As the realisation that we've done it sets in how do we play the rest of the season. I know many will want us to carry on and get a points record but keeping going at full pace, keeping the motivation up will be difficult. The Gaffa might want to give Willians and Jones and others more game time.
The extended break didn't do top players to much harm.Some of them have hardly had a decent break for a long time. See how Klopp plays it.
Jürgen has already said the approach to games won't change. But he should put a few records up on the dressing room wall. That should motivate some players. It would certainly motivate me. It's not like we have to rest players for other competitions after all.
I seen someone say that the enforced break made Jürgen realise how much he misses the players and the job. And it could even help keep him here beyond his next contract.
I don't know how emotional people got, I know I'm not one for crying over these things. I've seen us win trophies before, I've seen us win the league before. But it's hard not to be emotional when you've realise just how long it has taken to bring home the biggest prize of them all, and remember all the years of highs and many lows in the meantime. Souness, the throwing of serial league champion players under the bus, the Auxerre rollercoaster, the loss at Peterborough, the Mickey Quinn massacre, the Bristol City fiasco, the evolution of the Kop while we wandered about in mid table, cheering the opposition winning the league in our house, the game of the decade, the Evans nearly men, seeing our CLQ hopes dissolve at Hillsborough on the final day of one season. Watching those hopes vanish on the final day of another season at Bradford as they celebrated staying up against us. Some of the main events of the first 10 years.
The 5 successive wins against the mancs, the 5 trophies in 6 months, the UEFA Cup Final, our return to the European Cup on the day of 9/11. Thommo taking over, the collapse in Leverkusen, the first side to finish above the mancs and not win the EPL. The hope of a 7 point lead in November 2002, promptly followed by no win in 2 months. Watching Djimi Traore attempt to look like a professional footballer, watching Diouf be unprofessional. The Rafa years, Istanbul, Cardiff, the Yanks, the conflicts, the chaos, the civil war, the crap results, the protests, the American flags burned outside the gates. Another decade done.
Hodgson, Northampton, the takeover, Dalglish in Dubai one day and at the toilet the next, the Blackpool games, Torres abandoning ship, Paul Konchesky. The Suarez fake news, hitting the post 31 times, the first trips to the new Anfield South, our only trophy in 13 years, the dismissal of Dalglish. The hunt for a ticket for Carra's last game that went literally to the last minute. The 45 minute long walks from Lime Street to the ground and back again, constantly watching the clock.
The 101 league goals, the 4 goals in 20 minutes v Arsenal, and unexpected title challenge, followed by the signing of Balotelli and the leaving of Stevie, Stoke. The sacking of Rodgers, the appointment of Jürgen, the cup finals, the new stand, kicking Arsenal out of the European Cup by 1 point. City away, Spurs away, winning 7-0 in Europe. Twice. Sean Cox, Roma, Kiev, Karius. The title race, the pleading for favours, the 97 points not enough, the agony and ecstacy of Barcelona, and the euphoria of Madrid. The positives of VAR for us, the setting of higher and higher bars and records, becoming World Champions, and last but not least, winning the league the easy way for a change.
The Berlin Wall was up for less time than it took us to win the league. But we've finally got back what we've all wanted. Unlike the past 3 times, the biggest feeling about this one for me is relief. No longer will we have the number of years since we last won it thrown in our face every couple of minutes. Winning cups is great, whether it's the European Cup or the Charity Shield. But winning your own national league over 9 months is the best of all. To do it in 31 games is unprecedented. The euphoria and the congratulations gradually gives way to quiet satisfaction over time. Satisfaction that our main goal has finally been achieved, and all the personal sacrifices we have made to watch this team do it, have been worth it. The storm is gone, and the golden sky looks wonderful from the top of the mountain.