Liverpool aren’t gonna make the top four, so why not try to win the Europa League? There’s plenty of mails on Arsenal’s huge weekend, narrative, an attacking Manchester United and shut up, Stevie G…
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There were a two things that were great about the 6pm kick off: firstly that I only missed the first half which sounded dire from all accounts, and secondly that there wasn’t enough time for the TV men to get Rodgers in front of the camera, saving us all a good cringe.
The part of the game that I saw showed us a few things I thought. Mostly that Sakho is better than Lovren. Sadly only me and the other 3 million viewers noticed though. At pitch level Brendan definitely didn’t notice and the lack of clean sheet will give him the excuse he is looking for to pump Lovren back in there. If this is the case then I will actually lose all hope that Rodgers will ever find his way as Liverpool manager.
Speaking of the lack of clean sheet, I think Joe Gomez could probably do with a few games out of the side now. Moreno was very good at left back and against Norwich at home you would expect us to attack them a lot so he should be the obvious choice. A little break for Gomez to reflect on the good and bad of these first few games wouldn’t hurt at all.
Adam Lallana is a strange one. I don’t think he scores enough to get away with being so anonymous for such long periods of time. If he popped up with a goal every 4 games you’d feel he was a luxury worth having but in truth I think he is massively weak in possession and too often takes one great touch only to follow it up by picking out the fourth best option in terms of what to do next. He is definitely not a £25m player and we should give Firmino more of a chance to prove he is. Ideally in a role suited to him rather than down the right wing.
I actually thought Ings made us look better up front than Benteke has all season. He was quick and moved well across the line which gave the midfielders more options in terms of where to play it. He was isolated just like Origi was for 70 minutes and like Benteke has been for two games but in fact I thought he handled it better than the other two. He also created a great chance out of nothing which could’ve put the game to bed.
People always refer back to that Real Madrid game where Rodgers played the B team but they forget the context; we were playing horrendously and not one of our star players had earned the right to line up at the Bernabeu. The problem was that Rodgers watched us at least battle that game and then stuck his head in the sand and reverted to the same crap in the weekend game that followed against Chelsea. That Chelsea game he should’ve persisted with those that did well against Madrid but instead he showed it meant nothing by ignoring them all. It probably killed morale for our squad players too thinking about it. Fail to take the positives from this game into Sunday and I think he becomes a dead man walking,
Why Don’t ‘Pool Go For The Europa?
I can’t agree with Brian (Is Ibe anymore than the new Townsend? Now I’m just being bitchy) LFC about the importance of the Europa. Yes, on the one hand it can impair your chances of getting top 4 and near-automatic Champions League football simply by taxing your squad more.
However, on the flip, winning it gets you directly into the Champions League itself anyway, along with some credibility (more than finishing 4th in your league), excitement and some good feels through the team. Is it so bad to get to the semis?
Additionally, does anyone (beyond Brendan and some of the more delusional Mickeys) really think Liverpool will get into 4th? Winning the League Cup gets you into Europe via a pretty short route, so equally I find it mystifying that more mid-level clubs don’t take it more seriously. I’d love to see Everton or Spurs making a regular thing of it, and in the end there’s no bad silverware to win.
I’d actually quite like it if the top four were blocked from entering the League Cup, but that’s a different story…
Guy S (maybe top 3 should get a gold trophy, make them feel better, since apparently it’s more important than silverware)
Brian, LFC in this afternoons mailbox described the Europa League as a burden to a club like Liverpool who he claims are a “top 4 hopeful”. As Liverpool have only finished above 6th once in the past six seasons (and lower than 6th three times in the same period), it’s fair to say they are in this era far more likely to be considered Europa League hopefuls than top 4 hopefuls. They have failed to qualify even for the Europa League twice in this period, let’s not forget. And as such, the best chance of them getting into the Champions League is via winning the competition he describes as a burden.
Liverpool fans, this isn’t your year. Next year won’t be your year. It hasn’t been your year for a quarter of a century. Let’s remember, Tottenham (who consistently finish above Liverpool) are talking about trying to win the competition this year, because they realise that this is a golden opportunity to get back in the promised land of the Champions League.
You are a team with Dejan Lovren, Lucas Leiva and Divock Origi, managed by Brendan Rodgers. You are not top four hopefuls for a reason and it’s high time Liverpool realised the Europa league far from being a burden, should be an aspiration for a club like yours.
Whilst Brian LFC is trying to make his point regarding Europa League being a burden for a top 4 hopeful, he spectacularly misses the point that butchers his argument.
Top 4 hopefuls are hopeful of a top 4 finish so that they may qualify for the Champions League for the following season…..The winner of the Europa League automatically gains entry to….yup you guessed it…the following seasons Champions League! (How many more times do we have to point this sh*t out?!?)
Whether Brian chooses to believe it or not, I (and I am sure most other sane people) see that Liverpool stand an infinitely better chance of winning the Europa League this season than they do of ever finishing in the top 4.
Andy West CTID
I hate to break it to Brian LFC but Liverpool aren’t ‘Top 4 caliber’. They’re really not in a position to turn away Europa League games with a Champions League spot on offer. They’re not Top 4 hopefulls with Rodgers at the helm…
Saying that Chelsea arent doing themselves any favours at the moment…
Stefan, CFC London
A message for the Liverpool fans saying “finishing fourth is more important than the Europa League.”
Keep up that thinking. Italian co-efficient is only 0.286 behind England’s. That’s approximately equal to a draw.
Fortunately the system has a 12month lag in it. So we are guaranteed our expected allocation next season.
However, it is not unconceivable that Italy overtakes England over the summer which means England will have 3 Champions League places in 2017-18 and 4 Europa League ones.
If I was Liverpool manager I’d just go and try and win the Europa League, it guarantees a champions league place.
As for the Thursday/Sunday rubbish. Has an extra day been added between Wednesday/Saturday to help the champions league teams out?
Colin (That’s going to devalue the ‘fourth place trophy’™), Watford FC
One thing I suppose to bear in mind for all those fans that bemoan that the Europa is a waste of time for teams with CL ambitions is something that I was hitherto unaware of until today. That being the fact that the European co-efficient scores take Europa League performance into account when calculating the number of CL spots for each nation. The calculation also only takes into account the last 4 years, therefore Chelsea’s CL win in 201212 will be irrelevant next season, and the season after that their Europa win will be as well.
In effect, the likes of Liverpool and Spurs continually tossing off the Europa in order to concentrate on getting 4th could, in actual fact, directly contribute to England losing a CL spot, therefore making it all the more difficult for them to get into their precious f*cking Champions League in the first place…. that’s the kind of delicious irony that I appreciate
As a generally spiteful man that is a fan of a team not likely to trouble the CL spots any time soon, and who also has a healthy distaste for the structure of the CL itself, I personally would very much like to see this happen
Tim, EFC (F365 on a mobile page….. about sodding time… Thank you!)
Big Weekend? It’s Huge For Arsenal
The pressure may appear to be on Wenger in advance of our trip to Stamford bridge, but it’s our hapless performers in front of goal who should really be feeling the burn right now.
Created the most chances in the league, by quite a few measures, but only 5 goals, of which we only scored 3 of ourselves. Against West Ham, and Zagreb we should have been up before we went down. There should have been no need for squeaky bums at Palace, Stoke should’ve been a cricket score. And how different things would feel in that world of counterfactual.
Chelsea away is one of those games where finishing is absolutely paramount. Go a goal up and Chelsea remember their bumpy start to the season. We draw them out as they attack, Sanchez and Theo see open season on Chelsea’s panicky back line. Repeat the usual pattern at Stamford bridge: miss 2 decent chances; concede; knock the ball around there 18 yard line. Appear out of our depth.
Perception is massive this time of the year. Win 2-0 with Walcott scoring both, the league table looks rosy, and Arsene might just be onto something with his forward line. Lose the game and his idiocy for failing to strengthen is confirmed. It’s basically up to the finishers which n*rrative carries forth into the week commencing.
So with Arsenal v Chelsea at lunchtime tomorrow, are any other Chelsea fans (like myself) or Arsenal fans struggling to choose a narrative that suits them? What I mean is:
1) A Chelsea win puts Mourinho back on top and proves that Wenger’s decision to field a weakened site in the CL was stupid.
2) An Arsenal win “piles on the pressure” for Mourinho, and in turn Wenger appears somewhat justified in his team selection in the CL.
Seems simple until you factor in the following: I don’t like Mourinho, he’s a nasty bloke and with the talent at his disposal we ought be playing much, much better football. I would welcome his sacking.
But…encouraging a loss to Wenger’s Arsenal would mean losing to the most overrated, neglectful, tactically unaware manager in the league. Moreover can you imagine the gooner smugness that would take over the Internet after that, particularly if it meant Mourinho lost his job? Ugh. It would be like being forced to read every Reza Aslan article ever, all of the time, such would be the level of smug apologist drivel.
I’m conflicted, F365.
There was an article a couple of days back about LvG adopting a more attaching approach through the central midfield by playing Herrera and Bastian. An optimist would think that it’s a step forward to playing more attacking/ forward thinking football.
But I personally think it’s to do with how the opposition play. A standard dutch side do not play with an out and out no.10 or a 2nd striker, hence LvG could afford to make the CM pairing of such. Dutch teams traditionally play with one forward and 2 wide forwards, hence why the emergence of players like RvP, Robben, Depay from their academy. Playing Herrara and Bastian was nice to watch but it left us exposed to counter attack, especially the 2nd goal conceded agaisnt PSV. Darmian lost the ball, but a deeper positioned central midfielder would have triggered Rojo to be in a better position to deal with the cross.
It’s not that United can’t afford to play that way, but the CB’s need to have better understanding of their roles when they play without a recognised DM.
That ‘Best league in the world’ tag is beginning to look like sarcastic epitaph on the gravestone of our clubs in Europe – Mediawatch yesterday.
Just why do F365, and others, keep deriding the claim that the Premier League is the best league in the world. It is. And not. At the same time. It’s Schrodingers League.
What the chuffing heck am I going on about? Essentially the word best. The best restuarant in the world is McDonalds. It easily sells the most food. You can shove your Heston Blumenthal up your freezer-dried jacksie. Selling the most is the best. Unless it’s the quality of the food. Or the service. What about value for money? Hmmm, it is almost like there is no actual definition of best.
Take American Football. They have the NFL and college football and they are both huge. I was confused by the popularioty of college football so whilst visiting and watching a game in a bar, I asked a typically friendly American. He explained that with college football there were more mistakes, it was less well co-ordinated, you would see more action because defenders were worse. Essentially, it was more fun. His mate laughed and then explained why NFL was better. This was clearly an argument they had had before, so what with this escalting and me being in the land of guns, guns, guns, I made my excuses and left.
The point is that there are millions and millions of people across the globe who have a huge choice as to what football they watch. And they choose the Premier League. In their droves. Are these people idiots? Do they not know it is rubbish? Or is it that they have a different definition of best? The idea that I, and a gazillion others are just idiots duped by marketing, flashy adverts or big transfer fees is insulting.
If you want to watch your definition of the best, off you trot. Just stop telling me what my best is.
Andreas Hunter, St Albans
I’d like to make a point about the rules on a straight red card for a foul and the Luke Shaw incident. This is the ruling according to FIFA…..
Any player who lunges at an opponent when challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent, is guilty of serious foul play. The term “excessive force” is totally subjective ……what the hell does it mean?
Many mailboxers have said however that you can’t judge the incident on the result of the foul but you have to. By definition…..if you break your opponents leg in 2 places, is that not “endangering the safety of an opponent”?
Also, where in any rules does it mention getting a touch on the ball?!
I think you have to look at the result but it can be a straight red if you don’t injure your fellow player but definitely is if you snap their leg in several places.
Rob Sadler (CCFC and Wales)
To the guy who slated Lallana a few mailboxes ago. I believe his name was Matt (On the positive side: Come on City in Europe!) LFC. He said something like ” He’s crap – he can’t score, he can’t take it past people, he can’t cross, he can’t tackle, ”
Be quiet. Did you see that goal? Class. Get behind your players and they’ll continue to do incredible things like that.
Shut Up, Stevie
Really. Who cares what he thinks about John Terry’s relationship with Jose Mourinho? Who gives a flying one what he thinks about Olivier Giroud in the Champion’s League? Or Raheem Sterling’s performances for Manchester City?
How about he shuts his yap and starts earning the (very considerable amount of) money that he’s being paid to play for his second club or Bruce Arena might start reining in his man-love and stop gushing over “Professor” Gerrard.
I’ll even tell him myself if he wants to step outside his “comfort zone” in Beverly Hills and drive the five miles north to my gaff.
Steve, Los Angeles
Following Joe Donohoe’s mail about Rugby World Cup clichés, can I throw in the following so no one else needs to bother:
Dwarf-throwing, excessive mid-tournament drinking, infidelity with a minor royal’s friend, jumping off a moving ferry, being arrested, and Jonathan Davies.
Ed Quoththeraven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts