The life of a football fan is an endless cycle of hope and disappointment, punctured by fleeting moments of joy. On a recent pod we talked about whether it was easier being a fan 20-30 years ago? I’m not sure it was as the nature of fandom is to always want more. Always want better.
So its with this understandable emotional context in mind that i got to thinking about our expectations of Liverpool 2017/18.
The first thing I would say is that this feels like our first proper pre-season where a title challenge is a matter of discussion. The last time this felt achievable was during Rafa’s last few years (06-10). If, and its a big if, the window goes well and we sign our targets you feel we could really kick on. In some ways it feels like we have less to solve than some of our rivals. City seem to have small issues in a number of areas, United are still trying to find a successful way of playing, Chelsea may lose Costa etc etc.
We just need a whole new defence. Easy.
As a club we feel perpetually on the brink of crisis. As a fan base have become accustomed to the fall following pride pretty damn swiftly. But the truth is that in a season and a half under Klopp we have reached two finals, a semi-final and finished 4th. The chance is there to push on, and im confident we will. The madness of the transfer window only increases the sense of panic and we love to assume our club is more incompetent that any other, but again lets look around the league. Chelsea might re-sign Lukaku for £100M. United are going to pay 3 times Morata’s value for a player who played 16 games last season and line him up with a 30 year old Matic who turns slower than Charlie Adam. City have spent £20M or more on 25 different occasions in the PL and the number of successes is sporadic at best. And Arsenal’s two best players want to leave (Sanchez and The Ox) with Ozil eyeing the exit too. Who are we meant to be so worried about?
As an optimist (super-sheep!) i tend to look on the bright side. Of the unimportant things in my life, football is the most important. I feel good going into this season. Feels like we have a plan. Feels like we are building in solid ground. Salah getting done is massive. Feels like 30% of our best ever window in one there. Let’s follow it up. Let’s kick on.
Expectations are fluid, but at this very early stage we should be bullish. This year it really could be our year. And if not, fuck it, we will do it all again this time next year!