We're reaching a watershed moment when even hoodoo merchants like myself will have to admit it’s a foregone conclusion now.
So, I’ll bite the bullet and boldly predict it’s inevitable; we are going to be playing in next season’s Champions League — and that’s as much as you’re going to get.
I wrote this without checking City’s score and didn’t care to wait for it, either. It’s all about us now. If we’re going to have the mother of all stumbles, best just get on with it and not spend the rest of the time fretting about Pep.
After Shrewsbury, there were also concerns that Klopp may be having his ‘Rafa moment’. Yes, he had a perfectly reasonable point to make. No, it probably wasn’t a judicious moment to get distracted by such trifles.
Had Liverpool immediately thrown points away, as they did at Stoke in 2009, or if they didn’t have the massive lead of 2020 even the provocative, prematurely-triumphant amongst us might have worried a little bit.
But there was no possibility of dropping anything to Moyes, who set West Ham up for damage limitation and (just about) managed it. He then had the audacity to seethe and strop on the touchline, with that sense of unwarranted grievance he finely honed at Everton. You can take the boy out of Goodison … I guess we won’t be hearing any chants about Jurgen “cracking up” in the immediate future, then.
The previous column kept up my season-long record of provoking contradiction. Salah selfish? He was creative, selfless, and influential in this week’s games.
Alisson never makes big saves? He made at least two in midweek and kept Southampton at bay in an overwrought first half on Saturday. While Fabinho has already started to look his old self again, despite my snotty misgivings.
You could give the bookies a black eye by reading my tosh and automatically betting the other way. Try it some time.
The Reds haven’t been fantastic of late but didn’t really need to be. Or it could just be they’re making it look so easy that everyone thinks it actually is. They needed to be on their mettle against Hassenhuttl’s team, though. 4-0 was misleading in that respect, albeit demonstrative of the ferocious firepower that helps Liverpool turn any situation on its head in the twitch of an eye.
Firmino just seems to lock in every so often, playing on a different level to almost anyone else. The quibble about a lack of goals, we’ll leave to the petty perfectionists.
Alisson again held firm, making you wonder anew why we wasted so much time trying to make Mignolet and Karius work. Making up for it now, obviously, but what might have been...
It seemed impossible, but the reaction to our current form is getting stranger by the day. There’s been two instances this season where people wanted a goal chalked off and the ref to walk 100 yards down the pitch to give the other team a penalty instead — and yes, both involved us.
Folks, aren’t you going to realise that you’re not so much scraping the bottom of the barrel as tunnelling towards Australia now?
Don’t misunderstand us, we appreciate the gift of laughter but not every game and every week surely? 4-0s do not turn on one decision.
Couldn’t you just suck it up, like we’ve had to for 30 years? Making a whole country sick to stop us winning a trophy feels a trifle extreme.
Now Klopp’s getting his precious break, he complained about it often enough, so it probably felt churlish to deny him any longer. I hope the kids give a good show against Shrewsbury.
It’s a break for the column too, so you’ll also get a week off wading through my petrified, eggshell-treading nonsense.