Liverpool Climbing Everest In Casual Clothing
Sensational Season Continues
Still only April, and 82 points with a maximum of 94 possible. 2-0 up in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final. Winners of the League Cup. Chelsea to come in the FA Cup final.
This is near-perfection over the course of a season; the most wins in any Liverpool campaign, with at least six games to go (maybe seven).
To me, the only disappointment – or even “failure” – would be not to make the final in Paris with a 2-0 advantage, or to fail to win at least another two league games (even if this team could feasibly win all four and still finish 2nd). A draw at home to Spurs (who tend to play well on the break at Anfield) would be no shame, given the way the Reds are being flogged to pieces (often by BT Sport), and how Spurs will have more rest.
Indeed, Liverpool had to rest Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago and others, just to not put them in the red zone for potential injuries. And still it was a one-sided victory, where it could have been 5-0. I’ve said for 15+ years that the week of the 6-day semi-final/league game/semi-final is the breaking point of many ambitious teams. But so far, not Liverpool.
To finish with c.90 points, reach three cup finals – and to play Chelsea, Chelsea, Man City or Real Madrid – means that your resources will have been stretched to the limit. Whether you win or lose those finals could be fairly random; as it was when Liverpool beat Chelsea via goalkeepers taking penalty kicks.
At no point has the title been in Liverpool’s hands, and at one stage, decimated by Covid and injuries, the Reds were 14 points adrift (with two games in hand). So to not win it would not be a failure at all, especially against a club with a far more expensive set of players, who were already winning titles when this Jürgen Klopp team was being assembled.
It feels like Liverpool are climbing Everest without Sherpas, oxygen or even ropes and crampons. This is like free-soloing the tallest summit on Earth. If you slip a bit, it’s normal; you already broke records to get that high. Mere mortals would be back at basecamp, glued to the toilet.
To be honest, I can scarcely believe what I’m seeing. I’m in awe of this team.
I felt in the summer that it was the Reds’ best squad ever (and got mocked for saying that it was okay to make just one signing), but then the squad was tested beyond breaking point in the winter (Covid, injuries, with AFCON looming), and I thought the title had gone.
But no, those slips aside (including at Spurs), the climb continues.