Defending: The indefensible
Liverpool have conceded one goal in their last three games after smashing their transfer record to buy a brilliant new defender, so obviously now is the perfect time to have a massive pop at Jurgen Klopp’s defence. Or at least it is if you are Stan Collymore and BetStars are paying you ample bucks to have an opinion. Any opinion.
“The one thing Jurgen Klopp has never proven is that he can put out a team to defend and get clean sheets on the spin.”
It’s a bold start when Jurgen Klopp literally proved that he can put out a team to defend and get clean sheets on the spin just last month when they kept out Southampton and Porto.
“Which, for all Manchester City’s attacking intent this season, they have been able to do that as well.”
Yes indeed. And the difference between the two clubs is clearly very stark, as illustrated by the following figures:
Manchester City clean sheets in the Premier League this season: 12
Liverpool clean sheets in the Premier League this season: 11
In fact, Manchester United have the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season and they are 13 points behind City and just two points ahead of Liverpool. It’s almost like clean sheets are not the measure of champions.
“I think that until he addresses the defensive weaknesses in the way he puts teams out I think it would be right to question somebody that’s on whatever he’s on – plus a six-year contract. That just comes with the territory of being manager of Liverpool.”
It would indeed be right to question Klopp if Liverpool were not currently third in the Premier League – clearly batting above their financial weight – and had not just thwacked Porto 5-0 in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash. But those two things – and a clear indication that their defensive resilience has improved – should probably protect him from nonsense such as this. At least temporarily.
“They haven’t got the kind of resources Manchester City have got or even Manchester United. But if you can buy eight or nine out-of-10 players in the front part of the team, why can’t you do that in the back part of the team?”
Indeed. Why not? Mediawatch is confused as to why Liverpool have not claimed the title already. We’re sure Stan is available for generous consultancy fees.
Life begins at 40
If you are thinking that Collymore has suggested that Liverpool buy a new goalkeeper but has not made any suggestions, then fear not because some more quotes have emerged, thanks to BetStars (they really are getting their money’s worth).
“What Liverpool need now is a top quality goalkeeper. When people say what type of goalkeeper, whether young or old, I would say go for one with experience. I know Petr Cech and Joe Hart may be just beyond that period to go somewhere like Liverpool, but a goalkeeper is usually at their best around the age of thirty or beyond. A player like Petr Cech or Joe Hart, who has won the Premier League, can bring that experience into the dressing room.”
Now if only Premier League clubs had relatively recently brought in either Joe Hart or Petr Cech, because then we could decide whether a Premier League club buying a player like Joe Hart or Petr Cech was a sure-fire way to make that team more competitive.
As for ‘a goalkeeper is usually at their best around the age of thirty or beyond’…the 27-year-old David De Gea, 25-year-old Thibaut Courtois or 24-year-old Ederson might be inclined to disagree. De Gea and Courtois have won the Premier League title, while Ederson is about to do the same.
The above examples might well be why Liverpool are chasing Roma’s highly rated 25-year-old goalkeeper Alisson. But Collymore is having none of that; he has a better idea.
“Gigi Buffon is talking about retiring at the end of the season. Why not go and make him a megabucks offer? An incredible presence, an incredible footballing icon, to walk into another great football club from Juventus and say right I’m going to have two years here, I’m going to help bring through the next goalkeeping prodigy at Liverpool, and I’m going to help them win the title, what a fitting end to a great career that would be.”
Mediawatch can literally think of 40 reasons why this would be a terrible idea.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) February 28, 2018
Can anybody spot the problem with The Sun’s exclusive story about Arsenal’s players’ meeting?
If you are struggling, perhaps the online headline will help…
‘Arsenal news: Per Mertesacker leads players’ meeting WITHOUT Arsene Wenger as crisis deepens following cup thrashing’
That’s right: Arsene Wenger is not a player. It would be weirder if he WAS there.
Headline on the Express website: ‘Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino SLAMS Andre Villas-Boas’ comments on Harry Kane.’
Actual quotes from Mauricio Pochettino: “I have no reaction to that. We are all here to help the club achieve and win titles. Harry is very happy here. Of course he wants to win titles with us. All of us do.”
OFF, OFF, OFF
Uppermost in many football fans’ minds on Thursday morning was whether Arsenal v Manchester City would go ahead. So how helpful of some websites to provide an update…
‘Arsenal vs Man City OFF? Will UK snow mean Premier League game gets cancelled?’ – Daily Express website.
The URL? https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/925701/Arsenal-Manchester-City-cancelled-snow
In no way has this been designed for garner clicks from the wilfully misled.
And then there’s the Daily Star website with their ‘Arsenal v Man City postponement latest: Updates on Premier League clash as snow batters UK’.
As of 11.30am, the ‘postponement latest’ is that there is no postponement. More as we get it.
Five ridiculous headlines from more successful websites
‘Man City players drop biggest hint yet that Arsenal game is ON despite UK snow blast’ – Express. The ‘hint’ is that they are travelling to said game.
‘Robert Lewandowski clashes with Mats Hummels amid Chelsea and Manchester United transfer links’ – Metro. Yes, they ‘clashed’ (exchanged words) because the striker did his shoelaces during a match. We suspect he did not do his shoelaces during a match because of Chelsea or Manchester United.
‘Eden Hazard admits he wants Kevin De Bruyne and Radja Nainggolan at Chelsea’ – Metro. Eden Hazard did indeed admit he wants Kevin De Bruyne and Radja Nainggolan at Chelsea…when asked which Belgians he wants at Chelsea.
‘Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo makes big call Harry Kane call’ – Daily Star. Two calls and yet no actual call at all. Just a nonsense claim from a dodgy Spanish website.
‘HE’S SO INTER YOU Christian Vieri whisks model girlfriend Costanza away to Miami on holiday’ – The Sun. And who said football journalism was mostly fluff?