Forget Chelsea & Man City, Liverpool's 'Beautiful Arrogance' Will Win Them The Title
A phrase that Brendan Rodgers used mid-week to describe the moment at Old Trafford when a rampant Liverpool team created a move which involved 56 passes. A wonderful phrase that quickly became an ethos, an aspiration, a raison d’être for a side currently conducting the maddest, most unexpected title charge of all time.
Beautiful Arrogance is Luis Suarez toying with Cardiff’s (frankly excellent) goalkeeper - Will I shoot? Will I take it round you? Will I square it to Raheem? What will I do? - before curving a delicate shot for his third and Liverpool’s sixth.
Beautiful Arrogance is the unremarked ‘hold, hold, now give’ that Jordan Henderson effected to allow Glenn Johnson space on the wing, Beautiful Arrogance is the sumptuous back heel by Daniel Sturridge that placed the ball into the path of the onrushing Suarez for his second.
Beautiful Arrogance is the fact that we no longer remark when Martin Skrtel is on a hat trick.
Beautiful Arrogance is the fact that I can turn to the guy that I’m watching the game with and say “Isn’t it ridiculous that we can score five goals away from home and we don’t comment on it anymore because this is just what we do dow?”
This is just what we do now.
And the truth is that we were awful for the first half hour of the game. The diamond formation didn’t work against a Cardiff side which set up with three centre backs - obviously taking on board Gerrard’s advice: “Any side that wants to go two on two with those two (Suarez and Sturridge)? All the best”
Space was allowed, balls were lost too easily, passing was short or off target. Joe Allen, so excellent against United, was terrible. We deserved to be behind twice. We also deserved to equalise twice because we have abandoned the concept of losing. We no longer understand the idea of defeat, we no longer believe that that can happen to us.
There is sympathy for Cardiff for the circumstances of the third. Brilliantly Suarez had managed to injure two Cardiff players with the same free kick - because that’s the kind of thing that happens to us nowadays - and the FA have this pathetic, ridiculous rule (one of many obviously) that once a player has received treatment on the pitch he has to leave the field of play before being allowed to return. Cardiff faced a corner - which, let’s not forget, we are now utterly lethal at - with nine men.
There was sympathy. Not whilst Skrtel was scoring his second obviously. Then there was only relief and belief that victory would follow. But after. After there was sympathy.
More Beautiful Arrogance in the fact that Suarez, having broken free from his marker, set up an onrushing Daniel Sturridge with a nutmegged cross. Because this is what we do now.
The second half was ours because what we do now is come back from adversity (and yes we allowed Cardiff an easy third but we had five to our name by that point, it no longer mattered) and exert control, exert authority, exert - you know it’s coming - Beautiful Arrogance.
Six successive league wins now. Only eight more to go.
I have made bullish claims this season. Ridiculous claims. One by one those claims have been ridiculed and one by one they have been shown to be realistic. I said that we would finish in the top four and that Manchester United would be lucky to reach the top six. I was ridiculed. I upped my claim to finishing third. Ridiculed. I said second. Again.
I tell you this: If we win our eight remaining games we will have won the league.