Can you handle the run-in? A rollercoaster of emotions as Liverpool fight back in a game of two halves.

In the days leading up to the game the nerves became bigger and bigger for me. It just felt like a monumental game and I have never experienced a longer day than the Sunday waiting for kick-off time.

Much has been said of the run in, a period in a season like no other. No room for error and every kick matters. Its not for the faint-hearted that’s for sure.

One could argue that it’s good that we have these tough away games in this period because we avoided them up until now and any away game against decent opposition would have been a pressure cooker in the last part of the season anyway.



Now for the game itself. I was a wreck. A big ball of emotions both high and low. Martinelli eased my nerves with his scintillating performance in the first 28 minutes to the point where I couldn’t believe how good we have become to be able to cruise to a 2-0 lead at Anfield. I was just waiting for the 3rd goal and last nail in the Kop coffin. But then things started to spiral out of control. If we played the Liverpool players in the first 40 minutes we definitely played the Anfield ghost the rest of the game.

I’m not one of those that is blaming Xhaka for the switch in mentality. That altercation with Trent was a nothing thing and the reaction from the debated Liverpool youth product and everybody around him was uncalled for in my opinion. It was just unfortunate that it did happen cause it rattled us a little and we conceded straight away. That goal changed the entire temperature of game. Without it there is no way the crowd was gonna come out in the 2nd half roaring.

I can honestly say that my confidence started to wane there. Man that didn’t need much doing. 2-1 lead at Anfield at halftime, what more could I need to feel confident? But that’s the run in for you. Even the thought of losing points is so terrifying, even a one goal lead is all kinds of scary.


And then that 2nd half came and it reduced me to an emotional head case for real. If someone had the ball for too long in defence I would yell at the TV, with every misplaced pass I made sure the players on the screen knew what I felt, every missed goal opportunity I had my head behind a pillow. But even I was surprised at my reaction when Firmino equalised. The tension that had been building during the week and the game just came crashing down on me, honestly I was completely destroyed, and shortly after being completely empty inside. I must thank the guys at the Arsenal Vision pod for giving me som much needed perspective before bedtime.

I dont know if I’m ready for this run in, if I’m ready to accept that heartbreak is a real possibility. But what’s certain is that I would much rather have it this way than not fighting for anything. The team is giving me no reason not to trust them. I can look at the team sensibly and analytically and feel realistically confident about our ability to challenge for the title, but I wasn’t even an adult the last time we fought for one so this is uncharted territory for me and I’m finding it very overwhelming.

The narrative around Arsenal in the media will also slowly kill me. It simply doesn’t matter that we have 22/24 points in the last 8 games cause 1 draw means we are in crisis. Why does everyone want City, who are investigated for cheating, to win the title?

Now for the actual football. What did I take away from the game? Firstly I have to say that Martinelli keeps impressing me, 7 goals in his last 8 is crazy form. Jesus 3 goals in his last 2 games is also a cause for optimism. Gabriel keeps dominating at the back and Ramsdale has gone up a level as of late. Those four are my stand-outs.


We played amazing football in the first half, so controlled and so smooth. But my regret in the 2nd half wasn’t that Liverpool took over or the Kiwior substitution (like many are saying). It was the fact that we went defensive without the right players to do it. It was weird having Zinchenko in a back 5 and Saka in a midfield 3 when we could have gone Tierney at LB and Jorginho in midfield. Hell even Martinelli as fullback and Jesus staying on the field would have been better than what we saw in the last 15 minutes.

All in all it’s a good point at a tough away ground, but dissapointing because how we started and somehow also a let-off because how it ended. What is needed of us to win the title then?

To have it in our own hands we have to take a point at the Etihad. Then we have the wiggle room to draw at St. James Park. But even if we lose against City, will they really win 14 in a row? That would be a run of historical proportions. For my own sanity it’s better I believe we will need 6 wins and 2 draws to win the title. And at a stretch a loss and a draw if the Manchester outfit drop points in 1 game. Any other slip-up from City would only be a bonus and not something I wanna put my well being on the line for.

My week will consist of getting ready for my trip to London on Friday. I’m travelling solo to spend a long weekend exploring the English capital and watching the West Ham – Arsenal game at the Olympic Stadium. I’m also visiting Vicarage Road (Watford – Bristol) to check out what the Championship has to offer. I will of course also visit the Emirates to see the new banners. It will be an amazing experience I’m sure!

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One Response to Can you handle the run-in? A rollercoaster of emotions as Liverpool fight back in a game of two halves.

  1. Jax April 10, 2023 at 5:38 pm #

    Thomas, enjoy your two matches in England, and while watching Bristol City (who I hope you’ll be supporting) see what you think of attacking mid Alex Scott, who’s already earmarked for the Premier League.

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