There were protests around the country yesterday as some backwards, moronic people tried to keep up the barbaric act of fox hunting. It’s a disgusting and disgraceful pastime that I’ll never be able to understand. Yet I’m something of a hypocrite, given how much I enjoyed watching Trent Alexander-Arnold rip the Foxes to shreds inside the King Power. It’s the only sort of fox hunting I think we should be allowing and it was a pleasure to watch. He was Man Of The Match by a country mile, yet that doesn’t disrespect the other performances from the likes of Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Gini Wijnaldum. In fact, the only player in Red that I thought had a slightly off game was Mo Salah, who seemed to forget what football was as a sport. It was an imperious performance from Jürgen Klopp’s team that seemed to be timed perfectly to send a message out to the rest of the league: if you come at the kings of Europe, you better not miss.
2011 – Liverpool’s 4-0 win against Leicester was the biggest margin of victory in a clash between teams starting the day in the top two of the Premier League since league leaders Manchester City beat Manchester United 6-1 in October 2011. Unstoppable. #LEILIV pic.twitter.com/MLx8kzBmta
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2019
To sound a slight note of caution, I couldn’t believe how passive Leicester City were. They played like a team thoroughly expecting to be given a hiding and basically rolling over to receive it. It’s also worth noting that the match comes in the midst of a tricky spell for them, straight off the back of a loss to Manchester City in which they looked nowhere near the level. The guys who enjoy reading the tea leaves from underlying numbers suggested that the Foxes had this sort of performance in them, even whilst I was espousing my theory that they were more likely to challenge us than Pep Guardiola’s side. That might well still prove to be the case, but the fact that the Reds made them look bang ordinary is a reason to rejoice in what we’re watching every week. The extent to which the Champions League win feels as though it’s released something within this side cannot be overstated. They look free of a burden and we’re genuinely witnessing greatness.
Are You Truly Appreciating Them?
The main question that you need to ask yourself as a Liverpool supporter is about whether or not you’re genuinely finding the time to truly appreciate them. I can’t say that I definitely am doing. The reality is that the winning of the Premier League title means so much to me that I enter every game terrified that we’ll drop points. I do think we will at some point, given that no club in the history of the Premier League has finished a season having won thirty-seven games and drawn one. Yet now I think that I need to pack that fear away into a little box and not let it override my enjoyment of a genuinely phenomenal football team. The title isn’t over. Only a moron would say it was at this stage. But we’re about as comfortable as it’s possible to be when fighting in the top-flight of English football. If City beat Wolves tonight but we win our game in hand, we’ll be fourteen points clear of them. Fourteen points. That’s insane.
We were always brilliant under Klopp, but it took winning the Champions League to give us that unshakeable belief. This is a team that is playing with the confidence — nay, the knowledge — that it’s the best in the world. What an incredible performance that was.
— Chris Hewitt (@ChrisHewittLFC) December 26, 2019
It means that if Pep Guardiola’s side win every single one of their remaining matches, we could draw five of ours and still have a four point lead over them. The players can’t take anything for granted and I don’t believe for a second that Jürgen Klopp will allow them to, but we can start to relax and make sure that we’re taking the time to truly appreciate how good this team is. They doing things on the football pitch that fit into the category of ‘outrageous’. Are you making sure that you’re taking the time to soak it all up? Are you watching what Gini Wijnaldum brings to the team, or are you still claiming that he’s anonymous sometimes? Are you appreciating how many captain’s performances Jordan Henderson is offering his manager, or do you spend your time saying he’s a fraud instead? Whatever personal gripes you might have with some of our players, you’re being given an opportunity to be in the front row for greatness. Take it.
You Can’t Win The League In December
I’ve watched football for far too long to sit her and count my chickens. More importantly, I’ve watched Liverpool for far too long not to expect something mad to happen. Of course, it would be such a Liverpool thing to win every trophy they’ve won in the modern era in dramatic fashion but to win the one we’ve all wanted so desperately at a canter. That being said, I’ve been asked by friends recently when I’ll accept that the title is ours and obviously my answer was ‘when I watch Jordan Henderson do his trophy shuffle’. There’ll be no presuming victory on by part. This is the best Liverpool team I’ve ever watched play the game and I’m fairly certain that’s true for most of you, too. We’ve got an almost unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League and are playing brilliantly, yet it doesn’t take much for even that sort of thing to be derailed. An injury to Virgil van Dijk; a virus sweeping through the squad; a natural disaster. Anything’s possible.
Leicester 0-4 Liverpool
A remarkable performance from the league leaders. Utterly dominant. 13 points clear. pic.twitter.com/sg3fzL30zh
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) December 26, 2019
Most importantly of all, you can’t win the league title in December. We haven’t even reached the halfway point in the league yet, so there’s very much a long way to go. Yet it’s also fair to point out that it’s really difficult to see where we fall apart. Whilst everyone else says that Manchester City have been unlucky with injuries, we’ve spent good chunks of the campaign to date without our first-choice goalkeeper, our defensive midfielder and two of our central defenders. Despite all of that, we’ve coped. The manager has asked different players to slot in and take up roles to allow us to cope and they’ve done just that. There’s been no fuss, no moaning and complaining, just a determination to win as many matches as possible and see where we are in May. The title, then, isn’t ours yet. It’s closer than it’s been in my lifetime, though, and it’s very much ours to lose rather than anyone else’s to win. I’ll take that.