OH, the Reds. Where do we start with the Reds?
The unplayable, unstoppable, aggressive, run your legs off, schizophrenic, frustrating, we will beat anyone apart from if they are shite (blue aside) Reds. We are one of the hardest teams to play in the world if you are any good at footy. Ask any of the top teams in this league. None of them want to play against us. None of them can handle us. All of them leave either well beaten and knackered or happy with a draw and knackered.
Jürgen Klopp told you as much against Chelsea when Big Si Mignolet saved their pen; nobody beats us he said via the communication format of the fourth official’s face. He explained it away afterwards as a nonsensical comment but in hindsight it was probably a Freudian slip. Nobody beats us, we just beat ourselves every now and again.
What did Saturday night teach us? Not a great deal is the answer. We knew before this game that we are boss at beating teams who want to play football. We knew before this game that if we are given an inch we snap it out of your hands, tackle it three times, pass the said inch with lightning speed and accuracy up the pitch before scoring a couple of times and stretching the little outdated non-metric prick into his good mate the mile until the game is dead, the opponent is lifeless and The Kop is bouncing.
We knew before this game that these lads of ours have such faith in our counter-pressing system that they know it will produce results.
We knew before this game that these teams, the best teams in the league, these are the ones where we have nothing to worry about.
Our form against the top six is league winning form. That’s not in doubt. Our form against the rest of the league is not. Infuriating, isn’t it?
That said, our struggles against the rest in this league shouldn’t detract from our achievements against the best. It isn’t easy to do what we did to Tottenham on Saturday. If it was everyone would do it. Tottenham are a good side, a really good side actually. They are full of big, boss, hard lads who love a tackle, love to leave one in on you and pride themselves on their aggression, their stomach for a fight and their ability to impose themselves on any match and grind their opposition into the floor. They don’t concede goals. They don’t concede chances.
They aren’t used to being bullied. They aren’t used to having their weaknesses, so rarely exploited, opened up for all to see, like the bit on Jaws when they have that jarg shark strung up that looks a bit like a dolphin and they think they have boxed it and can open all the beaches again only to cut its belly open and two tins of beans, a clothesline and Tottenham’s left-back’s boot falls out onto the deck.
We battered them. That’s not easy. As infuriating as it seems at the minute that surely bodes well for the future, doesn’t it? Yes, we struggle against a deep defence but we can surely come up with a solution for that, can’t we?
The one thing that we did learn on Saturday is that these Reds aren’t dead yet. People were talking about us like a horse with a big tarpaulin around him at the races. These Reds have got more about them than that.
The timing of this result and the subsequent mini pre-season we are about to go through could well lead to a reprisal of our early season form because you can bet your life that they will be working on a solution.
I mean, day one in La Manga, What do you reckon will be on the blackboard in the team meeting? I’d hazard a guess at the training plan looking something like this:
- Morning session: breaking down a low block
- Afternoon session: learning how to beat shite
- Morning session: how not to concede when in absolutely no danger whatsoever
- Afternoon session: learning how to beat shite
- Morning session: whatever you might think, crossing it probably isn’t a good idea so learn how to not cross it
- Afternoon session: learning how to beat shite with a special focus on concentration
And so on. It might seem a little too late but it would be sound if we just started winning all our games again, wouldn’t it? I mean, we would all start to have a laugh again and that for a kick-off. It would be sound that, wouldn’t it?
Chelsea don’t look like they will cock up any time soon but there’s no harm in us winning all our games and seeing what’s what.
Klopp said he dreamt of winning 14 games. Well now it is 13, with one game a week, confidence restored and everyone fit again.
Let’s bat on Redmen and see where we end up. Have a lovely holiday and that, remember to learn how to beat shite, and then let’s go on the march when you are back.
Nice one. Let’s get into these, Reds.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
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Brilliant, as usual.
You’re the best mate – love your style ( nearly Valentine’s Day and all)!
Beat the shite – we do that and we’ve cracked it.
Loving it, Ben. Probably closer to the truth than we think.
Remember only a few years back when we were all talking about the virtues of being a flat track bully? What kind of bully are we now? Is there even a name for it?