I don’t run into too many fans of Liverpool Football Club in my area. In fact, it’s rare. Maybe it’s somebody I run into who is wearing the shirt or that I meet while playing in the local fun-but-serious adult soccer league and we talk for a minute. Oh my gosh. Liverpool? Yeah. Good team. Great team. Hey, let’s meet up at the local bar that neither of us have ever gone to and watch a match. Sounds good. Nice meeting you. But for the most part when I talk about Liverpool I’m talking at people and not with them and those people politely listen for a time and then just as politely move me on to talk of life’s lesser important things.
What I get a little more of is talk with fans of other Premier League teams. A lot of Chelsea around this area. Arsenal, too. A peppering of Spurs fans and United fans. My brother is a Spurs fan, just in case you ever need that information during a game of trivia or something.
Usually, what happens when I meet fans of other teams, and when things are a bit uneven with the Liverpool on-pitch performances, as they have been for a seemingly infinite period of time, I can join in the conversation with a normal ‘Aw, man, I don’t know what’s going on with my team right now’ kind of talk that fans do because fans are gonna fans. And we shrug our shoulders as if to say, “I don’t know. What are you going to do with this crazy team?”
But, now, this season, with all the Roberto Firmino and the Sadio Mané and the Jürgen Klopp on offer and the fingers-crossed promise and hope of a pot of gold in the near future, that elusive Premier League trophy, who’s got time for shrugging? I’m out there shaking hands. Liverpool. Talk to me. Let’s talk about my teams promise and hope, huh? Let’s talk about the dominations and the comebacks. Let’s talk about the goals I’ve personally witnessed on my television at home. Let’s talk about the pressing and the fitness. And the ‘We got spirit. Yes, we do.’
Jürgen Klopp’s spirit for the game is infectious. And his attitude towards football and his insistence on remaining genuine is admirable. He’s managed to reignite some fire in this team, a team of very good players who had just lost there way for a bit under Brendan Rodgers. I was okay with Brendan Rodgers, cheered for him a bit, it didn’t work out. I don’t know. What are you going to do?
But players who were underperforming under the old sea captain have looked better with the new man at the helm and are taking a step up this season. Adam Lallana, for starters. He’s done some impressive things, most of which are incased in my deep memory and are unavailable for immediate access. But, that one goal from Gini’s layoff I’ve got right up on deck. That one made the cat purr.
Sadio Mané is too good to even talk about. I don’t want to talk about it. He’s faster than I thought he was. But, his balance is his real super power. And his balance at speed? I don’t want to talk about it.
Firmino is an absolutely beautiful fit in this Klopp team. He’s getting better and better, linking and moving with the front three. Sturridge maybe isn’t fitting perfectly, yet. But, I think we’ll see him grow into the team. He may not be happy to stick around for much longer but I think he’ll improve in the short term and get on a goal-scoring tear. Coutinho looks very good. Sometimes he looks unplayable, even. More unplayable, less very good, Phillippe.
Our midfielders are adding more to the attack, providing better cover for our defense, which while failing to keep a clean sheet and still eyelid-saggingly frustrating on set pieces, is showing improvement. The Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren partnership could just become a serious thing. I vote for “Joeljan.”
But, hey, I’ve gone on too long. Nice talking to you. Let’s head down to the bar neither of us have ever been to sometime soon.