Liverpool legend Alan Hansen has said that if his old club finish second in the Premier League this season that anyone who claims the club have had a great season would be ‘talking rubbish.’
The Reds went top of the table for the first time since Christmas yesterday after a 4-0 win over Tottenham. Chelsea’s loss to Crystal Palace and Manchester City’s draw with Arsenal now means if Liverpool win their six remaining games, they will claim their first top flight crown in 24 years.
Writing in his Daily Telegraph column, Hansen said: “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see Steven write me out of the history books as the last Liverpool captain to lift the league championship trophy.
“But because Liverpool are now so close, they have to go on and win it.
“Anyone who says that finishing second will constitute a great season is talking rubbish.
“The Liverpool ethos was always to adhere to the maxim that first is first and second is nowhere and, even after a 24 year wait, that remains the case.
“A club of Liverpool’s standing and history are all about winning trophies and titles, so they have to go on and win it now.”
At the start of the season, it appeared that Liverpool weren’t even fancied to finish in the top four, never mind lifting the Premier League title.
After an absence of Champions League football since the 2009/10 – many fans in August will have been content with Brendan Rodgers leading them into Europe’s premier competition the following season - which Hansen also alludes to.
But now Liverpool have the opportunity, many feel they must take it. Given the riches of both Manchester City and Chelsea they are bound to strengthen ahead of next season.
Hansen talks about the ethos of the club. For much of its history, it has been said that Liverpool Football Club exists to win trophies – and in keeping with that it should be expect that this side can go on and lift the crown – even if they are just behind Manchester City in the betting at the moment.
Whether Liverpool do win the league or not, the efforts of Brendan Rodgers and his side this season must be applauded. To go to title challengers from seventh place within a season – regardless of any lack of distractions/freshness that may have been claimed – is a staggering effort. But Liverpool will want something tangible to show for it.