Is ‘Typical Liverpool’ A Thing Of The Past?

For the majority of my adult life I’ve grown used to the idea of ‘typical Liverpool’. It’s the idea that if any side could throw something away from a seemingly inevitable winning position then it is the Reds. 2013-2014 is probably the dictionary definition of ‘typical Liverpool’, at least as far as opposition supporters were concerned. In reality, of course, it was utterly remarkable that we’d managed to go toe-to-toe with Manchester City, considering the riches that they’d spent to get themselves to that point in the first place. It was the most improbable title charge there’s been in decades, not including when Leicester City actually won it. All the Steven Gerrard slip against Chelsea did was ensure that what should have happened and that one of the English games’ greatest ever players ended his playing career without a Premier League title to his name. Other than that, things proceeded exactly as money dictated they should.

Whatever else we’re watching this season, it most definitely isn’t ‘typical Liverpool’. That old adage was the bane of my teenage years, seeing the Reds come so close and yet somehow missing out. Don’t get me wrong, we won plenty of trophies during that time. The Treble in 2001 was the moment I properly began to get into football, whilst the Champions League victory in 2005 felt like our return to the top. Yet there’s also a truth we must acknowledge that comes in the form of the Champions League final loss in 2007, the league near miss in 2009 and, obviously, that slip. That truth is that Liverpool Football Club haven’t been anywhere near good enough for most of the past thirty years. We’ve had moments when we’ve spluttered briefly to life, but generally speaking they’ve been the exception rather than the rule. This new Liverpool looks like a brand new, far more sustainable, animal. Soak it up.

Maybe This Was Always How We’d Win The League

Every major trophy I’ve seen Liverpool win since I was a teenager was done in improbable fashion. Whether it be the FA Cup against Arsenal in 2001, which took two Michael Owen goals in the last few moments of the match to earn us a win, or the greatest Champions League final football’s ever seen in 2005, we just didn’t seem to know how to do things the easy way. Even the win over Tottenham Hotspur last year came about after an utterly improbable comeback against Barcelona. The team also put us through the mill in the final itself, taking the lead early but then failing to put the game to bed until the match entered its dying moments. I haven’t known how to watch the Reds win something other than in the most stressful way imaginable, which is why I’d convinced myself that last season would be our first Premier League title, given how ludicrously stressful the campaign was as a whole.

Perhaps we all should have seen this season coming, therefore. We missed out on the title in a manner that was excruciatingly ‘typical Liverpool’, but we’d proven to Manchester City that we could stand up to them and if they weren’t at their very best then we’d surpass them. Maybe it was inevitable that, rather than wringing our hands and biting our nails as we watching the Reds creep towards a first title in over thirty years, we’d do it at a canter. Whilst nothing’s been won yet, a win over West Ham would see us have a nineteen point lead, should both us and Pep Guardiola’s team win all of our remaining games. Yes, it would be ‘typical Liverpool’ to somehow contrive a way of losing that, but I don’t think that this Jürgen Klopp team has got that in it. You heard that from the Anfield crowd when the full-time whistle went yesterday. It was part defiance at getting to rub it into Manc faces and part unwavering belief.

Soak Up Every Second Of It Now

There’s a world in which we lose a match or two before the season has reached its conclusion. Wolverhampton Wanderers will have a sense of being aggrieved after the game at Anfield, to say nothing of the fact that we’ve beaten them three times in a row. Manchester City and Everton will both be absolutely determined to stop us from going the entire campaign unbeaten, so they’ll both offer tough opposition at their home grounds. Yet the vast majority of our toughest games are now out of the way, so it’s difficult to envisage a world in which we drop sixteen points from here, let alone nineteen if we win that game in hand. There are many tough tests ahead, but none tougher than the ones that we’ve already faced. That doesn’t mean that the league title is already won, far from it, but it does mean that every win from here takes us one step closer to it and we should enjoy every one of them.

On top of that is the fact that we’re currently watching a team ply its trade that might well turn out to be better than anything that the game’s ever seen. It’s more than a little bit possible that we break Manchester City’s one hundred point record, win the league earlier in the campaign than any other side and defend our Champions League title. We’re already achieving things that no other side has done across a thirty-eight game run, so it’s absolutely right that this team is spoken of as being one of the greatest. Add into that the fact that Jürgen Klopp has revitalised the club in a manner akin to Bill Shankly and you can see that we truly are living in halcyon times. Is absolutely don’t want to come out of the other side of it and realise that I didn’t really enjoy it because I was too busy worrying that it would all go wrong. It might finally be time to put to bed the idea of ‘typical Liverpool’ being glorious failure. Instead it’s just glorious.

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