BEING brutally honest with you I’m not entirely sure where to start with that one. Liverpool were simply so dominant but every change made Liverpool weaker while every change made Southampton stronger.
Normally you walk out of away grounds and just keep your head down. I couldn’t stop talking (what a surprise) and one of theirs just says: “Yeah, but the changes were all in our favour.”
They were. They just were. All in their favour.
I am simply not interested in watching Martin Skrtel play football for Liverpool. That is me being a meanie in some senses but why would that be any form of a plan going forward?
What is the point of this?
The manager has Kolo Toure on the bench and goes with Skrtel because you want to have a look and have a think.
I don’t. I have made my decision and while I understand the importance of the ‘because you want to have a look’ I just think there is a stage where losses have to be cut. And yet because. Because because because.
Forget the because. Liverpool didn’t lose this game just because of one change but it is fair to say that change didn’t help. At all.
Let’s be crystal — the Liverpool manager has had a frankly brilliant month in terms of his in-game management. But today everything was wrong — too slow, too late. This is the tightrope that managers walk. It is a nightmarish sword to have to both live and die by. I’d get far more wrong than right. You would too.
But today the manager was wrong. Wrong with his changes and with the timing of them. Wrong with every move. It will happen. Let’s be crystal again — I’m alright with it as long as we can have a grown-up conversation about it. And have a grown-up conversation around the fact that even when he gets it right he needs his players to respond. Even when he gets it wrong his players still need to show the quality required.
They didn’t. Not for the first time both Skrtel and Christian Benteke were miles away. Not for the first time Liverpool’s other nine players didn’t dig one another out of trouble. Far from it. Simultaneously though we are talking about a goalkeeper who saved a penalty.
Liverpool’s second-half performance is as soul destroying as the first-half performance was life enhancing. Liverpool were miles ahead of Southampton in all regards. It should have been game over, it should have been 4-0.
But it wasn’t. Instead Liverpool lacked the sort of intensity champions display and let Southampton off a series of hooks. This is important — more than any other game this season this should tell the manager about the players. Collectively, the side was let down. Joe Allen should make it three. Liverpool should see it out. But the individual players didn’t do their jobs properly.
Indeed, the Liverpool players who come out of today the best are Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson. Their presence and seriousness was missed. Liverpool rudderless on the pitch. Liverpool defeated. Liverpool also legless. A long week ended with this game where Southampton had far more in the tank than the Reds, a Liverpool side the other side of Old Trafford.
I wish I had a lovely story for you but I sort of have in a sense. I have had a lovely weekend starting Thursday night and ending with my company home today.
I have enjoyed my life supporting Liverpool, indeed those around me today at the game were the business. I saw Liverpool show their dominance over Southampton, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho show their class, Liverpool be a side substantially better than their opponents.
This Liverpool under this manager will be a force to be reckoned with. We’re a proper football team.
However, we drooped. And I’m not impressed with that. Not having that. Two weeks to have a look back. Two weeks to have a think about it.
Well played, Southampton. Well battled. An honest to goodness set of lads.
In the meantime, the Reds need to pull their nonsense back together.
Be better. Have it never happen again.