Red Star and Beyond by Cozzy Cosgrove
Crisis is a word that gets thrown about in football a lot these days. “We’ve lost a couple of games, crisis mode at our club!” Let’s get real here, Liverpool are not in a crisis, but what they have used is there slip up card, and every top club plays it.
Unfortunately I do have to talk about last Tuesday.. Trust me if anyone has one of those Men in Black erase your memories kind of thing, send it my way!
Let’s get a couple of things straight, Liverpool were terrible against Red Star. One of the worst performances under Klopp and I think he would admit that, but we need some clarity on this. If Studge buries that chance early on, Liverpool win the game by three or four. He doesn’t and we get punished. That’s football folks. There is one thing that shouldn’t be happening again.. Joel Matip playing football for Liverpool. He was awful. He dragged Virgil ten yards deeper because out of his position, and you could tell that Virgil didn’t trust him. When Virgil doesn’t play his natural game, Liverpool will not win football matches.
Joel is a very good center back for any team in the bottom ten of the premier league. He would be a standout. What’s happened here is that the team has advanced so much in the last 2 years, Joel hasn’t come along with it. Like Adam Lallana and Divock Origi, they feel like yesterday’s men. At one time they all do a good job for Liverpool, before Origi got injured in the Merseyside Derby, he was brilliant. A loan move to Wolfsburg hasn’t helped. The best thing about Divock is that he’s still probably worth 20 million which is ludicrous. Back to the game, Liverpool were toothless, lacked imagination and genuinely had no ideas. Red Star we’re comfortable most of the game. That’s the biggest worry here. We didn’t bombard them with chance after chance, they just found it easy to deal with. That’s the most difficult pill to swallow. We weren’t banging down the door to get in, more like gently tapping and poking our head through the window. Liverpool have not played well for most of the season, they have stuttered and tripped over the line in most games, and that’s fine. We’re allowed to do that, most teams do it at least 10-12 games a season. We are in a bedding in period of new players. Fabinho Keita and Shaq are all new players who play in midfield. They will need time. Liverpool are trying to get new players up to speed while being undefeated in the league and have only conceded five all season. Think about that, our biggest rivals are basically fielding the same side as last season apart from Mahrez. They are going to be more fluent, vibrant than us. They have relationships been built for three seasons. Liverpool have lost arguably there most attacking midfielder in Ox and trying to get these players up to speed. We have a brand new goalkeeper as well. Let me write this again. We are UNDEFEATED in the league.
Losing football matches that you should win isn’t something new for big clubs. I remember results from past years when top clubs would lose to clubs who they expected to beat. Pep and his City lads were dreadful vs Lyon at home this season. They look tired, jaded and had no ideas. They lost the game, regrouped and went again. I remember one of the best United sides losing 5-0 to Newcastle, yet went on to win the league that year. Jose Mourinho’s 91 points Chelsea side of 2006 losing to Middlesbrough 3-0. These things happen, these bumps in the road happen. They just need to be just that, bumps. The lads had to go out and win the next game, and they did that on the weekend. Liverpool didn’t get out 2nd gear and turned in a comfortable win. Something nice before the international break and then it’s now all forgotten about.
It will never be as bad as the Red Star game. Liverpool had hit their low ebb. We hit it vs Spurs last year but look at the contrast to this year. Unbeaten in the league, still favorites to get out the group, Liverpool are in a good position. Best Fulham by a few, go into the international break on a bit of a high, come back and the business starts.
Isn’t it nice for Liverpool to be in a Christmas run in at the right side of the table? And who knows, if man city stop collecting the football equivalent of the infinity stones, then who knows, maybe without the click of Peps fingers, we might just be above them come May.