Giles Smith: Strange beginnings and surges of optimism

Let’s hope the special nature of the day eventually reaches out to tickle even our friend Jurgen Klopp, already apparently feeling the pressure after a strangely indolent summer on the transfer market at Liverpool. Sounding less excited than some of us to see what power-shifting glories Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz, among others, can bring to the Premier League, Jurgen was recently to be heard glumly maintaining that Liverpool were inherently a ‘different kind of club’ to ours, and forced to do things a different way, because they haven’t just spent £200 million on new players.

It is, indeed, a lot of money. Why, to put it in some perspective, it’s 85 per cent of the £236 million that Liverpool spent on players in 2018 – when, of course, they weren’t rebounding from a year out of the market altogether, as our club was, making our circumstances slightly different.

Good old, Jurgen, though. You’ve got to love him, although it’s a little naughty of him to be kicking off with the ‘mind games’ so early – and possibly even a little hurtful so soon after so many of us respectfully lined up to form a guard of honour, metaphorically speaking, when the asterisk was formally bestowed on Liverpool’s 2019-20 Premiership title, not that far back in July.

No hard feelings, though – far from it, not at this convivial time of the season, and in the current national predicament. Only best wishes and generous thoughts to everyone, naturally, as it all begins again, and as we all begin again with it.