Liverpool barely have a moment to breathe and reflect after their nil-nil draw against Manchester United with the festive crush of fixtures upon them. On Wednesday, Liverpool face West Ham in the Carabao Cup. Then, on the weekend, Liverpool host current league leaders Arsenal for a chance to lay claim over the top spot through the New Year.
Liverpool, currently a point off the lead and level with Aston Villa, are at this point in the season, in the drivers seat. Win against Arsenal and they not only go top of the table but do so without relying on anyone else to to do the work. It’s a potential 6-point swing on offer and the Reds would do well to take advantage.
But today, today is all about the quiet. It’s the moment to assess and consider and plan. Not too far ahead, of course, but to take stock and to consider. And there’s a been a lot to think over to this point in the Reds’ campaign.
Admittedly, it’s difficult not to get disappointed with the weekend’s results: a weakened side - and a rival at that - with the added opportunity to retain our grip on first place? Yeah, it feels like a lost opportunity.
Thinking back on what the team looked like at the start of the season, or even in the midst of the turbulence that accompanied the departure of nearly all midfielders of consequence? Well, it feels quite different under those circumstances.
Because I feel most fans would bite your hand off if offered to be precisely where we are on the table at this very moment. And considering that City are below us, I feel they’d have bit your second hand off for good measure.
All that to say Liverpool are in quite a good spot. Even allowing for the frustration of the results on the weekend. Which can also be refracted into the consequence of facing a deflated side that came to Anfield so spooked at the idea of being run off the pitch that they set themselves up to play some of the most dire and depressed football in the hopes of eeking out a draw.
Liverpool have spent most of the season flying under the radar. Even now, playing better football than and taking results from the same teams that have managed to unsettle the presumptive Champions, Liverpool are still only being touted by pundits as an outsider in the title race. And that suits Liverpool fine.
But the league is awakening to the idea of a titan on Merseyside. It’s how you explain so many weeks of teams packing the box against us or committing all 11 to play behind the ball. There is, then, a little whisper that seems to be growing out of the quiet now, on the eve of the festive din.
A whisper that says Liverpool are to be taken seriously. That Liverpool are in fact the real deal. That Liverpool are one of the teams, if not the team, to beat in the chase for the Premier League’s ultimate prize.