There is only one signing Liverpool need this summer…

Date published: Thursday 11th July 2019 2:30

Ryan Sessegnon England under-21s

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com…

 

Liverpool only need one signing…
Amongst the mailboxers infux of opinions of who Liverpool should/shoudn’t sign, I honestly think we only need one player – Ryan Sessegnon.

Cover for Robertson is a must – sure Gomez/Milner can both do a job but both are right footed and neither is anywhere near Robbo’s level going forward. Sessegnon does a better job there and could reasonably play 15+ games over the season in all comps.

He can also push forward as backup for Mane, who i’m sure will need a rest after the AFCON. 10+ games a season there potentially. So 25 (ish) games of football for a fledging young prospect would be pretty good going, and in the last year of his contract we could probably get him for £20-25 million, which I don’t think is overpaying. Spurs are sniffing so it would be a bit of a coup if we can get him from under their noses!

Other than that, I think we’re good. Gomez looked solid at CB before his injury and would cover better at RB, Harry Wilson I think is set for a first team role this season and the Ox will add much needed dynamism.

My only other doubt is Firmino, but who do you bring in that will provide the same quality but be willing to sit on the bench for 70% of the season? F365 have made it pretty clear there’s a shortage of CF’s in europe currently.

Anyway, that’s my two cents.
Lee

 

Liverpool frailty
For all the Liverpool fans expecting another title challenge this season, here’s a quick look at their league positions for the past 2 decades after finishing as runners-up the previous year.

1990-91 :2nd

Next season: 6th

2001-02: 2nd

Next season: 5th

2008-09: 2nd

Next season: 7th

2013-14: 2nd

Next season: 6th

2018-19: 2nd

Upcoming season: ?

The omens don’t look good. They’ve never been able to maintain a challenge after falling short, possibly because the disappointment of coming so close has been overwhelmingly crushing to their spirits. And for those that say this time it’ll be different because they’re better prepared, well, that’s what they’ve said every single time before as well.

If that’s not enough, here’s what happened the season after they last won the Champions League.

2004-05: Won

Next season: Round of 16

Dalglish, Houllier, Benitez, or Rodgers; it didn’t matter. My money’s on Klopp not being able to get it done either.
Sanjit (Fee Fi Fo Fum) Randhawa, Kuala Lumpur

 

Negativity towards Manchester United
Honestly, I’m tired of reading about all the negativity with regards to Manchester United (mostly by the haters). I mean you don’t see us laughing at arsenal for keeping an eye on Neymar after asking palace to allow them to pay installments on Zaha. Oh wait….

There is a lot to be optimistic about being a united fan. For one, we can’t finish worst then last year, so in essence we have nothing to lose. I think Chelsea, finishing 3rd last season are the ones with the pressure and frankly, I’m not sure if Lampard can deal with it.

The whole pogba fiasco needs to come to an end so the club knows where they’re headed and I feel Lansing wan bissaka and Daniel James is just the start. With Maguire seeming inevitable and possible replacements for pogba being Bruno Fernandez or Milinkovic-Savic. I mean it’s actually all exciting to see how this is all going to culminate come start of the season. I know for me being a united fan, I am optimistic about the season ahead.
Q man 

 

The death of NUFC
Good afternoon Sirs,

Long long time reader (I remember the two D’s) but first time writer, about the subject of the death of NUFC.  It has been a while coming but was confirmed today with the (probable) appointment of Steve Bruce.  The many many ways that Mike Ashley has destroyed this club is just too long to get into but some examples are:

Every year (as confirmed by that useful FB memory hoojah business) around transfer time stories emimate about possible takeovers thus tying up any inomings (though the outgoins always seem to go ahead no problem)

The cost of season tickets going up (though I canceled mine when Joe Kinnear came in)

The price of a top

The concept of a top class (world class in our last incumbent) actually being allowed to do whats best for the club.

The publicity from pro Ashley pundits (esp that odious Dennis Wise) going unchallenged from Sky (cancelled a few years ago), read the reports on what MA does.

If you go, its your choice but every person at the ground is vindicating what Ashley is doing.

NUFC is dead, but Sports Direct Football Club is doing well.

Yours faithfully,
Ash

 

Players on strike
Another week, another player refusing to honour their contract.

This time Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel on the club’s pre-season tour of the US.

Following on from “adults” such as Van Hooijdonk, Mahrez, Tevez, Payet etc.

I believe that whatever club you support, in whatever league, you’d be hard pressed to find a fan that supports this behaviour.

It reeks of self-entitlement, and shows nothing but contempt to the club and its fans.

Players will continue to behave this way because the financial punishment is miniscule compared to their wages.

I believe there is a simple remedy to these instances; a total ban from all football related activity for six months.

Refuse to train? Six month ban.

Refuse to play? Six month ban.

Refuse to travel? Six month ban.

That means no training with your club or another, no friendly matches, no unofficial games, no international football, no football in any way, for six months.

Would it completly eradicate behaviour such as Koscielny’s? Maybe not.

But it would certainly punish them if they did.
Dario.

 

Disappointment XI
This is fun…

GK  Marco Ambrosio; A goalkeeper should never have frosted tips. Almost as bad as the two goals conceded against Monaco in the 2004 CL semi final.

RB Khalid Boulahrouz; I rated his all action tackling style but wore the number 9.

CB Papy Djilobodji;  Jose Mourinho had never heard of Papy when Chelsea signed him in 2016. Thank you David Moyes for taking him to Sunderland.

CB Winston Bogarde; Amazing pedigree, spent 4 years at Chelsea racking up the benjamins. So bad you couldn’t shift him on Championship Manager 2003 for free.

LB Asier Del Horno; I once saw a kid wearing a jersey with Del Horno 18 on the back, felt really sorry for him.

CM Jaun Sebastian Veron; Claudio Ranieri saw how sh*te he was at United and thought ‘I’ll have a bit of that’.

CM Steve Sidwell; Another famous Chelsea number 9.

CF Adrian Mutu; Started off well until he developed a fondness for nose clams.

CF Metaja Kezman; Somehow managed to score 105 goals in 122 Eredivise games, just 4 goals in 25 Chelsea appearances and he was useless.

CF Hernan Crespo; That thunderbastard against Wigan aside, a total letdown.

CF Andriy Shevchenko; 9 goals in 48 games and the reason for Roman and Jose’s first fallout. Shame.
Owen –  Cork

 

I was very intrigued to see some of the disappointment XIs submitted yesterday, both because a lot of the teams had overlap in who the disappointments were, and there were also a few surprise inclusions that caught me off guard. I guess disappointment is relative to expectation! I’ve got one more Arsenal disappointment XI lining up in a 4-4-2:

Cech – After so many years of dodgy keepers, the excitement of signing an established Premier League legend was palpable. There were cries of “15 points a season” being saved but when Cech arrived, it was very obvious that he was on a downwards spiral. In his defence, he went from plain dreadful to just not-quite-good enough and towards the end of his time at Arsenal, he had some very good games but it was painfully clear that he was finished as a top level keeper.

Debuchy – During his first few games he performed well and it seemed like he would be a solid acquisition, but injury gave Bellerin an opportunity. For some reason, when Debuchy came back from his injury, he was utterly terrible. Would possibly take him back at Arsenal for RB back up now instead of Lichsteiner and AMN.

Mustafi – It’s impossible to believe now, but there was actually a time where Mustafi looked worth the £35m outlay. Arsenal were unbeaten in his first 22 games or so, then disaster struck in a home game vs Watford. Mustafi was dribbled past rather easily and nothing was the same from that point onwards. He has been so bad that seemingly everyone has given up on recovering even a decent amount of the initial spend on him, with many wanting him off the books no matter the cost.

Gallas – Possibly the worst Arsenal captain in living memory. Started off well, seemed to be forming a decent partnership with Kolo Toure and even scored some crucial goals. Then Eduardo-gate happened at St Andrews and he became a toxic presence at the club. He criticised young players, his form fell off a cliff, he became injury prone and then topped it all off by leaving for Spurs.

Gibbs – Kieran Gibbs didn’t even really do a lot wrong, but he was just a young player with tremendous potential that just didn’t live up to it. There had been a lot of hype about him for some time, and with Clichy moving onto Man City, it was his time to shine. There really were occasions on which he did look like the natural successor to Ashley Cole, but he just seemed to improve a little bit then plateaued. I did find a bit shocking that he stayed in the Championship with West Brom because surely he’s a solid Premier League LB for a mid-to-lower table side?

Pennant – Twenty years down the line, it’s hard to explain exactly how monumental the £2m Arsenal paid for a 15-year old Jermaine Pennant in January 1999 was. It was a record fee for a trainee and to put it into context, Arsenal’s transfer record at the time was probably the £7.5m paid for Dennis Bergkamp. Then he went and scored a hat-trick on his first Premier League start, so the hype machine was out of control. Sadly, for a number of reasons both in and out of his control, Pennant never really made the most of his talent at Arsenal, but certainly showed what he was capable of at times during his Liverpool spell (namely the 2007 Champions League final).

Wilshere – I still remember the first time I ever saw Wilshere play live. It was an Emirates Cup game against Celtic in which he absolutely ran the show, which peaked with him cracking a Scholes-esque 25 yard volley against the crossbar. Then he had that infamous game against Barcelona and it genuinely seemed like Arsenal had a star on their hands. Then the injuries kept on coming and there were so many false dawns that everybody eventually lost patience. There were the odd spells of sensational form, such as that weird period where he was suddenly England’s best player, but ultimately it looked like the injuries took their toll. Would love for him to get a full season under his belt at West Ham to see if he can recapture his best form.

Julio Baptista – A bit of cheating here as he’s occupying the central midfield role he started off in at Sevilla before going up front, but he can’t possibly do any worse here than he did up top for Arsenal. At the time, this seemed like one of the most logical deals possible for Arsenal, with us being able to send a homesick Reyes back to Spain and acquire Baptista, having been beaten to his signature by Real Madrid a year before. Needless to say, Baptista was dire – he scored as many goals in the league as he missed penalties (3). There was, of course, the outlier of those 4 goals at Anfield but overall, he was woeful. The nadir of his loan spell came in the Champions League vs PSV. Losing on aggregate and desperately needing to score to keep the tie alive, Arsenal win a free kick about 25 yards out. Thierry Henry, yes that Thierry Henry, stands over it. Julio Baptista takes it, and needless to say, does not score.

Gervinho – Quite simply one of the worst footballers I’ve ever seen play for Arsenal. Legend has it that one of our scouts went to a Lille game to see Eden Hazard and came back convinced that Gervinho was the truth. In his defence, he was phenomenal in Lille’s title winning season and seemed a real steal at £10m. He then arrived, had a solid preseason but it all went downhill in his debut against Newcastle when he received a red card for slapping Joey Barton. Again in his defence; 1) slapping Joey Barton is an understandable offence 2) it may be the single greatest thing Gervinho did for the club. Barton was being HEAVILY linked to a move to Arsenal at the time and that incident put paid to that move. Upon his return, Gervinho continued to dribble past everyone, reach the byline and then fail to do anything of note with the ball. He was coming under increasing pressure which spilled over after THAT miss against Bradford, which led to Arsenal being dumped out of the League Cup by a League 2 side (in the height of the trophy drought years). Gervinho was shipped off to Roma with the rest of us wondering what exactly he had done to earn a Brazilian-style nickname,

Jeffers – His subsequent career decline means that we often forget exactly how much of a prospect Francis Jeffers was at one point. Everyone knows that Jeffers was referred to as the “Fox in the Box” but a lot of people forget that the nickname was coined by Thierry Henry, who requested that Arsenal signed a poacher after the FA Cup Final defeat to Liverpool in 2001, where the Gunners missed a shedload of chances (Henry included). Jeffers really was highly regarded and even made his England debut (in which he scored) in the same game as Wayne Rooney. He was also tied with Alan Shearer as England U21’s top scorer. I’m not sure why it went wrong for him at Arsenal but

Lupoli – Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to comprehensively follow a football team’s youth and reserve ranks (I saw someone had been tallying Cristiano Ronaldo Jr’s stats and he plays for Juventus U9s!), but back in the day this was a much harder endeavour. The casual fan would only ever hear about a youth prospect when they were really and truly something special. In the mid-2000s, chatter started emerging about Lupoli, who was scoring an ungodly amount of goals for Arsenal’s youth team and reserves. He eventually got a first team run out and was prolific in the League Cup. A productive loan spell at Derby whet our appetites further, but we were collectively crushed as Lupoli revealed he’d be moving to Fiorentina at the end of his contract. In a way, it was a two-legged disappointment as many of us expected that he would go on to be a prolific goalscorer after he left Arsenal, but he tumbled down the leagues and now finds himself playing (and not scoring) in Serie C.

Honourable mentions: Suker, Senderos, Djourou, Walcott, Mark Randall, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, Fran Merida
Brett, AFC

 

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