I’m currently sat in Manchester Airport waiting to fly out to Germany where it is apparently snowing. I have not packed for snow. There’ll be some of my mates who won’t even have packed trousers – “European away init?”
But I’m sure we’ll all get by. We’re going for footy not sunbathing, and it’s always nice and warm in a beer hall. We’re off to see Liverpool in the Champions League and it will take more than bad weather and even worse clothing choices to stop us enjoying it.
It’s my second time in Munich. My first trip was to interview Xabi Alonso at Munich’s training ground. Which has nothing to do with anything, I just like saying it. It’ll be my first trip to the Allianz Arena, with Liverpool strangely not drawing Bayern since 1981. I can’t wait to see the stadium. Although we arrive as conquerors rather than tourists. That’s the plan, anyway.
The game itself feels finely poised, with perhaps the performances of Ajax and Manchester United last week leaving Bayern wondering of the value of the result they so sought at Anfield. How good it really was we will see. But I fancy Liverpool to score in Germany.
But Bayern have won their last two games 5-1 and 6-0 so will rather feel in decent goalscoring nick themselves. When we drew Bayern earlier in the year I was assured Bayern were a team in decline so I’m very annoyed they are now top of the league. They certainly still looked decent at Anfield.
Someone has lied to me somewhere. But you always have to beat good teams if you want to win the Champions League.
Winning the Champions League should be Liverpool’s aim. We are all obsessed with becoming champions of England again but we have a really good chance of being champions of Europe too and either would represent a brilliant season. After coming so close last season going one better would be amazing. If we can get through to the quarter-finals we have as good a chance as anyone.
I accepted going out of the League Cup early to Chelsea. It felt like a season that promised much more. I even accepted going out of the FA Cup early to Wolves, although it’s a competition I’ll always love.
The squad isn’t quite there yet to challenge on all fronts. But the Champions League you should always be in to win. Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton, Spurs. None of them have lifted a European Cup. It’s what sets you apart as a football club. If Liverpool can win a sixth they’ll go above Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and behind only Real Madrid and AC Milan. European royalty.
If the league has become our obsession then Europe can be a fun distraction. Who knows it could lead to much more. Right now it’s the next game so it’s the most important. For both teams the battle for a league title can wait. Another famous night is in our grasp.