TERRACE TALK: Liverpool - Worrying times as Christian Benteke top of our flops

If at first you don’t succeed, bang your head against a wall until there’s blood.

Packing your midfield with (cough) “attacking midfielders” and expecting it to produce a concerted goal threat has failed for so long, confidence in Klopp being any different from Brendan is being dented.

The players available dictate what you can and can’t try, obviously. Worry over dependency on Benteke was muted by two winning goals but came flooding back at West Ham. He was awful.

Be honest: the state of Liverpool at Watford meant you’d have taken six of the next nine points out of sheer relief. The concern was how poor Sunderland were, because they’re the games we screw up nowadays.

Klopp’s getting embroiled with these Cro-Magnon managers, which is fine by us. The idea of Allardici thinking “soft Germans” would distract the Mackems from five straight defeats shows how the his mind works.

Di Canio, now him — what did Sunderland fans do in a previous life to deserve this?

Anyway, we fled with the points in silent satisfaction rather than euphoria, but you know how it is. A couple of wins, a glance up the table, calculations, optimism, then the dreaded utterance: “hey, why not us?” I mean, almost literally without fail now.

We looked tired at West Ham. It doesn’t bode well for the return of a regular two games a week. Everywhere you looked on that pitch there was disappointment. Whoever began the Coutinho for Barcelona ruse will have to write a sitcom because they have a natural flair for comedy.

Rodgers began this stunt of utilising him, Lallana and Sterling as forwards. With Sterling gone, Firmino stepped into the breach and it’s equally ludicrous. Look at Liverpool’s goal tally since Suarez left, Sturridge broke and all that money wasted on defenders and midfielders.

The concessionary nod towards Balotelli and Benteke was tantamount to an arm being twisted behind Rodgers’ back, humouring the outlandish theory goalscorers played any part in his one good season. Was it ego that made him buy all those duds? I swear if I see Lallana do that ‘clever’ turn once more, I’ll do serious physical harm. More Cruft’s than Cruyff.

Moan about luck if you want. The fouler of Moreno scoring 20 seconds afterwards was a bit much. Can hit the bar and Lucas headed directly at the one player standing on the line, but such things happen. No complaints at Chelsea, when both Coutinho goals went our way, or at City when an OG gifted us a dream start.

We’re back to blowing in the fortune breeze, Carroll reminding everybody how bad Liverpool have become at this. The latest senseless splurges, Benteke and Firmino, already look dazzled in the headlights. They’ll no doubt be plying their trade elsewhere in a few years. The sheer ton of waste this decade alone is revolting. We were better off with nothing. A kind of ingenuity kicked in in Houllier’s day. While the likes of United were spending €30m on a defender, he’d find Hyppia for three.

While I’m in nostalgia mode, it was our last game at Upton Park and there were tales of old trips, digging trenches in Victoria Station pubs before deciding at 2.30pm we’d best make a move. Never did get the hang of the underground map… TV messed that up with 12.45pm starts, and now it’ll be a different ground entirely. Old people bemoan change generally but football fans are the worst. It’s all become soulless though, hasn’t it? Last time I met Bernard Azulay was in a pub by Highbury and you can still see some of the old place. He told me he misses it “big-time” and I don’t blame him.

What’s happening to football isn’t right. Inevitable though, I suppose. Arsenal at least have a decent team to distract from such vulgarities.

What have we got?


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