Final.
A win today againstChelseawould no doubt be heralded, by some, as the culmination of successful season. Things aren’t quite as straight forward as that as our league form has suggested. However, Kenny could take owners, or anyone else who might feel that we could have done better, and point to two trophies, that is success by any criteria winning two out the three competitions we are in. Its want the fans want? Said Kenny
“There is an obsession with the Premier League. But there’s satisfaction from winning a cup that you don’t get from finishing fifth or sixth in the league”
Argh he would say that given our league form naysayers will retort however a Champions League TV rights cheque does not have the same impact in the trophy cabinet as a silver pot or two! Moreover you only get silverware for coming first in the Premiership. Those who hanker after second, third or forth spot would do well to remember that and also why they began supporting their club in the first place. Today is the sort of day that makes all the angst and heartache worth it, win or lose.
That said one can’t help but be astounded at sheer buffoonery of the English Football Association and the cack handed levels of organisation that have surrounded today’s game. Firstly there is the issue of the 5-15pm kick off time which needs to be viewed in conjunction with engineering works on the West Coast line meaning that the vast majority ofLiverpoolfans who have travelled by rail won’t be able to return home at decent time. Then there is the scheduling of the game alongside Premiership fixtures albeit one. Surely the FA have vested interest in regenerating the “romance of the Cup” which over the last decade or so has been tarnished. However, they are still willing to scarify tradition and prestige and further muddy it’s reputation in the pursuit of filthy lucre
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. They have changed the most prestigious cup competition in the world just to get an audience. It’s bedlam down there now. We owe so much for the revenue that TV can bring us that they dominate us.”
Good words from Kenny perhaps? No these come from none other than Fergie of all people. I’m agreeing with him, on CUP Final day! Perhaps I’m not getting real and viewing all this trough rose tinted, old fashion spectacles however to me there was always something specially about the FA Cup final it always had centre stage, ie no other games taking place, and the build up, be cup final knockout, meet the teams or even wheeling out Jimmy Tarbuck for his traditional pre match interview, was part and parcel of the whole event. Now it has gone or has the innocence of my youth?
Prediction? At work yesterday I was asked plenty of times about whether I’m confident and my stock answer was it depends on which version of Liverpool turn up and whether or not Chelsea are distracted. The latter is clearer now given that Champions League qualification via the league is all but gone and there are two weeks before their show down in this year’s competition with Bayern Munich. One hopes we are hungrier as we have the incentive of a cup double to achieve, mind you so doChelsea! Suffice to say I think it will be very close nonetheless I’ll take us to win in extra time or from the spot after a 2-2 draw. Sorry to be so vague!
Finally more words from Kenny as he reflected on his second stint as manager
“I’ve always said that if I can help the football club in any way, shape or form I would always be there to help. That’s all I’ve done….. I owe the football club a lot more than they owe me. I will always feel that. Because it’s Liverpool Football Club and because of the opportunities they have given me. The football club is always more important than any one individual and I’m no different.”
Always the case and it will be about the club tomorrow if we win however, if Dalglish can guide us to two trophies in his first full season back then the club, and certainly me as a fan, will owe him a lot if only for bringing back a flavour, a sniff, of what we’ve had and will hopefully have in the years to come.
Enjoy the game.