You can’t beat the concept of light and shade. Whether it’s a piece of music, a film or indeed an MFW article it is an essential part of the creative’s repertoire – and for good reason.
Think Pink Floyd, Hammer Horror or even some of my garbage on MFW if you will.
And if ever a forthcoming fixture illustrates this succinctly it’s our meeting with champions-elect Liverpool at Carrow Road on Saturday, February 15, with kick-off time naturally rearranged to suit Sky TV but not the supporters.
What time will the Scouse lads and lasses get into Liverpool Lime Street that evening? The early hours of Sunday would be my guess and the drive is just as painful.
When we meet, Liverpool will be 22 points clear of the Premier League pack in their almost completed quest for the title while we are languishing in rock bottom 20th place on a miserly 18 points and still seven [it’s really eight because of goal difference] from safety.
David and Goliath doesn’t come into this one.
The entire infrastructures and histories of both clubs are a mismatch too. Lord knows how many titles and trophies Liverpool have won but I know it makes one League Cup in the embryonic days of the competition in the 1960s and a Milk Cup triumph in 1985 followed by immediate relegation look exactly what it seems: relatively insignificant. Okay, entirely irrelevant to those within the Top Six.
We all love Carrow Road but it’s hardly Anfield. Sorry folks, but I’ve been there and that place is something else.
First off it’s Jurgen Klopp v Daniel Farke. As much as we love Daniel, and so we should, that doesn’t look too good on paper to the neutral, now does it?
I haven’t even mentioned the respective players yet. Disparity is at its highest point here of course. The veritable zenith.
Tim Krul has been excellent for us but I think Alisson is better. Sorry Tim, but I do.
Let’s have a gander at the respective back fours.
Well, there’s Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has been recognised recently by our very own Max Aarons as the best right back in the business.
As opposed to them we have the gift of Max, Zimbo, Grant Hanley, and Sam Byram.
Moving seamlessly on to midfield, it’s Jordan Henderson and Fabinho up against, erm, Alex Tettey and Kenny McLean.
With all allowances made for the fluidity of systems, we now progress to the “front four” which I realise doesn’t work exactly like that but basically it means a mixture between Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the holy trinity that is Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.
Or there’s Emi, Duda, Todd, and Teemu.
On the bench? Well, there’s Origi and Lovren plus their mates or Vrancic and Drmic alongside theirs.
I’m not talking up an impending defeat as such but when regarded in these terms it’s really quite frightening. Isn’t it?
To end with, I will add that the Klopp strop over the FA Cup replay dates is in some ways understandable but does he not realise that to field the kids and not turn up in person for the fixture shows respect to nobody?
With reduced ticket prices and other factors, it’s estimated his stance cost Shrewsbury half a million quid. That is something Norwich City would never do. We didn’t send a reduced squad to Paulton Rovers and played a full first-team at home to Sutton United.
Given Liverpool’s current supremacy and incredible history, I really thought they were better than that.
As much as I admire their style I hope we produce a miracle and become the first club to beat them this season.
Even if only for the sake of Shrewsbury.