Liverpool are trendy title picks once again. Pundits, vanquished opponents and United alums, the memory of their collective failure to hop on the Leicester City train of yesteryear still fresh, are tripping over themselves to to be the first to crown Jürgen Klopp’s squad after an electric start to this year’s campaign.
The Premier League season is a gauntlet like little other, as—unlike any of the other Top 5 leagues in Spain, Germany, Italy and France—there are £8.3 billion worth of banana peels itching to trip up any presumed title contender on any given week. Except for Sunderland, of course. Sunderland aren’t too big on the whole “playing competitive football” thing at the moment. But for clubs with designs on the title, supreme concentration week in, week out is vital: beat the teams you’re supposed to beat, protect home, scrounge points on the road. It’s a slog, as the lack of a Christmas break means also that injuries and mental stamina are as essential as any on the pitch preparation in making it through all 38 matchdays.
An edge that can give a team that extra push when you need that vital point and all else has failed on a rainy night at Stoke can be difference that wins the league. Alex Ferguson’s United had Fergie Time, José Mourinho’s (original) Chelsea had stalwart veterans like John Terry and Didier Drogba, while Manchester City simply made sure to have enough oil money to purchase a world class second XI and pay each one of them £250K a week. So what can Klopp possibly use to motivate his promising squad?
Boom. The answer—now lacking in suspense given the title of the article—is Liverpool legend and club record goal scorer Ian Rush and his promise out of the blue to restore the glorious mustache of his playing days if the German boss manages to bring the Premier League crown back to Liverpool where it belongs.
Answering questions from fans in Singapore on a promotional club trip, Rush mused, "Would I ever consider re-growing the moustache? Do You think it'd be grey or black now?
"No I wouldn't, but if Liverpool win the league, then I would have to think twice about it wouldn't I? That's a difficult question you have asked me!"
There you have it Kloppo. This is what we’re fighting for:
And on that rainy night, down a goal and with City/Chelsea/Arsenal hot on your heels in the table, a rallying cry of “For the ‘stache!” will go up and a second wind will blow.
In a modern era in which millionaire players apparently cannot be trusted to make their own fashion decisions and simply must be stopped, a reason to hearken back to a time in which the size of the caterpillar on one’s lip was directly correlated with one’s manliness is never out of order. No word from Rush however on whether a simple Top 4 finish will merit at least a John Waters. For the ‘stache!