Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

GHOSTS roam the stadium in Anfield. I see them every game. I see a Kenny Dalglish-shaped apparition: arms aloft, teeth, hair, smiling like a kid. Running towards The Kop.

I see Bill Shankly: be-scarfed, arms aloft, teeth clenched, jaw proud. Striding towards The Kop.

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I see striations in the air and lesions in the grass, where Luis Suarez has been. All Tasmanian devil. All buckle and swash. Dancing towards The Kop.

This autumn, I look across the pitch from my spec in the Centenary Stand. I see the space where Brendan Rodgers stood.

I still see Raheem Sterling marionetting down the flanks. Skipping towards The Kop. I see Daniel Sturridge. There. Not there. All of them ghosts of a sad season. Fading before The Kop.

Most of all now, in those moments in a game where you kind of get lost in yourself and feel briefly detached from all around you, I see him. The leader. All steel. All focus. All powerful. Surging towards The Kop.