Ah, Christmas. For those that celebrate, it’s a time of spending (too much) time with family, spreading cheer and joy, and (badly) singing festive songs. Ah those songs. You know you belt them out at the top of your lungs while in the car. Here are a few of my favorites:
“Hark, the herald angels sing
Liverpool are atop the league!”
“Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
Liverpool lead the league
Pa rum pum pum pum”
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Is it a Liverbird or a hen, it’s Liverpool atop again
With lots of goals scored by Mo”
Yes, that’s right. Liverpool are enjoying their perch atop the table for the third year in a row at Christmas, enjoying a four point lead over second place Leicester City. In a year where Liverpool have suffered the loss of their two starting center defenders for the season, a slew of other injuries to the midfield, and have had the most VAR decisions go against them, I would posit that this has been the most impressive managerial performance by Jügen Klopp.
The gregarious German has chopped and changed his line ups to get warm bodies on the field, and for the most part, everyone has excelled. Curtis Jones has stepped in and become an integral part of the midfield despite being just 19 years old. Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips have taken turns slotting in next to whichever central defender (or pseudo-central defender in Fabinho’s case) happens to be healthy on the day, and neither has looked overwhelmed. All of this, of course, has come in the face of a global pandemic, a shortened preseason, and a crush of fixtures with no real break in sight.
Look, we all know that there is a long way to go to claim the title, especially in such a weird year. Two seasons ago, Liverpool lost out to Manchester City by one point after leading at Christmas, while last season Liverpool opened up a record lead after the holidays. While it doesn’t mean Liverpool will ultimately win the league, it is quite a nice tradition to be at the top at about the halfway point.
So, put on your most festive sweaters (or jumpers as it were), grab some eggnog, and warm up those voices.
“Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell Klopp
Liverpool scores and Liverpool wins”