The Light From an Oncoming Train

Roy Johnstone 09/01/2020 17comments  |  Jump to last

The light at the end of the tunnel is the light from an oncoming train.
(Nigel Blackwell)

I’ve been a Blue for over 40 years now. My first match against Notts Forest in August '77, a 3-1 home defeat. I never quite forgot the utter despair and gut-wrenching nature of that, which made the joy of the mid 80s all the sweeter.

I’ve not lived in Liverpool since the mid 90s and as time has gone one I have watched the infrequent high’s and more frequent lows from down south. I injected the Blue pathogen into both of my kids and they are true Blues, despite the general albatross around the neck that that has been since 2000. I took my daughter to a couple of games, notably a 4-1 win against Fulham in the Moyes era which was Chris Coleman’s last game in charge. She’s a passive Blue university student now.


About these ads

My son is a different matter. He has watched the anger, swearing, rage and joy etched onto his arl fella’s face when watching the game over the last few years; slowly coming to the conclusion that he fancied a bit of that for himself. So earlier on this season, when I was offered two tickets to watch the Blues at the Amex, we headed down for his first match.

I don’t need to reopen the festering Lee Mason VAR-based agony of that pissing-down afternoon in Sussex by the sea. Needless to say, we were cheated out of it. When Digne put the own goal in during injury time I watched the machinations of my son's face, experiencing something that is a rite of passage for any Blue. Best described by Bart Simpson in the episode where Lisa tells Ralph she doesn’t want him as her Valentine. Bart slow-mo's the incident to the point where you can see Little Ralphy’s heart break. Fuck it, never mind. Onwards and upwards.

So, I thought we will put this one to bed and go to the return at Goodison. Got tickets sorted, the excitement begins to build and he’s probably humming himself to sleep with Z-Cars this week. And then we have the most embarrassing pile of crap performance that I have witnessed in many a year against the Liverpool Youth team. All of a sudden, what is his big day out at the Grand Old Lady gonna be like? Toxic? Too right.

Needless to say, a high level of reaction is required against what I consider to be a bang average Brighton team. Delph should not play for the team again. If the millions he earns isn’t enough to thicken his skin against rightly given dog's abuse on social media, he should leave now.

It'll be an interesting time for his first visit. After the euphoria of Duncan’s time and Carlo’s appointment has last Sunday broken the relationship between this group of lazy, overpaid wasters and the fans? I’ve heard talk of white hankies and silence as they run out. You pays your money, and all that.

I hope the management have the balls to listen to the fans, realize who the main shirkers were, and play a side that embodies the values and spirit of the club far better than the second half team at Anfield did. And, most important of all, I hope we stuff them 5-0. NSNO

Share this article

Reader Comments (17)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 10/01/2020 at 09:28:04
Roy, I hope you and your son enjoy the game, especially your son on his first visit, I hope he is a lucky mascot for us.

Roy, I can almost guarantee that whatever the reaction is to the team’s appearance, once the game starts the crowd will be positive,very positive to try and ensure that a vital victory is ensured. As long as the effort and will to win comes from the team there will no problems with the crowd.

P.S. I’m not bringing a hankie on Saturday.

Joe Parkinson
2 Posted 10/01/2020 at 14:24:44
Good read Roy, hope your Son enjoys a better game than we witnessed last week...
P.s I will be bringing a white Pillowcase, just to make sure they see it. ha ha...
Have a Great Day Roy, regardless.
Martin Mason
3 Posted 10/01/2020 at 19:07:58
Roy, I was at the Forest game too. We've suffered since then mate, only 45 years though. At least I did see 2 titles and one FA Cup in the 60/70's. Good luck with tomorrow, it can only get better surely?
Don Alexander
4 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:39:45
I too remember that Forest match, their first following their promotion. They went on to win the league and the European Cup twice in the next three seasons. What I remember particularly was how whip-cord slim, fast and skilful their players were compared to ours.

Plus ca change, of almost everyone ever since.

Mike Doyle
5 Posted 10/01/2020 at 20:50:09
I expect the crowd to get behind the team tomorrow ( even the most frustrated of our number realise that we still need points ).
These players have to realise you cannot con the Goodison crowd. In my experience (dating back to 1970) They’ll get behind any blue shirt 👕 that is trying. Those who are not And those who are hiding can expect to be singled out for criticism- and the white hankie treatment.
Roy Johnstone
6 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:02:34
I seem to remember my old man venting his spleen at George Wood for one of the goals 'Where did Lee find this Fucking Clown' being one of his comments.
Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:10:56
George wore contact lenses, maybe he forgot to put them in for that game Roy, I’m almost sure he did in a game versus Newcastle, he made two terrible howlers in a 4-4 draw. He wasn’t too bad when you think of some of the comics we’ve had in goal for us, he was also capped by Scotland and we may have made a profit on him when we sold him to Arsenal.
Roy Johnstone
8 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:17:35
We did have some godawful keepers round that time. David Lawson, Dai Davies, Jim Mcdonagh come to mind. Forest signed Shilton weeks after the game and didn't look back. Bob Latchford reckons the quality of keeper was the difference that season.
Don Alexander
9 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:31:54
"Wee" Georgie Wood (6'4" from memory) was signed from Blackpool and was indeed capped a few times by the Jocks. He had a good career and from memory once played a MOTM blinder at Goodison to stop Liverpool giving us a.n.other thrashing.
Paul Birmingham
10 Posted 10/01/2020 at 21:48:03
Roy, have a Ball tomorrow. That season Forest were a class act and I was at the match and also the league cup game and we were cruising at 2-0, and lost 2-3, Viv Anderson scored with a cracking banana curling shot.

All in all mid eighties aside, and 1995, that’s the spoils of football for EFC.

But hope eternal and tomorrow, let’s hope literally out with the old, and in with the. Ew, in terms of Carlos Way.

After last Sunday a good hiding to the Seagulls would be great, but let’s get a win, without conceding.

Crowd will be positive and up for it, the players surely will atone for last Sunday.

Spare bench place, now Cenks on loan, is up for grabs, perhaps now Anthony Gordon, will be introduced. Let’s see.

Steve Ferns
11 Posted 10/01/2020 at 22:15:13
Roy, I hope your son enjoys the game tomorrow. The thing is, I think the crowd will be supportive. Especially if Ancelotti makes changes, and those changes include young Gordon.

Let's think back to the 5-1 Atlanta humiliation. We followed that up by getting stuffed 4-1 by Southampton. Roll on the next home game and Sam Allardyce is announced before the game, a manager most of us do not want. Yet the atmosphere in the stadium was good. It was probably helped by West Ham bringing Davie Moyes to town and our anger was directed towards him. But once the goals started to flow, it dissipated. By the end the atmosphere was superb, and Rhino was sent off in style.

So tomorrow. I expect mild applause, with silence from those angry. And then it'll be up to the players to win the fans on side. All they need to do is to put the effort in. First big chance we get the roar will be back. You can't help it.

As long as we go ahead, it'll all be fine!

Jack Convery
12 Posted 10/01/2020 at 22:27:05
I was told that Wood lost one of his contact lenses v Forest and had left his spares at home !! I remember there boing trouble in the Park End as I was in the Main Stand overlooking it. Forest played us off the park and were worthy Champions at the end of the season. LFC hated them so us Blue Noses were happy they won it.

I for one have not forgiven the gobshites for last Sunday and I never will. I've stolen the main sail off a sloop and will hoist it up when they come out - the skiving cowardly gits that they are.

Darren Hind
13 Posted 11/01/2020 at 08:09:14
I don't get this protest lark I very much doubt that the main culprits from last Sunday will get anywhere near the pitch, I don't see why people brought in to replace them should cop the flak.

I remember a game against Brighton when both teams came out of the blocks like Usain Bolt. It was 2-2 after a few minutes. We were sitting up in the corner of the TB so you couldnt see the scoreboard.
This fella from Brighton came running in late with his lad. He turned around and asked had they missed any decent action. We told him it was two each and he looked at us and sadi "fucking Scousers. You all think your comedians". He wouldnt talk to us after that.
The game went downhill rapidly after that and this poor fucker wouldnt have know until he got back to his car that he hadnt just watched a tedious 0-0 draw.

Dont be late Roy ffs

Dont worry about the atmosphere mate, Being at the old lady in proper kick off mode is a kinda rite of passage... and make sure your treat that lad of yours to a proper Goodison road chippy dinner.

Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 11/01/2020 at 13:20:36
Not long until we find out but I'd be surprised if there are more than two changes or, injuries permitting, almost the same team as last week just to show that it wasn't the tactics that were wrong.
Would I go that way, never in a million years!
Roy Johnstone
15 Posted 11/01/2020 at 21:46:36
We had a cracking day. Top seats in the upper bullens. Both of us screamed and shouted the whole game. Richarlison scored right in front of us, and pickford pulled off a cracking save second half. Massive issues with the play in the last ten minutes, but we won, which was all I wanted for Alex to see. Bigger issues set aside for some serious joy with my boy. Best quote of the day was 'keep it in play so that c**t Delph can't come on'. We both went home with hope.
Roy Johnstone
16 Posted 11/01/2020 at 21:57:20
Alan 14. You were spot on and it nearly cost us. Darren 13, despite Merseyrails best efforts made it there in plenty time to give it the full tour. Had to stop him buying an Efc v atlanta badge by reminding him of the result. Dave 1. He's got 100% record for now. Second game will come far quicker than the first.

Roy Johnstone
17 Posted 11/01/2020 at 22:08:40
Steve 11, you were right. A bit subdued at times, but probably down to team selection. It really helped that we'd seen Brighton mug us at their gaff in November. You don't always get what you deserve. And they probably deserved a point late on. But they didn't get it and are still on the M25 as we speak. Unlucky lads. Life is shit on the road sometimes.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads

© ToffeeWeb