It was a strange season to be a Liverpool fan. As our own review has noted, the side were “two games from greatness,” but still finished with two domestic cups — and frankly I’ve been wanting to see one of them for quite some time.
I am insisting on remaining extremely positive, because seasons are not about just silverware, but instead are about the journey. And the Reds took us on a journey unlike any one I’ve been on before.
Would I be happier if we’d had no shot at a league title on the final day and if we’d gone out of the European Cup at the quarter- or semifinals? I don’t think so. To compete at the top you have to be prepared to lose. Things happen. The ball bounces the other teams’ way.
The season was something to relish, but this was marred totally by what happened in Paris
An occasion that should have been jubilant and nervy and fun turned into a nervy occasion for all the wrong reasons.
We were reminded that there are many things greater than football as we shifted to worry about the very real danger some of us and many other Reds (and Real fans, and neutrals) were put in. This tarnished what should have been a celebration.
The institutional lies that came out of the event multiplied the psychological and physical harms of the day. It was a dark spot on what should have been a jubilant day, and a low point for the sport.
I was grateful for the parade. We went to meet one person at a pub before heading down to the Strand and the initial group of four expanded to a group of 10, purely by chance. A subset of that 10 had been in Paris, some in the fan park, some in the ground. Emotions were mixed, but to say at least one of us was visibly still shaken is probably an understatement. Some, I heard, decided they weren’t up for a parade — the celebratory atmosphere, the crowds, all of that. Fair.
We were all, I think, glad we went. The institutional failures of Paris could have ended the season on a note that neither we nor the team deserved. The parade was one of the best days/nights I’ve ever had, and I’m so happy I got to share it with so many fellow Reds, new friends and old. I’m glad the lads — who themselves (and their family and friends) were likely shaken by the events of Paris — got to see how we all feel about them. In numbers. I’m glad the LFC Women — many of whom came to Paris as fans and were caught up in it all with us — got to be celebrated for their promotion, and got to end on a massive positive note, too.
That the Reds forced the end to be celebratory, that Klopp & Co. gave us something to revel in, is very appropriate for 2021/22. That they reminded us about the importance of togetherness, and about how, to use an often stated phrase, football is the most important of the least important things. In times like these, we’re reminded that Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool FC encapsulate the best of us.
What were the Reds this season if not the absolute pinnacle of enjoyment, regardless of what happened elsewhere? Let’s do that bit all over again.