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 soul 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.