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Blame Mata, Herrera, Kagawa…
In response to Saladinho, MUFC, Botswana, take you self-entitled, glory hunting, we-haven’t-won-so-I’m-going-to-spit-my-dummy out approach to fandom, and p*ss off. That’s our club captain you’re talking about. A player who has contributed 200 goals to the cause, a player who had a decent game yesterday for all the carping and whinging this in this morning’s press. He was certainly no worse than any other attacking player on the pitch, and yet we find his name and pictures splashed all over the papers again this morning as though he’s the only footballer in the world? Did we all of a sudden forget that Mata and Herrera were both on the pitch yesterday and were just as flat and uninspiring? And this rumour that Rooney somehow denied Kagawa the chance to become the reincarnation of Ferenc Puskas is laughable. Kagawa was disappointing from start to finish for United, barring a handful of games. I won’t get started on the transfer requests; they must have really hurt from Botswana.
Harry The Manc.
Is Sturridge a busted flush?
There was an air of inevitability about yesterday. Bright start, a few reasonable chances then the inevitable nerves from both team and crowd as time wears on and the breakthrough is not forthcoming. I agree with a great deal of what CB, Washington DC wrote in this morning’s mailbox. I’m not one to point fingers (other than to Mr Veneers’ and his lack of competency at his day job) as many of our current woes are collective but it felt as if we’d swopped one limited, English Captain who’s want to try and score a thnderb*stard from last season for another. Can someone please tell Milner not to shoot. The Captain had an absolute shocker! Silly foul leading to their goal. It was every bit as bad a performance as Stevie Me was dialling in all of last year.
Anyway, I’ve been through enough 5yr plans (who many corners did that French imposter turn!?) to still have plenty of patience. And as I wrote recently we’ve got ourselves proper class gaffer for the first time in eons. Pinch ourselves to remind who’s been in the Liverpool hot-seat… Roy Hodgson FFS!!! I do hope Mr Veneers’ refreshing silence for once is due to embarrassment at how he performed.
We did look a different side with the Belgian beast on the pitch.. I’m starting to worry for Sturridge though. Is he a busted flush? I hope not as when fit and firing there’re few better in my humble and red-tinted opinion. Chelsea, Palace then Citeh in between League Cup and Europa… Not getting any easier any time soon for KloppMeister.
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
More on Klopp
I’m hoping that by the time we play Chelsea we will have Benteke ready to play 90, Firmino ready to at least start & hopefully Sturridge fit enough for the bench.
When Klopp came in, he didn’t make any grand announcements on playing style, formation etc. He wanted us to be aggressive in pursuit of the ball & be hard to beat. That was it.
So far, we have been hard to beat (still making defensive mistakes but conceding 1 doesn’t lead to 2 or 3 and I don’t fear every set piece whereas I did under Rodgers) and have shown periods of aggression in getting the ball back. Exactly what he’s said he wanted. The trouble is, when you’re making yourself hard to beat, you rely heavily upon the quality of your forwards to win matches. And we’re only just getting our quality forwards back to fitness.
I’ve seen you do a piece on comparing how others would cope with the same level of injuries but this can be reductive reasoning. The fact is that we were forced into playing our 4th choice striker (who many media outlets were linking with a loan away in January) and we’ve struggled for goals as a result. Looking for a set piece to pay off (against Kazan and almost against Spurs) or for a moment of quality from next to nothing (Benteke yesterday).
Footballers are human beings and matches aren’t played in a vacuum. Klopp says that he saw a lack of belief after we conceded yesterday and that ties directly into the goal threat. We’re getting Benteke and Firmino up to fitness and we laboured for ¾ of the match to get a goal. Everyone knew as soon as they scored it was a draw nailed on. When we start getting these lads playing together and scoring a couple, then when we concede it won’t be the killer blow it has been because the team will believe more. Hopefully.
Kris, LFC, Manchester
As disappointing as it was to see Liverpool trip at the final hurdle there is much to be optimistic about. Liverpool look more in tuned with what Klopp wants to do, now it’s all about getting the player up to speed fitness wise. It is obvious that the team is not yet at the required fitness levels because most of the players looked knackered by the 80thminute.
The Red’s upcoming fixture list looks favorable in this moment. Bournemouth trip to Anfield could not have come at a better time. The league cup game could be the perfect springboard for the Reds. It will also give those who have been playing a lot a much need rest while those in the fringes (I’m looking at you Lovren) will have a chance to prove their worth.
With Chelsea in full blown crisis mode and revenge on the mind in Russia, Liverpool could be unbeaten in 6 while cementing their place in their Europa league group, beat a premier league rival at their home and still be in 4 competitions by the start of November.
Paints a rosy picture doesn’t it.
Brian (Congrats to my New York Red Bulls for finishing top of the league last night!) LFC
Chelsea playing chicken
A couple of things on Chelsea. Firstly, who is most at risk from their current position and form? After the previous defeat against Southampton a stat was trotted out that no team had made the top 4 after such a slow start. Now, with another added to the mix, those hopes must be getting slimmer and slimmer. Granted, it’s not impossible, but if we were to write off their top 4 chances now, and also (perhaps generously given recent games) say they won’t go down either, isn’t Jose staying in the job more damaging to himself and his reputation than it is to Chelsea?
Every other week (at least) another poor performance comes along suggesting that he can’t right the ship, which he then compounds with his childishness and/or arrogance on the touchlines and with the press. If Chelsea were to fail to qualify for Europe, they would still be a team that could lavish money on any players they wanted, as Man united did in their year-long absence. Sure, their reputation would take a bit of a hit, but they could weather that storm. But if the team continues on this path, how damaged will Jose be? Which other European giants would want him? Real wouldn’t have him back, surely? Barca wouldn’t want him, both given his Real past and his eye gouging past. Bayern wouldn’t want him, would they? Would any English club? Maybe PSG, I guess…
The point is, really the only way for Jose to go is down and the longer he stays at Chelsea the further he’s going to plummet. From Chelsea’s point of view, they’d have to pay £30m (so I’ve read) to dump him and have been very wise when it comes to investing money in recent years. Are they now at a point where they’re daring Jose to quit to save himself? He seems to have been daring them to sack him for the last couple of weeks. Which one will give in first? As a non-Chelsea fan, I hope neither of them do. I’d love to see it all go up in flames…
Especially when there are gents like this chap out there: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=920096968038969&id=628797043835631
Toon their own worst enemies
Rob Madeley is going to attract the majority of the ire of Newcastle fans for his (admittedly, absolutely awful) refereeing display in the Wear – Tyne derby, but for me (Clive), the biggest problem created by the referee’s incompetence is that the sense of injustice will almost certainly see to it that the club’s persistent internal errors go without investigation.
Up until the sending off, Steve McClaren would no doubt have been happy with the performance; Newcastle were turning the screw and looked the only side likely to score, never mind go on and win the game. And then the turning point. Chancel Mbemba, for the fourth or fifth time this season (that lead to a goal) was turned inside-out by a simple slide-rule pass. Rob Elliot, lard *rsed League Two-standard goalkeeper that he is, is about half an hour too slow off his line to make what would have been, for a keeper more alert / carrying slightly less timber, a routine claim of the ball. That left 33-year old wantaway Coloccini, inexplicably handed a new deal in the summer instead of being replaced, to be outpaced by the ponderous Steven Fletcher, and forced into jostling him. The result was, in fairness, not a foul and should not have been given as a penalty; it’s the correct and allowed usage of the shoulder, and the striker did not have control of the ball; whether he is first to it or not is subjective and for that reason it’s impossible to state it was a definite goalscoring opportunity. However, Coloccini is an experience defender who should know better than to give the referee that type of decision to make in that atmosphere. Likewise, questions should be asked as to why he is even still at the club, having proved unreliable for a period of two years now.
The defending for the corner leading to the goal, again, farcical. Elliot’s organisation of his defence is extremely questionable, and despite the heft he’s carrying, he does not pose an intimidating physical figure in the penalty area. Given the protection afforded to goalkeepers, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be throwing his not-inconsiderable bulk into the melee to claim or punch clear crosses, and he’s rarely successful in doing either.
Third goal, fair enough – we’re chasing the game and always likely to get caught on the break, no real complaints.
However, the overall feeling in the reports / social media is that NUFC “were robbed” by the refereeing; and I fear this is the stance that will be taken by the club’s hierarchy, rather than questioning why defensive reinforcements were not prioritised in the summer over spending £14m on a poncey haircut, sorry “Florian Thauvin”, to sit on the bench and why we’re still making the same academic mistakes week in, week out – even against Norwich we’d have conceded FIVE if not for the woodwork and a clearance off the line. I’ve heard time and time again that NUFC dominated possession – sorry, but again the worst team in the league, and a Sam Allardyce-managed team, who will always cede possession in favour of counter-attacking, that’s not something which should be celebrated, it should be expected. The bottom line is, Newcastle have been catastrophically mismanaged since their return to the Premier League. Persisting with a failing Alan Pardew, hiring Joe Kinnear, giving John Carver the manager’s job, all the while selling the best players and replacing them with cut-price imports… it’s not a foundation for success on the pitch, is it? You reap what you sow, and Newcastle have been sowing the seeds of relegation and a subsequent lengthy spell outside the top flight for a while now.
P.S. I’m a Newcastle fan – or at least I always was before they became a Sp*rts D*rect billboard, anyway.
British ain’t best
This proper football man does my nut! Had this discussion with my dad this morning and he insightfully said “yeah, its all well and good to look for a British manager who knows the club… but this isn’t the 60’s anymore?”
Football is now, and has been for awhile, an elite sport played by elite athletes. You need an elite coach to manage this situation, to get more than the average out of the team. As John Nic rightly said, the alarming trend seems to be “British is best” which is horrifying on so many levels…
And the lazy journalism is to point to the German and Spanish leagues and say “oooooh… they have got plenty of krauts playing AND managing in there and the Spanish manager he can pick from loads of players starting in the Spanish league… Why not give our Brits a chance because we are bloody brilliant they’re always coming over here and stealing our jobs and our wives!”
The glaring misconception of unfairness and it being a god given right because we are bloomin’ British couldn’t be more wrong. The Bundesliga and La Liga play more players of their leagues national origin because they are technically more gifted – end of discussion. The same goes for managers, are you saying that Liverpool for example should’ve either let Rodgers lead to club to further down the league or replaced him with a “non-foreign” because they’re a British club?
Sherwood just simply isn’t good enough. Say what you want about Levy but the guy makes the “hard” calls when needed… Redknapp didn’t achieve the minimums, so was cut lose. Sherwood did well on paper but still didn’t achieve the minimums so its bye bye. He has done the same to AVB so can’t be accused of “Anti-PFM” bias.
Lerner did/has done the same. Lambert was let go, McLeish too and Sherwood was dragging the club further and further down that previously thought possible. Christ, listing those managers and the problem might be in who is having the final say but thats a topic for another day…
Whether you look at Owners/Chairman with a cynical or realistic eye, the more successful the club the more money/glory the Owner/Chairman has?
Should the Owner think “F*ck, we are bottom but this Sherwood is a proper football man and by god is he British so relegation be damned!”
We are happy to trot out the cliche for a player “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough” but for managers “if you’re good enough… show us your passport and you better bloody love the Queen and by god you better be a proper football man…”
Get a grip!
Ayew not entertained?
‘Ayews being served‘ – so disgustingly bad it’s actually good.
“Ayews being served”. Perfection.
TGWolf, P&F Believe
Just to add to the winners column
They just won a pizza……….
Timi (I wonder what they’ll order) MUFC
Can I add my voice to those praising the Recommended Reading section in Mediawatch. The Rob Bagchi article today contains a picture of Steve Evans that may just be the best picture of any manager ever, even better than the crème de la crème of the Brendan Rodgers oeuvre.