Duncan Oldham: A glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel

Alisson & Klopp

The last year has been somewhat of a rollercoaster for Liverpool fans. We had the highs of winning the Premier League and then the lows of not being able to celebrate it. I was 15 years old the last time we won the league and for it be won as it was after waiting so long, was absolutely awful.

I can’t believe that our amazing supporters still haven’t been able to celebrate our title-winning season properly. I’m sure our day will come, but until then, I could keep checking on the latest Totesports sign up offers! Am I the only one, though, that thinks that we’ve missed the moment? Would it not feel a bit embarrassing by then to send an open-top bus around the city, especially if there’s a newer set of Champions? Our win, albeit extremely special and important to us, will be history. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I would feel different if I ever get to see a sea of Red on the streets no matter when it is; I’m sure I would!

Football without fans is nothing and it’s clear to me that Anfield is missing the 12th man. If ever we needed the Kop to suck the ball into the back of the net it’s now. It’s not just that horrendous run of home form that’s depressed me, though. The Reds failed to bring in a centre-back during the summer despite anyone with an ounce of intelligence crying out for one. Injuries to star players and terrible events affecting the likes of Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp and goalkeeper Alisson, thrown in with the misery of the Covid-19 pandemic has been horrific.

Seeing Jürgen Klopp look like a broken man at the post-match press conference following the 3-1 defeat by Leicester City made me think his time at the club could be coming to an end. Fortunately, he went on to find some strength and within days he looked like the Jürgen we all know and love. I was more bothered about Jürgen the man than Jürgen the manager. I’m just so glad that at least publicly, he looks stronger. Anyone who has lost their mother knows it is one of the worst things that you can experience in your life. My mum died way too young, 9 years ago, and there still isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. Jürgen couldn’t even say ‘goodbye’ to his mum and nor could Alisson say ‘goodbye’ to his father. We have to remind ourselves that these high-profile football figures are as soft and human as the rest of us. People may concentrate on their wealth, but money doesn’t stop grief.

Some people just expect the boss and Alisson to get on with it. They sympathise for a few days but when something negative happens, out they come to virtually cosh them again. It takes months to get your head together, at least to a point where you accept that life has to move on for you and those who are left behind. When I saw Alisson in the pre-match line-up on the pitch last night, I just couldn’t believe how brave he was. The lad’s head must be absolutely battered at the moment, but at least he and the boss haven’t had to drop away for a break. Staying involved is probably the best therapy, but having so much attention and pressure on your shoulders can’t help. We mustn’t forget how mentally drained those two must be just now.

So, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s been a grim year …

I rarely watch football at the moment because I can’t stand the fake crowd noise. Although it’s better than nothing, a game of FIFA on the XBOX sounds more realistic. Bizarrely, even though I can watch any fixture live on satellite television, I’ve actually enjoyed listening to a couple of games on the radio and I would recommend this to anyone who just isn’t enjoying watching the footy on the box.

However, I feel in a better place today having seen us beat RB Leipzig in the Champions League last night. This was a huge game and a huge victory. I understand that it’s only one game, but as much as looking at the Premier League table hurts, the thought of progressing further in the Champions League has given me some fresh hope. We can’t win the Premier League, but we can with the Champions League. I’m not saying we will, but at least during these very miserable times we have something to look forward to. If it comes to a premature end, fine, we roll our sleeves up and battle on. While we were losing Premier League games left, right and centre and people were looking that the next league game, I’d been watching that date with Leipzig getting closer and closer. I genuinely thought we might get battered. So for me, that victory last night was very sweet and very much needed.

Personally, I can’t wait for next season, mainly because I am desperate to see fans back in the stadiums. I hope they don’t try and rush them back at the end of this campaign though, even if the Government allow limited numbers to attend games. I’d rather wait a few more months.

It has been an awful time for so many people in the world. Getting the virus under control is far more important than football. One thing I have learned, though, is how much I need football to get me through my life. I miss watching up to a dozen games over the weekend (yes, I’m that sad!). I miss Liverpool, of course, but I also miss watching other Premier League fixtures, the Championship, Serie A and even the occasional game from La Liga. As much as I hate international breaks for friendlies and pointless tournaments, I absolute love the World Cup and Euros so I am praying that this summer’s Euros are completed. Then maybe, just maybe, we will have a Premier League campaign to look forward to!

I really hope that you and your families are managing to get through this pandemic, wherever in the world you are. When I was at a very low point in my life, a fan of KopTalk once told me: ‘Dunk, YNWA isn’t just a slogan, it’s a way of life, we’re here for you brother!’ and he was right! The KopTalk community and I are always here for you if you need some help or support during these difficult times – and I’m not talking about Liverpool’s drop in form! My inbox is always open and the community that we have built up here over the last 23 years will always walk with you too. If you’re stuck at home and are a bit lonely or bored during this pandemic, there’s no better medication than hanging out with other Liverpool fans. You can reach out to me any time.

Anyway, today I feel a little happier and upbeat after last night’s game. I’m fully aware that we might come crashing down against Wolves, but hey ho, we have to enjoy the good times, especially when they’re limited. No matter what happens this season, we have next season to look forward to.

Let’s go easy on the boss and those players who maybe need us to give them a little bit more support than normal.

Keep the faith!


Duncan Oldham
KopTalk Editor

KopTalk TV