Neil Atkinson @Knox_Harrington
WHAT will his first 11 be?
There’s something innocent in the question, something magic and fresh and unlikely.
I am lucky; I get to enjoy what I do and the people I work with every single day. But I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that sometimes it becomes a process. Pre-game work. Game. Immediate post match. Post match. Build up to midweek game. Game. Immediate post match. And on we go.
That the football team is brilliant helps but even then it can, if we aren’t careful, become “brilliant again, weren’t they?”
I have little reminders built into those runs, little triggers to remain switched on and happy.
Normally though, by the 30th league game we are bang in the run in a good sense. The games feed each other, there is a momentum behind each of them. It’s exciting. But it isn’t fresh.
Right now, it is very much both.
The break has been the longest we have gone without discussing a game since the start of TAW. The longest anyone has gone without playing. It will make the games strange in parts and we have seen that already.
But it is also exciting. And you know what, it is vindicating.
We have the chance to basically win the league four times. Let me talk you through them:
1. When we won it in your mind. Whether that was City at home or Leicester away or Wolves away or United at home. Whatever the moment was that you knew. That no one was stopping us.
That was great, wasn’t it? Whenever that was it also settled in the minds of our rivals, the twisted up millions who had decided they wouldn’t be able to take any Liverpool win and so started talking about VAR or how the league wasn’t as good. While our progress was both intense and serene.
2. When they confirmed the dates the games were coming back.
That one was good. I nearly included the notion it wouldn’t be null and void under any circumstances. But then our rivals still thought they had a way of stopping it. They felt there could be a rabbit out of a hat.
3. When they actually win it.
Now we are into the hypotheticals. But when they get the results they need. Hopefully next Wednesday. That would be good. Get it done quickly. Because…
4. When they break the points record.
The fume will be visible from outer space. If they do this the number of people who will be determined, from Toffeeman1193 through to Gary Neville to Simon Jordan to tell you it doesn’t count, to tell you that you can’t allow it, will be incredible.
Let there be an asterix. Let it denote that no one ever did a league season better and that perhaps no one ever will.
It gets the blood pumping.
It’s an opportunity to embrace how magic it is, how fresh it is. It is the very essence of exciting. A bit like the start of a season – how will the new signings (Keita, Minamino) do? What about the young lads? Can we challenge? (Without all the mucky stuff.)
We all have to do our bit to make it magic in the most unlikely scenario but I reckon The Reds will do theirs.
Alisson; Trent, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robbo; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
That’s my bet.
For more from The Anfield Wrap, including free stuff, click below: