In the lead up to the match, Mark Lawrenson had predicted a comfortable win for Liverpool.
However, after the game he was full of praise for the home side, saying that the players had done ‘everything they possibly could for him’, referencing the fact that Steve McClaren was rumoured to be facing the sack if Newcastle were taken apart by the scousers.
Lawrenson did put it in perspective by saying that Sunday had been the worst performance by Liverpool since Jurgen Klopp had arrived, although he did add that this should take nothing away from Newcastle’s display.
Indeed, you have to think that a large part of the reds failing to perform was the workrate of the Newcastle players in closing them down and hassling them, something which has been totally missing in recent times.
Mark Lawrenson says that the big thing now is that Steve McClaren has to tell the players every week that this is the least they have to do, having set a standard.
…and I hate to have to agree with him but as Lawrenson rightly says, you can forgive anybody for lacking in ability but not any player who doesn’t show the right effort.
Mark Lawrenson talking on MOTD 2:
“The relief was tangible because there had been all sorts of stories that if Liverpool went there and won easily, that might have been Steve McClaren’s last day as Newcastle United manager.
“I think his team did everything they possibly could for him, although it is against a Liverpool team who today were the worst they have been since Klopp took over.
“I’m not sure whether some of them (Liverpool players) have been reading the papers, listening to the radio, watching TV, about their performances of late…but in the three areas of the side, Liverpool were just not at it at all today – though taking nothing away from Newcastle.
“They (Newcastle team) have now sat themselves a standard, that is the important thing for them. Steve McClaren has to say to them, every week that is your base.
“You can forgive anybody for a lack of ability, you can never forgive any professional footballer for a lack of effort, ever.”
(To view the player ratings by fans and to add your own go HERE)
(To read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction go HERE)