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I’d Rather Be Lucky Than Good…

Date: 5th September 2013 at 6:00 pm
Written by: | Comments (7)

Liverpool teamGARY Player, the South African golfer, tells the story of practising hitting balls out of the sand in front of a group of spectators. 

At one point he hit 3 in a row into the hole and was acknowledging the appreciation of the crowd when some fellow shouted, “I wish I was that lucky.”  Gary stopped, smiled, looked at the fan and said, “You know, it seems that the more I practice, the luckier I get.”

Some cultures are so obsessed with luck that telephones numbers made up exclusively of a lucky digit have sold for as much as £174,027. 

and luck start with the same letter; unfortunately, in the last few years, that luck has been consistently of the bad variety.  Sometimes it almost seemed that we were paying for the good ‘luck’ of winning in Istanbul, with unbelievable poor fortune in our subsequent domestic performances. 

How much woodwork have we bruised in the past few years?  How many injuries to key players at inopportune times at positions we lacked depth in?  

How many opposition keepers have come up with career performances in the face of complete Liverpool dominance?  How many bad bounces and inexplicable referee gaffes have led to critical goals which cost us well deserved points?

How many teams have had a referee allow a beach ball, in flagrant violation of the rules of football, to contribute to a crucial loss?

At the same time, was in the diametrically opposite position:  opposition keepers made inexplicable errors, balls that were nowhere near the net would carom to a surprised Manc player, and , last year, they were awarded 4 penalties (all of which they converted) while none were called against them.

But most of all had the “aura” of being lucky.  Everyone expected them to be awarded unreasonable spells of extra time when they were behind, whereas I remember games where Liverpool weren’t even given the minimum allotted by the referee.  Everyone expected Man Utd to score unbelievable goals in the last ten minutes of a game they were deservedly losing.  Everyone expected that no matter how badly Fergie’s team had been outplayed, they would find a miracle to take points away from losing fixtures.

Luck is one of those intangibles in sport that often separates success from failure and winning from losing.  It builds like momentum and infects both the recipient and his opponent to the point were it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.  Players begin to think that their wins are destiny and success is their divine right.

There is an indication that Lady Luck is casting leering glances in Liverpool’s direction and leaving Moyes and his cursed squad to pay for their successes.  There have been indications this season that Liverpool is moving into a more positive mindset than they’ve shown for many years. 

In recent history, players who underperformed weren’t allowed to bring the rest of the team down but were dispatched with all haste to bring in hungrier replacements.  Successful players like and charismatic players like brought a bit of character and stability with them.  Sturridge took up where he left off last season as a natural goal scorer. 

Going back to last season, Liverpool have not lost in 11 games, has only allowed 6 goals in that stretch, has a perfect record so far this year, and leads the Premiership.  We have not allowed a goal and have been able to bring in players from the bench without losing a step. And we are starting to assume an “aura” that we haven’t had for years.

Of course it is early in the year.  The month of September will be an interesting journey for Liverpool fans and for the team itself.  How will Moses fit into a side that is starting to play winning football and meshing into a defensive powerhouse?  For that matter, how will ’ return change the chemistry that has us playing so well without him?  And will the Reds’ growing confidence build into an aura of invincibility and will Fortress regain its Camelot on the Mersey mystique? 

Success breeds success and luck builds on luck (and hard work).  It has been a while since I have felt this sort of optimism at the beginning of a season; an optimism that is based, not on blockbuster transfers, but on a sense of movement in the right direction and the rising feeling that this edition of the team has that undercurrent of success, hard work and skill that will morph into the luck that wins fixtures and confounds opponents and frustrates the pundits.

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7 thoughts on “I’d Rather Be Lucky Than Good…

  • Zak
    1 year ago

    They call it luck, I call it never die Man united player’s attitude, they know opposition teams fear and panick in these last precious minutes and they come at them.

    Reply
    • Fritz
      1 year ago

      Should be written in the past tense. Despite the addition of Fellaini, the change in managers will have them fight to stay in the top 4. You heard it here first. lol.

      Reply
  • jay
    1 year ago

    I beleive that confidence is more of a factot than luck. Sometimes you are confident because you have trained hard. Sometimes you have that “top of the world feeling”. Sometimes the top players arround you are your inspiration and most importantly the manager that has been elevated to a god gives you the coinfidence to play well. I also agree that top players making mistakes reduces your coinfidence immediately. In Liverpool’s case coinfidence was lost because of our fumbling keeper. He was the one who dived to save the beachball instead of the football. He was the one to catch a ball that was going out and throw it in the net, against Arsenal in the opening match of the seaon. He was the one that turned two wins against Manc to draws. He was responsible for the shaky defence that allowed so many last minute goals to destroy our chances. Take this piece of bad luck away and now you have a team that is beeming with confidence.

    Reply
  • Usman
    1 year ago

    I quite agreed with your comment, because no matter how good team are playing, they surely need some sort of luck to progress.

    Reply
  • allaboutanfield
    1 year ago

    true champions do not need luck.

    Reply
  • Ozred
    1 year ago

    We might even pick up a couple of penalties this year if we really get lucky.

    Reply
  • Fritz
    1 year ago

    Notice that I started the article with the Gary Player story, as in, luck and hard work go together. One of the things that we haven’t had in the last few years is good fortune despite working hard. This year hard work is erasing the dark cloud that has hung over the club and continued success will only instill feelings of confidence in the players.

    Competence in professional sports can only take you so far. Since teams in the Premiership perform at such a high level, the intangibles, of which confidence is a major portion, are crucial in determining success.

    Reply

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