Having already entered into that crucial stage of the season that we would call a title run-in a few weeks, we are now that bit further down the line. Since confirming our place in the title run-in, how have we coped? We are now so close to the finish line and it’s fair to say, it’s all to play for.
All to play for in the League and the Champions League. So far we have acquitted ourselves in the title run-in pretty well. Yesterday’s hard fought win against Fulham capped a really good week for Liverpool.
A week earlier we triumphed 4-2 against a battling Burnley. This, of course, was followed by a really impressive performance and result in the Allianz Stadium. Not many teams go there and come away with anything. But in fairness we totally bossed the game against Bayern Munich in virtually every area of the pitch.
All To Play For
Before the Champions League draw on Friday I was talking to a few Liverpool fans about the options. As we now know we have drawn Porto it is all academic in terms of “who” and “why” so to speak.
But one thing I did mention though was that quite apart from wondering who we might have been drawn against, there wouldn’t have been a side in the last eight that would have wanted to draw us. And I include Manchester City and Barcelona in that. These two are, arguably, the favourites. If that is the case then surely we aren’t that far behind them.
Last season’s experiences will hopefully stand us in good faith. No doubt both legs against Porto will be tough. But, having said that, we don’t need to fear them. I think that’s fair to say for whoever we may have drawn.
In respect of the League and the Champions League we are certainly in the middle of exciting times. It goes without saying that Jurgen Klopp and his backroom team have managed the season so far brilliantly.
Even with the “wobbles” shown by both Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino at times, we have come through a lot of difficult games. This speaks volumes for the all round team spirit and togetherness in the squad. We mere mortal fans don’t understand the half of what goes on behind the scenes.
How could we? And yet there are so many that doubt Klopp’s wisdom. Yes, I’m talking about the nonsense on the forums again. But I’ll come on to that later.
Take last week against Burnley, I bumped into a couple who sit behind us on the Kop concourse before the game. They announced the team news and groans all round. Why, you might ask? It was because Klopp had picked Adam Lallana. No disrespect to Lallana but, in fairness, he hadn’t been setting the Premier League alight so far this season.
“What about Shaqiri? Lallana picked ahead of Hendo and Naby!!”
These were just of the groaning comments. Fast forward a couple of hours or so and what then? Everyone celebrating an important win and most people around us announcing that Lallana was probably man of the match. So much for our “expert” opinions before the game.
In Jurgen We Trust
A well used fans cliche in support of their manager maybe. Arsenal fans used it for ages with their “In Arsene We Trust” banners. But, we Liverpool fans, should really trust Jurgen shouldn’t we? He picked Lallana to everyone’s surprise and, as it happened, Lallana was outstanding. Back to the best version of Lallana from a few years ago.
Yes, a few eyebrows may be raised by us fans when we hear the team announcement. Clearly Klopp sees things in training for instance that puts certain players in the forefront and, on the other hand, pushes other players further down the pecking order.
Case in point, Xherdan Shaqiri. Back in December he was on fire and featured heavily. Now, he doesn’t get a look in. Not even a sniff. Why is that? I don’t know, but more importantly though, Jurgen does.
Would I have picked Shaqiri before Lallana to play against Burnley last week? Yes probably. As would so many of thousands others in the stadium it would seem and those writing their nonsense in the forums.
As we all now know, Adam Lallana was brilliant and we won. So, why question Jurgen Klopp when we hear the team announced?
Midweek Against Bayern Munich
We had similar moaning and groaning before the Bayern game in midweek.
“We won’t win with that midfield” was one of the many “expert” views on the forums. Again, fast forward to the end of the game, and another important, well earned victory. All to play for then in the Champions League. Thanks to the efforts of the players obviously, but also the planning and the efforts of the team off the pitch.
Congratulations Manchester City
Or should that be “Manchester Cheaty”
That’s not me congratulating Citeh by the way. Oh no, that again was the view from the many, moaning keyboard warriors in the forums.
Maybe I shouldn’t but I often take a peek in the club’s website official forum after a game and have a look at the match thread. Quite often it’s for amusement value. Before I post some of the brainless defeatist quotes, a question to any of you who have ever played a team sport. Would you want these guys alongside you as a team mate? Not a chance in hell.
The Forum Experts
After Fulham’s equaliser there were some pearlers in there. For instance:
NY Mike: “We can say goodbye to the title if this scores remains” – that’s the spirit Mike!!
RagnarTheRed: “Well it’s City’s then” – Yea, we may as well all pack in now then, even though there is still 7 games and 15 minutes plus injury time to go. Pathetic.
PreKarius: Who seemed to be moaning constantly in the thread. Here you go, his considered, ‘expert’ opinion: “Was good while it lasted. At least we have the Champions League to play for”
Bbbb..PewlDivas – Yes, a strange username. Again, he is a regular moaner and groaner. He announced, “We’re just not good enough”
And continued with many others. Such as, “we had a 7 point lead & lost it in 1 month. Did people really think we had a chance at that point?” Great stuff Bbbb….whatever that means!!
FIOS: “Jurgen Klopp has absolutely been complicit in this. Just terrible team management”. Hmm……can’t remember seeing a later post stating that Klopp was complicit in the victory!!
And There’s More……
Geralion: “I don’t fancy our chances against Barca if we get to that!” Yes indeed, why even bother turning up against Porto!!
GruntB4: “Useless, bottling jessies” – you know best Grunt.
In fairness there are some that are still optimistic. Take RobertoBaggio94 for example. After Fulham’s equaliser he announced, “We’ll still win this”
But, RKP77 knew better. “We won’t” was his expert opinion.
Dazsolo: “It’s panic stations now”
Even after Milner’s penalty they still didn’t stop.
Liverdinner: “Jammy lifeline” So, attacking your opponents looking for a winner, putting the ball in the danger and earning a certain penalty is a “jammy lifeline”
DreamingOfKlopp: “Lucky as it gets” was his euphoric celebration of what turned out to be the winner.
I’ll leave it there for now, but there are loads more. Seriously, why do they bother. Amazingly there is a regular poster who posts snippets from a Manchester United forum. I think if anyone is looking for amusing, bonkers posts then look no further than our own “fans”
Seriously though, may I ask a favour. If any of the “fans” above get a chance to actually get a ticket for any of our remaining games, turn it down and let a proper fan go instead. Would anyone that goes to the game want to be sat next to any of them!!
It’s All About Opinions
Yes, it could be argued that is it is all about opinions. And they are expressing their opinions. Funny though that hardly ever any of them appear in the forum after we’ve won. Any positive opinions guys? No!! I thought not.
Anyway, more important than the doom merchants in the forums, we are in the position of all to play for. All to play for in the League and all to play for in the Champions League. Looking back to the start of the season, who would have loved to be in this position in mid March? Yes, all of us. Well, judging by some of the comments above, maybe not all of us.
Looking forward, let’s all us fans adopt the “all to play for” viewpoint. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. We fans can and do make a difference. Thank goodness the players don’t read the forum match thread at half time. They wouldn’t bother coming out for the second half if they did.
Let’s stay positive and remember that all to play for means exactly that. An international break now (fingers crossed no one gets injured) and then Spurs up next. A tough game definitely. But again a game we shouldn’t fear. They are good, but don’t forget, so are we.
Stay positive folks. It’s still all to play for.