You enjoyed that didn't you? Southampton with their young and talented manager, coveted youngsters, impressive footballing philosophy, and recent record over Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool. Revenge is a dish best served by doing more to your enemies than they did to you. That's the only way the pain can go away.
Beat us one nil at our ground and we'll beat you three nil at your ground. Three points for you and three points for us but we won later in the season so the memory of victory is still fresher even if your side still impressed in defeat while our side didn't really impress anybody and their dog when we lost but we'll gloss over that because we have a reputed title race to pretend we're legitimate members of but we'll realise soon enough that automatic Champions League qualification should be the aim at this stage because a title chasing side would have to beat both Manchester United and Cardiff to be taken seriously enough by Chelsea and Manchester City and we're not going to do that but even if we did then we would most certainly have to win at home to Tottenham to extinguish their hopes of Champions League qualification. So there.
Talk of challenging for the title is making ETW nervous and experiencing emotions that could be considered neutral. All are very bad things. Liverpool might be in a title race but fans of England's most successful club need to be cautious. Rival fans enjoy yearly japes at our expense because of our hopes (it is foolish to hope as disappointment will inevitably reign) and lofty expectations (Liverpool FC isn't what it used to be rendering expectations a tad unreasonable) season after season. This season may be different and to protect charred hearts, it is vital to be streetwise in support of a title challenge. Being magnanimous about football matters is always advisable and ETW has provided the template for a way of working for its outstanding disciples.
Why do it to yourself? Witness this foolish whelp bleat about Liverpool's remaining March fixtures and their importance in the month of many clashes between the league's biggest sides. Dare to dream? No thank you. I dare to focus on the next game because the next game is where such lofty talk can look silly. Games against Cardiff, Sunderland, and Tottenham do not matter yet. Home matches against Manchester City and Chelsea in April will be of little consequence if Liverpool lose focus. The international break is upon us. See who comes back in one piece, take advantage of the lengthy time between players returning from different parts of the globe and Liverpool's next game. Manchester United. Away. Old Trafford. David Moyes. Focus and stop looking at the goddamn fixture list.
That should be easy to do considering some of them have been lucky. Mental strength you call it? Perhaps ladies and gentlemen, perhaps. Yet take a cursory glance at exhibit A: other fans. Give the other team as much credit as possible even when their hides have been unceremoniously thrashed in public spaces. Grasp at anything that makes a clean sheet a shaky one. Find ways to turn solid margin of victory into a result of an early piece of fortune that snowballed into an emphatic victory. Doing so will quench an unreasonable thirst to expect something more.
Tied in with playing down victories, focusing on the less shiny elements of a team performance will greatly reduce unhelpful things such as hype and hysteria. Get a hold of yourself, drink some water, and get your Alan Hansen on. There are plenty of negatives to focus on in a typically marvellous Liverpool performance but before we get to that, a word of advice. Don't target any individual players just yet. Ensure frustration builds until May when one can either release complete ire at the direction of their chosen scapegoat or marvel how success was achieved with that representation of incompetence attached to the side. Instead, go big. Talk about the defence or midfield. Sound intelligent about the type of defensive blocks Liverpool failed to employ in any given match or adopt an universalistic consideration of collective responsibility of the team in any matchday failure to collect three points.
Liverpool fans talk about Tottenham because it's fun, they've mostly finished above Liverpool in the last few years, and they're fond of looking over Ian Ayre's shoulder when he goes window shopping. Tottenham actually take methods of payment when window shopping because that's what reason dictatetes. Logic is fun and so is talking about Tottenham so keep doing it. This focus on fourth spot enables anything more to be a complete surprise because you wouldn't believe it but...that's right, we were focusing on Tottenham the whole time. Look back at fifth because that's where the fun is, seeing that fifth spot get smaller in your rear-view mirror.
Liverpool fans do not like Manchester United. At all. Our disdain comes with a startling intensity exacerbated by domestic league strife. Liverpool fans don't really care for Everton even if there was once a historical friendly rivalry between both sides. Liverpool fans have a peculiar dislike of David Moyes, a manager who was in charge for Everton for about a decade until last summer and never really challenged Liverpool.
Once upon an accursed time, the Dark Lord reigned supreme and decided he needed an apprentice. He may have also decided that the hate should flow directly from Liverpool towards Manchester United. How would he do so? This is some dastardly plan, that Dark Lord is one evil genius. Not only is he a managerial legend but he's a manipulator in chief. Why not combine David Moyes with Manchester United? That way Liverpool fans will concentrate all of their hate in one direction while feeling more positive about Everton who will employ a manager with an attractive footballing philosophy (Liverpool fans have always appreciated that irrespective of the opposition). Genius.
Roy Keane slams Michael Carrick. There's an added bonus here with some of Roy's best ever rants.
David Moyes would have been sacked three times in Italy. Depends on who is running the club. Could have been five times or more.
Vote of confidence from the Dark Lord himself. This is heartening because a vote of confidence ironically makes things worse even when it's genuine!
It's hard to see a way back for David Moyes after defeat in Athens. Fantastic. There actually is a way back to Manchester from Athens but ETW isn't sure if this is the point. Try lastminute.com David. There you can find flights or an expensive signing with no discernible plan for his integration tactically or holistically.
Manchester United a Sad Parody of Champions. This isn't my title but oh my! How gloriously reactive and opportunistic it is. It screams "click on me and possibly skim through the best bits" in the least desperate way available. Bravo. ETW wished it came up with that title.
Ramon Calderon says he would have sacked David Moyes. Of course you would Ramon, you would have probably sacked yourself if you could have. You'd probably followed that up with reinstating yourself to show everyone how powerful you are.
King Kenny says David Moyes was too nice too soon. Too nice to Liverpool more like.
Jamie Carragher says Chelsea or Real Madrid would have sacked David Moyes. He also said Manchester United should hold their nerve but Moyes' United in Europe reminds him of Roy Hodgson's Liverpool. Well in that case, Manchester United shouldn't dare sack him. ETW knows Carra is up to mischief disguised as support.
See how diverting and fun this can be? Clearly ETW does not prescribe enjoyment of any kind but when your enjoyment involves the unrelenting misery of others then exceptions can be made, especially when it comes to Liverpool's opponents. Whoever said watching anyone suffer is the worst never saw an enemy suffer. Click and enjoy.
Just forget about it for now because Liverpool do look a bit tasty at the moment. That does not mean a league title is on its way because a side beat Fulham away, Swansea at home, and Southampton away. Yes, Liverpool's title claims amount to more than those three matches but just forget about the league title. Expecting it and not getting it may turn some fans against Brendan Rodgers because he failed to do X or Y and he's never won anything as a manager so how could he manage Liverpool. It won't be "look at what Liverpool achieved under Rodgers in two seasons" but what Liverpool did not achieve. In all probability, Liverpool won't win the league title. Chelsea and Manchester City most likely will. Let's fight Arsenal for third spot instead.
Manchester City are getting knocked out of the Champions League, have won the Capital One Cup, have games in hand, Sergio Aguero is back, they've spent more money than us, and will only have the FA Cup as a distraction. Sure they have a congested March schedule but if they get through it domestically then the Premier League should watch out. Demichelis and Lescott take turns in providing Vincent Kompany with extra defensive work so there's some smidgen of hope.
Chelsea have Mourinho, a manager who is actually classified as a team in SBNation's tagging system because he is actually that good. He is a managerial titan. He's also an odious manipulator, hypocrite, and rabble rouser but more importantly he's a world class manager. André Schürrle is a quality player for a counter attacking side and his hat-trick may have unleashed a player who fans of German football know has plenty of quality for a side like Mourinho's. He's an excellent option to supplement Willian, Oscar, and Hazard.
While one dominant Nemanja fades and slowly experiences a mutilated farewell tour, another dominant Nemanja arises. Nemanja Matić returning to Chelsea has provided Mourinho's team a reliable force in midfield and his power, composure, technique, and game intelligence tick many Mourinho boxes. The player formerly known as Fernando Torres and his cohorts Samuel Eto'o (he's actually 34 Jose, show some respect) plus Demba Ba offer granulates of optimism. Don't mention Mohamed Salah. Or Konoplyanka.
ETW would wish you luck in applying these principles but that would be grossly insincere. You know what to do Rico, so bloody well do it.