TERRACE TALK: Liverpool - Christian Benteke’s careless attitude sums up display

Who knows what to make of a manager that says he doesn’t want a replay, then changes everything too late to actually win the game. 

He must be a good poker player, I’ll give him that.

Let’s spare you too much of the week’s two games, maybe by allocating a sentence for every goal we scored. No, we’re not counting penalties.

At least there was a final at the end of one of them, though by the skin of their teeth. That’s nice. 

Lots of pundits conveniently forgot it was a second leg, and in the first one Liverpool should have been 4-0 up.

Yes, it was our own fault for not making the tie academic but the crocodile cryarsing for Stoke got a bit much.

The West Ham game was tedious and the FA Cup limps to its doom, or worse its’ levelling out with the League Cup. 

It seems either one will suffice.

Sure it’s to do with them awful foreign Johnnies, coming here managing our big clubs and subtly dismantling our weird notion of having two domestic cups.

The attitude to both now seems similar: wake us up if we reach the quarter-finals, only then will anyone actually be bothered about either of them.

Benitez kinda blazed this trail in 2005, with that Burnley game no-one forgets and a trip to the other final no-one remembers. 

I’m sure he never told Traore to back-heel it into his own net, but I’m also guessing few tears were shed.

Saturday looked like more of the same but West Ham, unlike Exeter in the previous round, never looked too bothered themselves. 

Klopp picked mostly ringers and we still looked the team most likely to score.

It’d help if we had some sort of centre-forward, of course. 

Benteke, my God. We’ve bought some rubbish over recent seasons but anyone who makes Andy Carroll look like John Toshack wins the prize.

He just didn’t look the least bit interested. 

Now there’s a phalanx of ex-player pundits telling him he’s useless. 

You can’t help feeling we do this to lots of players now. He looked perfectly okay at Villa.

Especially against us, which only increases the grievance levels currently being nursed like a glass half-empty. 

Carroll didn’t fit, nor did Balotelli, but these people won’t be told.

The master plan for buying players must emanate from the manager, there’s no other way. 

The only rationale for any of this is from the business perspective.

The model, from a jaundiced viewpoint admittedly, appears to be: “Keep the suckers spending by making them think we mean business — by spending”.

So some of the money they make goes on transfers, it doesn’t actually matter on whom. 

Firmino couldn’t have been picked out of a line-up by anyone last May. It’s okay to admit it.

You then see how the Champions League weaves its evil spell, how the Premier League grinds down minnows fighting at the bottom of the table.

Get fans scared shitless about losing money; put them in thrall to the very idea of acquiring it; convince them that’s what is needed to compete. 

Three different kits a year? Endless sponsorship packages? Television running the game? Fourth place is “an actual trophy”? 

It’s essential if you want your team to be competitive, don’tcha know? 

Transfers keep the whole shebang rolling. 

They convince the public you’re going that extra mile when you’re doing nothing of the sort.

We all wanted Klopp because of the work he’d done with cheap players at Dortmund, but the recent Teixeira fiasco hints worryingly that he’s being neutered already.

It’s beginning to feel like there’ll be 10 more years of this farce to follow. 

Ever had the feeling you’re being cheated? Still, a final eh…

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