Neil Atkinson’s post-match review after Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Leicester City in the Premier League…
NOTHING but regret.
Of all the frustrating, spirit-crushing 10 minutes of football there has ever been, the 75th to 85th minutes of this game is up there.
I don’t know what to do with myself. All the options don’t just feel self-destructive but feel nihilistically self-destructive. I’d normally just end up in an absolute state. But with people.
I remember walking out of the King Power the night Jamie Vardy lobs Simon Mignolet livid. But with Paul Senior. Me and him storming out, furious. Me and him. Me and him there last season too. Me and him. Whoever your “and him/her” is has gone and it means there is nothing but regret.
I have regrets. I have so many regrets. One is that we didn’t all have more substantial meals, we didn’t eat out to help out more when the league had just been won. Another is that I didn’t end my “we just won the league” writing with a series of broadsides against Premier League referees just so now it wouldn’t be able to viewed as sour grapes. It isn’t sour grapes. These people are and have been shite.
I regret Anthony Taylor. Since I first saw Anthony Taylor referee I have wished he wouldn’t referee. He is dreadful today, dreadful in general. But, he, like the footballers, doesn’t pick himself.
Further, in a very small way that people like me occasionally slaughter the officials – and you know I work very hard not to if you have been in these parts long enough – is part of why we have ended up with the Video Assistant Referee process and it is hard from today to escape the notion that it doesn’t work. Not literally or, for want of a better phrase, spiritually. I regret its introduction.
I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Daniel Amartey hasn’t been given offside. And I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Sadio Mane wasn’t awarded a free kick for the shove in his back by Jonny Evans. I regret Liverpool didn’t go absolutely ballistic when it wasn’t, someone go through someone like nothing on earth.
There will be a lot written about Liverpool’s mentality after the equaliser, but Liverpool’s heads don’t go at 1-1. Liverpool’s heads go after 2-1, after Mane’s shoved, after the mix-up between Ozan Kabak and Alisson Becker. Their error isn’t because of mentality. It is because it is Kabak’s first game and he has never played in front of a keeper like Becker before.
Liverpool’s heads go after the second. And that’s OK with me, frankly. Because mine fucking went as well. It is a perfect storm, the line through the equaliser into the second. The referee. The VAR. The referee again. The mistake.
And then you regret not being able to walk out of the King Power with Paul again, not walking out with that ridiculous, fizzing rage, stomping the pavement back to a car or bus to sit in and fume because Leicester has only one road in and one road out.
There is one bit before the perfect storm which makes it even more perfect. It is this: Liverpool are good. Very good. For much of the game, this match is ours. Yes, Leicester are aggressive with their press. But for the most part we still get past them. Vardy and Maddison are good, but even Vardy’s living on the shoulder – for the most part, up to the 10 minutes of doom – is subdued by the captain’s ferocious role as stand-in centre back.
But the resurrection of this season isn’t happening here and it isn’t happening yet.
Had we mugged them to be 1-0 then fine. My biggest regret is that Liverpool’s res with Liverpool to 75 is that it isn’t two. My biggest regret with Liverpool in general isn’t that their heads went, it is that they didn’t give themselves the cushion to allow Taylor and the Video Assistant Referee process to be irrelevant. My most enormous regret is they didn’t build on the most beautiful goal imaginable and what kills is they tried to
They did a lot right in terms of space, attitude and shape, Liverpool. They really did.
Then they had two big bowls of hard lines and fell off a cliff and we’re at the bottom of that cliff with them and it is fucking freezing and you can’t go out.
I used to like going out when it was fucking freezing.
For instant reaction to all the Liverpool FC news and events that matter to you, subscribe to The Anfield Wrap…
It was a solid 75.It was a beautiful goal.
We are missing goals.
We are missing Mane’s goal contribution.
We are missing our midfield, because we are missing our defence.
We are missing game-changers on our bench.
We are missing “our team of the last 3 years”.
We are missing celebrating.
I am missing the enjoyment. The fun has gone. The anxiety has “resurfaced”.
I am missing Jurgen smiling out of joy.
I hope that all returns … before the end of this season.
I am “(Jurgen) Klopp in!”. He is the best.
Next game LFC. Next game.
Up the Reds!
Not getting to celebrate the title win after emptying every part of our being into achieving it has left everything flat and empty now.. a whats it all for atmosphere mixed with exhaustion and injuries. Very hard to play
….heavy metal football with no fans
What has happened to Thiago?
I was so excited when he arrived but he has been a massive letdown, one pace dead slow, one thought process dead slow, one way of tackling, foul.
Not worth his place in the team
Can readjust to the Premier League! I hope so but so far a long way from convincing anyone.
Despair. In recent weeks I’ve done something I normally never do, and that is send off angry emails, outlining the horror of VAR and the game-wrecking standard of refereeing to anyone who won’t listen, namely any Premier League account I can find. Like they’re going to care what some randomer in Ireland thinks, assuming the emails actually evade the spam folder.
But after today I actually binned the sky sports/bt subscription because it’s the nearest thing I can do to walking out of the ground or ripping up my season ticket in protest. What has made the pandemic easier to bear – football, and more specifically, the Reds being the best team in the world – is now doing my head in. My young lad was bawling when the second went in. It’s not the lads’ fault, it’s what we’re now faced with: football is gone, to be replaced by refball, like something from an eighties dystopian flick starring Arnie and the baddie from Robocop, except they have their lines out and every decision goes against us. It’s beyond shite. Maybe the champions league will offer some salvation or relief, or maybe just better reffing, but I’m done with this PL season, and any subsequent one if this is the type of corrupt nitpicking banality that’s going to be shoved in our faces every week. Fuck off VAR, fuck off vardy, shag off all you dreadful refs and var heads enjoying your moment while people at home go nuts at your inability to do anything right. Piss right off. I will love Liverpool FC to the day I die but you can stick your refball up your arse.
14 League games left, 42 points for grabs. Top4 is a long but achievable battle. And the CL is coming around. Gotta stay positive here. I know we will come back hungry as ever next season to win another League title.
It will be fascinating to see how Liverpool will try to play their way out of this current struggle.
Regret. If you think that’s an appropriate word now, just wait til the end of season. Regret at not adding a centre back last summer. Regret at not adding a centre back asap after the injuries to van dijk and gomez. Not leaving it til deadline day and spending next to nothing. And the real regret will be felt when we’re staring at no champion’s league football and the impact that has on transfers.
That writing sums it all up for me. The feeling of helplessness, and fury after their second.
My lack of fury of that kind of decision making that is VAR cause – I expect them to be infuriatingly wrong, unexplicable, laughable crap and am surprised if it´s not.
But it was how our lads simply let it slip away, and couldn´t find a way to block Leicester, keep their heads up, ignore their lead, because until then we simply were better than them.
I had to go woodchopping to channel my anger als no Paul Senior-like was around…
Before the match I had that silly wish, that they would win it also for Klopp, who lost his Mother this week and gosh, was he down in that interview, that was even more heartbreaking.
But. But. But. Comes Tuesday, they will start to win again. The best our lads can do is simply win, its “just” football so play it, and lift some of the pressure of Klopp and of all our shoulders.
Today the sun is shining, it´s bitter cold, but a new day, and I think all I can do from my home in front of the telly when Tuesday , when the derby come is to hope and stubbornly believe that they´ll turn it around. They are better than we think, they just need to believe.
Is right. If the ‘economic climate’ wasn’t right to buy a decent replacement why sell Lovren. Answer: to keep the wages down. Why get a rookie that’ll take a season to get used to prem and a non league player? Answer: to keep the wages down. Why loan out our only fit decent attacking back up? Answer: to keep the wages down. (The argument it’ll get him game time only works when there isn’t a squad fatigue crisis). All FSG business decisions not Jürgen football decisions. And as they say in the US it’s gonna bite then in the ass
If the prem keep VAR in it’s current form how many kids are going to games in future when celebrating a goal is done like Maddison did (celebrate, then have it disallowed for offside then have the offside call over ruled by VAR and celebrate it again) I’d say young kids will say poke it and if they do where are the future fans coming from. Simply put VAR is killing association football as I knew it ~ if I were 10 and my dad said do you want to go to the game I’d say no dad what’s the point …………………………..