After 90+ minutes of pulling my hair out, I thought, “good, maybe this will temper expectations a bit.”
For the first time in a long time I was really nervous leading up to this match. I fidgeted through the Villa match. I paced waiting through the bland pre-match commentary. I know why they do it, but I would like to time the kick off with the exact moment my butt hits the seat, none of this, “kick off after this” crap we all have to endure. I was excited!
I’ll just come out and say it, we’re screwed if Sakho is injured long term. Not that I don’t think Klopp can build up Lovren, we’re just so damn thin already back there. Players need a rest eventually. Sakho has not only been our marshal at the back, he’s been one of our best passers. He always seems to bypass one or two levels of the oppositions defense to get us back on attack, and he’s tidy most of the time. He’s made Skrtel better with his pairing too.
Emre Can on the other hand…this hasn’t been his first poor clearance that’s directly lead to a goal. When we’re attempting to implement Klopp’s ideas, the last thing we need is to be gifting teams goals early in the match. I briefly joked with myself, “Maybe Klopp told Can to give Bolasie a shot from eight yards, just so we could work on our fight back.”
Clearly, that would be foolish, but Henderson cannot regain fitness fast enough. Can needs to sit out for a couple matches until he gets the basics down. For every thing he does right, he does something else three times worse in return; running down blind alleys, picking out the wrong pass, given possession away cheaply, an ill-timed challenge.
The middle of the league is so tight these days. There really are no easy fixtures and as much as I don’t want to give Alan Pardew any credit, Palace were well prepared and not intimidated in the least today. Zaha was unplayable for large portions of the match and every time we tried to get something going at the other end Delaney was there to snuff it out. Other than their lone front man Sako, I felt Palace team played really well and deserved the win.
Palace took their chances, we did not. It’s that simple. Coutinho is not going to be able to will us to victory every week. At some point Lallana is going to come under fire for not producing and/or finishing enough chances. I really felt that whenever play went through Lallana or Can, we created very little. Firmino was also flat when he came on.
We are incredibly predictable with the players available for selection. It’s going to take time, which is why this loss if it has a silver lining, will be to manage expectations of the fan base. Speaking of the ‘supporters’…after the Scott Dan goal in the 82nd minute and resulting exodus:
“I turned around and I felt pretty alone at this moment. We have to decide when it is over.” -Jurgen Klopp
It’s endemic of the fan base. One, Liverpool are a wildly popular team. Two, the larger a fan base the more casual/plastic/fair weather supporters they will have. Third, EPL teams are pricing out the young/die-hard supporters, the ones who sing and provide the atmosphere. Fourth, that leaves a lot of casuals/old-timers/tourists filling the seats. Fifth, the fan base is old and it appears they can only be arsed if it’s a big match.
Yes, the players are in charge of keeping those butts in seats. But, let’s be honest, they don’t stand a chance. Not when the away supporters out sing us every home match. Not when people would rather live tweet the match instead of watching it. Not when people would pay good money to get in the stadium to leave early. Not when people need YNWA played over a PA system to hum the tune.
It’s a joke. And when (not if) Klopp turns it all around, it’s only going to get worse. Success exacerbates all the aforementioned issues that create a poor atmosphere in the first place. Think of the period directly after the 2005 Champions League win, all the band wagoners hoping on. I felt bad for Klopp and I wish I could have given him a bear hug to cheer him up. He deserves better, our players deserve better.