By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke
Thirty six games in, two left to go. A club record of more than 90 points accumulated, and still it looks increasingly likely it won’t be enough to provide Liverpool with what they have craved for so very long – the Premier League trophy.
Liverpool’s season-long duel with title rivals Manchester City has been as captivating as it has been excruciating to watch. The two have traded blows with win after win as the Reds have truly risen to the gargantuan challenge of going up against Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side. Yet with Liverpool likely to lose out by the skin of their teeth, it is no reason to be sombre about.
You’ll likely get to the end of this season and ask yourself ‘what if?’. “What if Liverpool had won instead of drawn against West Ham or Leicester?”, “What if the the goalmouth scramble against Manchester City had gone over the line?”. These questions are only natural – especially now that we’ve almost come to expect perfection.
However, it’s important not to dwell over these if’s, but’s and maybe’s – as complaining about dropped points in a campaign in which Liverpool have broken their Premier League record for the accumulation of such would, in fact, be daft and illogical.
For perspective here, not only have Liverpool broken their own record for Premier League points – they have equalled Manchester United’s most successful season of 91 points with six more still to play for.
Given United have won 13 Premier League titles with no more points on each occasion than Liverpool currently have, it truly is a remarkable statistic that hits home how brilliant both City and ourselves have been. To further outline how strong this Liverpool side is, our current tally of 91 points also eclipses that of the famous Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ they accumulated 90 points.
As a football fan, its the hardest thing in the world to do to swallow your pride and hold your hands up and admit the brilliance of a fierce rival – especially so when their victory is likely to be tinged with your own, heartbreaking defeat.
But with destiny out of our own hands, that is pretty much all we can do until the curtain closes on the season. Should the tables somehow turn and City slip up and Liverpool emerge victorious, I’m sure Guardiola’s side will give us equal credit as we would them.
As we enter the final month of the season still alive and well in the Champions League semi-final as well as a Premier League title race, there is a reality where Liverpool could have their strongest season since the glory days of the 80’s and still finish without a trophy to show for it. But again, this is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about.
It’s okay to be disappointed, yes. However by achieving a 90-plus point Premier League campaign as well as at the very least a Champions League semi, Liverpool have truly announced their credentials in world football.
Prestigious credentials that propels us to the elite of the game – where we have craved to be. While the possibility remains we exit this season empty handed, the tools are truly there to challenge at the very top year in, year out.
When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield in October of 2015, Liverpool languished in consistent seasons in around 7th place in the Premier League, a world away from the title challengers. Our European forays were few and far between and the name Liverpool commanded less respect as our form dwindled. Our hope, our one hope was that Klopp would take us back to the elite tier of football – and that is exactly what he has achieved.
So should Liverpool fall short, it should absolutely not be a time for rage and calling for heads as we have been prone to doing in the past. It’s a time for basking in the sunlight of the pinnacle of football, and embracing the amazing set of lads that have got us here.
Fingers crossed we come away with a red draped trophy at the climax of this remarkable season, but if we do not, as one man once said: “We will go again”.