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They Were Excellent, Okay
I didn't see the Liverpool game against Zenit, and haven't read anything about it as yet. I have however just seen that they lost 2-0, so I can only assume they were magnificent once again. Could somebody please confirm?
You'll Like This Then...
I'm looking forward to reading the meltdown mails from Liverpool 'fans' and others regarding our away loss to the Russian champions (we're currently a mid-table Premier League team) who've lost once in 19 European home matches.
Nine Thoughts On Liverpool
1. Steve Clarke said we were playing some of the best football in the country. If playing the best football means creating lots of chances, subsequently missing them and then conceding goals at an alarming rate, then boy we are the best in the world, never mind the country. That's now one win in seven games.
2. Going backwards he is a beast. Going forwards he is the most wasteful player in history. He is Jose Enrique.
3. I read somewhere that BR said "Joe Allen will change the way Liverpool play football". My God, he has certainly done that.
4. Suarez is back to his profligate best.
5. In just over a month Daniel Sturridge has become our most important player. Without his pace and movement we look lost in attack.
6. Skrtel and Agger should be ashamed that neither of them are the best defender at the club.
7. Jordan Henderson you are still my hero.
8. Before yesterday I'd never seen Zenit play. They look a tidy little team. I shall be watching more. Some of their passing and interchange was a joy to watch. Hulk, like his name, is dangerous. Witsel looks class. Their manager looks scary. What's not to like? Anyone know which channel shows Russian football?
9. What attributes does a player need to have to become 'mercurial'? Is there a written exam for this? Answers on a postcard please because Peter Drury referred to Danny as such yesterday.
(The mercurial) Alex Jegede
We Need To Sell Suarez
I'll try and remain calm after this latest catastrophe, but it's quite difficult I'll admit.
Tonight proved beyond doubt Paul Little's claim that Liverpool should sell Luis Suarez is not only a good shout, it's imperative. The gulf in class between him and the rest of the side is shocking. I've never seen a Liverpool team this bad. Not even in Souness' days. The team just can't carry an asset like that when the whole team needs improving from back to front. Build the attack round Sturridge, find a competent forward to play off him, and develop the squad with the rest of the £40m. Under no circumstances Should Brendan Rodgers be given this money. He has done quite enough now. More on him shortly.
No point pinpointing the reasons as it'll take a while, but in short, the defence and midfield are an absolute shambles. No fight, and limited ability to boot. But the biggest problem by far is not finding a replacement for Gerrard. Now that Steven play in a deeper role who is there to link the play between the attack and midfield? Henderson certainly isn't the man. I hear idiots talk about Jonjo Shelvey being that man...LOL!!!!!
As for the manager, what else can even be said about him? He's atrocious on so many levels. I honestly didn't think anyone could do worse than Dalglish did last year, but several million pounds later he's actually managed it. Some feat. Not only is he a desperately poor manager, but his latest, and frankly ridiculous comment about it being a 'near perfect performance' just makes him and us an even bigger laughing stock. The only time I've ever heard him criticise this football team is when the kids got beasted in the FA Cup. Such bravery. He is a giant stain on the underpants of this club and he should be gone by the morning.
Daniel (Thinking about that time we beat Real Madrid 4-1 at Anfield) Benvenuto
People in the mailbox often say don't read too much into statistics, but I would assume Brendan would be a man who enjoys a statistic, what with his love of possession and what not. I have looked at the stats from last nights 'near-perfect' performance and a few really jumped out at me.
- Lost 2-0 (obvs)
- 45% possession
- 7 shots to Zenit's 16
- 76% pass success
- 77.3% tackle success
- 39.85 'Territorial advantage'
- Lost possession 184 times
- Jordan Henderson
Please, please don't sack Brendan, he brings so many Lulz.
Conor, (Put in a 'near-perfect' performance myself last night) Dublin
...When will someone tell Brendan Rodgers that all is not rosy in the Anfield garden?
As much as I appreciate what he is trying to achieve with regard to changes of style, bringing in new players etc, I can only listen to so much honey-coated tripe before I start to think, does he even watch the games?
Yes, two good results against Arsenal and City, but we should have won those games! Four points dropped, nothing else to say.
I am not going to turn around and join the 'Brendan Out' gang, but please, try and be realistic in your assessments, a bit of honesty would go some way to appeasing the fans, rather than seemingly looking at every match through rose-tinted glasses.
Ben, The Bournemouth Red
...'Near perfect away performance' did Brendan think Zenit were playing at Anfield last night?
Gareth (Is BR Ned Flanders in disguise?) Dublin
...In Brendan Rodgers' defense, he was very clever by saying it was a 'near perfect' away performance, but he never actually lent any quantification to his use of 'near'. Given the relational physical nature of spacetime and the vastness of the universe, that cheeky monkey knows 'near' can mean almost anything. Somewhere Einstein is smiling.
I once rented a bicycle and rode from Nice to Monaco because they were right 'near' each other on the map of the whole of France but that didn't stop people laughing at us as we explained what we were doing boarding a train for the ride back to Nice with bicycles (interestingly, I had to carry my bike past a few 'no bicycles past this point' signs, even up an escalator, but I got away with it by shrugging my shoulders and saying "nous sommes stupides Americains" to the guy taking tickets).
Also, I'll be taking the liberty of reaching out to the Rodgers and Hammerstein trust so can someone in Liverpool speak to Gerry Marsden? We need to get a recording of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with new lyrics that'll be more in line with some of the recent contributors to the Mailbox's mentality and expectations. That 'walk on, walk on, with hope in your hearts' bit doesn't work anymore. I'd like to see it replaced with 'walk on, walk on, with pessimism and obstruction, in your bowel'.
All in all, our next manager better have supernatural powers to placate some of these 'supporters'. For me, Gandolf the White from Lord of the Rings is the choice. He showed a lot of tactical nous in THAT attack in the second film and I'd also love to see him patrol the sideline on a white horse, if only to see Fergie rage at the FA thru the press about how the horse influences the refs and it keeps dropping its leavings in ManYoo's technical area (could his face turn some yet undiscovered shade of red? Rhat would truly result in an all-time great ManUre internet meme).
Ian, LFC (visiting her at work for Valentine's Day...free drinks, a cracking NBA Thursday doubleheader on TV and it all makes me look like a great guy = this life thing is easy...) Hartford, CT USA
Coming To A Screen Near You
I know this is a football website but I just have to say that I'm loving Ricky Gervais' new mockumentary 'Brendan'. This Brendan Rodgers character is absolute genius. The guff he comes out with week after week is hilarious. It truly is a 'laugh out loud' show. What...? It's not made-up...? He really is the manager of Liverpool FC...!? F*** me!!!
David Clarke, Cambridge (And the press don't like AVB!? How much has Rodgers paid to keep them off his back!?)
Brendan Rodgers Discusses The Horse Meat Crisis With His Wife
Wife: Brendan, those Findus lasagne's we've been eating every Saturday while watching The Cube weren't made from beef...they were made from horse meat!!!
BR: You train dogs. I like to educate players.
BR: Sorry love, I zoned out there. I thought you were someone else there for a second. What did you say?
Wife: Jesus, Brendan...I said the lasagnes we have been eating are made from horse meat. It's all over the news. It's a national scandal!
BR: I see...The Findus lasagne is an iconic microwave meal. It's a feast that's up there with the world's best cuisine. When you talk Findus lasagne you're talking the finest freshwater salmon, sirloin steak, oysters, lobster, aubergines. It's an enormous food.
Wife: What are you talking about? It's revolting that they can do that. Fooling people like that. What else are we putting into our bodies if this is allowed to happen. It's just shameful Brendan, absolutely shameful.
BR: But that's the problem with being a big, mulltinational corporate food manufacturer - it's like trying to build an aircraft while it is flying. Obviously, horse meat has got a wee bit of a tag because of some of the times people like to know what animal they're eating, but unfortunately for horses it's stuck with them. I use a quote with the players, 'Per aspera ad astra', which is Latin for 'through adversity to the stars...
BR: And what...?
Wife: What does that have to do with what we are talking about!!!!!!!?
BR: It's latin...it's an old language from the past.
Wife: Jesus Christ...can we not have one normal conversation? Ever?
BR: Look, we're very disappointed to have eaten horse. But when you look at the Findus lasagne as a whole, I think it is a near-on perfect lasagne. It has the cream cheese, the pasta sheets, the sauce...Sure, everyone would love for their lasagne to have 100% beef in it, just like it says on the tin, so to speak, but if you can mix some of that beef with horse meat and have the horse meat perform a false 6 and a half role within the lasagne and the beef perhaps operating that nineteen-and-a-half-role, where it's more on the inside then I think it can work that these two can co-exist together within the lasagne.
BR: It's not about the horse meat or the cow meat, it's about the right meat.
Wife: But it's not the right meat!!! It's the wrong f*cking meat from the wrong f*cking animal!!!!
BR: The important thing is that after his first one-on-one, he kept going and was still in there.
Wife: What are you on about now?
BR: My best friend, Lu-Lu...the important thing is that after his first one-on-one, he kept going and was still in there. He could have had a hat-trick by half-time...
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach
I'm a Liverpool fan but this made me laugh. How do Liverpool fans change a lightbulb? They don't, they just talk about how good the old one was.
Mick T, LFC
Bale And Ronaldo: Athletes
I'm inclined to start agreeing with those who espouse the view that Bale is like Ronaldo. He is certainly not on a par with him (yet) with but it's easy to see that they share some of the same qualities. Aside from both having unbelievable shot power and technique, the quality that sets them aside from 99% of their peers is that they are both pure athletes. Sure the league is full of athletes that can run all day but Bale and Ronaldo are distinguished by they are extremely agile sprinters.
Both can sprint past an entire midfield and score from 30 yards but more pointedly, they can make space for a shot in very tight areas. At one stage of the game last night Bale was facing away from goal with two defenders surrounding him and he performed a sharp cut-back, which left the two Lyon lads checking their compasses, and hit the target with a stinging drive. Bale just needs to learn how to jump ten feet in the air now...
Brian, MUFC, Dublin
Summing Up Spurs v Lyon
Gareth Bale, what a numpty.
Gareth Bale, what a player.
Jesus Umtiti, where the hell did that come from?
Gareth Bale, what a player.
Chris, ITFC, Liverpool
Terribly Worried About Spurs
The nonsense that's been written overnight about Gareth Bale is now making me terribly worried about the rest of our season.
Last night was one of the worst team performances that I seen from us this year and his two free-kicks aside (yes, they were very nice thank you) Gareth put in a shocking turn, running down blind alleys, miscontrolling the ball and generally tying himself up in knots. I note the papers are now 150% behind the 'bestest in the whole world' tag, even though he's way behind Ronaldo and Messi.
Adebayor looked totally incompetent and was caught offside more times than he controlled the ball. We might have well not bothered playing him
The only positives (apart from the jammy result) were Lewis Holtby's cameo and Lennon and Walker's interplay in the first half.
We cannot play like this and continue to win games, we're fast using up all our luck and unless we improve hugely in the next week or so, Lyon will hand us our Europa P45 in the return leg.
Matt L, London
Observations From The Spurs Game
Well I wasn't going to the game yesterday until I got a rogue phone call 45 minutes before kick-off from a girl I'd not spoken to in years asking me if I wanted to go because her boyfriend could no longer make it. Of course nobody says no to Spurs, so I went. Here are a few observations:
* Bale's first free-kick I was thinking: There's no real angle, keeper right in the middle of the goal and so is the wall. There's no way he'll score this. PING. I'm still not really sure if the keeper should/could have done better, but what a strike!
* Lyon's goal: Again, what a strike! I was right in the flight path of the ball, and I half expected it to carry on through the net and smash me in the face. Pretty much the only thing Brad had to do all night was pick the ball out of the goal there.
* Adebayor: A very frustrating player. I don't know what has happened to him, but what I do know is that the animosity towards him from a lot of fans is not going to help. Yes, he has been useless lately, but abusing the guy every time he does something wrong (which seems to be every time he gets near the ball) is not going to help anyone. He's one of our players and we should get behind him.
* Bale's second goal: This was at the far end from me, but again, unbelievable strike. Again I wasn't sure if the keeper should have done better or not, but what a great way to end the game. Especially satisfying after people had started leaving early.
* Lyon fans: I was right above the Lyon fans, they were great. Non-stop singing and chanting. I was impressed.
* Spurs fans: Mostly everyone was having a great time, but there were some idiots about. We had a few small groups of French people in our section, who got a lot of abuse, including some idiots challenging them to fights and slapping their own chests in some kind of weird Spurs pride move.
Some fans just seem to need to shout while knowing nothing about football. For instance, we had a throw deep in our half, and no one was moving for Walker to give him any options. The bright spark behind me came out with "just f*cking throw it you mug"...brilliant. Throw it to who exactly? The players standing still and being man-marked? Yeah sounds like a great idea. There were quite a few more examples of this, but hey I tend not to pay too much attention to the ramblings of idiots.
Overall it was a great night and quite an exciting game. Thought the ref was very competent as well. Good night all around. Definitely better than my valentine's Day plans 45 minutes before kick-off!
Is A Wall More Hindrance Than Help?
Both of Bale's free kicks were pretty decent. However, in both cases the keeper flummoxed himself by going the wrong way before the ball came over the wall. My question is, is the wall more of a hindrance than advantage to the goalkeeper?
If someone has a shot from 25 yards out, you expect your keeper to save it, unless it's pretty f***ing special. Half the reason shots from that far out beat the keeper is that he generally doesn't expect the ball to be hit. Get rid of the wall, the keeper gets a clear view and a shot that he knows is coming. I reckon that gives more of an advantage, because the wall essentially means the keeper is viewing it as if the shot has been taken from 10 yards further in. Plus you free up three or four men to mark other players.
I'm probably wrong, and I look forward to the ever-opinionated mailbox telling me why.
Ross AFC London