So let me let you all in on a secret. I thought Liverpool could make the top four headed into the game away to West Bromwich Albion. Recent articles have been filled with asides and fixture list analysis. I had this obsession with this website called The Sports Predictor and was trying to do realistic predictions for upcoming games. I focused specifically on the top seven to get an idea of where my beloved club would be heading into the Chelsea game. This may sound silly and nonsensically naive or obsessive, but I was sure that my predictions would come right.
This is where it all gets slightly muddled as my memory is not what it was in my younger days. I was convinced that Manchester United would fail to beat both Chelsea and Everton. At most, Louis van Gaal's side would have 70 points after games with Chelsea, Everton, and West Brom. However, I thought that Chelsea would beat Man United before Everton continued their fine home form to inflict consecutive defeats on a side Liverpool seemed destined to trail behind this season. A customary recovery at home to West Brom would leave Manchester United with 68 points after two defeats and a win. Winning against Hull, West Brom, and Queens Park Rangers would be the recovery Brendan Rodgers needed. The Reds would be on 66 points heading into the Chelsea game, just two points behind Manchester United.
What about Arsenal and Manchester City? Working things out had them second and third, while Southampton and Tottenham were close together in sixth and seventh around six points behind fifth. I did predict Liverpool to lose to Chelsea, thereby provoking a furious reaction into why Brendan Rodgers couldn't be the first big manager to beat Mourinho's Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. Still, we were playing for something, and Brendan Rodgers was continuing to rack up points in the Premier League's second half just like he did in his previous two seasons at the club. Man United would have to travel to Crystal Palace on the same weekend Liverpool face Chelsea with a tough tie at home to Arsenal the following weekend. Twists and turns indeed!
Blasted twists and turns that would never, ever come to possibly pass. Not without goals in the team anyway, not without blessed goals for the masses to feast on unreservedly via tweets, vines, highlights, and whatever video contraption that exists in this interconnected electronic dimension. These predictions were on the back of a supposed victory in the FA Cup semi-final too, but once Liverpool got knocked out by Tim Sherwood, I became even more certain that we'd recover. Liverpool stumble in the biggest games when something's at stake (lose to Chelsea away after getting close to Man United again) but found some consistency (in terms of results anyway) in the league. It all made sense.
Reality managed to get involved somehow and scupper these plans. Manchester United stumbled, but Liverpool's problems looked worse against humble but dogged opposition. There's not much left to play for now except pride and points. Noel was kind enough to suggest that where there's youth there's at least something and create a poll for you good folks to decide whether we should play the youngsters. Trev looked to Martin Scorsese and taxis in his attempt to make sense of things for all of us. I was going to write some lengthy tome on the identity and philosophy of Rodgers but didn't have it in me today. What a super soggy biscuit of a time we're all having.
What else is there to play for? Not much. I can't even play around with the predictor anymore, what's the point? Liverpool had remote chances of finishing in the top four, but I sincerely (and presumably soberly) thought we'd be able to tenuously entertain such chances for at least a week or so in May. Brendan Rodgers looks bereft of ideas and a little shaken, there's no discernible playing style, some of the players need to go, a talented bunch of young players between 19 and 25/26 seem in need of some Weetabix, there's no Lucas Leiva, big names out of contract need to sit down, manager speculation is distracting but intriguing, and we probably would take the season ending right now so that things can get better.
Yes it is, you're goddamn right.