Crystal Palace probably came out of a three-goal defeat to Liverpool with as many plaudits. Patrick Vieira and Alisson impressed the masses.
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Credit where credit is due.The use of VAR has been excellent this season (so far).
What I liked most this weekend was that the ‘clear and obvious error’ was not only attributed to the physical event, but seemingly also applied to why the ref made the decision in the first place.
E.g. Walker penalty, the ref thought he saw one thing from his angle that made him judge it to be a penalty. But once confirmed it was ambiguous the ref changed the decision. Why because the error was in the refs initial assumption on what happened. Walker definitely did not tug or trip the attacker so overturned.
(Now watch it all go to sh*t next week)
Generally a score line that doesn’t strictly highlight what a tough game that was. A really tough opponent who were really threatening. The entire time it was 1-0 the game looked a bit nervous and it was clear Liverpool needed a second goal to calm the nerves. The third was a lovely cherry on top.
Felt that Konate had a slightly shakey debut but mostly did well. A few silly moments of poor control led to lost possession and he also nearly gave away a penalty (albeit would’ve been crazy soft). It’s good he’s starting to get experience of the league and that was a very tough debut to face Zaha and Edouard. Think he came out with more positives than negatives. Jota was one who had a slightly poor day. He has a lot of games where he seems to offer very little beyond sticking the ball in the goal and today he managed to miss a sitter from about 3 yards out.
Salah will get the plaudits because he’s ludicrous but think Alisson was the real man of the match. It was 3-0 because of his quick reactions and excellent saves today. I remember there was a time when silly people used to argue that Ederson was better but I think those people have gone looking for a new argument on the internet because there’s literally no debate at all anymore. Alisson is a notch above the vast majority of keepers in world football.
Anfield chanting, “The reds have got no money, we’re still gonna win the league” says a lot about how we feel about this team. They’re a special group, even without adding £100m midfielders or strikers to our ranks. I said it before the season and I still fancy Liverpool to be there or thereabouts all season.
Props to Palace
I write this at Liverpool 2 – 0 Palace and I am hugely impressed with Vieira’s lads. Utterly horrible to play against and carry loads of threat. Liverpool are a little fortunate to be taking three points as it stands.
Given the age of the Liverpool squad and the contract situations – plus Vieira’s average record as a manager – I was convinced before the season started that they’d be going down but on this evidence, Vieira’s done a tremendous job with a pretty limited squad and I reckon they could trouble the top half. They defend brilliantly and they get forward really well, too, putting the Reds on the ropes for long spells in the second half. Alisson might even be my man of the match.
Not looking forward to heading to Selhurst Park. At all.
Nick Glover, Scouser in Brum
And then Keita happened…
Oh. My. God. What. A. Hit.
Nick Glover, Scouser in Brum
But back to Palace and Patrick
While Crystal Palace probably didn’t deserve a 3-0 defeat, it proved all the Liverpool naysayers wrong. All that ‘Liverpool lost the transfer window’, ‘Liverpool need fresh blood’, ‘Liverpool’s squad is too old’ malarkey has now been put in its place.
Disappointing that Elliott will be out for a while but with players like Keita, Jones, Tsimikas, Milner, the Ox, several of whom have been out injured for a while, there is some depth to this Liverpool squad. Players who can come in, understand the game plan and fit right in. Several haven’t had a consistent run in the team and Klopp is showing his confidence in the squad being willing to change it up, even against teams that carry a real threat.
Palace were unlucky not to capitalise on their chances, albeit Allison pulled off some good saves, but they certainly didn’t go to contain and play two banks of four – as Hodgson would. With all the concern over Viera and the many squad changes at the beginning of the year, this is a team to like and watch. You can tell that with more games in, they will get much better as they work each other out. Too bad more teams don’t go to the ‘bigger’ clubs and take it to them. While Palace lost this one, they will still take confidence into their next games and win a few of these in the coming months. Viera is giving the pundits two fingers at the moment.
And look at Southampton and City, proving Pep’s comments were on the money and not just taking it to the City fans. Pep must be jealous of the noise created at Anfield on European nights. How could it not help the team out. While Utd got hammered for the prawn sandwich brigade, you can still count on the fans to raise the roof for their tram. City always feels a tad quiet.
All that to say that Pep will have his hands full taking his City team to Palace later if they continue on this trajectory.
Finally Dyche. I’ve never been a fan and was always amused by the desire for sports journo’s to big him up. He always struck me as man with a chip on his shoulder – the modern Allardici. But when he said “I probably sound like a broken record…” while referring to this season’s campaign, I spat out my coffee. He never sounds any different. In the 12 years or so of Prem League interviews it’s always the same. Plucky team, played well, decisions for against them…because they are a small team. If you think like a small team… Juxtapose Dyche’s mentality to that of the new boy, Viera.
So, Guardiola says he’ll step aside as City manager if he is a “problem” for the fans. Does anyone else feel like this is him calling City fans’ bluff?
First, he criticised them for not showing up in enough numbers… it’s like he feels like he (and his team, I guess) have earned the right to have a full stadium every single match, regardless of cost, convenience, etc.
Naturally, many responded by pointing out that they are on the bread line after 2 years of sporadic work, family trauma, etc.
And his response is basically to threaten to leave?? Like, “Come to the games or put up with a lesser manager”. It really does seem very arrogant. Does he think he’s bigger than the club?
Is he actually bigger than the club??? No. If he was Sheikh Mansour, then fair enough. But Pep IS replaceable. Even though City’s hierarchy set up for Pep for years, it’s not like it’s not an amazing set up for any other manager either, is it?
Back in your box, Pep.
Ronaldo > Rice
I am dismayed at the suggestions emanating from some quarters that United should have signed Decan Rice instead of CR7. To me the decision is a no brainer. CR7 is one of the best signings United have ever made since Sir Alex. In the seasons after Sir Alex, United continue to struggle to score goals and that has been a key factor in the Club’s failure to challenge. Our midfielders and forwards have been creating thousands of chances which were all wasted. Clearly what was needed was a clinical finisher to convert the chances we create into goals. CR7 is that clinical finisher we need not Rice. We are already seeing the signs from CR7 as he continues to score goals.
Professor (Dr) David Achanfuo Yeboah
It is interesting to see the knee jerk reactions about Ole. That if he doesn’t win the title then he is a failure. The fans who think this were obviously brought up on the success of Sir. Most must have been born after he was nearly given the heave ho for not winning the league for six years. And they certainly were not around when United went through twenty five years of watching the Scousers pick it up year in and year out.
They are spolit rotten. There is no divine right to win the League. Only one club can win every year, and to believe that United should be that team is just ridiculous. It is a competition, other teams and managers are doing their best to win it too, with huge budgets.
Head off to You Tube and look for Frank O’Farrell, Dave Sexton, Tommy Doc and see how swapping managers works…
Then stop your whinging.
He should go
I like Ole, I really do. He was one of my favourite players as a kid. Being a perennial sub myself, he was very relatable. He also seems like a very nice man. However, to me, the fact that the debate about his as United manager is still ongoing is indicative of the fact that he’s not good enough for a club striving for top honours. Closing the gap to City last season was decent but 12 points is still quite a ways off and I reckon that second place finish was more to do with Chelsea being sh*t under Lampard and Liverpool’s five billion injuries. Fair enough he got the final of the Europa League but he also lost it. Varanne, Sancho and Ronaldo are obviously good business but given the money spent, United should be strolling against Young Boys.
Couple to that, you have things like the midfield situation. United have a glut of options yet no discernible style other than give it to Bruno. Pogba has stepped up since Ronaldo arrived, true, but why did it take Ronaldo coming for Pogba to suddenly turn it on? It wouldn’t fly under elite managers. Pogba plays every game while Van Der Beek rots and somehow Fred is still knocking about. I don’t know much input Ole had into Van Der Beek signing but the whole thing is very strange.
Nor can say I know what the solution is to that sh*t show other than an expensive clear out / replacing job, but then again I’m not paid millions to figure it out. I can’t shake the feeling that most managers could do the job Ole’s done with the resources he’s had. I’d get rid with a fond farewell and bring in someone truly elite.
Thanks for a fantastic article on Jordan Henderson. As usual, it was a great read – he seems like a great bloke and the words from his dad made me feel a bit teary. The staredown with Diego Costa was sublime, I love it when the pantomime villains of the game get put in their place.
On a lighter note it made me think of what transfers could/should have happened and what shouldn’t have happened. In hindsight, Henderson to Man Utd may have been perfect for that team but his move to Liverpool has worked out okay i suppose!
Makelele to Chelsea is obvious – undervalued key cog of one machine becomes valued key cog of another (seriously, how did Real think they would cope without a designated holding midfielder with Guti, Figo, Beckham, Zidane etc in the side).
Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair to Man City seemed odd then and still seem odd to me. Whilst you should back yourself, I never thought they would play regularly and in the case of Jack Rodwell it cost him a lot of momentum at the expense of a few extra quid.
Goalkeepers – moving to be a designated 3rd choice keeper before the tailend of your career is just strange. Is providing for your family worth only playing a few times a year? Not for me but to each their own.
Any other ideas?
Tom, Leeds fan in Newcastle.