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Klopp's Flops

Anthony McIntyre is bored out of his tree with Liverpool's frequent somnambulant displays.

Seems odd to label as flops a team currently leading the English premiership. Yet come the end of the season when Manchester City will more than likely be champions, the floppy cap will then seem to have fitted well. Last night at half time during Liverpool's away game at West Ham United, the thought occurred that I must be off my trolley, watching the dung Liverpool churn out as soccer. At the end of a long tiring day, garbage is the last thing I want littering my mind. As grey as the kit they wore, the effort at West Ham lacked any panache. The trolley thought endured so I switched over to something more watchable.

If food on a par with Liverpool's performance was served up in a restaurant, so poor it would be dismissed as unfit for human consumption, the temptation would be to hurl it against the wall. It would most certainly not be eaten or paid for. Yet the preening, posing multi-millionaires, who fall over if breathed upon - the trash they ladle out as the main dish is somehow supposed to be palatable for their fans, many of whose pockets are empty once the match ticket is paid for. Chutzpah - they are even expected to go back the following week for more of the same or have their loyalty called into question.

Playing stultifying not scintillating soccer, that this lot top the Premiership is shambolism. They have flattered only to deceive and throw up memories of those Greek or Portuguese sides that managed to win the Euros back in the day with sole destroying outpourings of insufferable ennui. They have fumbled, fluked, scraped and scrambled their way into the yellow jersey with unedifying displays of football. Last night's offside goal against the Hammers was not the only unfair advantage this side have had put their way. The handball-assisted winning goal against Crystal Palace, the penalty that never was winner against Brighton, the decisive last minute penalty Spurs were not awarded - all of this rather than sportsmanship have pushed Liverpool into the lead role.

Factor in the 96th minute lucky strike against Everton, the deflected goals against Manchester United - this is all characteristic of an Anfield flair-free zone, a team that stumbles by on a wing and a prayer. They don't force the ball over the line after a gutsy battle around the box, it seems to trickle over like a golf ball, hovering at the edge, after taking a direction never intended, having glanced off the luckless shin of some opposing body not meant to be where they were. Mishaps not miracles.The only thing not true about the statement Liverpool fluking & cheating their way to the title, is that they are highly unlikely to seize the title.

Heresy to the devoted, nevertheless, it is unimaginable that the current Manchester United side under Ole Gunnar Solskjær would have allowed Liverpool's victory by deflection that the Merseysiders obtained against a flailing team under Mourinho.

Virgil Van Dijk despite his pre-eminence at the heart of the defence can't stop the rot. The defensive bungling from dead ball set pieces coveys the image that Lovren is now coaching defenders. At least Nosferatu Škrtel's frequent own goals looked authentic, something lacking throughout this Liverpool side.

The show I turned it over to watch was Silent Witness. If I wanted to view something featuring corpses, then the crime drama about forensic pathologists is the setting for that, not the soccer pitch where something other than the lifeless form is supposed to be on offer. I asked my wife to cancel the monthly subscription to Sky Sports. As we had paid into it really for the purpose of watching Liverpool games, it is a complete waste of money: the Robin Hood syndrome in reverse. The only game I have enjoyed recently on the channel was a match between Linfield and Glentoran. The Glens are not a good side these days but they try: and they know their station, not posing like some fairy precariously poised at the top of the tree where the only way is down.

In terms of the beautiful game it would be a travesty if this current Liverpool side were to win the Premier league title. What a terrible advertisement for the game. The champions of quirks and fortuity. If they take the Premiership there will be no personal joy in it, just a sense of relief that the people of Liverpool might have their frustration lanced: a pyrrhic victory.

I hope to return to Anfield some day, but only to visit the Eternal Flame shrine at the ground, not to watch the soccer. The people of that city deserve much better than this lot are giving them, and have deserved such for quite some time. When the team read about themselves in the Sun today, few will be thinking about the fans. Their loyalties lie elsewhere.


Anthony McIntyre blogs @ The Pensive Quill. Follow Anthony McIntyre on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

34 comments to ''Klopp's Flops "

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  1. "When the team read about themselves in the Sun today, few will be thinking about the fans. Their loyalties lie elsewhere."

    A statement loaded with sting and pathos.

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  2. Told ye, yousen's had plenty of time to fuck it up! lol

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  3. I am hardly alone in my sentiment. And some fans are resorting to the hope that Everton might do them a favour. It does not matter who does them a favour. 13 games left - and 13 draws will just not win the title.

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  4. Spurs are in the run too although their recent victories are based on good fortune but nevertheless at least they are chasing it......it's not over by a long shot yet but you are right AM, the Scousers have relied too much on others mistakes to reach the top...if City win tonight against Everton then the psychological effect that will have on Liverpool will be enormous....Would this Liverpool team beat Bayern and at Anfield too....Bayern is an old team but still....I switch off the Premier League at this time of year for the 6 Nations and the GAA National League but tune in now and again for the Champions League

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  5. AM

    As a Leeds United fan with similar worries about screwing up promotion, I say keep the faith with Klopp. Good players do not become bad ones over night. As I have said before, football needs Liverpool to win the Premiership and Klopp's football deserves the vindication of trophies.

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  6. Niall - they are a team who have fluked their way to the top, have been found out, and who are now frozen in the glare of it all. You are right about Spurs - more worthy contenders from the point of view of good soccer. Manchester United too. My only reason for wanting Liverpool to win the title is the people of the city who have taken huge blows. I have no interest in the team for its own sake - won't as much as look at another game this season. City should stuff Everton tonight and watch what that does to the ballerinas.

    Barry - it is not a question of good players going bad overnight. Their good status is mythical - it is based not on their own goodness but their own flukes and the failures of others. If Klopp has football then let them play it. A team that plays good soccer but misses out on trophies is preferable to a team playing bad soccer that wins them. Hillsborough was a terrible disaster but the thought of people dying while watching the current crap would only add to misery of it all and beg the question "for what?"

    It is not losing the title or games that is the issue here … but the way it is lost. Few complaints when they lost to City: at least they put up a performance.

    A good 6-0 thrashing would bring a lot of clarity to what this side is actually about. To quote Warren Buffet, it is when the tide goes out that we can see who is naked. These fuckers are as naked as a jaybird and the sad thing is they mask it by shamelessly wearing the shirt.

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  7. Man City now top - a 1-1 Liverpool draw with Bournemouth on Saturday will sort that … FFS

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  8. AM
    'Ballerinas' - priceless that one....as the advert states -'....for everything else there's Mastercard'

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  9. Emiliano Sala has been dead two weeks now but if he was in that Liverpool team how would we even know?

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  10. Where is Peter Anderson? He usually has a view on these matters.

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  11. Reds on course for the fourth highest points tally in the ever and also a club record tally.Can't compete V limitless money at City.Great performances in first half of season. Best eleven as good as any team on planet,injuries are piling up.Strengthen and may win big trophy next yr or maybe this, injuries permitting.Four new players needed.

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  12. Ronan - a lot of lot is explained away by fluking and fumbling. A 1-1 draw from each of the remaining matches gets them 13 points. They should do better than lot but would you bet on them?

    They are always in need of four more players - it is the perennial excuse - the seemingly cured back line has become a shambles and the coordination between midfield and the front line is beyond poor.

    If they lose this title which I expect them to, they will be the butt of ridicule for years to come. Rodgers' failure to get it was not as a result of capitulation and would not compare.

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  13. As a devoted Man U fan I sincerely hope that Liverpool go on and win the league, the Vauxhall Conference is about their grade

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  14. The days of winning titles with eighty points or its equivalent ended in 2000 when Fergie scored 91.A corner shop can't compete with a supermarket.Rodgers left behind a mess that conceded fifty lge goals a season.Reds have best defence in lge and could score a points tally that Ferguson, Paisley,Mourinho never reached and still finish second. Similar to Andy Murray being unable to compete against the three greats, Roger,Rafa,Novak,he was born in the wrong era,would of won more against Edberg and Becket etc.More footie on the site please,politics is boring

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  15. Ronan - Politics is Boring - few will disagree - Liverpool are also boring. Since being found out there defence has been exposed as not fit for purpose. Rodgers' was poor at defence but his team the season they missed out tried. The one game they deserve criticised for is the 3-3 against Palace where they gave away three goals in 11 minutes. But by then the title was effectively lost with the Chelsea game. This side would be alright if they got about 9 new players. Not a bad top six side but more than that seems hype. Rodgers defence was weak but not nearly as weak as this midfield.

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  16. Bournemouth must be furious at a missed opportunity against the duffers

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  17. AM

    You are too harsh; Liverpool are still in control of their destiny and in the process making me a slightly wealthier man!

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  18. Barry - Manchester United are in control of Liverpool's destiny I think - even of the 1-1 men manage to win every other game and Man City do the same and goal difference stays the same as it is. I expect Man U to drub them when they next meet. I know they will see a false dawn in yesterday's win but Bournemouth and tell anybody who will listen that they beat one Europe's three Big Beasts - Barcelona, Bayern and Bournemouth.

    I hope you win the money because I would hate to see them lose it only because of the fans and the history of the city. The team has meant little or nothing to me for a while.

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  19. Just watching the City - Chelsea game. Embarrassing. Could not see Liverpool win by that margin: in fact I would not be confident that Liverpool would even beat Chelsea.

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    1. Absolutely unacceptable display by Chelsea, lacking in ideas and testicular fortitude. Sarri has clearly lost the dressing room and last weeks result must have been two fingers up at him from the players- before again downing tools today. They clearly don't respect him. Time to get Lampard in.

      ( Is it too late now to sack Sarri?)- Sung in Justin Beibers voice. Even a diehard Chelsea man like myself had to laugh at that one!

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  20. It was a terrible display - Sorry won't be around much longer but not sure Lampard is the man just yet. He should break the mould and bring in a woman

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    1. We need someone who the dressing room respects and has won everything with the club previously. Lampard would be ideal for this. I can't think of any women who would have the experience that he has either?

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    2. Steve - the saying is that we don't step in the same river twice. it has flowed on so much. Lampard at some point I guess, but I am not sure if now is the right time. The woman suggestion was simply a kite flyer about what is down the line. Increasingly their punditry is top of the range, they are moving into match official positions and at some point they will take up managerial roles. It is a good thing. But you are right, I can't think of one at the minute who could haul Chelsea's fortunes around.

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    3. Can't see it for the foreseeable future though. The underlaying chauvinism would be too great I feel. Men need a Cesar and women need a consensus. Can you imagine a woman trying to scream at a bunch of blokes when she has not played at their level? They would ignore her.

      On second thoughts it's probably not that different from the Chelsea change rooms right now!

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    4. Steve - women are prime ministers.

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    5. Fair point. Maybe it's my own subconcious chauvism that's saying 'not likely'.

      But they need to earn it, none of this PC shite to fill a quota. I respected John Barnes when he pointed out that there are few black managers but they need to earn it rather than have it handed to them.

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  21. Steve - PC Wank has no purchase with me either. If allowed to spread unfettered every match will have to end in a draw in the interests of equality.

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  22. AM, Steve

    Nevertheless, a Rooney rule is required to tackle the institutionalised racism that pervades the upper echelons of English football.

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    1. Barry,

      That's affirmative action bollocks. Even the few black coaches there are, are against that idea. Given the vast sums of money involved now, I think that if a black coach had the skills to win he'd find many doors openning to him.

      What club would say no to a winning black coach these days? If Drogba turns out to be a first class coach every single Chelsea fan would sacrifice their first-born to have him. Hell, he's a God to us!

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  23. Steve R

    So why are there so few BAME coaches, managers and administrators in football?

    What is wrong with having at least one BAME candidate in the field for every top football appointment which the Rooney rule ensures in US gridiron football? It is not positive discrimination but merely a sway of ensuring a more level playing field (excuse the pun) for BAME coaches.

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    1. Barry,

      Why are there only 4 English managers in the top flight? Why is there also an Irish mixed race manager in the top flight if it's insipidly racist? It's down to merit. There are more foreign coaches because they produce the results, capitalism is blind.

      And the Rooney rule has not produced the results in gridiron for the same reason (and it's also why so many BAME ex-players are against its introduction in the UK)

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  24. Steve R

    Does it not strike you as odd that there are perhaps 25% black players in all four divisions and that one can still count on the fingers of one hand the amount of black managers? Meritocracy is a myth in football as it is in most other walks of life; it's who you know .....

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    1. Barry,

      "Does it not strike you as odd that there are perhaps 25% black players in all four divisions and that one can still count on the fingers of one hand the amount of black managers"

      Certainly there was a racial barrier, but I think society has progressed somewhat. I would like to see more managers from diverse backgrounds but I want them to cut their teeth rather than have anything handed to them because of the colour of their skin...because that would be racist in and of itself.

      My point still stands though. If and when BAME managers produce the goods then clubs won't care. Money rules above all at the end of the day.

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  25. Barry - do you think there is a deliberate block on black managers?

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