‘Disjointed’ Liverpool’s problem is clear as the Mailbox struggles to make their mind up on Klopp

Editor F365

The Mailbox is split on Jurgen Klopp and if he is the right man to turn things around at Liverpool. Also: we don’t give the Old Firm the respect it deserves and West Ham must sack David Moyes.

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com


I have been reading about how Klopp is the right man for the rebuild at Liverpool. As things stand, I am not sure he really is. As I have said in my previous email, Klopp needs to let go of his loyal players, something he has never done. Liverpool have spent a lot of money in recent transfer windows. Not City money but still a lot of money and the team has become worse. We cannot expect that to change without a change in approach or the leadership. I will be happy to be proven wrong but my biggest fear is that Klopp so far has not shown any sign of changing his approach. I am not able to see any other outcome than Klopp leaving at the end of the season. If I was FSG, I will have some doubts before giving Klopp another 200 million for the rebuild. Let me know what the mailbox thinks of this.
Dushyant Jamwal, LFC, Dubai


Mike, LFC, London sums up what many fans think and what I thought when I emailed in. The Europa League doesn’t feature highly in the thoughts of fans whose teams are in the champions league.

Even if you lose a Europa League final like Liverpool did in 2016, “so what” seems to be the vibe. These days, it seems that if you are in the Europa League it means you haven’t been successful (certainly for the traditional big clubs).

However, I do the miss the tournaments of the 1990’s and early 00s and the number of big clubs and top players that’s played in it. Liverpool in 2001, Ronaldo and Inter Milan in 1998, even my own Leeds having a few goes (amongst others). I know Liverpool and Inter Milan are above that level know but what a time to be a football fan.

I also miss the Cup Winners Cup – a superb tournament which Chelsea fans should remember. Should never have been phased out imho.


Liverpuddle nonsense
Dear Ed,

I’m sure there’s been enough mails on Liverpool, so I apologise for another one. Tickner’s piece covers most of it too so it’s silly to bother really. Nevertheless, and in spite of the fact that it could all be wrong and Klopp might go on an unbeaten run for the remainder of his contract from the next match, I think he should go.

Last season was great, wasn’t it? Grinding out results, sporadic good football and lots of luck, leading to cup finals which were fucking painful to watch. Each one just a war of attrition and in the winning ones penalties. I was thankful Madrid won, just to avoid more penalties. So yeah, trophies, great, I appreciate that as a fan but jesus, the football was not so great.

This season it’s fairly obvious the team have lost some belief, in Klopp as much as anything else and his brand of hard working Christian socialist from the black forest motivational speaking isn’t pushing the right buttons anymore. Like Bob the Builder, if you ask him can he fix it, his only reply is yes we can. That is despite the fact that Bob’s got his cartoon hands in a convulsing body, has nicked a vertebral artery and lost his helmet yet is proceeding to sew up the surgical incision with some jute twine and a whale hook.

Early in the match on Tuesday, when Liverpool were on the front foot and before Klopp had been reduced to a typical middle aged man bemoaning his impotence by baring his teeth and grinding them with a seething fury, there weren’t too many slow passes around the back. There was an urgency to get the ball forward with longer passes and it paid off. Once they were 2 up, there was a sense that they began to try managing the game more and f*cked up spectacularly.

There’s other problems of course and lots of sh*t us ignorant fans know nothing about but the more direct style could work until the end of the season. I think if Liverpool sack Klopp and get Big Sam in, it would be terrible and awful but might just work. I mean, it wouldn’t work at all and it’d be too funny in a very grim way but maybe some more unashamedly direct football is called for.
Until the end of the season, when Allardyce can be put in a yacht made of spam tins and set sail in a sea of beef gravy and cigarette butts to the land of dreams.

In the summer, it could be good to get Luis Enrique in and ask Bielsa if he’d take care of the youth development. This would result in more hilarity and some nice football, but in Spanish. Enrique would throw about cycling references like matches being their own personal Alpe d’Huez and take the team on training rides and it would be perfect.

Anyways, yeah, Klopp has to go sometime. I guess now makes sense at the moment. It might not in hindsight a couple of years down the road but at the moment it sure does.

Hopefully Arsenal win the league and Napoli win the CL whatever happens.


Leave it out Dave
A response, if I may, to Dave Tickner’s Klopp article.

Few things are more annoying that click bait articles. I own businesses in an industry, where articles, designed to inflame a discussion, are commonplace. That’s what this piece is, click bait.

No one is against people having an opinion, Dave may truly believe that Klopp isn’t the right man going forward, however, his reasons are bizarre, designed to p**s people off just enough (though not too much, much like with the Nigel Farages of this world,  it can’t be blatantly obvious) to get a response.

Generally speaking, the journalism around Liverpool’s season has been appalling. Lazy, rehashed nonsense, that, if you actually watched a game, should be called out as balderdash.

One of the overriding problems with Liverpool defensively, is their inability to ‘stop pressing’. When any team presses, if the press is ‘beaten’, they should then retreat into a defensive shape. Liverpool don’t do this, they keep pressing (at the moment in a poor, disjointed fashion), this leaves gaps, Liverpool concede.

Now, this is a simple concept, one that could be seen (pressing then dropping) in action by Real Madrid on Tuesday. How many articles have been written about it? How many commentators have commented on it? None, to my knowledge.

It’s the same lazy ‘Liverpool need new a midfield’ or ‘they defend too high’ (and some of these ‘journalists’ are paid quite a lot of money.) I say this, only to ensure people are aware, as a Liverpool fan, I don’t have blind faith in Klopp.

To comment, as Dave does, that Klopp isn’t the man to at least be given another season because ‘he has seemed crestfallen and world-weary’ is odd to say the least. So we are basing a world class manager on how he seems in a interview?

Is it really that positive Liverpool need ‘major surgery’ or maybe, they should not play Joe Gomez quite so much?

*It is* ‘rare to get the chance to fix a mess, however, to give you a lazy journalistic quote ‘if one person deserves the chance to fix their own mess, it’s Klopp’
Graham (Madrid were also pretty good) LFC


But, I’m a nice guy…
We need to talk about Kevin

I am writing to express my concern over Kevin Villa’s reading and comprehension. When I said “Does Saka perform a bookable offense? Yes? Book him.” I thought it would be clear enough that I want the rules to be applied to everybody, and that I know even Saka is capable of fouling. Also, I was unaware that detailing without embellishment the repeat fouling that Saka receives could be construed as being “whiney and dramatic”.

Being of an objective mindset, I thought I’d rewatch the Martinez OG from the live footage as opposed to just highlights just in case I was wrong and the goal should not have stood. Of course, Ødegaard and Nketiah are in an offside position. Ødegaard is crouching to make himself small. You might say that doesn’t matter as Martinez is also lowered as he’s setting himself to launch into a dive. There’s one replay with a really useful elevated view from behind the goal. When you pause the image as Jorginho takes the strike you can see perfectly who, if anybody, is in Martinez’s direct line of sight. When it comes to being offside for the Martinez own goal… Eddie Nketiah…… is NOT in Emi Martinez’s sightline. When it comes to being offside for the Martinez own goal… Martin Ødegaard…… IS in Emi Martinez’s sightline! However, as mentioned, he’s making himself small, fitting into the silhouette of…… Tyrone Mings!!! Big Mings, if anybody, is the one obstructing the line of sight to the ball, thereby making any and all claims for offside null and void. If you keep watching to see if Martinez rushes over to the ref to complain all you’ll get is a close up of Emi looking rather sheepish at his poetic comeuppance. Thank you, and good night!
Simon, Norf London Gooner. P.S. Surely people can withstand a silly dad joke about Forrest Gump supporting Forest. Life’s short, man.


I appreciate you’re annoyed at yet another spanking – this time by Real – but calling Arsenal, 13 league titles and record FA cup winners, “historyless” is just plain wrong.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


Man U identity
What is it with Man U?

For the first time in a while, they have a team playing with some metal, under a manager who seems to know what he’s doing finally. . Can’t they find their own identify now at last?? Is it an inferiority complex? (That would be some story for the worlds self-anointed “biggest club”)

Last week I was reading that they “are the new mentality monsters” (thank you Jurgen). This week it’s “not heavy metal football (thank you Jurgen) but rock star football they are playing!”

We’ll let the fast counter attacks go (because tbf the best Man U teams of the past always had that) but the pressing from the front and massive width down the flanks make me think the Man U board appointed ETH, got him in a room, pointed at a picture of Klopp and said “You. Do that baldy!!”

I mean, I knew it bothered Man U as a club that Liverpool found the messiah that is Jurgen Klopp and he created a team who could take on the worlds richest, but I didnt think it had affected them THAT much that they feel they need to take all the phrases that LFC have accumulated over the past 5 years!!!
Paul, Bolton. Ps what’s Dutch for This Means More?


To pick up on the debate about Qatari or other oil-rich ownership of clubs, as with any business, there are rules around it. However, I don’t think any of the ownership rules have been broken. What has been broken, though, is something else.

Unless I’m very mistaken, clubs don’t own the league or the other competitions, they are signed up to them. If they don’t meet the requirements for that registration – e.g spending vs income doesn’t balance? – they can easily be barred from them, if needed, and re-permitted (presumably not straight back to where they were) once things are corrected.

Arguably, the biggest risk remains the ESL, but since not every club is currently owned by one of these, would those other clubs be willing to risk the implications of striking off on their own, again? No FA Cup, no CL or Europa, no national league membership… How about the players? Could they be made unable to register for their national side if they register for an unsanctioned league? All these things are possible, and in the power of the leagues and authorities, if they choose. And the risk of this alone should be enough for a club like Manchester United to take the less dangerous path.

The owners may own the club and all rights therein, but they don’t have unilateral power do whatever they want outside the assets of the club and the general employment laws. At that point, they need permission.

Final one, how many clubs and fans would be upset if City, for example, were barred from competition because they broke the rules of entry? I guess it would be a shame, probably, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep at all over it. I accept my inherent bias on that, and I’d feel more disappointed if Newcastle were barred, but still, meh.


Not sure if there’s room for a second mail, but hopefully…

I see a story on the site today about Liverpool being “broken beyond repair”. Now, while I absolutely enjoy seeing Liverpool in dire straits, has really nothing been understood from the situation at United?

Last year, we were a mess. Some players not able to cut it, parts no longer in working order, all doom and gloom with no way out. However, while some quarters crowed about it needing multiple transfer windows, most of the squad to be thrown out – including but not limited to one Marcus Rashford – and so on, the truth was (as some people not so far from here suggested) only some specific surgery.

The same is, unfortunately, the case with Liverpool. Forget whining about TAA (who is an excellent attacking full-back), they need a solid and dependable central midfielder, and a centre-back that isn’t perma-crocked. VVD hasn’t become terrible overnight, but he does need a partner to let him be the player he is. Similarly, Fabinho is much the same as he was previously but needs decent legs in front of him and players not to have brainfarts behind him. Up front, they have enough to be working with. We can all enjoy laughing at how much they’ve spent for Nunez – I certainly am – but the talent is there.

No team can play with 9 players successfully, week in and out, and certainly not this ridiculous season. Fix the couple of actual issues, and Liverpool can definitely be back in the Europa places. I just hope that this doesn’t happen, and Klopp moves to Italy somewhere.


Right Red Fred
I’ve always had a soft spot for Fred. He got a lot of stick for his transfer fee (not his fault), for not being as good as some people would have liked him to be (also not his fault). He has never complained about being played at the base of midfield – not his natural position. No complaints about being a squad player, used as a substitute, or given any role, with any manager – he just goes out and gives it his best. He’s been derided as one half of the McFred midfield which many feel is at the heart of United’s problems over the past years.

And yet, here he is, and you can see the difference when he’s deployed further upfield similar to his Brazil role. Wins balls upfield, has good feet, and can pop up in the box for goals. The reward – man of the match performances in both games versus Barcelona and a consistent rate of assists and goal involvements under ETH. Still happy to come on as a sub or be started. Still gives it everything, and always close to a smile.

It’s only fitting that players like Fred are as much at the heart of United’s resurgence under Ten Hag as the new players, as proof that good coaching and tactics can bring out the best in players, just as poor management can reduce the best players to rubble.
Ved Sen, MUFC. (His name is pronounced Frej apparently, maybe it’s time we made the effort to pronounce it correctly)

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, left, and Manchester United's Fred applaud fans at the end of the Europa League playoff second leg soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England


West Ham
Dear Sirs – I was the West Ham fan (and 20+ ish year fan of this fantastic site) who at the end of last season wrote in to this section to warn that we could be relegated this season if fundamental changes were not made. I was immediately mentioned in an F365 column on team pre season expectations (hey, as a huge admirer of this site any press is good press, and I was chuffed, even though i was being ridiculed), the point essentially being that I was mental for being negative.

2 months into the season, when it was clear something was wrong (though you didn’t realize how very very wrong it was), I was mentioned again on your site, as the guy who predicted that West Ham might be relegation candidates, but even then being semi laughed at at the thought that we might be in trouble (“be careful what you wish for“ etc etc and so on).

I take no pleasure whatsoever in writing in to tell you that I was right. West Ham have the oldest squad in the league. As for our “Academy”, which is a real thing, and which has been a source of pride through my 36 years of (mainly painful) supporting my club, that is dead. Ollie Perkins, top scorer for the England youth team, didn’t sign his first pro contract with us in the summer and instead signed with Leeds (we will receive a minimal arbitration fee). In January Newcastle paid 3m for our youth team left back Harrison Ashby. Ashby made 1 first team appearance. This is because they were given zero opportunities to progress. It’s inexcusable.

Now, last season, we did pretty well in the league pre Christmas, and eventually went to the Europa League semi finals. But our manager played what he thought was his best 11 game after game after game, even when it was painfully obvious that our players were crushed (Soucek has gone from world class (seriously) to a shell of a player within 18 months). After Christmas, our league form collapsed. And by the time of the Europa semi final our players were so exhausted/and/or injured that our loss was inevitable. Through all of that period, our youth team was winning plaudits everywhere. And no one was given a chance, no one.

Once upon a time, we would be able to attract young players on the basis that they would get their chance quicker than at the likes of Chelsea. Now, that is gone. Moyes has permanently made us a club where young players would not want to go.

Every game we set up not to concede, whether against a top 6 or a bottom 6 team. Even when 1-0 down you can guarantee that Moyes will not make any substitutions before 73 minutes. It’s inexplicable. Even when players are not fit for purpose (Antonio, the most loveable player in the team, dare say the entire league, but now makes zero runs in the channels and can’t occupy defenders), Moyes will not change. The Antonio quote you printed this week was the most damning evidence against Moyes. “We are told that we can only go for it with 10 minutes to go if we are 1 down”. Simply jaw dropping. From 50 minutes every game we are screaming at the screen the make changes. He just can’t do it. Against a terrible Spurs team last weekend, we went 1-0 down, spurs made changes, we stayed the same, even though it was clear that it was completely ineffective. Even when Antonio should have been sent off, still no changes. So hard to watch.

Since October, my WH group has been hoping that the next loss will be the one where Moyes gets sacked. Trust me, it’s a horrible feeling to hope your team gets spanked so that you can get rid of your manager. 4 months and 1 win later, he’s still there!! It’s close to hopeless. For some reason it seems that we are stuck with him. And then YOU printed an article today saying that we should stick by him. For shame…..

I have been through at least 3 relegations previously. If you have supported a club like this, you understand what it means when I say that “you can smell when a team is destined to be relegated”. Outsiders just see a good squad of players. But insiders can see the players’ heads go down instantly when there is a bad moment. That the players don’t believe in what they are doing. That’s West Ham right now.

I still feel that no one takes my claim of possible relegation seriously. Make no mistake, David Moyes has driven our club into the ground and unless he goes immediately (my god, please let Poch see us as a project to take on) we will go down. My group of 20+year WH fans are even hoping that Chelsea lose this weekend so that Potter gets sacked so that we can appoint him.

And all the while Moyes will play his 5 at the back (a flat back 5) and not play any of our array of attacking players. Because after all, the other team could score an own goal. Ffs…. As for relegation, the 30,000 extra “fans” that we gained from the new stadium will disappear so fast you won’t believe they were ever there. And we will be a weird albatross of a team with a huge stadium with zero atmosphere, half full, whose real 35,000 fans just can’t put up with it anymore and are long gone.

Sorry, I am waaaay into drunken rant mode, but no one else seems to be saying it, so here you go.

Ps – how did we sell our best defender (ballon dawson) to our relegation rival, mid season, for no money??

Thanks for all of your work, what a fantastic site.
Mike, KY


It’s been a natural pivot away from your website for me as I find solace in the simpler Scottish league over the hysteria of the English game. It is nevertheless galling to see no mention of the old firm in big weekend. Bye again for now.
Finlay x


Big Weekend Old Firm cup final
I couldn’t help but notice you omitted to mention the fact the Old Firm meet in a cup final on Sunday from your big weekend feature!

I know Scottish football is largely ignored down south but c’mon guys its still one of the biggest games in the world!

C’mon the Gers!
Neil, Glasgow. Ps if its going badly for Rangers I can at least turn over and watch Scotland gub France in Paris at the rugby!