Despite coming away with impressive results so far on the road to Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea, as well as a rollicking home victory over the defending Champs, pundits and Liverpool supporters alike remain unconvinced that this year will be any different than those in the recent past. Why? One word, two syllables, and 90 dreadful minutes of football: Burnley.
That game against Burnley remains the only real blemish on an otherwise fantastic start to the season, but it’s not just Burnley, but what they represent. They represent a shocking inability for Liverpool to regularly beat the league’s bottom feeders, thus making the upcoming clash with Hull City feel anything but a sure thing.
Jürgen Klopp has done well at training the Liverpool supporters as well as players, and in today’s match program he’s reminding everyone that complacency isn’t allowed.
“This afternoon is our most important game of the season! Why? Because it is the next one!” Klopp said. “It is the only game we can influence at this moment and the only opponent we can look to beat.
“I know this sounds very simplistic and it might be dismissed as ‘football speak’. But believe me, it is the attitude we have had as a team and squad since the full-time whistle went at Derby in the cup game and it must be the attitude from everyone connected with this club until the final kick of the game today.”
Today’s pep talk, directed solely at the fans, continues his sentiments from the pre-match press conference about needing a more positive attitude, regardless of opponent.
“To repeat again: the next fixture is the ‘defining’ game, because it is next. For no other reason – not the name of the club or the badge on the shirt.
“The Premier League is special, in terms of top-flight football, for the uniquely competitive nature of it. ‘No easy games’ is a simplistic way of putting it and I am told this is an old-fashioned response in England.”
Win, lose, or draw, a great deal more will be made of this single result than it deserves. However, even though the season is still young, the sides you would expect to be gathering toward the top end of the table are all gathering toward the top end of the table. Plus Everton. Points will be at a premium this season, and hopefully the players and fans alike can push on, defeat Hull, and start focusing on the next most important match.