What a difference a week makes. They say that a week is a "long time" in politics. What kind of time dimension then, can be put on the length of the emotional roller coaster ride that Liverpool football club and it's fans have been on over the last seven days?
After the bitterly disappointing 3-1 defeat at Bolton, there wouldn't have been many who would have bet on Liverpool reaching one Wembley final and advancing to the next stage of the FA Cup, with both Manchester City and Manchester United respectively being the opposition that needed to be overcome. But against the odds, Liverpool showed character and perseverance to almost wipe away any bad memories left over from the Reebok Stadium debacle.
I say almost because...
Though the team deserves a pat on the back for two excellent results, the individual and team performances still left a lot to be desired and the players must not be allowed to get carried away. It's only two small battles that have been won.
There are legendary stories of Bob Paisley putting a bag of League Championship Medals on the dressing room floor after another successful season and saying, "'Take one, but only if you think you deserve it."
That was the sagacious way Bob Paisley put his message across, telling the team, which included Kenny Dalglish, that the job was never done.
Though the team must not be allowed to get carried away, they should hopefully have the self belief that they are as good as anyone and rightly so. Though there have been some poor results against the "lesser teams", they have now beaten Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal on the road and now Manchester United at home. These are the results that they must remember yet forget at the same time.
They must remember to emulate and forget in order to concentrate on the present. A strange paradox maybe but that is the fine mental line between success and defeat, some refer to it as "the zone."
In my previous article, "This Is Not Anfield, This Is Not Liverpool", I finished by saying, "If there are two outstanding results in our next two games, we will have the spark. Whether it will be enough to set our season alight, we shall see."
The next two games will be the acid tests. A victory at Wolves on Tuesday and at home to Spurs (with the return of a certain Luis Suarez) the following Monday and this could very well turn out to be the best season we've had in year's.
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