The ball was hitting the net at about the same rate as red snooker balls were dropping into the pockets. One-two-three-four…
I don’t ordinarily have much to say about matches I’ve not attended, but Selhurst Park on Saturday was something quite extraordinary.
I haven’t got BT Sport, so I had to rely on text commentary to keep abreast and with a 12.30pm start, I was also late switching on; only by five minutes, but that was enough to miss the opener with a double surprise at Minamino on the score sheet.
After that, there was no stopping Klopp’s mentality monsters. It had been coming for some time though. The Reds have been more than a touch profligate for some weeks, so that there was always gonna come an occasion when every other chance would be successful.
Perhaps some might be inclined to sympathise with Roy Hodgson, but I’m not one of them. He and Mourinho have two things in common – the first is they revel in playing defensive football; the second is they have no alternative if all doesn’t go to plan. And there it was in a nutshell. Hodgson’s game plan came unstuck in just two minutes.
It could get even worse if, as surely will happen, Wilfred Zaha opts to go somewhere else in the January window.
Still, that’s Palace and not our concern. Klopp’s biggest problem is how he’ll be able to keep everyone happy when many of his injured players return. It’s all well and good, rubbing our hands with glee at the thought of Kylian Mbappe or Jadon Sancho joining Liverpool, but we can only play ten outfielders and it’s those on the day who must come together to form the best team.
Having watched Rhys Williams play both Kane and Son out of the game against Spurs, I am very much inclined to think the youngster is not only well up to the job, but is also a far more reliable body than the injury-prone Matip.
How many squad players does any top side need to justify the financial outlay especially when several of our youngsters are so good. Obviously, one downside is regularly sited as the lack of mature physique, but, having said that, it hasn’t seemed much in evidence with regards the two Williams, Philips and Jones, for example.
The monthly wages on that group is a lot less too.
It’s all about having the insurance of back-up, but by February, Klopp could find himself with a whole team of disenchanted players who cannot get a game. Then how much will morale suffer? What a conundrum!
Finally, returning specifically to the Palace game and a personal feeling of euphoria at the third Reds’ goal. I love those pitch-long breakaways that see a goal scored in the twinkling of an eye. This one was right up there with previous similar strikes against West Ham, Brighton and Man City, to mention just three.