There was a period in which one of this site's taglines was “The Liverpool Offside: Making People Hate Liverpool a Little Bit Less.” In spite of its massive worldwide fanbase, there are a lot of football fans who just don't like Liverpool for one reason or another. It could be jealousy over the club's massive success in the late 1970s and 1980s, it could be due to being a fan of an arch rival, or it could just be that sometimes some people need something to hate for no reason at all.
Suffice it to say, for those who may not have been previously disposed towards feelings of warmth towards the red half of Merseyside, the side putting on entertaining performance after entertaining performance at stadiums across England has many cold dead hearts thawing out. The title race is nowhere near over, and Glen Johnson thinks people with no horse in the race are backing Liverpool for the sake of variety if not outright love.
"I think just to spice things up the neutrals would want to see us win it," Johnson mused. "Nobody wants the same teams to be winning it over and over again. I guess the neutrals will be packing a punch for us. We must be good to watch. People watch football to enjoy themselves, see goals and see exciting football and I think we do provide that. I think people will be rooting for us because it will be something different.
"I'm not that surprised, to be honest. Even last season we were battering teams but not getting the goals. At the moment we are playing well and getting the goals. It's a case of staying calm, really. As long as we keep going week by week, winning our games, we know we will be there or thereabouts."
Saturday's 6-3 win over Cardiff certainly completes at least one row on Johnson's fan neutrality bingo card. Goals galore, a hat trick, a defender brace, a come from behind win, the return of Mamadou Sakho — what more could the viewership ask for? Chelsea may be in pole position win the league, and Manchester City's games in hand put them in a very good place to win a second Premier League title, but right now much of the goodwill in the league is coming Liverpool's way for the first time in years.