Liverpool’s sense of direction is what Man Utd, Chelsea need

Date published: Tuesday 16th April 2019 2:04


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Deeney hit the nail on the head
Always had a soft spot for Arsenal, but the mailbox gloating about Troy’s sending off was comical. I get it, he’s your pantomime villain, but this whole “thugs like Troy Deeney” narrative just doesn’t stack up – a red every 67 games in the PL (1 in 132 before last night) is less than Vardy (57) or Mitrovic (37), a yellow every 7 is similar to Mitro (7) and Murray (6). Tackles per yellow or red? Similar or cleaner than peers.

Troy is a physical striker who puts himself about, but he simply isn’t dirty – he does, however, love winding up opposition fans, and the Mailbox demonstrated that he does it very well. The real reason you Arsenal fans hate him and his cojones comment is that he was right on the money, and you know it. It’s why you’re so desperate for Xhaka (48, 4, 9 if you care) to be the backbone of you team, which has been spineless since Vieira left


Big Midweek
Hey Winty,

In regards the big mid-week, I have been scouring the net reading predictions all morning as I would like to make a few bob from the champo’s league tonight. (in particular the Juve-Ajax conundrum). Genuinely wasn’t sure what way to bet. You have successfully closed that argument.

Also, thanks to you, I now have spat coffee on my keyboard. (seriously)

Adam L. (if Juve don’t qualify I will hold you 1/479th responsible) Gooner in France.


Liverpool direction is what Chelsea, Man Utd need
Inspired by the article regarding the transition from Gerard Houlliers team to Rafa’s I thought it would be interesting to see the change from Brennan Rodgers final team to the current Liverpool squad but also to possibly look into why the current squad is so different.

Due to the differing formations I just running GK, DEF, MID, ATK like an old school nintendo football manager

GK – Simon Mignolet – Allisson

DEF – Morena – Robertson
DEF – Skrtel – Van Djik
DEF – Sakho – Matip
DEF – Clyne – TAA

MID – Milner – Henderson
MID – Can – Fabinho
MID – Lucas – Keita

ATK – Coutinho – Firmino
ATK – Sturridge –  Salah
ATK – Ings – Mane

There is no disputing that the current side is better ( thats not the point of this article ) but it will be interesting to see what brought the side to this point.

1. Managerial change
Although I believe Rodgers hands were tied slightly by a different policy at the time that focussed on potential net return and the Suarez money could have been spent better, I do believe that possible overall he just either was not truly ready to handle Liverpool ( without a mercurial world class player at top form) or maybe he just is not the right fit, there are also mentions of internal club issues ( ahem the PA ahem) that raised concerns and overall he departure was never something that through too many people out, this can also be down to his replacement being somewhat of a beast, his charisma and force of personality have enabled Liverpool to develop alongside his shadow and now they are ready to come out as they have this season.

Tactically I think Klopp holds the upperhand over Brennan, transfer policy or not it was Klopp who moved Bobby Firmino to false 9 ( not even in rodgers last squad) and played Divock as a spearhead to help create a more coherent attack. Klopp also leant more on the industry of Henderson and Lallana to allow a better base for his attacker to work from. Although the transfers have obviously improved the squad there was a notable upturn in the players performances and some of the current squad members are still around.

Our playing style under Klopp is not so reliant on a mercurial talent such as our nearly season of yesteryear and he has shown to be able to adapt quite markedly from season to season ( from heavily metal to more Nu rock this year) which somewhat evaded Brennan a bit at Pool.

2. Youth

This is nothing to do with Brennan but Klopp has been the benefactor of some of the youth work thats been done at Liverpool reaping benefits ( we actually have a decent system going although nothing Chelsea like I will admit). TAA and Gomez ( although picked up early from Charlton I will give Brennan a clap for playing him so young) are obvious examples of our academy and our scouting network, Coutinho was quite young still at that stage (22-23) and so was about to mature further, we have quite a few promising youngsters out on loan and we have Brewster on his way, I believe this timing of influx of players ( possibly looking at 4-5 players in the matchday squad next season from the academy plus Gomez) for relatively cheap and of decent squad/starter quality has allowed the club to change its transfer direction.

3. Transfer policy

One big asterisk I will put next to Rodgers tennure is that the clubs transfer policy on appearance seems markedly different, this is due to the current market being in a different stratosphere and model almost entirely but we do appear to be working differently in the market and this can be assessed in two parts.

The first is our use of the Suarez money, we took a moneyball gamble on quite a few youngsters:

Danny Ings

This in total was pretty much all the Suarez tin, and none of them managed to make the grade, if you look at the signings in general you can add the ones below during his tenure ( I didn’t factor in frees or players bought as chancers for 340k and who are now playing in Antartica as every club does this)


The fact that there are as many hits and misses ( along with most of the hits being under a different manager) shows that liverpools biggest problem was identity, we couldn’t identify what we wanted in the market, was it an enigmatic Balotelli, a non Centre-forward Centre forward in Beneteke, was Iago Aspaz the answer to linking with sterling and suarez, was Can our version of Pique ? ( no).  This lack of direction meant alot of the time we were throwing money, not just in small bundles all over but in large amounts to people who no one, not Brennan and not the transfer committee new how to use. (32 Mil and 18 mil on Balo and Benteke, 25m on Lovren ( instead of Virgil ), back then these were no insignificant sums.

You could argue that in bringing Klopp, giving him more say in the transfers and in giving ourselves a playing style we possible gave the transfer committee and its laptop guru’s the information needed to start buying players in that suited our percieved football model, I believe that is the marked difference between Liverpool of then and Liverpool of now. We have direction, we have an identity and in doing so we can finally start to move as a club in unison towards our goals. We don’t panic that Keita has taken a season to look like he is settling in, because we trust the club and the players they have born, half a season for Fabinho ? Not an issue and no panic. Wijnaldum changing his style to suit us ? Had a highly instrumental season not an issue and no panic.  Robo coming out was possibly slightly fortunate due to Moreno injury but it still shows that even a 7m signing can slot in seemlessly. Virgil, Allisson, Mane and Salah are our big signings ( well done Mane and Salah on somehow being barely more than Benteke) but they are all bough with purpose, our Phil money already was earmarked to buy VVD and the rest spunked on a keeper, I look forward to this transfer window because I know we will add one or two more players in our identity and who will work out.

I look at Liverpool and I see a club with a renewed sense of direction, our starters ages show that we also have a couple more years with this current crop alone, never mind if our Laptop wizards manage to keep the train and cycle refreshed.

Having said all this I believe that this direction is what Chelsea and Man United need the most, and its not so simple as just having a director of football, trust us it can be hit or miss in the beginning but once all the parts align and the gears set in place it is a really lovely thing to experience.

Or if in doubt just knick the model from Man city by having their entire skeleton slowly move across to you over 5 years, they did it to Barcelona and they look fantastic for it.

Kind regards
Cole ( Lebron James in goal would still be really cool to have happen one day, remember his 1.2% shares !!)


Mistimed aggression
Back in the day when Arsenal were league title contenders, there were a couple of seasons where Arsene Wenger was called before the FA to explain Arsenal’s high volume of cards (red and yellow).
Wenger publicly stated that he would ensure that his team cleaned up their act. This coincided with Arsenal no longer competing in the league and an increase in impact injuries.
Admittedly people like Jack Wilshere are brittle, but players like Eduardo and Ramsey were victims of over aggression. There is nothing wrong with over aggression, but if you mistime the tackle then you risk seriously injuring your opponent. As legs become weary, mistimed tackles increase. The aggressive player generally has no malice in the tackle, but the very nature of the tackle increases the likelihood of injury to the opposition.
Arsenal need to be more bullish in the tackle to survive, as bottling out of 50\50 challenges increases your chance of injury too.

Now, to my actual point. Troy Deeney’s arm into Torreira’s face wasn’t maliciously aggressive, but the timing was so late after the ball had been released that he should really have no argument. Deeney has no defence of fatigue and his previous battle cry would surely have counted against him.
The fact he felt the need to be so aggressive against a player of such diminutive stature probably went against him too.
Jovan (London)

Reading your piece about Troy Deeney confronting Unai Emery (who appears to be shrugging…or shuddering) reminds me of the story of Oliver Reed on a day off in Madrid. He visited a tapas bar where the usual polite,chatterati  middle-class professionals were gathered for their thimble of sherry and a nibble to set them on. Our Ollie downed a bottle of sherry, wrenched off his jacket and turned to face them shouting “right…who wants some??!!”.
Definitely an A List PFM…
James Hastings CAFC


So, 90kg Troy Deeney charges into the back of 60kg Lucas Torreira, with his elbow raised.

Deeney is also 15cms taller than Torreira, so the elbow is at temple height.
And Torreira is the “fu*king pussy”?
Nige. NZ


As an Arsenal fan watching the Watford game last night I couldn’t help but feel that, whilst hilarious and karmarific, Troy Deeney’s red card probably wasn’t a definite red card. Some refs would have produced a yellow for it, although yes some others would still have produced a red.

Deeney’s issue is that he told everyone in the country that something like this was going to happen. He signposted his own red card.

He’s infamously come out with his “cojones” comment this time last year and explained, to the nation, in no uncertain terms, that he seeksout Arsenal players to “whack” in order to seek a psychological advantage during the match. I seriously doubt Deeney would ever set out to actually injure or hurt an Arsenal player or any opposition, he just wants to intimidate someone, and impose himself on that player for the remainder of the match. Stuff like that has been going on since the dinosaurs, it’s a nothing issue.

However just imagine the 15 minutes or so before kick off, when the refereeing team visits both teams/managers for the pre-game laying-down-of-the-law. The first and last thing those officials would have heard is that, at some point during the game, probably early on, that Troy Deeney, by his own admission, is going to “whack” an Arsenal player. I’m sure Emery told his players to stand up strong against Watforrrrd…. except for Deeney. Go down holding your face if Deeney even looks at you.

From there on they are just waiting for it to happen, and 12 minutes in, boom, Troy Deeney ruins his and his team’s evening by doing something stupid. And even more stupid than that, he told everyone he was going to do it. It didn’t have to be his elbow, it just had to be a “whack”. Deeney had to go off.
Dale May, Swindon Wengerite


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