SATURDAY was good fun, wasn’t it?
They say a rolling stone gathers no moss. Well I wish it fucking would. I wish it would roll like fuck and clatter into auld Jonny Moss, gather him up like a trodden-on snail and dump him right in the river.
That said, it would probably smash into his unfathomable girth and bounce back up the hill it come from. I mean, for a man who has to maintain a high fitness standard and is made to run as part of his job he has got the stature of someone who has devoted his life to eating the world’s supply of Babybels before he turns 60. Imagine the size of him once he packs in ruining matches for a living.
And don’t get me started on the shape of his head. Its fucking ridiculous. I was wondering how his ancestors ended up being called Moss. My guess was that his great, great, great, great, great granddad was that much of a greedy bastard that he ate everything in his path until there was only moss left, the fat medieval shit. Apparently though, the origin of Moss is a topographical name for someone who lives next to a peat bog, which makes load of sense really, doesn’t it? The bog-dwelling baby bellend.
You can’t get away from the fact that the match was ended by this bog-cheese prick. I don’t see how it is anything other than an accidental collision. There was absolutely no intent to kick him in the face. None. That’s clear.
What would the outcome have been if Sadio Mane went for it with his head and butted the side of his face? Their ‘keeper would have had a much more serious injury than a little graze on his face but there is no way Mane gets sent even though he would have endangered the players wellbeing all the same.
The facts are the referee took a look at the cut on the player’s face and made his mind up as a consequence of that rather than on the merits of the challenge and that surely can’t be right, can it?
Sky were keen to tell us that this is a referee who has played football at a decent standard and understands the game as a consequence. Well if that’s the case, let me take you back to the 10th minute. Trent Alexander-Arnold was struggling to find his feet on throw ins, mainly because Manchester City were flooding the options and blocking the space to try and make Liverpool go long.
As a result, he was taking longer to throw the ball in than he normally would because he wasn’t able to retain possession. Being such a good reader of the game, you know, because he has played it, Jonny Moss chose to stop play for the benefit of the crowd and warn Trent about time wasting, after 10 minutes, in a game that was 0-0, with Liverpool having had the better chances. Nobhead.
These fellas aren’t interested in the game or reading it properly, they are interested in themselves and their career. Moss, like all of them, isn’t interested in doing the right thing. He is interested in the perceived right thing. He is interested in the context of the decision.
When their ‘keeper is on the deck with a cut on his face his thoughts are all about what is the best decision for Jonny Moss. What is the safest decision for Jonny Moss. “If I don’t send him and this fella is badly hurt then I’m fucked.”
It didn’t help that their ‘keeper has got the pain threshold of a baby lamb with frostbite sat in front of a fire one minute, but was back in the ground with the shittest plaster you have ever seen doing head stands by full time.
There has been a fair bit said about the Reds defence since full time; some of it fair, some of it absolute flannel dressed up as serious analysis. What is clear is that there doesn’t appear to be much appreciation for how Liverpool actually try to defend, rather a focus on individual players relative qualities.
The Reds’ defensive strategy (and a significant part of their attacking setup) is all about controlling space, counter pressing and positional play to block any passing options. They also focus on forcing teams to play in certain designated areas so that they can capitalise on any errors.
Against a team like City, who have a pretty similar attacking and defensive plan, but have pretty much the best possession-based manager in the business and one of the most expensively-assembled squads in the world, your game plan and implementation of it has got to be perfect.
After Liverpool’s 1-0 win over City last year Jürgen Klopp suggested the physical and mental fatigue which affected The Reds for much of January was down to the exertions of the home game on New Year’s Eve.
Defending space and making sure you are always in the right position relative to your teammate is a very difficult thing to do. Now imagine trying to do that with one less man, against one of the most expensive sports teams ever put together with the greatest possession-based manager on the planet.
How do you block the passing lanes when one of you is in the changing rooms? Each player has now got more space to fill, more distance to cover and virtually no time on the ball if they ever receive it.
As soon as it was 10 versus 11 it was inevitable that City would win. It was unfortunate and unlucky but it was the match, right there, when Jonny Moss looked out for himself. Using the evidence of the second half to hammer home an agenda about the quality of Liverpool’s individual defenders seems a little redundant to me.
Yes, these players aren’t the greatest one-on-one defenders on the planet. Yes, Liverpool’s defensive unit left a lot to be desired in the second half but most teams, if not all, would look ragged against that Man City team in those circumstances. In fact, the evidence would suggest that you would struggle against any good side in those circumstances.
Dan Kennett off of the Twitter posted some brilliant stuff yesterday about the results of the recent top six games when it has been 11 versus 10 for more than half an hour in the game. The score across 17 matches was 44-6 to the 11s.
And here’s the details of the 17 matches in question pic.twitter.com/Zk6jbc8RDA
— Dan Kennett (@DanKennett) 10 September 2017
He went on to bladder home his point by doing the same thing for the knockout phase of the Champions League. The score was 44-6 again to the 11s. That is 88-12 in total. I think we can safely surmise from this that it isn’t much fun playing against a good side with one less man.
And yet, the theme across the media and fan base in the aftermath is one of Liverpool’s defensive woes, with plenty of outlets boldly outlining that their frailties were on show prior to the sending off before gleefully ramming home the failed transfer narrative and shit centre-half theory.
Before this game, Liverpool’s record against the top six under Klopp was played 19, won nine, drew nine, lost one. If The Reds’ defensive shape is so shit, how has that happened? By chance?
It was a game to forget, to wipe from the memory banks until the next time City or the Cheese Moss come to town. When they do, let them fucking have it. I’ll get in Jonny Moss’s head early doors when I dress up as a massive Babybel until he doesn’t know where he is. Let’s get into Sevilla early doors and vent our frustration.
Come on, Redmen. Let’s get into these.