Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is right to rest his stars in the Europa League as it’s a burden, but does he think he’s playing Football Manager on the PC? All in the afternoon Mails.
Does ‘Brentan’ think he’s playing Football Manager?
Sometimes it appears that certain managers of top clubs have the aptitude and methods of you or I playing Football Manager on a PC. Did Brentan get up on Monday morning and think – ok what can I do now? The defence stats column is a little low – I know – I’ll get Sakho back in – offer him a new contract. His morale levels will undoubtedly go up – lets watch the results go through the roof. Brilliant. I am a genius. Give me this weeks £200,000 wages thank you very much.
The same happened the other week. Lucas was almost out the door – he played ok against Arsenal – and so next day his transfer to Besiktas was cancelled. Did Rodgers read the papers suggesting that Lucas would be a bit of a loss and thought oh yeah – I know – I’ll keep him actually. Brilliant. I am a genius. Give me this weeks £…..
Are these things not thought out well in advance – not just knee jerk reactions to how things may or may not be going at the time. Its bloody ridiculous – especially when these guys are being paid the sort of money that suggests they are some of the absolute best at what they do in the world – the Mark Carneys, the Meryl Streeps, the Paul Hollywoods of their professions.
Something tells me many hours of Brentans adolescence were evaporated playing managing games – as it was for most of us. I probably havent earned his monthly salary in my lifetime yet though. And I’m in my 40’s.
Regards,Steven Hunt – Draughtsman
Rodgers is right, Europa League is a burden
I’m not exactly sure what games Gregory Whitehead, LFC has been watching but leaving the likes of Milner, Lucas, Skrtel, and Lovren behind presents Liverpool with their best opportunity to win a game.
Rodgers decision to leave Benteke, Liverpool’s only competent healthy striker, and Clyne, Liverpool’s only competent healthy right-back, at home is what is best for the team considering they need those two players to stay fit for the entire season.
No matter what the media tells you Europa League, for a top 4 hopeful, is a burden. For the last two seasons a team that is of top 4 caliber has finished in the champions league spots without the extra Europa League travel and games.
I never want Liverpool to lose a match, but if we lose a Europa game I shed no tears.
Brian (Is Ibe anymore than the new Townsend? Now I’m just being bitchy) LFC
Gabriel was our only good player. Out of 11 that is pretty good going.
I can’t understand why Gibbs didn’t give absolutely everything out there, given the horrific injury to Shaw means he is potentially second choice left-back (or there abouts anyway). Poor effort and if thats his attitude he doesn’t deserve to go join the England set-up
Shaw injury, awful. Tackle, dangerous but not: a red card, fire the referee, change the rules, etc. If he hadn’t got the ball, he would have seen red. Simple as that
Chelsea, “met expectations in dominant win”. I like Oscar. Not much else to say here…
City played one of the top top teams in Europe and came up a bit short. No shame in that. Still don’t understand why Real let go of Morata. They missed Agueroooo and I did too.
That Roma goal was a thing of beauty
I wish we had an Ibrahimovic in the Premier League. I don’t care who he would play for, he is just majestic
The Premier League has some of the best teams and the best players in the world. The only reasons I can see for us not being good enough in the Champions League is a) length of our season and thus fatigue or b) our over confidence because we are “the best league in the world”. Probably a bit of both…
We can argue all day about whether BT Sport has good punditry etc. But the formatting of the shows and the set-up for the Champions League was really good. I for one am very happy they got the rights.
Rob A (I think the Arsenal injury room is full of class-A drugs and addictions needs to be satisfied..) AFC
Fourteen, 15 or 16 conclusions..?
Looks like we’ll have to pay more attention to how many conclusions are printed in Storey’s ’16 conclusions’ articles going forward…
Brian (will storey let this mail be published) Cork.
Hulk strike was awesome
Following on from Winners and Losers, there’s something extremely satisfying about watching a player strike the ball as hard as humanly possible, as Hulk did for his 2nd goal.
We all appreciate a classy, cultured finish that’s judged to perfection – Kaka was a master of that art, but nothing compares to a strike that’s likened to a projectile, be it tomahawk, rocket, exocet, heatseeker, cruise missile, Scud or ICBM (ok I made the last one up) or a launcher of said projectile such as a Howitzer or cannon.
This is because, as science has proven, hitting a football very hard is awesome. This awesomeness is multiplied by a factor of ten when the shot hits the bar or post before going in, Florenzi’s mach 5 Sidewinder last night is a case in point.
The qualification to this football constant is hammering the ball home into an empty net, as this is ungentlemanly, and the preserve of suspicious foreign types.
Fraser (foot like a traction engine), Edinburgh
Frankie’s books on offer
A book-selling company has left some samples of books at low, low prices in our office kitchen. One of the bargains on offer is a set of Frankie’s Magic Football books, written by none other than West Ham United legend Frank Lampard.
If anyone’s interested, the included titles are:
Frankie vs the Pirate Pillagers – Glasgow Celtic, renowned pillagers of Scottish talent, take on Chelsea in the Champions League.
Frankie vs the Rowdy Romans – Frankie discovers that there is more than meets the eye to his club’s new Russian owner.
Frankie vs the Cowboy’s Crew – Frankie teams up with Steven Gerrard to drive Tom Hicks and George Gillett out of Liverpool.
Frankie vs the Mummy’s Menace – Frankie teams up with Brendan Fraser.
Frankie vs the Knight’s Nasties – Frankie benefits from the defensive ineptitude of Zat Knight.
Frankie’s World Cup Carnival – this is the shortest of all the books, with the author unable to make it all the way to the final.
Frankie and the Dragon Curse – Frankie signs for his team’s big rivals, and puts a hex on them to stop them winning the title.
Frankie saves Christmas – Frankie teams up with the rock band KISS to rescue Santa Claus.
Frankie’s New York Adventure – most of this book takes place in Manchester.
Frankie’s Kangaroo Caper – Frankie is offered a contract in the A-League, but decides to get his Australian cultural fix by watching Neighbours and listening to Men At Work.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts
Arsenal reaction over the top…as usual
Last night was certainly a massive disappointment, but as usual with Arse related matters I think the hand wringing has gone too far.
The xi put out last night did not know how to play with each other, and that was why they needed to be played with each other. We know just how Arsenal, Arsenal actually are, so injuries mean they will be forced too again. A shame we lost unnecessary points, bigger shame the fringe players weren’t allowed to regain their grooves with the regulation number of players alongside.
The chorus of he’s past it was predictable once Arteta was named. Indeed once we went down to ten he didn’t look good. Everyone saying we’ve known he’s been past it for however long, well you haven’t seen him play for ten months. I wouldn’t play him alongside Santi again, he can be a decent foil for an all energy partner like Ramsey or Wilshire though.
Finally the complication of playing a Chelsea in the ascendancy. I’m not so sure. Do the under performing players dropped return to the first xi? Jose faces a dilemma there. Whereas Wenger picks the team which was in the ascendancy. Of all the players who made errors last night, only Koscielny retains his place.
Quite looking forward to our 5 game run actually
I think Nick Miller needs to have a long lie-down in a darkened room. Hornby’s novel is a modern classic.
John (The Godfather films are better than the books, Puzo can’t write for toffee) Lawless
A response to Dave Mack
I can’t help but feel that reading Dave Mack’s angry response to Hector Moreno’s challenge… sorry “attack”, in this morning’s mailbox was perhaps a little excessive.
Firstly, it’s obviously a very unfortunate incident, and I can understand the annoyance, especially to fans of Man Utd. However, it’s the kind of injury that can occur in any contact sport at any time. It’s of little comfort to Luke Shaw or Manchester United, but unfortunately, it happens.
In defence of Moreno, I’m really not sure what he was supposed to do in that situation, Shaw has made an excellent run through the defence and is lining up a shot which has a very good chance of hitting the back of the net, Moreno’s primary job in the team is to prevent that eventuality, and so he slides in, in a last ditch attempt to do just that.
He doesn’t go in with excessive force, and having watched numerous replays, he actually succeeds in getting to the ball and making, in any other situation, a pretty decent block. Unfortunately for Shaw, we are all subject to laws of physics, and so the momentum of movement means that his trailing leg makes impact with Shaw’s standing leg.
What happened next was due to unfortunate circumstance. Moreno’s reaction upon realising what has occurred is one of a man who just last year suffered a leg break of his own. He seemed genuinely upset. Notably no Man Utd players were seeking out Moreno to explain his actions, they were concerned with their teammate’s well-being and probably understood it was a genuine accident.
The fact that he celebrated scoring an important goal later on in the match isn’t an act of disrespect to Shaw, just an emotional reaction to scoring an important goal for his team. Again, what was expected? Was he supposed to have requested that the referee send him off? or just ask the coach to substitute him?
The incident reminded me of the injury to Dave Busst back in 1995 against Manchester United. I believe at the time it was Denis Irwin and another defender – who I can’t recall at this moment – making a last minute attempt to prevent Busst scoring, they succeeded, albeit at the devastating cost to Busst’s career. I don’t think Irwin or the other player were castigated for that unfortunate incident at the time.
The point is that that too was just a genuine attempt by a defender to fulfill his positional responsibility and prevent the opposition from scoring and it was just deeply unfortunate that it was one of the occasions where significant injury followed. The fact is the player making the tackle could just as easily trap his own studs in the turf and significantly injure himself, it’s all just a momentary decision which could lead to accidental injury to either party.
Attempting to take down the referee and the player for an unfortunate coming together, which without the injury would have just been a solid but decent tackle (in my opinion). The injury has blown those rational thoughts out of the window.
Even if the referee had sent him off, does that change the fact that Shaw’s leg was broken? Does that stop players from making last ditch tackles when their team requires it in future? No. Sadly this is a competitive contact sport and accidents will happen.
On this occasion, it’s unfortunately Luke Shaw that has been on the receiving end. All we can do is wish him a speedy recovery, and hope that he comes back stronger.
Jamie Y (Get well soon Luke), AVFC
Lay off LVG, United are in transition
Can we please chillax about United and van Gaal?
The club is undergoing a transition comparable in magnitude to that when Busby retired, and simultaneously trying to catch up on nearly a decade of under-investment in the squad, whilst key players age and decline.
Would it be nice if van Gaal were perfect, played sweeping cavalier football, and had promoted half the youth team who turned out to be superstars? Yes, but in the real world, van Gaal is doing no better or worse than expected, with a squad that’s needed a major overhaul, and late Fergie United looking ever more like a shambles masked by managerial genius.
Fergie’s last great United side, with Ronaldo et al., emerged from three/four years of sustained overhaul in personnel, tactics, coaches, and style. The shift from the cavalier style and system of the mid and late ‘90s and towards a more measured focus on possession and control began, in truth, after the defeat to Real Madrid in 2000 and Redondo’s masterclass at Old Trafford, but the permanent overhaul in style took place between 2003 and 2006, at the same time as Ronaldo and Rooney developed, and the nucleus of the CL winning squad was developed.
In two or three years, Memphis, Martial, Shaw, Wilson, Januzaj, McNair, Smalling, Darmian and others will be approaching their peak. The overhaul of the youth system and scouting will be complete, and the squad will (hopefully) have emerged chrysalis like from the current possession and control focussed style into a more progressive and threatening system.
There really isn’t any need to fret or worry. United are one of football’s strongest commercial machines and brands, and will finish in the top four whatever happens. The current rebuild will fructify, and we’ll start winning again.
Preempting Rugby World Cup mailboxes
Having been through several Rugby-World-Cup themed mailboxes over the years, I’d like to save everyone a lot of bother by saying the following: respect, real men, video referees, fans mixing, “in comparison to prima donna footballers”, beer in stadium, sin bins, sportsmanship, “no rolling around on the turf”, spirit of the game, and anything to do with anyone or anything taking a leaf out of anybody’s book.
There, I think that’s covered it.