Should Liverpool fans dare to dream? Even if not, we’ve come a long way under Brendan Rodgers, writes Craig Hannan.
As Steven Gerrard wheels away, shirt aloft having calmly dispatched of a 90th minute penalty at the Putney End, he breathes life into what would have seemed an impossible reality last season.
Four points off the top of the league and it’s mid February.
Dubbed ‘little horses’ by Mourinho and ‘Chihuahuas that run between the horses legs’ by Rodgers, Liverpool are no doubt outsiders but isn’t it nice to be in the mix.
In 2009, Yossi Benayoun laid claim to what was a monumental victory for the reds in the final minute at Craven cottage, ensuring their title aspirations were kept alive for a little longer.
Five years later and we’re challenging for the first time since.
Not for a moment am I saying we’ll do it.
But why shouldn’t we live in hope? We’ve suffered through Hodgson, the return and departure of our King and now through Rodgers we have a side who are striving to quell any suggestion that Liverpool are not genuine contenders.
Fourth place would be a significant achievement for Brendan Rodgers, and even that isn’t a shoe-in with Sherwood’s Spurs surprising everyone. So do we dare to dream and risk letting ourselves down?
We have Luis Suarez. We have Sturridge and Sterling and a wave of optimism that in previous years we didn’t have. We’ve inflicted heavy defeats on Arsenal and Everton at home and all in all have scored 2 less than City – without the attention.
We’re now an expansive, high pressing, high octane counter attacking team who encapsulate the Rodgers mantra of pass or die. Poetry in Motion.
This was illustrated perfectly at Craven Cottage, when we huffed and puffed, but not once did we relegate our style to throwing hopeful, desperate balls at our forwards.
With 41 goals between Suarez and Sturridge, and Gerrard pitching in with his highest number of season assists (9); it’s only our defence that could cost us.
You could be pessimistic, but why? The opportunity to hold back and say ‘I was right’ if Liverpool don’t at least make an assault on the title past February is too easy. And where’s the fun in that?
‘A team that play the Liverpool way and win the championship in May.’
Finally we can sing this with some conviction.
If not come May, the air of self belief and optimism that surrounds Rodgers’ Liverpool would say we’re not as far as feared last season.
Craig Hannan (@Craiglfc7)