Why Liverpool beating Manchester United 7-0 was better than winning a trophy…

Editor F365
Liverpool players celebrate their goal

One Mailbox argues why sticking seven past Man Utd was better than winning a cup for Liverpool fans. Also: aimless Spurs; and Arsenal fans gather their evidence of a conspiracy.

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com

 

7-0 > a trophy
There were a couple of digs in consecutive mailboxes on Monday about Liverpool enjoying our ‘cup final’. I get that it’s a bit of emotional damage limitation from United fans. But given United’s recent trophy win, it got me thinking. Which would I prefer? Winning the league cup? Or battering United 7-0?

The answer is pretty easy. It’s the 7-0. We beat United 7-0. That doesn’t happen. I grew up with Fergie United. Winning against them was rare. It felt special. The 4-1 was sensational. But never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined stuffing them 7-0. It would have been utterly inconceivable. 7-0!!! Back then we won the league cup a couple of times. But we never anihilated our biggest rivals.

This was a historic result. Literally. United’s joint worst ever loss. And Liverpool inflicted it on them. It will remain in the record books for potentially the next 50 years or longer. It will be etched into the folklore of this tie forever. No one will ever forget it. Fans who are young today will tell their grandchildren about it when they are old and grey.

Winning the league cup? Yup, that’s good. But it’s not great. No one will remember it with great fondness. Liverpool won the league cup last season, and that was fun. But stuffing United 7-0 was better. And if you say to me: “Oh, isn’t football about winning trophies?”. Maybe as a player, yes. I’m sure a player would rather win the league cup than thrash a rival But as a fan it’s about moments of joy. And this is right up there. I’ll be watching the highlights on youtube (no need for DVDs Paul, keep up) for years. I won’t be watching repeats of the League Cup final.

Enjoy my cup final? Yes I did. Probably more than you enjoyed yours.
Mike, LFC, London (Waiting for backlash from United fans who all think the league cup is better – funny that)

 

Complacency creeping in
Interesting display from United yesterday to say the least, it reminded me of the soul-crunching display from Brazil against Germany in 2014 when they lost 7-1 in Brazil in the WC semi-finals. I say to the least because United have improved a lot this season, have already won a trophy and look likely to get a Top 4 spot too AND could well end up with another cup to their name. Let’s be clear though, United have had a MUCH better season than Liverpool so far. United have come up against a better team overall, and you can see Klopp has truly built some World Class players in the team in players like Salah, Van Dijk, Mane before and now potentially Nunez, but they are one game away against Madrid from going trophyless this season. If they do somehow win that game though, I would probably back them to win it given they would have beaten the most experienced team.

I will give it to Ten Haag to sticking to his guns and playing the way he wants each game no matter who the opposition. Is there a silly nativity to it given its his first season in English football? Maybe so and has been detrimental in some games and gone very south. However I think It also does show he knows he very self-aware he has to learn a lot more in the job and fast in setting his own standards, but the positivity is that he looks like he is on the right track in coaching and knowing the players and realises if he wants to win and challenge for the title going forward, he has to play the team the same way he wants every game so should get backed extremely well in the summer. Tactically looking back, Fernandes on the left was on odd one, and the only criticism I would say from the line up & approach. Should have perhaps started Sancho on the left with Rashford upfront, perhaps not the best game to start Weghorst due to its speed & intensity.

However, 5 key points to run through after yesterday’s game in which has created a few possibilities:

– With confidence picking up hugely now for Liverpool after that win, I can now potentially see Salah scoring a hattrick at the Santiago Bernabeu, while Liverpool win 5-1 in extra time. After this Liverpool will hopefully get to the final then painfully lose.
– Following what was such an unnecessary and heavy defeat (If it was 3-0, 4-1 yep you just put your hands up and say a bad day at the office), but 7-0 is a bit of a statement and humiliating. It’s also given encouragement to a lot of teams United must still play this season, particularly away from home. United still have to play Newcastle, Brighton & Spurs away from home this season, so they better get their shit together for those games especially, otherwise you never know.
– Could cause a loss of confidence in some players who just looked a little of out their depth. I would start Wan Bassaka for most games until the end of the season now over Dalot, conceding too many goals overall. Sabitzer in midfield with Casemiro next game with Antony probably staying in the team as no other right winger.
– Liverpool will most likely grab a Top 4 spot now due to just overall experience and Nunez looks to be firing now too. Still hope Newcastle can instead, but it looks like they need to pick up form and fast.
-Perhaps United should just forfeit this fixture next season, given the 11-0 aggregate scoreline in the past three fixtures (Including yesterdays).

It was a bit of a shock on Sunday and disappointing to see a defeat in that manner after a great couple of weeks of United, but it was perhaps a very harsh reality check that United are still technically still a Europa League level team and Liverpool did teach United a lesson about complacency following recent success. Truth be told, until winning the European competition itself, something United failed to do 2 years ago under Ole in 2021 OR instead grabbing a Top 3 or 4 spot while winning a trophy in the same season (which they are on course to do), Ten Haag and the team cannot claim they are a Champions League level team. If they do get Top 4 and would still back United to do so, it could be a decent summer for United.
Rami, Manchester

 

Fernandes, Fergie and assault
I was at Anfield on Sunday and in 90 minutes Bruno Fernandes did the following:
Held into the ball repeatedly when the ref gave Liverpool free kicks to waste time/slow down the game.
Gestured, pointed and whined at the ref as the teams went off at ht.
Ran after the ref and screamed abuse in his face when he wanted a penalty(it wasn’t).
Ran after the ref and screamed in his face when Rashford missed a chance and demanded a corner(it wasn’t).
Ran after the ref and demanded he book VVD after he kicked the ball into the crowd when Nunez made it 5-0.
Kicked TAA in the thigh and assaulted a linesman.

He didn’t receive 1 yellow card and now, we find out, retrospectively the FA will be doing nothing about him putting his hands on the official.

The Howard Webb effect ladies and gentlemen. All we’re short is ETH speaking in a Scottish accent and having a red nose.
Gussy, Ireland.
Ps. It’s funny to see Utd fans claiming this was like a cup final for Liverpool when it was Utd who repeatedly wasted time and tried to break up the flow of the game whereas Liverpool treated the game like a run of the mill PL game.

Monday Mailboxes: Morning | Afternoon

 

Thankful for the few overreactions
Your title for the mailbox on Monday morning was spot on. Part of the joy of battering a rival is their less than reasonable supporter base losing their collective minds and making rash judgements. For the most part the mail bag was a damp squid of reasonable comments and pragmatic wait and see approaches. So I’m thankful for David in Atlanta.

As a Liverpool supporter, I enthusiastically support David’s assertion that Michael Carrick is far superior to Ten Hag. I agree with David whole heartedly about Ole being brilliant because he finished five whole points in front of a team that was forced to use Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams for a large chunk of that season, while ignoring they still finished 12 points behind City. I firmly believe they should sack Ten Hag and bring in Carrick and Ole to usher in another era of United irrelevance.

I loudly echo the overreactions that call for Ten Hag’s removal because the last think United need is a well-regarded, intelligent, forward thinking manager who does a pretty good job of making players better (Who would’ve thought Fred was a Premier League calibre player?). Ten Hag has some adapting to do coming from a Dutch League where his team was head and shoulders above everybody to a league where there is more parity and sometimes you have to allow a bit of pragmatism to come into your game.

It should be said it was an abysmal showing for United. For all his faults, I never saw Harry Maguire ever give up or move to childish petulance the way Fernandes did. And while this was an ugly loss, it is no where near as bad as the one Liverpool put on United at Old Trafford last year (with St. Carrick on the touchline with Ole) where the only thing that saved United from double digits is Liverpool stopped playing after 5 goals and 50 minutes.

So good on closeted Liverpool Supporter David for his suggestion that United sack progressive talented manager Ten Hag in place of….uh…a guy who has never managed before but looks good in a suit. Viva the overreaction.
Mark, LFC (Liverpool are back…until the 2-2 Draw with Bournemouth next week)

 

Salads and burgers
I used to work as personal trainer before the pandemic, now i’m doing the office life and have even more time to read F365.

Something I’ve recently noticed is the how different sets of fans react to their club being in crisis.

When I was a personal trainer I always used to tell my clients that eating one salad wouldn’t make them lose weight and feel fit and healthy.

Just as eating one double cheeseburger with extra bacon wouldn’t make a fit person gain weight over night.

Comparing this to the Liverpool fanbase, some of them seem to believe that a few losses make Van Dijk et al. terrible at their job.

Just as some Manchester United fans think one trophy means the Micky Mouse Quad is imminent.

So I was kinda surprised (and proud of my fellow Dutchmen in charge) about the levelheaded responses in the mailbox by this shock result.

Keep calm, carry on?
Stijn, Amsterdam

 

Carry on United
In the words of Angela Merkel, Sunday’s match was eine sh*tshow. However I’m more than happy with the relative positions of liverpool and United. Despite the justified lording over we need to endure.
Liam, utd and Ireland.

 

Drawing the line at ‘lucky’
Let’s just accept that the 7-0 was one of those freak games. Remember those juggernauts Aston Villa put 7 past Liverpool, not so long ago.

Saying that, gently flicking through the letters yesterday, some guy (ANON) said this:
“ the overall instinctive reaction has been you’ve consistently been a bit lucky. Last minute goals, individual brilliance etc”
Yes, I would say United have ridden their luck but none more so than any team on a run, Remember your keeper scored a last minute goal a while ago.

But “luck” is an enormous part of football, if Van Nistelrooy hadn’t missed that penalty there wouldn’t have been the invincibles, Aguero’s last minute goal, Gerard’s slip, the stoppage time of the treble. Sorry, I’m not comparing our run to any of those, but I’m just saying “luck” is a preposterous argument (and Klopp’s side have had more than their fair share anyway!)

While I’m here, I’m pretty sure someone said this side hadn’t beaten anyone good this season: Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona…

There’s no way to defend that performance, but to suddenly say the whole seasons had just been some kind of illusion is ridiculous!

I don’t think anyone actually thought this side would win the league or quadruple, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it has been.
M (That asterisk is obviously still hurting a lot of Liverpool fans)

 

Numbers game
Was delighted to see some made-up stats on Rashford and Nunez in the mailbox being immediately smacked-down by the editor.

Then was massively disappointed to see ANON spouting an even more ludicrous Weghorst/Nunez stat and not being corrected… Didn’t even have to check that big Wout hasn’t played 27 games and scored 2 in the league because United themselves have only played 25. He has in fact played seven and scored fuck-all!
Pablo, MUFC, Dublin

 

…I see that you have posted my mail on Monday (thanks for that) and then saw that the Ed had written underneath that my stats were ‘bollocks’ (thanks for that)

I thought I’d write in as my original post should have said that Nunez has contributed more Goals & Assists this season than Rashford and not just Goals (Footy Stats has Nunez at 0.77 G&A per 90 mins and Rashford at a paltry 0.75 per 90 mins for the season)

Please accept my sincere apologies for my lack of a proof read – I will do better next time
Jim

 

An aimless club
It was under AVB when West Ham and Liverpool had both handed us our arse on a plate at WHL that frustration, or even angry quickly dissipated, and in their place; apathy.

Tottenham are edging ever closer to that stage again. It’s not for the want of supporters wishing for, hoping for or even expecting more, it’s almost purely down to the laughable predictability of it all. Sheffield United is a prime example; near enough every mate of mine said the same, too many changes, and a weird team (Lucas playing, Why? Sarr, yet again being thrown a hospital pass of a match). The goal was coming roughly fifteen minutes before it duly arrived but there was no sense of urgency, either from those on the pitch or the coaches to change things.

Wolves wasn’t as bad but falls under yet another example of a team who don’t seem to have a shred of instinct beyond jogging around a bit, under/over hitting simple passes, and eventually succumbing to a sucker punch goal. It was similar to the Villa match on the 1st of Jan (we’ve also lost to Leicester who seem to get pumped by everyone they play).

The wins over West Ham and Chelsea, enjoyable as beating those teams are, should be taken in the context of how absurdly shit those two teams are. The City match was impressive but City are a shadow of the team they really ought to be, plus we always seem to beat them at home.

The coach, who surely is on his way if we lose on Wednesday, doesn’t have a solitary alternative to his system. It’s embarrassing that he earns £16m a year and yet there isn’t one player who has improved under tutelage.

It’s boring. I would take Poch back despite knowing it’ll end in tears, and that’s because I want to identify with the coach; someone who has a deeply ingrained sense of what it is to be part of Tottenham – and yes, that is failure, glorious or otherwise but who cares; bring him back and at least lets have someone who cares.
Dan

Read more: Spurs have forgotten who they are – it’s easy to see why the fans call for Pochettino’s return

 

Retroactive punishment
GaryAVFC asks a question that has needed answering for over a year now. “What has happened to retroactive punishment?”

Well Gary, I’m not a conspiracy theorist but my answer will certainly sound like one. A grand total of TWO players have been punished retroactively for diving/simulation. Oumar Niasse from my Everton and then Manuel Lanzini with West Ham.

After those two, the punishment stopped. Now, the diving/simulation most certainly did not stop but the retroactive enforcement by the league did. Why? Why not continue to enforce the rules retroactively to stamp out the diving/simulation/cheating that is still certainly happening every weekend in the Premier League.

Well I’ll tell you why. Because the Premier League figured out that it just wasn’t the lower table teams that were doing it (and Niasse’s was questionable from the get go.) Once the league figured out that the “big six” teams also had players who were serial divers/simulators (looking at you Harry and Mo amongst others) the decided to put a stop on the punishment. After all, we can’t market our glorious product if the “name” players are serving one match bans for attempting to deceive the officials.

That may not the be the answer that many want to hear but Occam’s Razor fits best here.
TX Bill (too bad we don’t have a striker like Brennan Johnson) EFC

Arsenal gathering their evidence
Football journalists: “every club’s fans think there is an agenda against their team’
The FA: “no charges against Bruno Fernandes after he pushed the referee’s assistant”
Also the FA: “we’re investigating Arsenal for celebrating a goal too hard, less than a month after thier referee against Brentford literally forgot the rules”
Ben, AFC (looks like Paolo Di Canio deserves an apology)

 

Third-best in the west
Not a great result for Chelsea last night in their quest to be the top placed team in West London. I think a draw probably would have suited better. Big ask getting above both of them this season i think.
Gez Errico, Nottingham