Friday has got off to an excellent start. Let’s make this a good Mailbox day; e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You cocked it up, Jurgen…
Well, what a terrible performance from Jurgen Klopp. I thought it was a brave call to drop Sturridge and play Firmino up top. Fair play, it worked up until half time but we were crying out for a proper focal point. Klopp should have put Sturridge on at half time and to not even put him on at any point in the game was gross negligence. Villarreal were there for the taking and we could have won that game had Klopp put Sturridge on.
The players played very well tonight and followed Klopp’s instructions. However, Klopp is to blame for this loss. If Brendan Rodgers had made those decisions then there would have been hell to pay. I do have complete faith in Klopp but it seems like he has a personal disliking towards Sturridge and sometimes you just need to grow up and accept that he would have won us that game.
I only hope we can turn it around at Anfield. We showed Villarreal too much respect tonight and we have to go full throttle next week. We have battled too hard against United and Dortmund to throw it away to this side. If we don’t make it to the final then this would be ‘peak’ Liverpool.
Don’t let Sturridge be the hot girl that got away…
Not the greatest result for Liverpool but nothing that can’t be fixed at the greatest atmosphere in England (side note, the atmosphere City fans made for a Champions League semi-final was just shameful, IT WAS A SEMI FINAL YOU IDIOTS).
Forget all that. We need to talk about Sturridge.
Listening to the reaction from the game tonight, about a player that never played!! These Liverpool fans/clowns that bang on about Sturridge’s attitude and work rate need to wake up. I used to have a hot girlfriend but we were too young at the time for her to realise that she could do a lot better. Time went on and her looks blossomed. As I went from Pokémon to Comic con, she went from that geeky chick at the start of the Grease film to shaking her thang with John Travolta. We went from Kylie and Jason to Beauty and the Beast.
I digress. (Please call me if you’re reading this Sharon)
Apart from Coutinho, Studge is the last potentially world-class player we have. Don’t let him be the best girlfriend we ever had.
Jimmy (Suarez was always the one I wanted to sit next to in assembly) Spain
Klopp right on Benteke…
Most of Matt’s piece on Kloppo’s tactics last night was pretty fair, but I disagree with him using the introduction of Benteke as another stick to beat Klopp with. At that stage of the game Villarreal got their backs up and built some momentum following a silly free given away by Liverpool. The Reds were clearing everything straight back to the Villarreal defence who launched wave after wave with a reinvigorated crowd egging them on. Benteke comes on to provide an out ball; a means of slowing the return of the ball to the Spaniards.
It actually worked as Liverpool found some territory thereafter and started to press for a winner. Villarreal finished a clinical break away from an area where Liverpool were in a decent position, partly owing to Benteke’s holding and linking play. I was calling for Sturridge at around 65 minutes and was as disappointed not to see him. But in that specific moment of the game with Villarreal pushing, Klopp made the correct decision.
Paul, LFC, Wycombe
Thoughts on Villarreal-Liverpool
Strange end to a match in which I thought Liverpool looked pretty comfortable. Here are a few thoughts.
– Milner, Allen and Lucas all seemed really confident; Klopp’s definitely had an effect on players in giving that extra effort and putting in 8/10 performances rather than 7/10. Having said that, Firmino seems to have gone off the boil lately.
– credit to Villarreal fans, made a real noise throughout, and aided their team across the finishing line.
– it was strange to see Soldado again, like seeing an actor whose character died in a soap then reappear in a film, you remember they still exist somewhere. Looked leaner but no better than when he was at Tottenham.
– I was surprised to see Ibe taking up a central position for most of the second half with Firmino out wide. Klopp has often got his tactics spot on so who am I to criticise, but Ibe didn’t look too sure how to play there and there often weren’t bodies in the box after good build-up play.
– Belgian commentators pointed out how much Liverpool were missing Origi, but I was left wondering why Sturridge wasn’t introduced, or even Benteke a bit earlier than the final four minutes.
– Moreno’s miss looked costly at the time, even before Villarreal scored. If he’d hit it across the keeper he might have found Ibe who was in acres of space for the rebound.
– it’s by no means over, but Liverpool will have to attack without leaving big gaps for the opposition to exploit as they did for the goal.
Paul in Brussels (looking like LFC will finish 7th, which is better than the 9th I suspected)
Why should Leicester fans care about next season?
With Leicester now looking almost certain to win the title, it looks like talk has already moved on to how they will do next season. And lots of people are saying there is no way they will do as well again next year, and that they won’t be able to defend their title.
I would like to add a different take on this: Who cares? Specifically, do any Leicester fans care in the slightest?
They are about to crown one of the truely most astounding seasons ever in the history of English football. They are going to win the league title, in any of its guises, for the first time ever. Do you really think Leicester fans are going to be that bothered if they finish eighth next season?
As a Saints fan, if you said to me that next season we would win the league, but there was a catch – that the season after we would only be average. Then my response would be “I thought you said there was a catch…”
I imagine Chelsea fans were much the same after the CL win. Yeah sure, they didn’t do so well the next season (although still managed to win the EL), but I’m sure they can live with that ‘failure’. Because they had won the CL!
All this future doom mongering also ignores the evidence we have seen in the last few years. Namely that defending a title is very tough, so it’s not like Leicester will be some one-off special case to be mocked forever. Fergie’s Utd won back-to-back titles a few times, and Mourinho did it with Chelsea in his first spell. But other than that it hasn’t happened. And not at all since 08/09.
So how about leaving Leicester to celebrate for a bit, rather than already trying to pour water on their achievement.
Why would Mahrez or Kante leave now?
So it seems that the feeling in the mailbox is certain that either Mahrez or Kante will leave this summer.
My question is why?
Leicester will win the title this season, no doubt about that, so why would they want to leave a club that has won the best league in the world and is playing against the other giants of Europe, which have not achieved any more than Leicester this season in their respective leagues? They have the opportunity to go down in history for not only what they have achieved this season at Leicester, but in the promising seasons to come.
‘Money’, many no doubt say. But wouldn’t Leicester be a wealthier club at the start of the next season than the start of this one, having won the title? Not just with the title money but also the worldwide interest they have created, which would sell them more shirts, etc? Wouldn’t they be able to offer their stars better contracts? Yes the other top European clubs can probably pay them more than Leicester, but is that all football players think about? Cash? I beg to differ. It’s ignorant to label any group to be as greedy and one-dimensional as that.
The crux of the matter is that if Kante and Mahrez want to play for one of Europe’s top clubs they don’t have to go anywhere.
Kelly (WHUFC New Zealand. Sorry about all of the rhetorical questions in this one.)
Never mind exits, who could they buy?
I’m going to write this a tad early but assume that Leicester win the league this season. (Castigate me mid-May if not).
Who are Leicester feasibly going to be targeting to have big Champions League players?
With super rich owners will they go balls out, spending £30m plus? Even with their success it’s likely to be a money-move for whoever it is; think Robinho early City days, the best players will have options at clubs more likely to succeed (sorry Leicester).
Will they go for successful but below elite players that seem to be cropping up everywhere now, the likes of Gianelli Imbula – good enough for Champions League but won’t win you any medals, and would this make their success worthwhile, given that the Premier League is attracting these anyway?
Or will they just stick with a winning formula and make the oft-repeated mistake of not strengthening champions?
Would love to hear from Leicester fans and others, who would be their ideal signings, that could actually come off?
KC (excited for transfer window already)
Talk about Leicester in the Champions League next year got me thinking. In a game of Leicester vs Atletico Madrid, who would have more possession?
Erik, Real Madrid
Why would Simeone leave Atletico?
As it’s a Friday morning, come imagine with me, if you will. Imagine that ten years from now Steven Gerrard returns to manage Liverpool after a few relatively successful spells in other countries honing his managerial style, and finds them languishing in mid-table mediocrity. He is given a hero’s welcome at The New Anfield, and in his first season leads Liverpool to winning the WhatsApp Cup and a top four spot in the league. Slowly he builds a cohesive blood-sweat-and-tears team in his own image, that challenges and ultimately breaks the Leicester/Spurs duopoly at the top of the recently rebranded Best League In The World (TM), taking Liverpool all the way to the Champions League final, the 2028 edition being played in Qatar. It’s a fantastic moment for the club and fans. Over the next few years Stevie G strengthens Liverpool further, and all on a fraction of the budget of the league’s giants. His legendary status is sealed. He is a hero to the fans he loves so much.
After a few years of sustaining this near-miraculous success, rumours of a move to Real Madrid arise. Real Madrid, a club that Stevie’s Liverpool have far exceeded in Europe for a while now. A club he cares nothing for, who used to be big. A club with money, sure, and a few excellent players, but who have been on the slide for a while. The fans are screaming for someone to replace Zinedine Zidane, who after early success has achieved very little in the last few years, apart from a few cup wins here and there, but is seen as unsackable by the board. Our Stevie sees the commotion and thinks to himself “Why would I want any part of that? I love where I am, and those fans look like a bunch of mental ingrates shouting at someone they should adore.” He decides to stay at Liverpool. Nobody is surprised.
So why are we all so sure that Diego Simeone will want to leave Atletico when our ‘big’ clubs come calling? He is thriving in his home. Dan Wardle pointed out in yesterday’s mailbox that, at Atletico, the conditions for Simeone’s success are perfect. I suspect that he recognises this. I also suspect that others in football are capable of recognising that when they come across it. Harry Kane and Dele Alli have (hopefully) found their perfect home at Spurs, while Ranieri, Mahrez and Kanté seem to have settled perfectly in Leicester.
So the real question is this: how much money would it take for you to give up a happy, successful life of doing what you love and being loved in return?
Have a nice weekend.