TERRACE TALK: Liverpool - Relief but our small-club phobia hasn’t gone away

They don’t half put you through it. Three points always make a difference to the mood but there was no real improvement in the performance.

Burnley got it airborne, chased our jittery defence up their own backsides and despite a shortage of class really should have got something out of that game.

Whatever we’re doing in training could make Torquemada tremble. Any chance we’ll ever get to pick the same team two games running? Obviously not.

It felt like a blank weekend anyway, with everyone else bothering with that FA Cup nonsense. Trophies? Whatever, like they’ll ever catch on… Call me old-fashioned but I’d rather try and win something than get into the top four and line our owners’ pockets via Europe’s biggest hog-trough.

I’ll instead look forward to getting thoroughly Bayern-ed next season or, should we fail in our ‘ambitions’, the Thursday/Sunday travesty of Europa.

People have been laughing at North London’s ex-finest all week, like 20 consecutive finishes in the top four (or another trip to Wembley) weren’t impressive.

It’s when CL qualification is inflated into something greater than it actually is which grates, but if any Liverpool fans think we’re above all that mercantile madness you’re the fools.

These days we get into the Champions League like Rocky got in the ring with Apollo Creed. It’s starting to feel like a once-in-a-lifetime handout for the has-been.

Money always seems to be the cure for any ills. Buy him, then him; cash no object etc. OK let’s look at everything from a financial perspective. How many players have we bought recently where you thought “bargain”?

Think Coutinho was the last. We might be selling him soon too, if anybody still wants him and if he carries on playing the way he has lately. He was easily the worst player on Sunday.

Lallana’s decent, Mane is too until you compare him to what Torres did in his first extraordinary season — but neither of them was exactly cheap.

Before Torres, we can recall the likes of Hyypia, Alonso, Reina, and, later on, Suarez. We sometimes suspected Anfield would get raided by Interpol’s serious fraud squad.

Let’s not pretend we’re even finger-crossing-hopeful of a new Owen, Carragher, or Gerrard any more.

That is essentially what’s gone missing from Liverpool today. Bob Paisley once used his genius to rule football. Maybe all he could do nowadays is keep us competitive rather than dominant. Try to imagine a glass ceiling any major club will eventually bang its head upon.

You’d have shrewd owners who can make a buck without making it feel like grand larceny. The manager would know his stuff, spot talent before everyone else, and inspire the players he does get to scale new heights.

Those players would be skilful and passionate, the fans (yes, we’re phoning it in too) noisy and inspirational.

Then, if you’ve got all of that going for you and still didn’t win stuff, maybe you can start thinking about sheikhs or oligarchs coming to your rescue.

Liverpool became what they became because of ingenuity. If the modern ethos is to grab enough mud (money) to throw at a wall because some of it’s bound to stick then I’m not sure that’s an actual achievement, to be brutally honest.

Youngsters say that’s the talk of an old man who’s already seen Liverpool do magnificent things and can thus afford to be blasé. Fair point.

Still, I’d like to know if we could do it the right way before going cap in hand to Russia or the Middle East.

We’re fourth, anyway. I’d rather have the points than the games in hand, since there’s every possibility Arsenal are as erratic as we are.

Beating Burnley hasn’t cured our small-club phobia, not even remotely. We only blew the visitors away with a collective sigh of relief at the end. That doesn’t feel right.

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