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Liverpool’s imperious march to the Premier League title in 2020 was interrupted – and almost derailed – by the coronavirus pandemic; the club had to endure a nervy few weeks before the decision was made to finish the season, rather than cancel it. This unexpected wobble is the main point of interest in this otherwise skin-deep, self-congratulatory description of Liverpool’s triumphant season; a super-authorised version where no one is off their guard for a second, and everything is presented in admiringly hagiographic terms.
Admittedly, it would be hard to do it any other way, the trade-off being copious access to Liverpool’s estimable and likable manager Jürgen Klopp, and briefer chats with club captain Jordan Henderson, laser-eyed centre back Virgil van Dijk and smiley Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino among others. Emotional and voluble, Klopp is generally good value, talking about his relationship with his father and insisting that everyone – including the hotdog sellers – need to be on top of their game for the club to succeed.
But there’s not much more insight here that you would get from a reel of YouTube highlights: little sense of the work needed to pull off the team’s mighty achievement, or what exactly comprises the preparation and planning that Klopp repeatedly refers to. Much of the running time is padded out with awkward interviews with Liverpool fans across the globe – a rather shameless bid to keep the club’s international audience onside.
Perhaps market research has shown that a promotional, glossily put-together “celebration” will maximise revenue, but anyone looking for more than what is essentially a feature-length corporate statement will be disappointed.
• The End of the Storm is available on digital platforms from 30 November.
Source: The Guardian
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