Sunday May 18 2014

THE OPTIMIST :For the undying love of soccer

By Dennis D. Muhumuza

Manchester City was last Sunday crowned English Premier League champions, leaving Liverpool fans headed by my happy-go-lucky colleague Don Wanyama and Aldrine Nsubuga Snr swallowing painkillers, ha-ha! I feel your pain, Don. Liverpool has been the most exciting team to watch but all they got from their attack-mindedness and fast-pacedness was second position. At least you are back into the top four English clubs with the privilege of playing Champions League football.

Everyone needs a revolution to make big things happen. And Liverpool’s revolution began in pre-season when Brendan Rodgers gave its owner a 180-page manuscript detailing his grand vision for the club. Do you have a written-down plan of how you want your life to pan out?

“Attractive, attacking football” typifies Rodgers’ philosophy of resurrecting Liverpool’s lost glory. He deployed the quick-footed pair of Suarez and Sturridge that left opponents chasing after the wind. They effortlessly penetrated defences; giving Liverpool a cutting edge that awed pundits and made fans believe for the first time in over 20 years. Yet as the season neared its end and competition grew stiffer, beauty and pace were not enough. When Chelsea packed a ‘bus’ in its goal posts, The Reds lacked the creativity that distinguishes true champions. In frustration, their captain made a costly mistake that Manchester exploited to catch up.

When Liverpool surrendered a 3-0 lead to Crystal Palace three days later, it was proof they are still small boys with a lot more to learn. Manuel Pellegrini’s men would win their second last match and get ahead by two points. And with their confident and conscientious play; without room for errors, poor Liverpool would have to lick its wounds and try again next season.

“Their offensive potential has been absolutely brutal and fantastic,” Arsene Wenger said by way of congratulating the new champions. And a City fan waved a banner that cheekily captured the euphoria of winning it twice in three years: “Oops we did it again!”