TO WHOM it may concern. (To some it may not):
Went the loo on the final whistle.
Went the loo on the final whistle because I appear to be suddenly attempting to drink all the beer. All of the beer. Went the loo on the final whistle and crossed Steve Graves the other side of my handwash. He said: “Is right”. “Is right,” he said. Is right.
Liverpool were abject, Steve Graves is doing maths. Liverpool were diabolical, you should be doing maths too. Is right. Is right.
Let’s be clear – Sunderland are a dreadful football team. It’s astonishing how poor they are. Unable to be alehouse. Unable to clog it. Unable to do the basics that anyone needs to see or feel or have. They are eleven lads, trying their best but unable. In a sense it is heartbreaking. I love Sunderland, love the place and the people. They are a good set of lads on the stands there. Our lads in a sense. An unironically good set of lads.
Through one manager after another, one set of decisions after another they are left with a football team which is neither use nor ornament, hither and thither, betwixt and betwain. Allardyce needs a window. And even if he gets one and is successful all that window does is further exacerbate problems further down the round; another layer sticking plaster which leads to no scabs that can stand up to the slightest trauma. Another fine mess someone else has got someone else into.
Liverpool couldn’t despatch this football team. Liverpool lacked certainty. Liverpool lacked quality. Another goalkeeper thrown up in the dying seconds. Another corner to be anxiously headed clear. Another win needlessly complicated. Another win where there wasn’t quite as much quality as there needs to be. We all know this. We all know that quality and composure and assurance.
There’s a contradiction here; Liverpool defended with certainty and they attacked with uncertainty. They held together well and effectively and they were rarely troubled. Apart from in moments. It’s the moments that bite, the moments that hurt, the moments which mean the attacking is uncertain, the moments which mean everyone knows a second is required.
Dejan Lovren for the second successive game was impeccable at the back for Liverpool. He was the business for Liverpool. He was what you want Liverpool to be. But you worry. Because of moments. He has moments in his past. He may have moments in his future. No wonder they snatch too often at the ball in the final third. They know more about moments than you or I do. One goal doesn’t settle the nerves but maybe two will.
For the second game on the bounce one goal has settled the issue and the same man has scored it. But even Benteke doesn’t get to settle. Does he fit, does he suit, is he a Liverpool player? All valid questions but he has scored the only goal in three 1-0 wins for Liverpool this season – this should count for something. This is what being a match winner is – scoring the goal that wins the match. But moments. Twice now in two games he should settle the question in Liverpool’s favour but moments don’t happen as they should. The question keeps being asked, keeps being repelled. And each time you think. Each time you think. You thinking, me thinking is what needs to stop. Matters need to start being beyond doubt.
But Liverpool won. Liverpool go on as winners. Frustrating winners. None of Lallana, Coutinho and Firmino should be in gilded cages. None showed outrageous quality tonight bar perhaps Firmino who also had the moments you don’t want. This is how hard it is to be Liverpool manager – a centre forward who scores who doesn’t score enough. A troop of tens who don’t quite create enough but create enough for the centre forward to be missing enough. Centre backs who play brilliantly until they don’t.
I read a book recently where Klopp describes the ninety minutes as an ongoing state of emergency. Till he came here he won’t know the half of it. Liverpool, where the catastrophe curve curls upwards, takes you six behind City when they still have to come to Anfield, Libpool, full of urgent, hungry no-so-young men like me who need to see one thing happen, who hunger after it, crave it like vampires. The Reds, where there is always opportunity to become the thing and the whole of thing. Imagine. You shouldn’t have to. But imagine. It is here and it is now.
Instead, in spite, because, who knows. But this: We can drink the beer, all the beer, and look to West Ham United and imagine what three more of your points can do, imagine where three more of your points can ever so quickly lead. We can drink the beer, all the beer, and sing songs with our friends. We can drink the beer, all the beer and wish Liverpool, Libpool, The Reds, the Manager, all the luck in the world and remind them what is at stake. Instead, because, we can look at one another at the end of another year and nod and say “is right”, say “is right” because everything is at stake. Everything is possible. It is here, it is now and we are all alive and nothing is ruled out. Nothing should be, regardless of moments.
Nothing is ruled out.
Steve Graves is doing maths. I tell you this with love and certainty and delusion and silliness.
Thank you for reading, for listening, for putting up with it all. You really don’t have to.
With enormous love (come to town, lad),
Pics: Propaganda-Photo–David Rawcliffe
Like The Anfield Wrap on Facebook
I have a soft spot for Sunderland as well, but they’re such nothing I don’t see where they go. They’re Allardyce without Allardyceness.
The premier league should only award us 2 points a win for the Leicester and Sunderland games. The most unclinical bastards in the entire sport, possibly since Liverpool 2011/12. These players are all just not that good; not sure what Suarez’s excuse was at that time.
Bit of a random rant like but whatever, it’s nearly new year so I’m going with it. Nearly 5 years ago, if we spend the money from Torres on say Aguero or Falcao alongside Suarez, with Sturridge nearly on his way, we’ve a league by now. We spend the Suarez/Sterling money semi-competently, this season is near to sown up as well. Have you seen the state of this league? It makes me sick. People are pretending Leicester/Man City was a quality game. Suarez could go out there during his Spanish winter break and beat the pair of them on his own.
Nobody thinks Leicester-Man City was a good game. Liverpool winning though, that is good.
Fernandinho just gives Vardy the ball right outside the box. Vardy goes through and blazes it over. That right there has been this league in a nutshell this season.
We can do something about it in January if we want it bad enough (both on the pitch and within the confines of the transfer committee’s secret lair).
It’s a bit harsh mate saying these players are just not that good. Is Coutinho any good? Definitely. He’s like a magician at times. Is Henderson any good? Well, yeah he is. Is Lucas any good? Yeah. Lallana? He’s a good footballer despite some aspects of his game. Firmino? We’ve seen glimpses of it for definite. Ibe is exciting. Can is powerful. Origi looks quick, Milner is experienced and industrious. Allen is a good squad player. I think they’re all good players with good attributes. There’s one thing they’ve all got in common though, they don’t score goals. Everyone of them should be getting at least 3 more goals per season. Ok, Coutinho is getting more but it’s only been since we’ve had no one else to score our goals. He’s taken it on himself to get them but he needs 10 chances to convert 1. If you’ve got a striker like Sturridge who gets you 2 goals in a 20 minute spell as we’ve seen in a few games this season then you win the game and there’s less scrutiny. As it is we’re relying on Benteke only to win us games. The difference between him and Sturridge is he needs 3 good chances to score 1.
So, yeah, maybe ultimately the issues all come back to how we spent our cash but it’s not the full story. We’ve been happy with a lot of games since Klopp took over. Then there’s been a few we’re not happy with, but in those games we were on top enough that if the brilliant Henderson is ever so slightly better at shooting, or Firmino adjusts his shooting by an inch and hits the net not the woodwork, or Coutinho shows a touch more patience with his shooting, or Can, Ibe and Origi get a bit more accurate with their shooting or Lallana gets a bit quicker with his shooting then we win those games at Newcastle and home to Palace and West Brom. Had we done that we’d be almost top and going mental about how good we are.
Point being, we’re a good side with good players at different stages of their development but who are good enough to be starting now in the grand scheme of things. When we don’t score though, we don’t win and the that causes the spotlight to fall. Were we winning 2 and 3 nil as you could argue our play deserves then it’s fine, nothing’s mentioned. We’re not because we’re missing Sturridge’s goals and if he’s out then traditionally, Gerrard’s goals. a small tweak with another goalscorer or 2 and it all looks good. Especially now we’ve learnt how to keep a clean sheet. So, good team, good players but the dynamic of the players is wrong because there aren’t enough goalscorers. Poor dealings in the transfer market agreed but just a little tweak and all of a sudden we’re winning games comfortably.
Mostly agree with your thinking. These lads are good, and they are not the problem even when they look like the problem. Add in a superstar (ability-wise) or two and you’ll see. It’s like a turbocharged engine that’s missing a relief valve. And possibly the turbo too.
Not sure I agree mate. None of it makes sense to me and I can’t remember what point I was even trying to make. I think I’d just got in and rolled one up. I think it’s been on my mind recently that when we look at our team sheet we think ‘good side’ but overlook none of them score goals. I’d give anything to be able to pick Sturridge and ings. It doesn’t matter who we pick in midfield then. All the best mate.
I’m convinced about it. Happy new year mate!
Just to clarify. I fully agree with your comment. We’re missing a Gerrard type in there. It’s my comment that I don’t agree with or at least I didn’t convey it clearly. Goals change games and our play has deserved more. Cheers mate
I’ve just been having a look at the goals in the team that played last night including the subs. I’ve left Mignolet out and Benteke.
The rest of them have made 769 appearances between them in the PL scoring 47 goals between them.
I think it’s fairer to look at their averages.
Lovren, Clyne, Ibe and Toure have never scored for us in the PL
Lucas scores 1 per 211 games, Can 1 per 45, Sakho, 1 per 44, Moreno 1 per 23 and Firmino 1 per 16.
Then our most likely players are Lallana 1 in 8.4, Henderson 1 in 8.1 and Coutinho 1 in 5.3
That means playing with one recognised centre forward the rest of the team would score an average of 22 goals a season if we picked our most prolific 9 from last nights players.
Conclusion: We’re over reliant on our strikers to get us the goals and win us the game.
*Stats from LFChistory.net where appearances mean played in a game at some point.
Oh Christian. Christian, Christian, Christian. Please keep scoring those 1-0 winners, I will take them for the rest of my days. But please do it later in the game to spare us the rest of your performance wondering whether we will pay for your lethargy. Your hesitance. The elation of your goal in minute 46. By minute 94 you’d made me forget all about it until big Simon punched away solidly and that final whistle went. Then, somehow, those 3 points helped me forgive you again. Elation.
Sunderland were rubbish but we were competent and but for a few wasted moments could have finished with a credible 3-0 result. Credible because of context (the Newcastle and Watford game) and lack of options upfront (injuries, form, confidence, etc.)
I’d take this kind of performance and result again at West Ham on the weekend knowing Klopp is working on the players. Watching him almost man-to-man coach Firmino the whole game was very enlightening.
Another clean sheet, confidence growing in the defense and midfield is just what we needed after the little slump of results. We all know the attacking side of things needs major surgery, of course, but this was very much a step forward in terms of “mentality,” as the boss mentioned recently.
Was about to post something similar.
JK can’t work on everything at once, he has to start by getting the team to be battling against these types of sides after not doing enough against Newcastle and Watford.
He basically said this straight out in his pre-match PC.
This current focus probably makes Couthinio and Lallana struggle more in the attacking side of things.
Looking forward, still unsure regarding Lallana didn’t see him doing much tonight but would have to see the replay.
You know it’s a good night when “Big Sam” tells you your goal, your winning goal, was “very lucky”. You know when he calls your manager “soft” that its been a good night. Because 3 points on top of 3 points is all it takes to make it a good night.
Abject and diabolical are over the top and very strong words. That performance certainly isn’t that. If a pretty comfortable 1-0 win against the 19th team is diabolical then I dunno what descriptions there would be for Watford and Newcastle
We as fans have to stop being over the top and over reactive on Liverpool performances. We lose our heads when we lose and lose our heads even more when we win. As soon as we win a game or two everyone goes on about winning the title, and as soon as we lose one everyone goes off about how the manager set the team wrong and I don’t like pressing anymore and this player is shite and all that
We haven’t won 3 league games in a row even once this season, we’ve scored and allowed 11 goals each home or away. We are a team with loads of work ahead of us. We have a manager who is world class and has barely been here for 3 months. He is building something and it will take time. He pleaded for patience when he took over and he mentioned his need for more time many times after
So let’s give him that, let’s not go crazy about title challenges or overly emotional assessment of performances. Neil, God love him, seems to be hellbent on winning the league and that’s the only thing he wants and good on him, but I think this season he’s being over the top. I’m all for optimism but when it’s just completely out of touch with reality it doesn’t help anyone. Doesn’t help the team, doesn’t yourself.
I’d be happy to just get 4th this season which is a real possibility, if Klopp has CL football from his first season with his first summer transfer window it’d be huuuge. It’d be massive. He’s building something and it’s gonna take time, so let’s take baby steps instead of thinking about parkouring before we can even walk
This is spot on. As Jurgen said post-match, we won the game, time to go home, go to bed and prepare for West Ham. It’s only one game, but contextually it is important. But so will the next one.
Completely agree Dora about this silly, stupid talk of a title challenge.
NEIL was talking about going on a 5/6 game winning streak in the league. Madness!!!
I can’t even remember when we last put a 3 game winning streak together??
When we had Suarez, Sturridge, Sterling and Gerrard??
Let Klopp find his way in this league, find out the strengths and weaknesses of his players, get a transfer window or 2 behind him before talk like this.
Post of the season. Encapsulates everything we as fans should be, not a bunch of rollered up, bad tanned drama queens
Hey mate, Any win in the Premier league these days is a good win!! I remember back in the day when THE REDS won Championships with lots of 1-0 wins!! Every team in this premiership is a top side so any away win is a GREAT result. Don’t take the piss mate.
“This is how hard it is to be Liverpool manager – a centre forward who scores who doesn’t score enough. A troop of tens who don’t quite create enough but create enough for the centre forward to be missing enough. Centre backs who play brilliantly until they don’t.”
Absolutely, undoubtedly spot on.
We were not abject. Some of our “almost but not quite” passing interchanges could be described as “diabolical”.
Btw, I am finally convinced that Borini would have never made it as a LFC player, even if he had been given plenty more chances to develop. His two chances vs us were good, he earned them both, but he failed to score. He’s a hard-working, somewhat talented player. Sunderland or therabouts is, unfortunately, his ‘level’.
Firmino has about another 20-30% to his game. Mark my words. There is a LOT of upside to him.
I see Allardyce has labelled Klopp a ‘soft German’. I was certain he would take issue with Klopp in some way because he simply always does when it comes to foreign managers. He sees himself as some kind of managerial gatekeeper who ruffles the feathers of these new managers from other leagues. This is reflected in his own distorted view of the impact he had on Rafa. He sees himself as a real thorn in Rafa’s side, despite the fact that his teams have beaten Rafa’s twice in his entire career, one of those extremely early in Rafa’s Liverpool career.
A man with an ego far outweighing any of his achievements (whatever they are).
He can take his hard cock down to the championship with him then, the git
Klopp is spot on in his assertion that Lens deserved a red card. Allardyce takes pride in psychotic challenges like that because he thinks it makes him a ‘no nonsense’ manager. The reality is he is an enormously limited manager whose list of clubs managed tells this story. He would kill to have managed sides that play the way Klopp’s do.
Really worried about Hendos injury,
He didn’t look comfortable from the off and that heel injury is a nightmare to shake off,
Cannot believe how unlucky we’ve been recently on the injury front,
Happy new year to all.