Neil Atkinson @Knox_Harrington
IT’S here. Now.
Everyone wobbled to a degree. Everyone worried. For me it was about four weeks in when the noises didn’t sound good and I began to think that “these bastards (that was the language running through my head) these bastards are going to find a way to diddle us”.
It soon passed because this was the only rational end result. The way it is now is the way it has to be. It isn’t perfect.
But it is something. And it is in our hands.
The thing is that now, right now, this Liverpool side has a league it needs to go and win. And it has a ground it needs to go and win at for the first time since 2016.
The record of this Liverpool side at both Goodison Park and Old Trafford is its only real flaw across these last few years. Most Liverpool sides that have walked in have been superior to their opponents but they haven’t walked out with the three points.
The broad pattern of games so far has been that the better sides have managed to make their class tell as halves have worn on. This has looked to be the case in both Germany and here. Yet this is sort of the case for football in general anyway.
We need to be careful not to ascribe characteristics to special circumstances that are actually present in normal ones. This Liverpool side is at its most dangerous either side of half time and late in games. This Liverpool side is simply dangerous.
Further, the other thing to remember is both sides playing this evening also have another game in three days time. Expect selection to be impacted by that to a degree.
Lastly, it is a Merseyside Derby. The motivation for both sides will be as high as it can be. But motivation is present for all footballers while playing football. It’s the motivation in pre season, in long weeks, in your every moment when you aren’t playing a game which makes the difference. Motivation is also analog, a tap to switched on and off.
It would make sense, for a variety of reasons, for Jürgen Klopp and his men to be as ready as humanly possible for this game, for these games. Were I working with Carlo Ancelotti there is an argument that his job is about day one of next season, not day one of this strange mini season.
When the game kicks off though, Everton will want it as much as Liverpool. They just won’t be as good, as well coached over as long a period, as physically prepared. That should translate into a Liverpool win. But should always needs to be done; it cannot be expected to be done.
It’s here. Now. It’s happening. The job will be finished. The 19th league title will be won. We are going to be there every step of the way.
We will be on HotMic for all three games today, ending with me and John calling the derby. There will be a Pink and a Post-Match-Pint after the whistle. I’m hosting an AFQ at 9.30pm and will be asking for your questions post match.
We worried. We wobbled. But we’re here, together, to finish this off. It’s been a long three months. It’s been a long 30 years. This league isn’t going to win itself, you know.
For more from The Anfield Wrap, including free stuff, click below: