Shoulder barged by Luther Blissett – Liverpool v Watford

Sunday was a good day.

I was shoulder barged by Luther Blissett on a crowded pavement on Walton Breck Road before the game. Claim. To. Fame. It was one of those accidental things you do when suddenly faced with a wall of people, and you’re left with no option but to go for the most generous gap available to you.

Must update my Twitter biographical blurb.

Senior writer for These Football Times, creator of Anfield Bark, contributor to the Liverpool FC book We’re Everywhere Us and once shoulder charged by Luther Blissett…

6-1 to the reds and it really could have been 10. Sunday was a good day. We are playing some wonderful football and some people don’t like it.

You know for certain that something is stirring at Anfield, when non-Liverpool centric Twitter talking heads begin to witter on Twitter. They get a little hot under the collar and begin to lash out like wounded bears.
Can we really win the title?

Yes. Yes, we can really win the title.

Will we really win the title?

No idea. We’ll have an accurate answer around six months from now.

What we do have now however is a football team which is an utter joy to watch.

Ten goals scored in the last two games, and seven different goal-scorers. Variation rather than dependency when it comes to our sources of goals. Good things come from such circumstances. Daniel Sturridge is yet to score a league goal for us this season, and we still remain a fluid goal-scoring entity of rich abundance.

We are blessed with talented footballers. According to the Kop, Luis Suarez would only make the bench if he were still to be a Liverpool player. For those on the pitch and for those of us in the stands, football is most definitely fun once more. Jürgen Klopp has changed the entire outlook of Liverpool Football Club.

We do not play our football like a team who lost two cup finals last season. Footballing chemistry and the laws of sporting gravity dictate that we should be in regression now. Our shoulders hunched, and a metaphorical winter should have descended. Instead, our eyes are bright, our coat is shiny and our nose is healthily cold and wet. Yes, we lost a League Cup final in February in a penalty shoot-out. Yes, we lost a Europa League final in May from being in possession of a half-time lead, but do you know what? We have bigger fish to fry than the League Cup and the Europa League all of a sudden.

We aren’t in Europe and we stand four wins away from League Cup glory, but 2016-17 suddenly feels so much more alive than 2015-16 ever did. We feel like Liverpool FC once again. We don’t feel like a work in progress. It feels like we can do things, big things, maybe even ‘the ultimate thing’.

Of course there is a sizable chasm between ‘can’ and ‘will’ win the title. We could have won the title four or five times since 1990, but we didn’t manage to summon up the ability, or find the courage to take the final step to claim the prize. We starred at our reflection in the silver surface of that woeful Premier League trophy on multiple occasions, but we blinked when push came to shove. I think we’ll stare at our reflection once again this season.

Will we blink yet again?

Will we kick the door in and snatch the damn thing?

No idea. We’ll have we’ll have an accurate answer around six months from now.

Either way, don’t worry about it for now. Sit back, stretch your legs out (he said from his spacious seat in the new Main Stand) and enjoy what we’re doing out on the pitch.

Philippe Coutinho will probably join little Luis at Barcelona one-day, maybe one-day way too soon for our liking, but he’s ours right now and he’s in the form of his life. He’s enjoying his football and just like Suarez did in the summer of 2014, if Coutinho walked away in the summer of 2017, on the back of a year of football like the one we’re threatening to piece together this time around, then he’ll do so with a tear or two in his eye.

Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, they all benefit and blossom from the prompting and probing of Coutinho. We are beautiful. We are most definitely beautiful, but it still might not be enough come the final reckoning in May. There are no guarantees, there are no certainties. What we can and what we will do might not necessarily meet in the middle. That is the party piece we’ve struggled to accomplish for over a quarter of a century.

Currently, it’s all about Liverpool fans trying to keep their feet on the ground in the face of a style of football which lifts the soul. Football which makes the heart soar. It’s dizzying, intoxicating.

Currently, it’s all about non-Liverpool fans trying to burst the ever inflating balloon of optimism. There is major concern being displayed about the rising red phoenix, but there is sanctuary for those non-Liverpool fans in our habitual propensity to blow situations like this. We have been their guarantee; we have been their certainty.

Can we be different this time? Will we be different this time?

Who knows? We’ll have an accurate answer around six months from now.


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