Liverpool's win over Spurs was a microcosm of the 2023-24 season

The Reds put on a largely strong performance before moments of frailty arose.
Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League / Stu Forster/GettyImages

It looked like Liverpool were finally back to their glorious best on Sunday. They had thoroughly and confidently ripped through Tottenham like a knife through hot butter.

Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Cody Gakpo and a screamer from Harvey Elliott had the Reds and Anfield faithful in a joyous mood. The rout was on and a beautiful Sunday stroll was upon us all.

However, once again, the mental lapses that have plagued this team for much of the season, especially in the last few months, reared their ugly heads once again. Richarlison scored Spurs' opener minutes after Elliott's thunderbolt made it 4-0.

The Reds defense was caught napping once again and a few simple passes and the Brazilian had the ball in the back of the net. This was followed by more stand-and-watch defending as the ball pinged around the box before Son Heung-Min slotted in their second.

While that is luckily where the bleeding stopped, it was a telling example of what incoming coach Arne Slot has to work on going into next season.

Too often the Reds have simply shut off in random moments during games to allow their opposition a lifeline or even a path to victory.

Sunday was a breath of fresh air because for the first time in what felt like 2 months, Liverpool were taking their chances they created. The dominance was clear and ruthless.

However, as was the case in the FA Cup Quarterfinal at Old Trafford, the Europa League Quarterfinal 1st leg at Anfield, the Merseyside Derby and the draw away to West Ham; Liverpool's level dropped dramatically at the most inopportune times.

Some will be quick to say this is purely because Jurgen Klopp announced he was leaving 4 months ago and the players are under a lot of pressure.

I don't buy that argument because as Liverpool players fighting for trophies they will always be under the microscope. Secondly, these sporadic mental "switch-offs" were happening well before his announcement.

Both this season and last, the Reds have been no strangers to conceding the opening goals in matches.

Battling from behind to still churn out results became the norm for them as we soared through every competition. Ultimately, the lapses became too frequent to ignore and overcome.

As a result, a once dream season is likely ending with two matches without significant title ramifications to close out the Klopp era.

It's ironic as the peak Klopp years were the "Mentality Monsters" that ran through any side put in front of them. So, while Sunday should be mostly seen as a good step towards rebuilding some momentum going into the summer, there are still some glaring examples of the work left to do.

Slot will have so much talent ready to roll from his first day, but it will be his ability to instill the focus and mentality back into Liverpool.

There is a true juggernaut in this side, you can see it. Taking the next step once again will mean leaving the silly mistakes and lapses behind. Simply disengaging from games will not exist.

If that can happen, this might be the first step to a rapid rejuvenation project starting this summer.