Red-faced after our leader’s dire display

SORRY if I seem a little distracted this week. Moving house (second time in a year) not only dampened my sunshine disposition but left little time to weigh up all matters red.

And the dreary, thoroughly inconvenient Monday night malarkey played merry hell with my deadline.

As if Wigan wasn’t already a snooze fest to begin with.

Seriously, you come up with something about it that doesn’t involve clogs, pies and cousin on cousin action.

Anyway, there were things I could discuss like Michael Owen, but I’ve apparently grown out of the savage bitterness that infects most fans when one of their own stabs them in the back – three times. When Team England trundles down to South Africa without him that’ll be enough hubris for 10 men.

The number of consoling arms thrown around the shoulders of “poor old” Ryan Shawcross left me reaching for the sick bag all week, but Bernard isn’t getting cut up about it so why should I.

He’s most likely too excited about the thought of writing about this three-way with Richard and Trizia. Hmmm, I could have phrased that a little better. The title race looks to be one of the best in years, and we’re not in it. Finally, something to get the creative bile flowing.

Rafa’s rein has been more about the possibiliteeez of cup success, yet that one glimpse of a title last season has probably made the reaction to this campaign much nastier.

It’s been a decade or more since the club began getting us all hot and wet over fourth place. Even if a manager with one eye on the trapdoor helps with that smokescreen, it’s a tough sell.

Bad enough when you grudgingly accept European funding is vital to keep the better players at Anfield, but if you suspect (as most do) it may be squirrelled away in a morally and financially bankrupt future to reduce debt small wonder fans are less enthused this time.

Spirit Of Shankly took to the streets with a billboard campaign around Merseyside. Nice effort, but United’s perpetual hold on the media meant their fans gobbled up any national coverage going.

Purslow’s outburst to SOS appeared to indicate the Americans’ days are numbered.

And so to Wigan, joy of joys. Actually there is something rather quaint, Lowryesque, about strolling along a canal to a game.

Not so much at night, where my paranoia about being pushed in was ridiculously overblown. Two hours later I would be regarding that as a preferable night’s entertainment.

It was easy to chuckle at the hosts’ half-empty stadium, mock their ludicrous entrance music (and heeeeeeeeere’s Wigan…) and the forlorn flag wavers that whipped the ‘crowd’ into a whimper.

Sadly it transpired that Liverpool are the least deserving recipients of this fraudulent fanfare. Last eight away games, two goals – and rarely a hint of one even with Torres out of traction.

As for Captain Fantastic, never have I seen a more wilted, clueless, disgraceful performance from a ‘leader’ in red. Ron Yeats would have followed Captain Oates’ example if he’d ever produced a performance half this feeble. But he wasn’t alone, not one player did anything useful or even gave his all. The away end’s loudest noise came as 5,000 jaws continuously dropped to the floor as each hideous pass got worse and worse.

Oh I forgot; there was that moment when we started to sing “attack attack attack”. To a Liverpool team. Losing 1-0. After 60 minutes. To Wigan. The backwards/sideways creative straightjacket culture of 2010 is so engrained that fans have to remind players they need to go forwards.

As at City a pernickety referee unleashed not a rage of injustice but a bickering whiny air of grievance that fell marginally short of dummy spitting and toy throwing. It was utterly, utterly hideous. And I’ve said that far too often this season.

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