Jurgen Klopp insisted on Christmas Eve that he is not a man to invite himself to a party without having something worth celebrating.
“I was always like this,” grinned Klopp. “I never in my life wanted to have a party before there was a reason. When there is a party for a reason I am in it, 100%, but I do not have 20% parties.”
The Liverpool manager also described the Premier League’s fixture scheduling as a “crime” in the same media call, suggesting this is not a time of year he has enjoyed, particularly, while in English football.
But the party comment, instantly memorable and media-savvy as it was, was the German’s predictably intelligent way of trying to diffuse the growing weight of expectation that is certain to follow him and his team throughout the second half of the season.
With the red half of Merseyside building towards what promises to be the party to end all parties come next spring, it is now surely only a matter of time before Klopp can unleash his 100% party mode, given their 13-point advantage at the top of the table.
The 30-year Anfield wait for a league title has been so well-documented that Klopp has long since deemed it pointless to even answer questions about it.
But with every passing week, every impressive result that has notched another game off the countdown to the title, the hysteria around his club has grown exponentially.
Not since a year ago next Friday has a team beaten Liverpool in the league — Manchester City, of course. And not since October 20 has any side — Manchester United, perhaps surprisingly — taken so much as a point off Klopp’s side.
In other words, should Liverpool win their game in hand, against struggling West Ham, they will, effectively, boast a 16-point advantage over Brendan Rodgers’ side, 17 over Pep Guardiola’s defending champions (albeit before today’s game).
City, certainly, have shown an improvement in recent games but, even if they or Leicester manage to win all their remaining games, how on Earth are Liverpool supposed to lose five or six of their remaining 20 matches, when they have lost none of their last 35?
“The league has changed, it is not allowed to lose games anymore,” said Klopp on Tuesday.
In 2020, it is hard to see Klopp and Liverpool losing anywhere near enough games to make this title race anything more than a procession.