Quiet around here, isn’t it? Pretty quiet everywhere in fact. No games and no drama coupled together with a closed transfer window leaves us all in the same position. Like being a newly elected president kicking his heels till the inauguration, patiently waiting for the new dawn.
It is testament to the fans of our great club that despite some lacklustre performances, a period of instability on and off the pitch and a lack of anything to get excited about there is genuine optimism. Some may accuse us of being the eternal optimists, while others will laugh at our foolhardy ability to keep believing. We’re done and dusted they’ll tell us – top 4? Don’t make them laugh, we don’t even fit in the country’s top 6 anymore. Get over yourselves and accept your place in the new pecking order around here.
That’s never been our way though, has it? In fact if you look back at our title challenges since the days following Souness we’ve always got within touching distance, before falling back down the pecking order (to varying degrees). But we’ve always come back to challenge again. Maybe there is something psychological about coming near which dents future progress. Where winning only serves to bolster a squad’s confidence, maybe nearly winning does more harm than finishing fourth or fifth. For our club though, unlike others, the time away from challenging is always a blip rather than a road to gradual decline.
We’ll be back and they know it. That’s why they still talk about us so much. In a fight human nature dictates when your opponent is ‘on the ropes’ that is the time to go for the knock out blow. For other clubs and their fans it’s a question of knocking every last bit of confidence out of our team, management and fans. To ensure that we not only finish this season deflated but start next season on the same back foot; cowering in the corner of the ring afraid of where the next blow is coming from.
The fact we have ducked and dived so expertly over the past few months concerns them, as it should. I wrote recently about how Dalglish will hopefully be given the time and resource to repair the foundations of our club. In a short space of time this is one of several elements which have converged together. These converging elements are making us stronger, leaner and fitter both on and off the pitch. Couple this together with the potential which remains within our great club, still to be unlocked, and any talk of the end of Liverpool Football Club being a footballing powerhouse is extremely premature.
We’ll be back, we always return. Maybe this time though things will be different and maybe we won’t just nearly win the Premier League. As for the rest of them. They don’t understand. They don’t understand how we keep bouncing back, how we end up pushing them for a title or competing against them. They think we should have been counted out a long time ago. They don’t understand our strength and resolve, so they fear us. So they should.