- Mr. Peterman (Seinfeld)
I don’t know how it feels to suffer from the kind of burnout Mr. Peterman struggled with before fleeing to Burma, but I do know a thing or two about the empty feeling of Liverpool FC not having too much to play for towards the business end of the season.
League Cup: check. FA Cup: check. Europa League: check. Down and out, with little on the immediate horizon but a potential top six finish in the league. I guess there’s a certain honour about that; finishing ahead of Everton would at least be something to hold on to – it definitely feels better than finishing below them – but it doesn’t exactly define our season. Nor does it guarantee European football next season. Frankly though, a top six finish would be in line with what we, realistically, should have expected before the season started.
Top four was never a realistic target back in August, at least not for me. Only the most ardent optimist would have thought so. However, looking at the table with some crucial moments in mind, things could have been very different by now. 2-0 up against Arsenal with thirty minutes to go; two brain farts against City; Gerrard’s penalty against West Brom. That’s nine points right there; nine points that would have placed us one tiny little point behind fourth and three points from a direct Champions League qualification spot.
The same probably applies for most teams though, so I guess thinking like that is nothing more than a waste of time. Futile. No point torturing ourselves like that. Reality is, we don’t have those nine points. Football is cruel that way.
Right now the remainder of the season may seem a bit pointless. But it isn’t. Every game we play is equally important for LFC; not just because of the people who pay money to watch, but because every game is part of the learning curve. We cannot allow ourselves to fall apart now, like we did last season after the 2-1 loss at home against Arsenal. The players have a responsibility to make sure that does not happen, and it could prove to be a stern test for the professionalism of the squad.
Now we find ourselves in a fairly similar situation to last season. We don’t have any cup fixtures to look forward to, but our league position and number of points is just about identical. We look more like a cohesive team than last season and we play better football than we have done for many, many years – but if the team finishes this season like they did last season that won’t matter much. Because then they haven’t learned anything after all, and we have to start from scratch next season.
One game at a time. Eleven times between now and the end of the season. The old mantra is very much alive. Do the job at hand and stop worrying what other teams do. Admittedly the situation seems a bit…meh…right now. Indifference may occur during dark moments.
A win against Wigan today could change it all. Football is funny that way.
I’m on Twitter, by the way: @ChristerEikrem