Klopp’s approach to Liverpool’s big derby: Mourinho, that…

Date published: Monday 4th March 2019 9:51

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Jurgen Mourinho
Can we all for one minute stop and imagine if Mourinho had belittled local rivals by claiming the game was their “world cup final” before the game, brought a defensive midfielder on at 0-0 during the game and after the game blamed the wind and had an angry altercation with a ball boy? The reaction from John Nicholson alone would be utterly hysterical, let alone in the mailbox.
John Collins, WWFC, London

 

Klopp cocked up
‘We are top of the league, we are top of the league…’

(If we are talking about the clean sheet table).

Sadly last time I checked you win sweet FA for topping that particular table. To clarify; I’m a Klopp lover and this for two reasons. 1 – we could still have Brendan Rodgers as manager. 2 – he’s taken what he’s got and made it better (either by some great signings or just by making players better).

That being said I reckon if I had a cheeky pint with Jürgen down at Concert Square, I reckon I could get him to admit his Achilles heel; he’s not crash hot at substitutions that change games. I get the Firmino change but so help me God, Milly right now can stay on the bench. Games like these require a different sort of player; a runner, a guy that can get past a player, with pace etc etc. Clue: First name Naby.

For all his positivity, Klopp needs to be positive off the bench.
Barry, LFC

 

Klopp’s lack of a plan B and his substitutions will cost Liverpool the title, Milner and Lallana are effectively the same player (limited technique but work their socks off) why leave Shaqiri, Sturridge and Keita (all forward thinking players) on the bench??

Why not keep Origi on, move him through the middle and fire some high balls into him from deeper back with 10 minutes to go. The 2 massive points dropped today for them are down to Klopp not knowing what to do differently. Jesus even Steven Caulker ended up front at the end of some games, Benteke gave them something different also. I know it’s not pretty but launching high balls into a big man and hoping to pick up some scraps is nothing to be ashamed of when you are fighting for the title, couldn’t be any worse than watching sideways passing midfielders and a forward line struggling with ideas.

When the front 3 on are on it they are unstoppable but today Mane was quiet, Salah missed sitters thanks to his terrible touch (watch him closely, quick feet but a terrible touch) and Firmino was only fit for the bench. Liverpool have no other option, no other ideas, no other players to make something different happen.

This is down to Klopp, he properly sorted the defence over the last 2 transfer markets but didn’t think that someday (quite a few days) that his front 3 would stutter. I know his squad is limited and he has been praised for his transfers in the past but someone should have been bought in January. Somebody completely different to what they do now should have been brought in to give them a plan B.
Robbie DFC (Tony Pulis would have got 3 points there today)

 

Frustrating watching that today. Our lot genuinely had no clue what to do in the final third. Salah’s touch really stunk the place out. I think Milner was brought on to make Mo feel better; it’s the only way I can explain his coming on as fresh legs and being so god awful that I was actively hoping he would get subbed off for Keita.

How Shaqiri isn’t getting minutes when we have been utter bollocks in 2019 is beyond me. Origi was our best forward today, maybe a rest would actually have been useful for one of the other lot. Firmino didn’t look match sharp today, it was pointless bringing him on for a game that required such intensity.

Man City’s title to lose now, maybe we couldn’t handle the pressure of being top given we’ve only won 2 of the last 6.
Minty, LFC

 

…Bob Dylan once wrote, “you don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind blows.” But as the season reaches its finale it’s self-evident that Jurgen Klopp certainly does need one. He has complained about the wind a few times now, as well as a cold-snap over Christmas when the anfield groundsmen only cleared one half of the pitch (shame on you). He also complained about his opponents winter injuries disrupting his side’s performance

This has led me to believe one of two things. That either Klopp is buckling under the pressure and resorting to ridiculous excuses in order disguise his players’ ability to win when it matters or that his brand of football is just not suited to the English Premier League with those tough winter fixtures and those difficult Tuesday night games away at Stoke.

Whichever it is, it seems that the times, the times they are a changing.
Rosie Poppins

 

…See, told you the momentum, and the holding of the bottlers bottle would change again by Sunday – and one round of games. Let the flood of over reaction and bullsh*t fly.

And I should say before I moan, I am very bitter. No doubt alot of pundits will blurt out the ‘and Everton could’ve won’ b*llocks based on one comfortably saved header from a corner and a cross that flashed through the six yard box. As VVD remarked post-match says alot that they celebrated a 0-0 at home so heartily, to which they contributed plenty of time wasting, even in the 1st half. ‘England’s Jordan Pickford’ is a f*cking master of the art at goal kicks and English refs do diddly squat.

Having said that, and Klopp is untouchable in my eyes, that was possibly Jurgen’s worst day at the office for me – especially following on from the previous Sunday. Whilst Everton were a fully fit, aggressive team we had the players on the pitch and the bench to stretch them more. Whilst Milner has been good this season he was thrown on ahead of Shaqiri & Keita when we needed a goal and, apart from when given time to cross, was largely poor.

And Lallana (!), for the life of me….and for Mane! A not quite at it and drained Mane would still have been ten times more use, never mind the fresh legged, previously mentioned unused pair. Lallana has initially flourished under Klopp, but his most recent long term injury has seen him return a player who often looks like the pace of Premier League football is too much for him. He offered nothing. Not sure i’ve seen Klopp make a more baffling substitution.

There are still many factors that mean it’s far from over, City’s luck in cup draws could run out and they might get a couple of the real giants in Europe in the quarters & semis (and while i’m never sure about their oddball fanbase it’s definitely the case that Pep and alot of their senior players, who’ve never even been in a final, will consider the Champions League a big priority) and be distracted, and perhaps United will still be involved in the scrap for 4th and need something from the re-arranged Manc derby near the end of April.

Whatever, it feels like 9 wins on the spin will be required now. So just f*cking do it redmen!

Cheers,
Bobby.

 

It’s 6.31 pm and Jurgen is giving his post-match interview to Sky. First thing he does is complain about how windy it was during the game with the wind, apparently, coming “from all sides”. This, it seems, was a significant reason why they didn’t win. Wind? Who knew?

Rather deliciously, and at the same time, I have R5L ‘606’ on in the background and “Ross”, a Liverpool ‘supporter’, is decidedly unhappy with the manager and complains that Klopp is taking the club “backwards” and that he (Ross) would give him just one more season to win a trophy before sacking him if he didn’t.

What a marvellous weekend.
Mark (Lights cigar as Bette Midler starts to sing Wind Beneath My Wings). MCFC

 

…After watching my beloved Pool struggle with 4-3-3 owing to lack of creativity, I absolutely can’t wrap my head around the question: why the hell Klopp abandoned 4-2-3-1? When you’re struggling with games like the one today, what is the thing stopping you from making a tactical change.
Vikas, LFC, India (Burnley game might be the crystal palace tie circa 2014)

 

…So how are the LFC Positivity Police feeling now? How’s that chin-up happy-happy-joy-joy stuff working out for you, boys?

Do you understand now that realism is not the same as negativity?

Liverpool have done fantastically well this season. But City are champions-elect. Do yourselves a favour and don’t delude yourselves any longer.
Dave (LFC), Galway

 

Reasons for optimism
Firstly, several times this year I have stated that City are the most likely team to win the league… that still stands but there are a few signs now that LFC can actually do it.

1. LFC are a (mane) goal post away from being undefeated on the season.
2. They are unbeaten at home in 35 league games
3. They have played their two fiercest rivals and taken 4 points from 6 against each
4. They have played all of the top 6 away from home , taking a point at Chelsea and Arsenal and 3 at Spurs, City being the one defeat
5.They have the best defense in the league
6. They were 25 points behind City last season.. to be within one at this stage is a miracle.
7. City have injuries to key players at the wrong time..Fernandinho, De Bruyne and La Porte.
8.City have lost 4 league games out of 29 suggesting they will lose at least one more by seasons end.
9 . City’s fixture list is longer than Liverpool’s

Yes drawing games rather than winning them does drop you points but Klopp has learnt and taken a leaf out of Jose’s book . Win your home games against your major rivals and don’t lose away. This is textbook apart from City which could turn out to be the difference. So the neutrals thought we should have won yesterday due to Mo’s missed chances but we won at Anfield when we probably shouldn’t have done…

Keep going lads
DL, LFC , Geneva

 

…It was disappointing to lose the title this weekend, especially after we had only just won it back on Wednesday. It’s been a tough season so far, after winning the title in January, only for City to win it back in February. We’re only in the start of March and we’ve already lost the title again. Hopefully City might slip up at the weekend and we can win the title back on Sunday,
Mike, LFC, London

 

…I told my friends in May 2018 that I believe the Netherlands will win the 2022 World Cup because of their emerging youth products, a rejunvenated Depay and captain fantastic Virgil van Dijk at the heart of their defense.

I’ll call it again, now, with performances like that, that the Netherlands, and Liverpool, will win trophies with that man the the heart of their defense. Arguably the best, if not the best, in the world.

On a final, entirely unrelated note, Aubameyang’s penalty was absolutely awful. Literally put it in the one place you shouldn’t, low and middle!
Néill, (beat United and 4/6 makes a pretty good week), Ireland

 

Not sure what to make of it all
Finally… For the first half of the season, we were an unrecognisable team. With a mean defence and an efficient attack, we were amassing points as quickly as that well-oiled (no pun intended) blue machine in Manchester. If we were to continue at that rate, the focus would be on London come May, with Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea fighting for that last Champions League spot. Nobody will be watching our final game with Wolves, and Man City’s game with Brighton. In a nutshell, there would be no added-time “Aguerooooo” simply because the trophy will be sitting inside our cabinet by then.

Next, they would request urine samples from our entire team for drug test, maybe even for DNA test. Because this is simply not what we are recognised for. In order to avoid this embarrassment, our German magician came up with a plan. In January, he snapped his fingers to break the spell. We gained back our true identity, a team that is capable of occasional brilliance, but more well-known for its ability to lose a 350-metre lead in a 400-metre race. Not exactly tripping over ourselves like what we did against Chelsea some five years ago, we still managed to drop points against Leicester, West Ham, Everton, etc. to let slip a seven-point lead which some had termed as unassailable in early January. Dropping such points would be fairly routine in past seasons, but we knew that to drop them right now at this stage of the competition, we would be providing much needed ammunition for our detractors, something they have been waiting for since the start of the season. This is our year, isn’t it?

Anyway, if the above sounds unbelievable, being one point behind the blue machine at this stage of the season is in fact the very thing that is unbelievable. Without Sturridge’s wonder goal vs. Chelsea, Mahrez’s rugby spot kick and then Pickford’s charitable contribution at Anfield, and a few of the so-called dives from our Egyptian in opponents’ penalty areas, we would be fighting tooth and nail with that London trio and our great rival from Manchester for Champions League spots.

So for that matter, we are not disillusioned. We know where we stand and to be in this position is already a bonus for us, regardless of our performances in the first twenty-nine games of the season. Truth is we might never regain top spot again for this season, but our position is an accurate reflection of our ability. We simply do not have the luxury to drop Sane and bring on Bernardo Silva or Mahrez when things aren’t working.

With nine more games to go, maybe it’s time to snap the fingers again and bring back the unrecognisable Liverpool. There will be more twists and turns and while we might not be able to fully capitalise on those opportunities given our outstanding record of bottling things up, let’s at least push them all the way till the final day. Maybe, just maybe, we will get to witness “Firminooooo”.

Time will tell.
Taxson, LFC, YNWA

 

Clutching at straws
Whenever someone tries to explain a potential flaw about Trump to a Trump supporter they often say something like, “Well what about Hillary Clinton? She did x.” Of course Clinton could kill a man and that would irrelevant to the traits or actions of Trump. But this allows them to not focus on their own potential internal conflict with supporting Trump.

Reading Robertson’s and Van Dijk’s comments about Everton celebrating wildly and how that means they are not successful is a bit like that. Everton celebrating has nothing to do with your performance. Perhaps try focusing on your own team.
Nathan, Newark

 

Being:Brendan
It’s been a while since I was firing up F365 every day and having a cheeky 10mins with the mailbox or mediawatch- responsibilities of the job etc.

But I did find the time today, and can I just tip my hat to Johnny Nic’s vivid pen portrait of Brendan Rodgers? Despite being a neutral I too find myself looking forward to his (His?) messianic presence being back in front of the camera, and I will certainly think twice before fast-forwarding between the highlights clips now.

One thing that Johnny didn’t mention is the rich resource of Brendanisms that is Being:Liverpool. And I mean it in a nice way- this show is chock full of revealing insights and unguarded moments. One in particular came to mind whilst reading the column: we have been allowed inside the room at Joe Allen’s medical, and Brendan is also around, hovering- and boy is he happy. I mean, throughout this (uncomfortably long) scene it’s clear that Brendan is nothing less than utterly thrilled that Joe Allen will be following him to Liverpool. You understand why any type of player would want to play for him.

Once he gives those title-winning players at Leicester their mojo back they will definitely be mixing it with the top 6 once again.
Andy Suggitt

 

Mellow yellow
Seven minutes into the derby and Walcott’s just got a yellow. Had he not made that foul, Liverpool were 3 on 2.

This is what Fernadinho brings to city every week but because he does it so often his yellow doesn’t come until foul three or four (if he even has to make that many)

My question to the mailbox is, if a player who makes a great technical foul, but doesn’t make them offen, are they yellowed sooner? Examples please
Sam

 

Spurs pessimism
I’m pretty sure the only people supporting Leicester today were Leicester fans. It’s fun to see Brendan lose, isn’t it.

What I would say is I’d take Tielemans in the Spurs midfield. What a tidy player for just 21 years old and, even before a sublime pass to Vardy, looked really good.

On Spurs, our issue is; a very very average right back. Literally I would take a good 12 other right backs in the league. Sissoko – because he has gone from absolutely terrible (I mean, I genuinely thought it was fraud that he was saying he was a professional footballer) to nearly competent, it seems people think this is sufficient? It’s not. I like Winks but he has very little quality supporting him and we missed him yesterday. We’ve gone from a peak Wanyama and a beast in Dembele to I don’t know what. Toby is off in the summer I’m sure and not quite the same monster he was and Sanchez is not as good as we thought.

The stadium will probably be delayed for another 3 years and by that time Kane will be experiencing CL glory with Madrid. Son will be doing military service because it’s more attractive than ground sharing with West Ham and Lloris will still be moonlighting as ‘world class keeper’ all because he won a World Cup.

Jeez, I miss Dele right now. Please, someone join in with my pessimism.
Glen, Stratford Spur

 

Arsenal realism
So Stewie is keen to hear my thoughts. I’m flattered. Stewie, it’s not about Wenger vs Emery for me, honestly I just want Arsenal to be good again. Of course I love Arsene Wenger because for 20 years his seasonal performances as Arsenal manager ranged from ‘good’ to ‘sensational’. An incredibly impressive achievement. However his final two years were unacceptable and he lost his job, no complaints from me. Bring on the next guy.

With Emery, I was desperate for him to be brilliant but I’ve been frustrated at what I felt was a lack of progress and identity on the pitch. We gained in some areas but got worse in others. It felt disjointed. I never expected big performances away against big teams. Our record in the last two years of Wenger in this area, was terrible and it would be unfair to judge Emery on this so soon. What I did expect though, was good football at home.

This is because that’s what Arsenal do. Even last year our home record under Wenger was very good. We won 15, had 2 draws and lost 2. This included big wins, games where Arsenal dominated teams and scored goals. They won 5-1 vs Everton, 4-1 vs Palace, 5-0 Huddersfield, 5-0 vs Burnley, 4-1 vs West Ham. There were comfortable 3-0 wins against Bournemouth, Stoke, Watford as well as a big 2-0 victory against Spurs. This was something I loved about Arsenal, even when we were useless away from home, teams turned up at the Emirates and got battered. Out-passed, out-thought, out-played. All the time.

Unfortunately this just hasn’t happened under Emery. We don’t dominate games and the footy has been far from free-flowing. There are numerous examples but Huddersfield and Burnley at home, for me were the best examples of this. Yes, we got three points but we could barely string two passes together.

Having said that Stewie, you’ll be delighted to know that my mood is now changing. It wasn’t the Spurs result that has given me the encouragement, before this weekend I had faith that Emery could improve our away form. It was in fact the performances against Southampton and Bournemouth in the last two weeks. It was, dare I say it, Arsenesque.

And that is what Arsenal need to do. Wengerball at home and then a bit of Emery tactical nous to grab us the points when we go away. The additions of Torreira and Sokratis have helped massively, warriors that seem tailor-made for Premier League away games. If we can get back our habit of dominating home matches then this team will work its way up the league.

I like Unai Emery. He is doing ok. I think most Arsenal fans, you’ll find it hard to believe, are fairly level headed. They appreciate what Wenger did for the club and love him for it but know that the time was right for him to leave. They realise that Emery has a tough job and needs time but also that we can’t let the standards of the club slip. Wenger got sacked for a couple of finishes outside the top four and Emery should be wary of a similar fate if he does the same thing. Fundamentally though, if he can get Arsenal putting on a show at the Emirates from time to time, it will certainly help his cause.
Tom Goldenballs

 

United will be third
So Dave thinks after another win United are finishing 5th because another team would of beaten us? Did you watch the game Dave? United should of been a couple of goals to the good before Southampton got in the United half, and you think Arsenal will beat us because they played well against a knackered Spurs (and drew). United love playing Arsenal not sure if you watch the FA Cup game but Arsenal didn’t score the 3 in that game Dave lad. Also a resurgent Chelsea who managed a 2-1 win against the high flying free scoring Fulham, cheers for the warning Dave but United fans are quite happy with how it’s going at the minute and I will give you a prediction, United are finishing third mate.
Paul Murphy, Manchester

 

United’s slippery slope
Seeing another player having a hard time stopping from getting clattered into the advertising boards at the Utd Southampton game, can anyone explain to the readers why the slopes at OT are so steep? Would it not make sense to reduce the dimensions of the pitch a little to allow for a more gradual slope? It seems to impact home and away players the same and the avoidable injuries for everyone involved just don’t make sense…

Peace out,
A confused reader

 

Monday morning musings
Infrequent mailer, once published (A declaration of love for John Terry as a footballer, not interested in debating him as a person). Often I digress and drift from my point, so I thought I’d shoot for a collection of thoughts I had over the weekend:

Role Models – I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of Troy Deeney, but I 100% agree with his recent comments when discussing knife crime (taken from BBC Sport): “I don’t like the word role model, first and foremost… We’re all humans – people make mistakes. We’re putting emphasis on being famous as more important than being a good person…What are we basing the role model on? Because we’re in the limelight. I don’t like that.”

Firstly, I doubt a public denouncement by Deeney (or any other footballer) would result in any reduction in knife crime. If it would, the Kick It Out campaign featuring Ronaldo, Messi, Pogba would have prevented the recent occurrences of racial abuse we’ve witnessed in England. And point B, there are no pro knife crime advocates of which I’m aware. It’s a problem which exists independently of football, I don’t need an athlete to tell me it’s bad, just like I know theft, terrorism, rape, criminal damage are wrong. Interestingly, I also know tax evasion is wrong, perhaps I could be a role model for the continuing string of players being chased by the Spanish Tax authorities?

Encroaching on a penalty – were VAR to clamp down on this by booking the player and ordering a retake of the penalty, it could lead to some interesting mind games. In the NFL defending teams sometimes take a time out just before a field goal attempt, just to unsettle the kicker. Defenders could intentionally encroach on a penalty knowing it will be taken again, but giving the taker a decision to make as to whether they’ll go the same way.

Multiple defenders could do this to really unsettle the taker (CL final 90th minute). Best of all, when this became the norm, teams could even bluff with the taker never knowing (with it happening behind them) whether any given penalty would require a retake.

Brendan Rodgers – Nothing to say except that I’ll be referring to him as Brendan “King Power” Rodgers from now on (KP to his friends). Thanks to JN for bringing that into my consciousness. As good as one mailer who referred to Klopp as “Clippery”.

Run out of ideas – turns out I’m not as interested as I think, still it was good to vent.
A guy from a town who supports a team

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