Everyone wants Pogba, but everyone needs Henderson

Date published: Wednesday 20th February 2019 9:04

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A mighty fine result
I dunno about anyone else. But despite us being a far better and more capable team than in years passed, I go perennially into CL knockout games with an underdog mentality.

And while others may curse the sloppy attacking play and missed opportunities, I’m looking at a dodgy center back pairing that kept the competitions top-scorer quiet and made sure we don’t have to contend with any away goal rules.

As for the result itself, I think a 0-0 is a mighty fine result. Of course, Bayern have an immense record at home and really just need to beat us in a one-off game. But it’s them who now have to be concerned about us bagging the away goal. It’s them who have to come out in search of a goal and leave themselves vulnerable in a way they never did during the first leg. It’s them who have to deal with our counter-attacks, knowing full well we are better on the break than breaking down deep-lying defenses.

The only real problem I foresee is that, well, we’ve been more than a bit sh*t on our European travels since the tail end of last year. But what better time to turn things around eh?

And yes, I know we weren’t really underdogs in this game. But the difference between reactions to the same result when you are/aren’t tipped to win can be summed up in this conclusion I saw from SkySports at full-time in the Lyon-Barca game:

“FT: That’s it! Lyon have kept this one very much alive with a superb defensive performance to keep Barcelona at bay.”

If Lyon are still alive in their tie, there’s no reason we don’t have an excellent chance of still winning ours.
Ryan C, LFC

 

Not for Bayern…
Didn’t get a lot of the commentary tonight. How is nil nil good for Bayern. Liverpool will have your first choice defence and away goals count double. I’d rather be Liverpool. A big thing for tonight was Bayern’s full backs sat deep, they can’t do that in two weeks time. There will be opportunities for Liverpool.

Also Henderson had a good game. It always makes me laugh when the media and this mailbox on occasion criticise him. Managers love him because he does what he’s told. Ask him to stand on the centre spot for 90 minutes and he will do just that. Is he thick? Possibly. Is he disciplined? Definitely! Team before glory. That’s a good thing isn’t it?

Compare that to Paul Pogba the other night. A goal and an assist; the media were wetting their pants. But yesterday’s mailbox highlighted poor pass completion and a lot of giving up possession. Everyone wants Pogba, everyone needs Henderson. We praise the lower leagues and smaller footballing  nations for organised team based approaches, why do we give so much credit to individuals in top flight football. It’s a team game!

Anyway Liverpool need to concentrate on the league….
Rob, Gravesend

 

Serge of adrenaline
Watching Serge Gnabry skip past the Liverpool backline for fun, outstanding pace, close control and wing play…I cast my mind back to the fact that this kid was an Arsenal player at 16, spent four years at the club and was never given a chance.

This is compounded by the fact that dross like Walcott was getting endless game time and galactico wages. Gnabry would now easily fetch £50m in the transfer market but it’s ok,  cos Carl Jenkinson is on £60k a week. Must also be Emery’s fault eh.
Stewie Griffin (Wenger gave Ozil £350k p/w, let Ramsey run down his deal to final 12 months, and oversaw a mental wage bill of over £200m. But yes let’s pretend that never happened!)

 

Keita to your needs
I’m sure you’ll be inundated with strong opinions about the match.  I just wanted to say I’m quietly relieved that we kept a clean sheet without big Virg, and it was nice to see the Keita we thought we’d bought.  Seems he’s very much a 4-3-3 guy, and I hope he gets another go in the Allianz.
Dan, Plastic LFC

 

All four naught
I spent all day trying to decide which game to watch, Liverpool/Bayern or Lyon/Barca, never did I expect that QPR/WBA would’ve been the best game.
Mikey, CFC

 

Roman numerals
Hello mailbox.  Been awhile since I wrote about my club (Chelsea), and for good reason.  In seasons gone by, I have been at every point in a scale of <manager/coach is god> to <sack the coach>.  Rather than pointing at the real mess at Chelsea (at least on the football pitch), on which several good articles (one by Joe Tweedie is perhaps a v good summary) and poor articles (pick any article on an English daily), thought I’d give a different perspective on what *may* be happening at Chelsea.

My take is this – Roman Abramovich is planning to sell Chelsea.  Hear me out (I could be totally wrong here also), for this is not coming from reading random news about his UK exile or Jim Radcliffe’s interest!  From what little we know of Abramovich, he’s a successful businessman who did not buy Chelsea to make money (at least he’s never taken a penny from the club).  He always loved the game, wanted good football and above all, trophies.  I’ve always felt, some of his sackings were good and it came purely from that business acumen he’s got that has made him a survivor in Russia from USSR to Gorbachev’s time to today’s regime.  Mr. Abramovich has never been the man to claim a top 4 as a trophy.  He’s ruthless and trophies/meaningful title challenges are the only things he’d ever accept as a success.  So why has the club been run so badly off late?

FFP, the Sheikhs and the general fact that the league has gotten richer has definitely dented our spending power, but we are by no means a club in austerity (to quote Conte).  My take is Abramovich has asked Granovskia to run the club full time, and keep it in shape for a good value takeover.  The decision of coaches – Conte, Sarri though stylistically different, but have some traits – these are coaches who improve existing players.  Chelsea haven’t bought world class players in ages (Hazard, Costa and maybe Kante aside).  We’ve bought dross (most of the squad), decent to good (some of the squad), and good to very good (a few of the squad) with some potential young players (hahahahahaha).  The idea to me seems like hire those coaches who with minimal investment can keep the club afloat of top 4 and with good coaching can give you 2-3 seasons of sustained CL football and then hope to sell the club for a good price.  It doesn’t take a lot to understand that by spending a little (not a lot to put you in a title winning position) and keeping the club in European positions, you can lure investors.  More and more, 2016-17 seems like an anomaly than a planned title win.

Mr. Abramovich has personally invested 100m pounds in the last 2 years alone (I checked the statements of the club).  The man is not definitely doing an Ashley.  I’ve always loved him despite all his faults also, mainly because he prioritised the club’s wins (though his methods are so flawed) than looking it as a business.  If he is investing just enough to lure another investor, then that’s the least the man deserves for what he’s done to the club since buying it.

To summarize, Chelsea’s football problems aside, Abramovich is hiring coaches + investing just enough to keep us as a valuable takeover proposition.  Of course, Chelsea in all likelihood will only be bought by another rich owner for obvious reasons (unless something bonkers happens).  My worry with owners is never about their richness though, that’s secondary, rather the real intent.

Having said all this, there’s a part of me that feels Abramovich is waiting to pounce back! Maybe, wishful thinking.
Aravind, Chelsea Fan

 

Johnny come lately
I love the last TV article by John Nicholson (though not my favorite F365 personality, that’s Sarah). The article is as informative as it was hopelessly idealistic.

I think John isn’t taking into account that the premier league has evolved far beyond the UK. It is quite global now. Here in Nigeria , alot  and I mean a whole lot of people support one of the top 6 premier league teams and yes the subscription of the premier league is only affordable by the scant middle class, we the others crowdfund just to watch the premier league.

I love the atmosphere at the games and I want the premier league to do more  for the for travelling fans attending this game in terms of better scheduling and subsidies for rescheduled matches. But the type of change you are advocating isn’t feasible IMO. Like I said, the premier league has gone global,  see through those lenses.
Enahoro, Nigeria.

 

As much as I love Johnny Nic’s Rush references, just between us:

If I cancel Sky, I lose Premier League which will effectively make the big names take notice, apparently.

I also lose: Super League, EFL, cricket, NFL, F1, PGA Tour, European Tour, plus the sports that I don’t watch but need the funding like Netball.

Please understand it’s a far cry from your socialist anthem

For what it’s worth, I won’t subscribe to BT as for LFC CL games I worked out that if we only got to the Quarter Finals it would have been £40 per game (and BT are crap but that’s another story) and they don’t support other sports

Rant over, the PL clubs would get the big money elsewhere
Stewii (LFC, missing the Bayern game)

 

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