Liverpool are favourites for the Premier League title and everyone, it seems, is rooting for the Reds.
Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Manchester City means they are now just four wins away from a first league crown in 24 years. Theirs would be a triumph celebrated beyond Merseyside. But why? Here, We examines 10 reasons why we’re loving the Red revolution…
1) They are the underdogs, we love underdogs
During the infancy of their 10-match winning streak, Liverpool were as big as 25-1 for the title. That price, of course, has long gone and they are now the odds-on favourites to claim the crown.
As a nation we love underdogs and the Reds are flying our plucky-upstart flag.
2) Brendan is the British answer to Mourinho and Wenger
Jose Mourinho played for Sesimbra. Arsene Wenger ‘starred’ for FC Mulhouse. Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, last turned out for Newbury Town. So much for the old footballing adage of not understanding the game if you haven’t played at the top level.
For so long Mourinho and Wenger have been celebrated as students of the game, and now us Brits have Rodgers. Having graduated through the youth academy at Chelsea and then impressing at Watford, Reading and Swansea, the Northern Irishman – still only 41, don’t forget – is every inch the modern manager; master tactician, motivator and innovator.
3) Super Suarez
He was the man we loved to loathe. Then we loathed to love him. Now we simply love to love him. Sunday’s histrionics apart, Luis Suarez’s transformation from villain to hero is on a par with David Beckham’s rehabilitation in the wake of France 98.
The Uruguayan doesn’t do form, he is form – a relentless, rampaging rascal who terrorises opposition rearguards but leaves the rest of us rejoicing in his devilry.
4) Captain Fantastic
There wasn’t a football fan in the country (City and Chelsea followers apart) who didn’t let rip with an armchair roar when Steven Gerrard delivered his post-match battle cry to his Liverpool team-mates.
This was the raw, spine-tingling emotion for so long forgotten amid the modern-day hyperbole of our national sport. Gerrard has always been the most popular of the ‘Golden Generation’ and few would begrudge this one-club man a title win.
5) Twenty-five years on from Hillsborough
Kenny Dalglish does not want supporters to place too much emphasis on the 25-year anniversary of Hillsborough and Liverpool’s title quest – justice for the 96 victims will be played out in the courts, not on a football field.
Nonetheless, were the Reds to emerge victorious, the poignancy and timing of their success would not be lost on any football fan.
7) They’ve wandered through the Premier League wilderness for long enough
Traditionally, Liverpool are the club we love to hate – success has a habit of triggering such contempt, or should that read jealousy? For through the Seventies and Eighties the Kop idols were king, dominating the domestic and European landscape.
But since their last league triumph in 1990, others have come to the fore to take residence of that malice-laden mantle. That being the case, the level of resentment towards the Reds has subsided in recent years and their re-emergence has been a welcome one.
8) The Entertainers
Nothing excites supporters more than a team which breaks at speed, for there is no sight more satisfying than a swift counter-attack being climaxed with a goal.
To that end, Liverpool are the most mesmerising side in the country right now and a title would be just reward for their endeavour.
9) We’re nuts for the Brazilian
No, not Lucas. Philippe Coutinho. We all assumed the Inter Milan reject was too lightweight for the rigours of the English top flight when he landed on these shores in January of last year.
How wrong we were, for his cunning, creation and trickery have more than compensated for his slight of frame. At just 21 years old his best years are still ahead of him, let us hope they are in the Premier League.
10) Hope for the rest of us
Should they prevail, Liverpool will be the first side in Premier League history to come from a finish as low as seventh to lift the championship. And that gives everyone else a little bit of hope; belief that the monopoly can be broken.
They are proof that canny management, team spirit and shrewd investment can pay dividends. Their victory, then, would be a victory for us all.