We only managed a 1-1 draw with Wigan. And I have lost count of how many times we have dropped two crucial points this season.
Firstly, I felt like I have been screwed by Astro. I waited until 3.45AM to switch on the TV, fully expecting the game to be shown live. I mean, every Liverpool game is an important game for the fans, so no reason why I should not have this great expectation.
When I saw a match I did not care less being shown live on espn, I quickly changed channels to Star Sports and then panicked when Liverpool game was not even shown there. I even checked TV3 and some other channels and rightly got very disappointed. Thank you Astro for making me pay RM100+ a month and then making me feel like a fool for the second time right away. The first being the payments I make to you and the second for not checking the programme.
I then sat in front of the PC and started 'watching' the Live Gamecast. I felt the line-up was okay except for Benayoun and Lucas. I started to curse Benitez. But after Benayoun scored our goal in the 41st minute, I felt then the line-up was justified and in a way apologised to Rafa. Maybe I overestimated Wigan and clearly Rafa knows best. After sending my last sms to Jo, a friend whom I feel was also in some ways screwed by Astro, I went to bed at halftime.
Imagine the disappointment I felt when checking the score upon waking up. My anger swelled when I saw it was a penalty conceded by Lucas. Granted that I did not watch the game (I am kicking myself because I could have watched this game live on the internet but forgot all about it) but still this is a player, alongside Benayoun, who have really, really disappointed me personally throughout this season. I then saw a few SMS from Selva, another fan friend, saying that the fans all over the world are equally devastated and are blasting Rafa for the poor subs.
Yes, this ranting is about me. A fan. And it is always about us fans really. Why shouldn't we be disappointed or angry? Maybe we wouldn't feel so much annoyed if the situation were like the last few seasons when the expectation was not so great. At this moment, I don't think even a piece by Paul Tomkins will make me feel okay. He is usually more level-headed in his analysis and makes enough sense in looking at the glass as half-full.
But not today. All the talk about we would have gladly taken at the start of the season this 'success' of being in this position behind manure by two points in January just does not make sense to me now. Nor how Rafa is still building the team or fergie did not win anything in his first 6 years at manure or we have won the CL under Rafa. It is difficult to remain positive.
It all boils down to the great expectations we have had so far this season. It is not easy after 19 years of waiting. Fans see this season as our only legitimate claim for the title. Rafa said it so many times of how important all the games were, including those that we faltered in. And again before this game he said that he is only thinking of this game and not the game against Chelsea this weekend. Then he plays the Lucases and the Benayouns. We all do trust Rafa because he is a good manager, but his popularity is slowly diminishing. And if he does not deliver something this season, fans from around the world will go on a witch hunt (not that they have not started) and Rafa might find himself in the same boat as the american owners.
Don't get me wrong, I support LFC all the way. Win, lose or draw, I will continue to support the only team I have supported since I was a kid. And the club is bigger than everyone else. The managers and players come and leave, but the fans will still be around. So, the fans are bigger than the managers and players in my book. And the fans do not like it when they are being screwed. And their disappointed and anger are fully justified. But mind you, that doesn't mean that they are not behind the team.
Is the hope of salvaging something this season still there? I guess so. But my great expectations, which have been dropping not so quickly these past few month, just took a huge plunge. As a friend told me today, we might even miss the CL next season. I shudder to such thoughts!