IT’S difficult to decide on what constitutes success this season for a Liverpool side that is now very much in the image of Jürgen Klopp.
The realist in you is pragmatic — he’s talking fourth-placed finishes, mulling over net spends and how problem positions have not been addressed.
He will point to Leroy Sane and John Stones bought by Manchester City for £80million and how the transfer record has been broken by Jose Mourinho, while we’re on course to make a profit come the close of the transfer window.
The realist harbours doubts in our current left back, Alberto Moreno, and worries that the reliance placed on Klopp’s ability as a coach is too heavy in an age when money is no object to many of the other clubs with high hopes in the Premier League.
He’ll recount years of failure and of how you’ve been let down too many times by the one you love.
Wrestling with the realist in you, is the idealist — the dreamer.
He rules with the heart — he does so every August. The idealist has only once experienced the ineffable emotion felt during a title race and all he wants is to relive that again. He can still taste the first pint after beating Manchester City at home that year, but can’t remember the last one.
He’s not yet felt the unconfined joy of winning a league title, but can all too clearly recall the heartache of coming closest.
With unfettered optimism, he’s bursting with pre-season exuberance. He’s enthused by beating Barcelona and the fact that for the first time he — quite frankly — does not give two fucks about Luis Suarez because we’ve got Danny, Big Div and Firmino in red.
These are the tools for the job, led by an unconventional German whose infectious personality emanates positivity and just the right amount of madness. The idealist will do anything for the Reds to get stuck in, to stick it to the rest in the knowledge that we’re the side rivals are quickest to taunt and mock.
He realises that it’s most likely he’s dealing in delusions of grandeur but is undeterred by the fact that he’s most vulnerable to disappointment.
While each season stands alone and each summer represents a clean slate, you can’t help but feel Kloppo’s 10 months in charge have been building up to Sunday. With a pre-season behind them and no midweek distractions, the ‘nearly man’ and his men have a chance of shaking up this league — just like Leicester did last year.
All I want is to visit every karaoke bar in Liverpool after Leicester to belt out Toto’s Africa or Love Shack; my rendition of each has been well received in Woody’s because these Reds have beaten the Champions to go top with 12 points.
I want to sing “show them the way to go home” to every single side in the league, but they’ll know already that they’re literally only half a football team compared to the boys in red.
I want to win a league title with these Reds. It’s all I need.
While my optimism may be blind, convincing ourselves that this squad is as good as it’s been for years is all part of pre-season. So realist, or idealist — which sounds more fun to you?
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Bring home that magical dreamers cup called the title, and fill it with the blood sweat, and tears of Klopps rampaging reds.
AND NOW YOU’RE GONNA BELIEVE US, AND NOW YOU’RE GONNA BELIEVE US, AND NOW YOU’RE GONNA BELIEVE UUUUUUUSSS….WE’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE
So long as it’s within our power to win the league, I’ll believe we’ll win the league. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The realist in you should argue that just because Stones and Sane cost close to £90m, that by no means points to the fact that they are the best players in the league or ever will be. In fact, it doesn’t even guarantee that they are or will be better than Matip and Mane!
It may be idealistic to believe that Liverpool will be smarter than everybody else in pulling together those bargain signings and outperforming all the other big spenders, but it is not entirely unrealistic. Every season we see stand out performances from “bargain” signings, and big money/big name players failing to deliver (pretty frequently at LFC tbh!)
This year could well be our year.
The realist looks at the injury record for Sturridge, but the idealist knows deep down that he’s scoring 25+ goals.
Some might point to “Falling and Laughing” for perspective:
“You may think me very naive
Taken as true
I only see what I want to see”
But The Zombies said it best:
“You don’t have to worry
All your worried days are gone
This will be our year
Took a long time to come.”
The only REAL thing is the 90 minutes on the pitch. Leicester winning the league was not realistic at the begining of last season. What teams pay for their new players as Jay pointed out means nothing. Our players are flawed. But they are Reds. This makes them superheros to me
Otherwise why watch the game? Up the Reds. Damned be the dog because.
To win the league takes 2/3 special players, maybe more, that’s 2/3 we don’t have.
Coutinho not special? Mane did something special yesterday. Sturridge when fit is world class and the likes of Origi & Firmino could be special if they push on.
You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.
Season start. All things are possible.
From mid table again to cup win to title charge.
Strap yourselves in gang. It’s not going to be hodgeball this year.
Up the Reds. !!