Popular culture is full of people theorising about what makes a winner. From the vulgar to the sublime, you can’t swing a cat in a Hollywood archive without battering the unfortunate moggy off some character pontificating about the traits of a victor. In this never-more-materialistic world, the common preoccupation with being seen as one of life’s champions means that almost everything is about competition – having the better car, earning the biggest salary, getting the most bloody retweets.
Obsession with a sports team, especially one with a proud tradition of conquest and glory, means ratcheting that idée fixe about winning up a few notches. It is an unavoidable infatuation, especially if you have foolishly aligned yourself with a club blessed and burdened by a trophy-strewn history like Liverpool’s.
Sadly, this is where we encounter a problem, this is where enthusiasm can morph into embitterment and despondency, because over the past decade the Redmen simply have not won titles. A solitary League Cup in 11 long years means that an entire generation of Reds are lurching towards adulthood without ever having seen their beloved team win a trophy of note.
In recent months, the anticipation boom has been followed by the disappointment bust, as Jürgen Klopp’s exciting-but-flawed squad have fallen away from the summit of the league and crashed out of two cups. Inquests and analysis have been the order of the day but the reality is that for all the obscene talent and early enthusiasm, the German’s squad lacked the character and class to maintain their lofty perch.
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