Good morning Liverpool fans. I know that on Merseyside you probably think that “Hubris” is the new sporty SUV from Fiat, but I’m here to disabuse you of that misconception.
From the Cambridge English dictionary:
noun [ U ]
an extreme and unreasonable feeling of pride and confidence in yourself
Just over a month ago I wrote a Post on Arsenal Arsenal suggesting that only one team could stop you from emulating our mighty Invincibles of 2004. I fancied that it would come down to Arsenal having to beat your lot in North London on May 2nd.
In the Post I was extremely complimentary about your side. And why wouldn’t I be? Liverpool have been terrific this season, easily the best team in the Premier League.
But that did not stop a bunch of you piling in to the comments with various shades of abuse.*
“Deluded… crawl back to your cesspit… dream on… don’t give up your day job… Man City may well beat us but your shower of sh*t certainly won’t… wake up and watch us trounce your 2004 records…”
Turns out I overestimated you.
I thought you were going to be a serious challenger to the claim of best team of the Premier League era and that only Arsenal’s special reasons to be motivated would give us a chance of stopping you.
But I overlooked something. I had completely forgotten that you had to face another mighty challenge. That’s right: an away trip to a ground which is third after only the Camp Nou and the Allianz Arena in the list of most daunting fortresses in world soccer. Not.
I mean, Watford? And to lose 0-3? And to let Troy Deeney score, a man more out of shape than the actual Troy was after the Greeks had razed it to the ground…?
Hahahahaha. We’re having a terrible season and even we managed a draw there. Under Unai Emery, no less.
I’ve heard there were angry scenes in Liverpool after the game, with shops and houses looted and burned, costing pounds worth of damage.
But I’m not just here to poke fun at you and your hubristic dreams of going through a season unbeaten.
I am also inviting you to come on here and comment to the effect that you now understand and appreciate just how good the Arsenal Invincibles were.
To go through a full season unbeaten is almost unimaginably difficult and requires a team with qualities you probably only see once in a lifetime. You can only do it with total commitment, total concentration and total professionalism. You can’t have a single off day. No bad day at the office. No sudden stumble against unfancied opposition.
You know that now, don’t you?
I’m impressed that you went 44 games undefeated. Five more and you would have equalled the Invincibles’ record. But it’s so, so hard.
Come to think of it, your great teams of earlier eras never managed it either, did they? Not when you had Dalglish, or Rush, or Aldridge, or Owen, or Toshack and Keegan. You had brilliant teams, but none of them as brilliant as the Invincibles.
And before you jump on to say how crap Arsenal are right now, I’ll beat you to it: yes, we’re struggling. We’re going through a lean period. But you’d know all about that.
Both our great clubs have bragging rights. You have your European Cups, we have our Invincibles. Last Thursday night, when we had yet another disappointing end to a European campaign, the force was with you. Today, it’s with us.
You’ll still be champions this year. But you won’t make history.
These boys did: Lehman, Cole, Vieira, Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Lauren, Parlour, Edu, Gilberto, Campbell, Henry, Toure.
And in their prime they’d spank your current crop any day of the week because they were mentally tougher. So mentally tough that they refused to allow anyone to beat them in 2003-4. Unlike your lot.
Happy Invincibles Day!
- Not all the Scouse commenters were impolite. One or two (like C F S 118) made sensible and interesting comments.