Jurgen Klopp’s attempt to make a draw against West Brom feel like a win with wild celebrations has worked on at least one Liverpool fan.
Writes Phil Thomas in The Sun: ‘It might have only been a 2-2 draw with West Brom – but as the German suggested after – this victory could signal much more.’
It was still only a 2-2 draw with West Brom, Phil.
Jurgen Jurgen, what’s the scorn?
Writes Dominic King in the Daily Mail: ‘Plenty of others, meanwhile, will pour scorn on Klopp for lining Liverpool’s players up in front of The Kop at the final whistle and making them bow repeatedly. This, remember, was a draw that moved Liverpool up to ninth place, not a seismic victory en route to a trophy.
‘But Klopp’s actions were compelling and there was no doubt he made a difference. He transformed the mood of the crowd, lifted one last effort from his players and, in front of Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon, showed the Liverpool will no longer be bullied.’
‘Plenty of others’, you say?
The headline on King’s match report: ‘IT WAS ONLY A 2-2 DRAW! Klopp leads madcap celebration in front of Kop…for earning a point against West Brom.’
‘CRAZY’ on the back page and ‘madcap’ on the inside page. Mediawatch is busy looking for ‘zany’ before shouting ‘House!’.
In your shoes
Nathaniel Clyne's SHOES. pic.twitter.com/cb6WU91v55
— Tom Sweetman (@Tom_Sweetman) December 14, 2015
It’s not your face you should be covering, Nathaniel.
Manchester United are clearly struggling and Louis van Gaal is searching for solutions. Clearly what the Champions League, Bundesliga and La Liga winner needs is the advice of The Sun’s Andrew Dillon. He ‘analyses United’s problems and looks for solutions’. He’s been busy; there are seven solutions:
* ‘Time to get off your bum, Louis.’
Yes, stand up man. That will make Cameron Borthwick-Jackson not 18.
‘Watch reruns of some of Chelsea’s worst performances this season and Jose Mourinho hardly sits down,’ writes Dillon.
A reminder: Chelsea are 16th. How is all that standing up working out for you, Jose?
* ‘Show ‘fall-guy’ Fellaini some love.’
Apparently he was ‘ignored’ when he was substituted. So we’re two points into this ‘analysis’ and so far we’ve got ‘stand up’ and ‘stand up and talk to Fellaini’. Excellent.
* ‘Give James a chance – he’ll shine.’
Yes, let’s ignore everything Van Gaal has seen from James Wilson in training and base everything on Wilson’s goals. In the Championship. Actually, why not just buy Andre Gray?
* ‘Go out to win Europa League.’
We agree; they should. But wait a minute, let’s look at Dillon’s reasoning: ‘Right now the best way for United to get back into the Champions League next season is to win the Europa League this season.’
Odds on United finishing in the top four: 4/9.
Odds on United winning the Europa League: 12/1
* ‘Buy British, buy big, buy Bale.’
Ah. Here we go. So you’ve ‘analysed’ United’s problems and decided that the solution is to buy one of the best players in the world. ‘He scores goals and exudes stability from every pore,’ it says here (nonsensically).
Oh and Anthony Martial’s dip in form ‘should not be tolerated’. Is hanging too good for him?
* ‘Stop Groundhog Day’ training.’
And yet ‘take another leaf out of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s book and declare the training ground a BFZ – Banter Free Zone – this week’.
You do know it’s going really, really badly at Chelsea, right?
* ‘What’s going on with Young?’
Firstly, that’s a question rather than a solution. And secondly, Van Gaal said this: “In training he had a feeling that he was not fit enough.”
So not only is it a question; it’s a question with an an actual answer.
We suspect Van Gaal will continue to look for his own solutions.
Stand in the place where you work
And now to the Daily Mirror, where five things (of course) have been learned from Manchester United’s defeat at Bournemouth. Nothing was learned about the Cherries of course, but what Adrian Kajumba did learn (was he sitting next to Dillon?) is:
* ‘Line-up highlighted LVG’s poor recruitment.’
Yes, eight players are injured but apparently ‘Arsenal have coped with a similar number missing’. Hmmm. Did we miss the match when the Gunners were lacking their entire first-choice defence and had to play two debutant full-backs?
* ‘Possession alone counts for nothing.’
Yes, we definitely needed this one match to learn that.
* ‘Ashley Young is wasted on the bench.’
Altogether now: “In training he had a feeling that he was not fit enough.”
* ‘Borthwick-Jackson has a bright future.’
Whoop-de-doo. You did actually learn something.
* ‘Ryan Giggs could take the reins.’
Sorry, what? ‘Whether at Swansea, United or elsewhere, Giggs will surely be a more demonstrative boss than Van Gaal. The Dutchman was glued to his seat, motionless and expressionless.’
So stand up. That’s it. The solution to absolutely everything is to stand up. Having watched Remi Garde stand for the entirety of Aston Villa’s defeat to Arsenal, forgive Mediawatch for thinking that management may actually be a tad more complicated.
What a difference three weeks make
Rio Ferdinand, The Sun, November 27: ‘When I was a player my main aim was to win a trophy first and win it playing exciting football second, and that seems to be Van Gaal’s too. Certainly during the final three seasons under Sir Alex it was more a case of us getting over the line than anything cavalier. United knew what they were getting when they employed Louis van Gaal, so there can be no complaints now.’
Rio Ferdinand, The Sun, December 14: ‘Van Gaal needs to convince the fans and the board that he can deliver, not just trophies but a more vibrant and positive way of playing…ideally we (players) want to go to a club to win trophies and we want to go to a club who play good football…even in our lean times Sir Alex Ferguson would always attract a player because there were no negative vibes coming out of the club: it was all still positive in the way we played….so the club has to decide whether Guardiola or Ancelotti could do a better job.’
So style does matter? And the football was always positive under Ferguson? And now there can be complaints about Louis van Gaal?
Dent out of shape
‘MANCHESTER CITY’S title hopes have been dented by midfielder Yaya Toure’s international u-turn,’ it says in The Sun.
A quick glance at the odds shows that City are still 5/4 favourites for the Premier League title so it might be worth lumping on their rivals if Toure is going to be swanning off here, there and everywhere.
‘He wants to end his exile – starting with a qualifier for the 2017 finals against Sudan in March when City could be gearing up for a glory push,’ say The Sun.
The selfish bugger. Wait a minute, March, you say? During the international break when City won’t actually be playing any games? When the vast majority of City’s squad will also be playing for their countries?
Ah. As you were.
Jonathan Liew never once tells Louis van Gaal to stand up after watching Manchester United
Dion Fanning on United losing the fear of being beaten
Michael Cox on Aaron Ramsey’s box-to-box role