David Hannant: Why I would ‘LOVE IT’ if City spoiled Liverpool’s bid to be invincible
PUBLISHED: 14:30 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 20:28 05 February 2020
I’m getting more and more resigned to the fact that City are going to slip through the Premier League trap door.
Don't get me wrong, we will absolutely make a fight of it and will 100pc go down with our heads truly held high.
I completely agree with Danny Murphy - we are the best bottom of the league side ever.
And while I'd much rather be sitting in a more lofty position, I'm proud of the fact we have stuck to our guns in terms of playing style, ethos and philosophy.
Obviously, our fate is not totally sealed and as we saw last season, miracles do happen. However, I'm not getting my hopes up.
Nonetheless, the remaining 13 games of the season are utterly vital - but for me, the next one genuinely isn't all about staying in the Premier League.
For me, Saturday week is the opportunity for this side to make a little bit of history that would stand the test of time more than the unlikeliest of escapes.
And of course that all boils down to the opponents - Jurgen Klopp's mighty Liverpool.
There's no mistaking that this side is something special - you only have to look at their last 50-odd results to see that.
This season, only Manchester United have taken a point off Klopp's Kop and they haven't lost since January 2019. Twenty four wins and one draw is utterly extraordinary - no mistaking.
Is a certain three-word City catchphrase coming to mind yet? You know the one.
Imagine, just imagine if we get to the end of the season and there is only one L in Liverpool's record - on Saturday, February 15?
It wouldn't be the first time City have refused to read a script written on Merseyside - the last goalscorer in front of the standing Kop was Jeremy Goss in a 1-0 win for the Canaries.
Now I'm not saying at all that I would trade staying up for being the one team that prevented Liverpool from making history over staying up, not for a second, but wouldn't it just be sweet?
It's unlikely, very, very unlikely, but isn't that what Daniel Farke's Norwich City side is all about?
Last season, you would probably say it was very, very unlikely that City would romp to the title.
When Daniel Farke gave that dreaded press conference in which he announced basically a whole squad's worth of injuries before facing last year's champions, you would probably say it was very, very unlikely that we would beat Manchester City.
Throughout his tenure. Farke has shown that his sides have the capabilities of doing things that are very, very unlikely.
So why not another famous home victory to create another big memory for the season?
Obviously, the Manchester City win will stand the test of time too, but at the same time Pep Guardiola's side have been on the wrong end of a fair few surprising defeats this season - which almost devalues our win in a way. Yes, we'll cherish it, but at the same time wider history will probably remember it as just one defeat in a disappointing campaign for them.
However, if we were to record the unlikeliest of wins against the Reds, it would stand the test of time on a national, if not international, level. Norwich City would forever be the perennial fly in the ointment of Premier League history. Particularly if it did turn out to be Liverpool's one and only defeat of the season.
For years to come, people would say: "Remember that season Liverpool were almost invincible but lost to Norwich?"
'Along Come Norwich' would become a national catchphrase. They could call it the Norwich effect or something like that.
'Norwich syndrome (noun) d. the process of very nearly achieving perfection.
We'd become heroes in the eyes of all but one set of supporters in the world.
It's no secret that Liverpool fans are pretty insufferable on social media - Twitter is going to be a no-fly zone for the best part of a decade after this season.
So if we were to turn out to be the one club to prevent the Reds having an invincible season, we'd become Twitter's big heroes.
I should point out at this stage that I am a huge fan of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp and the football they play - and Robbie Fowler is my favourite ever Premier League player. I point this out purely for balance.
Obviously, it goes without saying that staying in the Premier League is what I want most from the rest of the season, regardless of what happens Saturday week.
However, making a bit of history of our own to ruin Liverpool's would not be a bad consolation prize to have if we don't pull off the great escape.
To quote one of Liverpool's greatest ever players - "I would LOVE IT if we beat them!"
Season of 'what ifs'
It feels weird talking about summing the season up - it is after all only February.
But already it feels like one phrase might sum up the season better than any come May: 'what if?'.
Already, there are so, so many what ifs that we will be looking back at when the season finally ends.
What if Teemu Pukki's goal against Spurs had not been disallowed?
What if we hadn't had all those defensive injuries?
What if VAR hadn't been introduced at all?
These are all questions we will never actually be able to answer - but ones we'll all reflect on regardless.
However, one thing that appears clear to me is that it is the fine margins that are proving the difference this year. A seven-point gap between us and safety doesn't feel a particularly fine margin, but it also doesn't tell the story. So many times the difference between one and three points has been tiny - and they do all add up.
And in a way, that is almost harder to take.
One of the recurring things I read from fans over the January window is frustration that deals for the future were being done.
Personally, I do not have a problem with it at all.
Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp both look good acquisitions who will help the cause this season.
However, recruiting for the future at the same time is not something I have an issue with whatsoever. There seems to be a bit of a misconception from certain parts that the two things cannot be done simultaneously.
I think perhaps it is the fact that news of the signings is shared in the same way.
There's not really any solution to this, but I'm fairly confident that there is enough behind the scenes at the club for recruitment to be carried out with both the future and the present in mind.
After all, a certain young midfielder by the name of James Maddison was signed in a January window with an eye on the future - I'm not sure anyone will question that as a signing in hindsight.