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  1. We just keep going as the fixtures keep on coming. Having dismantled the Mancs in midweek, we welcome our neighbours on Sunday. They’ve been scraping results at the pit in recent weeks to keep their heads just above the drop zone, and with the 3 below them lacking quality or the consistency to string a couple of results together, it’s unlikely their noses will dip below the water line. So what, we have our own targets and momentum to build on. I haven’t looked at the fixture list but it would not surprise me in the least if our fixtures (bar Newcastle) all take place after City have played theirs. Anyway: Drive. Energy. Ruthlessness. Balls. Luck. Organisation. Obduracy. Style. Heart. Ingenuity. Tactical nous. Effervescence. I don’t ask for much. Last season’s corresponding fixture came during that awful new year spell where we had no established defenders and had to rely on loanees and rookies at the back. Klopp only (belatedly) reverted to that after weeks of playing Fab and Hendo at the centre of defence, weakening 2 areas of the team at once. Both were game and capable, but the role suits neither. Everton’s permanently sulking Brazilian gave them an early lead. Hendo later went off with hamstring trouble, but the main talking point was the frankly ridiculous penalty award after Milan Fashion Week went tumbling over Trent in the penalty area, after Trent had got a block in. Where the hell is he meant to go, and what the hell is he meant to do in that situation? Anyone, Iceland’s alleged sex offender tucked the penalty away and Don Carlo’s men could claim their first win at Anfield this century. It was better when the then defending champions came to Anfield in November 1987. Kenny and the club had responded to a trophy-less 1986/87 by upgrading the squad with the additions of Aldo, Beardo, Spackman, Houghton and Barnesy. The latter in particular was in the sort of form that put him in the world class category, and the team was an attacking behemoth levelling all-comers. McMahon set us on our way, racing onto a delightful through-ball from our Jamaican-born superstar to fire the ball high over Big Nev as the keeper came out to smother. Barnesy upon arrival had been seen as a skilful winger who would beat players and get crosses in, but also had goals in his locker. What was less well documented was his ability to pick a pass, and he would demonstrate this ability throughout his Liverpool career. It just became more prominent after he’d lost his turn of pace and took up a central midfield role. The whole team was purring, and our Geordie striker with the wonky chin got in on the act with a brilliant second goal. Barnesy again with a great back-heel set McMahon away down our left, and his ball to Aldo in the middle saw the striker challenged by his marker. The ball fell to Beardo and he hit a left foot rocket that whistled past Big Nev and into the net. McMahon had been getting more involved with the attack all season, and those are not even my favourite moments of his. That was against Arsenal when he stopped a ball from going out for a throw-in on the touchline, his momentum carrying him into the fans in the Paddock before he raced back to retrieve the loose ball with a great dribble to set up a goal. A lot of the current team remind me of that great 1987/88 side. Here’s a highlights package of the Derby game. November 1987’s big box office success was Fatal Attraction, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. He plays the married adulterer, and she is his one night stand who gets obsessed and clingy, and unravels to turn into a complete nutter. The film basically coined the term “bunny boiler”, as her character boils the family’s pet rabbit at one point. Seriously unhinged, and seriously difficult to kill! The most unfathomable aspect of the film though is that Glenn Close’s character is supposed to be desirable. Bit difficult when you look like Mark Hughes with tits! Douglas had a string of hits in the 80s as he emerged as a leading man, finally stepping out from the vast shadow cast by his famous dad. It’s often said that form goes out of the window when assessing the teams’ chances in the derby. Of course you always have to bear things like that in mind, but when you have a side like ours capable of utterly destroying the blooshite, you have to look at it as an opportunity to again do to them what we did at the pit earlier in the season. We have the tools. We have the momentum. We have the desire. We just need to make sure that the attitude and application are right, no matter who lines up in red, and get the 3 points. That’s what each league game is about now. 3 points, nothing more. The bigger picture will take care of itself provided we take care of the little details. Go out there and get it done.
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