Are Liverpool fans ‘collectively insane’ to back Darwin Nunez?

Editor F365
Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez
Darwin Nunez looks dejected after losing to Man Utd.

One Liverpool fan is done with Darwin, while another is blaming the club for peeing off Jurgen Klopp. But is it ever bottling v Lance Armstrong?

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Done with Darwin
I think I’m done with Darwin, he’s either a terrible finisher or very unlucky.

And to paraphrase Napoleon I’d rather have a lucky striker than a skilled one, but I’m starting to think he is probably neither and had it in his grace to keep us in the FA Cup, Europa League and Premier league but failed to do so in the past two weeks.

He was not alone in this but he was at the scene of every crime with his big vacant smile and chorus of approval from the Kop. Are we all collectively insane? Because at this point I have to say, Darwin, I’m done.
Dave LFC

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More! More! More! How do you like it?
Big shout out to all the Liverpool fans on here today who have for years and with singularly no factual basis whatsoever, claimed that winning anything ‘means more’ to them… who after getting delightfully pecked to death at home yesterday by the Eagles, must be feeling more deflated, more gutted and more disappointed than any of us mere mortals could ever likely comprehend.

Ta ra Juuuurrrrrrgs, don’t slam the door on your way out La.
Sesh Juan


Liverpool to blame for Edwards decision
Seeing Jurgen Klopp’s final Liverpool season end on a whimper is heartbreaking, Klopp has delivered countless priceless memories during has Liverpool tenure, with that being said, I wonder what has caused this drop-off in quality and effort.

I believe the team’s performances right now are a reflection of the managers current mind set, Klopp has mentally checked out of Liverpool, and my theory is this has to do with the return of Michael Edwards to Liverpool.

Liverpool’s performances have dropped, since it was announced that Michael Edwards would be returning to the club, coincidence? I think not.

It is well known that Edwards and Klopp had a strained relationship, and Klopp viewed his return as a slap in the face.

Liverpool should have kept the Edwards news a secret and publicly backed Klopp for the rest of the season. Announcing while they have a shortlist of potential managers, they would be throwing all their support behind Klopp, and respecting their potential manager’s current commitments to their ‘cycle’.

This would have avoided a lot of what’s going on as alluded to by your article about Amorim’s possible rejection because of media leaks, more importantly it would have given Klopp the motivation to end the season on a bang.

With that said, thank you Jurgen for the countless memories.
Dumisani Tshabalala, LFC South Africa


On the greatly exaggerated death of the gegenpress
Usually I just ignore the ignorant mails on F365, of which there are many. In fact, usually I just ignore the mails altogether. Let’s face it, most people offer little insight and instead use the opportunity to crow about their own team as though being a fan in any way contributed to the success of their team. Just like I don’t go around peacocking about having walked on the moon because humanity has achieved the feat and I am a human, people should also reign in their gloating to achievements they have actually had some active part in.

Anyway, for whatever reason something about Keith B’s email irritated me enough to reply. I think it’s because it’s ignorant of so many different things. And of those things it’s extremely ignorant. I would go so far as to say Keith is an ignoramus.

Keith’s insinuation that geggenpressing is the removal of possession and passing for the adoption of proactive defending is ludicrous. It doesn’t make sense. Tuchel and Klopp both manage teams who have a lion’s share of the possession. You can’t have the majority of possession AND only attack through means of robbing the opponent of the ball.

This kind of nonsense is what happens when someone takes a very complex and fluid situation and reduces it down past the point of retaining any meaningful sense.

Let me school you Keith. Football defence is quite complex but if we are going to try and sensibly simplify so you can understand, let us assume defending can fall into 2 categories – Passive and Active. A passive defence might be a coach saying to his team that when they lose the ball they immediately drop deep, keep a rigid 4-5-1 formation, no wider than the width of the box and hold that shape. Players only close down when the opposition are in close proximity. The onus would then be on the attacking team to try and break down that defensive block. A passive defence is relatively low risk and prioritises reducing space for the opposition.

A proactive defence might be the coach insisting upon trying to win the ball back. This might be playing a high defensive line condensing the pitch and trying to win the ball in an attacking third, laying traps for the opponent where one player is targeted and a trigger is activated to try and steal the ball from them or a general swarm style where when possession is lost the surrounding players try and immediately win it back by crowding the player with the ball and utilising the greater number to reduce down passing lanes etc. Proactive defence carries risk. Trying to win the ball means you risk losing shape. Losing shape allows the opposition to more easily play through you. These defences, like so much in life, are risk/reward.

One isn’t better than the other. It will always be what suits the team, situation and broader tactical setup.

Interestingly, Guardiola adopts a proactive defence. It might not be geggenpressing necessarily, but it is proactive. City want to dominate the ball. Whilst they have the ball the other team can’t score. But to dominate the ball you need to quickly and effectively win it back. As with all managers when, where and how they win it back varies during the game, between games and even over the season/s. As tactics evolve so they will adjust and evolve to cater to the opposition and their playing squad. It’s boringly complex and nuanced, not like the whole geggenpressing is dead style of understanding the world.

This might come as a shock Keith, but defence forms 1 of 2 parts of football. The other is attack. I assume Klopp and Tuchel are contractually obliged to offer guidance and instruction to their players for both parts of the game. Now, you can criticise Jurgen’s attacking formations, patterns and variation. You can criticise which aspects of the game he prioritises and what level of risk he adopts in any given situation, I myself have done this frequently Keith. What you cannot do is suggest Jurgen Klopp doesn’t adopt tactical solutions for when his team have the ball and need to play through the opposition. Particularly when this is overwhelmingly the situation his team faces.

He does, as evidenced by Liverpool having the ball, then playing the ball up the field, then scoring, all without the opposition having touched the ball. That happens, I’ve seen it.
Ed Ern

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Now that was a temper tantrum
Back in the day, we had Jack in London, who would write his Mailbox submissions with his age listed alongside his name and location. He made a lot of very good contributions to the Mailbox, and a fair number of other readers made a big thing about his young age, as he was 17 or so when he began writing in. I found this bemusing because there seemed to be an assumption about the age of other Mailbox contributors.

I bring this up because when I read Scott LFC, Toronto’s Mailbox submissions, I find myself wishing that everyone who wrote in would include their age alongside their comments. Because that way, when someone like Scott writes their latest hilarious over-reactive temper tantrum about their otherwise-excellent football team experiencing an occasional disappointing result, it would allow for concluding either of the following:

* “Oh, Scott is only 12 years old, no wonder he’s so upset, he’s just a kid” – or

* “Oh, Scott is a middle-aged adult, this is even more embarrassing than I would have thought”
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland


Here’s where the story ends…
I have seen this story before and I don’t like the ending. It’s almost guaranteed that Liverpool will now win the remaining games only to fall short again.

The only thing missing from the mailbox is Man u fans taking credit for our fall.
Philip (Only Origi can save us now)


Oh to be a Toon fan…
What a weekend of sport!

On Saturday my grand national selections, dropping like flies against the dominance of I am Maximus. On Sunday, my Masters picks flailing like crisp packets in the wind against the superiority of Scottie Scheffler then two (of three) teams that really annoy me in the Premier League choke at home and hand the initiative to Man City.

Oh and my team battered Spurs 4-0.

Time to catch up on Amstel Gold.
Ratt Mitchie (last person from the ‘Howe out’ campaign to leave the office, please switch off the light)


…It’s hard to think of any side apart from Sheffield and Burnley (who have been awful throughout) who have had a season without massive shifts in fortune and results.

Looking through that lens have Newcastle really been as awful as the media have sometimes painted? We’re in 6th place for goodness sakes. For a team that in recent memory would have rejoiced to be above 18th, I’d say 6th is pretty bloody good.

Of course the season hasn’t finished, but Newcastle have a relatively kind run in with Man Utd away, on paper at least, being the hardest assignment. More than the scorelines and points the two clean sheets back-to-back should give the most hope that we can tough out results if needed but apply some gloss at home. Even the Everton draw was more because of an error from our 3rd choice LB/5th choice CB rather than a capitulation. I won’t hope for 4th, its too far and we’ve not been consistent enough to think wins against the likes of Palace and Brentford are nailed on, but 6th/7th place would be success.

F365 have been on Eddie’s Howe’s back since Autumn and every article on Newcastle has pretty much revelled in the prospect of him getting booted. This glee has really turned me off but would love to see them offer him at least some grudging admiration for being above the lovely and trendy Brighton, who are quietly having a bit of a rotter, without their manager taking any pelters for it.

No-one can argue this season has been all roses, it’s been tough, and Eddie isn’t perfect, he’s made mistakes and sometimes I wish he’d have done some things differently.

There has to be a serious review of the injury situation. Its been a perma crisis, and everyone can accept sometimes injuries happen, and every club has experience of that, but the volume, duration and frequency at Newcastle points to something deeper that has to be resolved. Its the coaching, physios, training routines or maybe even just the resiliency of the players, or a combination of all, but something has to change to stop this happening in the same way next season (no way to stop injuries all the time, but its been farcical).

No team has had it all easy this year but Howe seems to have copped an undue level of direct fire from this site without a huge amount of justification other than ‘they are not doing as well as last year’. 4th last year was a bonus, with Villa being so excellent and even West Ham making up a top 8, there was never a clear path back to the CL places. With the injury situation being what it is, and maybe Eddie has to take some accountability for that in the first place, he’s still steered the club to be in the fight for 6th with 8 games left.

Liverpool dropped out of the top four last season and there was never any of the criticism of Klopp that has been pointed at Howe. To read some of the articles Will Ford and others have posted, getting to the top four should have been easy for Newcastle so the failure to do so is all on Howe.

Of course he doesn’t need me or anyone else to defend him, but if you are going to put the boot in make sure it’s deserved.

P.S. I have always had a soft spot for Villa based on some of my distant family supporting them, really hope they get top four but am very interested in whether they struggle next year as Newcastle (and many others) have done when they get CL football.
James, Leeds

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Oh to be a Villa fan…
I was hoping my thoughts on Villa would be in some sort of order by now. Unfortunately, they aren’t. This is attempt 16 of an email I’m trying to send; previous themes have included

– Alan McInally

– Steven Gerrard’s Disney villain-style crusade to destroy Tyrone Mings

– why and how my brain can easily handle the time vs maths calculations required to update the league every 30 seconds at this time of the season, but not watching Tenet all the way through

– (and why football commentators think they have to keep explaining the away goal rule to us throughout European games; on the dustier Thursday night channels they’re still doing it even though it doesn’t exist anymore)

– Gary O’Dear and the offside law

– Villa Park food

– the dearly departed 80s/90s Villa alumni who aren’t here to see what is going on at Villa (RIP Dalian, JLS, Ugo, Cyrille, Whitts)

But let’s just keep it traditional and wave at the Blues. And specifically Troy Deeney, who thinks a) Aston Villa have ever been bad enough to consider signing him, and b) Ollie Watkins is a winger pretending to be a striker.

I’ll just leave that there.
Neil Raines UTFV SOTC


Stop all this bed-wetting
The league has six matches remaining and two points clear. That might be the biggest two point difference possible but the amount of wailing this morning is incredible.

Same with Villa and Spurs. Spurs still have a game in hand, and we have tended to do pretty well in what would be considered tougher fixtures, yet you’d think Villa just secured CL football.

Preferred the days of Ceefax and reading transfer rumours in the Sunday papers than all this bed wetting nonsense.
Dan Mallerman


And so it came to pass, the accusations of Liverpool and Arsenal ‘blowing it’ ‘ choking’ or whatever limited, lazy hyperbole the few have that don’t really understand the game but just copy whatever they read in the Daily Mail. Losing isn’t bottling, it’s part of winning…without it, winning means nothing.

The schadenfruede that was inevitable reflects more on the authors, from Grewie Striffin who hasn’t been able to blow his beans since last year to the the Sp*rs fan that was delighted for Villas win even though it works against his own team to the beration of Klopp and Liverpool…all very pathetic, small minded and my money is on all those contributors bottling or choking any actual public debate. Prefer to mail in from their mums box room surrounded by lotion and tube socks.

I guess they are following the rules of comedy about never punching downwards. Or do they prefer to be pants all season !?!.

Enjoy the game, enjoy life, have the bantz…but make it somewhat credible.

Six to go!
Dublin Gooner


Liverpool and Arsenal are competing with Lance Armstrong FC
I’d like to remind everyone that Arsenal and Liverpool are basically competing with the Lance Armstrong of English football.

City have doped themselves to perfection and that’s part of the reason why their success is not respected and is typically met with apathy. I look forward to insecure fans of Lance Armstrong City FC crowing about the “iRoNy oF wRiTinG iN tO sAy yoU dOn’T CaRe”. The truth is they’re rankled by the detachment of other fans when it comes to City’s “success”. If they’re so busy enjoying their “victories” then why are they bothering to write in to the mailbox to rail against fans saying they don’t care for City’s victories? Sounds a bit insecure to me. Two can play this game.

City have had 16 years of practically unlimited fossil fuel funding to arrive at the point they’re at now. The players they’ve bought are just the tip of the iceberg, let’s not forget that City couldn’t have afforded a world class manager like Pep if it wasn’t for this funding. Neither could they have afforded the rest of the coaching staff, the best scouts and talent developers in the world, state of the art training facilities, excellent recruiters/deal-makers and of course an all-star team of lawyers to protect them.

The brilliant manager they bought, Pep, can identify the perfect players that will suit his system and the brilliant recruiters they bought will be able to acquire those players with the unlimited cash that City has. There’s more to a team’s performance than just the players and manager, a club is a whole system with many different individuals involved. And City were able to build all this up because the Sheikh chose them as his benefactors.

If anything City have failed thus far. With all the funding they’ve had, they should’ve been winning trebles every season for the past 10 seasons. They only managed the Champions League last season after all those collapses despite the enormous resources they have. Imagine a rich student only passing university after a decade of fails despite all the extra tutoring and top quality teaching they’ve received from their wealthy parents.

City fans will wheel out the usual net spend arguments in response. They’ll choose a convenient period for these figures to suit their argument (the last 4 years). They’ll say that Arsenal has spent a truckload in the last 4 seasons. This is short-sighted stuff. Just as City has had 16 years to build up to this point (through financial doping and not through merit) Arsenal had years of austerity during the late Wenger era when the club prioritised paying off the debt for the new stadium and so couldn’t afford to just buy anyone who suited the squad.

Arsenal couldn’t take the risks that City have and then progress from them (Robinho, Balotelli, Jovetic, Mangala etc.). It’s because of those years of tightening the budget that Arsenal are now able to spend the amounts that they are. Now we’re able to afford a few luxury players. And even then we’re not emulating Lance Armstrong the way City are.

Some perspective please. And before you mention that we’re funded partly by Emirates and Rwanda sponsorships, remember that you’re Lance Armstrong complaining about another competing cyclist having stolen bikes in order to practice cycling to become a professional.
Vish (AFC), Melbourne, Australia


Always look on the bright side
A sad weekend for all Arsenal fans but congratulations Bayer Leverkusen and the under-rated Granit Xhaka.
Carolyn, (it really is the hope that kills you), South London Gooner

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