sport news RIATH AL-SAMARRAI: Liverpool go from mentality monsters to hiding under the ... trends now
There have been a few moments in this most brutal tumble down the mountain when it has been necessary to wonder how exactly it came to this for Liverpool. On Saturday, one such instance occurred in stoppage time.
It was rooted in the sight of Mo Salah chasing shadows alone as the Wolves backline rotated possession around him in a blur of one-touch cruelty.
With each pass came the taunt of 'ole' from around Molineux and there were a good four or five of those. If it occurred to any of Salah's team-mates to join the hunt, to go as a pack as they did when all was well, then let's just say it was not immediately obvious.
Indeed, their pride at 3-0 down would appear to have gone the same way as their defence, midfield, attack, pressing system, transfer budget and aura across the past few weeks and beyond. Mentality monsters? They were last seen hiding from Craig Dawson and Mario Lemina under the duvet.
But that is the way it is for Liverpool now, barely eight months after playing in the Champions League final at the close of a season in which they stood on the brink of four trophies and claimed two. Were they the last great days of a magnificent dynasty? The passing of time has given it that sort of appearance.
Jurgen Klopp's side have gone from mentality monsters to hiding from Wolves' Craig Dawson
Craig Dawson's first goal for Wolves put Liverpool 2-0 down early on as they fell to another loss
Of course, betting against Jurgen Klopp is only marginally less daft than burning your cash outright, and yet the current stink feels worse than at any other time since he found his feet at Anfield.
That they have lost successive away games at Brentford, Brighton and Wolves to an aggregate of 9-1 is troubling. That it is no longer possible to judge which is the bigger liability between their defence and midfield smacks of a spreading rot.
The neglect of that midfield through multiple transfer windows has undermined the whole operation, and talk on such a theme is hardly a surprise at this point, but even with injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate, who could have imagined the back line would fall so far below the usual standard? Jamie Carragher nailed his assessment of how Joe Gomez and Joel Matip coped on Saturday, tweeting: 'It's not too difficult to play centre back next to the leader of the back four. Judge centre backs when they have to lead themselves. Shambolic.'