Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe had an interesting debate as to whether the Liverpool 2019-20 Premier League should contain an asterisk given the coronavirus pause and possible neutral stadium finish.
Now let’s be clear before you shoot the messengers, both men agree that Liverpool are absolutely worthy champions and one of the best teams around.
Earle, however, says the neutral stadium and unorthodox finish will have people uttering a few “Yeah, buts” when discussing it. He’s not necessarily saying he will do that, but that some will.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Let’s step back for a second and observe the way many Premier League fans are reacting to the pause in the season. While there are a lot of rational reactions out there and many of the irrational ones are just fans poking the proverbial bear.
Let us also — even Liverpool fans — admit that there’s a heavy dose of sick sports pain at play here, like the universe is trying to get one last bit of pain out of the Anfield faithful who’ve shockingly waited 30 years for this.
No Reds fan would’ve figured on a three-decade wait when they beat QPR to take the 1990 top-flight crown. The fact that it goes even a few weeks past the clinch date would be amusing if not for the awful situation currently afflicting so many people worldwide.
Back to the question: It isn’t even a contest. There will be stories told for ages about the acts of heroism done during this pandemic, and there will be many told about the way it wreaked havoc on the world of sports.
But it’s not like the table is tight. Liverpool has used a combination of ruthless soccer and a flailing field of chasers to build a 25-point advantage on the group. It took a comedy of errors in finishing and defending for the Reds to exit the UEFA Champions League, and they played deep into the League Cup with a cast of kids and misfits.
They’ve had the best season in the league, end of story. They may or may not set some records because of the hiccups in season, but that’s life. Still champions.
Anyone putting an asterisk on their title, even if the season doesn’t conclude, is silly, bitter, or both. Even if the season was voided, anyone who watched the first 29 match days will know that’s a ‘Liverpool’ on the line marked 2019-20. Like Heisman Trophies removed for NCAA eligibility breaches, we remember the winners. Liverpool is that.