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Season suspension incoming
Horrible as it is to imagine – what if all football is postponed for a while – say a month of no football. What are you going to do? You struggle to fill the summer months when there is transfer news (although do well considering the circumstances) and the best articles are those that look forward to the new season.
Intrigued but lets hope it doesn’t get to that stage.
…It’s highly probable that this will be out-of-date by the time it gets to the morning mailbox, but it’s ridiculous the efforts that are being made to “Keep Calm and Carry On” and even more from people wanting to call the season, give Liverpool the title and move on. Let’s say you do give Liverpool the title. What about two through five? What about the bottom three? What about the promotion/relegation situations in the lower divisions. You can’t call a season when there’s 10, 11, 12 or more games left to play. You can’t call Liverpool the champions, tell Manchester United they’re sh*t out of luck, let Tottenham finish above Arsenal and toss Norwich, Villa and Bournemouth out. Who do you welcome in from the Championship? Leeds and West Brom right now, but what about the playoff spot? Toss a coin? Play Subbuteo behind closed doors? Idiotic.
Nice to see that UEFA, Johnnies on the spot that they are, are calling an urgent meeting for next Tuesday. The See You Next Tuesdays? Hmm, why does that not sound appropriate?
Oh, but Euro 2020 is planned for the summer. Who cares? And flying people all over Europe? Are you kidding me? The most obvious solution is to postpone the Euros until 2021, suspend all the domestic leagues and international cup competitions stat, and, potentially, pick it all up in a couple of months or so when hopefully the crisis has passed.
And, with regard to Euro 2021, have some semblance of sanity and host it in a country that can supply ready-made stadia and infrastructure to cope with the competition. Let’s see, Italy, England, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia … take your pick. Uzbekistan doesn’t get to host a game? Sorry. No, it doesn’t. Neither do those powerhouses Kazakhstan or the Ukraine.
Right, back to tracking down some toilet paper. Maybe I can get The Sun somewhere in LA county. I’ve never looked.
Steve, Los Angeles
…Sure the Corona Virus has done well in China but can it really cope with a wet and windy Tuesday night in Stoke?
Currently washing my hands so often I’m lubricated like a 14 year old boy who’s home alone for the weekend.
…How about they play the rest of the season on FIFA 20? Most of the teams already have an E-team competing in the E league (think that’s what it’s called). Make them to just play with the club players (none of that FUT nonsense) and stream it across the world.
AVM Phoenix (something is better than nothing)
Euro 2021: winners and losers
Sadly it seems inevitable that the Euros will be postponed. I thought I would do a small Winners and Losers style email for everyone’s benefit. Perhaps F365 can do a proper list once the news is confirmed.
One year on and England can look forward to having a fully fit Harry Kane back. Right now it would mean going into a tournament with an unfit Kane, a recently recovered Rashford and a woefully out of form Sterling. A year on and all those 3 things could be reversed and England would be in a much better position for it.
Furthermore, a year gives Southgate ample time to make the change to Henderson over Pickford and bed him in.
AWB, Trent, Chlwell, Sancho, Grealish, Maddison should all be getting better and playing together for longer.
Similar to England, France would be going in with key players only just coming back from serious injuries. Pogba and Kante who are so crucial to the way France plays have had seasons to forget. A year on and they should be fit, and ready to go. Varane and Griezmann should also be off the back of a better seasons in a years time.
Mbappe will be better!
Ronaldo will be 36.
Similarly Spain is coming to an end of an era, they have lost the likes of Xavi and Iniesta but Ramos, Alba, Busquets will all be a year older and beyond their peak.
I have booked and paid for my trip to Ireland in July.
Hakim, Sri Lanka
See, Liverpool, that’s how it’s done. Five against the mighty LASK.
Andy Race (tongue firmly in cheek since 2013)
…1. Far from being a perfect performance, it was definitely a perfect result. A five-goal lead means that, if the second leg is indeed still played, we can use the reverse tie as an opportunity to rest one or two players – Maguire, Fred and Shaw could all do with a breather at this point. I was happy enough with 3-0 but the extra two goals added a real gloss to the result, one that has been in pretty short supply this season.
2. I’ll do the negatives first. Some of that defending was diabolical. Maguire and Bailly didn’t really seem to have a handle on their forwards, and we conceded far too many chances. That we kept a clean sheet seemed to owe more to our opponents’ profligacy more than any resolute defending.
3. Speaking of the defence, as well as young Williams did on the right, it does highlight a serious worry with that position. Wan-Bissaka is clearly the present and long-term future for that position, so absolutely no worries there, but what on earth has happened with Dalot? When he plays (and is actually fit) he looks decent, but he must have been unavailable for selection for a good 70-80% of our games since he signed. I’m not suggesting we bin him off or anything but it does raise an issue with squad depth there – if he’s so rarely fit, do we need to look at bringing in another option and letting Dalot have the time he needs to get his body right?
4. Now onto the positives. What a bloody goal that was from Ighalo! I know the opponents weren’t exactly amazing but still, the control both before and including the shot were exquisite. I saw a stat that said he’s already equalled Falcao’s tally and is only one behind Alexis Sanchez in just 8 appearances. He is fast becoming a cult hero, and I’ll say it again: I love Odion Ighalo!
5. Almost as good as the finish was the sublime assist from Bruno. That was a delicious pass and further evidence of the inventiveness and creativity he has brought in his short time with us.
6. Speaking of fantastic assists, first to Fred. What a revelation he has been this season. The pass for Mata was inch perfect and capped off another all-round brilliant performance. If it wasn’t for Wan-Bissaka, I think Fred would be practically peerless with the team and a shoo-in for our player of the season. Until the end of January that looked like damning with the faintest of praise, but since then, he has gone up another notch and is really leading by example in the middle.
7. Mata has also continued his renaissance of late. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or something more deliberate but since Bruno has arrived, he and the rest of the team just seem to “get” Mata now. Forwards are making more runs that Mata likes to pick out, his own movement is better, and he suddenly looks like way less of a passenger. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s not got Lingard wasting the space around him.
8. Secondly, to Chong. Now that he’s signed his new contract, I’m happier to see him getting minutes on the pitch, and happier still that he has finally got an assist. Not two minutes prior to getting his, I commented to a friend that he really needed to break his duck, if only for a bit of self-confidence. The fact that it was a really good pass to release Greenwood – a moment of actual creativity, rather than just the final pass before a goal (if that makes sense) – should only add to that confidence. Good lad.
9. And Greenwood’s finish was superb. The ‘keeper could probably have done better but the pinpoint accuracy from Greenwood to put it out of his reach was excellent. This lad is going to be something special and I’m really glad that he’s getting his minutes as a striker and not shunted out wide. In some ways, he is the reason why I wouldn’t actually be that arsed about us signing Kane. As good a player as Kane is, it really would have a massive negative impact on Greenwood’s future if we were to sign him or a player of a similar level.
10. Pereira scored. Great. ‘Keeper should definitely have done better.
It’s just a shame that, in a purely footballing sense, this recent resurgence of ours is probably going to count for very little because of coronavirus. I’m not suggesting football should carry on regardless – in my opinion the government is not doing nearly enough, and feel that all non-essential business should just get shut down until we’re clear – it’s just sod’s law that it’s happening now. And I’m sure Liverpool fans would/will feel the same if the rest of the season is cancelled. As hilarious as it would be for everyone else, it really would be a kick in the nads. Still, football is among the least important things right now, and we need to protect people first.
What a Liverpool fan cherishes most
Liverpool live rent free in every other football fan’s head. Over the last two weeks—following the horror of their FIRST league defeat, an FA Cup 5th round knock out, and a champions league last 16 knock out—the fellowship of the desperate and miserable (i.e. supporters of every other club) have come to belittle the accomplishments of the team so far ahead of everybody else in the league. Forget that fans of every other team would literally stab a child to have their first league loss come in March, because Liverpool losing one time is a supposed embarrassment. In fact, Liverpool being so far ahead of everybody else has somehow been turned into a stick to beat them with. Sure, they’re Blackburn and Leicester in the sense that those teams won the league. I don’t recall them winning the league in March, which this Liverpool team can still do, but that’s not the trophy I cherish from this year as a Liverpool supporter. The trophy I cherish is the Spite Trophy (official name TBD). Look at all the delicious nonsense spouted by other fans in every mailbox. Look at the conspiracies (VAR only works for them, Liverpool never get injured, etc.). Look how they denigrate their own teams to lamely attempt to take a portion of the sheen off this season for Liverpool. That didn’t happen to freakin Blackburn in the 90s or Leicester a few years ago (no, we all laughed at Spurs instead, as I remember). So yes everybody, please keep up with the “Well ACKSHULLY” hot takes about Liverpool because you further increase the following disparity: we never think you and you always think of us. Some mean feat, that.
Pick a horse
I was unable to send any mails yesterday so read the mailbox and other articles late in the day. I was amazed (not really) at the sniping and gloating of the ABL’s, some people really need to have a hard look at themselves.
I’m sure there’s a saying or quote somewhere along the lines of “it’s not important that I succeed, someone must fail as well” and that seems to sum up most of the contributors, except not very many of them are succeeding!
Liverpool were unlucky, that missing 1% at this level, makes a glorious night into one of failure, I don’t think Atletico were ever going to score without a huge slice of luck or a gift and one was duly presented.
But the loss (and my “must fail” comment) got me thinking, who would I like to see win the Champions League from here on in.
PSG – no chance
Atleti – definetly not
Juve – Juve got to be joking
Barca – even my love for Luis Suarez can’t sway me to them
Atalanta/Leipzig – can’t really see it happening, so wasting my time putting my support behind them.
Which leaves Bayern and Man City (as I expect them both to progress).
I can see both these with a definite chance, I’d fancy both (certainly City) to unlock the Atleti problem better than LFC did (more patience, different style), but whilst Bayern have some great players to watch, they have Thomas Mueller! So, is it Man City? Not for me, I have relatives who support them and when I phoned to congratulate them after Aggguueerrooooo! their immediate response was, “you finished below Everton!” (success/fail again!), so no, I can’t root for you either.
So that’s it for me for this season, think CoVid-19 is going to be the winner anyway which will allow my beloved Liverpool to retain their trophy in 2020/21 or 2021/22, we’ll have a proper 2nd choice goalie (Kelleher), a bigger stadium (those famous Anfield nights will be even louder) and as transfers will be banned, our young (ish) squad will be boosted by the new Steven Gerrard (Curtis Jones) and the next Lionel Messi (Harvey Elliot).
And we’ll have had 18 months to 2 years reminding everyone who the Premier League, Champions League and CWC Champions are!!!!
Howard (glad I resisted the urge to get carried away) Jones
p.s. sits back and waits………..
…To Jim, Norwich: As you mentioned, the key words were “should have clinched the tie in 90 minutes” and that is precisely the problem with Liverpool last night.
They had 34 shots! 11 on target with an xG of 3.47 – that is very very high and means they were getting into good positions to make good shots. They’re just screwing up the shots.
Liverpool are a great side and one of the best in the world right now but they were also games this season where they were also many games this from their best and yet found a way through in the first 90.
Yes Adrian deserves a good chunk of the blame for the goals, they were not the best attempts but the defending on the goals were horrible and the strikers should have put the game away by 3/4ths of the 90. This defeat was not just down to a goal keeping errors. Atleti’s second goal for example, they were three Liverpool defenders that gave Llronte maybe three seconds to shoot.
In the end that is partly the magic of extra time and cup competituins, everyone is tired, and more mistakes starts to occur and it did. But it should never have come to that for Liverpool.
Social media is so awful sometimes.
Trawling through tweets and statuses from fans of various clubs it really makes me wonder what’s happening with the world.
We are at a stage in our evolution that we are now happy to admit, with our names and faces proudly on show, that if Liverpool don’t win the league because of covid-19 then it will be:
The best day of my life
Totally f*cking worth it
The bin dipers deserve it
Covid 19 Liverpool 18
I would be so happy.
It will save football
Right, so what your saying is that the deaths of what will likely run into tens of thousands of people and the impact that will have on family, friends and the community is “f*cking hilarious” because it stops a team from winning a trophy?
I get rivalry, i get competition but the reality of the situation is far more serious than a sporting trophy.
To put it into context, if you’re grandparents or your parents catch it and die can someone ask you if it’s worth it at the funeral…. Oh wait, you might not be allowed to even have a funeral.
I love the game, but i hate what it does to people.
Joe (fully prepared for there to be idiots who still say yes)
For what it’s worth
I keep reading in the mailbox that such and such players can be sold and “would raise about <X> millions.”
These are pipe dreams. Just because you’ve spent 90m on Pogba doesn’t mean anyone will take him off you for a comparable amount. Even if he’s got 4 years or more left on his contract.
For a start, that figure you’ve paid was inflated because you’re an English club. And you’ve paid that much because you can afford it, what with TV rights etc. Anyone in Europe will not pay that much for him. The only instances of British clubs selling for inflated fees to clubs on the continent was when the English club did NOT want to sell, or didn’t need to. Examples in point: Spurs selling Modric and Bale, and Chelsea selling Hazard, all to Real. They were then very much part of the team, and Spurs / Chelsea would have happily kept them. Same for when Arsenal sold Anelka to Real. Or Henry to Barca. Or Man U selling Ronaldo to Real.
So when MU want rid of the Pog, and fans say “let’s get 120m for him and buy 3 or 4 players blablabla”, it makes me laugh – you’ll never ever get 120m for a player who is a lot less useful to Utd and who wants to leave. My guess is that you’ll get about 50m from a rich team who wants a marquee signing to build a new team around, maybe Inter, Milan, or PSG perhaps. Real, Barca, Juve, Bayern even PSG are rich but no mugs. These clubs would not pay 75m to Liverpool for VVD. As good as he is. De Gea for 70m? You’re having a laugh.
The only team who’ll pay you that much would be another English team. And would you want to sell to them?
Keep and bin
In response to Andy, Guatemala’s Arsenal keep and bin, here’s one for United:
Fred – his form and ability is shining through now that he’s got to grips with the pace/power of the premiership, and he has a half decent team around him. (what happened to people giving foreign signings time to adapt, even Vidic/Evra/Pires/Henry etc ……. took a while to get used to it)
Shaw, L – finally he gets a decent run in a side with a settled (and fairly decent) back 4. The first part of his United career was played in an ever-changing back 4, mostly with Phil Jones playing inside him. And then he was subjected to a mental attack from Mourinho (Ndombele is the next in the firing line). Good on you for staying and sticking it out fella, right behind you all the way.
Henderson, D – form looks very impressive for Sheff Utd. If they can get near on £100m for de Gea, whats not to like ? Surely his taking over is inevitable, so its now down to how best to get the most in return for DdG ? (by no means bashing DdG, just impressed with Henderson)
Martial, A – I’m still not convinced 9 is his best position, but the way he plays when he has a smile on his face, yes please.
Ighalo, O – love watching you so happy to play, and love what you have done for us. As a cheap number 9 option either from the start or the bench, couldn’t ask for more.
Jones, P – its time. Its been time for a while really if we’d had a half decent squad, but now it really is time.
Smalling, C – I have full respect for you, and I thank you for what you did for the club over a very difficult period. Changing managers, some awful midfields in front of you, and you continually gave us as good as you could. But, we’ve moved on and I don’t see where you would fit in now. I hope the club can agree a fee and give you the move to Italy that you want.
Lingard, J – see Jones, P
Pereira, A – see Lingard, J
Fernandes, B – All you’ve given us since you’ve arrived is 3 goals and 3 assists in 7 games. All you’ve done for the team is make them work harder for each other, run more, and seemingly enjoy playing their football more. All you’ve done for Ole is help play half the squad into better form, give him far more options in creativity, and add another good signing to his growing list of good signings for United. All you’ve done for the fans is give them belief and forced them to watch more attractive and enjoyable football. Try harder please.
I couldnt really care about:
Pogba, P – do whatever you like. Go. Stay. Get on with your career. Grow up. Do something, anything, everything. Get rid of that utter cock that you call an agent. Just please please please, for those of us who arent professional sportsmen but would have happily given various parts of our anatomy to be one, go somewhere and at least try and use the considerable talent that you were blessed with, because my god you could be good if you could be assed.
Ben (I don’t understand how we were pretty much the only team pushing for Bruno), London
…Well I may be a day late but I thought I’d drop my own thoughts on the “Build and Bin” topic, but for Chelsea, I’ve tried to choose realistic options as well, with one controversial choice I’m sure.
Mateo Kovacic – Who would have thought that a player who was average last season, who we would’ve unlikely purchased without the transfer ban would become such a key player this season, arguably our player of the season, his footwork on the ball is delightful and we truly miss him when he isn’t in the team.
Reece James – One of our many academy products who is enjoying a fantastic debut campaign under Lampard, his performances have been incredible for someone of his age and lack of Premier League experience, England are truly stocked in the RB position but im very glad we have him in our ranks.
Jorginho – His game has transformed slightly under Lampard but he is such a consistent player, he dictates the game, has an eye for a pass and could easily be our next captain in the coming years.
NGolo Kante – Controversially chosen, but hear me out, he is approaching 29 so this could be the prime time to sell him due to value and he has had his first poor season since….well, he never has been poor, but this season could easily be down to injuries, been quite an unlucky campaign for him there, however if a club were willing to spend £100m plus on him, then I’d certainly consider letting him go, especially when it seems he doesn’t fit into Lampard’s style of play in that midfield three.
Willian – Fantastic servant, but way to inconsistent, I’d happily offer him a one year deal, but the rumored three year deal he wants is just not happening, he would finish that contract as he approaches his 35th birthday, he is on the downward peak of his career now, I dare not imagine what he would be like come that third year.
Ross Barkley – A player similar to Willian, where he can either be totally and utterly dreadful in one game, then produce a decent performance the next, frustrating and I can imagine surely one team would pay £20m plus for him, maybe Spurs under Mourinho could help us out there.
Honorable Mentions: Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic
Dishonorable Mentions: Kepa, Marcos Alonso, Emerson and Pedro
Soccer in the USA
Who’s going to let Niraj from Tampa know that Women’s Soccer here in the USA is not “leaps and bounds more popular” than the men’s sport. Do I need to point out to him that the Women’s game has had several iterations of a professional league and attendance at the current league isn’t anywhere close to what MLS pulls in. Speaking of MLS, they’ve expanded even more and have two new teams in Miami & Nashville. Perhaps Niraj missed the sold out stadiums for those matches. I haven’t even begun to discuss the following of the Men’s National Team vs. the following of the Women’s team for internationals, WC qualifiers, and the WC in general. I don’t take umbrage at someone saying that the Women’s game is inferior to the Men’s game as I’m not one of those looking to be offended all the time.
Maybe now is the time we point out to Niraj the physiological differences in men & women perhaps? The speed of the game, the power, etc… Does that make the Women’s game bad? No, no it does not. It does make it different however. Are there aspects to the Women’s game that I like more? Why I’m glad you asked. Yes, yes there are, the main being that women don’t dive and cheat near as much as the men and when a woman player goes down and stays down, you know she’s hurt. Usually they pop right back up and get on with it. Why can’t the men learn from this? The women also tend to demonstrate more sportsmanship than the men do. All this I like and tune in to watch.
The simple truth is that the Women’s game is very popular here once every four years. The men’s game is popular every year. Now excuse me while I go find someone else on the internet to let them know they’re wrong.
TX Bill (Heart for Monday says 1-1…Head says 1-3…it’s Liverpool. We don’t win those matches…Ever.) EFC
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