Always The Bridesmaid, Now The Bride

How we all went from doubters to believers
Joel Sanderson-Murray  |  11th June 2019

How can you even begin to summarise a season like the one we have just had?

It was abnormal. It was unconventional. It was spectacular. It was beyond your wildest dreams.

And it ended with Liverpool winning a trophy.

This generation could write the book on how to be the smiling in the face of adversity, self-assured, self-loving bridesmaid.

Now they can write their own love story, complete with that happy ending.

Possibly the most important thing about football for the fans are the days/nights you experience and the memories that are created through those experiences.

But fucking hell isn’t that all amplified by having a trophy to celebrate at the end of it.

We, as fans, have become accustomed to dealing with heartbreak.

Accustomed to having to face the smug faces & joyous laughter of our Bluenose & Manc mates. Accustomed to not watching the highlights back of the semi-finals and finals Liverpool have participated in in the last seven years. On that, can anyone tell me what any of Sevilla’s goals from the 2016 Europa League final look like? Mad that a player called ‘Coke’ bagged a brace and we couldn’t make light of that.

Aston Villa at Wembley in 2015.

Manchester City at Wembley in 2015.

Sevilla in Basle in 2016.

Real Madrid in Kiev in 2018.

We’ve all had that moment of self-reflection the days after a crushing defeat at the final hurdle, telling ourselves that this ‘team is young’, that they will learn from their mistakes, that the heartbreak of defeat will be the motivational tool that eventually gets them over the line.

You wouldn’t have been blamed if some of those dusting down techniques were beginning to become a little tired, worn-out and not so reassuring.

However, the boys came through for all of us so now our Bluenose and Manc mates now have to worry “which symbol is that gobshite going to do for number six today? Three fingers on each hand or five and one?”

The lads came through, like we always knew they would.

How Virgil van Dijk was key to Liverpool’s Champions League success this season

Post-Kiev last season, the reaction was one of defiance and optimism because we all knew that better days were coming, that the end of our road wasn’t just going to be about comforting ourselves with a new found love for Dua Lipa’s music.

We’ve had even more heartbreak to deal with since then, although the sadistic aspect about it is that it didn’t feel like heartbreak.

Liverpool missed out on the league, despite losing only one game and accumulating 97 points in a 38-game season.

When you spell it out like that you start to wonder whether Grobbelaar should be allowed to use the front of the Annie Road End as a bog because we might well be cursed.

The formalities of how Manchester City pipped us to the title have been done to death, but if we take it back to the game our fate was finally sealed – on the final day against Wolves at home – it’s important to take something from the reaction inside the ground.

There were no tears, the cameras trying to find a lad or girl in the crowd in hysterics wearing a Salah scarf were left found wanting.

These lads had given us one hell of a season and were just beaten by a team that inch better, but they deserved to be treated like heroes then. Now? They’ll never have to buy a bevvy in town again.

But there could have been desolation, there could have been metaphorical towels thrown in, there could have been cries of ‘same old Liverpool’.

There wasn’t.

There was joy, not carnival-like, but certainly enthusiasm, defiance and above all; happiness.

That’s because we knew. We just knew. There was absolutely no way that this Liverpool team, and how good they had been, were going to end up empty-handed.

We’ve bounced along the wave of optimism, dealt with the minor blows and enjoyed the countless highs.

The stuffing hasn’t been knocked out of us this time, in-fact now we are cooking with Bisto alongside it.

Liverpool Football Club were the bride in Madrid, and now they are back on their perch.

Let’s hope the honeymoon continues for years to come.

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