...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?
A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...
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Haven't Liverpool Learned?
New season, new league position, same old Liverpool...
Two weeks after making the pursuit of Adam Lallana public knowledge negotiations are still on going. Have Liverpool learned nothing over the past two transfer windows?
I understand that a player transfer must be a complicated and silly affair. I can also appreciate the fact that owners want to get value for money. What I cannot understand is making an affair public before sealing the deal.
Liverpool are dragging their feet once again in the transfer market and with time ticking down before the World Cup it is vital that Liverpool gets important business done before the tournament starts. But here we are, two full weeks after the Echo announced that Liverpool has made Lallana a top target and no progress has been made.
I guess that the hierarchy assumes that the Willian and Salah situations were one-offs and that it takes a mandatory month before a signing can be achieved. It's funny that Chelsea can get a signing done in two days, yet for Liverpool "these things are very complicated."
Just give Southampton the money and have Adam "sign da ting."
Brian (I'm assuming Ian Ayre is still trying to negotiate out of that paper bag back in Russia) LFC
...Dear Brendan Rodgers,
If Adam Lallana costs 25 million don't buy him.
P*ssing On Our Parade
Not meaning to rain on everyone's parade in relation to the England U-17's success, may I just comment that back in the late 90s, my own country managed this feat:
Fifa U-20 World Cup third place - 1997
Euro U-16 Championship winners - 1998
Euro U-18 Chmpionship winners -1998
Although we did qualify for the WC 2002, it didn't exactly act as launch pad for a golden generation of Irish football. Still, I guess when an opportunity pops up to put uneeded pressure on the younger players, it has to be taken.
John Whelan, Dublin
Clubs Might Already Know About Suarez
Just a quick point to Dan (England and LFC) Geneen who has taken absolute delight in the Suarez injury news...
Do you believe that the Premier League is only watched by people on our little island?
I know Liverpool have not been in Europe for a while and therefore are only small fry for those at the top table but I would still hazard a guess and say Real and Barca etc. are aware of the little Uruguayan.
If Suarez is out of the World Cup it might even make it easier for someone else to sign him, given that he will have plenty of time on his hands to ponder his future over the summer!
James (Don't count your strikers before September 1st!)
Big Summer For Woody
This summer and subsequent season maybe an important one for Manchester United, the players and LVG. For one man though, it is an absolute make or break - that man is of course Ed Woodward.
Moyes failed completely to inspire the current crop to any level near past but he was handicapped also by failings in transfer market. The Marquee signing promised never arrived after so many names were bandied around..Thiago, Fabregas, Bale, Herrera, even Ronaldo, but things fell apart spectacularly and the only arrival was Fellaini. Mata arrived in January but it was more of the case of Chelsea not wanting him and only United desparate enough to pay that amount for a cup-tied player.
This summer we have a new manager again, and again promises are made that 5-6 marquee signings will arrive...Shaw, Kroos, Fabregas (again), Robben, Muller, Garay, Mangala, Cavani...If Woodward fails in getting atleast 3 of the above list, I think he will have failed in the fans and owners' view. In fact Shaw and Kroos are suggested done deals in all media Reports. If they dont come through their will be serious questions asked of Woodward's ability to close the big transfers.
Whether United need £200m overhaul and Marquee signing at each position is questionable but the team definitly need fresh faces and quality to improve the standards...LB,CB, midfield and left wing need injunction of genuine quality. Whether you can unearth a young player on cheap who has the talent to improve the squad or you get the established super stars, one thing is clear that if United do not improve the team and fail in the subsequent season to challenge for title, blame will be with Woodward and no one else.
In my view United are treading a dangerous line by raising the fans' expectations sky high with statements of super overhaul of the squad. It can do more damage than good. Why can't we just go back to the old way of working where it was less talk and more work done behind the scenes?
Wayne Rooney on his performance at this World Cup. "I think this is the one where I have to show what I can do and I believe I'm in the best condition to do that. I've no issues whatsoever. I want to give everything, leave everything on the pitch."
Before the 2006 World Cup, this statement would have excited the England fans. In 2014, we all know that it means that he is going to run around a lot, get red in the face, constantly be out of position, trap the ball like a Labrador puppy trying to catch a thrown octopus, give the ball away likes it's a ticking bomb and not get substituted even if his eyes fall out of his face.
Jae, Tunbridge Wells
I'm afraid Steve (a man can dream) Nottingham has got his routes mixed up and England are fairly screwed in the quarter-finals regardless of whether they win Group D or come second.
Working on the assumption that teams finish in their group where the bookies predict they will finish, and then the group winners all beat the second-placed teams in their Last 16 clashes (England excluded from these rules because... well... just because), it pans out like this;
Finish second Group D and England face Colombia (1st in Group C) in the last 16 then the winners of Group A in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, that's Brazil.
Win Group D and England face Ivory Coast (2nd in Group C) in the last 16 then the winners of Group B in the quarter-finals. S**t the bed, it's Spain.
However, beat those jokers and we're laughing, as we knock seven bells out of either Argentina or Germany in the semi-final before crushing whoever we want to crush in the final. Can't bloody wait.
Dan (England win it on penatlies), Woking
City Still Building Reputation
"Long gone are the days of pandering to great players who don't want to be there. We've established ourselves as a major European football club. Players should be begging to want to play for us!!!"
I'm sorry but two titles and the odd cup does not make City a major European football club. Do you really think Yaya Toure grew up wanting to play for City? Arsenal could be on the verge of signing Toure's teammate at international level Aurier as the boy was a gooner as a kid - the same reasoning brought Metersacker and the Dutch Judas to Arsenal.
It will be a decade or more of sustained success for any player around the world to truly love City. Players don't beg to play for City - you beg them and give them a whole bunch of cash to play for you. You may be the richest in the land but there are very few players turning out for City right now that love the club in the same way Franny Lee or Kinkladze did. This is the price you pay for buying titles.
In short - don't sign a mercenary and then complain when he displays mercenary tendencies.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Regarding your non-football story of the day, is anyone else wondering where the hell the courtroom artist was that day?