You know what to do – send mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe read Winners and Losers and tell us what you think…
Hardest league in the world?
So a myth is being destroyed right now. The Premier League toughest league in the world to score in? Pfff! Guardiola is proving the Premier League is like any other and that if you play the way he wants his teams will smash anyone. 5-0, 0-6, 6-0.
Oh and Morata top scorer at the moment? A Spaniard? Oh my. Who’d have thought? These English pundits and ‘experts’ know nothing. Most English know nothing about life outside of England. Kane world class? Please. I’m not saying Morata is either. Kane spends the game shooting from anywhere. Literally. Worse because there’s usually players in better positions. He’s not a scratch on Benzema, Lewandowski, Aguero, Suarez and many in the past.
Alex (New York)
True tests are about to start
There’s been a lot said about how the trophy is going to end up in Manchester and some fans of other clubs have made cases for why they should still be considered contenders but the true picture is about to become clearer in the next five weeks we have, deep breath, Chelsea Vs Man City, Liverpool Man Utd, Everton Vs Arsenal, Spurs vs Liverpool, Man U vs Spurs, Chelsea v Man U and MAn City vs Arsenal, and that’s without counting other potential banana skins
If your team is still in it after that group of games then yes they earned the right to call themselves contenders.
To steal a quote from the Great Samuel L Jackson: “Hold on to your butts.”
Stop playing playground football, Jurgen
Rarely have I read anything that hits the nail so squarely on the head. Mr Chicken, take a bow.
Watching Liverpool is guaranteed to be a fraught, nervous experience. Had that been Utd or Chelsea going 2-0 up away from home against a team famed for its counterattacking, the result would never be in doubt. They’d slow the pace, refuse to over commit and thereby see out the game with minimal fuss. After taking a commanding lead yesterday we attempted to do the same, forgetting that we only have two modes: all-out attack or panicked defence. We quickly fell into the latter, retreating deeper, disintegrating as a unit and eventually falling prey to literally the only two things we needed to be wary of: letting Vardy in behind and conceding cheap set pieces.
The first 15 mins of the second half were just laughable, epitomised by a routine ball bouncing on the edge of the box between Henderson and Wijnaldum while each waited for the other to do something about it. Henderson then seized the initiative – and wellied the ball directly up in the air before heading it out for a throw. Then, having managed to out-Leicester Leicester and restore our two goal advantage with a clinical counter, we proceeded to Liverpool it even further and in the next three minutes concede not just a soft goal but also an even softer penalty. That Vardy’s same-pen-every-time shtick was finally found out is the one thing that did go our way.
After that comeback win v Dortmund, Klopp said (paraphrasing as I can’t find the exact quotes): “at HT we knew we couldn’t overturn a two-goal deficit going system v system. We had to make it into a playground game where anything can happen.” Well Jurgen, it did – memorably so – but that game finished about 18 months ago so you can probably tell them to stop now.
Jon Gibson LFC
The Sturridge solution
So a lot has been said about Sturridge already but I think the last match finally showed what Klopp should do with him. Simply put, Sturridge should play against the other 14 of the Premier League. Firmino is great against the top sides but against teams that defend so deep, his intelligent movement isn’t that helpful. Compare this with Sturridge who can hold the ball up and is a true poacher and it seems clear that he could help us score goals against the parked buses.
We know that he doesn’t press as much as Klopp likes but against the bottom teams geggenpress is not as effective. Sturridge’s lethal finishing will help us more against these teams.
Obviously his fitness will always be an issue but we should start him against these teams who want to defend all day. His skills will help us in breaking them down and hopefully we’ll see him dancing again.
No Rooney, more dynamism
Isn’t it strange that when Rooney was taken off the fortunes of Everton suddenly changed in Saturday’s match with Bournemouth? I don’t think it’s a conincidence. A certain other team is benefitting from not having that slow immobile shaped albatross around their neck. He should be dropped for more dynamism and pace.
If Dele goes, Kane will follow…
Dele Alli to Real Madrid needs to happen, ASAP. After seeing his sidekick shipped abroad, Hurricane will throw a hissy fit, and promptly join Man United. Everyone wins.
Should Kane’s goal have stood?
I think me and my housemate (or is itmy housemate and I?) are the only people in the country asking questions of Harry Kane’s first goal against West Ham this weekend.
He’s an amateur ref, and I’m not, but we both were dumbfounded at how Kane had not gained an advantage from being in an offside position as he scored Spurs’ first goal. He is clearly ahead of the central defender as the ball is played wide, and we understand why the flag is not raised here and the defender thinks ‘I’ve played Kane offside’.
But for the move to then progress and Kane to not drop back and, instead, have that five yard start on his marker as the ball has now come in merely seconds later is absolutely ludicrous. Both my housemate and I (me and my housemate?!) likened it to Kane sitting down having his lunch in the box as the ball is in Spurs own half, they break out wide (Kane is still sat down in the box eating a chip barm) and then when the cross comes in from out wide he stands up and prods it home.
The offside law is mad. The fact that nobody in the world (unless I’ve missed a mailbox or two over the weekend!) has mentioned this is the most maddening thing to both of us.
Pleeeeeeease publish this so I can see what other people think (and I can boast about getting published)
Peter G’s weekend thoughts
* Wasn’t there supposed to be a striker shortage somewhere? Aguero, Jesus, Kane, Lacazette, Lukaku, Morata make a pretty nice line-up. And that was my favorite Lukaku goal of the season so far. Pure number 9 play isn’t really his specialty, but Drogba couldn’t have done it any better.
* I know he hadn’t been in his best form, but you can’t replace Steve Cook with Simon Francis and expect to keep a clean sheet. Elsewhere in the Bournemouth defence, Nathan Aké’s biggest fault is misjudging when to step out of the back line. The first time Sigurdsson got into the vacated spot but Gosling covered; the second time Niasse got there and scored the equaliser. Niasse will never be a great striker — you never know what’s going to happen when his foot meets the ball — but he’s a smart one, who makes effective runs and takes up good positions. He deserves a little time in the sun.
* Please tell me that one of the tabloids headlined their Everton-Bournemouth report with ‘Hath not a Roo eyes? And if you elbow them, do they not bleed?[
* Both Paul Clement and Marco Silva made tactical blunders. Clement started in a passive 3-5-2 and Watford nearly ran them off the pitch. Up 1-0 at halftime, Silva switched from 4-5-1 to 5-4-1, ceding all the initiative and eventually the equaliser to Swansea. Top marks to Troy Deeney, marginalised under Silva, who plays all out no matter what the circumstances. He came on as a late substitute and by chasing down Roque Mesa made the play which led to the winning goal. Resplendent in red, too.
* Burnley-Huddersfield was only ever going to be 0-0, but the Clarets are an impressively drilled side. Nick Pope sent a boatload of long aerial balls to the same place; Chris Wood went up against Zanka every time, won almost every duel, and always seemed to have players around him to get the second ball.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
Lots of positives for Brighton fans this weekend. Here are a few of them:
* The Seagulls beat the Magpies in the Battle of the Birds. Victory was made even sweeter after the same fixture last season and “that” goal. Who cares how revenge is served as long as it’s on the menu.
* After six games, there have been seven teams worse than us.
* A first home clean sheet and second of the season. Ryan has had his critics so far and the permanent signing of Krul last week put added pressure on him to step up. He had his best game yet and his shot stopping was excellent. In defence, Duffy and Dunk have built a great understanding and partnership and them staying fit will be crucial to our hopes of survival.
* Bruno is back. Enough said.
* Hemed is our joint top scorer. The man who almost joined Reading is now one of our key players. Let that sink in. With no Murray on the bench and Brown just coming back from injury, Hemed was our only hope yesterday. He didn’t disappoint.
* A record attendance at the Amex Stadium.
* Solly March, the boy signed from Lewes, is playing out of his skin. He has had serious injury problems over the last couple of seasons resulting in him missing almost a year of football. Great to see him in full swing and a real talent. His first touch, dribbling, and tracking back were excellent. And he is still keeping our £16 million man on the bench.
* Crystal Palace.
*Another three points on the board. We only have to do the same thing 11 more times and we’ll be safe.
Danny (Insert comment here), Brighton
So we lost today in a game where yes, we should be looking to pick up points. However if we’d drawn with Brighton & Swansea, no doubt we’d be praised for getting results from teams that we’ll be in and around come the end of the season but would have gained a point less than we actually have.
Today was disappointing but not the end of the world. If you’d have asked any Newcastle fan at the start of the season if they’d take nine points from the first six games I’m pretty certain yes would have been the response.
In Rafa we trust…