liverpool

The Vicissitudes of Football

I haven’t done any post-match blogging recently, and it’s really down to the up-and-down nature of the 2015/16 season for Liverpool.

Rodgers had presided over a pretty mediocre run of form at the start of the season, and the appointment of Klopp was a huge morale booster. But even he can’t wave a magic wand and turn the terribly inconsistent, unbalanced and hodgepodge squad assembled (expensively!) under Rodgers into a title contender within a few months.

So I’ve had to live with good football interspersed between mediocre and downright terrible football. Most of the time, I end up watching the terrible matches, and it just sucks the life out of me. Worse, I expect such performances under Rodgers so I couldn’t be disappointed. But with Klopp and after his masterminding of massive wins over City, Chelsea and Southampton, there’s always the belief that Liverpool are on the up-and-up, and we can actually win football matches. To then watch us lose because of lethargic play, brainless defending or just plain bad football…it really needles.

I’m not a hardcore fan, but I like to believe I’m not a fair-weathered fan either. It’s just difficult to stomach the crushing disappointment in defeat that I can’t muster up the energy to review and write about matches.

Sometimes, I wish I never fell in love with football. I can only hope that with time, Klopp can bring better days back to the football club I support. Maybe then, I’ll find myself blogging incessantly about the next big win.

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Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur 17/10/14

WHEW!

First match under Klopp’s reign. I thought about blogging on Rodgers’ sacking and the excitement at finding out we managed to hire friggin’ Jurgen Klopp, but I basically orgasmed all over Twitter already, so it was rather pointless.

But Kloppo’s arrival meant that I quickly rediscovered my love for football, and the match showed some positive signs.

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Liverpool vs. Arsenal 04/04/15

And that was that.

We never had a great record away to Arsenal, and given our recent stumbles and their recent form, I was incredibly nervous going into the match sans Skrtel. When the team sheet came out, I figured Markovic was wing-back again, with Henderson, Allen and Lucas to shore up the midfield.

Instead, Henderson was shoved to the wings, likely to defend against Sanchez. It didn’t work. We had to endure 10 agonising minutes of Arsenal passing domination, and Mignolet saved us 2 times with world-class saves. Then we finally got into the game, even dominating. Then, disaster struck.

3 goals in 8 minutes.

Moreno switched off for the 1st. Toure bumbled throughout the game, gifting the 3rd. Mignolet failed to deal with Ozil’s free kick on his side, conceding the 2nd. It was a shambles. After that, we seemed to lose all energy, only half-heartedly pressing. Throwing on Sturridge at half-time for Markovic made sense on paper, but Markovic played better than Sterling in my opinion, and Sturridge has a tendency to slow down our play these days.

We pulled back a goal via a penalty, but Bellerin should have been sent off and wasn’t. Then Can was sent off, a smack to the face. Giroud scored a 4th. Thrashed by Arsenal, as if it was revenge for the 5-1 last season. Top 4 seems so distant now.

No one really came out of the match blameless, except perhaps Sakho. Lucas was rusty, but was okay in the 2nd half, which begs the question: why play him and Toure? I understand the rationale, but surely it can’t be difficult to switch to a 4-3-3? Since Swansea, every team that’s played us has sussed out our 3-4-3. Yet Rodgers hasn’t done anything, allowing us to get dominated in midfield and on the wings.

Hopefully it serves as a wake-up call for Rodgers and the team. It’s tough being a football fan.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United 22/03/15

So we lost.

So I could blame many things. Our awful start. Rodgers outwitted by van Gaal. Lallana’s glaring miss. Moreno’s poor positioning. Gerrard’s STUPID stamp.

But in the end, this is a game that stood out as a stark reminder that we’re still recovering. Always recovering. Always falling short. And we should damn well have done better in the first half like we did in the second…of the season. We won’t get 4th because we don’t deserve it, because of our patchy results up until December.

The only bright spot in the match was Sakho, who was imperious and impeccable once more. He made a mockery of Rooney and Falcao (who makes a mockery of himself to be fair…), and if Fellaini had been his opponent, I’m sure he would have dealt with Elbow-man with consummate ease as well. I only hope we can keep him fit, and keep him at Liverpool.

I feel like Rodgers has made progress with the team since he’s stepped in, but it’s a slow, long and arduous journey that I wished and felt could have gone so much better. But we are where we are, and we can only try and move forward as much as possible.

Liverpool vs. West Ham 31/01/15

It wasn’t pleasant to lost to Chelsea in the League Cup semi-final, but we apparently made a good fight of it. That gave me confidence coming into this match, especially with Sturridge back in the squad and Sakho fit enough to start. Gerrard, Lovren and Balotelli all didn’t make the team, which is understandable…somewhat. I would have preferred Lovren instead of Johnson just in case Sakho can’t last the full match, but the latter is more versatile. Gerrard is always a good option, but it is time for the future. And Balotelli…well, I really want Rodgers to stop throwing him under the bus, and just learn to utilise his talents better. He’s got boatloads of skill, so make use of it.

But West Ham are known for their long-ball tactics and set-piece ability, which is always a worry…

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