Terrace Talk - Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp has form for petulance, although it’s rare

Is it only a week since we crowed about a half-strength team swatting Leicester aside like a wasp
Terrace Talk - Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp has form for petulance, although it’s rare

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) gestures towards the match officials after the Premier League match against  Brighton. Picture: Mike Hewitt

In a week where hysteria escalated, it’s maybe too practical to point at league tables and confirm where Liverpool stand in both.

Is it only a week since we crowed about a half-strength team swatting Leicester aside like a wasp that’s spent the afternoon swimming in lager dregs?

Since then Klopp’s become the spokesman for five subs, angered by a crowded fixture list and selfish television companies. Other coaches, cowardly but smart, kept their counsel and let the German take the over-fuelled heat.

Football sold its soul and now seems to bitterly, belatedly complain about all these flames and pitchforks.

If they’d ever sought advice from supporters, just once, something better could have been arranged, less hellish and suitable for all, but of course they didn’t. I suppose it’s tricky taking notes with your hands stuffed full of cash.

What was needed was a calm, cool response but that’s hardly Jurgen’s metier, is it? Cynical types speculate upon attention drawn away from two iffy results and some dubious summer squad-reshaping.

Too many liberties were taken with Atalanta, a good team soundly spanked on their own patch and out for blood. We can claim Liverpool only won the Champions League after coming second in their group anyway, but that seems a somewhat far-fetched, risky plan.

Fitness concerns are clearly exacerbated by the lengthy injuries to Van Dijk, Gomez and Thiago (seemingly). Other things happened that might have been averted by replacing Lovren properly and avoiding reliance on occasionally-fit players like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson and especially Keita.

Trusting in the ability of Minamino also led to this predicament although we did offload Lallana who, in a touching show of unity with former comrades left Brighton in the lurch after five minutes.

Brighton and Hove Albion's Pascal Gross scores his side's goal from the penalty spot.
Brighton and Hove Albion's Pascal Gross scores his side's goal from the penalty spot.

Faith in younger players has been rewarded a little by steady performances from Nate Phillips, and Rhys Williams to an extent. Neko Williams, not so much.

Being harsh on da yoof is frowned upon, obviously, but when Klopp first arrived he had to give a few outings to Conor Randall and the same, laudable reluctance to be cruel didn’t work then either.

Milner was doing well at right back against Leicester, was moved to replace Keita and has been hustling in midfield every minute since. He’s now broken too, naturally.

So while everyone starts hunting down TV, mistakes are being buried under bilious smoke.

VAR ruined the Brighton game, though another big Jota moment brightened (ho ho) an otherwise lethargic display. I was desperate to avoid conspiracy theories, but the tin-foil brigade may have a case. This is certainly happening to us a lot more than anybody else.

Three points became one and tempers soon flared, with Klopp throwing Chris Wilder to the Liverpool Family wolves, who flew feverishly into action on social media, losing their shit and self-respect in the same scabrous sentences.

The words “mosquito” and “elephant gun” sprang to mind. Klopp has form for petulance, although it’s thankfully rare. West Ham under Pellegrini was the last time I recall.

It’s not a road the manager should travel too far down. Things aren’t going our way, but the points damage so far is minimal.

Here were echoes of Rafa, a man who convinced many he was fighting with both hands tied behind his back. That works for a while, yet the situation is still what it is, and fans soon want to know what exactly you’ll be doing about it.

It’s an old managerial ploy; maximise what you’re up against, and if you win, you’re the miracle worker who overcame stupendous odds. Lose, and he did warn us after all. Moyes did plenty of that at Everton.

That tactic’s lifespan is limited, especially at this level. A win or two can restore equilibrium, starting with Ajax.

This was always going to be a trickier season. Calmer heads were called for. A club with its first title in 30 years shouldn’t really be this agitated this quickly.

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