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Liverpool’s transfer committee should get kicked too…
It is no secret that Liverpool’s recent signings before this season have been exemplary. Salah, Fabinho, Robertson, Van Dijk, and Allison turned a squad of Premier League also-rans into English, European, and World champions. Naturally Michael Edwards and the transfer committee got a lot of praise. However, as with all things football maybe the sycophantic media went a little too far.
Pretty much all transfers over the last 15 months have been unmitigated disasters with the sole exception of Jota. Minamino was bought and discarded, Tsimikas will unlikely play more than 90 minutes all season, and Thiago is the squarest peg in the roundest of holes. While the panic acquisitions of Ben Davies and Kabak do nothing but shine an incredibly bright light on the foolish decision to allow Lovren to leave with no replacement.
While Klopp and the players deserve criticism for their abysmal showing in recent weeks, let’s remember to save some scorn for the transfer committee who dealt Klopp a miserable hand. Hopefully Mr Edwards will spend a little longer crunching some numbers on his laptop this summer, instead of giving interviews to the New York Times as they write glowing profiles about him.
Was Minamino loan a mistake?
I would like to write in about a topic that doesn’t seem to have been covered much (or perhaps was and I completely missed it), and that is Liverpool’s decision to let Minamino go out on loan.
I get that he hasn’t always been great, but he put in probably his best performance in our 7-0 win against Palace (doesn’t that seem a lifetime ago??) and then hardly played a minute since then. He scored for Southampton against Chelsea over the weekend while we’re left with an obviously out-of-sorts front three and, until Jota returns, only non=forwards like Shaq or Ox, or a completely ineffective Origi to replace them or bring off the bench (I’ll always love Origi but it’s been painfully obvious for over a year that he’s not the required standard).
I knew when I saw Salah, Firmino and Mane starting yesterday that we we screwed. I’m not bashing them, they’re three amazing players, but the fact is they were starting their bazillionth game in a row (citation needed), and there just doesn’t seem to be any alternative. Would Minamino have been more effective in place of one of them? Who knows, but he probably couldn’t have been less so.
Anyway, after the last couple of glorious seasons, this all seems a bit more like what I’m used to as a Liverpool fan; next year will be our year!
Alex (Klopp, if you’re reading this: please stop subbing off Jones!), LFC
Liverpool need a new game plan
A lot to say so I will draft this email with bullet points I made during the game:
– missed the first 8 minutes. saw the score, heart sank.
– Klopp mentions wind a lot, but so does the commentary team. I believe it was over 10 times if I counted correctly.
– Injury to Henderson felt appropriate at that time. Generated hysterical laughter from me
– However Van Dijk’s return doesn’t solve the problem because:
– I don’t think we are bad, just that our one game plan that has worked for four years has stopped working because other teams have a better game plan. Each game we lost looks exactly the same. Perhaps its time for Klopp to start playing a low block and snatch a goal here or there. Leipzig must be kicking themselves for playing an open game.
– Apart from the 20 minute? period at the start of the second half we didn’t look like scoring again. Those were the best 20 minutes I have seen for a while. looked relentless but ultimately pointless.
– Phillips was great. I am developing a bit of a man crush on him. Yes it’s his mistake that leads TAA to make that foul (and it is a foul, probably a red) but before that he was good and the second goal hardly was the problem. Don’t mind seeing him and Kabak at the back for now.
Nik (need a better game plan), Munich
A lot of anger here…
I have to say I was very disappointed with Liverpool, their supporters and you guys most of all. The last four years have been a huge Liverpool ass kissing extravaganza, and from time to time, duly warranted.
The shoe is on the other foot now however. This is what irks me. Liverpool have lost four home games in a row. Are Liverpool the early losers? Even though yesterday was a hugely historical loss? Are Everton not the early winners? How can you blame this defeat on GOD and not be called out for being a loser?
(Erm, because we wrote 16 Conclusions on the game and we don’t write 16 Conclusions and an Early Loser on the same game just for the sake of having those words next to ‘Jurgen Klopp’ – Ed)
Yes injuries have been unprecedented but playing the so called ‘rock n roll’ football was eventually going to cause injuries. You could in fact argue that Liverpool were actually insanely lucky over the past three years with injuries.
They also always play with a high line. Jamie Carragher said mid last year (VVD fit and present) that he doesn’t like that because they can be caught out. People have learned how to play and beat this team (just as they did Ferguson’s teams, Mourinho’s Chelsea Mach 1 etc) you go direct and hit the full back areas. An injury crisis should at least cause for a tactical modification but yet that hasn’t really been the case.
I think the person who is causing the most trouble is not VVD being injured or Henderson and Fabinho out of position, I actually believe it is Firmino being so dirt out of form. When he is ticking so is the team and he hasn’t for a while.
I have always believed that the pool are suffering the most without fans but that’s just tough titties. You play with what you got and you plan accordingly. Liverpool planned poorly, got busted, and are now suffering.
Also, how arrogant do you have to be to not sign a centre back? We saw all last year how that decision ruined City’s defense but maybe depending on semi injured duo Gomez and Matip and VVD wasn’t so wise. Then answering the call with two inexperienced players from different leagues late on might not have cut it either.
Then you have the mailbox excusing it, no real call outs, and a United article thrown onto the page to pacify the United fans. There does come a point where reality must be explained as reality. Only last summer and even today you guys write as if Liverpool is the second coming, why would any player not want to play there, what other heights could you reach elsewhere.
This may be Liverpool’s Moyes moment, and if Liverpool decline to once where they came before, will you be able to speak about it justly or will it all be painted over with excuses and ‘God must be a City fan’ ?!
This didn’t start yesterday either, just as World War Two didn’t really start on Sept 1, 1939. Lockdown has shook this team hard, and whatever motivations the crowd give or whatever motivation Klopp uses to get them going may be waning.
That also said, Liverpool could buy a good centre-back and forward next year and go all Man City this year… who knows.
Calvino (ps. Truly well done Everton, actually delighted for their fans, club and team.)
On that Spurs first half…
Half time musings. Dier by name, dire by nature. That being said, at least Lloris was true to form by doing absolutely f*ck all to redeem the situation. Why catch the curious sphere shaped object when you can be utter dog shit instead? Pick one to get sent off: Erik, Pierre or Sergio. My money is on one Mr Lamela. Apart from running around a lot, and chucking in pointless tackles, does nothing.
It’s really hard watching this but, as I’ve professed previously, a loss is what we need for the bigger picture. Devious Daniel Levy will be able to determine that taking a £30m hit to sack Jose will make more commercial sense than battling relegation for the next 2 full seasons.
On another note, how are performance related objectives not an aspect of the managers contract when he signs? Especially at elite level when they are commanding extortionate wages. I’m not saying a PL title win or even CL qualification, but how does an ambitious club with (supposedly) an ambitious manager not at least say ‘well if you lose X amount of league games during this season you can be sacked with X compensation’ OR ‘finish below 7th and you’re f*cked mate, off you pop’. It’s not asking for rocking horse shit is it? Just the absolute bare minimum of expectations, like low of the low, barrel scraping, straw clutching objectives.
Am I missing something here? Because, look, if I’m paying £15m per year to a serial winner who is supposed to improve us (consistent CL qualification in recent years) and he’s not willing to agree to the shittest of shit objectives, well, it doesn’t inspire confidence does it. Shrewd business or a glaringly stupid oversight? Don’t send answers on a postcard.
Glen, Apathetic Spur
Some blame should lie with Ndombele
Wonder what excuse will be made for Tanguy Ndombele this time? Pretty sure he was held back by Spurs having less possession?
More than 68% possession and yet zero key passes, zero crosses, zero goals, zero assists, zero interceptions, zero clearances and two tackles.
But no José doesn’t play possession or attacking football that’s what holds him back.
Not the other way around that your creative centre mid with actually great dribbling ability should be controlling and impacting the game positively but consistently fails yo do so.
He will come good hopefully but people making excuses for him consistently clearly isn’t helping.
The Vocal Minority (José is a d!ck without a doubt but blaming him for everything is plain lazy.)
West Ham though
Two things to consider:
1. The plot of Ted Lasso: Ridiculed manager turns around London team’s fortunes with help from flawed, on-loan Manchester striker.
2. As the table stands today, West Ham United are the top team in London.
David Moyes had clearly been binge watching.
Seriously though, well done Hammers!
Terry, Costa Rica
Watching another f**king turgid display for Man Utd against Newcastle and noticed that Martial can only be described as Paul Pogba mark 2. He came in for big money with big expectations, can be exceptionally good when on form, but that form happens so rarely that he’s not worth persisting with. Frankly if we can get anyone in to replace him he can leave at the end of the season for whatever PSG or some Italian team are willing to give us for him. Absolutely useless outside of his (increasingly rare) purple patches.
Calum, MUFC, Wokingham
I ventured this opinion to my 208 (and counting Twitter followers last night and it got over 2 likes (a ratio surely not even the most Daniel of Storeys could hope to achieve), and it is this; there is nobody in world football who could have done what Bruno Fernandes has done to this United team.
Bruno is a winner, a fighter, and a leader. Characteristics that were so sorely lacking so often in this side. Marry that with his elite level creativity and goalscoring and I arrive at the conclusion that he is the best and only player we could possibly have signed who could have had this impact.
There are undoubtedly better players out there, players with better all round games and players of higher value. But I’m not sure there is a single player whose mental, physical, and technical attributes so closely fill the gaps that existed at United.
If we just take a look across the City at one player he is often compared to in Kevin de Bruyne. I believe de Bruyne is the better all-round player. His vision and ability to conjure magic are a level above Bruno’s. But from a United perspective that completely misses the point. The real question is could de Bruyne have come in and done what Bruno has done for this team since he joined a little over a year ago? I would say absolutely not. And I would put the same question up to any other player in the world.
He wasn’t the main man against Newcastle tonight, but after legitimate accusations of looking knackered in January, he has delivered six goals and three assists in his last six games.
Whatever we achieve this season will be down to the efforts and abilities of one man above all others.
What are coaches for?
It’s halftime and United have conceded again from a set piece. It has happened so often this season that I expect every single manager facing United instructs his team to get corners instead of goals. United will do the rest.
The mailbox has talked a lot about how United need to replace, one, two, or all 427 defenders they have. But it just doesn’t make sense. These players are professionals who can do perform the basic defending tasks. They can be coached to defend set pieces as a unit. But are they practicing that on training ground? Are they focusing on their attacking shape instead? All signs say otherwise…
I think the current problem at United is coaching. OGS has done a great job rebuilding the squad. He gave confidence to the team after the dark times of Mourinho and oversaw an improved recruitment strategy. However, coaching has been below par. A few mailboxers talked about OGS ‘tactics’, whether it is counter attacking or building against a low block, but it always sounds handwavy. The team seems to lack a plan. And no, passing to Bruno and hoping for the best is not a plan.
The case of Van de Beek highlights this problem. He comes across as a manger’s goodie two shoes player who follows the tactical plan to the letter. In the hands of a master tactician (like Guardiola), Donny would be a shining star. But under OGS, he struggles. If Bruno manages to make the best out of this situation, Maguire and Lindelof can’t.
United won today and will probably win a bit more, but that doesn’t mean that the team is not underperforming due to lack of coaching.