Sunday 26 January 2020

Lack of talent to blame for Anfield woes, not conspiracy

Chris Bascombe

THE end-of-season report filed by Kenny Dalglish will need to be bigger than 'War and Peace' to chronicle Liverpool's problems. It may yet be Dalglish's best chance of surviving an internal investigation.

By continuing to swell the contents of the club review, it would take John Henry and Tom Werner all summer to read. By the time they have digested the conclusions, it may be too late to consider a change.

The Americans will be at Wembley on Saturday to watch the FA Cup semi-final against Everton, and will meet Dalglish before the game. He will need to be at his most charming -- and for the owners to be at their most gullible -- to earn sympathy for Liverpool's league position following another grim draw at home.

Conspiracy

A familiar post-match dissection was little more than a rerun of their season's failings. Dalglish gave a hint of what his explanation will be for the awful sequence of results and, worryingly, appears to be inviting all those of an Anfield persuasion to consider the possibility of a grand conspiracy, or factors "beyond their jurisdiction".

So off we toddle, left to contemplate whether Liverpool's latest setback was a consequence of lack of quality or the dual effects of bad luck and incompetent officiating. It needs all of two seconds for a reasoned conclusion.

This performance, studded by cameos from certain players who would struggle to feature in a Championship team, shows that Liverpool's toils are of their own making. Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey are the closest Liverpool have come to pairing Tweedledum and Tweedledee in central midfield.

They are the sort of players you imagine queuing to get Steven Gerrard to sign their shirt after a game. Their inclusion is symptomatic of why Liverpool are where they are. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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