The score doesn’t matter. Brighton win 3-0. The manager goes to the away end and prays for forgiveness after the full-time whistle. Liverpool have just suffered, perhaps, the most embarrassing defeat since Jurgen Klopp took over. There have been worse beats and more shocking ones, but there haven’t been more predictable ones. Just about everyone in the world saw this result coming, including the man in charge. That could be why he’s in front of the away end pleading with the fans at the end.
“I can’t remember a worse game. Not just at Liverpool, but ever.” Klopp says to the reporters. If this isn’t rock bottom, I fear to see what is. What more is there to say, really? After this sentence there’s going to be a few hundred words of analysis of just how bad things are for Liverpool, but those six words from the manager offer the most poignant summary.
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
Football, at its core, is a vibes based economy. At the end of the day that’s all you really have as a fan because you can’t really control anything in life. To that end, the vibes around Liverpool could not be any worse than they are in this moment. That might sound dramatic but hear me out.
I’ve been a Liverpool fan for a very long time. Istanbul, Hodgson, Hicks & Gillet, Andy Carroll, the Slip, Jurgen Klopp, the whole thing. Liverpool have been worse than they are right now to be certain. They were in the relegation zone under Roy Hodgson and the owners were a few minutes away from administration. The banter era, as the kids say.
However, none of that had worse vibes than right now. In May of last year we were 9 minutes and an insane goalkeeper performance away from doing something no other English club has ever done. The next day, Calvin Harris DJ’d a bus parade through the whole city of Liverpool for two domestic cup trophies. The vibes were immaculate. Sure, we had missed out on the two big shiny things but we had each other. We’ve seen Liverpool take some bad beats before, but when the hits kept coming we kept getting back up. That’s the story of Klopp’s Liverpool, right?
Now I’m not so sure. Just six months later Jurgen is telling the media he’s never seen a worse loss. There’s no idea or path forward. It’s just awful and can still get worse, probably. Every moment has the opportunity to be a sliding doors moment, right? After years of being on the end of the pendulum swinging in our favor, it does feel like this one might be the pendulum finally going the other way.
I’m not smart or brave enough to predict what’s going to happen. The players and the manager are the same players and the manager that have taken us to unprecedented heights. If this is indeed a sinking ship, there’s something to be said about them being the ones going down.
They’re all heroes to me. They always will be. Again, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s pretty obvious, though, that this group is probably not long for this world together. A major shakeup is needed. Be it the players, the manager, the owners, or some combination of all three.
But, just imagine these heroes winning one last war together. For us. For them. Most importantly for them.
Up the Reds.