Reaching a point where there actually is something to lose can either be cause for optimism or you just secretly wish for those times when continuous failure just washed over you.
Liverpool grew into this giant (unkind souls say “monstrosity”) and that meant living with insane ambitions and the cruel glee of others when it comes unglued. C’est la vie — our vie, anyway.
In the real world the result was probably what everybody expected. Even with a curiously insipid Ronaldo, they had too much in the end.
When you pick through it, folks will focus on the Salah injury and the goalkeeper making the difference. It’s a happy place if you need one.
There was certainly more than a hint of Ramos letting him know he was there (like the halo of flies wasn’t enough) but I’m not sure even the devil himself wanted him off the pitch for good and maybe missing the World Cup. That could be me being naïve, of course.
The mood for Karius is one of concern for a clearly distraught man, with one eye on the clock for when we can diplomatically begin talking about the inevitable replacement.
It grates after a season when fans fell into line and conflated regular selection with a problem solved.
“The manager knows what he’s doing” or just can’t spend what he likes and has to keep everyone sweet.
Personally I’d have dropped Can in winter and told him to train by himself, see how Joachim Low likes him then, but I’m not the Liverpool manager desperately trying to get wins while injuries keep piling up.
This diplomatic balancing act is all very well but sometimes satisfying a little vengeful bloodlust can be good for the soul.
Isco’s great, but wasn’t on Saturday. They just sent for Bale, and that was that. We lost Mo and just lost. Until that changes, there’s no point in looking any higher. That bench has been a sham for weeks.
Klopp needs to have a long hard think about how he wants to be remembered.
Losing six finals in a row is strange. It says something about how good you are to get there but also hints at a certain dysfunction.
All this crying about Ramos, but there isn’t a single player in our team that even knows what a dark art is. Rolling round injured, hectoring referees, a slight kick on a tender ankle — if you want to be precious about it all, take up knitting.
Just don’t talk to me about Souness against Bucharest ever again, or Dudek acting up in a penalty shootout.
Klopp has a virtual nation of supporters who will rationalise their admiration for now, but will soon wonder if his ethics actually mean squat when you want to be the best and it simply isn’t happening.
Money’s important too. Werner’s doing the usual summer thing of talking loud, but Klopp having a negative net spend (Keita will tip it into the positive) for three years is insane.
Klopp wants to be everyone’s mate but brutality is also required to keep people on the bench, have them fight savagely for a place and play one off against the other.
It’s got to be having an effect when the last 10 minutes of every game Liverpool are out on their feet.
They’re all cracking lads. If I had a daughter they’d all be welcome to marry her, but I watch the likes of Diego Costa, Sergio Ramos, and that Suarez bugger and wish they were in my team. It’s attrition at this level, pretend war.
I’m not saying the football hasn’t been great, of course it has, but this blanket belief that you have to be one thing or the other makes little sense.
You’d think during the days of Souness we were a grind outfit. That’s simply wasn’t the case, except on days when the football didn’t come off or the opposition was especially niggly. That’s when you saw our dark side.
Plenty got to Kiev and my admiration is boundless but you’re still angry over how many hoops people have to jump through to see their team in a final. In modern times it should be easier not harder, surely?
The club sent four injured players in a single plane, with photos on Instagram so fans left stranded could enjoy them. I’d like to say it was a shock, but it wasn’t. Nothing they do ever is.
Not that I know much about it obviously but the whole point of getting to these finals is having a few days in a new city, surely? Those who went via Gdansk and Warsaw and Odessa got there handily enough and probably had the time of their lives.
The football match matters obviously but it isn’t everything. It does feel like the authorities know they can do whatever they like now. TV can get there, the teams can get there, you mugs could get there but it’s not important if you can’t.
They just gave the final to Istanbul again. 2005 got coated in a varnish of victory but it was a giant pain in the arse all round. They never learn because they don’t need to.
Liverpool are now in a peculiar position. They’re a big club, without the trophies to prove it. One in 12 years, and we did our level best to throw that away against a Championship team.
Getting over the line is proving damn elusive. It’s a matter of small margins, maybe even luck. Riise’s own goal, Gerrard’s slip, Salah’s shoulder or Karius’ brain freeze.
When it keeps happening, you’re maybe clutching straws a little. We were often slagged off in the glory days for being the most fortunate, boring, dirty bastards around.
Now we’re the team everyone wants to watch. You can fall into a trap of saying which one you’d prefer. We can have both, that’s the discussion Klopp and the owners must have this summer