It’s entirely understandable why so many Liverpool supporters are so reluctant to discuss the possibility of a title win. Anyone watching as a sentient adult for the past thirty years has seen the club come so close too many occasions and miss out to take anything for granted. Speak to people about the lead we have at the top of the Premier League table or the fact that we’ve been in title winning form for about two years now and you’ll simply be greeted by a comment that ‘nothing’s won yet’. It’s true, of course. In a literal sense there is nothing done and dusted until it is mathematically impossible for the Reds to do anything other than lift the trophy. Yet there’s also a reality here that we’re the best team not only in the country but in the world right now. Much as the 2013-2014 title challenge was built on sand, this team is made out of grit and determination and made in the manager’s image. We’re closer than we’ve been for decades.
If #LFC avoid defeat at Spurs, they’ll become the third team to go 38 PL games unbeaten. If they win, they’ll become the first team ever to take 104 points from a 38 game run 😮
Win, lose or draw, we’ll have an article on LFC’s club record unbeaten run on the site next week! pic.twitter.com/KhVxw4BU6I
— The Tomkins Times (@thetomkinstimes) January 9, 2020
Still, though, I understand the manner in which so many supporters are terrified to think that we might be on the brink of winning it for fear that the thought alone will make the dream disappear, like dust on the wind. I’ve now got on board the title-winning party bus for the simple reason that I want to make sure that I enjoy every last second of this season. If I spend the entire time worrying about every single game then I don’t think that will happen and I don’t want to look back on 2020 as a year that I didn’t enjoy us becoming Premier League champions just in case my thoughts were the reason we lost. If I was that powerful then I’d have won the lottery along time ago and the Reds would never have lost a match because I’d just have thought about us losing every time and reverse-psychologied us to victory. If we win the next four, or at least emerge with ten or more points, I’ll think it’s as good as done. Here’s why:
We’ll Have Won Big Games
If Tottenham Hotspur had spent the past couple of months playing the way that they’ve been playing and getting the results that they’ve been getting with Mauricio Pochettino at the helm then I don’t think this weekend’s game would have held any fear for us. The only thing about them that means we’re all wary of getting carried away is the presence of José Mourinho in the dugout instead of the Argentine. After all, the last time the Premier League title looked like it was within touching distance it was the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager who spoilt our party. It’s a big old hurdle for us to negotiate, there’s no question about that. Yet this feels more like the end of cycle Mourinho that starts to destroy everything around him rather than the born winner who arrived on these shores and named himself ‘the special one’. Emerge from London with three points and the number of tough games we’ve got left will diminish hugely.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 9, 2020
It was a loss against Spurs a couple of years ago that seems to have been the turning point for Jürgen Klopp and his Liverpool side, so it would be suiting for a win against them to be the moment that we prove to the world that we’re truly a fantastic football team. Last season I said that the team that won the mini-league between the so-called ‘top six’ would be the side to lift the title and so it proved. After Tottenham we’ve got Manchester United and it was a draw against them in our last campaign that shouldn’t have happened and ultimately proved costly. Yes, that was at Old Trafford and not our place, but Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will be keen to try to put a fly in our ointment if he can. That’s a big if, though, and the reality is that he’s a really poor manager doing a terrible job at Old Trafford. Just like Mourinho, it is the fear of the name ‘Manchester United’ we’re up against rather than the reality we’re faced with.
We’ll Have Faced Every Type Of Challenge
The other reason I think that the next four league games are so important is that they represent every type of challenge that we could possibly face. We know that José Mourinho will have his side well-drilled and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will aim to hit us on the counter at every opportunity, but Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham will also present different types of challenges. Wolves were one of the best teams I think we’ve faced at Anfield, with our superior fitness probably being the most telling factor between the two sides in a game that ended up being a little bit more contentious than most people will have been expecting. Nuno Espirito Santo is a good manager and he’s got a talented squad at his disposal. He also knows how to get the most out of his players, so I’m expecting to see big diagonals mixed in with moves to get Adama Traore running at our backline whenever possible.
I know we keep talking about key periods, but these next four games feel huge for Liverpool:
– Spurs (a)
– Man United (h)
– Wolves (a)
– West Ham (a)
Get through those with a similar lead and I think the Reds are there!
February and March look ‘easy’ on paper.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) January 9, 2020
Then there’s David Moyes. As Liverpool supporters we’ve all enjoyed laughing at him over the years, but it’s easy to forget just how much of a force he made Everton during his time there. The first thing he’ll look to do is to make West Ham difficult to beat, but they’ve got the forward players to cause us problems if we’re not at the top of our game. We’ve all taken the game-in-hand a little bit for granted, so once we’re faced with it it will be important to get the points in the bank. Moyes will have his own reasons for wanting to get one over on us, of course, which is true of all the managers we’ve got in the next four games with the possible exception of Espirito Santo. Come out of these four games with twelve points and we’ll be sitting on seventy points, meaning that we’ll be around seven more wins away from hitting the ninety points mark. It will mean that both Leicester City & Manchester City will have very little room for manoeuvre.