To most people, Earth, Wind & Fire are an American 1970s disco band who perfectly soundtrack any night out.
To anyone associated with Liverpool FC, however, they are the headline excuses for recent defeats. Well, that’s what it increasingly sounds like to everyone else, anyway.
It all started in Manchester last week. After the Reds’ aspirations for an unbeaten season came crashing down at the hands of the champions, supporters generated a quite incredible theory that the Etihad pitch had been left overgrown in order to slow their team down:
This is the most ludicrous video I have seen in my life. A Liverpool fan is literally saying the reason they lost was because the grass was longer than usual. I cannot breathe ?? pic.twitter.com/65Ir66MQvE
— MUFC_Source_ (@MUFC_Source_) January 5, 2019
Absolute comedy gold.
Fast forward a few days and Liverpool fall at the first hurdle in the FA Cup, going down 2-1 to an inspired Wolves side.
What would be manager Jurgen Klopp’s excuse this time? Bad refereeing? Players off form? A lack of preparation? No, no and no.
It was all the weather’s fault.
“The wind didn’t help,” explained the German after the game. “The players struggled to control the ball.”
We don’t know about you, but that certainly sounds plausible to us – clearly the wind was so heavy it also blew Salah, Firmino and Mane to the Molineux bench before the game as well.
Terrible these British winters, eh?
The games now come thick and fast for stuttering Liverpool, and yet another defeat can only be around the corner. So to help Jurgen next time he’s stuck for an excuse when his side fall short, we’ve put together some ready-made reasons…
1. “There was a fire!”
First and foremost, Klopp can complete the beautiful symmetry with the Boogie Wonderland band.
It could be the sight of a fan flagrantly ignoring the non-smoking ban and lighting up a cheeky cigarette that causes Firmino to skew a shot wide. Perhaps the smell of a nearby bonfire puts off Virgil van Dijk when mistiming a challenge in the box?
Whatever happens, just blame the flames, Jurgen.
2. “It was too rainy!”
If the infamously windy city of Wolverhampton proved too much for Klopp’s charges, we dread to think how they’ll cope with the rest of winter.
The Reds’ next two fixtures see them travel to Brighton before hosting Crystal Palace, with rain forecast for both games. That’s bad news!
Whether it’s cut properly or not, how can anyone expect a title-chasing team to perform when the grass is a bit slippier than normal? Don’t forget Klopp’s wet glasses obscuring his vision too, thus affecting his tactical decision making.
Don’t worry, Jurgen: we’ve also got your back when the weather turns good again…
3. “It was too sunny!”
It’s no stretch of the imagination to think that if the wind and rain don’t suit those poor Liverpool players, the sun won’t either.
Klopp’s embracing of his inner Tony Pulis with constant cap use is already a dead giveaway of his concern over our solar system’s shining star.
This excuse in particular is perfect for any defeat which includes an Alisson error from a high ball (“We are told not to look directly at the sun and that’s what my player avoided doing!”) or if a player misses an open goal (“The glare off the ball affected his vision!”).
4. “Aliens abducted my players!”
Any woefully off team performance could be neatly explained by the arrival of a UFO at the club’s training ground that week, which temporarily abducted the squad and replaced them with inferior clones just for that fixture.
That would give Klopp the perfect excuse to avoid admitting he got it wrong with his selection, tactics, or preparation.
Granted it’s far-fetched, but you’d have said the same thing about long grass and unfair weather, wouldn’t you?
5. “There wasn’t enough time added on!”
No manger is ever happy with the amount of stoppage time given if their side is trailing, least of all Jurgen Klopp.
In any scenario Liverpool are unable to get something out of the game, Klopp can easily bemoan the fact that on average the ball is only in play for about 60 minutes. Ergo, there should be at least 30 minutes time added on for the Reds to grab an equaliser.
Yes, we all know football doesn’t work like that, but remember: it can’t be Liverpool’s fault they lost.
6. “Goal-line technology is corrupted!”
After John Stones hooked one clear off the line at the Etihad, Liverpool fans declared the 100% accurate goal-line technology to, in fact, be completely wrong:
Embarrassing from technology here, clearly has a bias against Liverpool! Petition to remove Goal Line Technology, or better still, replay the match? https://t.co/yBclX6usDo
— Divyen (@Divyen2) January 4, 2019
That was a clear goal….??? or maybe I don't understand this goal line technology thing … Liverpool robbed!! pic.twitter.com/A5YAArp5Ev
— Tau Mlambo???? (@tau_mlambo) January 3, 2019
I think @premierleague is either using the wrong version of the goal line technology or its software is infected with virus. #MCILIV How can u deny a goal whilst the whole circumference of the ball crossed the line. ⚽ I'm starting to believe Epl referees are……
— Praye Praye (@praye_stone) January 3, 2019
Feel free to join in on those corruption claims next time it happens, Jurgen.
7. “I’m allergic to trophies!”
We can make up all the excuses in the world, but Klopp may be best served by simply coming clean and admitting he’s been struck down with a terrible allergy to winning silverware. It would neartly explain why Liverpool appear to be bottling it under pressure.
It’d be entirely believable too, given we’re fast coming up to five years since he lasted lifted anything of note.
You know what they say, Jurgen. Honesty is always the best policy.