“My phone has been very busy lately,” Steven Gerrard said, deep wrinkles creasing his forehead and brow.
The Aston Villa coach has not stopped receiving calls since weeks ago all the forces of the Premier began to converge towards a resounding last day, crowned by a match with title value, Manchester City – Aston Villa.
One last act with roots deep in the soul of the man with the hot phone.
Ederson Moraes, Cancelo, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Fernandinho, Laporte, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Grealish and Mahrez
AST Aston Villa
Emiliano Martínez, Matthew Cash, Digne, Marvelous Nakamba, Chambers, Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz, Coutinho, Ollie Watkins, Ings and McGinn
Liverpool have only won one Premier League in the last 30 years.
Folklore and science point out that the league shortage of the club, one of the ten richest in the world, is the responsibility of many villains and a single hero.
Steven Gerrard, the old captain, 17 seasons in the first team, is bitterly remembered for the incident that is popularly known as “the slip”,
The Steven Gerrard Slip
It happened on April 27, 2014, when Liverpool lost the league they were about to win because the midfielder made a poor control, slipped, and caused Demba Ba to steal the ball from him and score Chelsea's goal that, ultimately, instance, allowed Manchester City to win the championship at another stadium.
A tormented and laborious man, Gerrard has found a door to redemption on the last day of the Premier season.
If this Sunday (5:00 p.m. in Spain) he manages to get Aston Villa to snatch a point from Guardiola's City, and Liverpool in turn win their match with Wolverhampton at Anfield, history will compensate the Mersey riverside club with its second Premier since 1990.
The task will not be easy.
Villa have lost the last 11 games played against City with a difference of 29 goals against.
If this is the exception, Liverpool could complete one of the steepest comebacks in living memory.
In January, Klopp's team was 14 points behind City.
The race that both clubs completed has been so sweeping that the conclusion is unusual.
Never in the history of the Premier has the gap between the second and third-placed been widened to 21 points.
The distance between the contenders for the title and the rest is naturally abysmal.
Never, throughout this century, two teams so avant-garde in their game have faced each other.
The most sophisticated, due to the variety of its resources, is Manchester City.
The most regular, due to the practicality of its model and its way of approaching competitions, is Liverpool.
A prodigy of emotional intelligence, Jürgen Klopp wages psychological warfare with sympathy.
The German seems sincere when he states that his opponent is superior.
"Yes, our rival is the best team in the world, which is a shame," he said on Friday.
"But they have us on their neck, and that shouldn't make them happy either."
“If we had something to lose...”
Guardiola seems more restless than his namesake.
Aware that the tension threatens to grip his players, after the draw (2-2) against West-Ham last Sunday, the Spaniard scheduled a week with little workload and many distractions.
The City players, who are preparing to lift the fourth Premier of the Guardiola era, dedicated many hours to social life, celebrated Fernandinho's farewell with a banquet, and only completed three days of training.
The City squad strove to achieve the spiritual peace that seems to reign in the vicinity of the Mersey Estuary, where there is a climate of promise.
"For us it's all positive," Klopp said, sibylline.
"If we had something to lose, then we would feel differently."
Rumors abound in Liverpool that Aston Villa will be paid big bonuses, both for drawing and winning, and veterans' associations are raising the stakes in favor of their team.
A source close to the red club board points out that they have a commitment from Steven Gerrard that they will go out for the game as if they were risking their lives.
The information that operates among the bettors indicates that Aston Villa, who do not play anything in the classification, will go out to lock themselves up and counterattack, following the West-Ham pattern, with the fervent intention of snatching the championship from the Etihad fans.
Ethical conflicts are rare in Birmingham.
The entire Villa coaching staff is from Liverpool.
Collectively, they aspire to succeed Klopp when the German runs out of contract in 2024. From Gerrard to Tom Culshaw, Gary McAllister, Michael Bale, and fitness trainer Jordam Milsom.
In the offices and on the staff, the alternative color is integral red.
Neither the club's general manager, Christian Purslow, who was an Anfield season ticket holder, nor Danny Ings or Coutinho, who played for Liverpool, does not hide it, something that captain Tyrone Mings, who was a fan, dreamed of.
will take it 100% seriously,” Klopp said, with a half smile.
“I'm sure, no need for me to call him.
The rest of the club probably did, but not me."
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