As the end of the most enthralling title race in years reaches its final laps, there’s one team being talked about more than any other.
The top four may have been their pre-season aim but Liverpool are now top of the tree with six left to play and dreaming about winning the Premier League. Can you blame them?
Eight league wins in a row and with fellow challengers Manchester City and Chelsea still to make the daunting trip to fortress Anfield, it’s time for the Reds to be taken very seriously.
Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez have become Europe’s hottest strike pairing, Jordan Henderson the most improved midfielder in the division and Raheem Sterling an almost definite pick for Roy Hodgson’s World Cup plane.
Throw in the invaluable winners medal Glen Johnson won under Jose Mourinho in 2006, and there’s reason for optimism on Merseyside that the 24-year wait could be about to end if they can keep their feet firmly on the ground.
Brendan Rodgers has been at the heart of the revolution, the masterful tactician who learned from the Special One himself.
Propelling one of the world’s most historic clubs from seventh to the summit in the space of 18 months has been an extraordinary transition, built on solid home form and a devastating counter-attack approach on the road.
Hauling Liverpool from flopped pretenders to massive contenders, a pat on the back is the least the Irishman deserves.
The ability to create a game plan to outscore any opposition is fortified and having found a crafted balance between attack and defence with a nurtured midfield, their season has reached newfounded heights.
Tipped for an unsuccessful quest to pip Spurs to the final Champions League qualification spot by many betting pre-season betting coupons, many Kopites were pensive in their predictions. The transformation, though, has been beyond anyone’s expectations.
The demolition job of a woeful Tottenham delivered the latest emphatic statement and illustrated that it’s no longer just the fans believing, but the players and manager too that the impossible is possible.
The air of trepidation around the stadium in midweek during the edgy and cagey victory over Sunderland was palpable.
It was the first time in a long while that the Reds have won ugly on home soil, the real hallmark of champions.
There’s still a long way to go yet but as far as Liverpool are concerned, morale is high and the momentum could not be greater. They couldn’t possibly be entering this crucial stage of the campaign in better shape – to cope with the nerves, to maintain their concentration and most importantly, keep producing.
Not since the days of John Barnes, Ian Rush and Peter Beardsley (under the watchful eye of King Kenny) have the Reds experienced glory on this scale.
The title-winning glory of 1989-90, in overhauling the vastly-improved Aston Villa side, is all buried in the past but is now starting to flood back through the memory banks. Emulating that remarkable feat would be an achievement beyond comprehension.
Records are already being broken – and there could be more along the way!
Six wins from the remaining six and the trophy, that has so far eluded Steven Gerrard in his illustrious career, will be in his hands.
Their destiny is in their control. The Reds can dare to dream, those could soon become reality.
Sturridge v Swansea Image by Dean Jones via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
Colin Pascoe and Brendan Rodgers Image by md.faisalzaman via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License