The curse of the Ox

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain looked like an excited schoolboy who had been picked by the popular kid for his team in the playground when he signed for Liverpool last week.


And he had every right to have a smile on his face; he had made the move from a deteriorating club in crisis to a rejuvenated top four contender. He felt like a survivor of an inevitable shipwreck, jumping off the sinking ship into the welcoming arms of Jürgen Klopp, joining the Liverpool lifeboat. But now, it seems like the lifeboat has a leak.

Liverpool's performance against Manchester City was shambolic, albeit defined by the first half red card for Sadio Mané (I believe it to be justified). The utter contrast between two back to back matches separated by the international break is astonishing. Only Liverpool could produce two such juxtaposing displays in such close proximity. For all Klopp’s exciting football that was partly responsible for luring Oxlade Chamberlain to Anfield, they seemed out of their depth when faced by a confident and in-form side.

Liverpool fans were in need of a humbling after their confidence soared following the thrashing of Arsenal. One supporter called in to TalkSport announcing that he hoped Liverpool played Barcelona in the Champions’ League, because it would be an easy win. It only took one game against a decent team and an unlucky red card to expose all of their flaws. Oxlade Chamberlain could be seen with the boyish grin wiped off his face. Being thrashed is becoming a familiar feeling.

Ushi no toki mairi are the Japanese mythological 'hours of the ox’, the time of day in which curses are ritually performed. Although it may have been 1pm rather than 1am, it seems that The Ox has brought his own curse to Anfield.

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