Liverpool Football Club are the best team in England. At least, that’s what the table says. And it’s said the same thing since the end of the first week of results. Owners of an 8 point lead over closest rivals for the Premier League Crown and pre-season consensus pick as favorites to win all of the things, Manchester City.
It is, for Liverpool fans, a heady moment filled with joy and mirth and the surrendering to the dreams we maybe sometimes don’t let ourselves dream. This is all a delight.
But, it’s also a time for perspective. Why? Well, for one, it’s still only eight weeks into the season. That means thirty more matches left. That’s a lot of football. Secondly, it’s the international break, which is a natural space in the rather congested schedule for Europe’s elite football clubs to breathe and take stock.
So, I turned to my good friend and fellow scribe here at TLO, Mark Kastner, for some help in containing (or unleashing) the excitement I feel at present.
AJ: MARK. MANCHESTER CITY LOST. WE WON ON A LAST DITCH PENALTY. WE HAVE AN EIGHT POINT LEAD. WE HAVE A PERFECT RECORD. I MAY NEVER TYPE IN ANYTHING BUT CAPS FOREVER. HALLLLPPPPP.
MK: Look. It’s only October. It’s only been eight games. There’s still a lot of the season to come, but it’s okay to be excited. We’re watching the best team in the world play their game. What’s not to love?
I don’t know what May holds for us. We could have the same injury crisis City is experiencing and be 3rd by Christmas. Who knows. All I know is I’m determined to enjoy the ride.
AJ: Yeah, I think that’s the space I’m trying to keep myself in. Hard not to let the mind wander, though. You know, to scenes of red confetti and our lads lifting a trophy over their heads. Or of a victory parade rolling through the streets of Liverpool. It all just seems so...possible?
And I know that hope and I don’t have exactly the best relationship. Just last night the hope I’ve built over 31 years as a Dodger fan came home, once more, to lay a big rotten egg. So, I’m well aware of what hope can do to my system.
This team just seems to have it together, right? I’m not saying Team of Destiny. Not yet, anyway. But I mean just that this team has all the things you look for in a squad that can go the distance. Skill. Grit. Mentality Monsters. It’s all there.
Which is why it’s hard for me to stay pinned to the now and not want to rush to the end. To see if we end up victorious. Or if another one of my sporting loves betrays my trust and dashes my heart into a thousand pieces.
Clearly, I cope by being dramatic. How about you, Mark? What makes you believe in this squad? And how do you stop yourself from getting your head to high up in the clouds?
Mark: I keep coming back to the setbacks this team has faced in the last few seasons. They lost a Champions League Final after their star player goes off injured and their goalkeeper threw 2 into the net. The next season they come back and get 97 league points and win a Champions League Final. Oh. That 97 points wasn’t enough to win the league. Oh. They went to the Champions League final after coming back from 3-0 down to BARCELONA. MESSI’S BARCELONA.
James Milner was interviewed after the Leciester game and I found that interview fascinating. He said that despite everything they achieved last season it wasn’t enough and now they know what it takes this season.
I know that they know what it takes. That’s how I’m staying calm.
AJ: That’s it. That’s it. That is actually, really it. I sense that these guys not only want it badly, but they know exactly what it takes to get there. They’ve leveled up. And, I guess, that’ll keep me calm. At least until the next set of results pushes me even further into the wilds. Stay tuned, I guess. This team is definitely one you don’t want to take your eyes off of.
Ultimately, TLO family, it’s ok to be excited. It’s ok to sometimes let the mind wander. It’s ok to think and believe and hope because this team has earned that over the past 24 months. It’s ok to look at this team and feel the blood pump and the joy build.
It’s also ok to want to just sit in the moment. To say this right here is good and not one ounce more. To say that I need to get to next week but next week can wait while we dance a little bit.
It’s ok, then, to just enjoy Liverpool Football Club. And what a rare and precious gift that is.