I’M 36 today. Liverpool last won the league when I was nine.
It’s hard to escape the crippling feeling that, at best, it next happens when I am 37. At best.
Without sounding overly dramatic it is difficult to put into words how that second half felt. When I talk about the league in this space I often quote Wichita Lineman, the Jimmy Webb song most popularly sung by Glen Campbell.
You know I need you more than want you.
And I want you for all time.
I want you for all time. Infinity. The need is greater than infinity, you know, you know, the need is greater than infinity.
The sheer vacuum that opens up in your brain. Staring into the abyss. Walls collapsing everywhere. Thudding to the floor. It isn’t fear. It is sheer, inarticulate need. It keeps you up nights. It stops you in your tracks during days. Ridicule is nothing to be scared of. Defeat is nothing to be scared of. There is nothing to be scared of, just facing that need deepening, further intensifying. Just another year of being up nights. Of losing days.
The second half is a bag of rags. The problem for me is the first half. Liverpool didn’t look like hurting Swansea. They let them gain confidence and grow into the contest. What should have demonstrated a gulf instead allowed them to believe and build a base. They got a beachhead. And grew into it. Everything that happened from the first minute let Swansea believe more.
The two in front of Jordan Henderson were a million miles away. Liverpool were pedestrian beyond belief. Swansea weren’t worked hard. They didn’t have questions asked of them over and over again. They coasted through the first half and made it look far too easy. Anfield should be a cauldron. Dead both on and off the pitch first half.
The second will need watching back. Chaos all over the show. Again, the worry is as much around how badly they attacked as how badly they defended. All the structure gone. Back to asking what a Liverpool goal looks like. Was it panic? Ineptitude?
Both full-backs lacked quality. Roberto Firmino the business in front of goal. He should have stayed there. He should be there. Everything else is fluff for him. He needs to be close to the sticks. Adam Lallana needs to start far away.
Credit to Swansea and Fernando Llorente. Both showed their class. They pushed everything to the limit including the rules. That’s what you do when you are in a fight for your lives.
Liverpool’s battles go beyond the mortal, beyond the finite. A need greater than any.
I don’t care about a race for fourth. They aren’t relevant to my interests. My interests are clear.
I wish I had more for you. Thirty-six and broken.
I think I need a small vacation.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
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I’m 40 today. Happy [email protected]*#ing Birthday to us.
Agreed about both full backs lacking quality today.
Swansea let both Clyne and Milner have plenty of the ball knowing they would not do much with it.
especially Clyne who has been poor for a while.
Klavern/Lovren axis is a gift to most teams. Why not put Matip in from the off if he was fit??
Can should have been pulled after 20 mins. Just not good enough.
I’m approaching 42 in March. I can’t see a league in the next 2-3 years. We are good, but there are 5 other good teams. Hopefully before I’m 50!!! Very sad today.
I’m 47 next month feel my pain :)
I’m afraid I’m in the Top 4 camp at the moment, I never really believed we could win it this year we’re just too light realistically as a squad and at the moment for whatever reason there’s no spark at all.
Disappointing all round. Not much more to add to that :(
It helps a lot that you can express your pain, our pain, so eloquently. Thank you.
We only have two players in the entire squad who can play the wide forward role. Take Coutinho or Mane away and the manager’s first instinct is to move either Firmino or Lallana out of position, creating two gaps in an effort to plug one, at which point the team as an attacking unit ceases to function.
Spot on mate. I’ve been really disappointed in Jurgen since Coutinho’s injury. Since has had to start shuffling the deck for injuries and so many games, I just feel he keeps making simple mistakes like the one you highlight above. Why couldn’t he just leave it as it was and put Origi in Couts/Mané’s wide forward position instead of Bobby or Lallana? By not doing this he creates more problems then he solves.
Given this it also makes me incredulous that he has been so against strengthening in this window. If you are willing to spend the big bucks, you can get the top players. We are not though the evidence shows us so far (besides Mané at £34m).
We will all look back in May with our shoulda, woulda, couldas, mainly about not reinforcing a very thin squad in Jan when we had the chance.
41 tomorrow, all of the above
From the get go there was a smug deathly quiet expectancy ..not from the team but from the crowd. The crowd got exactly what they deserved today. Cheering shouting singing costs nothing yet it can encourage the team , get them ready for the fight, get their adrenaline going. Sitting there with expresionless faces waiting for something to hapoen is just too much. The atmosphere is dead in anfield because its full of …wrll we all know what its full of nd until something is done to address it the famous anfield atmosphere will never return.
This. If we struggle to get going against lowly placed teams time and time again under different managers and with different players then the only place you can point to is the atmosphere. Irrespressible at its best smothering at its worst. Until it is sorted progress is impossible.
It’s the sheer fucking excruciating predictability of it. When was the last time a team brought bad form into a game against us?
I am so bored of shit teams in bad form playing us and ‘not looking anything like their league position.’ The fact Swansea came into today 20th meant nothing. I knew it wouldn’t matter. It never does.
This Liverpool side are James McEvoy from that new film. A side with a million different personalities. Capable of beating the likely champions comfortably on their own patch and losing at home to the tean in 20th. No rhyme or reason.
The degree to which we miss Matip, Mane and a fully firing Coutinho is astonishing. Truth is with Lovren and Klavan at the back we are capable of defending marvellously whilst simultaneously being vulnerable to literally ANY opposition.
A quick recovery is needed here, mentally more than anything. Chelsea are going ten clear whenever it is they play Hull. I bank on Spurs to beat City and I wouldn’t be surprised if Utd win from behind at Stoke. It’s going to be a costly weekend. Our losses always cost us. Always. We don’t get let offs, and as such dropping three points becomes the equivalent of dropping six.
When everybody is back we will rebuild. I’ve seen too much from these lads to not believe that. Southampton are in town on Wednesday night and will be buzzing after this. It’s our job to show them who the fuck we are.
Come on Liverpool.
Just when Klopp speculates about the league and talks about upcoming games instead of solely focusing on Swansea, and it’s gone. Not his fault, mind you, but after that presser I was worried. Like you say Neil, how does this side stay focused to go top four? All the emphasis on Anfield as a fortress dissolves somehow in a single match as well. This blip is growing into several poor matches and results. Let’s hope ’17 improves. This was hardly the result I needed after Trump’s coronation. Bloody hell.
62 on Tuesday and sadly we are a few players away from being good enough . Can is a squad player at best and Lovren and Klavan always giid for an error. All you said about the 1st half and moe
Ps my newborn isn’t giving us much luck. Come on Oisín get it sorted !
Let’s face, our title bid ended when we blew the two goal lead at Bournemouth.
Today was awful. Awful performance, awful atmosphere and it was bloomy freezing.
Happy birthday everyone!
What a rubbish day, but what can we do but shake ourselves down and try to find a way to get up for these 2 cup games this week?
Very simple we need Virgil van Dyke to go along side Matip. Replace Can never been good enough. Joe hart in goal. Put Milner in front as a hold, and find a solid left back. That should stop us leaking goals. If we can have a really tight defence with a great goalie the we have a chance. We can score plenty of goals, so stop them going in and we wim leauge.
Don’t worry. When China buys all the leagues best players in the summer we’ll win it next year with the young lads.
Hi Neil, fellow fans.
Really hard to put aside the frustration and anger towards the coach, team (save a player or two) and the fans at Anfield.
What is it with the fans at Anfield? Home game, first half on the front foot sort of, and yet no noise. Fucking graveyard’s can be more louder at night I think. Really poor from the fans only jumping and singing some inebriated level encouragement when a goal is scored for us. Deserve to pay to see that performance then.
Perhaps Will Ferrell should have come on at half time, at least the comedic defending would have been justified.
Jurgen Klopp – poor substitution taking off Coutinho and leaving Can on. I mean Couts may not be fit 100% but he brings creativity. No plan B or plan anything for lack of Mane (who should not be missed if we are title challengers right), same drivel passing around the box, poor crossing, and playing dimwits like Clyne who has no brain except for some one-dimensional talent. Can is useless and will not progress this way. He needs a rest.
So why doesn’t Klopp play the kids? Why not Matip earlier or from the start, after all the yapping about FIFA debacle? Why doesn’t Klopp change the positioning of players to adapt to the opposition? The Borrusia Dortmund fan/poster on TAW some time back was right about Klopp being Stubborn about certain things and he’s starting to show it in spades.
Felt for Firmino. What a second goal that was and then Klavan and the three ring circus he is part of in defense decide it’s not enough. Our Captain goes missing and we’re back to hoping for other teams to lose again. How much I miss Gerrard’s taking the game by the scruff and letting them have it.
We looked devoid of ideas, knackered and still overconfident like Swansea were supposed to lay down due to their position and past performance?
Was Daniel Sturridge playing today? Oh yeah he was right. Nice hair cut Danny boy. Looking sharp at least when jogging about. Origi’s spent I think.
So Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Spurs and the mancs having a great laugh now. The plastics especially smiling all the way to the PL trophy and why not. Now down to hoping for a miracle loss/draws or whatever everywhere around the country to help us?
Klopp please sort this out – you’ve got more than this and you are better than this! Sick and tired of watching us throw it away for nothing.
Sorry about the rant lads, just gutted about today’s approach to building on momentum.
Up the depressing Reds!!!
Complacency from players who face no compromise for thier place. If they can’t be bothered, or don’t have the quality to deliver in January when we are chasing 7 points, they don’t deserve to be at the club.
We were dog shit today. But you know what? I reckon there’ll be games like that for the others in the weeks and months to come. I’m not throwing the towel in yet. I’m still believing.
WE’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE!!!
We need an angry response vs Southampton. A furious one. We need their players wondering where the fuck the team that lost to Swansea went as we smash into tackles, are first to everything and attack in whirlwinds.
We know these lads can do it.
I’m 37 today and another title dream has gone for another year. Why we only showed any urgency after we went 2-0 down is infuriating. We haven’t looked quite right since the Stoke game hopefully we see a reaction against Southampton on Monday.
No doubt that’s the cue for Swansea to roll over and get there Tummy tickled for the next 5 games again ffs,
As one poster said, it’s the excruciating predictability of it all.
You couldn’t have said it better. You just watch them bottle it to the tune of 0-5 at home to whoever they play next. This win will be a one-off for them. It will be like it never happened next week.
Always, always against us. Shades of Middlesbrough 08-09, West Brom 13-14.
It don’t look like rain.
Moan about not being able to pick Matip and then don’t pick him. What’s that all about?
It’s about 3 goals.
THIS, among other things Klopp fucked up.
I don’t doubt Klopp is a decent manager. I just don’t think he is an Englsh Premier League winning Manager. You cannot play with such intensity from Aug-May. As for Mane he wasn’t exactly flying before he went off to African Nations. There is no Plan B, Sturridge has been criminally mis-used and cannot hope to get a goal streak going when not consistently in the Team. It’s not that we’re not good enough (see Leicester 2015/16) we’re just not intelligent enough. Title chasing sides do not get done by teams at the foot of the League.
Much as I love him, this is on the manager. No, he can’t be blamed for shite defending, but he can be blamed for complacency. We’ve known Mane was going to AFCON since we signed him yet have done nothing about it. We’ve known that Lallana is way more effective starting from from midfield since the start of the season yet move him back thus shaping up like we did when we finished 8th in the league last season. 8th.
So we’ve transformed a title-chase into a top 4 chase through negligence.
Love Jurgen, want him to stay with us forever, but he’s fucked up over christmas.
Happy Birthday btw. First time I’ve ever said that to anyone quoting Adam and the fucking Ants.
Fuckin ell lads nobody said this football lark was easy. Where was the noise from those lucky enough to be in the ground? Didn’t hear anything after the first two minutes.
Swansea had a game plan stuck to it and got more than their fair share of luck. We have been clinging on since Bournemouth no zip or sparkle but we have dug in which will stand us in good stead over the coming years.
The dam has burst today and we now need a big reaction against Southampton this week. We need a return to form from pretty much the entire team, injuries and departures have cost us dear. Definitely highlights we need at another 3 quality players in our squad.
Don’t let our heads go down, we are still above the Mancs and the Bkueshite, lots and lots to play for Come On You Mighty Reds !!!
72 next month but the glory days are fading and seem as far away as the crusades! So disappointed today but not surprised despite the love for Klopp we are as far away as ever!
Please somebody sort this out before it is too late for me to have one last celebration.
Very disappointing performance. Thought there was an element of overconfidence in the first half. I have a few concerns how we don’t seem to lay a glove on teams defensively, too easy at times. We’re not going with their midfield runners. The opposition seem to only have to have one or two chances and they score. Emre Can i have doubts over, he brings an overconfidence to the team, he should’ve buried that header first half. Lovren can look so good in one game so assured but what was he doing for their first goal giving away a corner like that. Why panic? At times our attackers were making the same runs. Why not use Sturridge from the start today, get their defenders turned and going back to their goal. Too easy at times.
Thought Firmino was underused by his team mates today, he made intelligent runs into space and was ignored. He had the beating of his man every time.
As above, Up the depressing Reds! We will bounce back and be stronger.
Living in the alps and decided to stay in and watch the game whilst my Mrs went for a ski on a bluebird day. God that felt low. Kicked the sofa after the second goal. Frightened the dog after the third.
Few hours and an early evening snowshoe in the mountains later and the world feels a brighter place again.
Take your break Neil – it’ll feel better after.
Happy Birthday – here’s to another year of dreaming
Agree that it was the lacklustre performance in the first half that cost us. Just too lethargic and predictable. No urgency at all. And arguably the wrong team selection – Sturridge for Can, with Lallana dropped back into midfield for me.
I’m done with Can for now – far too slow and negative today. Too ponderous in possession, and never looks forward. Needs dropping.
The biggest issues last season were the lack of pace and no width. Signing Mane recognised that but you can’t expect one player to solve the problems all by himself, especially as we knew he would be off in January. The old problems have returned and we are suffering. Having said that playing at walking pace in the first half was inexcusable. Every man and his dog can see that a midfield 3 of Can, Henderson and Wjnaldum lacks creativity and movement whilst specialising at giving the ball away.
Only one positive today – Bobby Firmino, showing yet again that there is no substitute for class and that is something you can buy FSG.
We are just that little bit short in a few areas I think. Apart from the Mane issue, we don’t have a set piece taker, we don’t have someone who can dominate a packed area like that Man U groc and Llorente, and our keeper is not quite top drawer, good as he has been lately.
I am with Neil. I want to win the league so I can start taking the good with the bad again, enjoy a good title race without being so invested in the end outcome.
And fuck FIFA. I hope their dog dies.
Matip was available today, mate. Perfectly available.
Klopp has a go at the fans rightly but any excited anticipation was destroyed in the first couple of minutes when Henderson decided to play keep ball with the back line back back sideways back sideways back all sit down.This wasnt v Barcelona but bottom of the league but it set the tone. We should have been straight in at them getting them unsettled from the off.
We have lots of players Firmino,Coutinho, Lallana, Wijnaldum and even Mane & Origi who score goals but are not goalscorers with the predatory instinct like Robbie & Rushy. Sturridge maybe, but he is rusty coz he doesnt play. We need to sort this now as everyone is going to play this way against us.
Hopefully this will be a watershed moment for Klopp and he will see why the fans are so quiet and nervous, this set of players still cant be trusted.We still have it all to play for. A bit of quality wide or scorer would go a miss this window.
After every match, my wife asks how it went. I just show her your review, Neil. It expresses how we all feel. It’s always about the feeling. Today it’s low and pi**ed off. I’m thinking of another Teenage Fanclub line “Even though it’s complicated, we’ve got time to start again”.
I am still firmly of the belief that our main strenghening should take place this summer. These pacey wide players we all want are not about at the moment. If they were we would have signed one.
Also, I have developed an irrational dislike of Spurs. Everything always seems to fall for them at precisely the right time. It annoys me that they are where they are in the league. They have this reputation as a lovely bunch of lads but this disguises some filthy player from the likes of Walker, Rose, Dier, Dembele, Wanyama and Alli.
Wish Sterling had just gone down like he normally would have done. Referees do not have the guts to give fouls where a player has not gone down, which is why we have diving.
I’m with you Neil. I don’t care for top 4. We’re in it to win the damn thing.
The squad lacks real quality in defence and in midfield. We scored two goals so we should have won the game. Keep clean sheets and more often than not our forward players will score at the other end. That’s what Chelsea focus on.
Emre Can starting with Henderson and Wjinaldum at Anfield against Swansea was very, very foolish. No need for it. Neither Can nor Wjinaldum should be starting in our midfield next season. Good players. But we need a great player in our first 11 between Henderson and Lallana in the midfield 3. A Veratti type technical player with great vision.
I don’t care about top 4 either and filling FSG’s pockets. I want Liverpool to focus on the league. After that focus on the 6th European Cup.
37 and 226 days today, Wish I didnt care so much, up the heartbreaking reds
Why Firmino plays anymore but straight down the middle is seriously beyond me. Bringing on Origi right after the second felt like a slap in the face.
I’m 65 years old and LFC have won 54 honours in my lifetime, including winning the league 13 times. That fact carries me through days like today. It is a great and formidable history to behold but in our current times the complexity and difficulties at the top level are massive. Bobby Firmino was amazing today and the rest were at varying degrees of arrested potential. Still, I believe the title is not out of sight, even if Chelsea win tomorrow. There are many games yet to be played and every team stumbles eventually. The thing is not to drop any further back. Respect is due Swansea, they showed great discipline and class and certainly didn’t look like the bottom of the table today. Yeah, we need Sadio back. Absolutely key. Keep faith. Up the Reds.
Cool post. 55. did the kid thing today. Saw my 6 year old on stage tonight in a public theatre, he was bouncing, he was a talking door in Alice in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, the clock is stuck, the years role by. Come on the reds and all who want it so much.
Defensively weak and vulnerable, yet again…not all that surprised. Need more quality in a few spots, and generally should play our footballers in their proven best positions… Sturbridge hasn’t proved his quality or value this season at all. Same for Can. Same for Origi. Having said all that, 2 goals at home should always win it….
Further…we need additional pace in wide areas…Swansea just sat in and clogged the middle, leaving space out wide where we had no pace or threat in behind and around the sides. Predictable.
71 in March and I just hope to live long enough….
10 of us in a pub annex in grey Seattle this morning at the ungodly hour of 4:30. We made nearly as much noise as we heard at Anfield and we were unusually quiet at that.
Same here, I`m 51 and thankfully have already seen the lot in our glory days. There`s never a day goes by that I don`t believe we are the best Club in the world as what other could do what we did in Istanbul 2005 following 20 years of European drowt, and we should have beat the same opposition again in Athens 2007 to be 6 times winners only for Rafa to pick to the wrong forward line. And here is the question…. if you don`t forget how to be winners and champs, then how/why do we not recruit Champions in the spinal positions? When we signed the likes of Keegan, Hughes, Souness, Torres, Suarez, to name just a few from an endless list of players who had won no major honours of note, however you just know that if you were privy to being sat at the pre-signing table when trying to evaluate their winning persona, grit and determination, I`m certain it would have been nailed on walking out of that meeting appreciating you were in the presence of absolute winners and leaders, their sheer desire and determination to succeed etched on their face and both sleeves. So let`s do the right thing and just splash the cash on 2/3 key position players. I`m not advocating reinventing the wheel here just getting back to how we used to recruit in the glory days.
Also like to add to the Full Back attacking conundrum, we don`t yet have the guile/craft to consistently unlock defenses down the middle therefore let us begin with the flanks and touch line. It goes against the grain referencing other teams however Arsenal when on song are the Masters of the art. Seen enough of Trent to know he is as much the future as was Gerrard, Fowler, Maca, Owen, Carra etc.
Sturridge when fit needs to spearhead with Firmino, with Hendo Coutinho and Lallana backing up from midfield with another future shining star as LB, then clearly giving defenses most to think about. Opposition don`t fear Clyne hence allow us to play through him. We need to focus on width and byline pulling ball back in or around the penalty spot. We can`t continue to force thread and needle play through the middle. Open up the flanks then the centre will crumble. Any fool knows this.
Someone said to me last night, seeing is believing. As in, ‘when I see Klopp actually win something I’ll believe’.
I don’t understand how is that going to work!
If we don’t push each other, scream at the top of our lungs when things don’t go according to plan and wait for some divine intervention, teams like Swansea will come and grow in confidence, playing for a quickfire smash and grab and we’ll keep waiting just like we’ve always waited for last two and half decades.
Both the players and the supporters could have done a lot better last night. Of course we supporters don’t get paid for doing anything but it’s expected of us when we’re supporting Liverpool, isn’t it!
I’m no one to lecture veteran matchgoers, I’ve never been to a PL game, but I’ve seen our support doing so much better. I wish we tried a bit more yesterday. The players were so poor but we were never the proverbial twelfth man either. In a title challenge, which happens once or twice in a decade for us nowadays, that’s unacceptable I guess.
We have got to get to a place where we are safe from shit like yesterday. We need to be a team where the opponents almost regret scoring first because of the inevitable backlash. The kind of team where you know it’s over if we score first.
We can get there but it won’t happen all the while our heads fall off at inexplicable moments in games.
I’m at Center parcs and it should be joyous I’ve finally shed my three kids (on the climbing wall)and I’m in the sports cafe. As I said it should be joyous but Liverpool lost, Murray lost and Rooney scored. I don’t know where to look.
Sport. Why do you do this to me.
I had my small vacation last week, I watched the Manc game in a bar in Portugal, but I feel the need for another. As we are swapping ages I’m 70 and have seen lots of leagues won in my 52 years of watching. It is on my bucket list to see another, before memory loss takes over, but I can’t influence it. I do feel desperately sorry for the lad who sits next to me who wasn’t born when we won it last time, he is a real supporter, goes to lots of aways, and has seen some great performances, but also many disappointments, even under the latest management. I’m starting to get concerned about no Plan B, (as has been the case with most managers since the last time), but even with a better squad, promising youngsters, and a great start to the season we continue to fall, even without a hurdle. In the meantime Chelski have hardly missed a beat since we won down there in September, and now it doesn’t really matter about the result in the league match although it would be great to get another good performance. I know we all hope Sadio will come back ready to kick on, but having seen some of the tackles/ refereeing in Africa I can only hope he will return intact
Does anyone have a logical suggestion as to why we persevered with Henderson, Can, Wij in midfield?
Surely at home to Swansea we’d have been better dropping Can, Lallana back in midfield with Sturridge, Origi (yes he’s pap at the moment) or even Woodburn up front?!
Feeling as depressed as the rest. But…
We’re only halfway, it will probably be 10 points by this eve but a lot can still happen. Don’t reckon Jurgen will be tossing the towel in just yet. Heads up the Reds