WHO do you get in touch with?
Liverpool abject. Watford excellent. Softest opener, though let me see lads around the ref. Softest second, Martin Skrtel bullied into obsolescence, the finish from Odion Igahlo divine.
Softest third, Emre Can making it too easy and then every other Liverpool player being 10 yards minimum out of position. Almost innovative, almost a statement.
This was Liverpool’s poorest performance of the season by some distance. It was mind boggling how poor every Liverpool player was with the possible exception of Jordan Henderson, who may well have been merely average.
Pining for Milner.
Pining for Lovren.
Pining for Mignolet.
Pining for Benteke.
Pining for Sturridge.
Pining for Sturridge the most.
This is important:
1. If you think they didn’t work hard enough or care enough then the manager’s USP is in doubt.
2. If you think Watford outsmarted Klopp and his team then that needs to improve.
So, the manager has been had off. By events, yes. The early goal hurts and knocks, that’s number one. Makes number one a thing. But on the whole it is number two: Sanchez Flores has himself a pitch and a side set up to undermine visitors. It’s a dog of a pitch. A dog of a set up. It suits Watford. It is, indeed, linked wonderfully to the history of Watford. They knock you about and turn you round.
There is a lesson here, a learning curve this manager is on. Yet it is, in fact, a lesson for this Liverpool manager and one his predecessor chose to ignore. A front two with physicality, understanding and finishing will get you results in this league. Is it the purest football? Nope. But it is functioning football.
This league is dreadful. So invoke dread. Bring about the most basic of nightmares. They don’t give points for style. They give points for scoring more goals than the opposition. Liverpool played two up top at Southampton. They scored six goals. They did, admittedly, play Daniel Sturridge.
There is something that needs to happen pretty quickly and that is Liverpool starting games looking likely. In this suddenly democratic Premier League Liverpool need to suddenly find a set of strengths to play to when the opposition will trash the place rather than let you play. The opposition will burn the gaff down just to watch it burn.
Liverpool: Only West Ham (8) have committed more errors that have led directly to a goal in the PL this season than Liverpool (7) #WATLIV
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 20, 2015
I am reluctant to act as though an undeniable football genius as Jürgen Klopp needs to learn anything, but he is here to win this league. That won’t be done with the best players unless something radical happens. It will be done with graft, togetherness and desire. It will be done with brains. It will be done by being prepared to do what no-one else will.
Yet talk of this when Liverpool are this abject seems a million miles away. Look at that target though. It is the only one that matters and today Watford were kind enough to give Liverpool a million clues. Fair play to them. Smart and aggressive. Certain. A good, good football team.
They don’t give points for style. They give points for scoring more goals than the opposition. Five off the top four. This is mad. And shouldn’t be allowed.
Liverpool abject. Watford excellent.
Everything to play for.
Pics: Propaganda-Photo–David Rawcliffe