18.1.06

Champions of Europe - An Everton fan’s perspective

The year is 2007 and little bluenose Duncan is talking to his bluenose Dad.

SON: Dad, my mates in school told me that Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005 for the fifth time - are they right?

DAD: Yes son. It's true but they were dead lucky son, all the way through the tournament.

SON: Why dad?

DAD: Well, in the group stages.............

SON: What dad, did they have a team from Azerbaijan, Israel, and Ireland in their group?

DAD: Well no, they had Monaco, Deportiva La Coruna and Olympiakos.

SON: Well they still sound like three easy teams to me Dad...............

DAD: Actually, Monaco reached the final the year before, Olympiakos had won their league seven times out of the previous eight seasons and Deportivo finished above the Galacticos of Real Madrid in their league.

SON: Jeez Dad, that sounds like quite a difficult group then?

DAD: Yes I suppose you're right, son, but they were still lucky, it took a jammy shot from Gerrard against Olympiakos to get them through.

SON: Is that the goal where your hero Andy Gray shouts: "You beauty, you beauty, what a hit son, what a hit"?

DAD: Yes son, it is.

SON: Oh, okay. Well, what happened in the last 16 Dad, who did they draw?

DAD: Bayer Leverkusen.

SON: Bayer who?

DAD: Exactly son, but they had beaten Real Madrid 3-0 at home, and won their group that included Dianamo Kiev and Roma too.

SON: Bloo*y hell Dad, they sound good?

DAD: Yes I suppose you're right son.

SON: So, did they win on away goals or something?

DAD: Errrrr no, they won both legs 3-1.

SON: Oh well, who did they get next Dad?

DAD: Juventus.

SON: How the hell did they get past them Dad?

DAD: Well they did, they won 2-1 at home, and cruised to a 0-0 away draw with Juve hardly having a chance.

SON: Were Juve cr*p at that time, had all their decent players gone or something?

DAD: Well actually, they still had players like Del Piero, Nedved, Ibrahimovic, Thuram and Buffon in the side. And they won Serie A a few weeks later.

SON: Wow, they beat the Italian champions elect, which dead easy team did they get in the semi then?

DAD: Chelsea.

SON: Chelsea- oh for God's sake - what an easy draw - they've won nothing. Everton have won more than them.

DAD: Well that season they won the Premiership and League Cup but the red s**** didn't let them score in 180 minutes of football.

SON: I don't believe it - so Liverpool beat the English champions elect too?

DAD: Yes son they bloo*y well did.

SON: So after that all the decent teams must have been knocked out.

DAD: Not quite son, AC Milan awaited them in the final.

SON: No way - aren't they the second most successful team in the competition?

DAD: Yes son they are.

SON: So were Liverpool lucky because Milan had all their players out with injuries?

DAD: No - they had Shevchenko, Crespo, Maldini, Nesta, cafu, Kaka, Stam, Dida, Gatusso, Pirlo and Seedorf.

SON: You're avin a laff!

DAD: It get's worse son! Milan were cruising 3-0 at half time.....

SON: What happened? Did they have three men sent off in the second half - how did Liverpool get back into the game?

DAD: No, Milan had no men sent off, the Red s**** scored 3 goals in 6 minutes!

SON: Against the best defence in Europe?

DAD: Yes against the best defence in Europe.

SON: So what happened next. Extra time?

DAD: Yes son, and Dudek made the luckiest save ever to stop a Shevchenko shot from a yard.

SON: Why was it lucky dad, did it hit him on the bum, nose, shoulder or something?

DAD: No son, his hand........

SON: Well, aren't goalies meant to save shots with their hands?

DAD: Yes but that's besides the point!

SON: Then what........

DAD: Penalties!

SON: English teams are cr*p at penalties.

DAD: Not this time they weren't - they only missed one. And that's how Liverpool became the luckiest team to win the Champions League.

SON: But I bet when they brought the cup home there was hardly anyone to watch as all Liverpool fans live anywhere but Liverpool you say, and most of them would have been traveling back. How many were there, 5,000 or so?

DAD: No son, one MILLION people lined the streets.

SON: So let's get this right Dad.

Liverpool had three good teams in their group, they then knocked out a team that had beaten Real Madrid 3-0, they then knocked out the future Serie A champions, then knocked out the future Premiership champions, before coming back
from 3-0 down to beat the second most successful club in Europe. All this with only one fit forward through the knockout stages and he wasn't scoring goals. And then the whole population of Liverpool came out to welcome them home?


DAD: That about sums it up son.

SON: Dad?

DAD: Yes son.

SON: Can I have a Liverpool shirt for my birthday next week, and can you stop calling me Duncan- I'm Stevie from now on.

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