Not good enough. Simple as that. Take time out, calm down, write this when you’re calm. No. Not good enough, say it now, get it done.
Time to strip away the self-delusion. We’re not going to win the league. We’re clearly not going to win the league. I knew this weeks ago. You knew this weeks ago, some of you told me it in no uncertain terms. I simply refused to admit it. Refused to acknowledge the concept. I’ll admit it now. I’ll acknowledge it now. Liverpool are not going to win the league. At the moment, Liverpool look unlikely to finish in the top four.
There is a terminal malaise gripping Liverpool at the moment and I honestly have no idea what it is. That’s okay, nobody’s paying me to know what it is. The problem is that the people that are being paid to know what it is seem to have no idea what it is either. And in this not knowing they clearly have no solution to it either.
Liverpool are devoid at the moment. Just devoid. We don’t even need to say what they’re devoid of. Liverpool have now got to the point that if you can name something, some quality, some positive that you would look for in a football team, then Liverpool are devoid of it.
Shape, pattern, pace, desire, creativity, determination, heart, strength, character, vision, movement. All these things, all theses basics, all these prerequisites, all are missing.
I don’t know what formation we played against Newcastle. Some days I don’t know this and it’s a good thing, a thing caused by the fact that we’ve been so fluid, so fluent, so flowing. Today I didn’t know this because we had nothing.
I’m not going to blame Mario. I’m not going to blame him for being played in a lone striker role that doesn’t suit him. I’ll complain about his body language, I’ll complain about his lack of tactical awareness, his errant movement but I won’t blame him for them; I’m sure he’s every inch as frustrated with his teammates as they are with him and, in fairness, he was no worse than anybody else on the pitch. Our defence remains a terrifying concept. Loren isn’t the leader that we thought he’d be, Moreno veers from utter genius to ‘another stupid mistake in the six yard box??’ with ease, Johnson plays like a man who’s deciding who he should talk to in January.
Sterling’s stuck on a flank being wasted, being ineffective because we have nobody that we trust to sit alongside Mario so that we can have Sterling affecting the game as he did last season. Allen had another frustrating day, Henderson his worst game in quite a while, Coutinho moved back to ‘well, his last game was good so he can have today off.’
And I don’t know why these things have happened. I can’t blame the fact that Hodgson broke Sturridge again, we’ve done that one and we’ve moved onto our own injuries now. I won’t blame Suarez, I can’t believe, I genuinely CAN”T believe that this is as simple as losing one genius, can’t believe that we can’t reconstruct with the squad that we bought so that we can accommodate that loss. I refuse to believe that we’ve ‘done a Spurs’. Give me a fortnight on that one. I don’t know why these things have happened. Maybe it IS the heartbreak of just missing bout last year, coupled with the despair of half our team having to endure England’s summer. I don’t know. BUT. I’m not paid to know.
I know this: I had a Twitter conversation yesterday about Steven Gerrard on the back of *that* interview. I stated quite happily that it would be absurd for Liverpool to let our captain walk away at the end of the season. ‘Why?’ was the one word reply that I received. Why? Because of today, because of the fact that the 34 year old who doesn’t know if he’ll still be at the club that he’s given his entire life to was, once again, the only player that seemed arsed about this falling apart. And, yes, this ‘arsed’ mainly consisted of long diagonal passes from deep but ‘long diagonal passes from deep’ was all our game seemed to consist of all afternoon.
In an utter dog of a game, we had less than Newcastle (and that’s a horrible sentence in itself) and so they won. Courtesy of a Moreno mistake they won. Courtesy of the fact that we weren’t good enough, that we were absolutely appalling, that our performance was unacceptable on every conceivable level, Newcastle won.
But - and I’ve already said this - I’m not paid to know what’s gone wrong, I’m not paid to sort it out. I’m not paid - what? 100k? More? - a week to sort it out. Brendan is. Time to sort it Brendan. It’s gone on too long now, it can’t be considered a blip when we’re in November and we’re still not good enough.