“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.” Those were the words of the great Bill Shankly, and while said with tongue firmly in cheek there is a resonance of truth in the statement.
We are just over a week away from the Champions League final in Kiev, and all eyes will be on the continental showpiece on Saturday May 26. Liverpool are the underdogs with the bookmakers, and yet there is a feeling that our vibrant attacking play could cause the shaky Real Madrid defenders plenty of headaches in the Ukraine.
This is a sentiment that will be agreed with and dissented in equal measure, but for our money the goalkeeper is the most important player in any football team.
The international break is a good time to take stock, look back at what has happened so far and see where we’re heading as the run-up to Christmas and the New Year intensifies.
Despite the brilliance of their opponents on Sunday, a club of Liverpool’s stature should not be losing 1-4 to anybody. But we were well and truly ripped to shreds by Tottenham at Wembley, and once again the root cause of the defeat were basic defensive errors.
The cup competitions in England are one way for a club to get their hands on some silverware where otherwise they might not have the chance. They are also a great opportunity for beleaguered managers to ‘trick’ their team’s owners into thinking they are doing a decent job – it has worked for Arsene Wenger for the past decade after all!
Why do clubs wait until transfer deadline day before conducting major business? It’s hard to say with any clarity, and realistically there is no logical explanation for it.
For anybody who witnessed it, Liverpool’s 4-2 win over Hoffenheim on Wednesday evening was memorable for a couple of reasons, and while qualification for the Champions League proper was the obvious highlight it has to be said that the Reds’ attacking play was as exciting as it has been in decades.