TERRACE TALK: Liverpool - It’s all gone wrong since Coutinho got injured

The only surprise is that anyone’s surprised.

Of course Bournemouth got beat, that’s how it works. They save their best for you and dine out on it for months while they drop points left right and… Sorry, getting a bit paranoid now. There was something weirdly relaxing about not being part of the title race.

Everyone ‘says’ “I only think about my own team” but they’re lying. Either you’re so far down the ladder your fixation with ‘rivals’ becomes obsessive and obnoxious. Exhibit A: Ronald Koeman and his Christmas tree.

Or you periodically find yourself scrambling for the highest league places, needing favours from teams who can’t even help themselves.

There’s a narrow window of opportunity for some peace on earth and goodwill to all men. That’s now slammed shut.

That desperate cloak of reasonableness I tried on after Bournemouth was a bad disguise which fooled nobody. Generally the response was “you feeling okay?” Fair enough, but what else can you do but try to put it behind you? Fat chance of that if your goalie mouths off to Gary Neville and mocks his managerial ‘career’.

They all think like that in football. What have you ever done, son? Well, Neville may be a loudmouth but there’s some achievement backing it up, surely?

And he’s not spouted anything a lot of Liverpool fans haven’t said, either. Playing to the gallery and exploiting its distaste for all things Mancunian only gets you so far.

As far as your next error, in fact — which took him 20 whole minutes.

Klopp had already defended him by citing eight opportunities to clear danger before his compatriot’s Bournemouth blunder.

Isn’t that true of every goal scored? The manager’s been decisive early with the likes of Mignolet and Sakho, so it’s naive to expect him to say anything else I guess.

More screw-ups like Bournemouth and West Ham and maybe he’ll start mocking Neville’s wretched coaching too? At this level, where admittedly Klopp’s Liverpool are fresh-faced infants, this won’t camouflage things for long.

Most of the weekend was spent hoping for favours from Hughes or Pulis. That’s before you start worrying if your own team can bounce back.

Conte seems to have landed on his feet, with a group of players already versed in the win it/shut it down routine (before they pulled last season’s ultra-sulk on The Spesh).

You wonder how long they’ll get away with David Luiz but we’re ones to talk, the people in glass houses. Not sure you’d want United getting too cocky either but one in the eye for Spurs is always nice. And then we show up, bringing up the weekend’s rear so to speak.

It starts well and then someone remembers we haven’t shot ourselves in the foot for a whole week.

It’s all gone wayward since Coutinho was stretchered away. Firmino was doing fine until then and having been nudged aside his game’s gone to pieces. Either that or he’s missing his little mate.

You’d want to put him back central but Origi’s got four in four now so that’s not happening.

Klopp’s substitute-o-phobia kind of made sense this week with such an average bench but Lallana was almost unconscious for the last 20 minutes. Anyone would have done by that stage. Dropping like flies, and no-one left in reserve.

The atmosphere’s getting worse, too. Klopp’s going to have to bring his own choir and brass band at this rate.

Clyne’s no longer reliable, Mane’s running into cul-de-sacs and Wijnaldum shoots more than his talent can vindicate.

Bilic claimed that West Ham showed that they could hurt us. Yeah, that’s a bit like shoving a box of matches through a pyromaniac’s letterbox.

When the other team doesn’t have to create anything to get goals, you’re left banging your head against a wall. Still, Gary Neville at Valencia eh? Ha ha ha ha ha!

Something caught in the back of your throat?

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