12 December, 2007

Gone the dream? Not really...

Firstly, I should make clear that I was disappointed not to beat Luton, and even more disappointed that the Reds did not play well (hence Homer's contribution).

I am also a little disappointed that the opportunity to play Liverpool has not come up.

BUT: We would have got tanked. It would have been like Chelsea last year, where the Reds would most likely have been overawed by the occasion. Liverpool are scoring a lot of goals at the moment, and to be honest, a Premier League reserve XI should still beat a decent side from League One.

Naturally enough, I got a text from one of my Liverpool-supporting friends saying the "pipe dream is over" - get over yourself! I did remark when the draw was made that we would be more likely to play poorly against Luton than against Liverpool...

It would have been a distraction. With hindsight, the Chelsea match was, if not a turning point, a catalyst for the problems which dogged the second half of the season. Even if you get beaten by the best team in the world (which neither Liverpool or Chelsea are), the prevailing emotion is still "we got beaten". So, for the sake of the league campaign, which absolutely has to be the top priority, it may be better to have a dreary midweek defeat to our league rivals (who, incidentally have a very good home record), than a high profile bashing in front of the TV cameras. The former you can forget about, dare I say brush it under the carpet, but with the latter there is nowhere to hide.

Finally, we all know that many neutrals would like to see us beaten by League One rivals. It is called Schadenfreude. However, from a neutral perspective, it may actually be good for football that Luton get the big payday - their players are currently not getting paid, and the estimated £400k that they will receive from the Liverpool match may make the difference between a club going under, and staying afloat. I don't want to see any club disappear, not even Leeds!

Sure, it will feel a little hollow on 3rd round weekend, but it is not the end of the world...

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