John Gibbons: Huddersfield is suddenly the biggest game of the season

The Anfield Wrap writer looks at where it has all gone wrong for Liverpool of late…

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Immediately after the Manchester City game I went on holiday, which was great. I got to sit in the sun in Egypt and think about how great Liverpool were. Every now and again someone from the hotel would find out I was from Liverpool and want to talk about Mo Salah. It was lovely. Supporting The Reds was the most fun in the world.

I was actually in the air for the Swansea game. No bother, I thought, it will be a nice thing to land to. I speculated how many Liverpool will have scored against the hapless Swans defence. I pictured attacking players, bored of the lack of challenge from the opposition, competing against each other instead for who could net the most. We were flying, they were bottom, there was no question of a Liverpool win, surely?

It is fair to say I arrived back in England with a bump. It was raining and cold. What a return to the real world that was. I didn’t even bother to watch it back. What’s the point? I’ve seen that game before. Where Jurgen’s boys have lots of the ball, but do very little and the opposition score from their only shot on target against whatever goalkeeper we decide to pick that week. However, luckily it didn’t matter as Liverpool were determined for me to watch them be absolutely rubbish.

My reward for refusing to watch a single second of the Swansea game was the debacle on Saturday night. How kind of them to not let me miss out on the fury watching Liverpool can bring.

Lots of mad things happened on Saturday night. The referee Craig Pawson VARing every decision, including how he was going to get home that night, what he was going to have for breakfast and then only adding on four minutes of injury time.

West Brom scoring three goals in the first half, and still had another disallowed for, well, I don’t know they don’t tell the fans in the ground. Liverpool being the first team to get a penalty from said VAR and still managing to miss it. Emre Can being captain even though he’s getting off as soon as he can. The ongoing goalkeeper game of first one to save something gets to keep the shirt. The fact we’ve signed a centre half for a world record fee and he’s managed to make the defence worse.

Typical Liverpool. Or is it? The Swansea game was seen as “typical Liverpool”, but the only other games we’ve lost away in the Premier League this season have been against the top five, and before Monday night, our six away games at bottom half teams saw five wins and a draw. The West Brom game was seen as “typical Liverpool”, but it’s the first time we’ve been beaten at Anfield by anyone all season. We’ve been good at drawing winnable games, sure, but this was a new one.

So maybe it is just a bad week. Very good footballers all having a drop-in form together at the same time as a new defence tries to work each other out. Maybe, the problem is the timing of it all.

Liverpool could really do without a bad week coming at the same time as it looks like we aren’t going to buy a replacement for Phil Coutinho and we’re just going to invest the £100m into Bitcoin and see what happens there.

Jurgen Klopp is watching rivals for the top four bringing in new attacking talent and he’s insistent he’s happy with what he’s got. Which is all well and good until what he’s got play rubbish and the lads on the bench look as likely to get a start as I do. The trust levels for the fringe players don’t seem huge at the moment and unless the plan is to not get a single injury for the attacking three, you do worry we might be left short at some point.

In the mean time we’ll have to hope that Sadio Mane remembers he’s actually brilliant and Virgil Van Djik stops thinking about his winning goal against Everton and starts thinking about defending some crosses.

So, have Liverpool had a couple of bad results which can happen to anyone or are they in a rut that comes from losing your best player that could be tough to get out of?

Huddersfield looked like a nice night out a few weeks ago and now feels massive.

A stylish win would remind everyone there is plenty of talent still at Anfield. A loss will lead to more calls to spend from supporters who have sick to death of long term projects and “wait until next year”. Huddersfield. Suddenly huge. At least we don’t have long to wait.

Well you don’t have to long to wait to find all your football punts at PaddyPower.com

What do you think?