Mails: Liverpool fans will want Gerrard soon…

Date published: Friday 22nd January 2016 10:37

Steven Gerrard Anfield

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No way Teixeira
I’m sorry to be the one to say it but in the past few years whenever we have a public pursuit of a talented player they end up elsewhere. Salah, Sanchez, Mkhitaryan, Diego Costa and now soon we will add Teixeira to that list.

Don’t hold your breath Liverpool fans; if he’s talented and would obviously fit our system and style then he definitely won’t be joining.
Minty, LFC

 

When a Villa fan starts laughing at Liverpool…
I reckon the Liverpool fans might possibly be starting to wonder if Klopp has feet of clay because they are talking about net spend again. This is a sure sign that all is not rosy at Anfield! Plus now apparently the size of the stadium doesn’t matter because the spuds will have a bigger one! Oo er missus!

The problem that LFC fans have is that after years of making doe-eye faces at Klopp, now he is actually at Anfield and he still can’t make gold from the heap of kack they call a squad, they have nowhere to go from here. Sometimes it’s better not to see your dreams come true!

When the fans tire of Klopp and start calling for his head, I wonder Who will be the next manager they can pin their hopes on to take them back to the promised land of fourth spot? They won’t get another top manager in the vein of Klopp. I reckon it will be Stevie “me” Gerrard! I bet the fans start to whisper this before the end of the season, and it will be hilarious! Mwahahaha! He would get them relegated! I kinda hope this comes true because then the Villa won’t be the only club living off faded glories….
Paul (laughing at Liverpool never gets old) AVFC, London

 

Payet > Silva and Ozil? You’re having a laugh
As an Arsenal fan I’ve heard some shocking opinions over the years but this one takes the cake. A surprising amount of West Ham fans have been piping up about how Payet is not only better than Ozil, but better than Silva, as well. Ozil, the guy who’s been one of the top playmakers in the world for the past six years. Silva, the same. What has Payet done to be compared to these top-class players? One and a half good seasons and he’s better than two World Cup-winning world-class players? The lad isn’t even proven internationally. 15 appearances for France all in meaningless friendlies and at the moment is unlikely to get into the French squad for Euro 2016. Meanwhile Ozil and Silva are both undisputed starters for *arguably* the two best national teams in the world.

Payet is very creative and yes he is a good player, the stats prove this, but is he anywhere near the likes of Ozil and Silva? Not a chance. He’s just another player that is vastly overhyped because he has a habit of scoring worldies and doing pointless skills. Once he’s consistently putting in brilliant performances week in week out like Ozil has in 2015 and Silva has been doing for three or four years then maybe he can on their level. A top player like Ozil or Silva will create chances even when they are playing pretty bad/their team is playing bad (see Ozil’s sublime pass to Ramsey against Chelsea in September). Payet doesn’t do this, the recent Newcastle game is a perfect example.

I mentioned stats earlier and although very good, Payet’s still pale in comparison to the players they are supposedly better than. Silva and Ozil have nearly triple the assists per 90 mins, more forward passes, Ozil has much more chances created per 90, much more key passes. Payet playing with worse players is no excuse, a world-class player will put chances on a plate that players just can’t miss (more or less every Ozil assist this season). You can tell by just watching the players the gulf in quality between these two and Payet, and the stats just confirm this. The notion that Payet is as good as these players let alone better than them is flat out idiotic.
Matthew Rivers

 

Wanting to see the Masch go down…
The whole Mascherano tax evasion affair has confirmed to me what I’ve thought for a long time, that Barca are the most sanctimonious club in football. They’re pretty much the President Coin to Real’s president Snow. At least Real know they’re c*nts and use it as part of their identity. Barca like to present themselves as the perpetual underdog with moral superiority over everyone else, despite the fact they’re one of the richest clubs in the world and have massively sold out. Don’t get me wrong their academy and ability to bring through home-grown talent is to be admired but some of their supporters like to act as if they’ve never spent a penny or spend very modestly, despite the fact that they have two players in their starting line up who cost most than £60million. Another thing the irks me about them is how they represent themselves as the club of Catalonian independence, completely dismissing the fact Barcelona has another club in the form of Espanyol, who I’d guess their fans wouldn’t like Barca apparently representing them. They pretty much hijack a noble cause for marketing purposes and to further their own ambitions, much like President Coin in the Hunger Games.

Club image aside though, their players also massively annoy me. Dani Alves has an awful tattoo on his leg that shows Tweety defeating Sylvester in a fight that is apparently meant to show the underdog (Barca) triumphing. What a load of pretentious bollocks. How can a club vastly richer than any other club in the league barring Real actually dare to call themselves an underdog? As for Golden Boy Messi I can’t actually stand him. I’m not denying his talent and he is very probably the best player ever but he’s a much bigger tw*t than people think. This portrayal of him as a selfless munchkin who would probably play for free if he had to is infuriating. He’s just as ego driven and greedy as Ronaldo.

I think the incident that’s most telling about this image Barca have managed to conjure in the footballing world is when Sergio Busquets was accused of racially abusing Marcelo in 2011. If it had been the other way around, a Real player allegedly racially abusing a Barca player, their fans and the press would have never let the matter rest and probably claimed it showed what was wrong with Real institutionally. However because a Barca player was the accused it was claimed that it was just a Madrista plot to undermine how brilliant they were.

I for one would like to see Mascherano go down. Not only would it show that the rich and famous aren’t above the law but it would also wipe the smug self-satisfied look off Barca lovers’ faces..
Simon Clarke

 

Defending Neville…
Carrying on with the G Neville discussion, I think that whatever the outcome of his current stint, he will return to being a pundit with his reputation enhanced. Failing as a manager, especially with a foreign team that had major problems to begin with and known for their impatient fans, isnt necessarily a disaster. It doesn’t suddenly turn him into a useless pundit.

I’m sure we can all respect his decision to leave what was a cushy number at Sky and throw himself in the deep end. When he returns, he can provide insight into unsuccessful managerial stints and perhaps reference his own experiences. Is a cultural difference a hindrance to getting his points across and how? Can tactics and observations dreamt up in a shiny studio using a large touch screen be easily applied on the pitch in real life and in real time? If not, why? Surely all those years he spent observing perhaps the greatest manager of all time together with his own (opposing) managerial experiences is surely an interesting and, more importantly, and educational combination. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say if he ever returns to Sky.

Plus, I still think he’ll come good…if not at Valencia then perhaps somewhere else.
Samwise, MUFC

 

…So it seems everyone has decided that Gary Neville is a rubbish manager and a failure two months into his managerial career. Surely looking at the situation at Valencia and analysing the teams performances would be a more useful discussion than worrying about how his two month long managerial career will affect the credibility of his ‘bantz’ with Carragher?

I still agree with what Neville said at his first presser, mainly that if he fails at Valencia it doesn’t mean he’s rubbish and likewise if he succeeds doesn’t mean he’s the second coming of Ferguson. But then trust football fans to jump to ridiculously premature conclusions.

I don’t know if he is any good (neither does he or anyone else) but let me at least try to defend him rather than write him off. Firstly, Valencia is a tough job for any manager, let alone as a first job for a foreign manager that doesn’t speak Spanish. Secondly, they were playing very badly before he joined and with little confidence.

Watching the game against Rayo this weekend the team was set up well and he made the most logical changes at the right times but the players were just awful. Sloppy passing, low energy, every move breaking down and it was frustrating to watch. I understand that it is the manager’s role to improve the confidence and effort of the players but that doesn’t always happen instantly. The fans jeers were certainly aimed at the players and the club in general rather than being directed specifically at Neville.

When they played Real recently the pressure was off as they were expected to lose, the stature of the opposition naturally provides extra motivation and it was their best performance under Neville. This shows to me that they are capable but like many things in football it’s all in the players’ heads.

Nobody knows if Neville will be good at the psychological part of coaching but he doesn’t seem to be making any glaring tactical mistakes. Maybe he will come good, maybe not, but give him a chance. Drawing conclusions after two months in management is next level knee jerkery!
Simon, London

 

Great footballers don’t need to be pr*cks
I find a certain distaste when agreeing with an Arsenal fan, but I cannot help it in the case of Pranav, re: C. Ronaldo. While I enjoyed Daniel Storey’s piece as well written, Pranav makes an excellent point that arrogance isn’t necessary. One only need look at Messi. Sure, it’s an endless debate between the two. But being a pr*ck isn’t a requirement for being a great footballer (which is why I think Beckham deserves a lot of credit – commitment to his craft, seems a genuinely nice bloke). I think Pranav should have gone into the role model debate, because I think there are enough arrogant little sh*ts around, they don’t need a successful one to emulate.
Leigh, THFC, Stockholm

 

Respect where it’s due to Ronaldo…
Response to mail from Pranav, AFC (Cristiano Kardashian):

” @Pranav,AFC , you were actually making sense with some of the points in your diatribe against Ronaldo, till you reached the part about admitting, him actually doing something for a social cause (diligently) and then writing him off for his “overall unpleasantness”.

If you do not call a man ‘worthy’ who:

– does not have a tattoo on his body so that he can donate blood regularly.

– has several times spoken/done something substantial for the war-torn children of the Middle East.

– has been lauded by all his coaches for his utmost dedication to the sport we love

And numerous other qualities/acts which set him apart from the rest of his peers…

Then you my friend need to understand that your ‘opinion’ is worth less than the cost of paper it was written on…
The Smoking Gunner, Florida

 

…While reading through the Cristiano Kardashian mail, I was almost certain I was reading the now customary, recognizable moan of the purist Arsenal fan. Thank you Pranav for keeping that dying stereotype alive.

Ronaldo is actually a suitable benchmark for young players who do not seek moral guidance from footballers and celebrities (…you know…normal people).

A player nowhere near Messi in raw ability, playing in a team nowhere near Barca in teamwork and cohesion but who polished his game through hard-work and consistent training to pip Messi twice to the Ballon D’Or.

After the drama at the 2006 World Cup with Rooney – England’s star boy, many other players would have wilted away under the harsh glare of the English media preferring to move to sunnier shores. Not Ronaldo. He let his football speak for him and produced his best season at the time.

The diligence and mental strength the boy from Madeira has displayed despite baying masses of often irrational hate is one to be admired nay imbibed by young players.

I did not like Ronaldo at first (back between 2004 and 2005) – when he was just a selfish, showboating, mostly ineffective, prima donna. I began to warm to him in 2007 and now I have nothing but immense respect for his achievements in the game.
Zu, Lagos, Nigeria (Can’t get why many can’t analyze the football and leave out the drama/narrative)

 

What a weekend in store…
In some ways this weekend is just like any other in the Premiership, but for this stage of the season, the set of fixtures is actually quite remarkable. All 10 of the games have considerable interest, not just for the supporters, but for the neutral as well.

First of all, the top five teams all have tricky fixtures:

Arsenal-Chelsea
Leicester City-Stoke
West Ham-Manchester City
Crystal Palace-Tottenham
Manchester United-Southampton

Not an easy one in the bunch. Then you have two all-at-stake games: the rather heated West Midlands derby West Brom-Aston Villa, and the relegation six-pointer Sunderland-Bournemouth.

The three remaining games all involve teams under threat of relegation, and in two of them the threatened team have a very good chance at a result. Norwich City host a stuttering Liverpool, and a hot Newcastle travel to a fading Watford.

The final game, Everton-Swansea, is on paper the least likely to produce something striking. But factor in Swansea’s new head coach, and the likelihood that any Everton game these days will involve a billion goals, and you’ve got something there as well.

I’ve got my popcorn ready.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA

 

Steve McClaren: He’s doing alright, you know…
Am I alone in being relatively pleased with the start that Steve McClaren has made at the club? Yes, he had a rocky beginning but I think a lot of that can be blamed on what he inherited. I am sure we all remember how bad we were after Christmas last season.

The team seems to have turned a corner and our recent signings make perfect sense. I am genuinely excited about Shelvey’s arrival to bolster our midfield. To my mind, we are now only a centre-half and a left-back away from having a top 8 first eleven. That is real progress under his guidance.

I was actually not unhappy that we were knocked out of the FA Cup the other week as we have no realistic chance of winning it this year and this will allow us to concentrate on climbing to mid-table security this season. I am confident that Steve can recreate some of his previous success and prove that he is indeed an international-class manager. In a few years’ time I think we will look back and be glad that we had him and be sad that he is gone, not unlike Pardew at the moment. Realistically, he is as good as we can hope for an I am pleased he is there and actually positively anticipating the next few months of football.

Also, he seems like a really decent man. He even sent us all an email on Christmas Day. What a guy!
Alan

 

Footballers in musicals please…
For my sins in several past lives, I am at once blessed with an appreciation of NFL, and cursed by supporting Tennessee Titans. Anyway, they posted on Facebook that one of their all-time greats, Eddie George, is now starring in the musical Chicago on Broadway.

My question, for a daft Friday topic, is which footballers would you like to see in a musical?

Raheem Sterling as Billy Elliott could work, I think. Likewise Sam Allardyce as Scar in the Lion King – “I’ll never be king because my name’s not Scarri it’s just Scar”.

Regards,
The overly theatrical Ed Quoththeraven

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