Our 2019/20 premier league season finally kicked off on Friday night under the Anfield lights, and brought an end to what seemed like a very short summer break. I'm not going to lie to you, I was enjoying my little respite. A full night sleep every night, no stress and nail biting. No tossing and turning in bed thinking of what could have been.
Of course last season was probably the greatest campaign of my life as a red, and I have never experienced so many highs and joyous celebrations in football. But with that elevation, did come the pressure of having to win every game. Shitting yourself away from home against Cardiff with ten minutes to go, because for some reason a PL game against a would be relegated side became the biggest game of our lives.
It was stressful. But of course that stress lead to sheer euphoria, maybe not in the league, but certainly when we were crowned the European champions for the 6th time. I struggled to find anything to talk about in the offseason, you'd think with us winning the champions league I wouldn't be able to shut up, but what could I say that everyone doesn't already know. And who cares what anyone has to say, we made it 6 BABY!
Then as pre-season started, it looked more and more likely no new signings would be made, with no exciting transfer gossip to discuss. Before I knew it, the reds had returned from America and were training in France. A blink of an eye later, and we found ourselves locking horns with City for the first time this campaign, in the charity shield. The game never ended in silverware for Liverpool, but it got the juices flowing. It brought the excitement back, and as Friday night drew closer, my eagerness to see the lads in front of the Kop again grew. They did not disappoint.
I thought the first half we looked very good, particularly for the first game of the season. The front three looked superb, the ball was like a magnet to their feet, first touch was perfect, everything they tried was coming off. I thought the midfield trio played within themselves, I never saw anything brilliant, but never saw anything poor either. At the back I thought we looked a bit asleep at times, lacking that sharpness in decision making, but that's to be expected in the early stages of the season. All in all, it was a great way to kick off the season, with 4 goals and a win in front of the Anfield faithful.
The only negative aspect to take from the game was obviously the injury to Ali. It doesn't look like a good one, and he'll probably be out for a good two months with that calf injury. But now a chance has presented itself to new boy Adrian. I can't comment on him too much in terms of what he brings to the side. I remember him pulling off a few good saves during his time at West Ham, but you only tend to notice the brilliant moments from opposite players, and not the mistakes they make. So it will be interesting to see what kind of back up we have here, but Im hoping he makes a really big statement, and gives Klopp a headache for when Ali is back and fit.
Now the attention quickly turns towards our second opportunity for silverware this season, in the UEFA super cup. We obviously come up against Europa league winners Chelsea, in a city we all hold very close to our hearts, Istanbul. This is a game I want to win, first and foremost. It's another piece of jewellery to throw in the trophy cabinet, and it's yet another statement to put out to the rest of Europe, that we are the top dogs.
I do suspect a fair amount of changes in this game, with one eye on the away trip to St Mary's, I believe we will mix it up. Im hoping to see a few changes in the middle of the park, particularly the Ox and Keita coming in. I think it's important to keep these lads fresh and match fit, and why not utilise the squad whilst you can. I'm still dreaming of Alex getting back to the sort of form we saw out of him before he got injured, so I would love to see him in the starting 11 for this one. But as we all know by now, in Klopp we trust, and whatever the big man decides will obviously be what's best for the team.
So as we look forward to waking up at 02:45am for the second time in 5 days to watch the reds in action, we wave goodbye to our stress free and boring life without Liverpool football. It's come back thick and fast, and by god am I loving it.