THERE was a line running through my head before the winner. It was this: “The record books don’t record everything.”
This while Liverpool are toiling at 1-1 and down to 10. Thinking that will look like Liverpool have failed to back up one good win with another; a failure rather than what it actually is — Liverpool played reasonably well against a side better than their league position in very difficult circumstances.
This wasn’t Newcastle, West Ham or Watford away. The Reds were doing all they could and if not winning then not losing their battles all over the pitch.
“The record books don’t record everything.”
And it remains true. The record books don’t record everything despite Christian Benteke’s winner. They don’t record the intelligence these Reds showed. They don’t record the pace and danger that Palace showed. They don’t record the heart and passion displayed by both sides.
Both sets of footballers were a credit to their supporters and their managers. Were a credit to themselves — however unfashionable saying that sort of thing might be.
So we must do that. We record everything. It’s our job to do that, the job of the brilliant 3,000 in Selhurst Park. The job of the millions of Liverpool supporters around the world. The job of this column, as limited as it is, and those who like it. We record everything else. Everything beyond those bare bones.
I think I’d probably rather come up against Messi than Bolasie at this stage. There is some sort of muscle memory he has that against Liverpool he gets some sort of aristeia — the state in Ancient Greek literature where a hero performs far above himself in battle; unstoppable, physically dominant, certain of his own victory.
Every time Liverpool see Bolasie he walks two foot taller, runs two seconds faster, takes two more touches. He is simply terrifying. I can’t really hack it, to be honest. God knows what our players think.
But our players keep on and keep keeping on. There is something you can do when you fancy your lads to create late on.
We would all have thrown Daniel Sturridge on, not Kolo Toure. Again, the record books make that look like a defensive change. But it wasn’t. Our manager looks to create the platform which means the chance will come and Liverpool will keep probing. He is able to make the counterintuitive change because he trusts these lads will dig something out.
This is a serious sea change. I trusted these lads would dig something out. I thought Benteke’s chance on 92 was it. But I knew we would have something. Benteke ran the channels well when he came on for Divock Origi.
The bald facts have that sub, too. Origi off, Benteke on. But Origi again showed the value of being a physical front man who created space. He softened them up. Ensures they couldn’t rest. He’s fast looking hard to look past.
Jordan Henderson’s early yellow inhibited his performance. That he gets it essentially for Jon Flanagan doesn’t get recorded. Liverpool improved when down to 10, or rather Palace didn’t know quite what to do, suddenly given a new set of problems and for the only time looking like a side who haven’t won in the league since December.
The performance of both Emre Can and Dejan Lovren before and after the red card are worthy of praise. Can was Liverpool’s best midfielder throughout and then dropped in and dictated from centre half. Lovren won everything that came near him. An outstanding performance, one he has been threatening to give. He had no interest in not winning.
Liverpool’s grafters grafted. Lack of guile as ever a problem but you earn the right to show guile at Selhurst Park. They don’t put it on a plate for you.
We record the moment when Benteke wins his penalty and dispatches nonchalantly. We record the joy.
Jürgen Klopp’s Reds remain flawed. They will always, I suspect, be imperfect. These lads will never let us down for fighting spirit. They’ll have good games and bad games. But they’ll scrap for everything. For themselves. For their supporters. For their manager.
Seven days ago they were on the floor. Oh what a feeling. Dancing on the ceiling.
Write that down.
Up the gnarly Reds.
Lack of guile was dreadful as was our ability not to have a shot on target. We were given two goals. I’ll say nowt about the pen because I’m getting grief elsewhere.
I don’t get this grief talk. He blatantly got clipped.
Agreed. it was a clear penalty. Benteke went off balance because of that touch :)
I celebrated when Fowler won the penalty without being touched by Arsenal keeper (And Fowler told ref not to give card to the keeper :). What a memory
For something so critical how much contact constitutes a penalty seems to fluctuate wildly between referees and seasons (and teams). If Benteke was a MU player under Ferguson it would have been a penalty all day long, if it were Suarez playing for us the pundits would still be going on about him being a diver, or his “reputation proceeding him”. He definitely gets his foot clipped as you can see it wobble, whether that is worth a penalty I have no idea anymore.
i love the reds when they’re gnarly. a little more of the brilliance part and we’re gonna be sound.
Very kind comments for Henderson Neil, he was invisible really, yellow card not withstanding. His two moments of impact were getting carded and the ball for Benteke’s penalty. It must be his injury as he is a shadow of an effective midfielder.
Still the win mitigates everything and the lads did earn that victory with their graft.
Hendo has been disappointing throughout, and not sure how long more “Maybe due to injury” excuse would continue to hold.
Just hoping that he gets back to his 2013/14 level soon.
Until his injury clears up perhaps?
I understand the the frustration with hendo based on what he isn’t doing but I think you take him out and the others miss him. He is talking, he is organising, he is filling in gaps . Captains stuff . He is like the cox in the boat with the megaphone. He isn’t rowing but he is playing his part.
He is a better player than he is showing and that’s the frustration but he knows his current limitations with this stupid injury and is playing a role for the team.
Can has looked better with him.
He is Trying to Cover fullbacks (flanno) .
It looks like an Unselfish captains performances were its not all about him, it’s for the good of the team .
Yeah, I haven’t checked recently but our record with him in the team compared to when he is injured has been considerably better since 2013/14. Even this season where he hasn’t been at his best I think you would still notice a difference.
Pardew Pulis Allardyce: The Axis of Evil.
really pleased that we beat “Pard’s” team. Had we lost the guy would probably celebrated as if he had won the World Cup/World Cup winning manager.
Brilliant piece, Neil. and thanks for remembering “the millions of Liverpool supporters around the world. ”
Spot on about Can and Lovren. Along with Mig, these two stood “tall” when the team needed each other.
Thought, Lallana played better when we were down to 10. (the whole team played better anyway)
Toure was a defensive sub. Klopp said if himself; “take what you can get”. This article is hipster fluff.
new round here are you?
Love your column and its slightly unhinged style and zany flights of fancy – particualrly enjoyed the “aristeia” reference. I look for it every week. Just wish Mignolet comments from “fans” would respond to changes in performance levels. Seems hard for the majority to give credit when it’s due once they have made their mind up on an a player.
He was good today and brave as a lion in the one on one,
That bravery hasn’t always been on display which is why the fans are rightfully apprehensive about giving glowing comments,
Lovren is in a similar bracket and he also played well again today,
Still nervous when either are on the team sheet all the same.
Both Lovren and Mignolet were solid. Certainly night and day compared to Palace away last season were both looked out of their depth. Consistency is what makes careers though so we’ll see.
I think Lovren is fine (never thought I’d say that) but we can’t be having Mignolet as our first choice keeper next season. I refuse to be fooled by the new 5 year contract. It just doesn’t make enough sense.
Sorry to sound churlish but I thought we were shite. All the usual problems: Moreno brainless, Lallana refusing to pull the trigger, Bobby being Bobby, Milner being slow, Hendo passing sideways and backwards. We spent around 70 minutes playing in front of Palace before getting hit on the break. It was embarrassing. It was as though City never happened and made Alan Pardew look like a tactical genius rather than the bellend he so clearly is.
But, we fought back. We improved. We outlasted them. The spirit was good. And a few of our players really stood up: Mignolet, Lovren and Can excelled, Origi worked his socks off and Sakho got through a lot of good work covering the dimwit at left back. Klopp can’t work miracles (we have a lot of average players), but he can make the players believe.
So we were shite but we won. I’ll take that all day.
Oh and Can and Origi are starting to look like real players. We just need more pace and quality around them.
We could see massive improvements in two young players — Can and Origi– under Klopp. Being 22 and 20 respectively, I expect these two to have occasional off days, but in the long run they will be regulars for us, I really believe.
(I wonder how many from U21 will step up to the first team I under Klopp)
Actually I am pleased that Ibe has been taken off the spotlight for now. He will come back stronger, no doubt.
This. Nothing to add in general.
Nice article Neil.
Bobby F has GOT to show more spünk with their goal. I was apoplectic, especially since he’d passed it to their lad in the first place. Just fling yourself at it mate, your tattoos demand it. It might sting a bit but you’re paid 80k pw. Composed for the goal, though
“You’re tattoos demand it”
Agreed. There seems to be no doubt that under Jurgen’s stewardship spirit, graft and a desire to play until the bitter end has been instilled into the side he’s inherited. Guile, pace and consistency are a whole other issue. Albie has done my head in to a level I didn’t know existed. I think Bobby is a real player, I just don’t know what the hell it is though. Luis Garcia? I really don’t know but I do think Klopp will figure it out. I’m also seriously concerned with Hendo. I am all for giving him the benefit of the doubt but he’s becoming a source of real imbalance. The Big Divvy is reminding me a bit of Bruno he’s become a Unit in the last couple of months and his movement and tireless industry possibly combined with a returned Ings is cause for optimism, along with what Can is developing into. As Sean Rogers says a Rolls Royce if the rate continues. We were mostly shite BUT we stuffed that Knobhead on his own turf in the most satisfying way. His post match performance was a travesty and I’ve gleefully watched it again several times.
WTRWWAW !! Up the gnarly Reds.
Lallana plays to the final whistle against Norwich. Benteke plays to the final whistle against Palace.
Wasn’t that long ago that players conceding the first goal meant players conceding the game. More of this.
Less of Milner. More of the Welsh Allen. I’ve said it before: I fancy Can playing deepest midfielder with Allen and Henderson slightly ahead. Not convinced by the 4-2-3-1 even after the Man City rout. Want a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 diamond.
I’m almost starting to trust Lovren. Would like to get players developing regular partnerships all over the pitch. Should be the goal of our remaining games.
Bring on United.
I hate that people call it the 442 diamond. I just call it the 4312. Not sure why this bugs me so much.
The game was all about graft and never giving up. That is what makes the win so sweet. We never really showed great quality, seemed like we wanted to Arsenal it into the net.
Highlight of the game for me was Moreno’s 25 yarder off the post.
Sakho’s block was tremendous. Good to see our lads forcing the pen too. The ref wasn’t interested initially. You’ve talked about us getting around refs a lot on the show: we did it today.
Brilliant Neil! I love those gnarly Reds for getting one over that horrible smug twat Pardew!!
Great article as always. Just one mistake: “Lack of guile as ever a problem but you earn the right to show guile at Selhurst Park. They don’t put it on a plate for you.”
But today they did, didn’t they. Or at least, their keeper did.
Not complaining. A little rub of the green and some freebies were a little overdue.
Play angry. That was the message from Klopp. Well, we did it mid-week and we did it again today, albeit after going down to ten men. Though this was seemingly due to James Milner telling his team mates to take it easy for the day because he’d be taking enough anger onto the pitch to supplement the entire squad (you crazy beautiful b*stard). More of the same please, I’m liking the new found aggression, lets just try to finish games with eleven men in the future.
Also, well done Migs. I thought that was an all round decent and brave performance between the sticks. I’m hoping he builds on this now, I think we can all agree the next logical step is for him to start wearing John Matrix inspired camo paint
One missing piece of jigsaw ~ To play angry heavy metal football ~ we need to bring Hollywood (or at least Bollywood) image consultant to toughen up Hendo, Can, Milner, Mig, Moreno, Ibe, Lallana, Phil, Bobby and whole team.
Or the club centralize the image rights of players and stay away from.Nivea type ads, whats next? Victoria Secrets for Men?
Do Harley, Caterpillar, and tough ads instead.
Yep, hats off to Migs that was a great block/save he made against Bollasie. Left him writhing too. Brave goalkeeping.
We found a way to win. That’s all I look for now. Did we manage to win, or not.
You get nothing for a purple bin,Flanno-not in this game
Ok, it wasn’t a classic performance, but we got the three points and that’s all that matters. How many times lately have teams rocked up at Anfield, played shite and walked away with the points (like United only last month)? It’s about time we were on the other side of this.
What I really loved about this though is that the last few times we’ve played these we’ve been bullied off the park by them, battered into submission by their grocks. Today we went in there thinking ‘nah, we’re not having any of that today lads’ and got stuck into them from minute one. This Liverpool side has been accused of being too nice and having a soft underbelly. Well, for me anyway, it was so pleasing to see us go to a difficult ground against a load of brutes and refuse to be bullied! Long may it continue!!