Terrace Talk: Liverpool - Bouncing from despondency to euphoria and back

So one week everything goes your way, the next week nothing does. C’est la vie, say the old folks.

Last time we spoke I was babbling about guinea pigs and how we must all suffer to appease the football gods, mocking the very idea Liverpool would come fourth.

A few points dropped elsewhere and a wobbly win at Watford followed. It’s amazing how fans can bounce from despondency to euphoria in a blink - then back again.

People planned holidays in accordance with Champions League dates. Whoa there, Senor Presumptuouso.

This Liverpool team has every ingredient to balls up any qualifier, with all that mockery of Everton ‘05 returning to haunt everyone. There’s even time to screw up this league position yet. Who’d put it past them? After Sunday, not many.

Roy Keane may have a point about United and Liverpool ‘celebrating’ fourth place but is that true?

Here’s an Irishman talking about Scousers and Mancs; imagine what the word ‘celebration’ conjures up… Not happening.

Supporters have this rationalisation switch, which basically goes “not ideal but it is what is” then adjust previously mulish views accordingly.

The danger comes from regarding it as success in the first place.

Managers who find themselves cornered will clutch any straw. I can remember Houllier doing it in his final season.

Maybe that’s why it was his final season? Just a thought.

Liverpool have added at least ten points to last year’s total, rising three (or four?) places. They did it without any European commitments, so that needs factoring in.

Whichever competition they stumble into, next season’s going to be an absolute shambles. I’d put your house on it.

Against Watford, despite that rarity - an Emre Can worldie – they just looked shot to hell. They looked even worse against Southampton.

Night follows day. Just as everyone’s taking things for granted, they screw up again. Surely that mad scientist has got enough data by now?

This has long mutated into senseless torture.

On Saturday we’d had a grumble about how ineffectual Palace looked against City when they looked anything but at Anfield.

Then you watch Southampton do the same thing after City had also taken them apart. I’m beginning to think it’s not everybody else’s fault; it might be ours. Call me Logical Larry… Paranoia comes easy to us, often because somebody actually is trying to do us in. It goes with the self-hypnosis. We don’t need propaganda to alter our thinking; it’s something we’ll happily do ourselves.

Like the recent mantra “the Reds learn to win ugly”, forgetting we’ve only played teams like Stoke, Albion and Watford who have basically clocked off - and Liverpool made even that look difficult.

That doesn’t explain Southampton, who turned up with the snide button turned to eleven and exploited the league’s weakest referee.

That became more obvious still when everyone waited for the penalty to be taken.

“I say chaps, would you mind most awfully vacating the penalty area, please?” No, they wanted to discuss it for a couple more minutes and bait Milner for good measure.

The shock wasn’t that Madley let it happen; the shock was him giving it in the first place.

See, there’s something else fans can use for artful deflection; the officials. The brutal truth is that we’re dead on our feet. Would-be shark victims sitting in shallow waters, praying the tide’s going out.

It doesn’t feel like it’s in our hands. Origi’s just getting in the way, Firmino’s phoning it in.

They escape censure because there’s nobody else to pick. Sturridge looked a threat the moment he came on but he doesn’t scamper around, y’see.

That’s what’s crucial nowadays.

Now Arsenal are closing in and United will win the Europa anyway. The odds on Liverpool becoming a national laughing stock again are also shrinking.

They should just mark it down on the calendar. Give everyone a chance to prepare. Make it a national holiday.

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