It’s finally here. Football is back. After three months away from football we are returning to some sort of normality later today when we take on Everton at Goodison. With all that’s happened over the last three months it certainly will be a Merseyside Derby with a difference. Mainly of course because the game will be played behind closed doors. That will be very weird for that players without a doubt. Even if there will be piped crowd noises.
Merseyside Derby With A Difference
Another feature of today’s game that will add to the Merseyside Derby With A Difference flavour will be the “take the knee” tribute in support of George Floyd and other victims of racism. All players shirts will as well have “Black Lives Matter” across the back instead of their own names.
And, of course, there will be a minute’s silence before the game in honour of all those who have tragically lost their lives as a result of the pandemic.
Indeed it will be a Merseyside Derby with a difference. Let’s hope that when the game starts we are able to take our minds away, if even for a brief moment, from the nightmares of the last three months. Hopefully we can see a Merseyside Derby that can match up to some of the classics of the past. And, of course, hopefully we can see a Liverpool win that will take us that bit closer to the title.
Over the last week or so the forums and fan groups have been bubbling up a bit. Everton striker, Richarlison, has helped to stoke the event up a bit. He has claimed that he doesn’t think that Virgil Van Dijk is the best defender in the world. He names three others that are better in his opinion. Oh, and he also mentioned that he once dribbled the ball past VVD. Heady stuff indeed.
In response, the Liverpool forums have of course retaliated with their own views. That in itself is a step back to some sort of normality. Some banter if you like. So what if Richarlison thinks there are 3 better centre backs in the world. It’s his opinion. And an expected opinion to make in the build up to a Merseyside Derby. It’s all part and parcel of a football match between two big rivals.
Merseyside Derby With A Difference – The Bigger Picture
Beyond today’s game itself though, let’s look at the bigger picture. We need six points (assuming Man City don’t drop any more points) maximum from nine games remaining. That in itself generates massive excitement. It’s not ideal that there will not be any fans in the stadiums. But, if we can clinch the title, I will settle for that. No fans present but number 19. I’ll go for that. As I’m sure we all will.
As this season has progressed I remember saying to my friend who sits next to me on The Kop how good it would be if we could win the title at home. This wish, of course, was made before lockdown. We were both in the ground when we last won the title at home to QPR back in 1990.
Over the years we have regularly said that at that time little did we think it would have taken us so long to win number 19. For that reason alone, we would have loved to have been in the ground to see us win it. But, we can’t and that’s that. And, of course, we haven’t won it yet. Let’s just get the job done.
Because of the strange circumstances, the remaining 9 games will seem weird anyway. Merseyside Derby included. The end of the season in July is a first. Quickly followed by the start of the 2020/21 season. In every pre-season thoughts turn to incoming signings.
Still early in terms of any transfer activity but already we’ve found ourselves in the forefront of a big (non) transfer story. I’m referring to Timo Werner of RB Leipzig. For months and months it seemed nailed on that he was Liverpool bound. Not so now though. He is destined for Chelsea as we have pulled out of the race.
In Jurgen And Mike We Trust
For what reason(s)? The rumours are flying around the forums etc. Whatever the reason(s) I think we should all take a deep breath and just let those in charge make the right decisions. Yes, Werner is a fantastic talent and yes, it looked like he wanted to come. But, as he is not now on his way here, we should trust Jurgen Klopp, Mike Edwards and any others involved. They have decided he is not coming. It doesn’t look like he turned us down. Far from it. And the reasons it was decided not to sign him should be trusted and respected. After all, Jurgen Klopp, Mike Edwards and FSG generally haven’t too bad so far have they?
Anyway, just a short blog post. Football is back with us today. A Merseyside Derby With A Difference. Let’s hope it’s a victorious one. After that the games come thick and fast. So much so that before too long we will soon find ourselves well immersed in all things football.
Enjoy the game everyone. And, most importantly, stay safe.
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