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How poor is Henderson right now?
Is Henderson not fully fit? His passing ability seems to have fallen apart. I was pretty amazed by how many times the ball went astray because of him. Also, on the matter of passing; Firmino has always been a dreadful simple passer of the ball, as much as I love him.
Daniel Sturridge did his talking with his feet today. Play him through the middle and let’s end this nonsense right-sided forward thing.
Matip is so ridiculously tall. Either that or our team of short asses makes him look like a giant on the field.
Can at the base of midfield looks far more sensible than Henderson. Even Stewart is a better option lying deep. If Can is injured I hope Stewart is given the chance to own that role on Saturday. It’s only away at the club that binned him two years ago, so I’m sure he won’t be short of motivation either of given the chance.
Liverpool getting taste of Martinez brew?
I noted with interest that Liverpool’s love affair with Herr Klopp seems to have lasted exactly two games into the Premier League season. Expectations were high as this season was the first true Klopp season – his team, his plan, his vision. Many Liverpool fans actually believed that this year WAS their year – then a 2-0 defeat to Burnley saw the wheels come off the clown car.
But Herr Klopp is not phased. All is apparently good and serene at LFC. He sees no problem with the fact that his left-back is clearly not a defender, that his captain can’t seem to be able to tackle, pass or shoot and that his main striker has legs made from balsa wood. Instead, nothing but positivity flows from the stubbly gob of the Kloppster. ‘Alles gut’ as he would say in his native tongue.
Everton fans will be stroking their own stubbly chins in appreciation of this phenomena. They endured two seasons (we’ll ignore the first season as that actually went okay) of bizarre tactical formations, players being played where they shouldn’t have been, all-out attacking football when caution (and common sense) required more circumspection. And after each frustrating defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, each substitution met with gasps of disbelief and massed facepalms, each teeth-grindingly crappy performance and execution of Plan A (and only Plan A), Senor Sunshine (aka Bobby Brown Shoes Martinez) would inform us dumb beasts that – contrary to the evidence of our own eyes – it was a phenomenal performance, that there is significant improvement and that we played exceptionally well. If we lost it was the fault of the referee/ball boy/solar flares or Norse gods alone. No, all was good at Everton, even when we were in phenomenal 15th place in the table.
How comforting therefore to draw such direct comparisons between Klopp and Martinez (though there is no way Kloppy can take LFC as close to relegation as Senor Bobby took us – no matter how much I would wish it). And how comforting to have our current manager tell it just how it is, to reflect exactly how we feel the game went and – God bless him – to have a Plan B, C or D up his sleeve and be prepared to use it should things go awry. And for also seeing within 10 seconds that Niasse is stealing a living as a footballer and that the £13m we hosed on him was a fitting (if expensive) statement on the entire Martinez reign.
I love Herr Klopp for his pitchside antics and general positivity. But I wouldn’t swap Koeman for Klopp in this life or the next. I’ll take dour Dutch realism over German and Spanish sparkiness any day of the week.
Phil, EFC, The Wirral
Forget Terry and drop Rooney
The fact that Big Fat Sam is considering John Terry for the England national team shows you just how far the team has fallen since its Brexit, I mean exit from Euro 2016 at the hands (feet?) of Iceland. While countries such as Germany are building for the future, England seems intent on going one step forward, two steps backwards.
The same issue surrounds Rooney, who for inexplicable reasons, remains captain for both club and country. If England wants to stand any chance at the World Cup, my suggestion is that they focus on youth development and incorporate as many young ‘uns as is practicable without necessarily sacrificing tournament experience. That means dropping Rooney like a hot potato and forgetting JT like you would after you take a dump and flush that sh*t down the drain.
Keg Baridi (Football Consultant) Nairobi, Kenya
…So…I keep hearing on the radio people desperately speculating on the return of john terry from his “self imposed exile” to the England squad.
Have football fans got so short a memory that they’ve forgotten WHY HE EXILED HIMSELF IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Are we saying that what he said to Anton Ferdinand is okay now? Have things got that sad and desperate that this is so easily dismissed just to win a game of football, because last time I read and heard we all get outraged over Russian and Eastern European fans actions. Are we now throwing all that out of the window because if we are then frankly this is a sad dark day for me as a football fan and we’re going back decades in terms of what is acceptable.
Israel (the last few months have been a REAL eye opener).
It’s been a while since I was irritated/inebriated enough to post a mail in reaction to another mailer, normally restraining myself in the interest of my own mental well-being, but I had to comment on Peter’s guesstimate of Allardyce’s first squad.
I have no major issues with personnel but must pick him up on his comments re: Eric Dier. His reason for inclusion was ‘because he was in the last squad??’ Two question marks suggests a level of incredulity. He then states later that he would have Fabian Delph over Dier. I mean…Really?
Anyone who has watched Spurs last season, or indeed England at the Euros, surely sees how crucial Dier has become for both. Error on the second goal and his half-time withdrawal in the Iceland game have taken the gloss of what was otherwise a magnificent season for Dier and the suggestion that he shouldn’t be present is bananas (in my humble opinion). He is the first name on my Spurs team sheet and has been brilliant. He’ll also only get better. I am a Spurs fan, so might be biased, and I might also be a little bit in love with Dier, but anyone who picks Delph ahead of Dier as holding midfielder needs their head read.
Jim Bags, Bedfordshire
Jose: Still an unpleasant man
Having watched the build-up to the first ‘Friday Night Footbal'” of the season, I have to say the cringe-worthy fawning over Mourinho by Jeff Stelling and Rachel Riley in their interview with him was disgusting.
The two of them stood there grinning like idiots, hanging on his every word. Neither of course had the bottle to ask him why he bullied the club doctor out of a job or eye-gouged a man who had cancer. Nobody in England has. English journalists are by and large, spineless. They all love to see themselves as ‘bezzie mates’ with the players and managers and are afraid to even criticise Mourinho, let alone call him what he is – a vile, nasty, bullying scumbag.
The press in Spain saw through his act and he constantly whined about his treatment by them despite it being justified.
He is a good coach, there is no debate about that, despite the fact that he’s had a couple of hundred million to spend everywhere after Porto in order to achieve success. His teams are also only moderately more entertaining than those coached by Tony Pulis, but I guess Utd fans won’t care if he brings them a title. I do realise it’s probably hard to dislike someone if they’re winning you games but I also cannot understand how anyone could possibly defend him (interested to see any responses from Utd fans).
What a horrible human being.
Shane (No wonder he picks that other degenerate Fellaini) Ireland
The Greek tragedy that is Arsene
Amid all the hand-wringing from Arsenal fans (me included), it’s not hard to spot the tragicomedy that Arsene Wenger’s life has become.
He was on the top of the world with his Invincibles squad. And then the club is bought by an unloving suitor, who cares nothing for the actual football.
Arsene though puts his own personal ambitions aside and decides he will spend some of his peak years as a manager helping the club move into a new stadium and financial security. He sees the oligarchs buying clubs and crazy money coming into football, and feels the way to be able to compete is to be financially sustainable.
At the same time he still plays attractive football, something dear not only to him, but also to Kroenke who knows that attractive football is the way to keep fans watching and money coming in. Not only does Arsene sacrifice his own ambitions, but he becomes the face of the new parsimonious era, suffering the abuse of fans, and the ridicule of the press.
He pulls off a tricky balancing act by keeping Arsenal in the Champions League without vast reserves of cash. What keeps him going? Well I don’t know, but my guess would be the promised land, the day when the debt is paid off, and he can compete financially with the rich clubs and rediscover his (and Arsenal’s) glory days.
The day arrives, and with it the irony and the tragedy. Arsenal have the cash, but it is Wenger who is now unsuitable for this new era. Despite having the cash, Arsenal cannot push through major signings like the big boys, and the gap stays as big as ever.
His stand against crazy money and his belief in financial sustainability makes wenger quite unsuitable to play the transfer game. The belief in mediocre players which he had to rely upon during the parsimonious years makes him unsuitable to be as ruthless as is required at a top club. Meanwhile Kroenke shows his true colours, providing no support, infrastructure or ambition to help. He takes responsibility for nothing. It turns out there was never a plan to return to the top, just a plan to make money.
Worst of all, Arsene becomes the face of this false hope and the fans turn against him, laying it all on his doorstep. He is now too wedded to the club to be able to detach himself and begin anew. And so he stays the course, watching as his legacy and goodwill turns to mud.
Uday (Shakespeare couldn’t have written it better), AFC, Arsenal
Too easy to bet; too hard to stop
The rest of the educated and world-wise mailbox readers out there are probably well -ersed with betting apps on their phones but I has only just recently used one and I have to say it was a pretty worrying experience.
A well-known high street was offering ridiculous odds on a sure thing result, only to new customers. They were genuinely inflated odds (50-1) on a match that would only have one result. Maximum bet of a pound so I signed up, put through my minimum deposit of a fiver and placed the one pound bet. While waiting for the match (evening kick-off) I placed a couple of small bets (Olympic tennis which won, and Leicester to beat Hull which didn’t).
What was scary/worrying was the incredible ease of placing bets and of adding more money to your account. I had an account years ago and used to log in on an actual computer which took a couple of minutes and made you think about whether you wanted to do it. However, on the phone impulse bets are very, very easy. The apps suggests lots of bets which seem like they have to come in which test any person’s will power.
In my case, the bet came in and I withdrew the money after watching the game on Match of the Day and all was well. However, I then tried to close my account. Nowhere on the app is a section to close your account. It isn’t in the help section and there isn’t a button. You have to phone or email them as ask for the account to be closed. And then you get questioned as to why. The reply email even said ‘whatever your feedback I am sure we can resolve it to allow your account to stay open’! What about a genuine fear I would lose a lot of money? What about addiction?
The account was way too easy to open, enticed by a free £50 (how much do they assume to make out of each punter if they can front load us with £50?), too easy to bet and too hard to close.