Written by By Ben Morse
Every time you think things couldn't get worse for the Liverpool side, the club's playing style gets more depressing.
That has never been truer than during this season's first few weeks, when Liverpool seemed to be picking up where they left off last year under Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp has been banging on about needing to take risks and, most notably, creating chances, making no secret of his desire to play more positive football, against a big team.
"We're not going to play like these grandfathered guys (who've been at Liverpool for 35 years)," Klopp said earlier this month. "It's time to start making a difference."
The Reds, however, haven't made any sort of impact this season in those grandfathered positions, and Monday's 3-0 defeat at Watford might be regarded as an experimental experiment that a big team from continental Europe just managed to save with a victory.
It's exactly what they did in recent years against Barca and Real, and the away trip to Vicarage Road is just what they needed to forget they lost the Champions League.
Losing to Watford is pretty much the worst result possible for Klopp and Liverpool, who haven't actually lost their first three games of a season since 2011-12. The 2-1 defeat to Watford was, though, Liverpool's first loss to an opponent outside the Premier League this season.
As their foes have lost more and more last-gasp games in the Premier League this season, Liverpool have failed to keep up. Liverpool's total points after nine games doesn't compare well to other big teams who have done the same, but with so many of the big-name clubs now out of the Champions League, Liverpool need only win one out of the remaining nine games to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Having traveled to Watford with what is essentially the same team, Liverpool didn't feel able to respond to the home side's pressure after Philippe Coutinho's early penalty was cancelled out by Troy Deeney and then Charlie Daniels made sure of victory in the 75th minute.
At some point you're going to make a bad mistake. Rarely have they been able to recover. Whether that will happen next time could be the better part of pre-season.