“Liverpool exist to win trophies” said the great Bill Shankly. The trick is to keep the hunger even if you know the view from the mountain peak. After landing number six, Jurgen Klopp demanded: “We have to push each other and be as a team very angry. We have to stay greedy and we are, I am not in doubt about that.”
A champions’ heart
In the last 10 games, Liverpool have shown signs of why they were the team nobody wanted to play against. Their team spirit has pulled them through yet again. Pep Lijdners has called it a “champions’ heart.” The key must be to reap the benefits from the salvage job they performed in the last few months.
Second is nowhere
Having been cruelly denied their maiden Premier League title in 2018/19 by one point after just one loss, the Reds had good cause to feel exhausted. Or even feel sorry for themselves. They were on a mission though. Trophyless since 2012, Liverpool suddenly won four in 13 months. Unlike United, Liverpool know how to get over the line after being bridesmaids so many times.
They took the harder route. They knew they would have to be perfect to break City. That’s exactly what Klopp’s troops did in 2019/20, winning 25 of the first 27 games. This was total dedication; a back-breaking exercise in commitment. It was bound to have repercussions, even without losing their generals in battle.
Liverpool season a relative success
The follow-up has been exhausting for all the wrong reasons. The greed for success must be restored as soon as possible after a 2020/21 that was derailed. However, the seeds have been sown already after Liverpool steamed up on the outside to take third from the likes of Leicester, Chelsea and West Ham. In some ways, the Reds’ season may be seen as more of a success than Manchester United. That might make more than just Alberto Moreno happy.
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After the DVD, the books and the sheer relief of getting their hands on the bread and butter for the first time in 30 years, Liverpool must be ready for a marathon bun fight with Manchester City and quite possibly Chelsea. One of those two will have the extra turbo boost of being European champions.
Liverpool will now expect the unexpected
2021/22 could be special. With a bit of luck (remember that?), the big boys will be back and the good times will roll. Anfield is a weapon that has been misfiring for too long on the mute button. Liverpool will be well-equipped for the unexpected. The growth that a season with multiple setbacks has brought should be priceless.