AS the season has come on and the points have been dropped, many people have shrugged their shoulders, deciding that there will be no qualification for the Champions League this season.
Prior to the current season starting FSG stated that Champions League qualification was the target, but both Brendan Rodgers and others at the club have been quick to dampen those hopes as the season hasn’t looked like panning out how we’d have all hoped.
Even the normally eternally optimistic Liverpool fans have given up all hope of a spot in Europe’s premier competition for next season and, I have to say, I’m a little disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to a couple of decent league victories, not in the slightest. What it is, is a reaction to an incredibly defeatist attitude I’m seeing around the club a lot in recent seasons.
How many times have we seen a Liverpool side know when it’s beaten? Thankfully, not many. Even when we’ve been outclassed on the field, our players usually put in the effort but having the attitude that we’ve got nothing to play for, for the rest of the season is a bad one, and one that can make the players lazy and feel like the way they’re playing is the accepted level.
Sure we may never get anywhere near the top four over the course of the next 10 league games but we’ve got to try -just chucking in the towel because simply because we’re 10 points off the pace just isn’t acceptable.
Which is why I believe our current ability to stuff teams by more than 3-4 goals a game could well turn out to be the crucial element of our end-of-season run in.
With home games against Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal to come, the remaining 7 games are the type that we’d all say are ‘winnable’ and if we can continue in our current vein then there really isn’t any reason why the top 4 shouldn’t be attainable. We just have to go for the throat if – and when – the sides above us slip up.
At present, Everton are wobbling, Arsenal seem to be in free-fall and Chelsea are still not convincing. While a win at home to Tottenham on Sunday could make them begin peering over their shoulder.
Of course, it’s likely we’ll be lucky to finish 6th or even 5th but that shouldn’t be the target. Sometimes you have to set yourself targets that are practically unreachable because without them, you’ll never try to improve yourself and that is a vicious cycle that Liverpool have been in for a few seasons now.
Achieving a Champions League spot would perhaps be something of a miracle but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still try. The confidence boost that this would give both the players and the club a similar shot in the arm that the Champions League win did in 2005 which led to one of the most exciting periods in the club’s history.