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This is no Liverpool victory
I can’t believe the reaction to FSG’s U-turn. They have openly derided the fans for standing in the way of progress and a competitive Liverpool team. Its a very cleverly worded statement, because it looks like a climb down, but it really isn’t.
“… we have been driven solely by the desire to return LFC to the pinnacle of football. In the world of modern football, growing the club in a sustainable way is essential to realising this objective.”
We need to maximise revenue to make Liverpool great again.
“… the £120million advance from FSG to build the new Main Stand. This massive undertaking was made in order to provide more supporters access to Anfield and also to produce additional revenue to help us compete financially with clubs that have greater resources.”
We are putting our money into the club to stimulate growth.
“We believed by delivering a vastly improved seat offering in what will be the newest stand in English football, concentrating the price increases on those tickets typically purchased by fans least sensitive to affordability, and for LFC to begin repaying the £120million advance from FSG for the new Main Stand that these increases were supportable even in the context of growth in revenues from the new Premier League TV deal.”
We tried to maximise revenue by charging our wealthiest fans more, you know, so you guys could also make a financial commitment to pushing Liverpool back to the top, at the very least to repay the £120 million debt the club has incurred to try to get us there.
“A great many of you have objected strongly to the £77 price level of our most expensive GA seats and expressed a clear expectation that the club should forego any increased revenue from raising prices on GA tickets in the current environment.”
You have told us you don’t want us to make the club as competitive as it possibly can be.
You f**king idiots.
When Liverpool fans start asking why Liverpool aren’t competitive in a few years, FSG will pat them on the head and say “because you guys wanted it this way”.
Don’t expect another 2-5
Despite the scoreline, I thoroughly enjoyed the Leicester v Arsenal game earlier in the season. Both teams playing non-stop attacking football. Though the scoreline did slightly flatter Arsenal, they certainly deserved to win. That game will be looked back on as the turning point of our season. Ranieri started Fuchs and Simpson the next game, and we had a more defensively minded back four.
I’d be very surprised if Sundays game is as open. Though I am slightly concerned that Sanchez is in bad form as he was last time we played. He got a hat trick.
Again I will be over the moon with a point at the Emirates, but those Leicester players will be going there and thinking they can win. Should make for an interesting spectacle. Just a shame the game has been moved to Sunday midday. Rubbish time for a kick off. I suppose we are going to have to get used to increased variety in kick off times due to our success. Can see why fans get annoyed at this.
Toby (we’re staying up) Mitchell
Forest willing Leicester on
It’s been great to see the diminished parochialism in the East Midlands as Leicester plough towards an unthinkable Premiership title. Similar to a few other people published lately, I’m also a Forest fan that grew up in Loughborough, Leics surrounded by City fans. When we played them I almost wanted us to lose to keep myself free from harm back at school on the Monday. However I, along with many other Forest fans, would be delighted to see Leicester win it and bring some focus back from the capital/North West to the East Midlands. I’ve always held the view that a Premiership complete with Derby, Forest, Leicester and the likes of Sheff Wednesday would be a better place.
City have always had a loyal fan base that has been there through thick (Claridge notching the winner against ‘Borough in the league cup final) and thin (Akinbiyi v Liverpool, Darren Eadie, Trevor Benjamin….) and even in their newfound abode at the top of the league there’s an air of humility around the club personified by the wonderful Claudio Ranieri. They’ve spent a lot but not ludicrously. They’re playing good football. There’s a real sense of team as opposed to a few superstars. You genuinely get the impression that they are all playing for the shirt and the club. This is why so many other fans would love to see them do it – not to spite the other ‘Big’ clubs (not sure who to list here), but because they deserve to be there and because fans of other clubs would love to see similar commitment from their players.
I felt sick last year when a horrible club, with horrible players, a horrible manager and horrible fans cantered to the title. I suspect many others felt similar. It could be polar opposites come end of the season this year.
There’s still a sense in the media, although it’s turning, that the bubble could burst. I’d remind people that the last time an unfashionable East Midlands outfit were told they’d never do it, something special happened. Though let’s be clear, on almost every level possible (including spending, as basic maths and research seems to have missed a few commenters), a Premiership win for Leicester in their 2nd top flight season is unfortunately a very far cry from the Forest wonder years – people seem to have short memories (or indeed are on the younger side). Leicester fans rightly chide us for living in the past but believe me, if you win it you’ll still be hanging onto it in 35 years later if you’re milling around in the Championship under a financial embargo dreaming of promotion.
Bring on the East Mids revival.
Paul, (originally of Loughborough) London
…or are they?
As a Manchester United fan who has enjoyed many years of success (and is now hunkering down for the long winter in the footballing wilderness that is undoubtedly ahead of us), I know the sour grapes of opposing fans when I see them.
I don’t often write letters/emails (I definitely write more emails than letters) but the ‘Leicester will over-think it…’ message has compelled me to pick up my figurative pen. This letter smacked of disingenuous good vibes for Leicester and is such an obvious case of sour grapes by a Forest fan hoping for a Leicester capitulation to preserve the sanctity of The Tricky Trees’ achievements under Clough.
And what wonderful achievements they were. But that’s hardly the point. It will be 36 years this year since Forest’s second European Cup win. Forest have themselves spent the intervening years mostly faffing about in the second tier of English football, tantalising their fans every few years with a berth in the play-offs only to ultimately disappoint them any time the prize of a return to the Premier League loomed into view.
However chastening the experience must be for Al, you’d think that, with the sheer romance of Leicester’s unseen and unprecedented charge towards Premier League glory, he would have been able to put aside his sour grapes and get behind his local rivals, however hated they might be.
The fact that Al has seen fit to disguise his obvious dread at the prospect of a Leicester win (“If only for Wes ‘Royal Oak’ Morgan and all that is right and good for football…”) makes it all the worse. If you are going to be against something, you might as well do it Trump-style – unapologetically and unashamedly – instead of hiding behind poorly disguised good vibes.
Leicester are riding a wave unlike any other to wash onto the shores of English football. While Al is (rather bizarrely) summoning the wind in the Emirates to whisper gibes into the ears of the Leicester players, the rest of the world will surely be putting all their good karma behind them. As they did for Forest in ’78, ’79 and ’80.
John, London (sending his love down the well to Leicester City)
Spurs have a massive opportunity
I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but Spurs will probably never have a better chance to win the league.
I think most will agree it can only be one of the top four now.
Arsenal have shown time and time again that they can’t bottle it.
Leicester will be unable to break down teams setting up not to concede and will crack under the expectation near the end.
And as for us, they will probably take us apart again on Sunday because Pellegrini stubbornly never compromises his game plan for big teams and we have been woeful against our rivals all season. That will put us way behind the pack and looking over our shoulder at United.
Spurs have quietly but efficiently kept on winning tough matches while others have faltered, have a young and exciting team along with a very promising manager. Their defence is the most miserly, which wins titles. My gut just says they won’t bottle it. A win on Sunday will surely install them as the bookies favourites….
All the best, Quackeththeduck.
Shaddap Your Face
Good article about the Spuds there. Got me thinking: If Spurs finish second to Leicester this season it’ll be like when Jo Dolce’s Shaddap You Face kept Vienna off number 1.
Do United fans really want Jose?
I cant believe I’m saying it but I do feel a little for United fans of late, the football really has made for dire viewing for the majority of the season and I can totally understand why they’ve been crying out for something different, but are they really that starved for entertainment (or is it trophies?) that so many of them actually want Jose in?
There were questions over whether he could ever manage a team long term after his somewhat undignified exit from the Bernabeu, and for me those questions we’re about as conclusively answered at Chelsea as they could have been.
Talk of the players the players being to blame for not wanting to play for him is ridiculous, it isn’t news to anyone that one of the main jobs of a manager in any profession is to keep their team motivated and meeting expectations, and the reason that they weren’t doing so lies solely with him. Yes it’s a team with some big egos and huge pressure, but I certainly couldn’t picture working to my full ability for someone who behaves so petulantly and in such a toxic manner as was clearly visible in all his antics throughout the first half of this season. Is any of that supposed to be considered inspiring behaviour?
United are proud club with a lot of history and a supposed way of doing things, sure he’d probably deliver a trophy but would it be worth the negative press he brings and the inevitable aftermath? It might not be as bad an implosion as Chelsea suffered but history suggests it would be coming. I’m taking nothing away from his achievements but the path United would take following his appointment to me seems as clearly set for disaster as any football related activity involving Simon Mignolet.
In my mind it’s a no brainer and I wouldn’t want him anywhere near my club, not even if it guaranteed a premier league title.
Joe, AFC, Manchester (Groundhog day was last week guys – but please do keep publishing the raven’s mail until he gets an answer)
The debate and attempts to crown one or other party as the future king of Old Trafford have become quite partisan and blinkered.
Setting aside how unfair it is for the current incumbent to have their future talked about in such a snide way, the problem stems from the paucity of decent alternatives and our excuse making for why we shouldn’t try.
Like strikers, there aren’t that many brilliant top level managers available. The usual names are some but now Pochettino has been added to the list on the back of a good season with Saints and now Spurs after a now-forgotten sluggish start. He’s just the current flavour. However, other than those few elites, with proven success (like Van Gaal in fact), the rest have seen plenty of failures. Even Pep has certain doubts hanging over him, regarding his over-exaggerated propensity for developing youth.
The Moyes experience shows how important personality and experience in that environment is for settling a big club. Jose’s step up via Chelsea was perfect, like Spurs are now for Poch, but the latter hasn’t earned the right for a role as big as United (and our expectations) yet.
So the call for Giggs to be given a chance comes from two places, and not just naivety or amateurishness.
First, we can’t get anyone better that is suitable (Mourinho is rightly favourite as he’s a quick fix and strong hand, but brings his own cloud of drama) so maybe better the devil you don’t know. And second, this illusion that we promote our own (based on Sir Alex’s time in bringing through youth).
Both flawed arguments but equally they still resonate. But only because there’s no other logical choices.
Incidentally, in the top 6 of the top leagues there are the following number domestic managers:
– Italy: 5 (Fiorentina not)
– Spain: 4 (both Madrids not)
– Germany: 4 (Munich and Hertha not)
– England: 0. Stoke in 11th is the first with a domestic and that’s Welsh.
Domestic works for other counties, maybe it’s not such a risk when there are no better options.
Leave Flamini alone; blame Arteta
As an Arsenal fan, I have to disagree with Frankie AFC on his hate for Flamini (can you disagree with someones hate?). My hate is reserved for someone that plays the same position even worse. Step forward Mikel Arteta. He is useless as a defensive mid. Can’t tackle, over commits and gets beaten, slow on the ball. I understand he’s not a defensive mid , more traditionally being used as a central midfielder by Everton, but even when used in that role he’s been rubbish for Arsenal. The amount of times I remember seeing him on his backside while a player strolls past him towards goal fills me with rage. Garbage is what he is. Quite how he was named captain baffles me.
Side note, Nick Millers article on the poor fourth officials made great reading. Thank you and have a great weekend.
George (Leicester odds to win the league < Leicester odds to beat Arsenal… strange times) AFC, Wellington, NZ
The Posh view
As a Posh fan I have to question whether the “Pulis fan” who wrote bemoaning the BBC’s coverage of WBA’s victory is in fact Pulis himself?
How on earth can they question the BBC commentary which did as much as it could to point out the general dirge on offer from a Premier league team fielding millions of pounds worth of “talent” which was there for all to see. It wasn’t romanticising for anyone watching at home to have it pointed out to them how diabolical, dire and devoid of any style the Premier League team’s performance was. Especially when compared to the youthful desire, commitment, running and at times flowing football on display from a team that cost about 10% of Berahino.
As an aside, most Posh fans are sick of Barry Fry and it’s annoying that any live coverage we get usually involves him being wheeled out – but at least he is a “character” and vaguely entertaining. Don’t mind him representing the fun side of the club and to be fair to him he has a pretty good record at making money in the market. Liverpool should get him in on their deals, it might help save some money.
F*** Pieluigi Collina
I’m afraid I’m writing to interrupt the Pierluigi Collina love-in.
It was a fascinating article by Daniel Storey, for sure, and well written – and I would have agreed with the glowing nature of it if it had been published prior to 24th August 2005. Since then, though, I just can’t.
Picture the scene. My beloved Everton finished 4th in the Premier League 2004 with a team put together for £327 and a packet of quavers. It was an amazing “overachievement”, to coin the phrase done to death at the time. Unfortunately, our neighbours won that season’s Champions League and started making a lot of noise about it.
Back then, the winner didn’t get an automatic spot but those loveable reds felt entitled to one, despite finishing outside the qualifying league positions. So there was a bizarre period before the competition got going where both clubs were tentatively included while LFC lobbied furiously and UEFA tried to work out what to do. This was a major problem for UEFA. They couldn’t bend the rules for one nation (co-efficients and so on) or the others would be up in arms. LFC were the bigger draw, as far as sponsors and television audiences were concerned (and their ex-players were lining up in the media to opine about how the winners surely had to be allowed to compete) but they hadn’t qualified.
Then, as fate would have it, not only were Everton drawn against the best team in the competition at the qualification stage (Villareal) but the supposed best referee in the World came out of retirement to referee the 2nd leg of Everton’s game against Villareal, “mysteriously” disallowed what appeared to be a perfectly good Everton goal (not my words, Carol, the words of BBC sport and promptly retired again. Just let that sink in for a moment; the man who refereed the UEFA Cup Final, Champions League final, World Cup final and Olympic Games final felt that his career wouldn’t quite be complete until he had officiated the 2nd leg of a qualifying round match; the man who commanded the football world’s respect making a really dodgy and game-changing call, only to then disappear from whence he came.
Following the article on the most intriguing potential managerial imports next season, I would like to propose two destinations for two of the most experienced managers in the game. If Sunderland and Newcastle survive (HUGE IF), I would love it if Rafa Benitez and Marcelo Bielsa take over at the two rivals regardless of where each manager chooses to go. This derby would need 32 conclusions from F365 considering how obsessed Benitez and Bielsa are with tactics. Although Bielsa would have to be provided with his favorite touchline seat; a watercooler.
I found myself wondering whether David Moyes would be considered an intriguing managerial import should he find a job at an English club next season.
Greg Tric, Nairobi.
Great article about Hertha Berlin. Can Winty let Storey off the leash a bit more? I know it might be a niche market but I love the more obscure facets of football. If Storey goes too far and starts to fondle his dipsonibilitad, Winty can stick him back on the regular stuff.
More fan mail
Can we make a rule that states any article written on Football365 must get to the point immediately?
Nicholson (aside from the excellent PFM series) and Miller’s last one take the scenic route. 4 paragraphs of something completely unrelated that gets loosely tied in to the point right at the end before the real article begins.
You’re confused, you’re wondering what the hell you clicked on as it seems like a different article than the headline suggested. You’re wondering why you’re reading about Miller’s childhood, eating a plate full of just baked beans but not having enough money for bread to have beans on toast. Then finally the long-winded analogy makes it clear – just because a club can afford a transfer fee doesn’t mean they can afford wages.
Why didn’t you say that to begin with? It’s not like there’s print space to be filled. I’ll gladly read an article 200 words shorter if it means the message is clear from the start.
P.s Rooney n that.
A touch of class by Matt Stead: big weekend for…“Daniel Storey; 32 conclusions please, Daniel.”
Love it! Can’t wait for the football on Sunday…a real Super Sunday, not just a SUPERlative.
KT Mokhele, Gooner in Johannesburg