As a superstitious supporter I don’t really check the list of injuries during a match week, I may not even check our own form guide.
The one thing I do check in the days before a game is the height of the laundry basket in the hope that I’ve given myself enough time to wash my lucky pants for the next fixture.
Wearing the same clothes, buying my programme from the same vender, doing a full lap of Anfield before entering the stadium; list goes on of guaranteed tactics to bring in three points. Of course Brendan Rodgers and his players have a say in it all but as a fan it’s nice to feel you have a say in proceedings too.
When you have this mind set as a supporter you do, somewhat arrogantly, think you’re on a par as the manager and can deliver three points by doing the right things, i.e. lucky pants being clean and ready.
With that, believing you are Brendan Rodgers right hand man (feel free to call yourself Colin Pascoe), you tend to follow the manager’s words and relay them around town when friends ask you about the situation around Liverpool Football Club. To do this you feel is your duty, if Brendan is keeping his feet on the ground then I’m putting glue on the sole of my shoes.
It’s just that these last five days have seen Rodgers himself slightly tweak his own opinion on the race for fourth place and beyond. Before Arsenal’s visit to Anfield he reconfirmed his stance on a shot at the title by saying, rightly so many of us would suggest, that we’re not ready for challenge this year and to go from 7th to champions is an unprecedented leap.
Following the ferocious victory over the Gunners, combined with last night’s late win at Fulham and Chelsea and Arsenal both dropping points in midweek, his view has changed by only a fraction – even calling ourselves Chihuahua’s running amongst the legs of the horses in the title race – indicating he believes there is a slight chance.
As the kind of supporter that I am I now don’t know what to believe. From each week to the next I don’t know what team(s) to be hoping drop points. One week I’m looking at Spurs and Everton to try and distance ourselves in the race for fourth, the week after I’m looking at City, Chelsea and Arsenal and beginning to dream. Like always I want Man United to lose so there’s nothing new there.
I’ve been in limbo on this for most of the season.
All the stats that rang out about a team being top on Christmas Day led me to think a challenge is on, only for us to be 5th by New Years Day with defeats at Chelsea and City following the horror show against Hull. But then you have the victory in the derby and the mauling of Arsenal and your eyes start to focus much higher than fourth place, which then leads you to ask the question, ‘is it arrogant of me to be thinking of a title push?’
Everyone knows we’ve still got to welcome Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City to Anfield which could play a significant role in the title race regardless of whether we feature in it or not. However, it’s the fixtures around those three that are more intriguing.
The type of victory we gained against Fulham was almost as impressive as the win over Arsenal for the manner in which we were able to change our style and grind out the three points, fighting right until the end. This is the type of performance we may need a lot more of in the closing months of the season, especially when we visit four out of the bottom ten between now and May. We face Man United and Southampton away from those within the top ten, games of which we may not find as hard as those against teams battling to survive, as strange as that may be.
With still three months of the season to play the mind set of both manager and supporter could change at breakneck speed, but as long as the lucky pants are washed at least we have some control over proceedings.