Liverpool-Spurs not a title decider, but a title believer: Neil Humphreys
Winners of Liverpool-Spurs match must believe they will go all the way
Gerard Houllier brought self-belief back to Liverpool. In every heartfelt tribute, the most common accolade was the hardest to achieve.
The late manager convinced the Reds that they could win again.
Jose Mourinho is on the cusp of doing the same at Tottenham Hotspur.
Tomorrow morning (Singapore time), the table-topping sides meet at Anfield in a riveting contest that has far-reaching consequences. A win must convert any remaining wallflowers at Spurs into firm title believers.
That's easier said than done. Since the Double of 1961, Spurs managers have passed the baton of stylish failure from one "nearly man" to another. Tottenham excelled at being the vase of English football - pretty to look at, but empty.
Sir Alex Ferguson's legendary team talk, repeated in Roy Keane's autobiography, skewered Spurs' aesthetic philosophy and sparse trophy cabinet in three words.
Lads, it's Tottenham.
They knock the ball about a bit, but inevitably lose in the end.
Intriguingly, Liverpool's Spice Boys of the '90s were tarnished with a similar brush until Houllier's intervention. He turned cream suits into red winners.
As Phil Thompson, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have pointed out in their lovely tributes, Houllier restored the self-belief.
But what is self-belief beyond a lazy soundbite? What did Houllier bring to Liverpool then that Mourinho needs at Tottenham now?
Carragher said it best. The Reds had belief in their manager. From diet and discipline to tactics and recruitment, Houllier ensured that "self-belief" wasn't a cliche. There was a detailed methodology, a clear platform for progress.
Without which, any talk of self-belief is meaningless.
For years, Harry Redknapp was convinced that a top-four finish was a "terrific result" for a club of Tottenham's stature. Even Mauricio Pochettino insisted that simply being among the contenders was an achievement in itself.
For all the flair, for every Gareth Bale or Luka Modric, there was no decent silverware to speak of, no sustained faith in a title challenge. Tottenham, like Liverpool in a previous generation, were mostly good enough, but never great.
Mourinho knows he has a glorious opportunity to loosen that mental straitjacket tomorrow morning. He can remove those longstanding, subconscious limits placed upon the club's ambitions.
The mischievous tactician ended Liverpool's title charge in 2014. He'll be salivating at the prospect of ending their unbeaten home record, too.
The hosts have not lost a league game at Anfield since April 2017. In the home dressing room, Juergen Klopp will stress what every Red is already thinking. Don't let it be Mourinho, anyone but Mourinho.
Klopp needs this game now like he needs another injury. Joel Matip hobbled off against Fulham and Diogo Jota is ruled out for six to eight weeks.
Both managers recognise the exhausted elephant in the room. Both sides ended with 1-1 draws against lesser sides at the weekend.
Wayward finishing stopped Fulham from putting away three gilt-edged chances against an abject Liverpool. From the touchline, Klopp screamed at his players to "wake up". They struggled to hear. They were sleepwalking.
While a couple of wonder saves stopped Tottenham from winning against Crystal Palace, their intensity levels undoubtedly dipped.
The less tired side might prevail at Anfield.
Certainly, the contest has a topsy-turvy feel in terms of form and personnel.
Harry Kane overcompensates for Tottenham's inability to press their advantage, conceding too much possession, too often.
In contrast, the Reds overcompensate for the recent lacklustre efforts of their front three, particularly Sadio Mane, who was anonymous against Fulham.
But Mourinho still represents the most compelling of potential plot twists.
He thrives in these moments. He built his career on toppling the biggest pieces on the board and is quietly doing the same with Spurs.
Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal have already been defeated. A useful point was picked up at Chelsea. But the feather in the cap is Anfield.
In this instance, victory offers more than three points for Spurs. Victory removes the old club stereotype about the stylish, defeated martyr. Victory delivers self-belief.
Whoever wins must accept their new, elevated status as title contenders and deal with it.