Liverpool used to be like Arsenal; look what Klopp and FSG have achieved

Date published: Wednesday 18th May 2022 4:33 - Editor F365

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson

Liverpool do not need to win the title to be a great side – just going toe to toe with this great Man City side is enough. We also have mails on Arsenal, Emma Hayes and more.

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com

 

Klopp and FSG have made this Liverpool brilliant
I’m not sure I can agree with the hyperbole that the current Liverpool side is one of the best sides in history, especially if we finish behind City in the league yet again?

Yet I’m pretty certain, this is one of the best sides in LIVERPOOL history. Before Klopp, we were mostly irrelevant in the title race.

Since Klopp seven years ago, we finished once with 99 points and once with 97, and will finish with 92 as long as we don’t stumble against Wolves. That’s an incredible amount of winning!

It’s a pity that we look to be bridesmaids yet again to City. I’m just heartened that Klopp’s non financially doped team has run City close on two occasions and wiped the floor with City on another. Immensely grateful.

We used to be like Spurs, Arsenal, Man U not too long ago, angsting over missing the UCL; seeking consolation in the UEFA/Europa league.

It’s a good time to be an LFC fan, and certainly I’m enjoying the process, even if we do end up bridesmaids yet again to City.

Most of the past 30 years, we weren’t even in contention. Now we have 2+1 likely seasons above 90 points. And yes, like we’ll hold the record for best performing runners-up lol

That’s certainly progress, and hat tip to FSG for running this together with Klopp and the front office.
Gab YNWA

 

City are not going to screw this, are they?
Great result from Liverpool last night. The quality of players in the squad really showed. OK, they were not at the swashbuckling Liverpool best, but the style and pattern of play (although maybe a few too many crosses), was very familiar. They held the ball very well at times and deserved the win.

My main point though, is that it’s just not going to happen, is it? I would love to be surprised, but I can’t see City putting any less than 3 or 4 past Villa.
Marc

 

We can only hope…
I watched the sun rise and the shadows fall. I stood up, faced the horizon, and struck out across the desert. I crossed dead lakes and dry river beds. Past bleached bones and heard the vultures cry.

I came to the foot of the mountain and gazed upwards. Loose, jagged shale ripped my ankles as I ascended. Moments became days and days became seconds.

I reached the top.

Still no phone signal.

It’s the hope that kills you.
Brian Morrissey. Waterford

 

Bring on the final day
Well we now have the title go down to the last day of the season. Saw the Liverpool starting XI pre-game last night and expected changes but maybe not that many. Only real concern for me was the midfield looking a little weak. In the end they were excellent and Elliot put in a great performance.

Seems fitting that the last few months of Man City and Liverpool going toe to toe, point for point that the title is decided on the last day. Adds a touch of excitement for both sets of fans.

Realistically, I expect both teams to win. I do expect some minor drama. If like in 2019 when Man City went 1-0 down to Brighton. That didn’t last long that day as Man City quickly turned that round. Hopefully on Sunday either Liverpool score first in our game, or Man City go 1-0 down then we may have some excitement.

Whatever happens, it has been another hard fought title race, and whoever wins it will deserve it.
Kevin Lowden

 

‘Lucky Liverpool’ fella is back
A week of so ago I wrote in and clearly defined why Liverpool are lucky. It seemed to get some keyboard-warrior, thesaurus and dictionary armed, Liverpool fans a little irate, which is somewhat a clear depiction of their inability to see the truth, so I want to clearly state some more facts now we are closer to the season end.

Firstly, Liverpool sent out a semi-reserve team last night, and happened to come up against a Southampton side clearly on their holidays. They didn’t face anyone of note, and the opposition manager is clearly someone in awe of Klopp.

Secondly, Manchester City’s final game is against Stevie Slip, as we all well know. The media will drum this in our brains, as this website has already stated, and it’ll give Lampard-lite a chance to atone for costing Liverpool the league many seasons ago.

Thirdly, Tottenham’s draw against Liverpool has meant they only need to draw against Norwich, rather than win, to grab fourth spot, whilst Liverpool’s dropped two points would have left them one ahead of City and the title in their hands. In the only recent game where Liverpool didn’t receive their dose of luck, Klopp’s reaction afterwards was one that should embarrass all of their fans.

Fourthly, the Champions League final is against the weakest Madrid side in years; one which stumbled to the final on the back of random world class performances by aging superstars and one-off showings from potential Wonderkids. Anything other than a convincing win for lucky Liverpool would clearly show their weakness.

And fifth, Bournemouth have got promotion. One of Liverpool’s player-deposit clubs are now back in the big time and will have the funds to overpay for bang average Reds. £40m for Minamino, anyone?
Rob, Dorset

 

This Means More mails
I have to take umbrage with the heading in today’s mailbox saying Liverpool have a new motto. Nothing can replace the greatest motto of all time. It is bland corporate bollix, utterly meaningless but causes bizarre reactions in fans of other clubs, the utterly wonderful ‘This Means More”.

There is no scenario it cannot be used to annoy!

Whether discussing the PL, CL, FA Cup, pre season friendlies or the weather by just saying This Means More it causes weird facial expressions and colouring in people as if it actually means something.

So never mind Klopp, VVD, Salah, the throw in coach, that ominous sounding German mind group, the hero of the last few years is indeed some junior ad exec.
Mel – Berlin, Dublin, Athlone Town (Ha Ho He, Hamburg Thursday evening in the relegation playoff, two calamity clubs trying to outdo each other)

 

Arteta not perfect but…
Before the expected results are delivered this weekend and we limp into Europe, I thought I’d add my view on the alleged lack of man management by Arteta at Arsenal. I fully agree that he is not the messiah and indeed may well just be trading off of his days at Man City.

That said, managers do need time and I for one am happy to see how next season goes before doing anything drastic (that said, we’ll see how the transfer window goes!!!). We did see an improvement this time around but losing 13 league games (at time of writing) is not exactly a winning mentality. We are miles and miles away from being able to challenge for the title. Maybe we never can until the financial playing field is level???

My bigger issue is the overall mentality at Arsenal. Do they consider themselves winners? Do they really think they can be at the top table (European Super League fiasco aside)? Or are they happy to float around in the top eight and collect the money?

The apathy started under Wenger towards the end of his tenure. Mediocre players, the odd cup win (yes, I know I shouldn’t moan about those!) and a gradual decline from a once title challenging position. Emery wasn’t given that much time, but we did capitulate badly in the Europa League final, never looking like we were up for the challenge.

Under Arteta, we’ve had some good results and runs, but they are followed by bad results and runs. Does the fact we have only drawn 3 league games (at time of writing) show that we can win when it’s going well, lose when it’s going badly but that we don’t have the mentality to grind out a draw from a losing position?

I don’t know, I’m not there and only guessing. But it’s been quite some time that Arsenal have been considered as being ‘soft’. Yes City, Liverpool and a few others have more money, but what excuse is money when we lose to Palace, Southhamtpton and Brighton in consecutive games? We have more money than those teams yet they beat us. We have supposedly better players yet they beat us. Do they simply have more desire and motivation? The loss to Everton in December is a case in point.

Would a manager like Conte have allowed this?

As I say, maybe I’m miles off. All I see though is a promising young team being hamstrung by a lack of investment in a striker in January and being expected to carry a huge weight on their shoulders. They can’t be rested when things are going badly as we don’t have any depth in the squad. As such, I’ll bet they’re knackered, low on confidence and wondering if next season will be any different.

I bet it isn’t though of course I hope it is. Mind you, as per investments, your team’s position can go down as well as up…Without the Champions League, Arsenal are going to struggle to attract the type of players we need.

Good luck to Rangers tonight though.
Stu – Frustrated Gooner in France

 

…Ah here we go again. The Emery revisionism is incredible. They both have just about identical points per game for their tenure (1.7 for Arteta, 1.73 for Emery), and when Emery was sacked he was having an amazing 1.3 points per game with only 4 wins in 13 games. We scored more under Emery but conceded more as well. Emery was sacked after a terrible run of form when the results were bad, the players were bad, the football was bad. Nothing was working for him. He wasn’t helped by terrible transfer management above him and power vacuums destroying the club from the inside. By all accounts, he was hired despite only one member of the interview panel speaking Spanish, the esteemed Sanllehi fired for dodgy transfers. Final point on Emery, if he loses away to Barcelona in the last game of the season, his team might not be playing any European football next year, even if they do its Conference League. Least he got to the semis though right?

Moving on to current matters, Arteta is not an amazing manager. He started a few seasons ago and is raw, has a lot to learn and likely needs to learn some humility. He took on a difficult job and seems to be doing pretty well. Publicly he wants Champions League football, professionally his target was Europa League this year and he achieved that, hence the new contract. When the first 11 is fully fit, there is a game plan and strategy, something we haven’t seen for years (and woefully absent under Emery) and gives most of the fans hope. However, when a few cogs are out with injuries, this whole car breaks down. He needs plan Bs, he needs to accept the strengths and limitations of his squad, adjust accordingly and he needs to learn how to use his full squad better.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

There is a massive hole in our squad right now at striker. We have arguable lower table quality up front right now, with Puki, Dennis, Che Adams, Edsonne, Hernandez, King & Sarr all scoring more for their teams than Lacazette or Nketiah (some of them more than both combined). This is both a massive opportunity and an enormous risk for Arteta. If the new strikers are the final cogs, Arsenal could compete at the top level for years to come. If it fails, then his inability to get his team to score goals will be a heavy criticism of his leadership and deservedly so.

Arteta and Edu have proven that they are solid in the transfer market, have managed to overhaul the squad and wage bill with fairly minimal fuss all whilst making progress in terms of results. Whatever way you look at it, 8th to 8th to 5th is progress. Should we have secured 4th? Yes, 100%, but the fact we got close with a combined 8 goals from our 2 strikers is somewhat impressive. When you compare to Son, Kane and Kulu, the gap in goal threat is extraordinary.

The team plays more interesting, if slightly predictable football. The results are pretty good, but not spectacular. The transfers have massively improved. We aren’t conceding from every set piece and scoring from a few. Our away form has marginally improved. We can’t come from behind to win. We are tactically inflexible. We keep getting red cards. We have the youngest squad almost every week.

No fans think an invincible season is around the corner, most are sensible and are on board with the project because we feel we are moving in the right direction. The only problem is, Liverpool & City have made the final destination borderline unachievable. But we are trying and seem to be making the right decisions. The fans can feel this, go to the Emirates and tell me the atmosphere isn’t the best its been for years.

Arteta and this Arsenal team have a long way to go and are making plenty of mistakes, but we all knew this at the start of his tenure. Top 4 is the target next season, lets see how he does and if we are 1.3 points per game and chasing Conference League football, then it’s time for him to go too.
Rob A (why so little praise for Newcastle? They were incredible) AFC

 

Do we hate the Europa League?
I think John Nicholson is totally wrong with his portrayal of how we in England see the “lesser” European competitions. Surely the issue here is actually that we have probably 6 teams who are used to playing Champions League football. That means that more often than not, it’s those 6 teams that are in the top 6 places in the league. Ergo, 2 of those and their fans are going to be disappointed.

Now, when a team who haven’t been Champions League regulars is in the Europa League or the Conference League, you can’t tell me that their fans don’t love the experience? Just look at West Ham this year and the genuine excitement that they might win it. David Moyes certainly looked like he cared when he was getting sent off for going crazy. I remember Liverpool winning the UEFA Cup back in 2001 and being at the open top bus parade through the city with thousands of others to celebrate that final piece of our treble. Did we all hate the UEFA Cup? Of course not.

It’s not just an English point of view, either. Does John think fans of Barcelona would be delighted with Thursday night jaunts to some of Europe’s less well-known locations if they miss out on Champions League football? What about PSG? Bayern? Jesus, Juventus hate the idea of being outside the Champions League so much they’re still trying to form a Super League to make sure it never happens to them!

Any fan or team who is used to Champions League football will naturally see anything below that as second class, regardless of the country they’re in.

Furthermore, in the last 10 years, six English teams have played in Europa League finals. That hardly suggests that they’re not trying. Or are the English teams simply so superior that they’re getting to these finals without making an effort? That would seem to run very much counter to one of Jon’s usual arguments – that English football isn’t as good as it thinks it is.
Rich

 

Next for Emma Hayes?
With the suggestion that Emma Hayes is too used to success for Blackburn and too established in the WSL at Chelsea to move over then there really is only one obvious choice for her. That’s to stay at Chelsea. As the men’s team manager.

Clearly Tuchel is getting the chop sooner rather than later having taken Chelsea from world cup champions and premier league champions elect to away kit wearing FA cup final underdogs who couldn’t hope to compete with Liverpool in a couple of windows let alone city. Emma Hayes would be the only manager in world football to be both in charge of an internationally successful team and to know the current workings of the club.

From the perspective of a woman’s progression in a man’s world where every woman has to do what a man can do and backwards whilst wearing high heels before she can even get considered for a man’s job, if Emma Hayes was to be sacked by Chelsea she’d be in the same bracket at Champions League winner Mourinho, champions league Ancellotti and champions league winner Tuchel. There is no shame in being in the sacked by Chelsea club.
Alex, South London

 

This fella is a joy
It is blindingly clear that women’s football is inferior to mens in every way, shape and form. If you can’t recognise this, maybe football just isn’t for you.
Weldoninhio, Dublin

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