I’M penning this on a plane. You may never get to read it. If Hoffenheim knock Liverpool out of the European Cup you won’t hear from me again either.
The stakes, they are high. I’m looking down on you but we’re in this together. Just right now, our togetherness is our main weapon. They’re coming at us from all directions. The high of a solid finish and qualification for Europe, sealed at Anfield against Middlesbrough in May, feels a distance behind us now.
What followed has been a summer of discontent and it doesn’t feel like it’s abating. We take steps forward — we sign the mighty Mo Salah, we win pre season games well — we take steps in reverse: we upset other clubs, we fail to sign important footballers, we look to lose our best player. Above us only sky but behind us a baying pack of naysayers.
In approximately one hour I’ll be grounded in Frankfurt, then training it to Heidelberg, before completing the last leg of what I/we hope is the start of a long running journey. We have the capacity for adventure. Liverpool Football Club is hard wired to adventure. Just let us through this the first gate and we — again — will render you with another perfectly original telling of “the greatest story ever told”. We know we can, and we know we will.
Liverpool in 2017 is built for the Champions League. Are you listening Philippe Coutinho? This is a team construction in progress, no doubt, but it will always have the capacity to reach impossible summits. Now more so now than ever.
The irrepressible timeless force that is Liverpool FC meets the piped piper that is Jürgen Klopp…meets the European Champions’ Cup. It’s a match that was always made in the heavens. Bill Shankly sensed it, Bob Paisley realised it, and Rafael Benitez returned us to it.
Rafa’s Liverpool were European specialists because he worked out that if you could find a way to not lose a football match then you had a big chance in a big cup competition. He also harnessed Liverpool’s energy — its home crowd, its Kop. They alone could build you leads at home, and away Rafa was minding the back door.
Klopp is different but he also has a recipe. Against all odds he took makeweights Borussia Dortmund to a Champions League final. His first weapon was shock and his second weapon was awe. He dragged Euro royalty down into the street fight they feared and then hit them with his runners.
Jürgen’s Liverpool are handicapped by the pressure of greater expectation than his Dortmund. We simply cannot fail to pass this qualifying round test. Well, we can but the fall out will send ripples beyond just one sporting season. This is Liverpool Football Club’s most important match in a goodly while.
The warm up for this started, funnily enough, in Germany. Klopp was maybe blessed with second sight. Liverpool played one team worse than Hoffenheim (Hertha Berlin) and one team much better (Bayern Munich). Liverpool scored five and conceded none. Germany’s card was marked.
Hoffenheim unfortunately — in one sense — are more Watford than Bayern Munich. They are economic, frugal and they score goals from set pieces. Thankfully — in another sense — Liverpool have just had Watford to practise on.
Klopp has no options. All of his options are getting treatment or are dreaming of playing for Barcelona. The 11 that nearly beat Watford must nearly go again. Expect James Milner to come in for Alberto Moreno but nothing else. The manager will say he is not worried by fatigue because it’s early season and the lads need more miles in their legs. He’ll mainly be telling the truth, but this is a match in which Liverpool will look to start strongly in with a view to a controlled finish.
We want to win. We really do. We take the draw and we rock Anfield though. It’s never going to and was never meant to be easy. I think we’ve got enough.
Expected team: Mignolet; Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Salah.
Odds: Hoffenheim 2-1, Liverpool 5-4, Draw 5-2.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
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We’ve one of the smallest squads in the Prem while Hoffenheim have one of the largest in the Bundesliga.
We’re the 2nd worst team in the Prem defending set pieces while Hoffenheim are the best in the Bundesliga at scoring from set pieces.
What possibly could go wrong?!
Oh my, well that’s my morning cuppa and positive Tuesday outlook ruined!!
Up the Reds
I am really concerned that this is a disaster waiting to happen. Please let me be wrong I crave some Champions League nights again at Anfield and at the age of 72 there won’t be many more chances.
Come on you Reds please !!!!
You are a spring chicken mate
“Klopp is different but he also has a recipe. Against all odds he took makeweights Borussia Dortmund to a Champions League final. His first weapon was shock and his second weapon was awe. He dragged Euro royalty down into the street fight they feared and then hit them with his runners.”
I hope Klopp is more than this, especially for the long-term. We rightly have no history of dealing in dogs-of-war football, that garbage does not win trophies and inevitably fizzles out.
On a positive note, this is a match between fourth-placed teams, EPL against German league. It should be no contest for the Premier Team, and so I expect Liverpool wins both legs – comfortably
Up The Reds #YNWA
I was going to knock the booze on the head for the week, but this is turning into Leaving Las Vegas levels of alcoholic comfort blanket.
Phil Coutinho was told to put a transfer request in by FSG.
Hi Dane, where did you read this?
Coutinhos transfer request was just a distraction from another shite transfer window under our shite owners, FSG.
The cheapest signing is one you have already made.
Same old same old under this shower of greedy bastards
I think everyone needs a decent performance and a good result to soothe the worries. News from Southampton today isn’t good – at this stage, if we don’t sign VVD and someone like Chelsea get him instead, it’ll feel like a huge reversal. And I hate that it would, because he’s only one player and what should really matter is this, getting into the CL, having all those games to look forward to, not pointlessly frustrating fretting over the poxy transfer window and net spend. If we do end up coming third in a one-horse race for our main defensive target, then us being in the CL at least improves our chances of getting someone else decent in instead. Let’s just fucking do this.
Agree with you NB. Klopp and Edwards if he still doing his job need leverage via CL, especially now that Can’s contracts have stalled as well.
Doesn’t look good internally or on the pitch for that matter.
By Sept 1st we will have an idea if this team, or Jurgen for that matter, is even ready for anything, never mind CL.
Come on you Reds!
Come on, Klopp knows the territory, he knows what needs to be done, he’ll have kicked all the asses that needed kicking and we’re going to finish this tie in one leg.
Jürgen’s Liverpool are handicapped by the pressure of greater expectation than his Dortmund
Not to the handicap of FSG, our shite owners, who are happy to see us enter a season with CL football with just one signing. Mid table expenditure.
And our best player is out in protest to force a move to Barca, f*ck the selfish c*nt !
Jesus! Boys and girls!
Remember are Liverpool Football Club!
Were did this “we are going to lose every game come from”?
Try putting your phones down and instead of recording the team , try this novel idea of supporting and singing your hearts out…
No wonder Klopp moans about the atmosphere… if he’s reading this negative shite he will be looking for the razor blades…