Many times have I sat there, my thumbs twiddling together as I ponder the next ferocious sentence ready to be spilled onto the pixellated ink of a new post on these boards, with the sole intention of attacking the negativity and doubt that has surrounded our once great club for the past 4-5 years.
Many times have I gazed longingly at the golden sky of which is sung amidst our club anthem and pondered if it is indeed the sun rising, or the flames of hell causing the clouds to lighten with more pain and long arduous roads ready to spout from the heavens and rain down, burning what we could once call a club to the ground, leaving the peaces of our name in the ground.
Throughout the last 2 seasons, one thing I've consistently spouted is the need for calm and it's inseperable partner, patience, once again will I spout the need for this, as the last day and a half or so has seen these boards riddled with so much negativity, it is difficult to understand the need to carry on supporting the club, it is difficult to see the positive aspects of what we are when the negative aspects are so dominant at the forefront of each discussion.
West Bromwich Albion, a team who has beaten us 3 out of the previous 4 meetings, was hounded on in the build up as an easy away tie, a game which we should apparently run away with, and get the ever important first set of 3 points on the long list of football institutions we have come to know as the premier league table, however what followed during the game, some would have you believe, was the equivalent of falling asleep, having Freddy Kreuger invade your dreams, only for you to wake and find Jason Voorhee's standing above you with his trusted machette raised above his hockey masked face. It was the equivalent of a death, with negativity dominating every letter typed, and positivity washed away in a sea of blood that was left by the previous two fictional characters.
However, on that pitch, what was shown was the complete opposite to the above, what was shown was a team in transition (yet again I hear you cry,) a manager that, although young and inexperienced, has attempted to get his style and his philosophy over to the players and was obvious in some sections of the 90 minutes to have been followed to the tiniest detail.
What was seen (for the first half atleast,) was this new ability in each of our players, one which allowed them to press together as a unit, an ability which not only attempted to goade the opposition into mistakes, but also to goade them into giving us enough space to have an attempt at goal (of which there were more than few.)
What was seen (again, for the first half atleast,) was players bedding into a new system, one which is completely alien to them, one which allows them to express themselves to the best of their abilites, one with few, but strict, rulings that should allow all of the players to release the shackles that seemed to have been attached to their ankles for longer than more than a season.
These shackles will take time to fall, with the locks being prised open by the new master locksmith, Brendan Rodgers and his team of tacticious coaches who will undoubtedly (in my eyes,) get us back on the road to recovery, however long it will be.
Belief in a system, in a new coach, in players, new and old, and most importantly, in the club as a whole, comes with some pains, it comes with defeats and a sense of "Here we go again." It comes with that nagging doubt that whatever glory we may have witnessed will fade into the history and not be seen for some time yet. The belief that you have as a Liverpool fan, is not one that will send you on a road of daisy chains and rainbows, it is one of war, of turmoil, of suffering, of anger, of hate but most of all, of pride, a pride that not only comes when you see the Liverbird donned on the chest of the redmen, but a pride that comes with knowing that each day when you wake up, you have a club that feels more like a family, a pride that sets you apart from those who see the game as a money making opportunity.
Let the other clubs say we live in the past, let them call us arrogant, let them goade us and laugh at our recent failings, for one thing is for certain, our past may be behind us, but our history is still being written. Keep the belief and back those that are employed by this family, your family, your football club. Ride out the pain that the belief brings and keep your head held high as I think the heavens have began to open, and I see the name of our club being cleaned and rejoined under a sky of smiling legends and of a battling pheonix.
We'll get back to who we once were, and when we do, it'll be through the power of belief, of patience and most importantly, the power of solidarity.
You'll Never Walk Alone.