TERRACE TALK: Liverpool - Mamadou Sakho's shenanigans leave a sour taste

Thanks Newcastle, for a minute there we might have begun enjoying ourselves.

To be fair, it’ll take more than that to dampen our ardour right now. Sakho and Villarreal will be having a damn good crack at it, though.

Everton got swatted like that buzzing thing that won’t fly out the window but is always a centimetre from your ear. Irritating, but not worth getting off your arse for.

Nice to hear “always the victim” a week after the Hillsborough service. 

Always a joy, that. It made the two goals before half-time much more enjoyable.

They reverted to type again in the second half with the red card. 

It’s something they’ve done for years; go down to 10 men, in the vain hope everyone will forget it was already a lost cause.

Then it was 3-0 and Stones just walked off. They used to do that in my school team when we were getting pasted. 

I remember once I was a goalkeeper left with six outfield players as one chicken after another begged the teacher to let them cry off.

The lad obviously doesn’t want all this New Bobby Moore nonsense, which is just as well if he keeps playing like that. It was great to batter them and everything but in the cold light of day, you wondered why you’d ever been worried at all.

It begins with Martinez, a manager with practically zero defensive chops. 

They didn’t start with Coleman or Jagielka, Barry goes off at half-time, Funes Mori walks and Stones isn’t far behind him. The rest came off thankful it was only 4-0. 

Funny obviously, but I’m getting too old and losing the stomach for senseless cruelty.

Setting off for the Newcastle game with no modern gizmo to hand, I was blissfully unaware of the news of Sakho’s shenanigans that was then breaking. What a lovely hour that was.

Seems he failed the test for the Man U game when he rated a perfect 10 and played like a man possessed. I knew we couldn’t just beat them, there’d have to be a catch and an aftermath somehow.

We don’t know everything yet, not officially anyway. One paper says the alleged substance was dietary and not muscle-related, but what of it? 

Banned is banned, and that’s probably what he’ll be. If brains were gunpowder, footballers couldn’t do enough damage to part their hair.

The Rafa return/love-in consisted of one loud chant at the start, followed by an early Sturridge classic that put everybody back on track. 

Lallana made it two and we all settled down for a nice chilled afternoon. Even the players.

That’s seven points won at home against the current bottom six. It’s scandalous, really. You don’t get to decide who is worthy of respect and who isn’t. 

We’d already allowed Newcastle’s fellow strugglers Norwich and Sunderland to snatch a point here, so maybe we’re just taking fair play to an admittedly ludicrous extreme.

The end of the season resembles its beginning and middle, with Liverpool players dropping every week. There’ll be an 11 to face Villareal but it won’t be the best. Emre Can left a big hole after a couple of great months, poor Origi won’t play again this season either.

For a young lad voted one of the worst players in France’s league last season, his rise has been great to watch.

At the other end of the spectrum, Milner’s been superb too. 

It’s always nice when a player who you’ve given a ton of abuse to throws it back in your face and some of our lads have specialised in that this season.

It’d be a shame if it’s all going to end with a whimper, but I’ve been saying that since February and this team and manager keep pulling rabbits out of hats. 

One more this week, and you can maybe start to believe in miracles.

Here’s a little extra sport. Watch the latest BallTalk for the best sports chat and analysis: Premier League Manager of the Season


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