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Reds too dominant to go unbeaten
Regarding your recent piece: ‘The title is Liverpool’s. Now for the Treble…’
Liverpool have already won the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup. If they add the league, FA Cup and European Cup, that’d make a quintuple. A treble of sorts is already imminent.
As for the ‘Arsenal Invincibles’, I wouldn’t put too much stock in matching their record. Liverpool, at the current rate, will have the league wrapped up with many games to spare. Affording a rare opportunity to rest their first team, blood youngsters and give minutes to squad players. These games will be deemed largely irrelevant, especially if Liverpool are still in Europe.
Liverpool will be victims of their own success. They are just too damn good to remain invincible. 🙂
No one has dominated the league like Liverpool has so far this season (or any top league in Europe in the entire history of football, for that matter). No one has done so whilst being reigning Champions of Europe. This team is on another level; and off the back of a 97 point season (and aforementioned EC win!). Man City have been reduced to rubble in the wake of this Liverpool juggernaut.
That this side has been built without knee-jerk signings, and with careful planning, wage control and net spend wizardry makes it all the greater.
There is no side to compare. Hearing Paul Ince talk of Incey-era Utd in the same breath was extremely amusing. European whipping boys that they were… they aren’t even in the conversation.
Rein it in Reds
After hearing and reading of a growing number of Liverpool fans and their growing list of achievable goals for this season I felt I must need to put my perspective forward on this.
Liverpool as we all know haven’t won the league for nearly thirty years and the behaviour of some fans now smacks of this. The genuine excitement has unfortunately given way in some quarters to idiocy and unrealistic and arrogant expectations of the team. Not so long ago they were happy to win the league but now it’s turned into, let’s go for invincible, let’s go for the points record, what about a treble?
After the United game many Liverpool fans ‘came out’ and stated that they were going to win the league but now it seems the floodgates gave well and truly opened and some of the stuff that’s been said is just embarrassing now. I can see and fully understand why this is truly annoying to other fans.
A reality check is needed here. Liverpool are in a great position to win the title. Let that and that only be a focus until it’s done. Let’s get that won and anything else from here on in is bonus. Please stop the bulls**t.
Ken (LFC), Ireland.
Big clubs, dumb fans
After Liverpool was crowned World Club Champion past december I was published exclaiming what a time to be alive as it was a foregone conclusion we had won the league as well. To my surprise the next day I was angrily chastised by some LFC fan who allegedly ‘spit his cofee’ in disgust adamantly claiming Livepool’s lead would narrow come january and we were up for a nervy title run… Jesus. I imagine many share or shared this view simply out of a learned behaviour borne of past league dissapointment. Which leads me to the following: How many dumb fans do big clubs have?? LFC among them of course. This is the problem with HUGE fanbases. Passionate as they may be some fans have no clue about football; they can’t tell GREATNESS from a roy hodgson side FFS. They have no nuance. One-dimensional simps. It baffles me that one would resort to a cliché of playing it safe being über-conservative about our titles chances when this club is record-breaking in every category; quite possibly the greatest Liverpool side in history. And that’s saying a lot for a club with such a glittering trophy-laden history. ESPN recently put a chyron that LFC is unbeaten at Anfield for the past 1002 days (no typo). Now, perhaps for being foreigner I can’t grasp entirely what a league title would mean for a local but as a European citizen I have always placed the European Cup head & shoulders above any local title in terms of higher competition & worldwide prestige. Put simply, if you have already won Big Ears, the local title is a level below. And still some LFC fans cower in fear at that thought or even expect some form of collapse for their world to make sense as if this all-conquering side wasn’t the footballing behemoth it is. I don’t even know how many points LFC are ahead in the.. err.. title race. Maybe 16, 17 with 2 games in hand whatever. It’s gotten absurd to talk numbers. But to those fans who witness a side unbeaten in our last 40 matches and still get paralyzed thinking about winning the premier league i suggest you look at yourselves in the mirror and see the enemy in front of you. Perhaps GREATNESS is too much for your small-club mentality. Perhaps supporting Everton would be a more natural fit…
Raúl H. García (♫”we are Liverpool la la la la la”♫) YNWA – 1892
If I hear one more person- especially someone within Man United- compare the club’s current position to that of the early days of Klopp at Liverpool I am going to seriously lose it.
This analogy is complete garbage because from day one of the Klopp tenure Liverpool were clearly heading in a positive direction.
This is what people don’t get about the whole “managers need time” bullshit. Yes, it might take time to win trophies, but it *does not* take time to improve.
There was never one moment in Klopp’s reign where people were calling for him to be sacked, or where people were questioning the direction Liverpool were going in. He just built up and up and up until they reached the top. It took him a while, but it was always positive.
Clearly this is *not the same* as a club performing terribly- even if in both cases neither team wins trophies.
The argument being made is essentially “Klopp won nothing in his first couple of years therefore winning nothing proves you’ll eventually win something”.
By this stupid logic you could literally compare *any* manager to Klopp.
Silva at Everton should have argued “look, I know I haven’t won the league in my first two seasons, but then neither did Klopp. This proves I’m eventually going to win it!”
Ultimately there’s only one way you can judge what’s happening at any club: are things getting better? If they are, great, carry on. If they’re not then there’s something wrong, you need to fix it. Whether or not trophies come purely depends on the base you’re improving from; it would probably take Southampton more years of improvement to win the league than Man City from their current points.
(This incidentally is why Poch mostly did a good job at Spurs despite winning not trophies- his team was generally upwardly mobile, even if they never reached the very top).
Anyway, this is not a call for Ole to be sacked, only a call for people to get real on this 5 year project nonsense.
Trophies might take 5 years, but progress takes 5 minutes.
The reason why Henderson doesn’t get plaudits now is because he got them without playing well. Now he is playing well, people don’t want to praise him because the media have already ruined peoples expectations.
Same with Sterling. He didn’t get enough plaudits for the way he played. Then the racism thing happened and now people have gone over the top (most notably in the media) so people don’t rate him again.
The pattern is simply thus: Media hypes a player, everyone gets sick of hearing their name, realising they’re not that good they never pay any attention to the media about that person again.
I know people that still don’t rate him, even within the Liverpool ranks. Personally, remember the “most improved player” award in u12s football? That’s what I would award to Henderson. He gets better every game, you just have the play him in the right position, in the right formation to get the best out of him.
He is also a really mouthy c*nt on the pitch, that might put people off too, like Raheem’s whining when he doesn’t get a penalty for diving.
Fat Man (it’s all relative)
…While I didn’t author the original “Jordan Henderson is a dog that has farted itself awake” letter, I did once write to the mailbox to opinion that “A club aiming for the title must surely do better in center midfield than the second coming of Scott Parker.” Consequently, I have to reply to Neil Mulvaney’s email about Jordan Henderson.
Firstly, there is no doubt that he has been immense over the last 18 months. However, I take issue with Neil’s comments that imply he has always been great. That is simply not the case. While Liverpool have bought very well over the last couple of years, Klopp and the coaching staff have also turned a group of bang average players (Henderson, Wijnaldum, Robertson) into world class performers. There was a great example of this in the second half of the midweek game. Wolves moved the ball out to the left wing and Minamino started casually jogging over to apply pressure. As he did so, Wijnaldum sprinted past him like a bat out of hell to give the opposition player slightly less time on the ball. The moment really struck home the difference between a player that Klopp has been able to instruct for a few years vs one who hasn’t had that opportunity.
My point is that Henderson was a distinctly average premier league footballer. To prove my point: across the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, he played 92 games for an iteration of Liverpool that finished a forgettable 8th and 7th. He didn’t stink the place out, but let’s not pretend that he was the one sparkling diamond amongst a Charlie Adam pile of feces. Hell, Brendan Rodgers, who is no mug no matter how much many of us dislike him, tried to swap him for Clint Dempsey. Once upon a time, Jordan Henderson was “A dog that has farted itself awake.” Now he is Klopp’s “proud labradoodle who has just won first place at the British Kennel Club National Agility Championships.”
Oliver, London, LFC
Lucky there’s a Family Guy
Once again the Henderson farting dog simile rears it’s smelly arse in the mailbox. Are you ready to acknowledge it was plagiarised from Family Guy yet? Thought not. You charlatans.
Baz Foster, Glasgow.
Caught in the net
At the risk of upsetting legions of Liverpool fans (seems to be their favourite subject) I don’t really understand the comment by johnnywicky that Liverpool have achieved an ‘absolutely remarkable achievement’ by assembling their squad with the 29th highest net spend in Europe.
Surely the only relevant number is the cost/wages that it has taken to accumulate the 25 squad players currently playing – I don’t see how the fact that it was (partly) funded by sales of previously players signed by previous managers makes the current squad more remarkable (obviously not knocking the overall achievement or the recruitment of the current players).
If Norwich sold Kenny Mclean for £2billion and bought the Liverpool squad for £2billion + 100k and then swept all before them would it be remarkable because the net spend was only £100k?
Joff, Barton Gooner
Man Utd’s many problems
The current demise of Man Utd is bringing out all sorts of ‘answers’ and excuses that go under several categories.
The Big Club/The United Way: Well this hasn’t been a constant. Sure, in 50’s and 60’s a club completely controlled by Matt Busby (see Ferguson) won the league 4 times over about 20 years. But it was the notion of great young talent (Babes) and then the fabulous team that included Charlton, Best and Law, the first English team to win the European Cup and playing so stylishly that left its aura on United. They were never seen like that before. Until Ferguson, United won a few cups but no leagues in between. Sure they would sign a great player or two or fancy winger, but no consistent success. Ferguson, like Busby demanded complete control and is the single person to drive sustained success that would make United a truly Big Club.With Gill and envisioning what the PL was to become, they were the first to leverage a large stadium and commercial success to fuel and fund that sustained success.
Fergie left a crap team: A more recent target given they are now scraping the barrel. I do wonder about Fergie jetting off to Business Schools to talk about management and leadership. A bit like the person that created MySpace doing the same thing while Facebook, Instagram et al now dominate that space. What was once a great method can be displaced. Having said that, he is not to blame. Sure the team needed refreshing, something he had constantly done under his tenure. They didn’t have to put Moyes in. Mourinho won the Europa League, League Cup and came 2nd in the PL with the remnants of that team.
Ole is to blame/Harming Ole’s Reputation: Lets take the latter first. Ole managed Cardiff – to relegation and was most recently managing Molde. The reality is that there was no chance Ole was ever going to get the chance to manage a Big Club until United did the Legend thing. He could have refused the job. He knew what he was getting into. If anything, his profile, regardless of how this all turns out has been increased. But he is partially to blame. I like the fact he is honest in what he says. He clearly understands what is wrong. It is just that it appears he doesn’t have the ability to coach the team to improvement. A Klopp or Poch would get more out of the current crop and show a positive direction. He had a whole summer to get his ideas and strategy across and bought and brought in 3 players he clearly wanted. Arteta is changing Arsenal. Sure they are down the table, but you know that after a summer and time to bring in some new talent, with the current trajectory, Arsenal will be ahead of United moving forward. There is no structure in United’s forward play. Leveraging fast counter attacking forwards is the defensive equivalent of George Graham getting his defenders to use a rope to understand how to create two banks of four.
The Glazers and Woodward: Sure the Glazers take out millions of pounds but they are continuing to invest huge sums in the club. United’s lack of success is not due to funds. Sure, these revenues will gradually decline without continued success but will still exceed all but one or two PL teams. City and Liverpool have shown that if a club’s management sit down and work out a real, long term plan success can be achieved. Sure City spend big but even in the early days of spending big we never expected them to dominate. And no one expected anything like this from Liverpool. It doesn’t mean the plan hasn’t been adjusted but the overall goals are unchanged. Because United have always built teams around the Manager as dominant force, they have never really built a strong management infrastructure. This has resulted in constantly changing managers, no structure to buying in players to the point the squad is significantly depleted. They have the money but who should they buy that would fit some kind of long term plan? Oh and in case we are thinking he is just talking about ‘Pool and City, what about that fabulous Wolves team?
IMHO United are in this situation because they misunderstood their reason for success. It was assumed that just because they have been successful in the recent past it would continue into the future. We are a BIG CLUB. We have always been successful. We don’t need to change anything.
Having said all that. Football is fickle. Bring in some structure and a manager who understands how to build a team and a club and this will all be forgotten as a bad nightmare in 5 years time. OR as one pundit said, United still get top billing on match of the day and back pages because they are ‘surprisingly’ losing to ‘smaller’ teams. But that will only last so long before it is no longer a surprise.
Poch would be crap with no recruitment too
You know what I’m sold let’s get the world class magician Pochettino in ,Now right now but let’s also not buy anyone just to show how great he is.
It will be fun to see him make LIngard play the press.Watch him like Shazam , turn everyone to their world class selves better than they are now just like he did with Aurier.Watch in wonderment as Mata becomes younger, Matic becomes faster ,Andreas becomes smarter, Jones becomes an actual player.
Oh and while he’s here let’s not make the same mistake we have made with Ole he loses one game we sack him ……………. We are United we have never lost to anyone let alone small fry, Paolo Wanchope doesn’t exist, Darren Huckerby never happened , Jose never won away at soon to be crowned Man City only to lose the next game to already relegated West Brom.
Who knows he might pull it off after that assh….. Pogba, magically removes his cast at the end of the transfer window, and score 10 goals to secure his place, in Frances Euro squad.
And of course if he does pull it off lets give him no players in the summer as well, after all he made a champions league final without buying anyone.
Man United’s problem is we are deluded into thinking this is the golden era, we are still better than every one and we should be challenging, ,The truth is our team, has been hopelessly losing the recruitment battle for years and with this squad not being in a relegation battle is a miracle ,Who is at fault is irrelevant.A solution to all our problems, will not happen in one season.Whoever is in charge a title charge was impossible this year,
We are acting like a guy who wants abs and a big penis but don’t want to go to the gym , sure steroids may help but you have to deal with the side effects.
No matter what if we don’t recruit properly , 5th in the premiership will one day be an achievement,
Give us a break, Jose
I guess it was inevitable. As soon as there is a mid-winter break, someone had to complain. And inevitably it was Mourinho.
I have noticed that Mourinho has used the phrase ‘it is what it is’ on more than one occasion recently. Perhaps the only way he can copy Klopp.
Snog, marry, avoid
Go on then Dr Oyvind, I’ll bite. Palace edition:
Snog: Wilfried Zaha – That amount of flair has to manifest itself in other ways.
Marry: Joel Ward – Reliable, loyal and versatile. Rick Astley levels of NeverLetYouDownability. Wan-Bissaka showed he is also happy to play second fiddle to others should the marriage go stale, if you’re that way inclined of course.
Avoid: Wayne Hennessey – Anyone that ignorant of modern history is not the one…