WELL that wasn’t a barrel of laughs. Very, very far from it.
When Jürgen Klopp arrived at Anfield he said that, when coming up against stronger opponents, his aim would be to drag them down to our level and kill them.
Today Marco Silva can reflect on managing half of that for Everton but the other half was very much lacking. Morgan Schneiderlin excellent and limited. He embodied the idea that the effort and focus of the first part makes the second part so difficult.
Klopp can reflect on being dragged down and whether or not his side did enough to pull away from opponents who were spending much of the encounter simply trying to manage time, get through parts of the game before growing a tiny bit in confidence or opportunity. That Virgil van Dijk is comfortably the best player on the pitch suggests there was the need for him to be.
His performance was great, he read the game wonderfully, covered for his teammates from a mile away and even turned on the afterburners at times; he should walk away with both an assist and a clean sheet.
Liverpool don’t play at all well but should score. It’s good covering play from Michael Keane and Lucas Digne on two occasions and a smart save from England’s number one on the other. We know England’s number one is England’s number one by virtue of the fact that a graphic comes up on Everton’s screen when he makes a save.
How were we not prepared for this? How had intelligence not escaped that this was happening at Goodison Park? You could describe me as agog.
The biggest issue with the second half is that Liverpool’s performance has a halflife. Every five minutes it deteriorated by 50 per cent. Every sub made us worse.
James Milner, fabulous footballer, great professional, threw in a 10-minute spell which is among the worst I have ever seen. Roberto Firmino seemed to be surprised there was a game on. It would have been funny had the game not been so serious.
In fact, it was funny. As soon as we lose the ability to laugh at the enterprise we lose its essence. James Milner will score a big goal for Liverpool between now and the end of May. Roberto Firmino will dazzle us.
Sometimes the reminder there isn’t always a million miles between them on television and you on your worst Sunday happens at the most serious time. They are our boys regardless and I hope they can laugh at themselves.
They may struggle, at least for a while. The talismanic forward fails to open the scoring, Sadio Mane fails to dazzle, Jordan Henderson fails to set a tempo, Joel Matip loves sauntering forward before giving it away cheaply. The keeper did well. They may struggle because of what it all means. But it should be a barrel of laughs.
It meant a lot for Liverpool to get three points. It meant an awful lot for Everton to play a part in stopping us. The roar that greeted the final whistle from the Old Lady was the second time I was left agog. It was visceral.
We will see if Everton will stop us. We can win all nine remaining but we cannot be dragged down again, we cannot be frustrated again, we cannot deny ourselves. Liverpool haven’t conceded in five but they haven’t scored enough. It is deflating.
But nor should we be defeated. Deflated yes, but 70 points are on the board and Liverpool still have their platform. Bottle the Goodison roar. Remember it.
Twenty-nine gone. Nine hurdles left. I can’t wait to run them, I can’t encourage Liverpool enough to run them.
Run them as hard as you can, Reds. Don’t let anyone else drag you down.
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Correction “England’s Number 1” isn’t so much a “graphic” as a words on a scoreboard that was considered state of the art in 1987.
Still a quarter of the season to play.
…..quarter of the season draws to a close.
I am certain Woodison was consider state of the art back in 1920 as well.
9 left to go and we are positioned nicely to give it loads. :)
Clearly there’s been a bust up with Shaq. How on Earth is Adam Lallana getting on ahead of him?
Lallana is a lovely lad but his time with us is over. Shaq is Klopp’s signing. The man’s won us a match against Man Utd on his own. He loves playing against dross like this.
And he chucks Lallana on?
Rafa used to let his personal beefs sometimes dictate his selections / subs and it cost us. I sincerely hope that isn’t the case with Klopp.
Anyway, not a terrible performance, not a great one. The worry is that hammering Burnley is a lot less straightforward nowadays (unless you’re Palace).
A lot of reds fans with short memories, Lallana was pretty much our best player in 2016-17, but then injuries struck and he’s barely been seen on the pitch since.
I don’t know about any falling out with Shaq but I do think Klopp trusts Lallana to be more disciplined. It’s noticeable how often Klopp berates Shaq for not doing the work off the ball. Lallana does this. And I’m talking tactically here, not just tracking back.
If there has been a falling out with Shaq, I back Klopp 100%, just as I did with the Sakho situation.
Whilst I agree with most of your statement, I struggle with the bit regarding Lallana. I think he’s been a woeful signing for us, especially considering what we spent on him. If Adam was, as you put it, our best player in 16/17, then my word, how crap where the rest???
An upbeat report and a hopeful view. However, the midfield is our weakness: not settled, usually lacking in ingenuity and forward thinking. Henderson, Wjnaldum and Milner in any combination should not be almost first picks and to throw on Lallana was mystifying. Klopp knew that the midfield needed an upgrade and in Fabinho he got it, shame he’s preferring the old guard to Naby and Shaqiri. I hope he has the courage to go all in and trust talent over sweat as we go for it.
Trust has to be earned at times. It also about managing games. We could easily have lost the game on Sunday. We didn’t and we feel aggrieved. We should now be up for the next game and in Keita and Shaq he should have 2 players wishing to prove a point.
As for the rest (apart from Lallana), they have got us to this position. Only 1 point in it between us and City and just 9 left. We’ve been beaten only once in the League and that was by City who were greatly helped out by poor officiating by a Manc referee.
Great write up Neil. I admire the positivity on TAW even if I don’t share the same optimism all the time. This is a fair summary and makes fair comment on our performance today. Also reminding us that this is a title race we’re in and as much as it would be nice to be leading it, being behind doesn’t put you out of it. The “burden” of heading the table, having something to lose, has gone today and hopefully in mid-April it will return. Our boys haven’t risen to the challenge of holding off the chasing pack but that doesn’t mean we can’t rise to the challenge of clawing that one point deficit back. Let’s go and do it boys
An immensely frustrating game. We didn’t really play well, we were occasionally shambolic in the final third, and yet we should have won, even though things deteriorated right up to the whistle. It’s all a bit stop-start. We need momentum, and quickly, and maybe Ox or someone to come in with some X factor. I think we might have to win all nine. I think we can and I think if we do we’ll finish top and we will fucking deserve it. But we’ve got to start.
I don’t agree, we didn’t deserve to win, we were awful. Everton were the better side in the second half, Klopp’s subs were mindboggling.
Hopefully Ox will be back soon. Likewise, all seem to think this Brewster kid is very talented. He’s also on the comeback trail and he’s in the 1st team squad. He could be the difference in such games, as opposed to a ‘not interested’ Sturridge, or Lallana who tries hard but offers little.
“We can win all nine remaining but we cannot be dragged down again, we cannot be frustrated again, we cannot deny ourselves.” After today, it feels like this should read “must win all nine”. A frustrating match, what poor play in the final half hour and final third generally. What a gut punch.
Nowhere near enough made of the substitutions. Nowhere near enough criticism of the manager. An absence of mentioning Lallana, and the manager’s continued faith in Lallana, is weird. As weird as the manager’s continued faith in Lallana.
I struggle to see what Lallana offers, other than appearing in men’s products adverts.
Winning 9 from 9.. can’t remember what it feels like to win 3 from 3
Good point. It is getting that way.
Thanks Neil. After watching that performance today I think I and many of us need your bit of perspective, even if we don’t feel the same way.
So on that note the Positives for me (even though I am not happy):
– We got a (valuable) point
– Clean sheet which I admire Alisson, and the defense for maintaining their composure
– 1 point behind City is better than 2 points or more
– Some players are returning from injury
– Jurgen Klopp banging on about Playstation, weather, and how the boys are ready each game now. Made me laugh but also made me think there’s something more to be had in the next 9 PL and CL games.
– Everton finally green-lighting their 94 minute Netflix documentary on how they famously drew against Liverpool in their title run up. The 1 minute is for their graphics board showing who their keeper is and the 0-0 open top bus ride celebrations.
Till next weekend, up the Up-and-Down-Reds!
Funnier still is how long it’s been since they beaten us. so if their only ambitions is to celebrate a draw, then they truly are sad.
Just do not understand the Lallana sub. Mindboggling
YOu probably also didnt understand the Origi sub in December against them lot.
Nah, Origi we all get. Not sure anyone gets Lallana, as proven by him coming on and offering nothing again.
“We will see if Everton will stop us.” No, they won’t. The performances against the Ev, United, Leicester and West Ham are may what stop us from winning the league. Not one match. Since the turn of the year, even with the defeat by City, those four above games are where we’ve fallen down.
However…………some perspective please. At the start of the season, did anyone really think we’d be this close to the title? We all thought we’d give it a good go and be a bit closer than last, but lets be honest here. City won the league with 100 points last season. We were 25 behind. I think we all would have been content with being ‘there or thereabouts’ this season, but certainly being much, much closer than 25 points.
Pretty much everyone expected City to win the league this season, comfortably, given how they obliterated everyone last season. They’re on course for 98 points IF they win all of their games.
We have progressed massively since last season. Probably more than we all though would have been possible. So, even if we don’t win the league this season – and I will be as gutted as the next person if we don’t – it’s been miles better than we thought. Our squad isn’t as good as City’s, yet we’ve pushed them this hard after 29. Imagine how good we could be next season if we can get another 4 or 5 quality players in? I think most of us would’ve said at the start of the season that we need a stronger quality squad to really compete.
Let’s just get behind the boys, roar them to (hopefully) victory for the next 9 games and, if it’s enough, then great.
Mate, another four or five quality players? We have rarely ever brought 4 or 5 quality players in, and in today’s market, donyou have an extra half-bil plus laying around. Titles runs aren’t linear, we aren’t guaranteed another one next year or in two years, or three years; you have to grab them when they come, it’s what champions do. I hope we do, and believe we still can, but this post is delusuonal.
It’s only an opinion mate. Delusional is a bit harsh…..overly optimistic maybe ;-)
We probably wouldn’t need to win all 9, as the odds are stacked against City doing the same. I don’t know why people assume teams like Burnley or Newcastle aren’t capable of doing what Everton did yesterday, though.
We might well be better than every remaining opponent, Spurs and Chelsea included, but right now I think we are taking a huge risk by taking insufficient risks. We’re trying to reduce many games to 30-minute games, putting huge pressure on the shoulders of a front 3 who aren’t getting runners from midfield in support.
Runers from midfield?? What does that even mean? Makes me think of Klopp’s playstation comment. You do realize Salah had 2 glorious chances in front of their goalie. No runners needed in those situations.
Yes, I realise that. Of course you’re right, he’s got to take at least one if not both of those. Nor am I saying that ‘If X plays, we definitely win’. What I meant was that if the fullbacks can’t get involved, and there isn’t much attacking output coming from midfield (in whatever form) fewer chances are created and there is a lot more pressure on those that you do get.
You’re probably right, but thing is on a knife’s edge and City smell blood in the water. Do we need to win 9 from 9, maybe not, but let’s win 9 from 9 and not worry about it, eh?
“It’s a point. Let’s carry on.” Today’s the day after. We are where we are. One point behind the leaders with a quarter of the season left. Twenty seven points left to play for.
I said last week that we needed 6 from 6. We didn’t get them (and City did). But we are where we are. If you don’t remember 1986, what about 2012? With 7 games left ManU are 6 points ahead of City and we know who won it.
So whether you think City are going to win it, or you believe we will, it’s still all to play for. It’s not what’s just happened that matters, it’s what happens next. We are where we are because we’ve been exceptional. And where we are is in with a great chance of winning the Premier league title.
The last twenty was frantic and we could have lost. That would have been gutting to take. I would like to have seen Naby come on. I am pleased we kept our bottle and got a point. They all count.
Hi Neil, Can you have a word with your namesake (Martin Atkinson) as this gobshite never gives anything to us. In fact he goes out of his way never to award us anything.
I wonder when Everton will release the DVD of Sunday’s game? You have to laugh at the Bitters and how sad they have become. They were already a joke, now they are just a sad joke. :)
As i have always said, once a blue, always a Manc.