Search icon


28th Aug 2018

COMMENT: Those mocking Liverpool for early season giddiness are missing the point

"This is our year."

Nooruddean Choudry


“This is our year.”

It is a sentiment so synonymous with Liverpool’s support that Scousers themselves have reclaimed it as a knowing self-own. Perennial optimism has bled into repeated delusion, before morphing into pre-emptive self-deprecation. It is, after all, better to get in there first with inward mocking before rival fans start bookmarking your positivity for future reference.

That said, the Anfield spring of eternal hope has hardly run dry. It doesn’t take much to get a critical mass of the club’s support excited, and the current side offer the ideal opportunity. Buoyed by last term’s thrilling Champions League run, and an exciting summer of big-money moves, the Reds have started the season in pretty flawless fashion.

Three wins out of three with no goals conceded have done little to dampen an inherent optimism that never needs fuelling. Any attempts at curbing enthusiasm is futile anyway, as long as Jurgen Klopp is at the helm. The enigmatic German makes no attempt at calming himself on the touchline, never mind the players on the pitch or the fans in the crowd.

The growing giddiness certainly grates on rival support. There have already been moans and groans and dismissive digs all over social media. You expect it from Manchester United and Everton fans, but it is notable how many Manchester City supporters have taken umbrage. Possibly because Liverpool are perceived to be media darlings in a way they are not.

Whether you love or detest him or them, it is hard to deny that Klopp and Liverpool were made for each other, in that he feeds off them and they him. It results in a symbiotic snowball of growing belief; a multiplier effect of expectancy. Standard footballing logic dictates that this simply won’t do and never ends well, but … this is Anfield.

Whereas previous managers and players have warned against the dangers of expecting too much, and crumbling under the weight of expectation, Klopp has actively leaned into it. It’s like he is weaponising Anfield optimism and turning what was long perceived as Liverpool’s greatest weakness – the outlandish ambitions of their fans – into their greatest strength.

The thing is, as much as Liverpool had one of the most thrilling and fluid attacks in the league last season, and have expensively addressed key weaknesses over the summer, they are still not on a level with Manchester City…yet. Logically, they remain second best to the Etihad outfit in most departments. But don’t underestimate the power of belief.

Perhaps Klopp understands that the only way he can possibly compete with Pep Guardiola’s vast resources, meticulous organisation and obscene strength in depth is to allow fan fantasy full rein. His Liverpool have been at their best when performing on a visceral level, building an irresistible momentum. The giddiness becomes self-fulfilling.

At worst, it could all blow up in their faces and Twitter types can make glorious hay off resurfacing Koppite hyperbole. But at best, well it could…be…their…year.