Liverpool are going to win the Premier League title this season. Unless...
I said then that Liverpool would beat Manchester City, to derisive laughter from some of my Manchester United-loving friends. And perhaps from many United fans in Singapore, too. There were also several Liverpool supporters who cursed me and my ancestry for jinxing their team.
And Liverpool won 3-1.
I also said that the team with the best chance of keeping Liverpool honest this season would be Leicester City, because the Foxes would beat Arsenal to overtake Manchester City and claim the second spot on the English Premier League table. Arsenal fan Noah Tan probably wished I hadn’t said that, though I did add it would hasten the dismissal of the hapless Unai Emery, whom he detests.
And Leicester beat Arsenal 2-0.
Emery remains in the Emirates dugout, but his days are numbered.
Now these and my prediction in September that Liverpool will win the title have led my fellow Siao Mates to call me their gold-maned oracle, a sobriquet devised by my pal and Liverpool supporter Shamir Osman. And when I say “pal”, I’m not referencing any kelong king.
While I’m used to people talking about my mane, which has nothing to do with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, I shan’t let the accuracy of my predictions get to my head.
But I have to go back to that one about Leicester being the team to challenge Liverpool for the title this season.
Sure, a few things have happened since that weekend. Spurs have seen a resurgence with the exit of Pochettino and, with his replacement, the return to the Premier League of Jose Mourinho. I did see Poch’s exit coming (before Emery’s) and my Siao Mates will vouch for me on that, but that’s not the point. Spurs are looking good but still nowhere near enough to the top to mount a serious title challenge.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are down to fourth after losing their last match 2-1 to Manchester City, and City appear out of sorts, managing only a 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in the midweek UEFA Champions League group match after leading, and at home, too.
UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool were also held to a 1-1 draw at home against Napoli this morning, but it was Napoli and not Shaktar. The Reds have remained rampant in the league, and in last weekend’s match won (2-1 v Crystal Palace) with another late goal – this time by Firmino (85th) after Wilfried Zaha had equalised in the 82nd minute.
That really only leaves Leicester, who beat Brighton 2-0 away, as the strongest of the pretenders to the title behind the Reds.
Just this week, Jurgen Klopp succeeded in incurring the wrath of the Foxes’ fans when he said he was “really angry” with Leicester for losing 1-0 to Manchester City - courtesy of a Vincent Kompany winner in the 70th minute - in the second-last game of the previous season.
While they played their part in Liverpool’s loss to Manchester City in the title race last season, Leicester could have a bigger role to play in this one as challengers to the Reds.
But there’s still something sorely lacking in this part of the world: We do not have enough Leicester City fans.
So, how about you join us folks at Football Siao in starting a Leicester City Fan Club here?
You need to meet just one of the basic conditions for entry into this club:
Leicester could be everyone’s (except Liverpool fans) second favourite club. And why not? They’re playing some truly entertaining football with a team mixed with youth and experience. And they’ve won more Premier League titles than Liverpool.
Like a mistress, this club will not be a jealous one, and it would take in fans of other clubs, too. You can go back home anytime and support your actual favourite club when things get better.
And when this club is formed, Football Siao could help organise and host match screenings at fun venues, give out prizes, and work out great beer deals for you guys. If there’s enough interest, we could even organise trips to the King Power Stadium in Leicester, or at least give you some Leicester City merchandise.
So that’s our vision for what we’ll call, Football Siao’s Leicester City Fan Club.
Show us you’re keen. Drop us an email, lah!