Peter Stevenson believes that Liverpool can go all the way this season and win the Premier League but need to beware the threat Manchester City pose.
In football, as in life, the difference between success and failure can often be a matter of inches. Sometimes it can be even less, somewhere in the region of 1.12cm.
It could have been so different had that gone in but that’s football for you, sometimes you don’t get the rub of the green. And because of those millimetres, you begin looking for another reason why you lost or didn’t get the result you wanted.
The one over-riding feeling for me following the defeat against City was one of frustration that the chance was there to really cement our spot atop the table. More worryingly though for me has been Klopp’s change of tactics in tough away games.
This is not to say I believe I know better than the big German but looking at our three Champions League away results and the one against City that the manager opted to play a different way than we, the players and even the manager is accustomed to.
Looking at the away fixtures in Naples, Belgrade and Paris it was clear we just weren’t up for it and barely looked like getting a result in any of those games. The team and the manager to an extent have shown a level of maturity that has led us to the summit so again it feels somewhat ridiculous to criticise the method of play.
But it also feels very much, and despite his protestations during post or pre-match interviews that Jurgen has his sights firmly set on the Premier League. That would explain why it was very much a case of playing a slower tempo game against our Champions League opponents.
And we managed to just about scrape through the group, relying on our home form to get us there but in the game against City you feel somewhat that they were there for the taking.
Having lost three games in December you feel their confidence could have been shaken had we gone at them in the first quarter of an hour. And of course, had the goalmouth scramble ended up in a goal then things would have been completely different and Klopp would have been vindicated for his decision to sit back.
Obviously going at City in their own back yard, a team that amassed a record amount of points last season, is easier said than done of course. But you feel that psychologically we have the edge over them after the 4-3 at Anfield and the Champions League games. Could he have approached the game as he did last year?
Again it’s easy to sit on the couch, or in the bar or wherever you watch the game and come up with theories on how you can go about winning a game like that. It’s usually the team that makes the least mistakes and well we paid for a couple of moments of poor defending.
The good news is it’s in our own hands. As it stands, we’ve got three tough away games against a resurgent West Ham, Everton and Man Utd, and two tough home games against Spurs and Chelsea.
If we can pick up at least 10 points from those games you feel that we should win the league but then you can’t really take anything for granted against City who could feasibly win every game from now until the end of the season.
What has changed though is that we are also capable of winning every single game from now until the end of the season. We aren’t going hell for leather anymore but I certainly hope we see the swashbuckling Liverpool of the 2nd half of last season because nothing sends a message to your rivals better than putting your closest foes to the sword.