Sunday, 20 December 2015

TERRACE TALK: Liverpool - Arrogance Galore But Short On Backbone

It is undeniable that Karma’s been busy lately. The Spesh hit the skids again and was no sooner spat out the revolving door than his players suddenly decided to show up. Et tu, Terry?

LVG’s awful football is sending him packing while United clamour for Jose, who wrote the book on doing whatever it takes to win. The Mancs don’t stay very ‘cavalier’ for very long, do they?

When Liverpool fans then resort to gloating about West Brom, maybe a line’s been crossed. Pulis may be an archaic character and James McClean a bit of an attention whore, but Klopp wasn’t on solid ground.

I liked the way he just apologised and got it off his back, straight and no nonsense. Digging in and swapping insults with the likes of Pulis gets you naught but grief. We’ve got bigger things to worry about now.

All these managerial giants falling around him should give Klopp food for thought. You’re in England, chum. All that fluffy continental team-building, growth, and patience rot can be forgotten.

You act the rock star all you want but a few defeats and the worms not only turn but come at you with machetes.

We always do this whenever the manager changes, though: “time for transition, no use getting impatient, the long haul” etc. How much is bravado, what we’re meant to say, and how much is heartfelt? And what’s the alternative anyway?

If Liverpool plummet down this table a la Chelsea not even Klopp’s eccentricity will help. If anything it’ll make things worse.

All the teams above us are chucking away points but that’s fast changing from a golden opportunity into a temporary lifebelt keeping us afloat. Results are so strange I’m starting to get suspicious. The brand for The Greatest League in the World PLC wasn’t ever based on quality.

That’s all in Spain.

Have you seen that goofy lad at Barcelona? What must it be like watching him every week? Sigh…

No, what England expects is the unexpected and this season — along with the vast TV wealth — they’ve ramped it up to eleven. So off we trod to Watford and though they’re above us in the table it’s all about giant-killing again. The official site said Milner was injured “but there is good news about Lovren”.

“Yeah, he’s injured too,” said one of the fictitious wags in my head. Milner missing meant one less backbone, a body part Liverpool are in short supply of right now.

Where does all this arrogance come from? What have these people ever achieved? It must’ve been something wonderful to think they’ll just turn up, collect the points, wave tara to the teeming hordes salivating at the merest gander at your magnificence.

Ighalo’s been scoring like that every week but Skrtel thought he could just amble towards the ball half speed. Bogdan got his chance and the less said of it the better.

All over the park each player was afflicted with Lallanavision, where you can’t see anything within 20 yards of you. “Tralalalala” (skips lightly) “ooooo I’ve got plenty of time here to do just what I pleas-SH*T! Where did he come from?!”

Now okay, you can be blindsided by Watford’s work-rate (though God knows how that’s even possible for so-called professionals) for the first ten minutes, twenty if you’re charitable — but this was happening with the second half slowly ebbing away and the match long since lost.

What Klopp faces here is the same task Houllier had in 1999. A mass clear-out of lazy, arrogant, overpaid wimps who think ‘work’ is the worst sort of swearword. He hasn’t got the benefit of a Carragher, Owen, or Gerrard coming through either. Klopp’s eye for a bargain is all that’ll separate Liverpool from the wilderness. Not the faux semi-wilderness of the last quarter century, either. The one your grandfather blathers on about, the one it took a giant like Shankly to end. Time for brace positions.

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