John Gibbons: Thoughts from Liverpool Airport as the Reds fly to Rome

As he prepares to jet over to the Italian capital, John Gibbons of The Anfield Wrap found some time to give us his thoughts...


Greetings from Liverpool Airport as we prepare to fly to Rome.

We’ve just seen Ian Rush, which is terribly exciting. I doubt he’s on our flight, but you never know. Grab that air hostess, Rushie lad – mine’s four mini white wines.

Seeing him with his washbag was a nice reminder of how excited the whole football club is about this run and this team.

Did you see the pictures of the Directors Box from Tuesday? Kenny Dalglish with his brilliant wide smile spotting the goals before anyone else, Gerard Houllier mouth open wide at what he was seeing. And Rush joyously watching a man on his way to breaking his own scoring records we all thought would last forever.

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These lads have all achieved great things. From Paris down to Turkey, they’ve won the flipping lot. Rush has won in Rome. He’s won European Cups in Rome. Yet he’s still diving on planes like the rest of us because he can’t wait to watch The Reds.

Having said that, the edge has been slightly taken off the trip by what happened last week before the game and the concern of more coordinated attacks on fans in Rome. There will also be elements of aggression with football fans. As in all society. It is the indiscriminate and cowardly nature of incidents involving Roma Ultras that worry you.

You should be able to choose to stay out of trouble and just enjoy the football. Like poor Sean Cox tried to.

You just hope everyone can stay safe and enjoy what should be a pure celebration of two teams no one else was putting in the semi finals. I’ve tried to follow the safety advice that I’ve seen, although some of it has seemed rather extreme. In the end I just have to cross my fingers and hope my wife doesn’t watch the news.

There are footballing concerns for Liverpool as well. Zeljko Buvac, described by Jurgen Klopp as his “brain”, has left the club out of nowhere. The official line is just temporarily, but he certainly won’t be around for the rest of the season.

When someone is said to have left for personal reasons, you don’t want to speculate what that might be. But Klopp must feel like a general on the battlefield losing men all around him at the moment.

We’re off to the Battle of Trafalgar and we can get there in a mini-bus.

But what a mini bus of lads they are. They might not be able to beat Stoke City, but I fancy them to conquer Rome again. Just like Rushie did.

Up The Reds.

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What do you think?