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A defence of why Liverpool signed the Ox
Just because it keeps getting referenced in various articles, I’ve tried to build a potential defence of Liverpool signing the Ox now rather than next season. It’s a lot of guesswork and hypothesising, but no-one is making this case so I thought I’d try:
1) to ensure we got him. An obvious but huge point. We’ve missed out on first choice targets before (pre and post FSG) which seems to be forgotten. Overpaying now for a player available cheaper in 12 months is also what Liverpool did for Naby Keita, to avoid competing with other clubs. The logic might be odd, but the club are being consistent?
2) As Klopp has reiterated, he’s not really had any coaching time with Alex yet. Only a few sessions as he’s been away with England or we’ve had midweek games to travel to. But the ox has already had 8 cameos, and has been alright. Were he not to have been bought, then whom else would Klopp have turned to on the bench, without Ings, Mane and Lallana? Woodburn? And that’s before the upcoming new year fixture congestion that ruined last season’s promising campaign.
3) Given the uplift in performance in Adam Lallana – a previous wide player who has excelled in the middle – it’s not unreasonable to HOPE that coaching Ox now might make him ready for ‘Klopp-football’ next season, without having to immediately impress. Admittedly that’s a huge “if”.
4) To suggest another “if”, what if the plan is for him not to be a squad player but ultimately replace someone in the first team. If so, Liverpool have signed the successor before selling. There will clearly be a bit of midfield churn next summer at Liverpool. Emre Can is likely to be off – perhaps to Juve, Coutinho also. Injury doubts remain on Henderson. Milner’s not getting the game time Brendan promised… Signing Alex now avoids Klopp replacing one of the above with Ox only to ultimately discover he won’t successfully adapt to the style needed. The experiment can be binned off before writing-off a season?
5) It’s not a direct comparison of 35 million and free. It’d be 35m in instalments plus 12 months wages to buy him now, versus a signing on fee and higher wages next summer. It’d obviously be far cheaper to wait, but preventing the high-wage scenario may theoretically make it easier to move him on should this be a disaster? Dunno, that’d be for the numbers folks.
But I suppose the biggest reason to mitigate the criticism would be, and this really can’t be undersold, that the figure bandied about for VVD was north of 50-60 million, and LFC could afford it. As I understand it, no bid was actually put in due to our potential transfer embargo if Saints reported us. But the numbers spoken about weren’t 35m. So our signing Ox didn’t prevent Klopp also signing Rudiger, Harry Maguire…. It didn’t prevent him re-evaluating the Sakho situation.
So, you can question the decision to sign him now, but given the above I kinda think it makes sense and think he’ll more than prove his worth between December and January. But I don’t see the logic of throwing in the defenders issue when talking about Oxlade-Chamberlain. Klopp’s decision about the defence is such a poor one you don’t need anything else brought in to emphasise it. It’s a large enough %^&$-up on it’s own? Anyway, my two cents.
Running through the Everton candidates
What a relief. Saturday was one of my worst ever experiences at a game. The delight of Rooney’s goal followed by 80 odd minutes of the usual turgid uninspiring rubbish. Koeman had to go, he’d clearly lost the team. That being said, Everton fans I’ve spoken to are worried we’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire with the bookies shortlist of new managers. Here’s my brief thoughts on the prospective candidates:
Sean Dyche- Would make us solid, but an unambitious appointment. Wouldn’t play the kind of football Everton supporters get enthusiastic about.
David Unsworth- Thought of very highly, but in my opinion a bit too soon. Needs to earn his stripes elsewhere first. Too much of a risk.
Marco Silva- My first choice, but questionable if he’d leave Watford with how well they’ve started.
Carlo Ancelotti- A big manager for big clubs with established superstars. Wouldn’t be a good fit and wouldn’t ‘get’ Everton.
Sam Allardyce- No.
David Moyes- Just no.
Thomas Tuchel- The more I read about him the more I’m on the fence. Potentially a good appointment but we need a long term solution, not another Koeman who sees us as a stepping stone.
Rafael Benitez- Hahahaha. No.
Chris Coleman- I feel like his success is down to fostering team spirit rather than tactical wizardry. Would be good short term but wouldn’t work long term.
Ryan Giggs- I’d rather have Moyes. And I’d rather give it my girlfriend than Moyes, and she still thought Martinez was manager when I told her we sacked the manager today.
Phew, that’s quite depressing actually. Big choices to be made in the next few weeks, but Moshiri has shown the nouse to pull the trigger on two underperforming managers so far, so I’m optimistic he’ll make a sensible decision here.
This isn’t all Koeman’s mess
It was coming, really; as sure as the sunrise. I can’t help but feel sad for Koeman, though. He seems like a really decent guy in an indecent business. Of course, Everton’s performances were woeful, despite a big outlay over the summer. But they just weren’t able to plug the Romelu Lukaku-shaped hole in the team, which suggests that problems had existed within for long, only Lukaku’s brilliance had been clouding them.
It’s not all Koeman’s fault. The board must also share the blame for failing to find a striker who could guarantee 20 goals a season. And despite everything, these are decent players and should be playing at a higher level than they have been this season. It does seem that Koeman had lost his grip on the team, both in coaching and philosophy, and the conundrum was apparent on the pitch.
It has to be said, Koeman was breathe of fresh air in post match conferences: forthright and no-nonsense. And I hope he finds success with his future club.
For Everton, priorities have changed this season and hence we’re hearing Sean Dyche’s name as replacement. I don’t think that’s the right move. That is taking a step back. Yes, Dyche could bring organisation and save Everton from the ignominy of relegation. But Everton should look at manager who can change the way they play and give them a strong identity. They are an ambitious club, and they should try and play ambitious football too. And for that you must have an ambitious manager. Thomas Tuchel? Why the hell not?
But he still really had to go
Well that couldn’t have happened quick enough. Koeman sacked. Should have happened sooner but beggars can’t be choosers. From the end of last season where we had 7th locked up and the players decided to go on holiday early, till now, Everton have looked utterly hopeless on the pitch.
You know it’s bad when other clubs are probably looking at their fixture list for a home banker and up pops Everton. Three points it is then. What’s really depressing was all the preseason optimism. No, we didn’t think we were going to crack top six but we felt that at least we had a footing to push onward and upward from. That’s all been destroyed in two short months.
Make no mistake, Everton are in a relegation fight. A striker or two in January is a must. Re-signing Barkley is a must. Getting the malaise out of the club and kicking the players up the backside is a must.
TX Bill (almost numb to it all now) EFC
People need to remember Fellaini’s weaknesses
Reading the mailbox and the Winners and Losers one could be forgiven for thinking that Ander Herrera single-handedly cost Manchester United the game, and the predictable resulting cries of “if only Fellaini was not injured” have been shouted out.
Never mind that it was from all accounts a shocking *team* effort. Never mind that player that Mata was the one who was crucially dispossessed in our half with most of the team in front of him for their first goal. Never mind that a £30m centre-back misjudged a routine header under very little pressure.
Never mind that neither Martial nor Lingard offered much in the way of a threat. Prior to writing this, I even had a quick look at the player ratings and Herrera was apparently bang average rather than poor or excellent (which I’m not claiming by the way). He was usually rated exactly the same as his midfield partner Matic who has escaped any censure.
This brings me to Fellaini. Seriously? Does anyone really think that Fellaini would have won us that game? This is the same Fellaini that is a bumbling, clumsy thug, who is liable to a) lose possession a lot b) give away fouls a lot c) give away the occasional penalty by doing something stupid d) get sent off.
This is the same Fellaini that a) has no passing range b) has an awful touch c) is not quick d) can’t dribble anyway e) is not good defensively f) is not the type of player to harry the opposition effectively. What do people expect him to do? Elbow his way to the box without this being picked up by any of the match officials and head in a goal with his exaggerated aerial prowess? Get real.
If Fellaini were fit enough to play in these games where the whole team is struggling to do anything, just as we were for the last 4 seasons, people would remember why 5 months ago many were hoping that he’d be sold off even at a massive loss.
And yes, I’ve mentioned team a lot because football is a team sport, where you also rely on teammates to help you out.
Daniel (say team one more time) Cambridge
Erm… Klopp is like Redknapp
It has dawned on me that Jurgen Klopp is similar in ability to Harry Redknapp….hear me out
He has some fantastic attacking talent- for Coutinho, Mane, Firminio, Salah see Bale, Modric, Lennon, VdV who don’t need a great deal of tactical influence other than ‘go out and run’. These players have been bought in ready made or were there anyway, their game hasn’t improved through any spectacular coaching and the shoddy defence has been covered for by the attacking potency.
That Spurs team got to a Champions League quarter-final and 4th place with Corluka, Kaboul, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto and Gomes at the back
What has Klopp actually done (except spend) and what potential does he have to take this squad forward?
My question for Liverpool fans is- is it time for someone with some defensive nous and tactical ability to come in? Build a defence that can soak up the pressure against the big teams and attack at will? I know a certain Spanish waiter residing in Newcastle who would do a job…thoughts?
Ben, Happy Spurs Fan
Lazy voting in the FIFA awards
The Fifa FifPro World XI was announced last night: Buffon Alves Ramos Bonucci Marcelo Modric Kroos Iniesta Messi Ronaldo Neymar
Is it me or is this world XI is basically the same players year on year? I get that Ronaldo and Messi are always deservedly there and it is usually dominated by the CL winners but has Iniesta REALLY been one of the top 3 central midfielders in the world last year? Last season he only played 23 league games – didn’t score a single goal, didn’t win the league and didn’t even get close to winning the champions league.
No players from the amazing Monaco team that won the title and got to the CL semi? Kante from Chelsea? and I’m sure plenty others people could name. I don’t think this is a case of being too Prem centric as this should be judging a player on his last 12 months only, otherwise what is the point of a yearly award, you’re judging on previous ability and status.
I’ll answer part of my own question, I looked up who made the team in 2016 and 2015 – 8 of those in the 2017 team were in the 2016 team. 7 of those 8 were in the 2015 team. Iniesta has made it every season since 2009. Wonderful player but top 3 in his position every year for the last 9 years? Also only one Atletico Madrid player in any team since the award started, (Falcao in 2012) not one from the 13/14 season when they won La Liga and finished runners up in the CL
Who does the lazy voting for this?
Rich (No sympathy for Koeman) AFC
Some final thoughts on Kane and money
Couple of quick thoughts on Johnny’s Nic’s article about Spurs.
I happen to be friends with an ex-pro who spent many years in the Premier League with a couple of different clubs. Well-known player but I’ll obviously demur from IDing him.
We were talking a couple of weeks ago about how great Spurs look at the moment, and how amazing it is considering net spend, wage bill, etc. This friend of mine was back in London at the beginning of the summer and bumped into one of Spurs’ starting eleven out in town. They talked and, apparently, this Spurs player said that a number of the young Englishmen at the club openly accept that Spurs cannot afford to hold onto the core of this team for more than another season or so. This conversation happened before the Kyle Walker transfer was confirmed, and before Danny Rose started making noises.
I love Johnny Nicholson, and the romantic in me would love to see Kane stay at Spurs for a long time (and I’m not even a Spurs fan) but I think the reality is different, and two-fold.
Firstly, football is a job to these guys not a passion project. Careers are short and can be ended in a split second due to injury. Of course most of us could comfortably live out the rest of our lives after banking £100k/week for a few seasons but pay satisfaction is not absolute, it’s relative. It is human nature to look at peers in your chosen field earning more than you and lust for parity or better (we all do it). No way Kane stays at Spurs when he sees Utd, City, Real, etc. paying similar/inferior players more money than he can realistically command at Spurs.
Secondly, if the Spurs player I mentioned above is correct, then none of them are going to want to be the last of this great Spurs generation still at the club before looking for higher-paying homes. Kane’s value (and that of Alli, Dier, etc.) will rise and fall with the fortunes of the club. If Spurs struggle to hold onto Pochettino (which history suggests they will) then the relative value of the playing staff will decline as Spurs’ league performance invariably suffers.
I’m amazed that Walker was the only starting player to leave Spurs last summer but I’m betting we’ll see a lot more through that door in the next summer window.
It’s a shame because, even as a jealous Liverpool fan, what Spurs have built under Pochettino over the past couple of years is, I think, one of the more incredible stories of the Premier League era.
Oh hey there, needs us to pick up those toys for you?
People who write in to a football website gushing with emails saying “awww well done Sarah”, well they probably use gender neutral toilets.
This website has become all about Sarah and her daily abuse of United and the fans. It’s an obvious ploy because anger creates clicks. The fact myself and so many dickheads keep clicking reflects as badly on us as it does her.