Friday, August 14 2020

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There are no trophies for breaking records

Update: July, 09/2020 - 08:30

 

Chandra Bahadur Dangi, from Nepal, (left) the shortest adult to have ever been verified by Guinness World Records, poses for pictures with the world's tallest man Sultan Kosen from Turkey. — AFP Photo

Paul Kennedy

Those of you of a certain age will be familiar with the name Norris McWhirter.

Norris, along with his twin brother Ross, founded Guinness World Records, a reference book published annually listing world records of both human achievements and those of the natural world.

For me, this hardback book was a regular Christmas present and as a child, I would read cover to cover devouring the information within.

Norris later became a regular on the children’s television programme Record Breakers, hosted by the late Roy Castle. Again this was a must-watch show in my household growing up.

I was fascinated by world records such as the world’s tallest man (Robert Wadlow, 272 cm) or the most spoons balanced on a human body (Etibar Elchyev, 50 spoons), and even dreamt that one day, I may actually become a world record holder in my own right.

Sadly, so far, I’ve not actually done anything worthy of entry into the pages of the latest edition of Guinness World Records, however, my football team, Liverpool, could well make it to print.

Already they have been crowned champions, faster than any other team in Premier League history, and they are still on course to finish the campaign with the most points ever.

Great achievements for sure, but I’m starting to wonder are they really worth it?

Liverpool won’t pick up a trophy for achieving the above, and as the saying goes, records are there to be broken, so chances are another team in the future will surpass their milestones.

But what is important, now more than ever, is how well Liverpool do next season, and that’s the main reason I think we should ditch the record attempts and start thinking a little bit more of the future.

Sadio Mane has been amazing this season, his best ever, but with five (four by the time you read this column) meaningless games to go until the campaign ends, maybe it’s time to give him a rest.

Mohammed Salah too, Virgil van Dijk, Jorden Henderson and in fact just about any of the main Liverpool players who have run themselves into the ground over this season would benefit from a well-earned break to ensure they are fit and raring to go when the next season starts.

You also have to consider the way the season is finishing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The interruptions forced by the virus have cast a shadow over Liverpool’s achievements which I feel they must use as inspiration to win it again next season.

It is also an opportunity to give some much-needed game time to the fringe players in the squad, especially some of the younger members.

Plus, it has still not been decided when exactly next season will begin. It could be in September giving clubs little time, especially those in cup competitions, to prepare for the restart.

So while it’s great to win records, I’m going to bit a little selfish here and say I hope Liverpool take their foot off the gas and let the season play out, concentrating instead on the next one and making sure those players key to Liverpool’s success this year, will be raring to go next.

Imagine how bad supporters will feel if van Dijk or Mane get injured during one of the remaining games that are left.

The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a shadow over the Premier League and while no team deserves to be champions more than Liverpool, the end of the campaign has been something of an anti-climax.

So for me, it’s next season that matters most, and Liverpool have more to prove than most, so let’s ditch the records this time around, and concentrate on winning it all over again next season. VNS

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