Benching Henderson, dropping Young, questioning Klopp and…

Date published: Monday 21st October 2019 9:50

Read a VAR-based Mailbox then send your thoughts to


Matip of the iceberg
I assume after today’s performance the media will call a halt to the Joel Matip j*rk circle?
Oliver, London


Rojo-jo your boat
Two and half minutes in,and Marcos f**king Rojo attempts a dribble outside his own box. F*** me!


Forever Young
So United are defending a 1-0 lead with Liverpool not really threatening and playing poorly. Simple cross comes in that any decent full back should have been in position to clear at the far post. Not Ashley Young, stuck to the ground ball watching instead of taking two steps to cover Lallana.

When will they ever learn, stop playing him FFS. He offers nothing in attack and is a liability as a defender.
Ken, Cork, Ireland


It’s a good job Liverpool don’t ‘not win’ very often, because when they do we’re reminded of how appallingly Klopp behaves. If Mourinho/Fergie/Wenger/Benitez came out with some of the whining excuses and referee baiting Klopp does they’d be utterly castigated for it. Yet again, the gap between his fun, friendly persona portrayed in the media and his actual behaviour are a mile apart.

If you want to look at how to behave classily when you don’t win, Jurgen, take a look at Nuno. Rarely if ever blames referees and has never blamed the wind for a loss
John Collins, Wolves, London


Who is top and who is bottom half?
I’ve sent this mail at half time deliberately as Monday morning’s mailbox is clearly going to be a VAR black hole.  I wanted to make a point almost regardless of how the game finally pans out.

This is one of the worst Man Utd teams in decades and, for the first 40 minutes at least, Liverpool didn’t make them look good, they made ’em look great.

If Liverpool lose then it’ll be the official’s fault or VAR’s fault (or both) etc  If ‘Pool win then the frankly dire 1st half performance will be forgotten.  Which is important because, if you’d been living in a sensory deprivation chamber for the last three months and emerged to watch that first half, you’d be easily forgiven for thinking that Utd were top of the table and Liverpool one point above the relegation zone.

Yes, I know Salah was absent, and yes I know that football is a 95+ minute game and that this is a derby fixture with a huge history and unique pressures consequently placed on each team, but even so.  Want a template on how to frustrate Liverpool this season?  You’re welcome.
Mark (Seriously Sarah, can we have a VAR whinge section and ‘all other football matters’ section tomorrow? I’m on my knees begging!).  MCFC.


Liverpool should Keita to their needs
The most interesting thing in the post match was Klopp suggesting that Atkinson saw the push on Origi but didn’t blow the whistle because he thought VAR would referee it for him. If that’s the case then the referees don’t seem to understand how the system is actually being used because they were never going to help him get to the right decision on anything remotely subjective, even though the foul on Origi was both clear and obvious.

Incidentally, how many times could the Man Utd defence commit niggly fouls on Mane and Origi and get away with it? I remember three in the first half. Couple that with Atkinson blowing the whistle to stop a Liverpool counter attack because Daniel James ran into Fabinho and it drove the more extreme part of Liverpool to Twitter to lose its collective mind. Booking Fabinho for a cynical foul from behind and not booking Rojo two minutes later for the exact same thing did make Atkinson look like an inconsistent ref at the minimum.

Today we really lacked a creative spark through the middle. Without Salah and with Mane on the right the attack looked lost. The full backs also had no rapport with their wide attackers and it made us look disjointed. There’s a reason that AOC and Keita both made us look a lot better. Keita in particular is such an exciting player and I hope we start to see more of him.

Overall Man Utd looked the better team so it’s a point gained and yet before the game this was a fixture we must’ve been expecting to win. Although Man Utd started well enough we should’ve had the talent and intelligence to reduce their influence on the game and impose our own will. The inability to pass well or break the lines in all three thirds of the pitch meant we never really built up a head of steam. That was comfortably our worst performance of the season which is disappointing.
Minty, LFC


Hend of the world
Dear MC


Slows the game down when he gets the ball. No creativity. No ability to move forward. Makes Fabinho, Matip and Van Dijk work twice as hard with his back passing. Makes Trent, Robertson and Firminho drop deeper so they have no impact on the game and can’t seem to be brave enough to take a risk in going forward.

Wijnaldum is guilty of this too, although he does try to move forward on occasion.

Drop them both. Put either Milner/Ox/Keita on.



Ifs and buts
* First of all, for F365 to be writing of everyone else’s agenda or narrative as the first conclusion, after spending the first week of the international week advocating OGS’s sack and the rest of the break telling us how Fat Sam thinks we are in a relegation fight (sure, relegation is 2 points behind, however Spurs in 8th are 2 points ahead), actual articles on when the last time was a big six team was in the relegation zone and just for good measure Jose revisionism, is just derisory.

I have very little doubt one of the main writers would have gleefully been on hand to write an evisceration piece, if as expected Liverpool had torn Utd to shreds (there was an article about that too) and no doubt you’ll be back at it by the time this team cocks it up again.

* Ifs and buts: that’s this Utd squad right now in a nutshell. We should be talking about a well executed plan and a team at least in mid table. Instead once again we are talking about points dropped. This could easily have ended 2-1 for Liverpool. I for one am not sold on the narrative that Utd should not have sold both Sanchez and Lukaku. James has already contributed more in 3 months than Sanchez in his 18; Lukaku with his horrible first touch may not have been on the field to score that goal.

*This is a Utd team still in rebuild mode. I know Daniel Storey would like to remind us that Matic has still played more than the young guns (Chong Greenwood et al ) combined. However, do not forget those kids are mainly under 20, Garner still gets games for the U-18 for crying out loud. They shouldn’t be that close to him for league minutes played at this stage.

It is instructive  of the direction the team is going that he didn’t make the travelling squad. Rojo only started because Tuanzebe got injured and Jones didn’t make the initial 18 and was still not chosen to close out the game over 18 year old Williams.

* I’ve written in a few times saying this is the worst Utd team for a long time and maybe this will have to be the formation used in the remaining 10 premier games before reinforcements can come in. We were at least spared the sight of Utd trying to defend for long periods. Just think how much more effective this side will look with two speedsters like James and a creative influence who won’t give the ball away as frequently as Pogba/Fred/Pereira.
It will surprise no one if Matic is gone in January. Fixing midfield has to happen then.

So now the big tie with Liverpool is gone, the kids will play Belgrade and Chelsea, the latter of which will matter little in the grand scheme of things as no one at Old Trafford, really needs a Carabao run after winning it about 3 years ago. The tie against Belgrade is probably bigger but there is still leeway. The main thing that needs to happen is league points and getting the away game monkey off our back.

Utd need to start picking up points. The 3 sides promoted sides, Bournemouth  and Brighton are amongst the next set of opponents before Spurs who are hiding behind us and should really be discussed as near crisis as well. Realistically Utd need to get 30 points to avoid the party most of the F365 writers give the impression they would love to attend.if they achieve that, sorry guys: OGS ain’t going nowhere.

They need to start achieving the kind of results they got at the beginning of Solskjaer’s reign, the kind that made writes scoff and remind everyone of the relative ease of the fixtures (something no one mentions now they are losing those type of games).

If they however continue to be binary scoring in 1’s and 0’s) then we may still be in the relegation zone. Utd definitely  are a team of If’s and buts.

Mind you, if we hire Big Sam at some point, I will prefer relegation.
Roode, MUFC


Six conclusions
I was going to write in to complain about VAR but after a night’s sleep and thinking about it on the way to work this morning, here are my conclusions:

1. VAR’s job by definition is to find clear and obvious errors. It is not its job to make every single on field decision. If this were the case, we wouldn’t need referees anymore. In both cases, VAR did what it was supposed to. ‘The Origi incident’ was not clear-cut, therefore not overturned; the handball was clear and therefore was, End of.

2. Having said that, I thought Atkinson was atrocious, especially in the first half. Maybe because Liverpool didn’t get the rub of the green but from what I saw, decisions tended to go United’s way. Biased goggles and all i guess…

3. Jesus that was bad…how do we make a team that is 14th, lost to Newcastle and is generally considered in a really dark place look so good? Playing a rival and having a great start with the crowd behind you really does things to your perforamnce. Didn’t think missing Salah would bring us down by that much, but there you go. Origi was not the right replacement for me. Lallana showed why he should’ve been considered but i guess fitness is an issue and my trust is fully in Klopp and his team.

4. Will be interesting to see if this actually gives Man Utd a push. I think if they can re-create and find the energy they showed last night then they has a chance at getting some points in. Good luck though.

5. Things will not always go your way, it’s nice when they do but there are still a lot of opportunities for us to slip up. In either case, 6 point lead on the 21st of October is great, let’s see where it goes from here.

6. Satisfied with a point. Would’ve been devastating to lose but a point after those 90 minutes I shall take.
Nik (Come on England!), Munich


And more…

Firstly Liverpool weren’t great. When Salah or Mane are missing, and as much as Divock is a good squad member he doesn’t scare teams like the other two do, and that’s when we need something extra from the midfield, even if it means abandoning the shape that means we nearly always dominate games. And, though i’m certainly not a Henderson basher, the skipper should probably be first in line to drop out for an AOC / Keita / Lallana.

Anyway clearly I am going to moan about United’s goal. But to be fair I wouldn’t expect other fans to have much sympathy, as i’m sure all have a VAR tale of woe thus far this season. But come on, Lindelof attempts a tackle into the back to Origi, kicks him in the leg, is an ocean away from the ball. I could understand it if it was side on, an he’s missed the ball by a millimetre. What’s clear and obvious? A severed limb in the centre circle? As Henderson said, Atkinson had given similar fouls to that during the game. I’m aware that a Strictly Come Dancing contestant on the BBC said it was the right decision, because another team didn’t get a foul in a different game, or something……

Under Klopp we’ve never had anything marginal go our way in four league games at OT, simple offside missed in the build up to United’s equalizer in the 1-1 in Klopp’s first full season, several ‘seen them given’ penalty claims ignored in the 2-1 defeat season after, and a clear hold on Matip at a corner not seen in last season’s stalemate.

And some people will trot out some, ‘yeah but if you don’t play like you do in home legs of Champions League semi-finals then you deserve nothing’ line, but next time at that stadium hopefully Jurgen will tell them, and pick an XI, to try and win it by 3 or 4 from the first kick off as tight games and calls won’t ever go our way.
Cheers, Bobby.

PS – Also, it didn’t effect the scoreline, but Atkinson’s decisions when to stop play on the two incidents when James went down in the 2nd half? Hmm.


Fed up of those blue-swayed views
Living in Leicester but being a fan of a non-league side, allows you to hear the views of many Foxes fans whilst maintaining impartiality.

I’ve been baffled by the number of Leicester fans applauding the decision to disallow the Chris Wood ‘equaliser’ and get a fortnight ago were apoplectic about the decision to award Mané the penalty that would allow Liverpool to take the three points at Anfield.

People want VAR to be consistent, but fans should start having some consistency of their own!
Adam, Leics.


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