Words cannot explain how proud I am of those kids

Liverpool FC

I was left feeling very proud after watching the kids progress in the FA Cup last night, a competition which I still value. Obviously it’s no longer a priority, but it still means something to me. I cannot bear the snobbery that is directed in its direction from the elite clubs who think the game is only about them.

If you follow my content at KopTalk.TV, on the KopTalk Podcast and even the KopTalk Members’ website, you will know that I wasn’t too pleased when the boss said he would not attend the match and that no senior players would be involved in the Cup. I understood his reasons, of course. We had planned for a break and those plans can’t just be chopped and changed. However, both the footballing authorities and the club knew that a replay could be forced. The bit I disagreed with was excluding those senior players that don’t get many games. Players like VVD, Mane, Salah, Alisson etc could all do with a rest but not those players coming back from injuries or who make the odd appearance here and there. I also thought it would have inspired the boys more had they had the ‘real’ boss in the dugout; inspiration they evidently didn’t need!

I find it extremely difficult to criticise the boss and I felt uncomfortable doing so, but I’m one of those fans that still wants us to challenge for this trophy. Memories are made in finals and trips to Wembley are rare. I understood his reasons but I get very disheartened when I feel we’re disrespecting the competition a little. I am a grandad, and a miserable one at that, so I guess the ‘old skool’ attitude is still rooted firmly in me and I’ll never apologise for still loving the beauty of the FA Cup – yet last night, it was actually still very much present! Had Jürgen not made the decisions he made with regards this FA Cup tie, I’d not have experienced last night’s feeling of such pride. So guess who was right and who was wrong? Maybe Dunk doesn’t knows best, after all 😉

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I genuinely thought we could be in for a soul destroying defeat last night. I was concerned about the kids getting thumped like they did against Villa. How wrong I was. Last night’s game is one of the best games I’ve watched in a while and I say this despite some of the performances that the seniors have been putting in this season. I’ve never been a fan of youth football as I like to watch football with an atmosphere, crunching tackles and a bit of history. I don’t want to hear the players talking to each other. This wasn’t the case last night. It was superb.

The kids looked like the pros. Some of them may have looked about ten years old but they performed with maturity and dignity. I was immensely proud. The hunger was visible and seeing some of them showboating and pulling off the odd bit of brilliance was great to see. Curtis Jones was immense and I feel bad only singling him out, but he just was. How must he have felt captaining the side last night? At Anfield? In the FA Cup? He made history as Liverpool’s youngest ever captain and I’m sure we’re going to see him wearing that armband quite a bit over the coming years.

Another good thing about last night was the crowd that was in attendance. Tickets were affordable and this was a great decision that was made by the club. Some fans who are used to attending the ‘glamourous’ games will have stayed away enabling a number of other fans to take their place. It was another positive for me.

Honestly, I can’t explain how thrilled I was to see the boys win. I rarely churn out editorials as I’m really enjoying being a fan at the moment. It’s easier to run your mouth when things are going wrong because the passion surfaces and the anger brews. There have been many positives that I could write about this term but have until now, chosen not to, because I just want to sit back and watch it all pan out. However, I couldn’t not make reference to last night’s performance. This is the first thing that I’ve done today; I haven’t even had a coffee! I just had to express how proud I was and I’m sure you are too.

Well done, boys! You did yourselves, the club and all of us, proud. You are a credit to your parents and the club. All those years of grafting gave you a night you deserved, no matter what happens next. It will never be taken away from you.

Anyway guys, I need to crack on. Don’t forget to check out this afternoon’s podcast as I will no doubt be repeating much of the above before reviewing today’s developments at the club. Subscribe free now! New episodes are published weekdays before 4pm.


Duncan Oldham
KopTalk Editor

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