By Jim Kostecki
Disclaimer: This article may or may not contain sarcasm.
I remember a time when watching a Liverpool game was enjoyable
Watching Liverpool these days is what I imagine a colonoscopy to feel like – awkward and painful, yet slightly comforting in a weird way. Did I mention awkward?
While my fellow Liverpool friends celebrated Liverpool’s come from behind win on Sunday, I couldn’t help but think, “What the hell did I just watch?” It seems that being in the bottom-half of the Premier League table for the first 15 games of the season has numbed me to a concept that only teams of the highest caliber subscribe to: finding a way to win. This ethos is something that Liverpool blatantly refuses to follow.
Many comical, bizarre, and downright puzzling events happened on Sunday
No Striker? No problem. The fullback will score.
Let’s play a game of ‘word association’. I’m going to rattle off a few names from Liverpool’s starting line-up on Sunday, and I want you, the reader, to say the first word that comes to mind.
Jonjo Shelvey. Raheem Sterling. Stewart Downing. Joe Allen.
If you said “useless”, you couldn’t be more wrong. These guys are goal scorers, plain and simple. They eat, drink, breathe, and live for scoring goals. In fact, if you were to tell either of them “You won’t score a goal today”, you know what they’d say? “Bollocks. False. Wrong.” So when I read the team sheet against West Ham, Suarez’s absence did not worry me. We have goal scorers. Piece of cake.
To my surprise, who comes barreling down the right side of the field to hit an absolute gem in the top corner? Glen freakin’ right back Johnson. No Luis Suarez? No problem. The defender clearly took lessons from the aforementioned goal scorers and contributed a wonder strike that would make even Joe Cole proud. Ah yes… Joe Cole.
Don’t even get me started on Joe Cole.
You heard me. If I hear one more commentator defend the former England international by citing his performance last season while on loan with Ligue 1 side Lille, I may get physically sick. Do you know who cares about the French league? No one. Do you know what Joe Cole has done during his 41 appearances for Liverpool? Nothing.
You could say I was a bit surprised to see the former West Ham youth player take an exceptional first touch inside the box and finish beautifully with his weaker foot. Liverpool fans can only hope this will be the start of many goals for Joe Cole in a Liverpool shirt. But where would that leave Shelvey, Downing, Sterling, and Allen? There’s only so many goals one team can score. At this rate, Suarez will have a hard time breaking into this starting line-up.
It doesn’t matter where Stewart Downing plays, he’s terrible.
Steven Gerrard proved he’s still a threat in front of goal
Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, the captain scored his first goal since September for the wrong team. Just when you were starting to not only lose faith in the goal-scoring machines already on the field for Liverpool, the only man that is even remotely capable of winning the game goes and gives the away team the lead. However, in Gerrard’s defense, it’s not a real soccer game without a little drama – so why not set up a come-from-behind scenario?
Remember the colonoscopy analogy from earlier? Well, Steven Gerrard managed to make the rectal exam that much more awkward.
Liverpool isn’t supposed to come from behind
This team never finds a way to win, plain and simple. After drawing nearly a hundred games in a row – which I believe would have been a new English record – Liverpool has lost the winning mentality needed to be successful in the Premier League. In fact, I have never seen a team try so hard not to win. So when Liverpool went down 2-1 at the end of the first half, it was pretty clear what the final result would be. “My goodness, where is David N’Gog when you need him” I thought. Now he was a goal scorer.
After a shock Joe Cole equalizer, there was nothing left to do but hit the post a dozen times and see out the draw. “Not on my watch!” exclaimed a creepy looking bald Welshman. After darting in front of Jonjo Shelvey, another creepy looking bald man, James Collins took the slightest of touches to knock the ball past his own goalkeeper. Liverpool 3, West Ham 2. Mind = blown.
Top 10? Top 4!
Ready yourselves Liverpool fans. This win has all the pundits talking about a possible Liverpool resurgence. With home games against Aston Villa and Fulham, and away games to Stoke and QPR to close out the calendar year, the Reds have a mouth-watering opportunity to gain some ground on the top four. If you are afraid of Liverpool blowing this wonderfully favorable schedule, fear not – the results are always opposite of what you’d expect.
You can follow Jim Kostecki on twitter @jim_kostecki.
- Summer Signings: Mid-Season Report (lfcboston.wordpress.com)