The Pre Match Buzz
Friday 26th May 2017
There are a number of reasons why it has taken me so long to pen my thoughts since the Everton game last Sunday. The first is boring but genuine nonetheless. I’ve just been very very busy. Work makes up most of that but being secretary of a supporters club makes this a crazy time of year. Even without the small distraction of an FA Cup Final it is a time for closing down one season and concentrating on renewals in time for the next one. Renewals that always have a time deadline that is imminent!
Secondly I felt Friday 26th May would be a good time to write. A date that will always lift the spirits (unless your a red Scouser of course) and with my sparkling and new FA Cup Final rosette sat on the side glowing in the sunshine that is pouring through my office window, why wouldn’t I feel wonderful about the hours ahead?!
Sunday was a good day……but not quite as good as we all hoped. Even though I felt it would be, 7 wins out of our last 8 didn’t prove enough to take our place in the Champions League for the 21st time on the trot. And as a result it means our European tour will take a different route on this occasion. And when I say different I mean a completely new experience. And that is the positive I am taking out of it. A competition format we have never been involved in before is for me, something to look forward to. And one we all hope we will experience for 1 season only. Its up to us as a club to put that right over the coming season.
But as I keep telling the knockers, it’s fantastic to be entering a competition we have never had the chance to be involved in. Tell me, what is it like?
For now, we have yet another trip to Wembley to look forward to. And when it comes to recent Cup Finals it is definitely the first where we go in as considerable underdogs. That’s not me being negative, just realistic. Chelsea have won the league for a reason. They were the best team over the 38 games. And we have finished 5th 22 points behind them. That makes us a clear outside bet on the day.
But it is just a day. One game. And in one game anything can happen. We can give ourselves a chance by turning up on the day and not making mistakes.
The final of the biggest domestic club cup competition in the world is very special. Although times have changed considerably, it didn’t matter who was in it when I was a boy, I would still get up and watch all the TV build up from before breakfast until the victorious team enjoyed their lap of honour after the game. That was pretty much a ‘once a year’ TV experience back then.
Despite things being a little bit different, millions around the world will be doing that again tomorrow. And our wonderful club will be part of that yet again.
Although the nerves will be there in abundance tomorrow (in fact they have started to kick in as I write this!), I can’t see how it is possible for them to reach the levels they did on our previous 2 visits. So I intend (as difficult as that is) to try and take it all in and enjoy the experience. A day with many of my very best friends in the sunshine.
Nobody genuinely expected us to beat City in the semi final. But we did just that. And we can do it again tomorrow.
Sing your hearts out boys and girls and wear that cannon with pride.
Come on you mighty reds!