One step forward, two steps backward. Shooting yourself in the foot. Self-sabotage. Whatever you want to call Liverpool losing to Nottingham Forest 1-0, it’s a very poor afternoon for Jurgen Klopp and his team. Just simply not good enough.
This is the same Liverpool team that had wrestled their way back into making this season interesting just 6 days ago. This is the same Liverpool team that held strong against a very good West Ham side on Wednesday. And, well, this is the same Liverpool team that loss 1-0 to a 20th place Nottingham Forest side.
Not sure where to go from here. But I guess up is the only direction. Now join us as we examine some of the narratives, tactics, reactions, and questions Liverpool will be dealing with and the fans will be talking about in the aftermath.
Dissecting the Narrative
Not good enough. Really bad. An awful experience.
After the Brighton draw, Liverpool had every opportunity to define their season with the resilience we’ve seen from them over the years. That sort of fight and grit from the team might still be in there, but you can’t rely on that alone. The quality just isn’t there with this side anymore. When Virgil van Dijk goes up for three clean headers from set pieces and doesn’t score any of them, that’s shocking. Joe Gomez not having a passing option while standing on his own halfway line, then having to take a yellow card to stop a clean breakaway, and then watching the ball go into the net as his mark scored. Fabinho not passing, running, defending, or shooting well. An attacking fulcrum built on James Milner at rightback and Harvey Elliott at right mid. It just simply isn’t good enough.
Just about the only thing Liverpool do well right now is give their opponents all the encouragement they need to believe in themselves. Forest were 20th in the table this summer with a squad of players that were mostly made up with players who were never good enough for Liverpool’s first team. Or players who were castaways by other Premier League squads like Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur. They kept a cleansheet after conceding 23 goals through 11 games.
Just a couple years ago we remember our season being on the brink of disaster and Alisson Becker coming up for a corner only to score it and rescue Liverpool’s top 4 hopes. Today, Alisson came up for not one but two corners and, well, didn’t score. The problem with that is it’s not even November and Liverpool’s season is already off the rails.
Obviously, this team and this manager are good enough to right the ship. But defining what that means because increasingly bleak. Just six days ago Liverpool gave us and themselves a glimmer of hope for something spectacular. Today Liverpool gave us and themselves a dose of reality: this will be a very flawed season. Nothing is deserved and they will gain nothing if they continue to perform like this.
A fight and a scrap for top 4 in one of the most competitive Premier League seasons we’ve ever seen. Just a few months after nearly doing the quadruple. No time to feel sorry for yourselves, Reds, there’s work to do.
Not good enough. Need to be better. Quickly. Up the Reds.