Pretending none of the record talk matters is a feeble ruse to bypass disappointment

Pretending none of the record talk matters is a feeble ruse to bypass disappointment
Liverpool's Andrew Robertson reacts to a challenge during the Premier League match at Anfield 

Sack him, before it gets any worse.

A slide is inevitable, anyway. 17 home wins this season (so far) is merely the peak of the slippery slope.

Now I’ve cracked open your nut with my sledgehammer sarcasm, perhaps it’s time to warn you that a time of reflective assessment is almost upon us.

We’re champions now. As much as many wanted to wallow in smugness a while longer our obligations to keep going, achieve even more, cannot be dismissed. We are all the children of Ronnie Moran.

Talk will centre on the squad, its use and composition. Good enough? Who goes, stays? What part will youth play in this?

Our ‘kids’ in the past, who won stuff and became stars, were regarded as undeniable talent who’d have risen to the top however they were treated.

But people like Fowler and even Gerrard needed games to ease in and acclimatise. Modern attempts with a start here and there, or simply lobbing them into disinterested second-string line-ups for easier cup ties, tends to result in a sink or swim policy inevitably resulting in loud gurgling.

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) and Burnley's Dwight McNeil (right) battle for the ball. Picture: Oli Scarff/NMC Pool/PA Wire. 
Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) and Burnley's Dwight McNeil (right) battle for the ball. Picture: Oli Scarff/NMC Pool/PA Wire. 

We exploited Brighton naivety in midweek, but though we’re miles ahead of City they lead in the crucial area of extinguishment. They put their boot on someone’s throat and stamp harder. Ours just seems to slip.

Incredibly, all our opponents still think they’re in with a chance if they grimly hang in there. They think that because it’s true.

Had that game mattered, panic could have set in. Salah got another, should have had more, and yes that can be aggravating. His relentless motion forward isn’t always appreciated (looks in mirror guiltily) but he’s central to our success and would be a big loss if he developed an Iberian wanderlust.

Records are the big talking point now the title’s clinched. Affected nonchalance only works intermittently. It would’ve been nice to be ‘Invincible’ like Arsenal in 2004, but we’ve already exceeded their points total so “nice” is the strongest apposite term.

City’s 100? Again, nice if we could. Pretending none of it matters is a feeble ruse to bypass disappointment. It would be sad if our season petered out, little point pretending it wouldn’t.

Burnley came and did their Burnley thing. Taking ages for every set piece, I thought the screen had frozen at one stage. Putting our goalie in a scrum and hoping the ref won’t notice (he didn’t).

Burnley manager Sean Dyche. Picture: Clive Brunskill/NMC Pool/PA Wire. 
Burnley manager Sean Dyche. Picture: Clive Brunskill/NMC Pool/PA Wire. 

That 100% record would’ve then relied on beating Chelsea, Anfield cold water pourers of times gone, so maybe Saturday wasn’t such a bad outcome. These are ridiculous targets we’ve been set so a little reality cannot hurt. In moderation.

Maybe if Trizia were alive I’d get all snarky about denying them a Champions League spot, but all that’s gone awol for the moment. A distinct glow of peace and love has enveloped me, creating a season of good-will five months early. Christ, I hope it’s temporary.

Curtis was good, in fact his substitution kind of derailed us. All the background chatter about kids saving us millions has the usual hysterics complaining. Spend loads of money, they shriek – on anyone!

Changing the subject, I can’t get to grips with Keita. Despite a better performance against Brighton, they still had lots of that game and Burnley surged forward once he was put on. Coincidence? Possibly.

But some fans will inevitably want another giant investment. As City, Chelsea, United gear up for their new challenges (i.e. us), it’ll be the irksome theme of a shrill summer.

However long that lasts.

More in this section