Whatever Happens From Here, Liverpool Can Be Proud Of Their Season

Earlier this week I wrote a piece explaining why I wouldn’t have minded that much had Liverpool exited the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich last night. My logic is due almost entirely to the fact that I want to win the Premier League. I crave it. I desire it more than anything else in sport and this season feels like one where the Reds have about as good a chance of winning it as we could possibly hope for. The biggest advantage we’d have had over Manchester City if we’d have been knocked out of the competition was the fact that they’d have had to play seven games in April compared to our four. Now we have six games to play and any hope of them being more fatigued than us has been extinguished. That doesn’t mean that I’m not happy we knocked the German club out, though. This Liverpool team deserves a trophy and if it’ ends up winning the European Cup then I’m absolutely fine with that.

My fear has always been that in going for two competitions we might end up falling short in both of them, which that might yet prove to be the case. Yet I also can’t deny that the joy felt in the Liverpool fan base after last night’s result could be worth more than the rest we’d have received if we hadn’t gone through. There is an atmosphere around the Reds at the moment. We’re in the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the same time that we’re in a title race, with the manager demonstrating exactly why he’s one of the most sought after talents in world football at the moment. One of the things that’s been concerning me in recent times is our away form, so what I wanted to see more than anything else was a big away performance. It was disjointed at times, but there’s no way that the players don’t take a huge amount of confidence from beating Bayern Munich 3-1 in their own back yard. It’s why I think whatever happens from now. The Liverpool team can be proud of its season.

I Want To Win Them Both

I don’t want this piece to come across as a pat on the back and a declaration that it now doesn’t matter what else we do this season. There are huge swathes of people, some within our own fanbase, desperate to declare the Reds to be ‘failures’ because they haven’t won a trophy. Those people are morons, failing to understand that not every team can win silverware and that we’re up against a Manchester City team that is being investigated by four different authorities because of potential illegalities in how they’ve assembled the most expensive squad in the history of the sport. If Pep Guardiola finished the season with nothing more than a League Cup then it would be fair to say that he’d have failed in his job given the resources available to him.

Part of the reason I want us to win one of the two competitions that we’re in is because I can’t be bothered with the narrative that Jürgen Klopp and his players are somehow ‘bottlers’ if we don’t. I also can’t be doing with the inevitable shift in the win that will come from some sections of the fanbase if we don’t lift a trophy, perhaps eventually driving the manager out in the same way that they didn’t with Rafa Benitez. I want silverware for myself, of course, but it’s great to be able to celebrate winning stuff. Yet more than anything else I want it because the manager and these players deserve to have a medal in their trophy cabinet that reflects exactly what they’ve achieved this season. They’ve been sensational and if ever a side deserved to the double then it’s this Liverpool team.

We’ve Been Excellent

The reason I think the Reds can be proud of their exploits this season is that there’s a real risk that some people could lose sight of just how good we’ve been. In pretty much any other Premier League season apart from last year we would be well clear at the top of the table, with the title all but ours barring some sort of major collapse. We exited the FA Cup and League Cup early doors, yes, but in both competitions there were extenuating circumstances. The manager has had to prioritise and anyone who that thinks prioritising the Champions League and Premier League was a mistake is, to be frank, an idiot. No team has ever done the quadruple, so managers have to accept that there are limitations to what they can achieve. I know I keep repeating this, but it’s because it’s important: we are going toe-to-toe with the most expensively assembled squad of all time, with the manner in which it’s been assembled questionable at best.

It’s important not to lose sight of what an impressive season this has been. With eight games left we sit on 73 points, meaning that if we won just half of our remaining games and lost the rest we would still rack up 85 points, which would be better than any other Premier League season apart from 2008-2009. In the Champions League, seasons where we’ve done better than reaching the quarter-finals we’ve finished on 58, 68, 76 and 75 points in the league, so the combination of the two is incredibly impressive. We all want to win a trophy. We’d give limbs for the double. If we don’t win something it will feel like a disappointing season after everything we’ve been through. All I’m trying to say is that success and excellence can’t only be judged on silverware. Leave the morons who support United and Everton to celebrate if we don’t win something, we should be praising these lads to the high heavens.

  1. March 15, 2019
    • March 18, 2019

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