In 1970, Liverpool lost 1-0 in the FA Cup to Watford. And yet given the extent of reporting back then, it will have received less hysterical coverage than one particular newspaper provided upon the exact same result four decades on.
The difference? This time it was the FA Youth Cup. Yes, one popular paper wrote a condemnation of the Reds' youth system based on one cup result. I don't think I've seen many things that have made me despair quite so much.
Never mind that the Reds progressed to three of the past four finals, or that the club, with a very young side, are on course for a second reserve championship in just three years; losing one game at U18 level apparently undoes all that. By 2020, can we expect big headlines when the U11s fail to win?
Youth football, much like pre-season friendlies, has been blown out of all proportion in recent years.
While I personally love watching the U18s and reserves on this website or the club's TV channel, it worries me that some get carried away with those who impress at what is a far inferior level to the first team.
I can fall into the trap too, such as thinking that Paul Anderson was set for stardom when he was named as a sub for the first-team aged 17. But the difference is, I respect the judgement of those making the decisions as to who is good enough, and fully understand that some experience arrested development.
This hit home to me a few weeks ago, when Liverpool decided to sell Christopher Buchtmann to Fulham. Having impressed last year as a 16-year-old for Liverpool and Germany, I, like many others, thought he was on course for the big time; but it was an opinion gleaned from precious little hard evidence.
When I spoke to Rafa Benítez back in October, we discussed many of the fledgling players at the club. Buchtmann was one I expected to hear good things about, but it was others who were praised. So it came as no major surprise to me to see him move on.
But because he'd received some attention, and looked promising in a few games, it became an outcry to let him go; never mind that he was not going to get into the reserve team at left-back for a good while, with the more-promising Chris Mavinga establishing himself at that level and looking a real thoroughbred.
When I wrote about my chat with Rafa, I mentioned that he'd stopped me to point out one very promising youngster who was passing by. I didn't mention the lad's name in the piece, because it's up to the boss to manage expectations around players. But I lost count of the people emailing me to beg "go on, who was it?", all of which I batted away.
Hype doesn't help the individual concerned; my point was that there is talent that Rafa feels optimistic about.
We need to remember the Freddy Adus, Sonny Pikes and Nii Lampteys of this world - real superstar kids who amounted to relatively little - rather than think everyone will be the next Messi, Fowler, Owen, Rooney, et al.
Players develop at different rates, but even the best 18-year-olds, unless they are truly sensational, offer no guarantee of making the grade. Players change and develop physically as they age, but success is as much a mental challenge as anything. And that's a side of it only those at the club can truly assess.
Years ago I wrote something along the lines of this:
It's one thing being a forward who is better than some of the best U18 centre-backs in England, and another entirely being better than the best U18s of the previous year as well, who are now gaining experience with the reserve teams and may have had a taste of senior action; and those of the year before, who might already be U21 internationals and regulars in the senior side; and those of the year before that, who are now in their 20s.
And so on; all the way through to the best U18s of a decade-or-so ago (such John Terry), who are now full internationals, and the best U18s of 15 years ago (Jamie Carragher, Rio Ferdinand), who are the canny old pros who'll snuff a rookie out in an instant.
Yes, that hypothetical U18 striker can improve with experience, too. But he's going up several levels in terms of quality, and just as players successfully jumping from lower divisions are less common, so too are top youngsters succeeding quickly at the very best clubs.
Even with multicultural youth set-ups in England, the quality needed to break through is further highlighted by the fact that it's not just the best home-grown players from the English system they're up against, but the brightest U18s of the past 15 years from the French, German, Spanish, Italian, Argentine, Brazilian and other youth systems, who, once they've established themselves as senior players, are being brought to England as the finished article.
Take Craig Lindfield, an honest, hard-working Academy graduate with an eye for a goal at youth level (top-scoring in the club's 2006 success), and who scored in one pre-season friendly for the senior side. After this, I had lots of people asking me why Benítez won't give the lad a chance.
Yet despite turning 22 this year, Lindfield now plays his football at Macclesfield, near the foot of the lowest division. In many ways he's doing well; most youngsters don't even make it in the game at all. But despite some England U19 caps, he wasn't of the required standard. And as yet, even though he can still improve, he's only rated good enough for the 4th tier of professional football.
So when people badger me about why Daniel Pacheco isn't a regular yet, I advise them to be patient and appreciate the jump in class. Unlike Lindfield, Pacheco has really impressed in the reserves, and Rafa has spoken very positively about the lad this week, but it's not fair to treat youngsters like saviours; especially during a difficult campaign when the pressure is more intense.
As it is, few people realise that according to Opta, Liverpool have on average fielded the 2nd-youngest side in the Premier League this season. And as I've mentioned along similar lines over the past couple of years, much of that is down to a lack of 30-somethings in the starting XI.
Most weeks, Jamie Carragher, recently turned 32, stands alone in this regard, with Gerrard at 29; Hyypia and Voronin, both in their 30s, have moved on. New arrival Kyrgiakos is 30, and at times his experience has been vital.
Pepe Reina is still not yet at the peak for a goalkeeper (he's 12 years younger than Edwin van der Sar!), and Agger, Mascherano, Lucas, Aquilani, Torres, Johnson, Skrtel, N'Gog, Babel and Insua are all aged between 20 and 25. The average age of the best sides tends to be between 27 and 30.
While it's been a long time since a first-team regular emerged from the youth system at Liverpool (if you discount Insua, who was purchased as a 17-year-old; although Arsenal's similar purchases tend to be credited to their youth set-up), you only have to look at how many teenagers have played in very meaningful games for the Reds this season to see that there is promise.
Some are local lads, others are imports; but all have shown that they can hold their own at the level in the sink-or-swim introduction, even if it's another big step to finding the consistency once the initial adrenaline rush of the debut (and the high it brings for a few weeks) wears off.
(Poor Martin Kelly has had plenty of time to contemplate his excellent debut in October, having been injured ever since.)
It is only recently that the scouting system has been revamped, and made more professional. But overhauling a youth system can never bear instant fruit.
A problem has been simply not discovering enough English talent.
Connor Coady, Jack Robinson and Andre Wisdom all played for the national U17 side against France this weekend, so that may bode well; and even though, as seen with Lindfield, even England U19s can fail to make the final step, it can't hurt to have a strong crop in any younger age group.
Stephen Warnock aside, I can't think of one Academy player Benítez has discarded who has gone on to be a big success. If Liverpool had been shipping out star after potential star, I'd be concerned by his actions. But Potter, Welsh, Mellor, Otsemobor, Partridge, et al, are all lower league players; only Danny Guthrie has played a lot of games in the top division.
But even someone like Warnock possibly needed the chance to play regular football at a club where there was less pressure and scrutiny, in order to develop; a bit like Ryan Shawcross leaving Manchester United.
And while the comparison isn't entirely fair, Emiliano Insua was a full Argentine international at 20 (like Lucas with Brazil), while Warnock hadn't even played for Liverpool by the age of 22, at the point when Benítez arrived.
"Throw in the kids, we've got nothing to lose" is a great saying, until you throw in the kids, lose the game, and the kids lose confidence. Then those same people say "these kids are rubbish!".
Untested young players represent to fans a get-out-of-jail-free card. They cost nothing, and as with conspiracy theories, they are never better than before they've kicked a ball for the senior side, because those who say they should be in the team every week are yet to be proved wrong.
The important thing, however, is to keep their chances in perspective. It's not like breaking into a side in the '90s or before; big clubs now have 20+ full internationals, all of whom were the stars of their respective youth systems in the past.
But if the kids do get their chance, then please, please give them time to adjust. Expect too much too soon, and they will only let you down.