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"Woah, we're half way there" by John Brennan - Opinion - The Liverpool Way Jump to content

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"Woah, we're half way there" by John Brennan

I’ve always been grateful for la sécurité sociale, as the French equivalent of the NHS is known. Some of the best general practitioners around and a plethora of specialists.

 

They know how to deal with stress, nerves, insomnia, irregular heartbeats, etc., etc. as well as anyone. Well, at least I hope they do, because I’m going to be needing them over the next six months.

 

I thought this would be enjoyable. But it’s not really, is it? Maybe that’s because I’m a miserable old sod or maybe it’s just a defence mechanism against the inevitable disappointment that we’ve become used to – in terms of the Title at any rate – in the last 30-odd years. Whatever it is, the “enjoyment” is ephemeral – when we go close, when we score, when I engage in a flurry of WhatsApp messages after the game.

 

And then, when the lights go out and you’re waiting for the next game, three days later, looking at the different permutations, a thousand scenarios going through your mind, you realise that the next five months are going to be unbearable. Millions of Reds’ daily existence and possibly state of mind dictated to by what goes on during those 90 minutes… 

 

In the last few days Klopp has tried to douse the fires of optimism. And while you can’t blame him for that, you also can’t blame Reds for believing our time has come (again). Of course, there’s plenty of drivel too: I saw someone refer to us as “Champions-elect” last week. But most of the enthusiasm is justified based on a) years of pent-up hope which is looking more and more justified and b) our first half of the season.

 

I did a piece for the site at the start of the season and I mentioned that I couldn’t believe the optimism going into a new season, mainly because we had finished 25 points behind City! To make up that gap, we would have to effectively win NINE GAMES MORE than last season, assuming they maintained their level. We are on course to do that: we’ve won 16 out of 19, as against 21 out of 38 for the whole of last season.

 

City can only get to 100 points if they win the rest of their games. So, the optimism – with the hindsight of half a season – was well founded. I don’t know if it was blind faith in Klopp and this team or some solid reasoning or a bit of both, but whatever it was, I wish I were more like those Reds!

 

The other reservation I had was our goals against column, as I wrote at the time: 

 

“From 1.33 goals a game conceded in his first season, we progressed to 1.10 a game in 2016-2017 and to 1 last season (2017-2018). The hope is that Alisson will finally win us points. We haven’t been able to say that for years; decades, perhaps.

 

When was the last time we would say a keeper was worth X number of points a season to us? Often, it’s been the opposite: they’ve cost us points and more recently trophies. The plus/minus on that front will go a long way to dictating our season.

 

I’ve said it before: Salah, Bobby and Sadio (and maybe even Daniel now!) can’t be expected to go to the well week after week. They need to know that ONE will be enough sometimes.

 

Again, this is an area in which we’ve progressed immensely. In 2016-2017 we kept 11 clean sheets, last season we were up to 18. We’re going to need to produce those numbers this season to sustain a Title challenge and all the while be as prolific up front as we were last season.”

 

Ask and you shall receive! Alisson has been a revelation, one or two faux pas aside, but that comes with the territory with him. Virgil has just got better with every game and has also made everyone else better. 12 clean sheets out of 19 tells its own story.

 

We concede an average of a goal every 244 minutes, essentially a goal every three games! And we’ve managed to do all this while still averaging well over 2 goals a game. We may not be as exciting as we were last season, although there are signs that this could be changing, but we are certainly a more clinical outfit.

 

That Klopp has managed to do all this while having to contend with numerous injuries – Trent, Joe, Lovren, Keita, Hendo and Milner have all been out at different stages – is to his eternal credit. His man management, notably of Fabinho, has been just right. And his signings have improved us – no given in terms of Liverpool managers over the years. Shaqiri was a steal and the bargain of this team. Apart from The Great Andy Robertson.

 

I hoped at the start of the season to improve on last season’s total of 75 points. That should be doable now! But things can change very quickly. City have had a blip, one from which they could roar back. Spurs, since losing to us, have won 12 out of 14!

 

The next month will tell a lot. If, after our next five games, we are sitting on 60 points, then I might start believing. And making medical appointments. 

 

John Brennan

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Nice John, I'd stop worrying if I were you, we won't win it, we won't even get near. There's only one club these days that fucks it up after leading at christmas and they wear red and reside in L4.

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Can’t be arsed reading all that shit after reading the total load of shite you wrote last year. And it’s all down to our ‘cheerleader in chief’. 

 

s it safe to come out? Not in the Elton John way, mind. I needed a break from the madness of the transfer window. I’m just delighted that we can get back to the footy now. None of those close season highs in anticipation of a big signing and lows when we didn’t land our man. No, Klopp’s Reds are the very model of sanity, in no way intent on playing with our emotions and blood pressure. Snarky enough?

Anyway, the transfer window? Or “That’s the transfer window!” as Klopp will probably shout to the Main Stand if AOC – or whatever we’re calling him (and frankly, who cares?) – scores. Forgive me for using the conjunction “if”, rather than “when”, but NINE goals in 129 League games over SIX seasons will tend to make you sceptical. Another injury-prone player? For £35m? To add to competition for places with Hendo, Milner (our “new midfielder”, remember), Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mané, Salah and Coutinho. Just what we needed!

 

Apologies for the cynicism. No, really. When Can is moved back to centre-half and when our “new midfielder” goes back to left-back due to the inadequacies of our defence, Chamberlain may well come in handy. I can’t wait to hear Klopp justifying this signing! There are those who’ll say it wasn’t a last-minute thing as he’s been linked with us all summer. But who hasn’t been linked with us since FSG got here? Nobody, that’s who.

 

It smacks of an “appeasement” signing to keep us in line. You got Salah. You got Chamberlain. We KEPT Coutinho, fending off the might of Barça. Hell, we even got you Robertson from Hull. Now, do please shut up!

 

I wrote the above on the first weekend of the international break, got side-tracked (think Moreno) and have just found the time now to come back to things. I could talk about us whacking Arsenal, but where’s the fun in that? We were good; they made us look great. Which goes to show that even Arsenal are capable of pulling the wool over Reds’ eyes. Klopp managed to keep his mouth shut for most of the ten days, which in itself is a miracle. Thing is, with him, you know that his next outpouring of verbiage is never far away.

 

Citeh? I’ve said in previous pieces that this team would sometimes need to score four to win. I thought that was reasonable enough! But never five. As for six… There were mitigating circumstances, of course. It’s hard enough playing City with 11 on the park. Try doing it with six. Oh sorry, you thought I was going to count our back four?! There’s no shame in losing to City; the shame is the way we packed it in. so the players obviously have to take responsibility. As does the “Boss”.

 

When anyone dares criticize him, of course, Kloppites trot out the same old “arguments”: “Would you prefer to go back to the 6-1 hammerings at Stoke?” (well, at least we scored that day); “I’d prefer this to those drab days under GH and Rafa.” (yeah, winning all those troffies and trophies, pffff, much over-rated). The reason we are in this mess and that we won’t win anything this season is the fault of the Board and Klopp.

 

In seventy-two League games, his teams have conceded 90 goals. NINETY!!! Seventy-two games is surely enough to realize there’s a problem and more importantly to try to fix it! Up front, this guy has a Plan A, B, C, D and E. There is literally a dozen combinations he has at his disposal and he deserves credit for that.

 

But at the back his Plan A is, at the very best, Clyne, Matip, Lovren and Milner. One of those is injured, the other is average at best, the other is a liability – literally, he’ll cost us 10 goals this season – and the other is our “new midfielder”. If Lovren or Matip get injured, Klavan can slot in! This is negligence on Klopp’s and the Club’s part. But woe betide you if you dare criticize him.

 

That’s the thing with the Cheerleader-in-Chief. Nothing sticks. Get beaten 5-0 at City? He has a built-in excuse with Mané’s sending-off. It would be cynical to suggest that was why he made such a big deal out of it, of course. Concede three at Watford? It wasn’t “that bad” and “too much was made of our defending”. Score on the counter-attack? Shout “That’s football!” at the crowd in a self-congratulatory manner. He’s above us all, isn’t he? The defence is just the on-field manifestation of this guy’s arrogance.

 

We can score at will and we’ll probably score over 100 goals this season. It’s the 14th of September and we’ve already got 16! Thing is, we’ve conceded 13. In seven games, we’ve conceded two or more in four of them (1 W, 2 D and 1 L). Even with our front men, we can’t continue taking on water. How can we expect them to score THREE or FOUR week-in, week-out and still not be guaranteed the win?

 

Lack of signings and an obvious inability to find answers to our numerous defensive problems are compromising any chance of success this season. We’ve got to get to January with these defenders: 23 more games in all, 17 in the League. By which stage we will have conceded another 30-35 goals. And put paid to another season.

 

But we have Oxlade-Chamberlain

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5 minutes ago, moof said:

That article last year was sneering bollocks, and he was rightly criticised for it. 

 

This is a good one, however 

 It may well be, but the thing is he’ll change his opinion if we go on a bad run and finish 4th or something. 

 

‘’I thought this would be enjoyable. But it’s not really, is it? Maybe that’s because I’m a miserable old sod or maybe it’s just a defence mechanism against the inevitable disappointment that we’ve become used to”

if he’s not enjoying know, god help us when it goes a little bit tits up. 

 

if he cant enjoy what’s going on now, and he jumps on the managers back after a bit of a shitty spell, he may as well pack it in. We all cant believe we are we are and I think most of us don’t really believe we can stay there. But it is and we are and it’s fucking great, it’s great because it has been so unexpected. I keep waiting for us to slip up, the Derby, Bournemouth, Burnley away, the Mancs, Leics away, Arsenal,and Chelsea away, City at home. And the slip ups ain’t happening. Is fucking brilliant. If you can’t enjoy that, and then jump on the managers back after a shitty spell (last season) then he may as well pack it in. 

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Come on now. Most of us have posted shite on here in the past. Stuff that looked silly at the time and even sillier now. John may well have written the worst LFC article of all time but it shouldn’t be held against him forever. We’re all friends here. 

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That article last year was fucking laughable and he should rightfully be ripped to pieces every time he pops up.  When you’re that wrong your opinion is basically void going forward.

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