Paper Planes or Red Arrows… are Liverpool back?

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The paper planes are a thing of the past, the swashbuckling Spurs slaying Red Arrows are back in the business.

Or are they? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it will be a while until we can say Jürgen Klopp’s reds are back in the sky.

What happened during the month of January was nothing short of a disaster. Liverpool were dumped out of every competition they were involved in, which additionally included the race for the title.

The Red arrows could barely reach lift off, and one win against an out of form Tottenham side does not change the scenario.

Plastered all over social-media there seems to be an almost relaxed feel to the Red’s now. Hotshot Sadio Mane is back, the side are enjoying their warm weather training in La Manga and we have out of form Leicester City in our next game, in the race for forth.

Notice how I say the race for fourth, something that our season will now be ultimately defined by. Yet as aforementioned, one win against a Tottenham side who in themselves were out of form and have a sketchy record at Anfield does not constitute us to being back to what we were.

The opposition, usually being relegation candidates have figured out how to play against the explosive nature of Klopp’s side. ‘Just sit back and let our unformidable defence implode’, seems to be the tactic, one that worked for Hull City and Oumar Niasse, yes, Oumar Niasse.

The primary reason why I state we are not ‘back’ is because when it is backs against the wall stuff, we always do it. I could refer back to a previous article of mine where I state that I wait for Liverpool to get into a position where it matters, just for us to bottle the situation.

The game against Tottenham was the perfect situation. Go in as the underdogs, surprise everyone and get the win.

But where was that mental resilience against Hull City? The players seemed to freeze under the weight of expectation, like a rabbit in the headlights, they are so afraid of failure they almost waited for the inevitable situation of defeat.

The above analogy of the Hull City game is almost a carbon copy of the season and that is why the ideal that we have turned a corner and a win against Leicester will we a foregone conclusion cannot be further from the truth.

Jurgen Klopp knows his side have a weakened mentality and that is why he has been so quick to praise Leicester in the build up to the fixture, in an attempt to take the weight off his players.

He says: “We, if you want, could be the first team to face this ‘new’ Leicester. But it’s possible to win.

“They’re fighting for the league 100 per cent now and maybe this is the moment they recognise there’s really nothing else to do in this season.”

Arguably one of Leicester’s season defining moments in their championship winning campaign was a 2-0 win over Liverpool, with striker Jamie Vardy scoring the goal of his career. This will still be etched in the memory of their players and fans alike, they have yet to score a goal in 2017 a fixture against Liverpool could be the game they have waited for.

I must reiterate this is not Liverpool bashing. Yet nevertheless I do feel the assumption that the red arrows are in line for another take off after a win against Tottenham is rather premature.

The fixture to come against Leicester represents a challenge of a different nature – a mental challenge. Overcome this and perhaps the argument that Liverpool are where they were at New Year could start to be justified.

For now, the planes are very much still in the hanger, a win against Leicester would change this, but we all know what happens when we put our faith in Liverpool.

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  1. To be frank i would be the least surprised if lose against Leicester simply because this is now a team that everyone beats but trust our club to screw it up. Why are we always in such a state? I blame our fans or some of us as they are masters at making excuses for failures. “Oh Klopp is in his first season, what would you expect “, well for this reason please look at someone named Conte.Or “we dont have the players ” i did not recall Leicester have any world beaters last season. Truth is from the owners to some of the fans, they are all allergic to trophies, well we sow what we get. Only LFC can screw up such big time from a position of such promise. Imagine just 1 league win in 2017 so far.

  2. Although a lot of what you said is correct it’s isn’t so much a mentality thing, I don’t think the players are failing in these kind of games because they are used to that being the norm; more a case of that you explained, the smaller teams have sussed us out.
    City, arsenal, spurs, these three we’ve beaten or at least drawn (spurs early on) and that’s because these teams wanna play. Space opens up and that’s where we are dangerous.
    Smaller clubs will basically be thinking pre-match ‘keep it tight, 10 men behind the ball and if we get a presentable chance then go for it, but we set up to not lose’ and this is infuriating to watch as a fan so you can imagine how the players will feel.
    Oh, and not to be a stick in the mud; but I’m sure when coutinho signed his extension we lost the next game… so definitely prepare for a upset.

  3. There’s an incorrect assumption that doing the round. I cringe when i hear this tripe about us being worked out. Sunderland and Swansea didn’t do a particularly good job of working us out, we scored four goals, which should be enough to win those games, admittedly without paying well. But they got their results throuugh accident rather than design, we imploded defensively.

    Hull didn’t sit back, they pressed us all over the pitch and forced the mistakes which led to the goals. So the idea that the run of results is down to some blue print doing the rounds in the lower reaches of the table, i can’t get on board with. Seems like lazy analysis. More likely we lost key players and had to move other key players out of position to accommodate. We lost our rhythm, confidence and the three most crucial players to our set up all at the same time. The limitations of the squad were laid bare rather than a tactical dead end. I pray for two thing for the rest of the season. Matip, Coutinho and Mane stay fit and teams sit back against us.


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