With a 3-2 victory over Norwich, Liverpool require only seven points to seal their first league title since 1990. It’s been an agonising wait for Reds fans as our club, steeped in history, has struggled since the inception of the Premier League.
The last two games (against City and Norwich) have seen Liverpool battle second-half fight-backs from teams who have been unlucky not to come away with a point.
In each game, Liverpool has stormed out of the blocks full of verve and conviction in what they are trying to achieve.
In both games, as the reality of possibly winning a title has its impact on the players, the team has dropped off in intensity and made silly mistakes which have cost them.
While this will destroy the nerves and fingernails of Liverpool fans worldwide, this is not only expected, it is necessary for Liverpool to return to the heights of the 80s.
If Liverpool weren’t tested as thoroughly as they have been during this campaign, players would never have the knowledge that they could do it when it really counted.
As a long-suffering fan, I’m happy that we are in a dog-fight. As much as I want us to steam away from the pack and win the title easily, such an achievement would not set us up for a long period of EPL success.
In contrast, the current season, even if we are ultimately unsuccessful, it will ensure we are strongly entrenched in the title challenge for years to come.
The experience gained out of beating City when it looked for all money that we would lose and, just a week later hitting Norwich on the break when they looked for all money the dominant side of the second half, will be invaluable for years to come.
Think of all the times Manchester United won in “Fergie Time” and how those results affected the title. For most fans, they will struggle to remember many specific instances, they will just know how successful Utd were during Fergie’s reign.
In real terms, if Liverpool do win the title, two, three or four years from now, no one (or very few at least) will remember the periods in games where the Reds were on the ropes.
They will simply remember the winning streak that was required to win and the fact that Liverpool did it. Moreover, opposing teams will carry the knowledge (and fear) that Liverpool can win a game even when they clearly shouldn’t.
Over the next three weeks I fully expect to see Liverpool tested repeatedly. I’ll suffer through it gladly knowing it will galvanise the team for years to come.
“My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. You know, Napoleon had that idea and he conquered the bloody world. And that’s what I want – for Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up, and up, and up. Until eventually, everyone would have to submit, and give in.”
Sadio Mane struck twice as Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent EPL start with a 3-1 win over Newcastle, while Tottenham thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0, and Manchester City slipped to a shocking 3-2 defeat at Norwich.
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