Thinking City Will Win The Title Isn’t Disrespecting LFC

I was really tempted to write this entire piece about Jon Moss and how little I’m going to miss him. Any referee with even an ounce of self-respect would have retired in the immediate aftermath of being caught on camera saying that they were just going to award a penalty without any proof that it was one, but Moss decided to carry on four more than four years after that infamous occasion at Anfield in 2018. I don’t actually think that he is the worse referee in the PGMOL, which says something for how bad some of the others are, but I do think that he is too unfit to do his job. In many ways it is not his fault; he is clearly overweight and not fit enough to be keeping up with Premier League footballers, so the refereeing body should have put him out to pasture long ago. Steven Gerrard summed it up perfectly in the wake of the full-time whistle, saying ‘good’ when he was told that ‘Mossy’ will be retiring at the end of the season. You can’t have a top-level referee basing decisions on guesswork.

I was also considering writing about Jordan Henderson and the disrespect that he is still shown by some sections of the Liverpool fanbase. The club captain was once again excellent when he came on yesterday, but you’ll still have people acting as though he shouldn’t be anywhere near the starting eleven. Henderson had a poor period in the middle of the season, of that there is no doubt. Yet too many people are acting as though he’s been playing like that throughout the campaign, when that is patently untrue. You can’t carry players that are consistently underperforming and still have a live chance of a quadruple with just three league games to go, it simply can’t happen. He remains a colossus for the Reds, pushing us on and constantly talking to his teammates in order to keep them focussed towards the finish line. Indeed, I wonder whether we might have been better placed taking Fabinho off when Hendo went off against Spurs at the weekend, leaving the captain on.

We’re Up Against A Finically Doped Machine

Instead of writing about either of those things in detail, however, I have decided to explain why I think Chris Pajak’s video about believing in the Reds is a little unfair on those of us that have conceded the title. Don’t get me wrong, I think Chris is entirely entitled to his own opinion and the 200+ retweets and more than 1,000 likes that the video has received at the time of writing suggests that many others share it. My issue is with the suggestion that, by mentally conceding the title to Manchester City, I somehow have less belief in this Liverpool team than those that think Pep Guardiola’s side are going to slip up before the campaign is over. If it was in our own hands, I would have 100% faith that we could get the title over the line. Any time that the Reds have performed a miracle, it has been over something that was in their own hands. Even when we came back from 3-0 down against Barcelona, it was in the hands of the players to do what they did.

The problem when it comes to the Premier League title race is that it isn’t in our own hands. Manchester City are a side that have been expensively assembled thanks to the financial doping that has been carried out, without any restrictions put on the club’s spending by UEFA or the Premier League. They have been able to spend money from offshore accounts when paying managers and I don’t think it takes a huge leap to imagine that they’ve done the same when paying players. It is an immoral football club that I truly believe will have countless asterisks next to its achievements in the future, so I am ridiculously proud of this Liverpool team for standing toe-to-toe with it on so many occasions. Prior to Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool reign, no team has ever got more than 90 points and not won the title, but we’ll have done it twice in the past four years because we have to go up against a team that is consistently cheating the system and getting away with it.

Sadly, It Is Not About Belief

If believing in something alone was enough to make it happen then I would have won the EuroMillions last night, would be twelve stone and ripped. I have a huge amount of faith in this team, so if it was us that was three points clear of City then I’d have absolute belief that we’d hold on and win the title. Instead, we realistically need Guardiola’s team to drop points not once, but twice. I think the best that we can hope for tonight is a draw, such is the extent to which City don’t give up many chances and Wolverhampton Wanderers don’t score many goals. If that were to happen, City would still be in front of us by a point and would win the title with two more victories, irrespective of what we do. Even if they were to lose, I’m not sure the most optimistic Liverpool supporter would think they’d lose by more than three goals, so they’d remain on top by goal difference. So it is that we need them to drop points tonight and then do so again against West Ham at the weekend.

With the best will in the world, I don’t see how Aston Villa take any points from them on the final day of the season. The Villains played really well against us last night in front of a vociferous Villa Park, yet we still beat them 2-1. Whilst we all like to joke about the Etihad and City supporters, they do know how to create an atmosphere when it comes to stopping Liverpool from doing something. As a result, I think the ground will be bouncing if they need something on the final day of the season to take the title away from us. Whichever way I look at it, I think the title is City’s. That doesn’t mean that I love this Liverpool team less thank anyone else, nor does it mean that I don’t have faith in Jürgen Klopp and his players. I still firmly believe that we’re going to win the Treble, which will be an incredible achievement when placed alongside 90+ points in the Premier League. As for the title, though, belief alone isn’t enough to bring it to Anfield in May.

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