Terrace Talk: Liverpool - We don’t know whether to laugh or cry

Won one, have we? It can’t be easy being Brendan Rodgers right now. Only a fool would claim otherwise, BUT (you knew one was coming) it takes a special kind of arrogance to denounce legitimate concerns over current form as “hysteria”.

It’s part of the reason many never took to Brendan while he’s been here.

There’s something about massive self-belief and manipulative self-service that is extremely antagonising.

Act up while a team’s struggling like ours does and you might as well scrape your nails down a blackboard. That he chose to go full-Brendan after a rare win and even rarer goals plural says much about him, but these are desperate times and you know what cornered animals do.

Carlisle was absolutely atrocious, all the flak was justified. Can you actually call it “hysteria” after your team needed penalties to get past the tenth team on the fourth rung of English football?

It’s a weird situation he’s in, definitely. I suspect it always happens at this level but after you get full backing from your bosses only to read they might have been whispering sweet nothings to Mad Jurgen or Uncle Carlo all along, you’ve every right to be miffed.

The rumour also emerged that the owners wanted him gone but they were blocked by the same men they’d appointed to the board.

I mean: how quintessentially ‘Liverpool’ would that be?

A lot of Rodgers’ restraint on the touchline, even for the goals, made sense when there were 40,000 people and every camera scrutinising him as much as the football. Given what we’ve watched lately that would normally have meant more entertainment but a mate emerged beaming from the Main Stand pronouncing Rodgeball is back.

Perhaps. There were goals. There was blind panic, with an assured position turning into helter skelter within seconds. Twice! The Norwich game was the same only without the goals, so who knows?

You’ll always miss a player like Sturridge. Everyone was giving Van Gaal grief a few weeks ago but now look. You can paper over a lot of cracks by sticking the ball in the net.

Ings is also a factor. That pressing from the front is what made Suarez unique. You know Danny hasn’t got anything like ‘that’ level of skill, or else he’d be somewhere else obviously, but sometimes nuisance value can be enough.

Yes, we’re still hopeless at the back. Sakho didn’t win a battle with Gestede all day, and now Lovren’s out of the picture, his performance was irksome.

Yes, it was only Villa. At times they were appalling and didn’t seem bothered, yet they hadn’t lost at Anfield for five years. In our position you grab what you can and murmur to yourself until the next game that stranger things have happened.

Would Rodgers’ survival be the strangest of the lot though? Liverpool fans have their own Geiger counter, wired to the club’s ambition, and it is going off like crazy right now.

Keeping him might as well be a giant neon sign screaming “We’re not that bothered any more”. The team we just played hasn’t won a trophy for 19 years, but they had their own European Cup back in the day. Is it different just because we’ve got five?

Yet you look at some runs under Rodgers and wonder. We got 48 points in half a season when we nearly won the league and, even during last season’s failure without Suarez, there was a period when he won 32 points out of 36.

That ended after he’d haughtily chided anyone who’d called for a defensive coach, days before we had to face United and Arsenal. Now this: it’s like he can’t help himself.

We’ve won. We scored a few. Was that enough for Rodgers to get on his soapbox again? Clearly not, but at least we can all chill for a few days.


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