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Clamour for Teixeira
I read Daniel’s piece regarding LFC fans demands for Teixeira – even though seemingly knowing nothing about him just over two weeks ago. I personally agree with the crux of that article but speaking strictly from a Liverpool fans perspective; I can see why we want him so much.
Firstly, I realise a lot of fans are bemused by the prospect of what seems like potentially signing our 17th CAM but in reality we’re signing a quick and versatile attacker who has scored s***loads, and if we actually targeted a striker then it would mean we are adding to Ings, Origi, Benteke, Sturridge and Sinclair (for the time being). That is too many strikers to have at any club (I personally believe we should be signing an out-and-out winger, considering our biggest signing of last summer thrives off crosses and our one ‘recognised’ winger is 19 and has been mostly crap this season). But back to Teixeira…
Having missed out on ‘big money’ moves Mkhitaryan, Willian, Diego Costa, Konoplyanka et al in recent seasons, we simply cannot escape the feeling that we are once again entering into negotiations with clubs in Eastern Europe without any real determination to get our man. What was clear from the start was that Shakhtar were not going to sell their prized asset for anything less than what they valued him at – rightfully so considering his record this season and indeed their record at honing talent – yet we still think we can saunter in and pick up these guys on the cheap. It seems like a case of putting on a show for the fans or indeed naive arrogance and either way its frustrating for LFC fans; particularly because we know he’ll be signed by another top club in the summer.
My point being that I don’t think its so much Liverpool fans ‘need this player’ as Liverpool fans ‘need any attacking player’. Everyone who has seen Liverpool this season knows that this squad is not up to Klopp’s, and subsequently, the fans’ standards. Teixeira, whilst unproven in a better league, promises to be a solution to one of the many problems we have been experiencing. For me, the most appealing aspect of Teixeira’s game which he could offer us – regardless of whether he hits the ground running or not – is the ability to press with pace and stamina from the front because when we have a quick player leading the line we are generally a more fluid team.
So ‘if it isn’t Teixeira then it had better be someone else’ is probably to most apt conclusion which I draw from the hysteria surrounding this potential transfer. However, if being a lifelong Liverpool fan tells you one thing and one thing only, it’s ‘don’t get your hopes up’.
Jono, Dublin (LFC – deep down we just really like the idea of having two Teixeiras)
…Daniel Storey is probably my favorite football writer, but I think he’s dropped a rare clanger with his Texeira article. Sure, fans are clamoring to spend, spend, spend, but that’s part of the natural order of things. It’s true for every club — just read the fan forums for Newcastle, Norwich City, and Sunderland — and as long as football is a game of buying and selling, will always be so. Everyone wants their team to be stronger, and buying good players is a logical way to do it.
Moreover, with very rare exceptions, fans know less than clubs about the potential targets. So fans are always going to look a bit silly by saying “we need player A right now. “ The more knowledgeable fans will sometimes say “player A or player B would help out, or maybe a combination of C and D.” But if even clubs get it wrong on a regular basis, and all clubs do, what else is there for fans to say?
The only two alternatives would be 1) to just sit back and watch the dealing (and that’s no fun at all); 2) to become as knowledgeable as a professional scout (and who has the time?). So let’s let football fans be their natural irrational selves, and enjoy the three-ring circus.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
Awful and horrible…
Ah, so it’s the injuries that are responsible for the insipid, ineffective football, Louis. There was me thinking it was the way the team is being instructed to play.
Ok, I’ll cede the point that he isn’t to blame for contact injuries but he can definitely take a portion of the blame for the muscle injuries. Maybe if he had a squad that was big enough to handle the demands of a multi-competition season then he would be able to afford a rest to players in the “red zone”, or even prevent them from getting there in the first place.
As for predicting the injury crisis, any United fan worth his salt could have told you that was going to happen. Of the players who were already with us: Jones, Carrick, Valencia and Young have all spent significant spells out injured in the past – that they are injured now should come as no surprise whatsoever.
Even two of the players signed by van Gaal had dodgy injury records last year Rojo, Shaw both missed more than a few matches each through injury and Schweinsteiger missed a decent number of games in his final few seasons at Bayern so, again, that shouldn’t be a huge surprise either.
I refuse to subscribe to the notion that it’s more difficult to motivate a bigger squad. It’s not like we’re talking about a gargantuan squad here – just two players for every position, which we don’t have right now. Would it really have been impossible to motivate a squad with an additional striker, right/left back and centre-back?
As it is, we have a really unbalanced squad, with or without injuries, and he’s doing nothing about it. If only there was a period mid-way through the season, during which it was possible to sign and register new players. That would be a really useful opportunity to address the issues with the squad. One can only dream.
…Following on from the excellent recommended reading on LVG in yesterday’s Mediawatch, and in reply to TIMI MUFC this morning, the shift from attacking football to what we are currently being served up at Old Trafford really is staggering.
A few years ago before he joined United I found an excellent analysis of his ‘philosophy’ on this Spurs blog ‘What Would Life Be Like Under Louis Van Gaal’.
What immediately strikes you is the change in shape from a 4-3-3 to the 4-2-3-1 currently employed and the key role of the no. 6 in his system. If you can get past the idea of Lewis Holtby (!) in the Xavi / Guardiola / Seedorf role, it raises some odd questions as to why it’s been abandoned.
On paper his 4-3-3 looks effective against the popular 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2. The signing of Schweinsteiger as 6 seemed perfect as the ‘leader, conductor’. Two rampaging full backs in Shaw and Valencia and Herrera (8) and Mata (10) looks good with Rooney leading the line. All capable of quick rondos and finding space in the oppositions half.
So why abandon this tried and tested system at Old Trafford? Perhaps his distrust of the two centre-backs meant he has opted for the extra DM? With 18 months in charge and plenty of time and money to bring in replacements however, he can’t blame this on the club.
The only clear weakness in personnel for this system is in the wide forward positions, particularly on the right hand side. But again, LVG has had ample time to strengthen.
Ultimately he has to go, there has been no improvement on last year and we’re out of the two major competitions before spring but if he does there will always be a feeling of ‘what if’ against his legacy. If only it had clicked – like so many things, the philosophy looked brilliant on paper.
Anyway – bullet dodged Spurs fans, you ended up with Pochettino!
Owen, St Albans
Veni, vidi, vici, Vidic
Take a bow, Vida, you all-conquering terminator. You played in potentially the greatest Man Utd team of all time and many Utd fans would even claim that you are the greatest defender ever to turn up for us, for your bravery, steel, fantastic heading and tackling, leadership, scary eyes, adamantium skull and your hyper successful symbiotic partnership with Ferdinand. Like Evra, Van Nistelrooy and Cristiano (amongst others), it’s very special to see an overseas player turn up in Manchester to make their name and do it so emphatically.
Monty (Please don’t mention Torres. That’s just rude), MUFC
Dear Pranav, why is it the accepted assumption that the Arsenal squad are mentally weak, and never that occasionally they lose because the opposition are sometimes better tactically, physically or even technically?
Wenger doesn’t help himself by constantly referring to the mental state of his squad, but using the Chelsea game as the latest example, I don’t think they weren’t mentally weak. BFG was too slow physically, Chelsea had a better game plan under Hiddink on the day, and technically Fabregas outshone anyone in red.
Graeme (my ten clone team would be Yaya Toure, provided at least 3 or 4 of them could be bothered) Glasgow
Magic of the cup
Timeline of my feelings on Colchester United’s FA cup run.
“Brilliant! We’ve beaten a Championship side! Big club, here we come!”
“Hope it’s Spurs. I know loads of Spurs fans. We’ve never played Spurs, ever. We had Leicester in the league a few times. Would love Spurs.”
“Yes! It’s Spurs!”
“Whoop whoop! Got a ticket! Bring on the Spuds.”
“Hmm. What we actually did there, was beat Charlton. The only team in the country worse than us. We now have to play Spurs. New Spurs. Really, very good these days Spurs. Against our defence. Our, 65 goals against in league 1, defence.”
Tomorrow, on the way to the ground though, it’ll be unbridled optimism all the way. Despite expecting a cricket score today.
Jeremy (U14’s and Fazio please Mr Pochettino, with your lovely, kind eyes) Aves
Weaknesses at Spurs
Having finally been so fortunate to eventually stumble across a wonderful manager whose very few weaknesses are currently inconsequential, I thought I’d look at the weaknesses of some previous Spurs managers:
Martin Jol – being too lovely. He was like a non-cringeworthy David Brent: friend first, boss second; probably entertainer third.
Juande Ramos – being incredibly Spanish to (at the time) a very English group of lads. Buying David Bentley. Looking like Phil Leotardo from the Sopranos. Two points from etc etc
Harry Redknapp – being an odious, self-promoting tosser. Completely contradicting himself to suit his agenda. I’ll stop here (with extreme difficulty).
AVB – hard one to pinpoint: first half of the post-Bale season we had loads of clean sheets but no goals; second half we had no clean sheets and, erm, no goals. Not having Bale?
Tim Sherwood – managing and coaching a football team.
Pochettino – he’s basically the re-incarnation of Bill Nicholson, so literally nothing.
Alex G, THFC (obvs)
Wayne the waif
Feel I should step in on Quackeththeduck (Wage caps anyone?) assertion on Wayne Bridge’s ‘stealing a living’ at Manchester City. I think this is a pretty one-sided look at the problem of spiraling wages – they simply wouldn’t be paid but for the fact that clubs such as Manchester City have been more than happy to inflate the market way beyond the natural level to gain a competitive advantage.
I remember reading a piece on Mr. Bridge; if a guy backs himself to be good enough (36 England Caps, £17m combined transfers from Chelsea and Manchester City – Premier League, FA Cup & League Cup winner), goes to train every day happy to prove himself without complaint, keeps himself fit (PR slant aside, I recall the article claiming ol’ Wayne-o was one of the fittest in the squad, rocking an impressive 6% body fat) and is ready to be called upon should a chance come…then what is the big problem? Would you go and move your family across the country/world for half the money if you were in the same position? I think few would, whatever station in life that person is in. No one after all made Manchester City pay those wages – they chose to and deemed him worth it.
Anyway, not to dig you out, but it certainly takes two to tango.
Harland ( Don’t even have a dog in this fight – just wish I had that bf %) Kentsley
Following on from Rohit, Detroit (Rock City), MUFC’s email this morning, it got me thinking about who, worldwide would be the best player to have in all 10 outfield positions.
My first choice was instantly Phillip Lahm.
Lahm was once described by Pep Guardiola as ‘the most intelligent man I have ever coached’, which is high praise coming from a man who has managed Lionel Messi, Xavi and Iniesta.
He has consistently produced world-class football on the highest stages – including important goals for Germany, such as this in the opening game of the 2006 World Cup.
Composed in possession and when finishing his chances, adept on both wings and in central midfield, and truly two-footed – a combination which would surely suit any position on the pitch.
Players such as Ronaldo and Gerrard (in his prime) may well be suitable options for this thought-provoking exercise, but if we’re taking personality into account, Lahm is the consummate professional and team player.
But keeping within Rohit’s Premier League parameter, it gets a little tougher. This season has been full of outstanding performers, but – without taking away from their achievements – none of these have been ‘all-round’ players. Mahrez, Vardy, Ozil – all performing to a high level, but they are specialists. Creators, finishers.
So my choice, based on recent form, is Dele Alli. He is extremely intelligent, disciplined, composed and has shown that he can finish. He has experience defending and an XI full of his clones would be incredibly hard to beat.
I’ve thought about this way too much.
Honourable Mention section: Cesc Fabregas, Yaya Toure, Kevin de Bruyne, Vincent Kompany.
Simon (MUFC) Tester, Kent
…A team of Pablo Zabaletas, because quite simply, why stop at one?
Blue Tim (Always be yourself. Unless you can be Pablo Zabaleta. Then always be Pablo Zabaleta.)
…For me it’s a no-brainer if not slightly outside the boundaries of the game. I give you one Alan Shearer. If he’d been on the end of half the crosses he put in his goals record would be significantly more impressive. Later in his career always led by example at the back and not shy of putting himself about as referenced by this website earlier in the week.
Given how he changed his approach to the game in the face of serious injury it got me thinking how an SAS of Shearer (signed by Keegan) and Shearer (rejuvenated by Robson) would do as a partnership.
And to think those days weren’t all that long ago… Still… Steve says we’re playing well and we’ve got a good squad. Looking forward to Brentford away next year!
…Roland Koeman’s would be the best cloned 11 ever. Defence and goals all in one, Set pieces sorted as well
His record speaks for itself, Almost 200 career goals!!
…Mixing two mailbox themes, a team consisting of 11 of the same player and football computer games of old…
If I could have a team made up of solely one player then it would have to be 11 of Denis Irwin because IIRC in Tracksuit Manager on the Spectrum if you chose Denis in every position it automatically made your team unbeatable.
Steve (Number One, is Brian Rice) NFFC