Klopp second to Pep? He barely makes the top ten…

Editor F365
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Pep Guardiola Manchester City

Feel free to name other managers better than Jurgen Klopp in your mails to theeditor@football365.com.


Klopp squeezes into top ten managers
Hong Kong Ian says Liverpool “[h]ired a world class manager second only to Pep”. Now, I agree to a certain extent, Klopp is certainly a world class manager there’s no doubt, but is he second only to Pep? Let’s be realistic, we judge managers by what they’ve won so how does he compare to other managers?

It was Klopp’s 20th anniversary of becoming a manager a couple of weeks ago. In those 20 years he’s won 5 trophies: 3 league titles (2 German, 1 English), 1 Champions League and 1 cup (German). I’ve discounted the various super cups.

In the same period (since 27 Feb 2001):

Guardiola has 18 trophies to his name: 8 league titles (3 x Spanish, 3 x German, 2 x English – about to add his third here), 2 Champions Leagues, 8 cups (2 x Spanish and German, 1 English – plus 3 League Cups),

Mourinho has 17: 8 league titles (3 x English, 2 x Portugese & Italian, 1 x Spanish), 2 Champions Leagues, 2 x UEFA Cup/Europa League, 5 x cups (1 x Portugese, English, Italian, Spanish, plus the League Cup).

Ancelotti has 10: 4 league titles (1 x English, French, German, & Italian), 3 Champions Leagues, and 3 cups (Italian, English, and Spanish).

Allegri has 10: 6 league titles (Italian) and 4 cups (Italian).

Luis Enrique has 6: 2 league titles (Spanish), 1 Champions League, and 3 cups (Spanish).

Simeone has 6: 3 league titles (2 x Argentinian, 1 Spanish), 2 Europa Leagues, and 1 cup (Spanish).

Zidane has 5: 2 league titles (Spanish), and 3 Champions Leagues.

Also, I haven’t included him because he’s been retired for the last 8 seasons but just to throw it out there Fergie would be third on this list with 12 trophies since 27 Feb 2001: 7 league titles (English), 1 Champions League, and 4 cups (1 English plus 3 league cups).

I like Klopp (although the media fawning was always a bit much but that’s not his fault), but I think to really be considered worthy of the title of “second only to Pep” his methods will need to maintain success over a sustained period of time. In 20 years as a manager all his success (trophy-wise) has come in two 2-season periods (2010-12 and 2018-20).

I suppose he’ll rack up the league titles from next season when he takes over at Bayern.

FEATURE: The Bolton Baresi heads Champions League winners and losers


Ronaldo success
It’s not a very long one this and I’m probably a bit late to the party to be published but on the question of is Cristiano Ronaldo a failure at Juventus there’s two sides to the argument.

1st side is yes, if you think he was brought in to win the champions league. They’ve clearly regressed on the competition since he signed, although there’s more to it than just Ronaldo (lack of a functioning midfield is probably the top of the list) and I think if you asked Ronaldo he’d say the same.

The 2nd side though is a clear no. Let’s consider the Juve chairman first of all. Does he want to win a champions league or does he want to make Juve the Premier brand in football. I’d say its the second and if that’s the case then Ronaldo has been a success. Since signing their “impressions” on social media have flown through the roof. Since he signed they’ve gone from 10m followers to 31.1m (correct as of 2019 so probably higher now). They signed a double your money kit deal with adidas after it and Jeep also have them more money. So in that respect he’s been a success.

I suppose the answer then to the question has Ronaldo been a success depends on your view of what success means.
Bernard (I’m a football fan not a business man so I’d say his signing has been a failure) MUFC


How to improve football
Football is cheesing me off with all the cheating, time wasting, bad refereeing etc and it got me thinking how some of these issues could be resolved. So, pardon this long mail but there are so many things that if corrected would mean for a much better product for us fans to enjoy.

Time – Why does the referee have to keep the time in a game ? He has enough to worry about so take it out of his hands, let someone off the pitch be responsible and let it be linked to a big screen in the ground (if possible) and sound a klaxon at the end of the game (and half time). Then everyone knows how much time is left and there is no arbitrary time added on at the end of each game.

Time wasting – they all do it, taking throw ins, taking corners, goal kicks, substitutions, injuries and it’s so irritating especially if it’s your team that is trying to get something from the game and the ref just seems oblivious to it and maybe wave the odd yellow card.  We all pay a lot of money to go and see live football (sigh can’t wait for that day to return), so why should we be cheated out of viewing time. I think some analysis has been done previously and only 60 minutes of the 90 in a game is actual playing time, the rest is fannying around wasting time. So surely a simple solution is that whenever the ball is out of play for whatever reason the clock stops (by our new off-field timekeeper to boot). There is no extra time to played because the clock will have stopped for incidents where there is no play, so they can then take as long as they want ambling off the pitch when being subbed because the amount of time left to play is unaffected.  That would sort time wasting immediately.

Refereeing standards and dodgy decisions – Look we all know the ref’s job is a thankless one especially with all the cheating going on, diving, feigning injury etc and sometimes they are fooled by it and make the wrong decisions. Players get booked needlessly and others get away scot free. Now it’s difficult for VAR to intervene all the time as it would stop the flow of the game too much so why not have a review of the incidents after the game and have the option to rescind or give cards where it is necessary.

My proposition would be to have a review the day following the match with a different referee and an independent football expert (maybe an ex-player). They can review all the incidents where yellow or red cards were given and have the option to overturn them if they consider them incorrect. Maybe the actual ref provides input into the discussion with the reasons for the decision in the first place. Then both clubs have the option to ask the panel to review 3 incidents that didn’t result in a card and the panel can retrospectively give a card if they think it is merited.

Any player found to be cheating using simulation or diving, automatically results in a Yellow card and a fine for the player to donate to a nominated football related charity chosen by the FA at the start of the season.

Now perhaps the most controversial idea, if a decision has been made that is subsequently proven to be incorrect and has had a material impact on the result eg a sending off, disallowed goal or awarded goal, then the panel have the option to award 1 point to the wronged team.

You could even televise all the panel reviews for transparency with clear explanations as to why a decision was given or not. Could make very interesting viewing in some cases.

Ref / VAR

Some of the ideas above will make the ref’s life a lot easier, but there are some other simple things that could be learned from Rugby Union.

Only the captain can query a decision with the ref. And no swearing at the ref otherwise instant yellow card!

Any VAR decisions should be audible to the TV viewers so everyone knows what is going on and a clear discussion on what has happened can be seen to take place. May show up the refs lack of knowledge though!

Have 2 Assistant referees in each half, as surely that will help spot things straight away that the ref may not see and allow action to be taken there and then if required.

Finally, the Offside rule. I am with Arsene Wenger on this one, make it so that as long as a part of the attacker’s body that he can score with is level or behind the last defender then he is classed as onside. You will still get the odd decision go to a hair’s breadth but by and large it should lead to many more goals which is what we want to see right ?

Obviously none of these will ever see the light of day (apart from the offside one which is being trialled I believe) but what does everyone think ?
Nick Smith (AFC)


Are English refs just crap?
Watching the Psg-Barca game last night as a welcome european antidote to our never ending diet of PL. Couldn’t help but notice two scandalously soft penalties which brought to mind some of the worst VAR induced antics we’re used to seeing on a regular basis. And lo and behold, it was Taylor, who’s from Altrincham but definitely doesn’t support either Man U or City.  So soft and to make matters worse Taylor booked the poor Barca defender who’d stood on Icardi’s heel.

The Champions League standard of refs is generally about a million times better than ours, which made me think — are English refs just crap? Or do other countries feel the same way about their homegrown refs?
Dan, London


Phil Foden shouldn’t have to choose to go down. Fair play to the ref playing on initially after the foul, but once a goal didn’t result it should have been brought back to the foul and a penalty awarded.

The night before you saw a similar level of refereeing incompetence in the other direction when Haaland beasted his way through to score a brilliant goal, only for the moron ref to decide there had been a foul on him a full bloody minute earlier and disallowing it to award a penalty instead.

It’s hardly original to point out that football does many things worse than other sports, but rugby shows how easy it is to allow play to continue after a foul and then return to a penalty/free kick if no advantage gained.

But it’d be naive to hope for a higher standard of commonsense from referees or VAR being used as competently as we see in rugby, so JP is sadly right that guys like Foden should just say “f*ck it” and play by same theatrical rules as Neymar etc.
Calum, Scotland


Liverpool lucky then sh*t
Really enjoyed Hong Kong Ian’s post on luck. As a United fan, I think I can clear up the issue surrounding luck for Liverpool. When they were winning the Champions League and League, it’s because they were lucky. Now they’re sh*t, it’s because they’re just sh*t.
AS Camden (tongue firmly in cheek, and genuinely enjoyed Ian’s mail) 


Arsenal membership a joke
I know a lot has been said about the money-grabbing nature of football’s owner, putting the filthy lucre above the wellbeing of the fans. Arsenal tend to be used as an example, forever charging the highest entry fees, along with making redundancies of lower-level, lower-salaried staff.

This week, I received my membership renewal request.

For the silver membership, I paid £59 for the 2019/20 season. This was basically so I could get tickets to go to games, as even the tier below, tickets are often sold out before they are offered to them. The season was obviously cut short, and nothing was said about this. When summer 2020 rolled around, there was optimism we’d be able to go to games again, so I renewed my membership without question for another £59. I’ve obviously not been able to go to any games this season.

However, this week’s request, they have said there will be a £20 credit for next season’s membership. They argue that the other £39 covered ‘an Arsenal Membership Pack, season-long 10% discount off online and in-store retail, access to a monthly members’ newsletter, exclusive member events, our membership rewards programme and exclusive content on Arsenal Player.’

Surely this is a joke?! If I don’t renew, I get put back to the back of the queue, but if I do renew, I’ll have basically paid £39 to a mega-rich club for nothing! If they’re being serious, they need an option to just pay the £20 to be able to buy tickets, and to forgo the other ‘benefits’ that no one really cares about.
Dan, East London