An Air of Cautious Optimism around Anfield


Jersey!! Check!!!….Phone!!! Checked!!!…..FPL!!! Check!!!, fingers crossed and we are another set of entertaining Premier League. I for the past few weeks have been approaching it with a certain air of caution. This is all down to the season ender thumping at the Britannia stadium last season. Fortunately, I didn’t witness it, but the news reports that emerged withered me and am pretty sure a similar number of Liverpool fans as well.

But like the sport itself, I have let time do the healing. Rodgers scrutiny was completed. Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh  were unfortunately the casualties of this process. Never has Rodgers been under so much scrutiny, the glare of spotlight, bookmaker’s favorite to get the sack. Unfortunately, in this era Rodgers doesn’t have the luxury of time, but for me, I truly believe that he can achieve a legacy at this club. For his keepsake though, a top four position and a domestic trophy should cement his bargaining position and save him from the wrath of the fans.

The additions of the summer have a lot to prove as do last summer’s signings. Rodgers cannot exactly complain about the owners not backing him as that argument wouldn’t hold anymore. By the time you will be reading this Liverpool might have already played the game and some of you might even consider my misplaced fears as baseless. I will be glad actually and to be more frank relieved. Now I know, the season is long but we expect immediate results. Impatience seems to be at the peak especially for supporters across sport. Instant nirvana is what one expects and hence the unwanted pressure at times.

To be true, Liverpool does look formidable on paper, how this works out on the actual field is that matters. To be sharing a very obvious piece of news is frankly not news but just something repetitive in nature. But let’s face it, we fans are hooked on to a never ending series, where the characters change, the plots change, the sub-plots and rumors keep us hooked. Music, arts, entertainment, drama we have everything that in it as the TV deals have already proved. Coming to Liverpool, I am looking forward to how Firminho and Coutinho combine, will these two Brazilians make Anfield sway to their samba??? or will they cheer us, frankly all I want is smiles and a confident play( a view I suppose lots of fans will share with me I suppose) . The season before more than the results the joy with which the team was playing was brilliant.

The youthfulness and trickery of Sterling will be missed. But Ings has a certain hardened ability to thrill. Maybe not always with tricks but surely with a determination and a tough spine, he will make up for what he lacks. It shows his willingness to learn, we have players who are hardworking and to the cause in the form of Henderson, Milner and Ings. Intelligent players, who follow the instructions to the T. Possessing a flair which is often overshadowed by their running themselves to the ground.

As i write I realize that my apprehensions are instead turning towards an air of cautious optimism. The jitters are similar to the ones when we open our birthday and anniversary gifts, its childlike and innocent and it’s an experience which so many people feel. A truly wonderful feeling, I guess I am declaring my love for football and for Liverpool football club.

Yes, the last season was a disappointing one, but as a fan we have to stick through thick and thin. Am pretty sure there have been studies where a direct correlation can be found between the emotions experienced and the results.  Our experience with this unending saga can be best summed up through the song “Stealers Wheel – Stuck In The Middle With You”.  Listening to the lyrics, these lines actually capture what we think about football.

“Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,

And I’m wondering what it is I should do,

It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,

Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place,

A look ahead to this weekend’s fixture reflects may actually benefit Liverpool especially to getting points on board. Depending on how the other results pan out, LFC can actually decide on a strategy as both teams will be guarded given the way most clubs approach a season opener. But let’s keep our fingers crossed. As Season 24 of the Premier League unfolds, let ‘s embrace ourselves for the ride.

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