Unfortunately I’m doing this editorial after the shambles down at Bournemouth. I initially put it together minutes after the final whistle before coming back to it twenty-four hours later. Only twenty-four hours later, I’m still in a state of shock.
After so much good football this season it was a sorry state of affairs and the only people to blame are the players. It wasn’t because Matip was missing, nor Coutinho it was simply down to professional footballers not being capable of doing the basics. Credit to Bournemouth for their fight back but it was worse to watch than the 2014 night down at Crystal Palace…and don’t get me started on the goalkeeper. I don’t get how anybody, the manager included can defend him. Nobody should try to defend what happened and one thing that didn’t happen was defending.
Our defence has been a worry all season, in fact, and as we all know it’s been a worry since long before Jürgen Klopp arrived. There were signs of a little improvement but as was shown at Selhurst earlier this season teams don’t have to do a lot to get goals against us. I’d like to think it was only a blip and I hope we can do something about it. It was the worst nightmare come true. I feel like I’ve been hit by a juggernaut. However, I’ll get over it, just hope the team can.
So we move into the Christmas glut of fixtures and thinking about them doesn’t exactly fill me with cheer either. The most expensive time of the year and the fixture planners hit us with game after game and the TV boys move them around at their leisure without any consideration for us, the fans. Surely somebody somewhere could have had a word about shifting the Manchester City game to an evening kick off on New Years Eve. Few buses, few trains! Ah well, as supporters we just have to grin and bear it and after watching that show down on the south coast grinning ain’t easy.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone seasonal greetings. Every New Year brings new challenges and for Liverpool there will be many. However, this time around the future looks a bit brighter than some we’ve had during this Fanzines life span. We’ve the League Cup semi against Southampton and an FA Cup Third Round game at Anfield against Newport or Plymouth to set us on our way. There’s Ben Woodburn, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria waiting to be called upon and we all look forward to seeing them again soon.
Welcome to the latest Issue and see you around what we all hope will soon be a happy hunting ground once again.
Still Wearing Black.
The big screens that dominate the fan Zone around Paisley Park focused on our past triumphs against Leeds United starting with the one in 1965. On a night where brass monkeys wouldn’t dared venture out for fear of balls freezing off 52,000 ventured to Anfield to witness something of a reunion in the League Cup [what’s the bloody ELC?]. The present Leeds are light years removed from the team of Revie and if the ‘Don’ was around today they’d probably seem like strangers in the night, recognisable only by the white strip he bestowed upon them to them think they were Real Madrid not long before Shanks decreed we’d wear all Red because it made us look bigger. The Leeds support wasn’t a lot different though, a mixture of the gallows humour and the obnoxious yet still passionate about a club that’s been dragged through more dirt than most will ever see. To be fair they created most of the atmosphere and perhaps because it was ‘only’ the League Cup [what’s the bloody ELC?] even Jürgen couldn’t be arsed about whipping up the crowd. Unlike against Spurs, his pick and mix eleven didn’t play with the same fluency as we’d hoped but we won and as The Kaiser mentioned afterwards, “It’s not about being pretty it about getting into the next round”. Had the boy we mentioned in the last issue hadn’t scored maybe the big talking point would have been the silence of DJ George. No names of subs given, there were six and our flashy scoreboard gave the second goal to Milner who wasn’t even on the pitch.
Somebody said as they left the game, “We made hard work of that” and it wasn’t far off the mark but the important thing was we won and despite Sunderland’s style we worked bloody hard.
After the Watford game we said that not too many sides will give us the spaces we prefer and last week that was evident against Southampton and Southampton were at home. Moyes said Sunderland would park a bus and that’s what they did. This is how it’s going to be when teams like Sunderland come to Anfield. To be fair to Sunderland they did what they had to do and showed some discipline in doing it.
I don’t think Coutinho going off early in the game made a lot of difference, Sunderland had already set out their stall and I think at times in the first half there was some frustration around but some of our players weren’t doing what they do best, like Manè for instance who seemed to be running into blind alleys rather than using whatever space was available.
Sunderland caused a bit of panic in our defence just the once in the second half and my heart was in my mouth, but we kept going at them. The Kaiser was at his most animated, orchestrating the crowd and urging the team forward and whether Divock Origi’s effort was a shot or a cross, I don’t care and I’m sure I saw the Kop roof move a little aided and abetted by the noise and a certain amount of relief. The penalty at least meant the last couple minutes could be watched without any further bouts of anxiety.
Nice to see Ben Woodburn get the chance of a little cameo appearance, he was featured in the current issue of Red All Over The Land which has just about sold out.