Last night Liverpool fans turned up at Anfield expecting to see goals.
Which is perhaps an unfair way of approaching a football match, but that’s what happens when you score seven past the same opposition on their own ground a fortnight earlier. That it took until stoppage time for Liverpool to manage their third meant the evening was something of an anti-climax.
Especially when news came through of what was going on at Wembley.
If you haven’t heard, Tottenham Hotspur scored the same number against Real Madrid, and could have had a few more besides. Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane stated that Spurs were better “in every aspect” than his own team.
It all sort of put a dampener over a hard fought win over the champions on Slovenia and had Liverpool fans fondly remembering a decade earlier, when we were beating Real Madrid home and away.
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It should be pointed out that this is a Real Madrid team in a bit of bother, eight points off the top of the table after losing at newly promoted Girona at the weekend. However, they also have Cristiano Ronaldo and have won the last two Champions League trophies.
So, they’re quite good at football and Spurs battered them.
It should also be pointed out that this Tottenham side haven’t won anything yet. In fact, their much lauded manager has never won anything.
But, they do feel on the cusp of something special, potentially at least. Spurs fans have plenty of evidence to suggest they are on the verge of an exciting, golden era in their history.
For Liverpool supporters it feels much more like a cross roads, at best.
That this next period in Liverpool’s history could go either way. That a couple of cups or a season in sixth are equally likely.
The existence and relative success of Spurs are a nuisance for Liverpool and their ownership. The club and many of the fans speak of the loaded nature of The Premier League.
How hard it is to compete with Abramovich’s billions and Manchester City spending £200m on full backs alone. But then Tottenham Hotspur, who turnover around £100m a year less than Liverpool and frequently just spend what they earn in terms of transfers keep finishing above us.
Amazingly, Liverpool have finished above Spurs just once this decade.
That trend looks to continue this campaign, with the north Londoners currently four points above The Reds, having scored two goals more and conceded nine less.
At some point Spurs will probably have to find deeper pockets to pay their superstars close to what they could get elsewhere. But who would bet against them replacing those who may leave anyway.
How much have they really missed Kyle Walker?
For now Liverpool are neither the richest club, nor the smartest and they currently sit behind teams who are both. They could catch them, of course. Stranger things have happened.
However, Manchester City and Spurs just look on a different tier to Liverpool at the moment. Which is rather depressing when going into the summer we were promised so much more.
So, what can we do? Well, find someone who can take penalties would be a start.
Liverpool missed another one last night, which means they are zero from four in 2017. Quite the record.
All those who were furious James Milner didn’t take the penalty against Huddersfield, despite missing his last one, were rather silent last night when he missed again.
Well okay, it was technically saved. Milner’s misses are sandwiched by failures from Salah and Firmino too. Who do we turn to next?
No doubt Sturridge will put himself forward, when he is on the pitch. But as we saw on Wednesday night he so often isn’t.
So what about a wildcard? I miss fullbacks on penalties. The 90s was full of them.
Julian Dicks, Stuart Pearce, David Unsworth, Denis Irwin. Forwards try and be too fancy I reckon. With their stuttered run ups and giving the ‘keeper the eyes.
Let’s go back to the no nonsense lad who just stuck it in the goal. Now I’m not sure no nonsense and Alberto Moreno can really go in the same sentence. But what about the fella on the other side?
Trent Alexander Arnold has scored free kicks from 30 yards and does everything with a minimum of fuss and absolute scouseness. I vote him on penalties for the next ten years – The next Phil Neal.
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