Is there anything more annoying than Liverpool having the best team and getting their best league results in a generation, only to have to other teams also playing as well, or better, than them? It’s just our luck that in this golden year, Manchester City and Chelsea also have creative, visionary managers and the players to bring that vision to life on the pitch.
Imagine this team in 2015-16 when Leicester City won the league trophy because every other team refused to take it. This Liverpool side would have been crowned victors that season before Christmas.
But that’s not the reality we face. Instead, Liverpool, despite not losing any of their first 11 games in the league, are in third place at the moment. And while fans and pundits have scored over the fixture lists and speculated wildly about fatigue or lose of form or injuries, Xherdan Shaqiri says that the only results he’s worried about right now are Liverpool’s.
“I think we have to ignore that [other teams’ results]. We have to look at ourselves and make performances week to week, try to stay on our highest level and to try to win games so at the end of the season we can say we are proud of the season we played because we gave everything,” he told the official site.
I hope he is better at following his advice than I am, because so far it feels like each game played by another top six club is a matter of life and death. Every goal scored by Manchester City chisels away a little more of my soul. Every come-from-behind victory by Chelsea feels like a stab in the back. Every incorrect call that goes in favor of one of our rivals feels like a direct insult to me and my family. So I’m glad Shaqiri has some perspective. That makes one of us.
“We will see what happens, but the process the club had for a few years is going very well I think and that’s also the most important thing. Everybody sees that and of course in the near future for everybody it’s important to try to challenge for titles, that’s clear, but at the moment we just have to look to ourselves and to try to stay on the highest level.
“We will see what happens, but if we keep going like this it’s going to be an interesting year for everybody I think. For us, it’s amazing how we are doing in the league at the moment. We are in very good shape and everybody is positive in this club so we are looking forward to the next games, to many games to come.
“We just have to keep going like this on the highest level and to work every day hard to compete against the good teams.”
Shaqiri is favored to start against Fulham when Liverpool go into their next fight to the death on Sunday. After their game, it’s the Manchester derby — for anyone who, you know, cares about that kind of thing.