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The chronic disease strikes again: Lack of consistency derailing Liverpool's season - by Jason Harris


The Premier League season is an unrelenting grind. Whoever finishes first after 38 games have had to overcome many obstacles and shed plenty of blood, sweat and tears to achieve the ultimate prize.

 

Naturally in a title winning side, you need players that are willing to push their bodies to the limit in every game they play. If one player is down on their game, then another one is willing to fill the breach.

 

There have been many column inches written about the fall from grace from Liverpool in 2017. The reasons have been wide and varied from the absence of key players through injury and international commitments, to the players being burnt out after a physically intense style of play leading to a highly impressive start to the season. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

 

The one thing that is not for debate is the constant failings of the side when coming up against teams sitting in the second half of the table. This has occurred for longer than the fans would like to remember.

 

Originally starting as a frustrating casual occurrence, it has slowly grown into a full-blown disease. It has infected the psyche of the group to the point where they are defeated mentally the moment they take to the pitch against a lower placed side who are well and truly up for the battle.

 

When these types of results arise, the finger of blame points directly at the manager and captain. Jordan Henderson is currently in possession of the armband, but by no means does that mean he should be held solely responsible for the poor on-field leadership. The word 'team' encompasses all in sundry and not just one player.

 

Currently Liverpool has a very passive and mild mannered squad. They are too 'nice' and accepting of their fate, frequently losing the main areas that decide these types of games like 50/50 balls and dealing effectively with set-pieces.

 

The team also lacks what some may describe as a 'hard bastard' to shake them out of their malaise.

 

This is not down to Henderson to fill that role. He has his hands full in trying to set the professional standard required of the team and aiming to push them to victory.

 

While he doesn't have the 'aura' that other captains have had in the past, the last two managers have seen fit to appoint him, and keep him in the role.

 

While Henderson may not be the inspiring leader that many would expect this club to have, it is hard to find exactly what the alternatives are in the current squad and there indeed underlines the issue in a nutshell.

 

There is a great deal of Premier League experience with James Milner, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Lucas Leiva and the oft-injured Daniel Sturridge just a few names which come to mind.

 

While they are solid professionals, none of them strike you as the type of player that will make an impression on the opposition that says 'we are ready for the fight.'

 

Steven Gerrard had an edge to his game in the early part of his captaincy, before settling down to become a great all-round player. However Gerrard was fortunate that he had players to speak their mind with actions and words.

 

Jamie Carragher, Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez, Xabi Alonso and Dirk Kuyt certainty didn't mind mixing it up with their opponents. While Alonso and Suarez had a great deal of finesse and class to their game, they were far from shy in putting their foot in, tracking back and winning the ball for their team.

 

Carragher, Mascherano and Kuyt were the 'pitbulls' in the key areas of the pitch, rarely coming off with a clean playing strip and quite often bearing scars from the battle.

 

The trio may not have always been on the winning side, but you knew they spilt every last ounce of blood for the team.

 

Currently teams in the lower part of the league can feel the uncertainty when coming up against the Reds and are constantly feeding off it.

 

This is a clear character flaw and is a major issue that Jurgen Klopp must find a way for the side to overcome.

 

The manager has looked increasingly bemused by the inability of the side to defeat the kind of opponents that in reality they should have little issue with.

 

With no European Football and domestic cup competitions to distract the playing squad from now until the end of the season, there is simply no excuse to not make the top four.

 

From the outside, it seems that Klopp has been too forgiving of mediocre performances and given certain players too many chances. This cannot continue if the club wants to move forward and contend for trophies.

 

While the club won't win any silverware this season, finishing in the top four would be an achievement that would carry a fair bit of weight.

 

It would mean that the club finishes above some worthy combatants, which has not happened for the last couple of seasons. The confidence of achieving that goal will resonate throughout the club, and allow Klopp to build a more impressive squad with the lure of Champions League football.

 

However for this to happen sense of direction is needed quickly before this season ends up as a missed opportunity in terms of progress made.

 

The question needs to be asked, do the players really want to push themselves to go that extra mile week and week out no matter who the opponent may be?

 

They are not entitled to pick and choose when they want to play well. It should be a given that they perform to a certain standard every time they take to the pitch.

 

In general, the fans can accept if the team is beaten on the day, as long as they see a consistent effort from the team as a whole, not just one or two individuals.

 

Currently we are seeing it on an all too infrequent basis, however all is not lost and there is still time to turn it all around.

 

Over to you now Redmen.
 

Jason Harris

@JayHarry80


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23 Comments

Pussies, one and all.
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No.

 

"Consistency" is not strong enough a word for our 27-year-old problems.

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We are a team of meek shithouses....and the squad is lacking in depth it is unbalanced and we have not done anywhere near enough to fix these very obvious problems.
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It is all OK though because here is the latest empty words from one of the shithouses about 'learning'...

Lallana yesterday:


"It's difficult to speak about that when obviously our record against the teams in the bottom half is nowhere near as good probably," he added.

"I think that shows that the ability and the belief is there in the squad but we're just not performing as consistently as we should be. We need to keep working on that.

"Possibly it's a mentality issue and something that we need to learn quickly because time will eventually run out.

"I want to achieve something special here at Liverpool and to do that we can't just perform against the big teams, we need to perform against every team and treat them the same"

Same old shite trotted out far too often.
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I think our lot are reading too much into " the meek will inherit the earth " you knew Lallana would be spouting the same old balls, if it was going to be anyone it would be him, as usual.
Luis Garcia was no shrinking violet, in this side he would look like Tommy Smith.
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some more doers than talkers needed i.e. proven experience with some trophies under their belts which costs money. then maybe the talkers now can also then be the doers in future.

 

we reap what has been sown squadwise and no amount of media soundbites about learning lessons means jack shit and consistency will never happen with the current signings approach

 

so it's either shit or get off the pot

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No.

 

"Consistency" is not strong enough a word for our 27-year-old problems.

 

 

What we keep calling consistency should be named quality, if you are not good enough, you cannot be "consistent". Quality is defined by the ability to achieve consistency.

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"However Gerrard was fortunate that he had players to speak their mind with actions and words."

 

Yep, and FSG made damn sure that these type of players weren't sticking around. 

 

Theres a good interview with Torres (in the Simon Hughes book Ring of Fire) were he blows FSG's shite out the water by telling us how they wanted him to stay as we were building a team yet were worse off now than when he left.

 

Houllier and Rafa got it spot on. Fuck the spice boys off and buy men who were ready to battle and werent afraid to give a few elbows and knee high tackles now and then and would get in the faces of any dick head who tried it on with them. 

 

​This lot? I reckon id batter everyone in our team and i can't even fight sleep

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Bring back Dirk

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"However Gerrard was fortunate that he had players to speak their mind with actions and words."

Yep, and FSG made damn sure that these type of players weren't sticking around.

Theres a good interview with Torres (in the Simon Hughes book Ring of Fire) were he blows FSG's shite out the water by telling us how they wanted him to stay as we were building a team yet were worse off now than when he left.

Houllier and Rafa got it spot on. Fuck the spice boys off and buy men who were ready to battle and werent afraid to give a few elbows and knee high tackles now and then and would get in the faces of any dick head who tried it on with them.

​This lot? I reckon id batter everyone in our team and i can't even fight sleep

We weren't long getting fed up with Houllier and Rafas methods either.

I have the treble on video somewhere and he's being proclaimed as the best manager since Paisley having won our first trophy in 6 years he went on to win 2 more in the same season and won the European super cup and community shield and got us into the Champions League for the first time ever.

Fast forward 3 years and some wanker is writing on a wall at melwood that he hopes Houllier dies and he's sacked not long after.

It's alright reminiscing about the good times under these managers but they all get the same treatment no matter what they win if they don't deliver the league.
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Agreed, and the one common denominator in all of our managers downfalls still remains. Replacing quality with pure shite. As soon as they get that long term contract, they forget what it was that made them successful here in the first place.
We're cursed
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Agreed, and the one common denominator in all of our managers downfalls still remains. Replacing quality with pure shite. As soon as they get that long term contract, they forget what it was that made them successful here in the first place.
We're cursed

 

I don't think you can downplay the difference in scrutiny and unreasonable expectation that a Liverpool manager endures, which over a prolonged period of time can ultimately affect judgement in even the strongest personality, if only by making them more entrenched in their core philosophy. 

 

Our two best managers of the last few decades came after winning two titles each at Valencia and Dortmund. I'd hazard a guess that they weren't under anywhere near the same pressure in those roles in a variety of ways. Despite the fact that we haven't won the league in 27 years and counting, a lot of us still expect a relatively instant success rather than allowing a manager to build the side they want and learn from the various mistakes that they'll make - including in the transfer market - along the way. 

 

It remains to be seen whether Klopp has the attributes and the financial backing to bring us to a title, but notwithstanding a litany of poor decisions over the last couple of months, I still think we're lucky to have him. 

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garymedel_talentos.jpg

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It is all OK though because here is the latest empty words from one of the shithouses about 'learning'...
Lallana yesterday:
"It's difficult to speak about that when obviously our record against the teams in the bottom half is nowhere near as good probably," he added.
"I think that shows that the ability and the belief is there in the squad but we're just not performing as consistently as we should be. We need to keep working on that.
"Possibly it's a mentality issue and something that we need to learn quickly because time will eventually run out.
"I want to achieve something special here at Liverpool and to do that we can't just perform against the big teams, we need to perform against every team and treat them the same"
Same old shite trotted out far too often.

We were not quite prepared at the start (despite sixteen days to actually get prepared)and when you see vardy's tackle on saidio in the first minute we knew it was going to be a really tough game...Gini wijnaldum
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When was the last time we had a player sent off? Not something we want to see obviously but I think it says a lot.
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When was the last time we had a player sent off? Not something we want to see obviously but I think it says a lot.


Gerrard at Anfield against the mancs?
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And even that was through frustration as they were taking the piss and we were letting them.
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Milner got one last season, didn't he?
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When was the last time we had a player sent off? Not something we want to see obviously but I think it says a lot.

 

Coutinho against West Ham last season is one I recall, as is Milner at Palace.

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We were not quite prepared at the start (despite sixteen days to actually get prepared)and when you see vardy's tackle on saidio in the first minute we knew it was going to be a really tough game...Gini wijnaldum


Fucking hell.
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We were not quite prepared at the start (despite sixteen days to actually get prepared)and when you see vardy's tackle on saidio in the first minute we knew it was going to be a really tough game...Gini wijnaldum


Surely the sentiment should have been "that little shit Vardy's card is marked, just a question of who leaves their foot in first"
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We were not quite prepared at the start (despite sixteen days to actually get prepared)and when you see vardy's tackle on saidio in the first minute we knew it was going to be a really tough game...Gini wijnaldum

 

Previously, the likes of Tom Smith, Jimmy Case, Graeme Souness and perhaps mascherano would have left something on Vardy immediately afterwards to remind him what he was up against.

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We were not quite prepared at the start (despite sixteen days to actually get prepared)and when you see vardy's tackle on saidio in the first minute we knew it was going to be a really tough game...Gini wijnaldum


And yet they shit their beds after it! It was very easy to that to everybody yet we didn't want to know afterwards. Speaking of Mane in particular,it was said before he signed how he would be up for the big games and not up for the lesser games and we have seen evidence of this too. I'm pleased with our style of football under Klopp but we are in need of Houllier and Benitez grafters and players with a desire that sometimes outweighs their actual ability.
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