Gerrard: "We Are Genuine Contenders"

"This guy again. Nigel, can you hand me the glass cleaner?" - Alex Livesey

This is a thing that is happening, folks: nine matches left and in the best form they've been in for the past four seasons, Liverpool are in a position to mount a title challenge according to captain Steven Gerrard.

There's a nausea-inducing optimism around Liverpool this season, which only intensifies with each notch the club etches in the win column. It's a cautious optimism set against the context of finishing seventh last season and knowing there was tremendous work to be done to get back into Europe, but as the season winds down and places in the table begin to settle, fourth place no longer seems to be the ceiling for Liverpool's ambitions.

The top of the table is tight, this much is clear. Sitting first at Christmas came with temporary elation but no real reassurance, and Liverpool quickly fell back to fourth after back-to-back defeats at the hands of title contenders Manchester City and Chelsea. Yet Liverpool remain undefeated in the league since the loss at Stamford Bridge, and their run of title-winning form in 2014 has put them within reach of an actual title win.

It's a an unbelievable and exciting place to be, no doubt, but as Everything's The Worst proselytizers, we seem particularly adept at talking ourselves off that happiness ledge and reining in those feelings of "we're gonna win." Fourth this season will be an accomplishment, we tell ourselves; third place and direct access to the Champions League group stage will be a bonus. But the title? Let's not get too excited. There are still nine matches to go, after all.

"We'll enjoy tonight," Steven Gerrard said of the 3-0 win at Old Trafford, "but we need to move on very quickly because we know Cardiff is going to be very tough. I think we showed today that we are genuine contenders and we're going to fight till the end for this.

"I've said it many times - in football, the easiest thing is to talk the talk, but we've got to go and treat Cardiff like Manchester United now and then do the same at Sunderland after that. If we can do that, we'll win a lot of games between now and the end of the season. The rest of the people fighting with us have got to believe that we're going for it."

Captain Fantastic has declared Liverpool to be title contenders. It's that simple in his mind. There's no emotional bargaining, no accepting of a lesser table position as part of a multi-year build towards a tilt at the title. With the form Liverpool are in, the club are going for it, end of story. Beware, City and Chelsea, for Steven Gerrard has thrown down a gauntlet.

If anyone has reason to be cautious with his emotions on this subject, it's Gerrard. The captain has been waiting his entire career to win a Premier League title, and time is not on his side. As fans, we'll always have another season to look forward to if we fail to achieve that most coveted of targets, but the end of Gerrard's playing days are well within sight. Yet instead of trying to not get his hopes up, instead of hedging his bets and hoping for the best, instead of remaining coy on a title run, he's put it all out there.

If that doesn't give us permission — as fans, as people who always get another chance for a title — to openly share that dream with him, I'm not sure what will. Do it for Steven Gerrard, friends. Do it for your captain, your king.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Liverpool Offside

You must be a member of The Liverpool Offside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Liverpool Offside. You should read them.

Join The Liverpool Offside

You must be a member of The Liverpool Offside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Liverpool Offside. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker