Three days on from the Premier League final day and we are still squabbling about whether Liverpool are lucky. Plus, what constitutes success?
Man United as cuckold
I sort of get Man United fans shouting for City in the league battle with Liverpool – it’s about the number of league wins. But it just seems a bit like asking your neighbour to service your wife cos you not up to the job yourself.
Lucky Liverpool? Really?
Schadenfreude is definitely too strong in football (I myself am guilty of this too). It seems people are happier that Liverpool failed to win the league then they are of City having won it, except for City fans obviously.
Two things have become apparent during the last couple of days of mailboxes:
1. Liverpool fans harping on about higher points totals than United in the ‘good old days’.
2. Opposition fans calling Liverpool lucky (easy route to CL final, two penalty shoot-out wins, etc.)
I will try to kill two birds with one stone here, and really, it has already been said too much: YOU CAN ONLY BEAT WHAT IS IN FRONT OF YOU!
On point 1, yes the points total the last few years has been incredible, it just hasn’t been enough on two occasions. Last year we were nowhere close to City, the year before we won it and 18/19 finished similarly to this season. On two occasions we were within one point of Man City, but as the saying goes, whether you lose by an inch or a mile, you still lose. City are an incredible team, and we have come second in a two-horse race, twice, thems the facts. It really doesn’t matter if this points total would have won it in any other given year, because in this season it did not. Manchester United winning it with 79 and 80 points (twice) is a moot point because who is to say they wouldn’t have reached 90+ points if the teams around them were doing the same.
On point 2, what are Liverpool supposed to do? If you want to call it an easy run in the knockout stages (after a group of death mind you) then so be it. But are Liverpool supposed to roll over and say ‘ah it’s Benfica, not worth it to win because it would be too easy? Call it what you want, but we are in the Final because we overcame all challenges leading up to the final, regardless of degree of difficulty. Any loss to Benfica/Villareal would have been followed by jokes and ridicule in the mailbox/media. All wins have come with an ‘easy opponents’ tag. It is a no-win scenario.
Similarly to the penalty shoot-out wins. Do they really diminish the accomplishment of the team? Both teams fight for 120 minutes, then it is decided using penalties. In my mind it doesn’t make it less pleasing a win, just because two teams went head to head and no one could make their advantage count in 120 minutes. I personally believe that Golden Goal should come back and extra time not have a limit but that is besides the point.
My point is this, and has been all season, enjoy it! No we didn’t win the league but yes it was a title race and we did see our team win 28 matches. not to mention 2 cups and a final to come.
Anyone saying its been lucky is either delusional or unhappy with their own life.
Nik (I did cry a little on Sunday), Munich
…It’s all just luck. The luckiest team in the history of football strikes again. Strong sense of deja vu concerning a certain Spurs fan called Fred.
So, to get this straight. Liverpool FC under Jurgen Klopp have reached:
2 League Cup finals
1 FA Cup final
1 UEFA Cup final
3 CL finals
And had 90+ point seasons 3 times.
4 (possibly 5) trophies won, runners up in 5 (possibly 6).
And we’re expected to believe that they’ve only achieved this through luck? Whatever helps you through it guys.
Oh, and the narrative that we shit the bed before City went ahead belies the fact that but for a marginal offside call we would’ve been 2-1 up before Villa scored their second.
James Outram, Wirral
Guardiola v Klopp via Bollywood
A recent interview in the Bollywood sector that had gotten viral was when a star-kid, a product of nepotism claimed how she ‘struggled’ to get a chance at Bollywood. Her PR team seem to have forgotten that the public aren’t blind to all the connections her name came with and unfortunately for her, a newbie who had arrived on scene without any backing from the industry or a powerful surname to his name was present in the same interview.
The following was his response to put the star-kid back in her place:
“Where your struggle starts, is where our dreams come true”
Just in case you missed the point, he meant that where the privileged thinks she has to put in a lot of effort for a movie, the newbie couldn’t believe that he had the opportunity to work in an A-list movie.
Moving from the analogy to the Klopp vs Pep debate, as I resisted throwing up when Mr. Guardiola claimed they were legends reminded me of the above interview when how blinded the privileged are. His best years as a coach intersected with having the best player in the world for decades; coincidence?
He then headed to another league of monopoly and kept the far superior side where they were, as they outspent everyone by miles. Did he win the top prize in club football?
Then he heads to another cash-flushed entity, barely wins the league with a billion spent, and the media buys into his obnoxious belief of how football = his oil money flushed side.
He had a hundred million signing on the bench FFS.
But normalcy resumes, as the person who actually made it through his sheer will and skill, with an uneven playing field vis-a-vis his direct competition; was awarded two awards that read “The best manager of the season”.
Cheers to Jurgen Klopp, what a time to be a LFC fan.
Mihir. Mumbai. LFC
P.S. For the fans outside the top 2-4-6, this is an argument vis-a-vis Pep and his oil money team. Personally, Leicester winning the league stands as the best PL story to date.
Klopp is fake though
One thing you people don’t recognize is the difference between Pep and Klopp. When Man City was down, Pep slumped into his chair. When LFC was down, Klopp flashed his devious, devilish, fake smile. One is fake, the other shows real emotion. Pep cried in the end, would Klopp cry? That psycho doesn’t have real emotions. This means more…
Johnie Come Lately
Funny how the rules change
In response to John Matrix in the inbox this morning.
John, you have a point which I agree with. Only one team can win a competition, so does that mean everyone else is a failure? Of course not.
However, it’s funny how some fans of teams take this stance when it suits them (ie when they don’t win) but in the past they have been very vocal about failures. I seem to remember Arsenal fans taking great delight in labelling Spurs failures when they finished third behind Leicester and Arsenal. That was most definitely a failure at the time. Fast forward a few years when Arsenal completely bottle (it’s a “bottle” right? No team just losses a game anymore seemingly) for 4th place and the narrative conveniently changes to it not being a failure.
Same with Liverpool fans. “Show us your European Cup wins City, as wins are all that matter”. But when they finish 2nd in the league it’s suddenly a success and they should be celebrated. City a failure for not winning the Champions League but Liverpool definitely not a failure for not winning the league.
I do disagree with John a couple of points:
1) Just because this is a young Arsenal team doesn’t mean that they will continue to improve. The manager might not have the ability to improve them or the players might just have peaked at what they are capable of.
2) ‘basically played the season without a striker’. that is kind of down to the manager, right? He clearly had an issue with PEA and couldn’t get the best out of him. Same with Lacazzete. Doesn’t mean next season is all ok if he buys a striker.
Arsenal are a project
So just sack the manager Aman?
If you think this is what Arsenal should do – then you have no idea who Arsenal Football Club are as an institution.
I’ve supported the Arsenal since 1987 and I’ve only known five managers and just two of those managers ran the club for more than 30 years combined.
Arsenal simply don’t throw money at the problem and hope they’ll win the league. All of the titles Arsenal have won during my years supporting them have come as a result of a project – either the careful planning around hoovering up the country’s best youngsters ahead of George Graham’s appointment or Arsene’s commitment to a football philosophy which culminated in the Invincibles season.
Arteta’s project may or may not fail but at the Arsenal projects are all we have.
It’s also why Liverpool winning the title is a bigger achievement than anything Pep will manage at City (to these eyes anyway).
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
What is the point of Tottenham?
As an Arsenal supporter, this is obviously going to sound like sour grapes, but it’s not. Yes, we blew top four, and although I would’ve been okay with fifth in August, to let it slip (hi Stevie) in the way we did was terrible, and Arteta has to do a lot better next year.
That said, I have a question: what is the point of Tottenham?
Maybe it’s because I live in a different country, so some of it slips through the cracks, but basically all of the content I consume regarding the Premier League (mainly F365, Athletic, Guardian, Sky Sports) seems to paint a picture of Spurs as this consistently successful club that can do no wrong. They are about to mark 15 (FIFTEEN) years without winning a trophy. I’m sure it was as early as 2008 or 2009 when every story about the Gunners began with the sentence “Arsenal, who haven’t won a trophy since 2005”. City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and United have all each won at least four trophies since Spurs’ last one. Leicester have won two. Cardiff, Birmingham, Swansea and Wigan have each won one. These are the facts (Hi Rafa). For whatever reason, Spurs are the only club to exist in this bubble of winning nothing, not convincingly challenging for the Title (bottled 2nd the Leicester year and never really got close to Conte’s Chelsea), comprehensively losing the Finals they do reach, and yet getting backpats and plaudits from everyone. No expectations, no pressure, just vibes.
So I again I ask, what is the point of Tottenham? What will constitute a successful 22/23 for them? Finishing 4th? Finishing above Arsenal? Son and Kane scoring 20 goals and making 20 assists each? Winning something, winning nothing?
Answers on a postcard please.
Larry, AFC, Port Elizabeth South Africa (Have you ever seen…)
Chelsea won something, actually
When John Matrix AFC claimed ‘Chelsea, who spent 170 million the summer before the Russian conflict failed to win anything this season, so failures right?’, we spent £97.5m on Romelu Lukaku, nothing for Marcus Betinelli and Saul was a loan deal, of course that is probably just sarcasm, but I do wish to point out that the fact Chelsea won nothing all season is not true, the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup are two trophies to add to our collection, whether you view them as prestigious or not is not the point, they are trophies and are not the Community Shield, Liverpool rightfully celebrated both the other season, we of course wanted to lift one domestic trophy but sadly lost on penalties in both finals.
Was the season a failure? I would say no, it certainly wasn’t a success but more in the middle of the two, especially with the off the field distractions for the manager and players, they did quite well to carry on as best as they could, Thomas Tuchel was both manager and spokesman for the club at times, an amazing person and we are quite lucky he was in charge during this turbulent time, on to the 22/23 season under Todd Boehly & Co, hopefully we will make some sensible signings………….or spend £150m on Declan Rice, you never know with us.
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod
Shirt off your back
Following Andrew’s mail this morning about yellow cards for removing your shirt while celebrating a goal, there are a number of theories as to why it was introduced, from cynicism (sponsors have paid a lot of money to advertise on players’ stomachs) to religious sensitivity. More practically, it was noted at the time the law was changed (roughly 2004) that it was taking longer to restart play after a goal as increasing numbers of a scorer’s teammates would join them in running round the pitch whirling their shirts above their heads. Clamping down on this by cautioning players who do this did reduce the number of instances substantially, and probably stopped players getting ideas about removing any other items of kit.
Either way, it’s been about 20 years since the law changed, so Sergi Canos can have no complaints and probably should have been more widely criticised for his stupidity.
It’s always seemed like a weird rule, to give it the same punishment as acts far more likely to cause harm to an opponent, but then, I’ve also never understood the reason why someone’s reaction to scoring a goal would be to take their shirt off. I just can’t make a cognitive link between the two acts or comprehend why the former triggers in so many people an impulse to do the latter.
When does banter stop and just feeling annoyed begin?
Would I talk to anyone of the ‘fans’ on here in real life if I met them, you know the ones, who spend their lives writing spiteful, mean spirited diatribes against your club day after day after day.
Whatever it was that brought you joy in football seems to fade away on here lately. The player you thought had a good season, the midfielder you gasp at, the new signing playing with abandon and freedom, a season full of honest effort, unbelievable fight and effort,
Oh no it was none of those things you see. You failed, you’re overrated, that midfielder doesn’t assist or that winger, whinging moaning and complaining, running your team down day after day after day.
Like the dementors in Harry Potter, sucking your joy and happiness, for they are empty of joy and happiness themselves.
Maybe it’s time to treat the internet and this website like real life.
In real life I would avoid these people like the joy sucking, fun killing plague that they are.
And so I will take a break from here for a while. I will miss the brilliant articles and insightful letters but I just can’t take anyone of the chip pissers killing one of the few things in life that bring a smile to my face.
Farewell for now Football365, it’s been a great decade and my compliments and thanks to your wonderful staff and writers. I’ll never forget Jordan Henderson’s face like a dog that woke himself up by farting, makes every cup lift that bit sweeter.