Keita is ‘all fart, no poo’, Alisson caught a dose of the Mignolets…

Date published: Tuesday 5th February 2019 9:33

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Everybody panic
Why can’t we defend anymore? And why do we look so awful going forwards? Today Firmino couldn’t even find a team mate. Keita was all fart no poo.

Alisson started the season making ludicrous saves but has caught the Liverpool keeper’s disease.

Earlier in the season Milner was an excellent centre mid. Fabinho is the starting right back for Brazil. Why don’t we switch the two around? We look like we have zero width at the moment.

We are doing our best to sh*t the bed here.
Minty, LFC

 

Done and dusted
Ah well. Good while it lasted, but the distinctly ordinary performances that we’ve put in all season are catching up with us now. It only gets worse from here.

Another title procession for City then. Whoop-de-doo.
Dave (LFC), Galway

 

What happened in Dubai?
On my way back from the London Stadium. Well, that was shit. Credit to West Ham and Declan Rice in particular, but damn we were poor. Lacked any urgency or ideas.

Haven’t seen the replays but the consensus is the Liverpool goal was offside, probably explains why the referee was desperate to give any decisions to West Ham afterwards (maybe with VAR that will be eliminated, who knows?). Although that’s more just annoying than anything, we were just so bad.

What the hell happened on that warm weather training camp on Dubai?
James (LFC)

 

Snowflakes everywhere
They say you get to really know people when the pressure is on. Well for all those Liverpool fans wondering why no one wants them to win the league and who cant understand how non-Liverpool fans don’t think it is their ‘right’ after 20 years… now it is becoming apparent.

Mr ‘I hug everyone, the epitomy of a modern snowflake’ Klopp is starting to show his true colours. I am sure others will add more but until recently I have not been able to exactly put my finger on why I dislike this Liverpool team so much but now I can – and it is showing because they are under pressure and showing their true colours;

1. Klopp complaining about having a couple of injuries (to non major players) and then saying ‘not that i am making excuses’. Infant level mind games that just highlight he is making excuses

2. Klopp complaining about the referee – when they scored the most obvious offside goal ever, even the ref should have spotted it from where he stood.

3. Klopp complaining about the referee – even LFC fans on this forum have admitted the huge number of favourable decisions they have had this season

4. The smug ‘this is our year’ comments when they were 9 points clear at the beginning of Jan.

5. Some kind of Snowflake style entitlement that they deserve to win the league and everyone else should agree with them.

6. The fact that they have spent a sh*tload of money and rather than just admitting it as part of the game and saying it means they SHOULD win the league hands down (like City) they keep trying to justify it with net spend bullsh*t (choosing to ignore the 110million loan and 50million of debt that occurred at the same time). With their spending winning the league is the minimum requirement!

Would love to hear other reasons for neutrals despising them.
Tom, Tractor boy in Switzerland

 

Lucky Liverpool
They say champions tend to have luck break their way over the course of a season but that offside decision gifting Liverpool an undeserved point might genuinely be the worst offside decision I’ve seen in 3 seasons. It was literally right in front of the linesman too. I know they get most of the decisions right but its hard not to hope VAR arrives as soon as possible (no matter how Johnny feels about it) when ridiculous and absurd decisions like that wrongfully cheat West Ham out of a well deserved victory. Let’s be clear; the only reason Liverpool avoided a defeat was through officials’ incompetence and not through their own efforts.

Not that its Liverpool’s fault but it just adds to the “stars are aligning, the title is inevitable” narrative that rubs “neutrals” the wrong way. It’s a bit of a weird one as on paper, this Liverpool team should have everything to make most neutrals root for them. A mostly like-able team that has put together a title effort based on hard work and organic growth over years. In reality though, having some Liverpool fans’ entitlement getting the better of them, the outright gloating when anyone else drops a point, the patronizing of other teams etc., all puts other teams fans off them. Add to that the hilariously s***e officiating blatantly in their favor this season (Salah getting a penalty for whenever he feels like diving, Lovren diving like a sack of s**t against Arsenal, Liverpool being allowed to kick opponents in the box with nothing ever getting called against them, etc.) and its tough to actually root for this team that’s fluking their way to the title through the flimsiest of margins. Not all of those decisions would have had any bearing on the final result but the perception is definitely Liverpool benefiting from 20 years of undeserved luck with all the calls in their favor. Just between this, the Everton and the Newcastle games, better officiating and a freak goal aside would mean Liverpool would be looking at 2 instead of 7 points.

Whether they like it or not, fact remains that if they do win the title, it really will be the jammiest premier league win ever.
Falooda in NY

 

Whenever you’re ready, lads
Can anyone tell me when Liverpool are going to start playing well this season?

I keep hearing it’s going to come, but I keep watching eye bleedingly bad football.

I won’t give a monkey’s if we win the league of course
Dom Littleford

 

Back Lallana
Adam Lallana is a 30-year-old box-to-box midfielder currently finding his way back to elite level football at one of the most intensely drilled teams in the world, after 12 months intermittently sidelined through various injuries. During the first two seasons of Klopp’s tenure, he characterized everything that was positive about Liverpool’s new direction: pressing like a maniac, regularly covering 12k, yet retaining the capacity to swivel on a dime past the counter press and switch play effortlessly to the channels, where one of Mane, Firmino, et al would be gratefully haring into vast swathes of empty green.

Despite all this, I’ve been unable to ignore that his (incredibly sparing) appearances in the team this season have invariably been greeted with howls of dismay from a very vocal section of the Liverpool “support” — who seem to view him as an aberration in the squad, someone who apparently must have cheated or bargained his way in. I suspect he’ll bear a decent brunt of the criticism for Monday’s draw at West Ham, despite his creating our only goal, and Keita, Firmino and Salah all being far more noticeably under par.

It’s hard to understand, unless perhaps in the context of the assumption (and I’ll put it charitably) that this element of the fanbase may be so recently converted (read: post-Salah) that they simply haven’t had the time to brush up on all the finer details. So, a refresher:

– Adam Lallana is an exceptionally valuable creative midfielder when used correctly, remarkably two-footed, and perhaps the most technically proficient player at the club barring Salah.
– When fully clear of injury, his fitness levels are, measurably, second only to Milner (who increasingly resembles what you’d get if you locked the Soviet engineers that produced Ivan Drago in a lab for two years and asked them to build Steven Gerrard from scratch).
– The key value of these attributes is that together they provide a consistent and reliable way to link the defense and the attack, something we sorely lack (we haven’t always relied on laser guided long balls from Trent, Virgil and Robbo).
– If you support a club, you support the club. That means, as a rule, generally wishing your players well, as opposed to, say, baselessly excoriating them on social media.

That’s all. We’re still top of the league. Try to enjoy it.
Errol

 

Worse than Jose
Is it just me or is a pattern emerging where every time Liverpool lose or draw a match Klopp loses his cool and behaves like a numpty?
The media will of course talk about Klopps “pashun”, but his behaviour is seriously ridiculous. He’s a worse loser than Mourinho, IMO
Ryan

 

No excuses
I was not surprised that Liverpool slipped up against West Ham yesterday, almost similar to the way Spurs lost against West Ham in 2017, effectively handing Chelsea the title that year. Of course it is only February and there are 13 league games left to play until the end of the season, so it is early days.

However, considering Liverpool only have 13 League games left of the season (20 games MAXIMUM if they do reach the Champions League final again this season), it does not look too bad in terms of being overplayed with fatigue kicking in and they have a big enough squad to deal with this fatigue, particularly in midfield where this is a lot of energy. Now if you compare this to City who in my opinion get Semi-final of both the Champions League and FA Cup this season, as they still have a League Cup final at Wembley to play against Chelsea at the end of this month, City will most likely have to play a further 20-25 games this season, as if they get to April still being in all competitions, they are going to believe they could do a potential Treble/Quadruple.

With City potentially focusing on so many other games in competitions this season, surely Liverpool and Klopp do not have a excuse to take this title challenge to at least the last day of the season and get at least hit 90 points overall. It is still early days, but they had a chance to go 7 points clear last week and now they are only 3 points ahead, they seem to be struggling when push comes to shove. Klopp had a chance to buy some cover in defence last month and did not, and I find it baffling how Klopp did not buy a RB or keep Clyne considering Gomez has fractured his leg and TAA is having knee problems. Milner or any other midfilders cannot be the only option at RB for the next month or two, its an incredibly risky game to play and teams are going to target that weakness over and over again due to Klopps naive thinking. Also, Klopp needs to stop complaining about the referee EVERY TIME they slip up too, he should focus on why they have drawn 2 league games in a row instead! Liverpool need to get there act together fast and make sure they win all of there league games until they play Spurs at the end of March, otherwise I think City will know how to use there experience to win it as soon as it hits April time, especially if they are the ones being chased and not chasing.

Shout out to Poch and Spurs by the way, considering Kane and Alli are both out with injury, they are showing great resilience. Watched them live against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup Semi-Final the other day and they were unlucky considering so many key players were missing. I think they could get 85+ points the way the season is going, but cannot see them winning the title. It would be good to see, but too good to become a reality at the moment.
Rami, London

 

Calm down, calm down
1. We’re top of the league.

2. We’re still three points ahead.

3. We’ve had a two game ‘dip’ and won two points where City won zero during their two game ‘dip’ at the end of December

4. We’re not crap.

5. We’re home to Bournemouth on Saturday.
Damo, Dublin

 

End Emery era
Naz, Gooner has summed my thoughts up perfectly. I had written an admittedly too long mail earlier today outlining pretty much the same.

Emery is a good manager but I don’t believe he’s a good fit for Arsenal. To further Naz’ point, this is a man who decided to start seven defensive players at home to Cardiff!

I’ve recently started comparing him to Mourinho. Isolating talented players? Check. Strange tactical decisions? Check. Overtly defensive tactics against inferior opponents? Check. Criticising the board for lack of funds/not spending money on players he wants? Check.

Emery got the Arsenal job based on his claimed knowledge of both the players and ability to get the best out of them. He knew the club and the state of the finances before he came in, so to now be claiming he needs money doesn’t hold much sympathy with me.

This Arsenal squad has its faults, but it is by no means a squad that doesn’t have the quality to get into the top four. What it needs is a manager willing to find the best system to suit his players, not a manager who is unwilling to change his approach and force players into a system that doesn’t suit them.

To isolate two of your most talented players – a decision which has financially harmed the club (Ramsey going for free is going to lose the club around £50m at least, while it’s been widely publicised the club will have to subsidise Ozil’s wages if they want rid) means that Emery is as much to blame for the lack of funds as the board.

Will he get a second and possibly third season to turn things around? Yes. Do I think he deserves it? Not on the current evidence. I know this will be seen as knee jerk, but I wasn’t convinced of him when he was announced and I’ve seen little since to change my mind – 22 game unbeaten run included.

In my opinion sometimes it’s worth to take the hit, accept it’s not gone as planned and move on quickly. Rather than persist through some misguided ‘not that type of club’ mentality.
Joe, London

 

Johnny’s maths
Johnny Nic’s article on the future of the Premier League on TV has a number of interesting points, but he is being a little creative in using viewer statistics to support some of his arguments. If the audience numbers on Sky vary between 250,000 to 1.5 million for a game, you have to remember that some, maybe most games are only going to appeal to fans of those clubs. If Huddersfield and Cardiff can drum up 250,000 TV-watching fans between them, I’d say that’s not bad going at all. Obviously, the Manchester derby has a much higher chance of attracting the casual observer, but I’m sure quite a slice of the 20M pay-per-view eyeballs go to those games, swelling the audience.

There’s also no mention of anyone watching on mobile or via streaming services, so I’d say the stats are artificially low.

John also compares viewing numbers to those watching England v Sweden in the World Cup quarter-final. Come on, there is no way that this is an apples-to-apples comparison. And of course Match of the Day figures are higher – not all of us are Peter G. and have time to watch all ten PL weekend games, we need to watch highlights if we want to see what all the fuss is about with other clubs. “Big FA Cup games …” are also not a fair comparison, as much as there’s been bleating recently that the magic of the Cup has gone, the viewing figures don’t really support that conjecture either.

Some fair points made in the article, but be careful with “lies, damn lies and statistics”.
Steve (Chelsea improved their goal difference on the week, I wouldn’t have expected that after Bournemouth), Los Angeles

 

Nicholson’s recent article about the Premier League viewership vastly underestimates worldwide viewership.

He gives some acknowledgement that there is an overseas market (mentioning Sky’s 22.9 million overseas subscribers) but this is incomplete data.

Over 80 broadcaster carry the premier league around the world – some of which are free to air – and not everyone who is signed up for content would be counted a Sky subscriber (some probably would depending on local broadcasting arrangements).

Add to that, there is probably multiple viewers for each subscriber – whether it’s a couple watching the game at home, a whole family or a group of mates – generally there are more actual people watching that there are subscribers.

I don’t’ want to cast aspersions on anyone, but I’ve often found people in the UK don’t realise how popular the premier league is overseas, and seem resistant to the idea that its actually a global brand rather than an English one. Yes “English” is the title. You can also buy snacks that are “Healthy” but contain half your daily calories in them. The EPL is global, and that ship sailed quite a while ago. If you’ve ever been on holiday in Asia, you will realise this.

With the exception of one or two EPL clubs, there are far more “fans” of your club outside the UK than in it. While season ticket holders may or may not consider these people to be on the same level as “fans” that attend games, be aware that your club’s marketing department definitely does. Your captain’s agent does too.

So don’t think the TV schedules are that way for no reason, the very real inconvenience of making 50,000 fans go to a games with either early or late kickoffs is being measured against the needs of literally millions of worldwide fans who want to watch more than one game each weekend. Maybe that’s right, maybe that’s wrong – just be aware attending fans and couch fans in the UK aren’t the only ones who’s needs are being considered.

Maybe you think one season ticket holder’s needs matter more than 10 overseas fans watching their teams/bedecking themselves in swag from the clubs online global store. Maybe you don’t. Just something to think about.

Please don’t mistake this as being uncaring of the fact that local fans are priced out of tickets (which actually has nothing to do with TV rights, which if anything have made clubs less dependent on matchday revenue) and yes its ridiculous to make people get up in the early hours of the morning to travel half the UK for a lunchtime kickoff. Just realise there are fans all round the world being considered too – and that’s why you can afford to have such good players from round the world playing for your team.

When you consider the audience outside the UK it makes sense that the rights are in demand. There is probably no entertainment product anywhere in the world that reaches as big an audience as the EPL.
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide

 

Asian Cup reflections
There have been some good mails on the Asian Cup from other contributors; it was good to see what others thought of the final.

From a Japanese perspective, it was obviously a disappointing way to end what was a rather odd tournament. The fact that Japan’s attack was so ineffective for most of the tournament despite having been so good prior to it showed how much they missed Shoya Nakajima, who was injured. The second and third choice strikers, Kitagawa and Muto, were noticeably inferior to Osako, who seems able to bring the best out of Takumi Minamino (loads of chances throughout the tournament, scored his first goal in the final). Defensively Japan were better than I expected, but Maya Yoshida might be concerned about losing his place to someone like Gen Shoji of Toulouse. Despite being the captain, Yoshida was shaky and outshone by his centre-back partner, Takehiro Tomiyasu. Shuichi Gonda in goal alternated brilliant saves and dreadful mistakes.

As for the final itself, well, Qatar were much better than Japan, took two of their goals very well, and defended well, particularly from corners: Japan had almost 20 but wasted them all.

This is a young Japan team, though, and the final was the first match they had lost since Hajime Moriyasu took over, so there is plenty to work with. At the end of March they have two friendlies against Colombia and Bolivia, then in the summer they are participating in the Copa America, which will be another chance to take on high quality opposition outside Japan.

Regards,
James T, Ishikawa, Japan

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