Think things over, especially those that are most important. All fools come to grief from lack of thought. They never even see the half of things and, as they do not observe their own loss or gain, still less do they apply any diligence to them. Some make much of what matters little and little of much, always weighing in the wrong scale. Many never lose their common sense, because they have none to lose. There are matters that should be observed with the closest attention, and thereafter always kept well in mind. - The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián
The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián is littered with wonderful turns of phrase in the 300 maxims, but the 35th one contains a particular favourite that is applicable in many eras and spheres. To "make much of what matters little and little of much" is often a favourite ploy of some members of the English media to meet word counts and garner some attention for deficient analysis.
One day it's an investigative piece on the foul and wicked arts of statistical analysis, exposing shady warlocks who insidiously spread the message of stats while undermining stout and noble British managers. The next it's a rallying cry against the injustice of a foreign manager receiving time and support after two games that a British manager never got a couple of months into his fourth season. These are trying times for purveyors of the fine word and appropriate quote as they're not being understood by overtly sensitive and myopic fans.
It was over a month ago when this column looked into whether Brendan Rodgers' redemption had project gone astray. It had and resulted in the end of the Rodgers era. Liverpool were entering a tough run of league fixtures where it looked that Merseyside's finest could get hurt at home or away. A superior manager is now in charge, but the league schedule and an unbalanced squad hasn't changed. Rubin Kazan may be a mediocre Russian Premier League side on current standings but finished fifth last season. Liverpool's next league opponents appear to have all the managerial, tactical, and playing threat of middling cannon fodder but are the reigning English Premier League champions.
A draw away to a side that finished fifth in the league and outran every opponent, a draw at home last season's seventh-placed side that is currently unbeaten away from home, a trip to the reigning league champions that Liverpool haven't beaten in any competition for over three years, a home fixture against a Crystal Palace side that have been extremely difficult opponents over the past two seasons, and a trip to Manchester City. Good people of the virtual room, witness Jürgen Klopp's introduction to Premier League football in his first five fixtures as Liverpool manager.
That schedule would is the same for any manager, of course, but Liverpool have one of the Europe's finest operators in charge. Much needs to improve and will surely do so in time. Klopp's side already presses and runs more by design. The hope and promise of loftier displays over 90 minutes may stir some frustration and disappointment, which is understandable. However, that should not be the cause of despairing words and despondent attitudes so early in what should be exciting times for Liverpool fans.
Things will get better with
a manager that this column still can't quite believe is in charge when one thinks of the number of European heavyweights that would have been delighted to appoint him in the event of a managerial vacancy Jürgen Klopp in charge. Smile when the preposterous is concocted to criticise the development undertaken on Merseyside, because we know there's some potential in the squad with a truly top class manager in charge.
Just as Anfield will eventually boast greater numbers to welcome its representatives and opponents, Liverpool's way of working will move beyond the unassertive undertakings we've seen so far. While there is much uncertainty as to when and with whom Liverpool will restore itself, consternation does not belong in today's agenda.
If Gracián's withering words apply to the lack of perspective in modern football, let them reign elsewhere.