So. Liverpudlians. Liverputians. Mugsmashers. Scousers. Whatever you want me to refer to you as, I’ll do it. Amicus meus, inimicus inimici mei, after all. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Over the last four or five years, you lot have enjoyed a spell that period during the 70s and 80 when you dominated the First Division. It’s just your bad luck to have timed this spell to coincide with the rise of that monstrosity from Manchester. Your points total over the last five years should have seen you win the Prem. Well, old friend, I can’t offer you a Prem title, but I can offer you something almost as good.
Let’s first revisit 1989. Over here, stateside, it was hard to get any sense of what Arsenal or Liverpool were up to. If I was ambitious enough, I might maybe be able to catch some very late-night highlights of First Division football. The Hillsborough tragedy did bring more attention to it all, and I distinctly remember having very, very mixed feelings about our chance at denying your club a double in those circumstances. There was a significant part of me that wanted to see you win the league so as to offer some kind of solace to the fans, friends, and families of those whose lives were cut short.
I mean that. Sincerely. My reaction to us winning the First Division in 1989 is rife with guilt.
Let’s fast-forward, though, to this latest spell of yours. In any other era, you might have won the Prem three times in the last five years. It’s not for nothing that you finished behind Man City twice by just one point. They’ve stood in your way by dint of Pep’s superior tactics (by which I mean his ravenous desire to purchase the best available players). In this latest iteration, pundits have second-guessed you as if you didn’t come within a few inches of winnning an unprecedented quadruple. Hell, you did a domestic double, missing a treble by just two points, and had a chance at winning the Champions League to boot.
Enough blowing smoke up your arse. Let me cut to the chase. You have a chance to drive a stake through the heart that is the heartless soul of your arch-rivals lo these last five years. Along the way, you can take a dramatic step toward finishing in the top four despite having been sapped of all your strength after that quest for a quadruple.
Okay, so here’s where I actually stop blowing smoke and cut to the chase. Yes, we’re currently eight points clear of Man City, but they have a game in hand, and we have to come to Anfield and go to the Etihad. I’ll be honest; I don’t know if we can win this on our own. You and us, we have a history. We share a rivalry that predates this Prem with all of its outside investment and inflated transfer fees and dodgy financing. Man City are the epitome of what’s wrong with the sport, what with their 113 alleged violations of PL rules.
You defeat them, you make it harder for them to win the Prem—again. It may be hard to swallow, seeing us win the Prem, but how does that compare to seeing that lot win it for the fifth time in six years?
Think it over. That’s all I ask.
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