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Slow burn for Mourinho
I had earlier thought and hoped Mourinho would go down in hail, thunder, lightning and a blaze of pyrotechnics and save us all a world of trouble.
But alas, shiver me timbers, he is taking the slow burn approach and this is definitely worse.
Dare Omoniwa, Ibadan, Nigeria
Let’s all laugh at Sanchez
Does anybody who doesn’t support Man Utd find it slightly amusing that there are, less than a year into Alexis Sanchez very well renumerated contact with the Red Devils, already calls from some fans to move him on in the summer should his poor form continue? I know I do but what I find even funnier is the prospect of him continuing to stink that place out for the next three or four years whilst he carries on being the highest paid footballer in England.
Good luck trying to find another club who are big enough mugs to pay him more to move to them!
Andy West CTID
So, here we are, 9 months into Alexis’ Manchester United career, and from what I have seen so far, heâs brought virtually nothing positive to this side at all. Heâs ousted two of our most talented and promising young players from the side in order to play his preferred position, and weâre still worse than clueless when it comes to scoring goals and breaking teams down. Surely the whole point in bringing him in was the introduce some guile, experience and leadership into the attack. Surely his raison d’etre is to provide some thrust and cutting edge to an inexperienced attack that *sometimes* found itself floundering in the face of well drilled and organised defences.
Iâm a patient man who always likes to give players and managers time, but Mourinhoâs whole philosophy is to buy ready-made, or highly experienced players because theâre supposed to deliver straight away. Thatâs the whole point in him pursuing that method of management, is it not?
And yet Saturday’s result is exactly the kind of result that has been seen far too often in recent seasons. Itâs too easy to keep us at armâs length. I see some excusing Mourinho, reasoning that heâs not the one missing chances, but I disagree. I think he is the one missing chances. He missed the chance to stick with the same side that won 3-0 in the week. He missed the chance to keep the momentum and build a side with balance and understanding., coming off the back of a confidence building result. Itâs mind blowingly frustrating. Why? WHY??????
But hey-ho, at least weâre not stuck with a 29 year old misfiring forward on a 4 year contract worth Â£500k a week…
The pressure is now on Liverpool
Seven games in, unbeaten, everybody singing our praises, so you’d think all’s good for a Liverpool fan… Well at least in the footballing satisfaction sense. But as Henderson pointed out in the post-Soton interview, that we haven’t won anything. That’s when it hit me, this impatience and restlessness building since maybe a week or two back. Expectations building around you, Your club’s been touted as the closest challenger to dethrone a juggernaut of the past season. We’ve been bloody good, not taking anything from it, but there are 32 games remaining and it seems oh so long when you’re top of the table.
Well maybe it’s just me. My Liverpool supporting mates around the world would tell me to shut the hell up and enjoy the ride… But you may empathize with me because I have quit my job to prepare for an incredibly challenging exam and now my family, neighbours, relatives I don’t really know…all expect me to crack it. You can sense all eyes on you when you’re trying to do something incredibly difficult (Me trying to crack the exam, My club trying to win the league). I realise the obvious that people take pleasure in watching someone fail. We all loved it when Fergie’s United faltered.
Without intending to sound as an entitled pr*CK, just 7 games in, you start realising how the world seems less friendly when everyone keeps heaving these expectations on you. Maybe you’re feeling this too while facing similar situations in your life.
No wonder the term ‘mental strength’ or ‘character’ is used in exhausting terms by football managers, players and pundits. The term is no longer just a word to giggle or roll your eyes at, it is a tangible feeling and hell I’m already feeling it. (Or maybe it’s just that I have forgotten to take my anxiety pills while I’m writing this.)
This feeling is something that I alongwith every person invested in Liverpool have to start developing if I wish that result to say ‘You’ve been accepted’ and ‘CHAMPIONS’ respectively at the end of the season. All this when there would be external voices AND internal, trying to get in your head to mess with you. (feel free to apply this on the personal front too)
Having said all that I still think that City are the favourites and Chelsea look hazardous (hehe sorry) and are unbeaten yet. God knows how I’ll be feeling at the end of the season.
Mihir Nair, LFC, Mumbai. (All these years I thought they were tears of joy when my cousin was crying when I beat her college aggregate to become the brainchild of the family)
Kante or Kovacic the Chelsea problem?
So, I watched the whole of the Chelsea-West Ham match, and heard the commentatorsâ views on Kante, which Matt Stead echoes in his piece. And it was a bit strange to see the team adopt a tactic of aiming crosses at our shortest, most defensive midfielder. But I would draw a different conclusion, which is â what is the point of Kovacic? Jorginho was fantastic â he dictates the play, passing is excellent, and I thought was reminiscent (at least in style) of Xavi. Kante may not be required for games against weaker teams, but surely in the long term can settle into a Busquets-style role, especially against the better teams.
But Kovacic offers nothing different â heâs not particularly incisive with his passing, doesnât get into the box, is another diminutive player physically, and was little more than neat and tidy. A kind of Croatian Tom Cleverly. Not a bad player, but I really fail to see what he offers that is better than any of Fabregas, Barkley or Loftus-Cheek (who I think in particular would add a different dimension to the midfield, and yet weirdly doesnât even make the bench). What am I missing?
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, Singapore
What about that Jorginho though?
Can someone help with this?
According to OPTA Jorginho attempted 180 passes in the Chelsea West Ham game yesterday.
Now if the ball was in play for 55 minutes (average for a premier league football game) and Chelsea had 71% possession that means Chelsea was in control of the ball for 39 minutes.
So if Jorginho passed 180 times that is one pass every 13 seconds.
Is that right? How is that possible? What was everyone else doing?
Am I doing something wrong?
Ozil and Ramsey are not Emery players
There are increasing voices suggesting that Emery’s ultimate version of an Arsenal first team (once he has worked his way through the what Wenger left him) will not include either Ozil or Ramsey.
Ironically, in helping score the second goal yesterday both perfectly illustrated why.
Firstly, Ozil looked dangerous for the only time in the game when given 10 yards of green grass to play in when Everton were caught disorganized. He proceeded to amble in to the box and bottle the shot. Can’t shoot. Won’t shoot. Literally passed up the chance.
Ramsey, playing as a 10, tears up the field after Ozil with no regard for space or timing. He does what he always does, gets in front of the ball and removes the potential pass from Ozil. If he thinks for just one second, calms down, sees the whole picture and delays his cavalier charge, he gets a tap in.
Ramsey makes the pass impossible – but Ozil plays it anyway. Thankfully the linesman is even worse at his job than these two and does the rest.
It is worth noting that Ramsey as a 10 is only there to run off the ball and finish moves. He has no pace to drive past players and he couldn’t pass water. So, essentially, he is not very good at the only thing that he is good at.
Both players were indulged by Wenger. Never dropped, always tolerated. Totally uncoached. What was around 100mio quid of talent is now essentially worthless to Arsenal both on the field (if Emery wants a team with both energy and intelligence up front) and off (Ramsey will walk and Ozil has no market for his services due his ludicrous contract.)
Until Arsenal write both players off and rebuild, Emery will never get a chance to finish his project and the team will always stutter.
Johnno (can we please play Holding over Mustafi too.)