Fergie (Klopp) out at Liverpool, Ronaldo has aged by a decade at Man Utd, Potter legacy and more…

Date published: Sunday 11th September 2022 8:00 - Editor F365

The Jurgen Klopp out brigade reminds one Mailboxer ‘of the good old Fergie days’. Plus, Cristiano Ronaldo, Casemiro, Man Utd vs Real Sociedad, Graham Potter and do we need a manager transfer window?

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com


Fergie (Klopp) out!
I had this week off so I managed to catch the Champions league games for Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool sides. Firstly, Chelsea were not bad, just not clinical but Dinamo Zagreb were the most organized side I have seen in a while. You could almost see the Mourinho-isque drilling that had been done with the side and they will cause problems in that group. As a United supporter, the City game I had to turn off at around 60minutes because they are too good. The first goal felt too simple to be true. Two passes down the line, a cross and a goal. Until you see the whole sequence and see how they created that space in the first place. Liverpool, however, were horrible. It really did feel like watching a United team defending with Harry Maguire and Lindelof in a high line. Anyone could run in behind.

All this clamour about Klopp out reminds me of the good old Fergie days. We were perfectly happy competing with Arsenal as both Fergie and Wenger were in a class of their own. But suddenly, Mourinho comes in and completely changes the template. Suddenly, Fergie’s teams looked out of touch and it felt like we were losing pace and every game felt like we should replace Fergie with a manager like Mourinho. But he was given time to rebuild and more importantly, Mourinho was not and he was able to dominate again for a good 5-6 years.

The same will happen with Liverpool if their owners let it. Guardiola is not going to stay at City forever, especially if he wins the Champions League this season. Liverpool and the rest need to make sure they are stable enough to take that opportunity when it arises instead of firing managers left, right and center.
Hassan (As a United supporter, I would still take Klopp over ETH)


City have a smaller squad than Liverpool and still manage…
The amount of Pool fans blaming last season, and previous seasons of intense football for their slump this season is hilarious. You’d swear they were they only team that runs.

City played one or two games less than Liverpool last season. They have a smaller squad. Klopp has won 1 league in almost 8 years. He’s Blackburn or Leicester with more ex-pros in the media singing his praises. 1 league and 3 cup competitions, after 8 years and half a billion is not a great return.


Klopp out – madness
Newcastle fan here, and just been reading the Klopp out stuff from Liverpool fans. It’s crazy. They’ve got a load of injuries at the moment. And to cap it all have also just realised that Trent can’t defend. Or be arsed to run.

Unprecedented times indeed.
Simon S, Cheshire.


Ronaldo and Casemiro views…
Ronaldo has aged by a decade over the last 12 months, he looks so slow and out of step with the game. His physicality has always been such an important part of his attacking threat but as it drains away he doesn’t appear willing to adapt. He’s still making the same runs and taking the same shots but without the power and speed and precision which made him at times the world’s best player. His unwillingness to play the team game was a major problem last season, now however he just doesn’t look anything like the required level. It’s almost like the summer of rejections have finished him off, like his ego was fuelling his talent long past its usual limits and now there’s nothing left to draw from.

Talking of ageing Madrid superstars, at some point there’s going to be a conversation about Casemiro and his suitability for this side, when it happens that price tag is going to be a heavy weight around his neck. He looks a little short of fitness but I won’t hold that against him, it will come in time. What is looking quite clear though is his lack of passing ability. It may just be so many years of ‘win the ball, pass to Modric’ that has deprogrammed his brain from making passes of more than 5 yards but its going to be a problem. Wasn’t so bad when Eriksen was on the pitch but after he was subbed the ball was suddenly not moving through central midfield at all.

Finally, I’m presuming by the time this is published the Premier League have suspended fixtures as a mark of respect following the death of the Queen. I’d just like to ask if anyone knows why is it respectful to stop playing football? The cinemas will carry on showing movies, restaurants will still serve food, parks and playgrounds and theme parks will still welcome visitors through their doors. What specifically is it about football, or I suppose sport in general, that makes playing it disrespectful? The Premier League has fetishized displays of respect in recent years so I’m not surprised but I just don’t understand why. There’s no logic left anywhere.
Dave, Manchester


Potter’s legacy at Brighton
Dear Mailbox Editor,

It has been interesting watching fellow Brighton fans’ reactions on Twitter to Graham Potter’s departure from Brighton, so I thought I’d take time before sharing my thoughts in the mailbox. There is understandably lots of anger, as people move through the various stages of grief at losing the best manager the club has had (so far). The moment Tuchel was sacked I knew Potter would be the favourite to replace him. Todd Boehly had opened the lines of communication with Tony Bloom over the sale of Cucurella, and he’d provided Brighton excellent deals for Levi Colvill and Billy Gilmour. As soon as it was confirmed that Potter was talking to Chelsea I knew he as going. Unlike a lot of people, I was happy to accept it, as let’s be honest who would turn down the opportunity to manage a club the size of Chelsea? I therefore moved to the acceptance phase fairly quickly. Then yesterday it was confirmed that club legends Bruno Saltor and Ben Roberts (the goalkeeping coach) would also be going with Potter I joined my fellow Brighton fans by being angry. Roberts’ work at the club has been exceptional and he has helped Robert Sanchez become a Spanish international. He will be missed by the club, and especially Sanchez.

I’ve now flipped back to acceptance. Again if the rumours are true, Potter and his team were offered 6.5 times what they were earning at Brighton. Brighton have recouped over £200m from the selling five players, their director of football and now their entire coaching staff, all of which can and is being reinvested into the club. These bumps in the road are the price of success for a club Brighton’s size and both Newcastle and Chelsea have been quick to neuter the threat that Brighton posed to their European aspirations.

In terms of new managers, Potter’s legacy is that Brighton are now able to attract higher quality managers and this means that hopefully Brighton will move onwards and upwards to become an established Premier League club. I hope in time he is remembered for what he achieved at the club rather than the way he left. With the exception of Hyypia, Bloom has done well in his managerial appointments, so there are still reasons to be positive. Well until the January transfer window opens!
David Williams


I think Potter’s appointment shows more about Chelsea and the basic level in which elite football seems to be run than it does about Potter himself. Yes Potter has done well with Brighton. But its possibly/probably because its Brighton that his (very recent) achievements and performances have been higlighted – they have been playing very well for a team such as them. But that doesnt automatically mean that he can and will transfer that exact ‘success’ to Chelsea – its a whole different dynamic.

Brighton players will have a whole different outlook to their performances – they are a lower team on the up with less expectation – and that is obviously something Potter has managed to work on – a collective team spirit to aim higher. When you are at an elite club like Chelsea the expectation is already there – and if you dont achieve everytime then you are scrutinised. Its a massive difference in mind set for the players themselves. So Potter just going in and just doing what he has done at Brighton is in my opinion very unlikely. And as soon as it doesnt go well he will be criticised in ways that he hasnt been yet. And my point being is that it is so surprising that elite clubs just look at someone like Potter/Brighton who have been doing quite well for 4-5 weeks and think that that is the quick solution. Who’s doing well at the moment – we’ll have him. There is way more to it than that surely?

Potter has to take the job because he knows that aswell as it is going at Brighton it could sudenly take a dip and they wont be flying as high as they presently are and he could very quickly be back in the category of lower to mid table coaches and his chance of getting an elite job may not come around again. He had to take it. But Chelsea didnt have to take him. Its a risk on their part – very much so. An unusual one for them actually. They are quite unique in this country as a club that has hired and fired pretty regularly and yet still found regular success. Whether people like it or not you can’t argue much with their policy up till now.
Steven Hunt – LFC

Brighton manager Graham Potter will take over at Chelsea

Manager transfer window?
It’s better that some things are left unsaid. Such as Block and Ignore’s weirdly obsessive (and selective) Man U and Liverpool stats, or anything that comes out of Paul Merson’s mouth. My opinion may well fall within this category, though I can’t help but think that there should more rules surrounding managerial appointments/sackings mid-season. Especially if it involves managers moving between PL clubs.

Why is it acceptable for Chelsea to sack Tuchel (for fairly arbitrary reasons, given the nascent stage of the season) and then go and appoint Potter – thus disrupting and affecting both Chelsea’s and Brighton’s campaigns mid-season – but it’s not ok to register a player from another club outside of the transfer window? It’s generally accepted that clubs can often benefit from the “new manager bounce.” And hiring a manager who may perform better is obviously advantageous. Is this somehow less of an advantage than, say, buying a striker outside the transfer window?

Unless Brighton can promptly find a suitable replacement – who can hit the ground running and match Potter’s performance – they’ll likely suffer a negative effect from this. And especially considering that they are currently 3 points ahead of Chelsea in the league, how is this fair to them or other clubs competing for similar positions in the table? Surely there should at least be a transfer window for managers similar to those that exist for player transfers?

Granted there may be times where replacing a manager is necessary, e.g. if a manager goes all Manchester and commits a criminal offence, or is deemed guilty of gross misconduct or such like, but how is being 6th in the league – and reportedly not seeing eye-to-eye with your boss – a good enough reason to allow Chelsea to directly and adversely affect a competitors season (and indeed potentially improve Chelsea’s performance)? They wouldn’t be allowed, say, to just get rid of Lukaku and buy Kane in September simply because they aren’t top of the league, so why can they buy Potter?

There are already rules in place for emergency loans for players, so in theory something similar could be drawn up in the event of the need for an emergency managerial appointment. I’m sure there would be myriad issues that need to be considered to make this workable and fair, but if you’re only allowed to register players during dedicated time periods then why not have the same rules for managerial appointments? It seems silly that a big club can just pay their way to get the manager of their choice, and any time mid-season and without any real need for it, and to the detriment of other clubs. It’s an unfair advantage.
Pete, Oxford


Man Utd vs Real Sociedad
I’m at a loss wondering how an international referee and his counterpart in the VAR room don’t know the laws of the game, the penalty given against United last night was just an all-round terrible call imagine if that call was in a European final.

United with Ronaldo, Maguire, Lindelof in situ are stodgy and slow, Ten Hag must know this and needs to never play them again, Ronaldo as much as he has been one of the best players in the World cannot hold back time and needs to realise he is no longer the player he was even 12 months ago. Three points gone where a draw was looking most likely with the team Ten Hag played, so we could be looking at a play off with a Champions League drop out all because the officials don’t know the rules, ah well thems the breaks.
Paul Murphy, Manchester


So after a weekend of (largely correct) VAR bashing, last night in the Europa League we saw what happens when there is no VAR: a potentially consequential result impacted by a refereeing mistake that would have easily been overturned had VAR been in effect.

In real time maybe you can make an argument the ref thinks that Martinez has just handled the shot, but in the replay you get the full triumvirate of mitigations:
1. It hits his leg before arm
2. He is in a natural silhouette of a lunging defender (arms not away from the body)
3. He’s extremely close to the shot

So easy one for VAR to overturn, we can all understand what happened and we move on. Anyone know why Europa League aren’t using it?
Ryan, Bermuda (yes, I do know)


Sports and entertainment events postponement
Nice gesture to postpone the football, and other sporting and entertainment events, but it is a little worrying for all the venues and employees, especially the zero-hours contractors, who were planning for the income this weekend. I expect lower league footballers are more reliant on performance bonuses too. Bills are stil coming in and food needs to be paid for. And now it looks like the energy price cap is being delayed.  I know these are just postponements and the money will come in eventually, but that may not be a lot of help to some people and venues, especially with the likely prolonged uncertainty about rescheduling. hardworking sports journalists may also have to get very creative to fill the endless demand for content…. support your websites by clicking on random stories this weekend!

Is this being addressed by any of the bodies, any news on this? Very appropriate to mark the passing of the Queen who, by all accounts, seemed a nice person, but, for that reason, perhaps she would not be best pleased by the short-term consequences of this mark of respect?

hopefully i missed something and this is being covered.

thanks for the lovely website,


I wanted to extend my condolences and well wishes to the British folks on the site.  Whatever the wide range of thinking on the institution, there is nothing more admirable than one doing a job well without fuss for a long period of time.

I hope better times lay ahead for your country.

In this age of hyperbole, bluster, anger, overreaction, ignorance, and being offended for its own sake, she is an enormous loss felt beyond your shores because what she represented is what we need more of right now.
Niall, Annapolis


Dear Editor

A Friday style contribution from someone in the demographic called ‘wrinklies.’ Yes there are people who look at this site who are over the age of thirty.

I can just about remember being taken to White hart Lane by my dad and uncle to see the Spurs double winning side of the early sixties.

One of the memories is of our centre forward Bobby Smith shoulder charging the opponent’s keeper as he came to catch the ball from a corner (remember when keepers actually caught the ball?.) Smith, the ball and the keeper ended up in the net and a goal was given because at that time it was ok to shoulder charge an opponent.

In those days keepers were about 5’10” and twelve stone. The rules were changed to protect keepers who were understandably feeling rather battered.

Fast forward to today and you have keepers who are over protected but with one crucial difference. Keepers are now enormous chaps who command their area like some sort of night club bouncer.

Let’s see some balance restored so that keepers are no longer this protected species.

Tell me, who wouldn’t want to see Van Dyjk taking a run up from the edge of the area to shoulder charge Mendy into the back of the net with the ball?
Roger THFC


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