Even Liverpool defeats Mean More now – two laughable reasons emerge for Europa thrashing

Editor F365
Liverpool fans and former manager Brendan Rodgers
Why Liverpool fans and Brendan Rodgers are to blame

Liverpool lost to Atalanta – and Manchester United had their fun – but that is the danger with no flags or a teenage Gianluca Scamacca on £135,000 a week.


O is for the only one I see
Liverpool were laughably bad against Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday evening and Charlie Wyett of The Sun was not impressed:

Those hopes of a party in Temple Bar are now hanging by a thread and the Reds need to deliver something extraordinary in the city of Bergamo next Thursday.

Against Gian Piero Gasperini’s well-drilled team, this will be an incredibly tough task for Klopp and his team.

Mediawatch agrees it will be very, very difficult. But needing ‘something extraordinary’? If they play like that again, absolutely. But Atalanta have lost 11 games this season, including two by three goals or more. And Liverpool might play their best players next time, albeit against the advice of Jamie Carragher.


Atalanta Braves
You could even go as far as to point to Liverpool’s last away game against Atalanta: a 5-0 thrashing of the Italians in Bergamo. In fact, you absolutely would if you are the Daily Mirror website, who say ‘Liverpool’s five-goal heroics give Jurgen Klopp hope in bid to win fairytale Treble’.

That result suggests ‘all might not be lost for the Reds’. They just might need all supporters to be banned from attending, as was the case during the Covid-affected December 2020 fixture.

The game also featured three players Liverpool have since sold, another who is out on loan, and four who are either injured or only just returning from injuries, thus might not exactly be up to speed.

Two Atalanta players – Berat Djimsiti and Mario Pasalic – featured in both the 5-0 defeat and the 3-0 victory three and a half years later.

So unless Atalanta revert to an old squad and Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane come back for one match only, it might not be worth reading too much into it.

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Wavin’ flag
The ultimate problem Liverpool suffered from was obvious: no flags. What exactly are they supposed to do if protesting supporters refuse to wave banners around in the stands? Play well? Don’t be preposterous.

‘Minus the banners, Anfield did not have a typically European-night feel to it and that probably contributed to a shoddy Liverpool start,’ writes Andy Dunn in the Daily Mirror. And it truly does feel as though that, rather than a general complacency or the six changes Klopp made, was why Liverpool were awful.

Over at the Liverpool Echo, Ian Doyle reckons ‘the absence of the usual pomp contributed to a subdued Anfield’. Almost conceding calamitously within three minutes of an eventual 3-0 loss cannot have helped, mind.

It is a grave shame Henry Winter has since deleted his tweet questioning ‘whether flag ban contributed to lethargy’. He added that there is ‘bound to be a strong reaction’ against Crystal Palace on Sunday, presumably because Anfield will be adorned with fabric again.

Can Liverpool really not just lose normally like any other team? Can they not just be bad and get battered 3-0? Do even their defeats need to mean more?


A lund down under
The Manchester Evening News have to pitch in because of course they do, with this utter nonsense:

Manchester United star Rasmus Hojlund takes subtle swipe at Liverpool after Atalanta defeat

It was indeed a ‘subtle swipe’. But only if you are an actual child. Otherwise, it’s a former Atalanta player celebrating an excellent Atalanta win by posting ‘mola mia’ – a Bergamese phrase which roughly translates to ‘never give up’ or ‘stay strong’ on social media.

The Daily Express website (‘Rasmus Hojlund rubs salt in Liverpool’s wounds after Atalanta drubbing’) and Goal.com (‘Man Utd star Rasmus Hojlund rubs salt in Liverpool wounds following shock Europa League defeat against Atalanta’) are similarly at it. Which begs the question: can salt be subtly rubbed into a wound?


Flirty Harry
The same incredibly desperate MEN also reports that ‘Harry Kane opens up on Man United return claims with honest view about his future’.

And at this stage Mediawatch must simply ask: when on Earth did Harry Kane play for Man United? What ‘return’ is he supposed to be making (and entirely rubbishing because obviously)?


Scam artist
The Daily Star‘s take on the Liverpool game offers another example of a weird media obsession: good club tried to sign good young player once and he turned out to not only be good, but be good against good club who tried to sign him.

Manchester United lost to Chelsea because they didn’t sign Cole Palmer when he was 12, and now…

Liverpool on verge of Europa League exit thanks to star they could’ve signed at 15

The implication, that Liverpool would not be staring a 2024 Europa League exit in the face if in 2014 they had simply signed the bloke who scored against them twice, is great and just entirely pointless fun. The Reds brought this on themselves, you see.

But this paragraph from Harry Brent is even better (excuse the bad hyphens).

Scamacca was a highly-rated youngster, and Liverpool tried to sign him back in 2014 when he was just 15-years-old – and reportedly offered him a £135,000-a-week contract! At the time, the forward was in Roma’s academy and the Reds were managed by Brendan Rodgers.

Quite how at no stage it dawned on him how incredibly ridiculous it would to give a 15-year-old a £135,000-a-week contract is a mystery. Liverpool did at least try and sign Scamacca at the time, but a London Evening Standard report from December 2014 (thanks to Joe Doyle for the tip) noted that the offer was ‘a £135,000 annual salary’.

Either way, the list of reasons Liverpool lost to Atalanta now contains Brendan Rodgers alongside the lack of flags.


Dallas? Maverick
‘Leeds star forced to retire has ‘no bitterness’ towards Jack Grealish over career-ending tackle’ – Daily Mirror website.

Considering it was more Stuart Dallas tackling Grealish than the other way around, that is good to know.

Dallas, for his part, says the incident was “just part of the game” and the sort of challenge he had been involved in “so many times”. He just “came off worse”, hence there being “no bitterness” towards Grealish – who contacted Dallas “a few times” during his recovery.

It is just headline housery of the absolute worst kind.


Smells like teen spirit
‘Amazing stats show how Man Utd have turned to teen stars far more than rivals like Arsenal and Man City this season’ – The Sun website.

This just in: struggling club needs inspiration from young, uninhibited players while really good title challengers obviously do not.