Thursday, February 6, 2020

Mentality Monsters

It's been a while since I've written a post about my team, the current World Club Cup Champions, Liverpool FC and I'm not sure why because there is so many reasons to talk about this team. The rival fans are fuming and using every conceivable excuse to convince themselves that our team isn't the greatest but are doing well because of forces that are out to doom their team. Since the introduction of VAR this season, one has to say it has it's ups and downs but as many articles on the topic have shown that there are a number of incorrect calls being made by the referee's of which VAR is making right. Yes Liverpool have had a helping hand with VAR but all of which were legitimate cases and no one can argue with that but the team have had it's fair share of bad luck with technology as this past weekends game against Southampton showed with Firmino being clearly fouled off the ball on the goal line but VAR chose not to allow a spot kick. 

But I'm not here to dwell on the naysayers but rather celebrate a team that has shown a desire like no other to always leave the pitch with nothing less than a win. Our only dropped points this season in the league came in the form of an away game to undoubtedly our biggest rivals, Manchester United, if we go on this amazing winning streak for the rest of the league, those in the Red part of Manchester will remind us of their great success of getting a point from us, such is how low that team has sunk. We've been there though, in the dark days, it was not easy and as fans of the club, we have suffered a lot but it's been oh so worth it because what we are witnessing now is extraordinary. Klopp labelled this team as "Mentality Monsters" last season in a game against Southampton where we fought back to win the game 3-1, this was shown again in our second leg defeat of Barcelona in the Champions League. The German has managed to inject this winning mentality into each of his players, where they know every time they put that shirt on, it's their duty to give 110%. 

The beauty of this football story is that the everything has worked in such harmony, with the clubs owners picking out Klopp, listening to his plans and vision, trusting him 100% and allowing him to take this club to the level we are now. We have taken average players and made them the best in their categories, not searched the world for the best players and pay exorbitant prices for them in order to build a team of greats. Yes Alisson and Virgil were two players that did cost us a lot but with the sale of Coutinho, it brought our net spend down a lot. While the team is sort of complete, you can't help but note Klopp wants to add little by little when the time is right to make sure this consistency is kept for years to come. The sneaky addition of Minamino is proof of this, while the Japanese international is still finding his feet in the English game, you know under the guidance of Klopp he will do well. 

One player that I've backed since the get go, a player who has been through the mill, had large amounts of hate thrown at him but he kept on grafting, kept on doing what he was asked and is now bearing the fruits of his work, that player is our captain, my captain, Jordan Henderson. I think the majority of the fans felt this expectation of a Steven Gerrard successor and Hendo didn't fit the bill. Lets face it, there never is going to be another Stevie G and making comparisons with Jordan isn't going to help the cause. While Jordan Henderson will be the first Liverpool Captain in 30 years to life the League Trophy, lets not try to shadow this mammoth achievement by bringing Stevie into this. Yes, I just said Jordan is going to the lift the trophy come May. I think the writing is on the wall, 22 points ahead of Man City in second place, with just 6 more wins needed from 13 remaining games, only something drastic could cause this team of mentality monsters to derail them from glory. I too was cautious the whole of December, waiting for that tricky January, a month which always made us wobble, get silly draws or loses, which usually pulls the breaks up on our title charge and has us rethinking what is going on, but this year? We just kept steam rolling on. 

It's the first time the English FA have implemented a winter break and judging by Klopp's reaction to pull the first team away for their break and not partake in the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury (that worked out quite well by the way). It shows that the boss knows how much effort each individual is putting in and deserves this time off. The season isn't over though and the players will have that in the back of their head, they're so close to the finish line they can almost taste it, as much as their bodies are enjoying the relaxation period, their minds must be wanted to come back even stronger to complete the jobs. This team has tasted victory in the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup and now they want more. Thanks to the Under 23's heroics the other night at Anfield, Liverpool are still in three competitions in the run in, with the FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League to go for. Knowing them, they will want all three and we as fans wouldn't expect anything less even if all we crave is that League title. Whatever it is, just sit back and enjoy the wonderful football this team of mentality monsters, that don't know the meaning of defeat is, play week in and week out. 

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