Being a football fan can be a drag. Really. One moment you’re on top of the world, extending a long unbeaten run and knocking off the Premier League Champions elect, and the next you’re getting embarrassed by future Championship side Swansea. You know, hypothetically.
While our Top 4 competitors were watching our stumble with glee, it’s important to remember that this shit happens to everyone. Everyone.
Just prior to our defeat, we were taking joy as Liverpool’s academy, I mean Southampton, held Spurs to a point. It was Tottenham’s second draw in three matches, including the draw to local London rivals West Ham. From mid-November to early December, the Spurs were winless in 4, a loss to Arsenal, draw against West Brom, loss to Leicester, and a draw against Watford. They also have a home draw to Swansea on their record from September.
Chelsea started their league campaign with a 3-2 loss at home to Burnley. And this season they have losses to London rivals West Ham and Crystal Palace. The Blues might have cruised to a 4-0 win this weekend, but it was off the back of two draws to Arsenal and Leicester City.
Manchester United recently rolled off three draws on the trot: failing to take all three points against Leicester, Burnley, and Southampton. And in October they fell to a 2-1 defeat to the powerhouse that is Huddersfield Town.
Even the unstoppable Manchester City has draws against Everton and Crystal Palace. As Jurgen Klopp might say, “these things can happen.”
All said, Liverpool’s set back was embarrassing, but it’s worth remembering that it was only their third defeat of the season. And the other two were to Manchester City and Tottenham. Of course, there are the numerous draws also holding us back this campaign, but all in all, we’re still in fourth, and still within touching distance of third.
The loss brings out certain insecurities, completely unrelated to the result. What if Virgil van Dijk isn’t the automatic clean sheet we were promised?! What if this team falls apart without Philippe Coutinho!? What if we don’t bring in Big Name Player™ this month?! What if I die without seeing Liverpool win another title?!
This is all fair. But it’s also fair to point out that these thoughts were not so important when we were on an 18-game unbeaten streak, just off the back of taking down Manchester City.
Conceding on set plays isn’t just a Liverpool thing. Nor is losing to crap opponents. Nor is struggling in the transfer market. We just feel them more because we pay the most attention to Liverpool. When United loses to Huddersfield, we see the result, have a laugh, and move on with our day. When Liverpool loses to Swansea, it’s all we talk and think about until the next ball is kicked.
That next game comes on Saturday, which is frankly not soon enough. A win or three would go a long way toward helping us forget this result.