Josh Sexton’s post-match review for The Anfield Wrap after Wolves 3 Liverpool 0 in the Premier League at Molineux…
Feeling defeated isn’t an emotion that you simply feel after every single defeat. Some defeats you can take positives from, especially if there still feels like there is something to be optimistic about in the future.
I’ll admit I did once feel optimistic about this season. I had natural reservations because Liverpool had failed to strengthen in the summer transfer market, and I had an underlying concern about the impact coming so close last season would have, though the parade — I felt — had gone some way towards healing those wounds.
However, I cannot say for a second that I foresaw just how low things would feel on days like today.
Because today I feel defeated. I’m struggling to take positives and there isn’t much I feel like I can be optimistic about in the near future — and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that way. Tomorrow might be a different story. By then I might have experienced another wave of rationality and used that to build back some optimism.
Just not today, sorry.
Today my overriding rational thought is that we might honestly be better served finishing outside the qualification spots for the Europa and Conference Leagues, so that we can use a lighter load next season as a chance to get our legs back under us.
The manager has tried his level best to provide the platform to get our legs back under us. When it felt as though he was too wedded to his usual 4-3-3, he changed it. When that proved fruitless, he changed back. Both moves saw marginal, yet ultimately unsustained success.
Since then he has tried to simplify the tactics and the message further, at least on the face of it. He’s tried to find and express reasons for optimism within games where the result hasn’t provided a natural platform for positivity. He even followed up our worst result of the season by playing a much-changed side in the cup, which got us a now-rare win.
Today, though, may just be our new worst result of the season, and it’s hard to see how many more changes we can make before we end up just playing the kids in the Merseyside derby — which, even with the evidence of one particularly enjoyable FA Cup tie, feels a bridge too far right now.
So what does the manager do from here, having tried his best to simplify things for his team?
At half time today, I felt as though we were missing that bit of fight. He’d gone with the team that, for the most part, had overseen incremental tactical improvements, but they lacked any real fight. So it felt like the next move was to bring back in the lads who would put up some fight.
Perhaps that is still the next step. After all, it is the one thing that Sean Dyche will be coaching into his team before they visit Anfield next week. They certainly showed some earlier today.
But I’m done thinking about today for now. I’m done feeling defeated and trying to figure out how to bounce back from the lowest ebbs.
I just want something to cling onto, Liverpool. You’ve given us so, so much these past few years. Now I’m just asking for the bare minimum. Fight.
See yous next Monday, then. I sincerely fucking hope you bring it.
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Oh, and how did Wolves play?
That wasn’t a match review
WARNING: major rant below…
Shit-show from all concerned: from the owners not backing the manager in the transfer market (but let’s be honest, we don’t 100% know that’s the case, as JK has previous about not wanting anything if he can’t get the shiny new edition of the PS5 that none of his mates have; which brings me on to…), JK being a stubborn shitehawk – using the “we have 7 MF players, we have enough” despite the fact that 3-4 of the 7 were/are total sicknotes, while the others aren’t good enough, just makes him look really stupid now. How many of us have been pleading for quality buys for MF? We had the money for Tchouaméni last summer but because he chose RM (is he clairvoyant?) Jurgen sticks his head in the sand and we don’t go for anyone – oh apart from another sick note! So the question is, if we knew the MF needed a Tchouaméni, why the fuck didn’t we have an alternative lined-up?? As for the other players we have for MF, anyone thinking Harvey, Curtis Jones (£25m from Bournemouth written all over him!), or even Bajčetić is central to our re-emergence as one of the top two or three sides in the world is delusional. And what about the players we have signed? There’s £85m striker who can’t be relied upon to hit the target more than 3 times out of 10 opportunities (and the 3 that do are usually straight at the keeper or a defender wondering back to the goal line) and Gakpo, who no-one apart from JK seems to have a fucking idea what he is. And of course our £350-400k a week megastar who’s been dirt for year (by his own standards). Where do we go from here? I haven’t a fecking clue, but then again I’m not getting paid £12-15m a year to figure it out…
Perhaps read a wolves forum to find out ?