When You Walk Through A Storm, There's A Golden Sky
The storm of course was our game against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium last Saturday. A game in which the players indicated that they simply had no interest in doing what they are paid to do. Their performance as we all know was diabolical and was a shock to everyone's system, so much so that many people were calling yet again for Kenny's head.
Kenny of course was as angry as the rest of us and said what we were all thinking during his post-match press conference. He explained that any player who does not realise what playing for the club and wearing the red shirt means, would be shown the door - quite rightly so of course.
What the dressing room must have been like after that game is anyone's guess but I suspect most of the players went home with their heads bowed.
It was obvious that none of the players would get any time off with the second leg of the Carling Cup semi -final due to be played at Anfield several days later. They had after all only three days to correct what turned out to be very poor defending and a midfield that fell apart. It would also give our strikers a chance to learn once again how to score - something which of course they have not been doing.
What nobody bargained for I guess was the dressing down that they received from Kenny both individually and as a group. A dressing down that appears to have done what it was meant to do.
Why, because as the article's title suggests, the players walked through a storm and into a golden sky.
The golden sky was of course last night's Carling Cup Semi-Final. A Semi-Final that if won would see Liverpool at Wembley for the first time in sixteen years. There have of course been other finals during that time but they have been held at the Millennium Stadium in Wales.
As you all know, the Carling Cup semi-finals are always played as two legged ties and the first one was won by Liverpool after Stevie G scored a penalty. This gave Liverpool an advantage as they entered the second leg which would be played at Anfield in front of a capacity crowd and as it turned out our owners John Henry, his wife Linda and Tom Werner were also in attendance.
We the supporters had been asked to ensure that Manchester City knew what Anfield felt like when the twelfth man was in full voice, and we did, the atmosphere was electric and the Kop were in full voice, a voice that had not really been heard for several weeks.
The game it started at an amazing pace, with Liverpool looking more like a Champions League team than a team that several days ago was having problems. The pass and move style of football was being played and it was wonderful to watch. Craig, Dirk, Stevie and the rest of the lads were passing the ball and outwitting Manchester City so quickly, that if you took your eyes of the field of play you missed several vital moves.
Liverpool who on another night could have scored several, were stopped by the superb form of Joe Hart, who like Pepe appears to be able to read the game extremely well. I guess he made up for the disaster prone Savic, who seemed to be unable to cope with the importance of the game. If there was one player that would help Liverpool score, it would be him.
But as always, stranger things happen and it was Manchester City on the night that opened the scoring. This happened after David Silva sent a ball towards Nigel De Jong, who then sent it curling straight into the back of the net. It was a wonderful goal and both set of supporters just sat still looking totally amazed.
They had levelled the score line and unless another goal was scored, it would mean extra time and the dreaded penalty shootout, but Liverpool being Liverpool had no intention of being put through that ordeal.
The remaining fifteen minutes of the first half were as fantastic as the earlier thirty and the Liverpool team went into the dressing room on a high but with the knowledge that they needed to score one or two more. Would it happen was a thought that must have gone through many supporters minds during the fifteen minute break.
We need not have worried of course, because with a little help from Manchester City, Liverpool were soon on top once again. Micah Richards found himself on the wrong end of a ball that had been sent by Dirk Kuyt towards Daniel Agger. It hit him on the arm after first hitting his foot and referee Phil Dowd awarded Liverpool a penalty - Up steps captain fantastic - Stevie G and Liverpool were in front once again.
Liverpool appeared to be holding their own but Manchester City were not going to go out of the cup without a fight and a short time later Alexander Kolarov ran down the left and having picked up a ball sent it towards Dzeko who fired it into the back of the net. Extra time was now beckoning once again and if Liverpool could not score again, Manchester City would go through on the away goals rule.
Step forward Craig Bellamy
Now Craig as we all know is 32 years old, has a pair of dodgy knees apparently and came back to the club after being released on a free during the summer. He is also outside the age limit that the ridiculously silly moneyball system dictates.
But Craig knows what wearing the Liverpool shirt means and he ran around the Manchester City players like there was no tomorrow. He was fantastic and it was only fitting that he became the man to send Liverpool to Wembley at the end of February.
With Dirk Kuyt running down the flank, Craig was exchanging a delightful one-two with Glen Johnson when he turned and fired the ball towards the net. It went in and Anfield was on fire. The noise was deafening and it was now down to Liverpool to hold their nerve until the final whistle.
They did and with Liverpool now heading to Wembley, it was wonderful to watch the celebrations on the pitch. The players were all congratulating themselves - quite rightly so of course, because they had played in magnificent manner.
Kenny of course was being Kenny, who as he approached the players, was seen with tears in his eyes, tears that proved he is the right man to lead Liverpool back to where they belong. His passion is a wonderful sight to see and I have to admit to also shedding a tear as relief took over from the stress of the earlier 90 minutes.
Tears, that re-appeared this morning, when I watched a short clip of Kenny and the team after the game. Why because I am so proud of the man they call the King, the man who in his first year back as our manager, will lead our team out onto the Wembley turf in February. His name is Kenny Dalglish and we owe him so much so anyone who questions his tenure is not a Liverpool supporter.