LIVERPOOL’S TITLE CHALLENGE – IN PERSPECTIVE

I am not going to lie to you, last night at around 10.55pm I was absolutely furious. There was a moment where I was ready to rip the house down with my bare hands. The frustration had gotten the better of me. I was enraged for a number of reasons. Being an early riser and a light sleeper, I was tired even before the Liverpool game started. Then only to have to endure a totally substandard, scrappy, ugly game of football, was just to much for me to bare.

It was not just the result that set my football fuse alight either, it was the manner in which that result came about. Liverpool were horrible. Defensively, all over the place. Van Dijk has lost his edge the past couple of games. Milner was a disaster at right back. The midfield awful too. Keita clearly needs more time to settle. He was extremely poor last night. He looks like a fish out of water at the moment. And even though he came for a hefty price tag last summer, I urge Liverpool fans to be patient with him. My feeling is he will come good next season.

Fabinho was ok, but Lallana was also a disaster. He is a clever player and his feet are nifty, but he is way too slow for Liverpool’s high intensity brand of football. I know he is just back from injury, but even a fully fit Lallana is lethargic within our unit. It’s a shame, because he is a decent player and guy. But it’s plain for all to see. The front three struggled too. Bobby Firmino had his worst game in a while. Salah, cut a frustrated figure, shooting haphazardly. In fact the only Liverpool player who can really hold his head up high is Sadio Mane, who I thought was outstanding.

Apart from the crappy performance and snoozefest of a match, there was another realisation that slapped me in the face last night. Liverpool’s form is on a downward spiral. The performance against Leicester was poor which continued in last nights match with West Ham. And at a time when they have had a real opportunity to put one hand firmly on the Premier League trophy, they have fallen way short. For fans like me, who really and truly were not apart of Liverpool’s glory days, this is difficult to handle.

Perennial underachievers since the early 90’s, most fans are beyond the point of desperate, to get that last elusive piece of silverware tucked away in the cabinet. It has become a bit of an obsession and the sooner it happens the sooner we can relax. AND stop being the brunt of so many United, City and Chelsea fans jokes. This desperation led me to the point of losing my shit last night.

To be honest, I wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine this morning when I woke at 5am. But, the more I started to think about it, the more reality started to set in. The first thing I remembered was my prediction pre season. Did I think Liverpool had a shot at the title this season? The honest answer is no. I thought City would run away with it again and Liverpool would at most be fighting for second. So to be in February, top of the league by three points having lost only one match all season, has far outweighed my expectations truth be told.

Once the dust had settled, I also started to remember that there are no easy game in the Premier League. To go into games against Leicester City or West Ham thinking they should just crumble at the sight of our greatness and hand over the three points, is the kind of attribute I truly hate in some segments of fans today. I refuse to become one of them. Teams of this ilk, work hard and fight tooth and nail to get results. And deserve every bit of respect for their achievements during the season.

Take last night as an example. Did Liverpool throw away 2 points, or did West Ham earn 1? I tend to think it is the latter and they may have even deserved more for their efforts. They were in Liverpool’s faces from the first whistle. They out muscled, out fought and out ran the men in grey. As dogged as they were, it would have taken real quality to beat the Hammers in that mood yesterday, and for Liverpool that quality was missing. That is the Premier League, and that is why we all love it.

So where does that leave all us Liverpool fans now? It leaves us in a really good position to take a crack at the title. Nothing more, nothing less. If we look at things realistically, do Liverpool have the best squad in the league? Of course not. Man City’s are far superior and some would argue that Chelsea, Spurs and United may be above Liverpool still player for player. In light of that, should Liverpool go on to win the title, it will be a great achievement and one we should be very proud of. If not, we will continue to develop all areas of the club and move forward.

I have always been proud to be a Liverpool fan, a part of the family. Because I have always enjoyed that the majority of Liverpool fans are able to differentiate between fantasy and reality. The past three years Liverpool have taken huge strides in the right direction. Both on and off the field. The club has it’s swagger back, and is finally seen once again as one of the top clubs in Europe and not just a has been.

So let’s get a grip on the situation and be patient. Let’s not change what being a Liverpool fan is all about, together as one no matter what. We must continue to stick together and behind the team at all times. Through the good and the bad. And acknowledge that we are on the right path. If we do this, when the time is right, and we deserve it, that ever elusive Premier League title will finally be ours. Of that I am absolutely certain.

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Discussion

  1. Claude

    well said Ozman …good read and honest.

    but are you sure you are ABSOLUTELY certain?

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