What did I learn from our first taste of home football?
Well…recent commercial development around the ground means I’m going to get more exercise over the course of the season. Perhaps the norm for most football fans but a 1.5 mile walk to the ground was a bit of a shock, I’m more used to a pleasant 500 yard stroll.
21,000 people, is a lot of people. Advertised as a sell-out, the John Smith’s Stadium was choca-block. A sea of blue and white with the odd speckle of red packed the three home stands, add on top the 3,415 in the away end I would not have wanted to be part of the clean-up team.
My routine won’t be broken, even by the likes of Liverpool. As most people are sat trying desperately to pick Jurgen Klopp out, I settle into my own pre-match regime; a quick flick through the programme followed by an opposition analysis. I sat and watched, and watched some more. “Interesting. Very interesting.” I thought, the match preparations are almost identical. Patterns of attacking play are played out simultaneously. The Wagner and Klopp School of footballing methodology is as evident as ever.
Somethings are more important than Football. Like most of you reading this, Football is your life, as it is mine. But sometimes we are reminded of the insignificance of this game. This was one of those occasions, a rapturous minute’s applause for the late Jo Cox.
We’re still getting to know the new players. DW handed the chance to lead the line to new boy Elias Kachunga with Wells missing the game through precaution, with record signing Schindler beside Hudson, and Australian International Mooy, keeping his place in midfield.
Town’s footballing identity is bedding in nicely. As the game kicked off it didn’t take long to notice the game plan, keep the ball moving and on the floor unless absolutely necessary, press the opposition with speed and in their defensive areas. HUNT IN PACKS. Another trademark of the Wagner and Klopp School of footballing methodology.
But what about the game?
Well, the game showcased two teams, who appreciate the importance of the football both in and out of possession. Treating it with great care and respect whilst having it, and working unbelievably hard to earn it back.
In reality I don’t think too many Town fans will have gone to the game expecting a victory and when Liverpool’s new signing, Marko Grujic’s gave the visitors the lead in the first half I think attentions definitely turned towards the performance rather than the result.
1-0 almost became 2-0, shortly afterwards when LFC were duly awarded a spot-kick for a foul on the advancing £34m man Sadio Mane. Up stepped Coutinho, phones out, camera’s filming – well unlucky Liverpool fans, looks like you’re going to have to delete your footage. Coleman with an outrageous save to deny the Brazilian and with that the half time whistle would soon follow.
Expectedly the half time changes were rung and with a tiring Liverpool, we saw a brighter second half from the men in blue and white with Town trying to force an equaliser. Unfortunately we were restricted to shots from range. Philip Billing twice tried his luck only to miss the target, whilst Dempsey’s shot fizzed inches wide of the post.
A second goal was to come, but sadly for Town at the wrong end with Alberto Moreno showing Coutinho just how it’s done sending Coddington the wrong way from the spot.
Overall this was a performance that was pleasing. The terriers were able to get at Liverpool and test their new no 1 Loris Karius and on a number of occasions. Plus, with so many new faces it was impressive to see how well they played together.
Some other things to note:
- The Town fans love dizzy penalties, and hate idiots.
- Match tickets are better than Drone’s
- Terry the Terrier is a decent Goalkeeper
- Lovern doesn’t like trophies.
- We’ve another fan, Jurgen Klopp.
- Does this officially mean we can no longer sing “He’s better than Klopp”?
Ooh to be…