It’s regularly maintained that, more than anything, it’s not advisable to lose the first game in the CL Group Stage.
To do so leads to several weeks of catching up and an even worse danger of losing another fixture and a subsequent chance of failing to qualify for the knock-outs, where the real money lies.
The situation is even more difficult when the draw delivers the very first game away to the team generally thought likely to be the toughest opponent in the section.
For Liverpool to emerge with a victory in Amsterdam , even if they were deemed to be lucky blighters in achieving it, is a massive plus. No dwelling on the whys and wherefores, this win was massive.
What’s more, the Reds emerged with 3pts and in so doing managed to nullify much of the hurt and anger that still abounds from Saturday’s travesty at Goodison.
That said, the rage I feel personally from that derby is still hard to eradicate, but it would be nothing compared to the sentiments I’d have felt had we come away with nothing against Ajax. No question, in such a scenario, the loss of Virgil and the daggered finger at Pickford (as well as Richarlison) would have sent fury and hatred to new heights.
It’s going to be a long season; they all are anyway. But Mane’s deflected shot might yet emerge as one of the best and most crucial moments of all.
As I write, I feel that the most logical follow-on would be to take up my main stand seat on Saturday and cheer the Reds to the rafters. No amount of telly-viewing can compensate for being part of the Anfield atmosphere. If only. Worse still, for this particular fixture against Sheffield, they want us to fork out £15 to view it on screen.
Life overall, just isn’t okay right now, is it? Still, I haven’t, as yet, started coughing and my taste buds are still intact. Perhaps I should be thankful for small mercies.