|View Poll Results: If Liverpoll can stay on top through Xmas, will they win the league|
|Yes, they will win Champions League too||1||20.00%|
|Yes, but they will have to let Barca win CL this time||1||20.00%|
|Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll|
|12-12-2008, 07:42 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Banlieue de Marseille
Quoted: 0 Post(s)Rep Power: 0
Total Points: 50,464.25
Stevie: Why christmas is so crucial
STEVIE: WHY CHRISTMAS IS SO CRUCIAL
Kristian Walsh 12 December 2008
Steven Gerrard believes the upcoming Christmas period is the most important for a long time as Liverpool attempt to maintain their lead at the top of the table.
Rafa Benitez's men know they will stand a real chance of fighting for that elusive league title if they can enter the New Year in pole position - something they haven't done for 12 years.
Liverpool will bid to maintain - or improve upon - their one point lead over Chelsea against Hull on Saturday before a festive calendar made up of Arsenal (a), Bolton (h) and Newcastle (a).
Gerrard admits these fixtures could make or break the season.
"We're coming up to Christmas and that's when things really start to take shape," the skipper told the official LFC Magazine.
"The festive season might not be as congested as it has been in the past few years in terms of the number of games we're going to play, but the results are more critical this season than they've been for ages – because of where we find ourselves in the league."
Liverpool top the table after impressive victories over Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton, although they've struggled with form of late with home draws against West Ham and Fulham.
Gerrard is conscious of the team's achievements so far but knows there is plenty of room for improvement.
"I don't really think we've played our best football this season," said the 28-year-old. "We might have done it for 45 minutes here and there, but for a full 90 minutes, the closest we've come has been at Stamford Bridge."
That victory, courtesy of Xabi Alonso's deflected strike, ended Chelsea's 86-match unbeaten home record and heralded Liverpool's potential to win their first league title in 19 years.
"Looking back at the first half of the season, there's a lot for us to be happy with," added Gerrard.
"We've put ourselves in a position we haven't been in for a long, long time. But the fact is that the hardest part of the season is still to come.
"United are going to get stronger. Arsenal keep proving that they can't be written off. People have done that and they've gone out and beaten United at home and Chelsea away. Chelsea have had a stumble but they'll be back too."
Hull visit Anfield on Saturday hoping to emulate West Ham and Fulham's performances, and the Liverpool captain is cautious of the threat these teams pose to their title hopes.
He said: "You see from results around the country that everyone can make life tough for teams at the top. It's a cliche, but there aren't any easy games in the Premier League. We're not playing particularly well at the moment, but we know that. No-one's pretending otherwise."
Gerrard is hoping the Reds build on back-to-back wins against Blackburn and PSV Eindhoven.
"There are 40-odd thousand people at Anfield every other week and about 4,000 people who follow us all over the country and beyond," he said.
"They've seen success. We've won everything in my time at Liverpool except for the Premier League. That's the one they want.
"It's a burning desire. I know, because I share it. We all do."
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