It’s been over three months since Liverpool last played a competitive match. Not like I’ve been counting, but it’s been 94 days. That’s over 2,200 hours since the global coronavirus pandemic paused the mighty Red’s march to their first Premier League title in 30 years. But fret not, my friends, we are just a week away from Liverpool playing a competitive match again.
It’s not all puppies and roses, however. Questions still persist about if the restart is happening too quickly as the coronavirus pandemic has not yet been quelled in the UK. In the latest round of testing by the Premier League, two more people tested positive for coronavirus, including an unnamed Norwich player who took part in a friendly match against Tottenham Hotspur. No matter the protocols put in place, these players are still being put in a position of risking infection for our entertainment.
There are also much more important matters at hand that should be the focus of our attention. The word is protesting the police brutality and over policing of Black people. The pain and anger from centuries of systemic racism has yet again come to the forefront, and deserves our attention and support.
Still, a selfish part of me can’t wait to see Jordan Henderson lead the team onto the field again. Liverpool need six points from nine games at a minimum to clinch the title due to their commanding 25 point lead in the table. The first game back is a Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park, which adds additional intrigue. It remains to be seen, however, if the Etihad-like atmosphere of the empty stadiums will impact the usual intensity of the game. Speaking of the Etihad, Liverpool play Manchester City in the third game back, which could see last year’s champions roll out a guard of honor for Liverpool if all goes well.
Along with the team goals, there are a couple of players chasing personal goals. Local lad, and assist machine, Trent Alexander-Arnold is just one assist away from breaking the record number of assists from a defender he set just last year.
Mohamed Salah is three goals adrift of Jamie Vardy (blech) for the top scorer in the league. As we’ve seen time and time again, when Mo gets hot, he can score goals at a frightening rate. Salah is looking for at least a share of a third consecutive Premier League Golden Boot, which I’m sure is providing some motivation.
The countdown is on. Whether it should happen or not, Liverpool are back in action in a week.