The Best We’ll Ever See

Originally, my plan was to write an apology to Divock Origi today. I have long been semi-critical of the Belgian, simply because I always felt that he was a ‘man for moments, not matches’. Having watched him trudge around the pitch many times in the past, I felt as though we had evolved past needing him. It was, I now realise, my mistake. It is not that we’ve evolved away from him, but that I never really appreciated what he was good at. Origi is indeed a man for moments, rather than matches, but that isn’t something to criticise him over. Before Ramiro Funes Mori injured him in such a cowardly fashion during the 2015-2016 campaign, the Belgian was looking like he could really be something special. In the years following his injury, he has done exactly that but in an entirely unexpected manner. The thing about Origi is that he doesn’t get caught up in the emotion of the moment, meaning that he can play freely when others are playing with fear.

This can be a bad thing, of course. When a football match is taking place at an incredible pace, Origi can sometimes be caught in possession too easily or want too long on the ball. When all around him are tense, though, Divock can come on and do something special. We’ve seen it time and time again, from massive games against Barcelona through to Champions League finals. I also adore how he has taken on a personal vendetta against Everton in the years that followed that Funes Mori tackle. In some ways, it would be entirely fitting for Origi to leave at the end of the season that Everton get relegated, were that to happen. His work would be complete, so he’d ride off into the sunset of Italian football, content. There are many reasons I want the Blues to go down, but rounding off Origi’s story so perfect is definitely one of them. Anyway, I’m not writing about that. Just as well, then, that the Reds are the best team in the world.

Whatever Happens Over The Next Few Weeks, The Reds Are Mustard

We are now at the stage of the season where one loss could mean that our quadruple hopes are dashed. I’ve written in the past about how I think this Liverpool team deserves the quadruple, simply because it would cement their place in history and ensure that they are considered one of the best teams ever to play the game. Lose, or even draw, to Newcastle at the weekend and the slim hopes of pipping Manchester City to the title all but slip away. Face defeat in the FA Cup final and we’ll miss out on that trophy. Concede three without reply in Spain on Tuesday and the Champions League final goes up in smoke. That is the fine margins that you operate to when you’re trying to win every single competition that you entered at the start of the season. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: the fact that Man City, backed by the wealth of an entire nation, haven’t yet achieved it shows just how hard it is to win all four trophies.

It is with that in mind that I truly believe that trophies alone cannot be allowed to define how good you are as a football team. We could finish the season with only the League Cup to show for it, simply because of one team built by an Oligarch and another owned by a country. Would that mean that this team is suddenly rubbish? If we were to miss out on the title by a single point, as in 2018-2019, lose in the FA Cup final and face defeat in the Champions League, yet win every other game, would it be fair to say that we’ve been ‘rubbish’? That is how the banter accounts will try to frame things, with opposition supporters relishing any perceived failure in the same way that they did when Steven Gerrard slipped over nearly a decade ago. That is why I refuse to accept that only winning all four will do for this group of players and the manager. The margins are too fine and the opposition too well-equipped to mean that we’ll have been anything other than brilliant.

As Supporters, We Have To Enjoy Every Minute

I understand that it is a stressful experience watching the Reds as the conclusion to the season draws closer. Every match in the Premier League feels like one in which everything could fall apart for us, simply because we’re trying to keep pace with a team developed by breaking the rules in order to sports-wash the reputation of a country. There is now not going to be a single minute of football that won’t feel stressful until either the end of the season or we’re definitely out of a competition. Not only that, but it isn’t just Liverpool’s results that we’re looking at. If we’re to win the league then we need Pep Guardiola’s relentless team of sports-washers to drop points, meaning that we’ll need to keep half an eye on their Premier League games as well as our own. For that reason, I’m adopting the attitude of simply enjoying this Liverpool team every time I watch it play. Not to sound too much like that poster of David Moyes, but you don’t need to win to be a winner.

I have my tongue slightly in my cheek when I say that, but what I mean is that this team is performing at an incredible level. What it is achieving week-in, week-out is remarkable and we should soak up every second of it. Being too consumed with the stress of it all will mean that this season will reach its conclusion and you won’t have enjoyed it as much as you should. Yes, we all want the Reds to win as many trophies as possible. Yet it can’t be the case that that alone defines whether or not we’ve enjoyed ourselves. The team deserves our adoration for letting us dream, even if those dreams ultimately slip out of our grasp. To wake up this morning and read the news that the club is confident of persuading Jürgen Klopp to renew his contract means that we should have many more years like this left. We might not, though. All good things come to an end, so make sure you’re not looking back and wondering why you failed to enjoy it whilst it was here.

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