The theory of momentum in sports has never been one that resonates with this particular writer. It looks like an entirely convincing idea on occasion — Leicester City’s stunning run for the Premier League title in 2015/16, for instance — but in actuality, those sorts of historic one-offs seem to overshadow the fact that the vast majority of good runs end suddenly, and can start back up out of the blue, with little fanfare.
There is no broad consensus on what separates momentum from a series of good results either, and the concept seems entirely too intangible and unpredictable to put any stock in. This writer is having none of it.
Liverpool recorded only their second win since August yesterday, and have been decidedly inert in that seven-week stretch. The general feeling surrounding the club was that they were simply unlucky, and once they had their watershed moment — just a little something going their way when needed — a run of wins was all but unavoidable.
Tuesday’s utter thumping of NK Maribor in the Champions League most definitely fits the watershed bill — once the floodgates opened, it seemed impossible to stem the tide — and now it remains to be seen if the second part of the prediction comes true. Emre Can has faith.
“It was great,” the 23-year old told the official site when asked about the record win over Maribor.
“We didn’t concede a goal, that’s important as well, and then we scored goals, created good chances, and I think it was a deserved win. You have to score and that was the reason we didn’t win the last games.
“Today we did it very well and I hope that was the game where it starts now again, the winning ways. It was a great performance and [we have] Sunday now, against Tottenham - a great game and hopefully we’ll play similar to today.”
Yes, bookending that historical beating are clashes with two of the best defensive sides in the Premier League, and Sunday’s trip to Wembley will potentially be a sobering test of whether the record-breaking win in midweek was a standalone moment of brilliance, or the beginning of a glorious run of form. Or, more likely, yet another game in a long year full of them, the sum total of which will determine the outcome of the season. Yawn.