KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

“Overblown” incident & project complete – Last word on West Ham 2-2 Liverpool

Liverpool produced another meek showing in their 2-2 draw away to West Ham, with Jurgen Klopp and Mohamed Salah‘s spat a big talking point.

The Reds went behind yet again in the Premier League clash, and while it looked as though they had produced a strong comeback, Michail Antonio’s equaliser robbed them of victory.

It was a flat showing from Klopp’s side and another nail in the coffin of their title hopes, even if most had given up the chase beforehand anyway.

Here, TIA’s Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) and The Redmen TV’s Dan Clubbe (@dan_clubbe) discuss another forgettable game, Salah and Klopp’s argument plus more.

 

How did you feel before the game?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 27, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk reacts after West Ham United score the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

DAN: Bizarrely, still quite excited. Perhaps therein lies the major thing Klopp has given us during his time at the club – hope.

No matter the unlikelihood of any situation, I seemingly now have an inbuilt belief that we can overcome almost anything, albeit still often misplaced at times.

‘Doubters to believers’ project complete…

HENRY: I was very different to Dan, in truth.

A real apathy set in before kickoff, with the title gone and another flat, insipid performance expected by Liverpool.

I didn’t expect anything from the game, both in terms of entertainment and a good result, and sadly, I was correct on both counts.

The manner in which the season has petered out has genuinely shocked me, but I’m not angry – just tired and disappointed.

 

And how did you rate Liverpool’s performance?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 27, 2024: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo celebrates after scoring hi side's second goal during the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

DAN: For large parts, it felt as though we were going through the motions a little, and I hate saying that about any Liverpool side.

Klopp spoke in the build-up about not waving the white flag, but I wasn’t convinced for much of the first half as another 45 minutes of flat and pedestrian football went by without much in the way of tempo or our fabled intensity.

Thankfully, we sparked somewhat into life in the second, but the two goals conceded were yet more examples of our frailties at the back, particularly from set pieces.

There is almost a lack of personal pride in defending or keeping a clean sheet at the moment.

Diaz once again carried the fight and Gravenberch enjoyed another positive display – outside of those…

HENRY: I thought the first half was an appalling spectacle.

I was on the TIA live blog and there was a moment where I realised I’d zoned out for about four minutes because literally nothing had happened!

It wasn’t meant to be like this.

As Dan says, there were definite improvements after the break, and I agree that Diaz and Gravenberch are two of the few worthy of praise.

There were again far too many off the pace, though.

 

What’s your take on the Klopp and Salah situation?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 27, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah walks off at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

DAN: To be honest, the whole thing is a little indicative of the current situation.

We all dreamed of a fairytale send-off for Jurgen, a deserved one at that, but as matters on the pitch have unravelled, it feels as though the mood music away from it has followed suit.

To see an incident like that actually didn’t surprise me as much as maybe it should.

Whether it be simply the fact Salah didn’t start, or felt he was introduced too late, I just hope they can nip it in the bud quickly as both he and Klopp have been pivotal to this era and each other.

They do, therefore, warrant a similar level of respect, as one of or both of their times come to an end at Anfield.

HENRY: I think it’s all been overblown, which sums up the modern game.

I wasn’t impressed with Salah antics, especially his “fire” comment to the press after the game, but at least it shows he cares.

A lot of people underrate the size of Mo’s ego – it is massive in a good way – and he will have been stinging not to have started.

I’ve actually always had a tiny feeling that Klopp doesn’t get on as well with Salah as much as he does with other players – I have no basis for that argument other than a gut feeling!

But I’m sure they love each other and it will blow over.
 

The season can’t end soon enough, right? Which is sad…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 27, 2024: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker reacts after West Ham United score the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

DAN: It is sad. We all romanticised the departure of Klopp and potentially walking off with two armfuls of silverware in tow.

While a lot of people will speculate as to the reasons why it’s seemingly broken down so severely and possibly Klopp’s announcement being a factor, heightened emotions around everything have played a part.

For large periods, it seemed as though that was the driving motivator behind our good moments.

Ultimately, go out on as much of a high as possible, wrap up a top-three finish, score some goals, win some games and let’s make Wolves at Anfield a day to celebrate everything Jurgen Klopp has done for us.

HENRY: I cannot wait for the season to end now, which is such a shame. I feel we all need a breather as much as Klopp and the players.

In hindsight, Liverpool never had enough to win the title, and they couldn’t keep creeping over the line with unconvincing performances.

The problem is, Klopp leaving suddenly added something different to the season, as Dan alludes to, and we tricked ourselves into the dream ending happening.

Football doesn’t work like that, though, and a third-place finish is actually a decent effort overall, and something we would have taken last summer.

It’s now a case of stumbling through these next couple of matches and then having a party against Wolves.

It better not be similar to Gerrard’s last game at Stoke!