It's almost been two weeks since the premier league season came to an end, and what a fantastic yet stressful campaign it was. I've used the last 12 days to kind of go on a mental break away from all things football related. During that time it allowed me to get over the disappointment and hurt of getting so close to that premier league crown, and have a true reflection of the domestic season. Leading up to the game against Wolves I had been preparing myself for the inevitable, of City beating Brighton and retaining the title of English league champions, but hope is a beautiful/terrible thing. My brain told me there was no chance, but my heart wondered, and eventually it took over the reigns of my rational thought. Before kick off I genuinely believed we would finish the day in glory. When Mane got the first, it added to that belief, and when news had creeped in that Brighton was up, a tsunami of emotion had crashed into me, and I'm sure every red around the world. However it wasn't to be, and when the full time whistle went there was nothing to show for this unbelievable journey we had been on as a club. The next few days I felt empty, it effected me a lot more than I thought it would. I struggled to read or look at anything to do with football, as it just reminded me of the pain. But time heals all, and after a few days that glimmer of hope, the golden sky in the storm appeared, we still have silverware to play for, our season isn't over.
With now only a week away, the champions league final draws closer, and the excitement is rising with every day that passes. There will be plenty of time to talk about that game in the future, but I just want to focus on the past for now. Rewind 12 months, and you will find Liverpool in the exact same situation in Europe, the squad training in Marbella getting ready for a Champions league Final, but domestically the difference is almost worlds apart. At the start of the premier league season, if you asked 1000 experts who would win the league, 999 of them would have said City. After their record breaking campaign the season before, everyone knew it was going to take something really special to beat this team to the league. I think everyone expected Liverpool were going to give them the greatest battle. With the way that we played in the previous campaign and the additions we made in the summer, we had become a genuine title challenger. To most people that's all we would be, a challenger, a team who would come close but ultimately fall way short of this great city side. However Liverpool made enormous strides forward in terms of improvement and consistency, and forced city to do something no one expected was possible. I thought when City won 100 points that it was something we would never come close to seeing again in the most competitive league in the world, and yet our lads almost reached that record themselves the very next campaign. Unfortunately it still wasn't enough to be crowned champions, but in truthfulness this season was always meant to be just another step forward. What a giant step we took, a 22 point leap from our previous conquest. Last year on the final day of the season, we had to win to qualify for the champions league, this season we had to win to possibly become English league winners for the first time in 29 years. We won 30 games out of 38, only losing one. We did all this whilst maintaining a charge in the European cup, one that has led us to the final for the second year running.
The one thing that has amazed me more than anything this year is the mentality of the squad. When I watch them on the field, they don't fear anyone, they don't fear any occasion, they thrive on it. They want these big moments against the big teams. Look at the scalps that we've taken this season. PSG, Napoli, Bayern, Barcelona, United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal. Klopp said a few days ago that the difference in quality between all the top teams in England is not that great, but the consistency is where Liverpool have excelled and the others have perished. Consistency comes down to mentality at the end of the day. Do you have the right attitude going in to every game? How badly do you want to win? All season long these lads have proven that they will fight to the very end for that victory. In some games it just doesn't happen for you, that's football, that's life, but how you deal with those setbacks is what determines a true champion. I think every lad who has donned the red shirt this season is a true champion, a warrior with a Liverbird upon his chest, and an army of reds behind him. Those lads deserve more than anything to be basked in glory, to be hailed as heroes on their return to Liverpool. They have the chance to do that, one more chance for this year. We all know they have the ability to do it, we all know they have the mentality to do it, we all know that they will do it.
So as a Liverpool supporter on the other side of the world, I want to say thank you to every one involved with our special club for an unforgettable season. Now let's go to Madrid and become Heroes!