We Are Liverpool editor, Neil Poole, reviews the last seven days for Liverpool FC.
In thinking exactly how to approach my review of the last week I have inadvertently come up with the definitive conclusion to one of Science’s great hypotheses. I’ve squeezed every last drop out of the bottles of Mr Sheen and Pledge; the empty containers are strewn on the floor around me. There remains an awful mess.
My dear Red friends. It is true. You can’t polish a turd.
There’s simply no way of putting a positive sheen on LFC at the moment.
The turgid week kicked off in real style last Tuesday night when news of Daniel Sturridge’s latest injury reared its ugly head and in doing so strained its neck quite badly. That added another six weeks lay off.
Hey a joke! See it’s not all bad. [Sigh]
The following summary was given by Brendan Rodgers:
“Whether Daniel needs to see a specialist is something that the medical team are looking into. I think that’s his ninth injury on that thigh from previous clubs and here so there is an issue there somewhere. The scan shows a slight tear just below where he had a previous injury.”
I won’t play the role of the smart-arse little upstart pointing out that the Emperor is in fact wearing no clothes here. However, I will gladly play the role of the smart-arse little upstart pointing out that waiting for an injury to occur for the ninth time before considering seeing a specialist is a little late in the day.
It all smacks of the 35 stone fella on reality TV saying that the penny has dropped and he needs to do something about his weight. You didn’t think anything was wrong when you were 30 stone?
Similarly, did our medical team not think Sturridge’s spontaneously combustible thigh warranted seeing a specialist when his thigh tore for the eighth, seventh or even only the sixth time?
Who is the en-vogue specialist these days anyway? Back in the late 90s and early noughties there would be no problem. We’d have Sturridge packed off on a plane with Michael Owen to go and see Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt. Remember him?
Whether you were Ronaldo (version 1), Steven Gerrard or Jonathan Woodgate he was the go-to man. Battered hamstrings, blocked sinks, noisy boiler – you name it, he’d fix it with a madcap, miracle remedy. Years before Serbian doctor, Marijana Kovacevic, started slapping Frank Lampard and Diego Costa with horse placenta, Hans was injecting people with goat’s blood and juice from the crest of a cockerel. Sturridge may now be playing with a terrified frog and a scared looking squirrel taped to his thigh but at least he’d be playing.
Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 1
On Sunday, watching the now annual three goal capitulation to Crystal Palace on the back of a home defeat to Chelsea, it was clear to me we need to call up doctor Hans now. Someone needs to force feed everyone concerned baskets and baskets of bulls’ gonads. The lack of mental strength, fight and character is what worries me most.
Last year, much praise was given to the impact of Doctor Stephen Peters and his contribution to our title challenge. No animal bodily fluids needed for Dr Peters, no. It was all abstract animal metaphors. The exploitation of Chimp Paradoxes were the back bone of our confident free flowing play. Does the witchcraft only work for one season?
Our players are currently playing like men who lock themselves into the bathroom and sit rocking, naked in the corner, while their kids ask mummy what’s wrong with daddy. “Daddy’s not himself at the moment love. His chimp has just escaped and battered him with a print-out of the league table.”
We’re twelfth by the way. Just in case you didn’t know.
You’ll unlikely see the quote in the papers because it hardly headline grabbing, but in a few short words describing the players on the pitch, Jamie Carragher summed up the current endemic problem at Liverpool FC.
“They’re just letting things go on!”
Whether on or off the pitch, Liverpool are sleep walking at the moment. They continue to do all the things they’ve been doing wrong for that last few years.
We continue to fail to organise the back four, protect the back four or teach the back four how to defend. We continue to seemingly be unable to buy the right players for the back four or even if we do, are unable to find the right blend . We stand off and and let the opposition shoot at will. Off the pitch we continue to follow a season in which we come second by not only failing to capitalise but by falling off a cliff.
Take your own Pick ‘n’ Mix of the above for which contributed to the goals conceded against Palace. Add your own. My list is worryingly far from exhaustive. But whatever the combination, just like buying sweets at your local cinema, it still ends up being costly and difficult to stomach.
Currently, we are informed no specialist defensive coach is needed. We’ve lost six games. That’s half of as many as we’ve played. Lose one more and it actually becomes statistically impossible to look at the glass as half full – no matter how pissed you are.
Like Sturridge’s thigh injuries, do we have to wait until we’ve lost nine before we act? Are we going to let these things just go on?
As unlikely as it currently appears, Liverpool can still turn this season around. Teams do it all of the time. Specialist advice is needed from somewhere. It may be Brendan can find this somewhere within himself. It may be that he has to seek help from somewhere else. That’s for him and his staff to work out. Not me, not you.
But if I was to give a modicum of non-specialist, clear-as-day advice it’s this: It needs to happen now. Not once things get even worse.
Let’s start by finding those baskets of balls before we face Ludogorets.