In a season of turmoil there is finally light at the end of this very dark tunnel, as the great city of Manchester yet again sits on the cusp of collecting another English Premier League title. Arise champions of England-elect.
That the colour of the recipient’s shirts will be sky blue rather than devil red is a mere trifle. Better sky blue than Scouse red.
Across many oceans and vast plains of land I can hear my brethren in the Stretford End reluctantly agree. Despite the difficulty, the distress, and the sheer idiocy of basking in the success of our noisy neighbours, it is the tragic demise of Liverpool FC that we really celebrate.
Call me a little man if you will…but it is often the little man who rises against the odds to strike down his larger foe. Was it not David who defeated the Philistine Goliath?
It has been a cathartic season for United fans. For the first time in over two decades wins were not guaranteed, dynamic performances few and far between, and highlights a rarity. Records at Old Trafford were smashed like cheap dinnerware at a Greek wedding. Unfortunately it was the West Brom’s, Newcastle’s and Everton’s of the world that were doing the dancing.
For the first time in this mobile digital age I was reluctant to check the overnight scores on a Monday morn. As rays of sunlight streamed into my bedroom I could only anticipate bad news would greet my eyes. Like a drunkard struggling with irritable bowel syndrome, it was better not to turn around for a glimpse at the damage left in the toilet bowl.
Yet every cloud has a silver lining. And for long suffering fans of MUFC the lining shines brighter and brighter each day.
Firstly, David Moyes was correctly advised to change his Facebook status from Chosen One to Demoted One. The Moyes reign was like the vomit that swells up in the pit of your abdomen and flies uncontrollably out of your mouth following a heroin high… euphoria promptly replaced by partially digested kebab, stomach lining and bile all over your overpriced denims. Moyes was that bile…a nasty, foul tasting stench that only serves to cleanse the system before moving onto the next high. And move on we shall.
The news that Louis Van Gaal is positioned as Sir Alex’s real replacement can only be greeted with cheers…a proven leader of big clubs, a proven manager of big players, a proven winner, and an absolute mother#cker. Those likening Moyes resume to an early Sir Alex take note…in a pissing competition it’s always the man with the biggest c#ck and balls who’ll urinate farthest.
It was not long after the Sporting Gods adopted an 11th Commandment ‘Thou Shalt Banish David Moyes’ that the shadow of darkness enveloping Old Trafford began to dissipate, travelling across the North of England to settle on Merseyside.
For many a month the Kop had been holding its collective breath, unable to fully embrace a series of unfolding events that would potentially crown Liverpool FC as the new champions of England. The demise of Sir Alex, inevitable decline of Arsenal, turmoil in Tottenham, and uncharacteristic stumbles of City and Chelsea left a vacuum at the top of the table. And Brendan Rogers, Steven Gerrard and Co were more than happy to waltz through, playing a cavalier brand of football that can only be described as breathtaking.
For a United fan it was the direst of situations. Not only was David Moyes successfully tearing down 25 years of domination in a heartbeat, but our most feared and despised rivals were on the cusp of returning to the very perch that Sir Alex had knocked them off so devastatingly. The Gods certainly have a twisted sense of humour.
Meanwhile Liverpool fans were caught in a storm of conflicting emotions. Years of disappointment had hardened them against premature celebration. But as win after magnificent win piled up, and with the finishing line in touching distance, they began to believe. Scousers the world over played a delicate game of edging, the glorious art of maintaining high level of sexual arousal for an extended period of time without reaching orgasm. Unfortunately, when you’re out of practise it can be extremely difficult to sustain the required levels of self control. And so it came (pardon the pun) to pass that on the 13th day of April in the year of our Lord 2014 that Liverpool defeated Manchester City 3-2, opened up a seven point lead at the top of the table, and all Liverpool fans felt the slightest bit of sticky leakage.
And from that moment it was all over.
Inspiring visions of Steven Gerrard marshalling his troops in the middle of Etihad Stadium were quickly replaced a fortnight later by Stevie G slipping over to gift Chelsea a goal. Then followed the tragedy at Crystal Palace, with the irony that Liverpool’s greatest and most heart-breaking moments both forever tied to a three goal lead lost on no-one.
For Scousers there will only be memories of a wonderful 2013/24 season, where they threatened to overcome all odds, but fell at the final hurdle. And with Chelsea, Manchester’s City and United and Arsenal all promising to be stronger next year, the stinging reality that this lost opportunity may never be recovered.
For United fans there is joy in celebrating the bitter, salty tears of Luis Suarez, and the promise of another dynasty on the horizon.
Come on you Reds!