When Jürgen Klopp uttered the words “Liverpool 2.0“ there was widespread excitement for the future, but has that energy ebbed away now?


I’VE been chasing a song from my childhood all week.

It has fleetingly popped into my head before sharply exiting, scrambling any semblance of focus. Requiring me to retire to a dark room in search of its notation.

It’s been harder to recall than the last time Liverpool comfortably won a game 2-0.

The song was What’s Up? By Four Non-Blondes. The only reason I can remember it right now is through a note I made on my phone. I was driving myself to madness, getting it mixed up with a combination of Annie Lennox’s Why? And Sleeping Satellite by Tasmin Archer.

You can see why, the guitar and slowed down, female vocal makes it assuaging and familiar.

Sorry, I’m doing that thing again where I make some lame personal reference to a football point. But football is a genuine heartbreak right now, so hopefully you’re enjoying my rambles.

Don’t blame me for the dream that died.

The point was, I’ve spent a large chunk of my week perpetually stuck in somewhere between 1993 and 1994. Nostalgia, as you age, becomes an expanding source of comfort and protection. It explains why people who age end up behaving like people who’ve aged.

Liverpool won a game of football Thursday night. It doesn’t feel like that. The mood is, at best, deflated and, at worst – predictably online – toxic.

Some are clearly in the bargaining phase of grief with musings about whether a change of manager is in fact no bad idea regularly popping up in comment feeds.

Perhaps it’s relevant to pose the question of what year it is when relating back to Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool 2.0.

The manager’s identity has shifted since his January bombshell. We no longer see him as a man who will lead a brand-new Liverpool squad for the next three years.

If we did, there may be less catastrophising than we’re currently witnessing. Then again, there may not. A season unravelling over the course of two weeks at this stage will always be a stern test of supporter ego.

What is in no doubt is Liverpool have improved massively on 2022-23. They are currently 21 points better off than game 32 of the last campaign, with a trophy already in the bag.

They were nine points behind Manchester United and Newcastle United, who currently trail them by the same 21-point margin.

With how much surgery seemed needed last summer, the prospect of keeping pace with Manchester City and being bang in a title race is something almost everyone would have taken in August.

The problem is Liverpool’s 2.0 status can no longer be matched by reality. It’s impossible to feel at the beginning when we’re preparing for the mother of all endings.

We look at the man in charge, look at his frown lines, his retinol levels and posture. We remember his words about needing a rest and apply a sense of tiredness to the entire endeavour, perhaps.

This is the problem with deciding when to leave the party. If he went when the whole thing was in a slumber, there would be much more justification for those who now want to burn it all down and start again.

The reality is the whole madness is brand new to so many. Dom Szobozslai and Alexis Mac Allister have never had to deal with Anfield wanting a league title so much. Only a handful of them left have.

All of this would be fine if we were climbing the mountain again with energy and vigour. All of this would be fine if we just put the round thing in the square thing.

All of this would be fine if I was seven years old at a disco in St. Swithin’s primary school, hearing those dulcet tones asking the question ‘what’s going on?’ for the very first time.

We want the romance and the fairytale ending for him so bad, and for us, and a bit for them. This is only the start while simultaneously being the end. Are you confused? It’s fine if so.

Take me back to 1993. It’s easier than trying to get up that great big hill of hope. For a destination.


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