1. What is the feeling like among the supporters? Can you win the league?
After last weekend’s victory over Manchester City I think the majority of Liverpool fans are finally starting to believe. After 24 years without a league title we’ve become a largely pessimistic bunch and many supporters still expect something will go wrong. Could it be on Sunday?
2. What did you make of Gerrard’s impromptu huddle at the end of the Man City game, ‘We go to Norwich, exactly the same?’
It was absolutely brilliant. Nobody deserves a Premier League medal more and it is always great to see raw emotion in the often-characterless world of modern sport. It’s a terrible footballing cliche but we truly do have four massive cup finals remaining, starting at Carrow Road, so the rallying cry was understandable.
3. The Hillsborough tragedy seems to be weighing heavily upon him. Is it a factor in the feelings among players and fans as this is the 25th anniversary?
Definitely. It was certainly something at the forefront of Gerrard’s mind, having lost a cousin in the disaster, when he made his Churchillian speech at Anfield last weekend. With the latest inquests also underway it is difficult for anyone connected to the club to ignore the weight of history and injustice. It would therefore be fitting if we could mark this 25th anniversary year with the title.
4. Have you seen much of Norwich this season? If so, what do you think?
Not a lot and what I have seen has been very hard to judge because of the inconsistency. I felt at the beginning of the season, particularly after the summer acquisitions, that you guys could finish in the top half so it is a big surprise to see you in the midst of a relegation battle. From the outside Chris Hughton’s tactics seemed overly negative given the quality attackers at his disposal. The timing of his dismissal was strange though and smacked of indecisive leadership within the club.
5. Do we have any players you are concerned could hurt you?
Nathan Redmond is having a great season by all accounts and certainly has enough pace to cause us some trouble down the flanks. The likes of Robert Snodgrass and Bradley Johnson are also effective operators on their day.
6. Other than Luis Suarez, who should we be concerned about?
It’s probably quicker to list who you needn’t be concerned about right now! Unfortunately for us Daniel Sturridge is a doubt through injury but in Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Gerrard there are plenty of other players bang in form. Even Martin Skrtel is having a stellar season in front of goal!
7. What do you make of Manchester United’s demise this term, and do you think they will fall away as title challengers under David Moyes?
As a Liverpool fan it has been most enjoyable but I think Moyes is largely a victim of bad timing. Replacing Sir Alex Ferguson was never going to be easy and, although he has spent a decent amount of money, the squad needs a complete overhaul. Football is cycler and United were always about to enter a transitional period where established players needed replacing – god only knows how they managed to win the league so comfortably last year! I expect they will regroup and challenge again at some stage but it might take a couple of years and it is doubtful the Old Trafford board will have enough patience or trust in Moyes to take such a necessary view.
8. Does Everton’s excellent season please you? I never know whether it’s a friendly rivalry or not.
Personally yes – it’s great for the City to have both clubs being successful. The rivalry is certainly nowhere near as friendly as it once was but other than when we play them I certainly have no ill feeling towards the Toffees. The club and their supporters have also been excellent with regards to Hillsborough and that can never be forgotten.
9. Who has been the best single player Liverpool have faced this season?
That’s a tough one. The few games we’ve lost this season have either been the result of poor performances by us or a mixture of misfortune and poor referring decisions. That said, David Silva was excellent in defeat for City last weekend while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed when Arsenal knocked us out of the FA Cup in February.
10. Where do you think you will finish the season and where do you think City will end up?
I really want to say we will win it, and there is plenty of reason to believe such an inconceivable outcome will happen, but I have a nagging feeling that there is one last big twist in the race yet. Sadly, given the annoyance of Jose Mourinho and the manner of their play, I can see Chelsea pipping us at the post. Obviously I sincerely hope I’m wrong though! As for Norwich, your shocking run-in makes relegation a real possibility. Hopefully you survive (through victories over United and Chelsea preferably!) but I cannot see it.
Thanks to Gavin at Vital Liverpool and all the best for the rest of the season – after Sunday, of course!