Peter is recovering from Saturday’s intense boredom like the rest of us, and looks forward to another epic on Wednesday.
Being a Liverpool supporter Iâ€™ve had a lot of reasons for complaining during the 90â€™s and less so this decade, but for the last 3 years Iâ€™ve had even less reasons. Especially since weâ€™ve seen the most exciting Champions League final and FA cup final in recent history in 2005 and 2006 respectively. You canâ€™t get much more exciting than 3-3 score lines, last minute equalizers or coming back from 3-0 down but we achieved all of that in those two improbable matches!
Saturdayâ€™s drab affair between Manchester United and Chelsea at the new Wembley only highlighted the difference. Everyone was billing it to be the perfect game to christen the new stadium, so if thatâ€™s the sort of game weâ€™re going to be treated to I presume there will be a lot more empty seats in the upcoming matches.
But not all is rosey ahead of Wednesday.
One worrying aspect of both finals from a Liverpool supporterâ€™s perspective is that we began both games seemingly unprepared and lethargic. This is something that Benitezâ€™ sides donâ€™t normally do, as we are well aware the wily Spaniard pays attention to every single detail and verses his players fully as to what to expect and what he expects of them. You could probably put down the first half against Milan in 2005 to Champions League final jitters, none of the players in Liverpoolâ€™s squad had played in such an illustrious match yet Milanâ€™s team was filled with experience and legendary players. Against West Ham I think it was more a case of knowing that weâ€™d beaten Chelsea and Manchester United in the previous rounds, so what sort of hurdle were West Ham going to be? And although we were pushed right to the end, the players never really played as well as they could have.
As with 2005, we overcame some extremely difficult opposition, but we didnâ€™t record a result as amazing as beating Barcelona in their own back yard. None of our ties in 2005 went to extra time, let alone penalties and we were never behind in any game other than the final itself. The team has shown tremendous character during this seasonâ€™s European campaign and it would be such a pity not to win after going through so much to get here. From Craig Bellamy taking a swing at John Arne Riise with a golf club to collaborating with his target to score the winner against Barcelona. The anxiety of sitting through a penalty shoot-out against a team weâ€™ve knocked out of semi-finals in the last 2 seasons.
Itâ€™s all happened and ultimately the one deciding factor in my mind is that Liverpool supporters never let the players down and the players never want to let the fans down. This connection between the fans and the players is what makes Liverpool such a special club and is what immortalizes our song â€˜Youâ€™ll Never Walk Aloneâ€™. Because while other clubs have tried to adopt it – they will never truly understand or appreciate what it really means.