It will be different this time, I promise...
My mantra this season has been ‘things are different’. I can take the downs because there are clear changes in approach, and that is I wanted. It’s not the lack of silverware which has annoyed me over the past 8 years, it is failure to learn from failure, correct and improve clear problems. And I thought we had changed.
It is in that context that I approach my thoughts on the Liverpool game. Is this a blip that can be viewed still in the context of a much improved season, or does it represent a new piece of evidence – like a blood stained hankie bought to court on the last day of a murder trial - that things are not as good as we thought….?
As my doom deepened I formulated a new morbid theory: it’s not that we are a flat track bully who have failed to turn up for big games. We are in fact always flawed but we get away with it against smaller teams. In this internet age where we indulge our masochism after a game like this it is easy to believe that we are just sh*t despite being above Man City.
The fact is this was too familiar. But there is no doubt that we are equipped to go on and not collapse. This season has shown a willingness to change and respond, and even with these failings we are reet close to the bloody top. And we do have more leaders than previously.
Why no Tommy?
In big games – especially away games with Ramsay out I would have had TR7 as a starter every time as he adds physicality and presence in the middle. I thought it odd he was left out and I suspect AW thought it would be easier than it was.
Why I thought of George Graham
It’s always difficult to lose to a team who have what you don’t. In the latter Georgie days we lost to a few lower teams like Oldham or Millwall who actually …… passed the ball on the ground (what? Are you crazy?). In a similar way it was also disheartening to see us flounder against such direct yet precise play from Liverpool as the ball pinged precisely from deep in their half to attack – a sort of anti tiki taka which rubbed salt into our overpassed wounds. Mind you, even in that drubbing I can recognise that Couthinho pass for their fourth as a thing of footballing beauty….