Liverpool lost to Arsenal because… Man Utd, and more mails

Date published: Thursday 16th July 2020 3:04

Keep your wonderful mails coming to theeditor@football365.com

 

The real reason Liverpool lost to Arsenal
Really?! Am I the only person who can see what is really going on?
Why did Liverpool lose to Arsenal?
Well, they knew that if they were still capable of reaching that record points total, they would have to beat Chelsea next week and that would potentially hand Man U a CL spot for next season. So, rather lose already and leave the Chelsea game pointless….
Andreas, in Copenhagen for a while

 

Post title jitters
After the 4-0 against City I wrote into the mailbox, calling for perspective and saying that these things happen. Following the loss to Arsenal, I’m going to say the same thing. Following the City games I noted that it was not uncommon for Champions to suffer the occasional thrashing. Today, I thought I’d look at how common and end of season decline was.

I took a look at some of the earliest title wins in the Premier League, then saw how the last 5 games played out. Some of these teams only won with 4 games to go, but as they were so far ahead I think it’s still a fair comparison.

Man United 00/01
The worst of the lot. Drew at home with a City side that were relegated, beat Middlesborugh, then finished with 3 straight defeats, to Derby, Southampton and Spurs. 4 points from 15.

Man United 12/13
Beat Villa and Swansea, lost to Chelsea and drew with Arsenal and West Brom, which was a bokers end-of-season 5-5. 8 points from 15.

Arsenal 03/04Managed to keep their invincibles record, but not in title winning form. Draws against Tottenham, Portsmouth and Birmingham, then single goal wins against Fulham and Leicester. 9 points picked up from 15.

Man City 17/18
A minor blemish with a 0-0 at home to Huddersfield, but apart from that they barely dropped off at all, thrashing Swansea and West Ham and beating Brighting and Southampton. 13 points from 15.

Man United 99/00
Finished with 5 straight wins. Fair play. 15 points from 15.

Looking at seasons when the title wasn’t won so early, the picture is similar. Arsenal in 97/98 and Chelsea in 05/06 both lost their final 2 games, including a 4-0 loss for Arsenal against Liverpool. United in 06/07 picked up a point from their final 2 matches. Leicester picked up only 5 points from the 9 available.

On the other hand, United and Chelsea have both had more than one season where their form didn’t drop at all, and they continued winning to the end.

So it’s quite clear a drop off in form is extremely common, but it’s definitely not inevitable. And if there was a note of caution for Liverpool fans it’s this. If we look at the worst offenders: United in 00/01 & 12/13, Chelsea in 06/07 & Arsenal in 97/98 & 03/04, what do they have in common? None of those teams won the league the following season. What happened to United after 99/00 and City after 17/18? They did.

Whether that’s coincidence, or a pattern that should worry Liverpool I’ll leave it up to you to decide. What I would say though is, that whatever the implications for next season, the idea that the gloss is taken off this season is laughable. In 5 years time, I’ll be remembering beating City, Salah’s goal against United, thrashing Everton, the last gasp goal against Villa amongst many other great moments. Not the games played after the title was won. And if anyone disagrees then I’d love to hear from a single United fan who has sour memories of their 3rd successive title in 00/01 just because they finished the season in relegation form.
Mike, LFC, London

 

What five records Liverpool will be remembered for
Since AY seems to have forgotten how good this team really have been, and what they’ll be remembered for, can you let him know that this Liverpool team will be remembered by:

Being the team that clinched the Premier League title with seven games to spare, the earliest victory in terms of games remaining.

They also hold the record for the latest title win, becoming the first team to seal the title in June.
They have won 23 consecutive Premier League home games, beating Man City’s record of 20, achieved between 2011 and 2012.
Their victory over West Ham in February was their 18th consecutive league win, equaling Man City’s record.
They took 61 points from the first 21 league games in 2019-20, the biggest tally a team has ever accumulated at that stage.

….and all this while being European and World Champions.
Vinnie Brownlow, LFC, Glasgow

 

This AY guy is smoking the whack stuff. Off the top of my head:

Liverpool won this title 7 (!) games from the end of the season 2 games sooner than the last record holders including but not limited to the City Centurions. That’s a remarkable margin. This may never be beaten.

They will win the league over a behemoth of a City team potentially with a record points total (19 as it stands), albeit the chances of that have been chipped away in recent weeks, but who can operate at 100% intensity every day for no gain? This is truly the time to cut them some slack – I know I would be putting my feet up.

They are currently reigning world, European and English champs. Sounds fucking delightful to me.

Here’s some other tidy trinkets courtesy of Hindustan Times:

Equalled city’s wins on the trot (18);

Smashed City’s consecutive home wins record of 20 with 23;

Record points total after 21 games throughout Europe which they extended for 6 more games;

The teams at the bottom have taken a load of points off everyone bar Liverpool. Such supremacy is UNPRECEDENTED in the premier league era. They even came ‘second best’ ever last year. I wish my team could have won a ‘normal’ title like this.

Of all the supposedly ‘ordinary’ titles, contrary to what you suggest, this one is one of the most extraordinary.

Dunce sees what he wants to see. Please think before you speak.
Andrei (baited over Liverpool; fuck my life) MUFC

 

Let’s not overreact to a few sloppy errors after ending a 30-year wait for the title. The overall performance against Arsenal was of complete domination, but those fine margins at either end of the pitch are due to players not being 100% focussed and motivated, which is perfectly understandable. As was mentioned in 16 conclusions, Liverpool had more shots in the 49th minute alone than Arsenal had all game! Crazy.

AY – One record that this Liverpool side will be remembered for is winning the title with seven games remaining. That will be very tough to beat. Does it sound as impressive as the Invincibles or the Centurions? No, but it is a record, and one that will surely endure. (The United treble winners were of course hugely impressive too, but their biggest feats were outside of the league, which was won with a scarcely believable 79 points!)

A Concerned Fan – No need to be so concerned. In 1982/83 season, Liverpool drew two and lost the other five of their final seven games when winning the title. The following season they won the treble of league, European Cup & league cup. If the likes of Souness and Dalglish indulged in the beach life, then I can forgive the current crop! Also, Ferguson’s first two title winning sides each only won one of their final five games of the season. Doesn’t sound like we need to be overly concerned at this stage.

Rich, AFC – Agree that Martinez was largely excellent, although I would have liked us to test him a little more. As an aside, how about that last-ditch defending from Arsenal, and holding onto a lead with a backs-to-the-wall approach? Very George Graham!

Rob, Manchester – We all know that Pep’s Centurions were a magnificent side and Pep did very well in keeping them motivated to reach the 100 points. I’m not saying Liverpool would have beaten the points tally if crowds were present, but I do think that we would have played better. I don’t really see VvD for example, being quite that sloppy with fans in the ground. Also, the three-month break has clearly affected the team’s rhythm too.
Vinny (LFC) Colchester

 

Just reading the few snarky mails and 16 conclusions about Liverpools performance last night, failure to get to 100 points etc. and general comparisons to Man City’s centurions. True, it was a poor poor display. And probably symptomatic of a squad that has a less net spend over the last five years  than…checks notes…Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal, Brighton(!), Bournemouth (!!), West Ham, Wolves, Leicester, Watford (!!!), Newcastle, Aston Villa, and Tottenham (source: Transferleague.co.uk). Whilst at the same time obliterating these same clubs by a minimum of 20 odd points this year in the league.

Klopp has worked an absolute miracle and is clearly by some way IMHO the best manager in club football right now. A Champions League last year, a Premier League this. Guardiola is an excellent coach too but has a net spend of over £100 million per season compared to Klopps £18 million.

So please-a little perspective when comparing Liverpool with Man City who are a great teanm too and  I’m glad City got of the FFP thing in a way so we can all move on. (I do think though Guardiola is guilding the lily somewhat by asking for an apology).
Derek, LFC, dublin.

 

It is all well and good with some commenters suggesting that Liverpool are recuperating for next season, or taking a breather or not at 100%, but as has been noted by previous champions, it is difficult to switch on and off like that. In particular, the switching back on part is not as easy as that! Not just in football but in all sports, there is countless examples. Retaining titles is seemingly a different type of mental test to winning it first time around.

The team aren’t really getting a breather before next season when the first 11 is basically still being played in most games since the title was won – they still have to run about in games and break sweat when playing the pressing game, so it may be a mental break but it certainly isn’t a physical one!

In any case, Liverpool are heavy favourites for next season and will remain that way no matter what transfers happen, but there is a few doubts creeping in since before the lockdown that this team may just be creaking ever so slightly, and it will be interesting to see if they can hit the ground running in the same manner as the season current/past. As always, roll on next season!
Gary B (Leicester-Utd on final day has all the hallmarks of a classic)

 

I’m honestly a bit surprised by the fuss over Liverpool’s recent form. Will’s tennis analogy this morning was spot on – the drop-off should probably have been expected, especially with the empty stadium factor. And Liverpool still have a chance to potentially finish almost 20 points ahead of City, which is one hell of an achievement whichever way you slice it.

I also feel like we all need a bit of perspective about any given team’s form since the restart. No doubt a lot hinges on these games (relegation, Top 4 etc), but all said and done, we’re in the middle of the most uncertain times we’ve faced in several generations. Covid-19 is showing no signs of going away any time soon, and the fact that we even have live football to watch right now, is an enormous deal.

The emotional and psychological toll of living through a pandemic is significant (I’m feeling it myself, as I’m sure a lot of you are), and it simply has to be a factor in our critique. Moreover, for footballers, who actively feed off the energy and atmosphere inside a stadium, it surely can’t be easy being “up for it” every single time, especially when you’re playing in front of empty stands, soundtracked by the sporting equivalent of canned laughter. That’s not to diss the crowd sounds, by the way. They actually sound pretty good over telecasts, but it’s absolutely not the same as a live audience.

Tried hard not to sound overly preachy with that, so apologies if I still end up sounding like an enormous twat. Hope everyone’s keeping safe and well!
DJ, MUFC India

 

Title or not, you still hate to watch your team lose. But, the only real thought I’m having here though is just for the team to let it all out.

Van Dijk, make a mistake – treat yourself to an easy afternoon, It’s been 2 1/2 years without one.

Alisson, get it out your system, lad. Try a few more Cruyff turns if you like!

Mane, have a bit of fun, everyone knows you’re the best.

Robbo, ok perhaps you should sober up at some point, but still.

No doubt the focus will be back for next season.

97 points last season, 93 this season so far. No complaints here.

Let’s not forget, this is an incredible City team. You can argue, rightly, that they have had a bad league season by their standards. But they still stand to win 3 trophies! And if they take the Champions League – that would be at least 2 league titles, 2 FA cups, 3 league cups and a European cup in 3 seasons.

Beating that team to the title with 7 games to play? Yeah. Exactly.
Marc

 

Liverpool win the title with 8 games to go,For the first time in 30 years,
In a league that will somehow finnish despite a worldwide epidemic,
A season after winning the champions league!

Yet for some, and many parts of the media, this is not enough?
No sooner than won, pundits start planning every record they could break.
Once it is won, not achieving stats people rarely think about, is a missed opportunity.

LFC, Klopp and the players have done an amazing job.
Liverpool’s fans and most club fans do not care how titles are achieved, only that they happened.(It was only Arsenal who sweated when Liverpool where unbeaten)

Losing games after, may take a minute short term shine off things.
But honestly the only match I really don’t want us to lose is the game in which Liverpool are handed the trophy.

It won’t be the same without the crowd, emotionally.
In truth nor was winning it so far in advance, despite the 30 year wait, especially when confirmed without fans, or a big result to clinch it. But that was largely the epidemic.

Everything else, just does not matter.
Trophies matter, people , crowds matter.

I’m pretty sure this will be Klopp’s aim next season, he’s delivered, everything.
He’s loved for it and loves the fans back,

I’m sure, it’s all the imputatus he and the team needs, to try and repeat this next season, in front of the fans. For the moment both the players and fans pictured.

But they have won the league, the wait is over, well bloody done all.
Andrew LFC

 

Look, I am an Arsenal supporter and have had years of Liverpool snatching undeserved results against us so last night was just hilarious. As a child of the ’80s Liverpool and their fans have always wound me up. However, the rush to denigrate their achievement by other fans is just sad and embarrassing, the celebration police out in force and the desperate attempt to minimize success just bitterness.

Liverpool are European Champions (as well as runners up a year previously), won this title in record time and last season scored a ridiculous amount of points to finish second. More than that they have achieved this with shrewd investment, an excellent manager and a unified board that wished to see the club succeed in the right way. They have not fluked it and are currently a club that offers encouragement to me in showing that with intelligence, ambition and togetherness greatness can be achieved without becoming a toy of a regime or a person with “questionable” backgrounds.

This whole tribalism in comparing achievement is just sour grapes from other supporters. Every champion has a reason to be celebrated and admired and this Liverpool team is up there with the very best. Well done to them.
John (Just did a sick in my mouth) Foster, Brighton. 


READ MORE: Using Liverpool to see how Arsenal title winners will look…


 

Great young Arsenal core
God it was jammy, beating Liverpool yesterday, but really enjoyed that kind of win, which I can’t really remember happening since we used to give Barcelona/Bayern Munich oddly competitive knock-out games (usually followed by complete hosings in the return legs).

But looking at that team, there’s a great young core already there. I don’t think transfers are as important (I’d like us to pick up Malang Sarr and Ryan Fraser on frees) as having a healthy off-season with Arteta.

Getting Saliba in, and with Smith-Rowe looking good at Huddersfield, if money really is that tight I’d rather we go big for youth next season.

GK: Leno/Martinez
RWB: Bellerin
CB: Holding
CB: Chambers
CB: Saliba
LWB: Tierney
CM: Xhaka/Torreira
CM: Willock/Smith-Rowe/New Signing
LW: Saka
RW: Pepe
CF: Lacazette

That, with maybe a more dynamic box to box midfielder would be great. I’m actually on the ‘get money for Aubameyang’ bandwagon now, if possible, as I think Lacazette could do the CF job well (and I would argue contributes more to build-up), and that money could be used for a more dynamic midfielder.
Tom (shooting for two mailbox entries, don’t stop me now) Walthamstow

 

 

Martin Tyler’s ‘car crash British awkwardness’
I was very surprised to see that no one brought up the best talking point from last night’s game. Was it two of the world’s best defensive players making mistakes? No. Liverpool doing an Arsenal? No. Arsenals defence having a competent game? Again, no. The best part of last night’s game was clearly Martin Tyler recycling his terrible joke about Ceballos being a hair dresser. He made this joke in the game against Tottenham and it was really bad then. He then reused it today, didn’t get the response he wanted so tried to explain why it was funny until Alan Smith snapped with something along the lines of ‘Yes Martin, we get it’. Said with all of the impatience of a man subjected to these sort of jokes way too often. The cringiest part of all of this was Tyler then making jokes about his jokes not being funny, before one final attempt to make the original joke. It was British humour at it’s purest, full car crash awkwardness. And it was glorious.
Dave, Windsor (Time to bring Clive to Sky) Arsenal 

 

Clive riposte
Much as I usually like Johnny Nic’s take on football issues, even if I don’t always agree, I’m scratching my head at his notion that ITV somehow owe us an explanation of telling Clive Tyldesley that he’s not their main man any more.

I don’t care, and I’m not after an explanation.  If anything I find Tyldesley quite irritating, as I do quite a lot of commentators (I never bought into the cult of Motty – Fantasy Football’s irony gone wrong, and “AND ITS LIVE!!!” may be the most annoying catchphrase on TV).  Barry Davies is the only one that is memorable for a good reason.

A couple of points from Johnny’s article.  First, yes, 30,000,000 did tune in to the England vs Croatia game on ITV, but how many outside of the Tyldesley family only tuned in because Clive was commentating?  Would only 15,000,000 have tuned in if Sam Matterface was commentating?  Do any of the 30,000,000 meet up to fondly remember Clive’s commentary?

Next, while Johnny cannot separate Clive from Man Utd winning the Champions League in 1999, let’s not forget the years of derision at Clive forever shoehorning in references to “that night”.  The Swiss Ramble had a nice summary of how Clive is viewed by quite a lot of us, and it’s not the love that Johnny ascribes to us.

Clive’s last pronouncement before this was to throw his co-commentators under the bus in the face of a report about racist stereotyping in football commentary.  With the slightly odd argument that only the co-commentators use adjectives.  Perhaps he was thinking back to his glory days alongside Big Ron.

I don’t wish the man ill, after all I don’t know him, but I won’t miss his commentary and I would suggest that in a couple of years time very few will be reminiscing about how much better things were in the Tyldesley glory days. YMMV
Monkey Steve

 

I raise you Pauls and Steves
I’ll see your team of Daves – which would have benefited from Azpilicueta at RB over David Bardsley – and raise you a team of Pauls (with a little artistic license around the non-English derivations). In a slightly topheavy 3-4-3.

GK Paul Robinson
Back 3, Paolo Maldini, Paul McGrath and Pablo Zabaleta
Midfield 4 (with the Ginger Prince providing the width, naturally), Pauls Pogba, Scholes and Gascoigne, supported by the Brazilian Paulinho
Front 3 Paulo Dybala, Paolo Rossi and Pablo Aimar playing just behind them

Some great options from the bench, too, with Paulo Ferreira, Paul Parker, Paul Ince, Paolo Sousa, Paul McStay, Paul Walsh, Paul Merson, Paul Lambert (player manager) and, because I couldn’t think of another keeper, Pope John Paul II.

I’ve just realised a team of Chrises (Kirkland through to Ronaldo) could also have been interesting, but I really probably should do some work today.
Chris Bridgeman, Kingston upon Thames

 

A team of Steve’s to beat your team of Dave’s (maybe, but also probably not).

GK: Steve Mandanda
RB: Steve Finnan
CB: Steve Bruce
CB: Steven Taylor
LB: Stephen Warnock
CM: Steve Gerrard
CM: Steven N’Zonzi
LW: Steven Pienaar
RW: Steven Reid
AMC: Steve McManaman
FW: Steve Fletcher

Ok, maybe not as talented as the David’s but a few touches of flair here and there, and hard as nails too. Throw in a touch of the mercurial (Stephen Hunt and Stephen Ireland on the bench) and away we go.
Tom (should have gone with John), Walthamstow

 

Broadcast bulls**t
Good letter in the morning mailbox from G Thomas, Breda. He highlights one of my pet hates in relation to modern football coverage at the minute – they miss so much of the live action! With the ball only in play between 60 – 65 minutes of a 90-minute game there is ample opportunity to show replays of shots, saves etc when the ball goes out. But please don’t go to a replay when the ball is still in play, sometimes in a goalkeeper’s hands, or when a goal kick is about to be taken. Happens so often and all the broadcasters are guilty of it, most of all BT Sport. Gone are the days when BT Sport actually bothered to put a small box with the live action on the screen when showing replays – which still wasn’t great but better than now. I for one demand to see how Spurs have once again managed to lose the ball from a Hugo Lloris goal kick rather than discovering once they go back to the live action that we’re again retreating into the low block. Infuriating from the broadcasters.
Simon, Guernsey

 

Sanchez sentimentality
Quite apart from Sarah’s article about how Sanchez’ pay is the board’s problem, not his (agree entirely) I actually think that instead of presenting a problem, Sanchez presents a solution; it seems that Man Utd are unwilling or unable to give Dortmund what they want for Sancho if we are to believe what the media are saying about it. Meanwhile Sanchez has rediscovered his form while in Italy.

I don’t think it would necessarily be a bad thing to delay signing Sancho for another year if we indeed can’t afford him, because in Sanchez we already have a very good player to add to our front 3 options, who will certainly offer things that Martial, Rashford and Greenwood don’t, and would be another creative outlet for teams to try to shut down on top of Pogba and Fernandes.

Perhaps I’m being a bit sentimental, but I want to see Alexis show his worth at Man Utd, even if it’s just one season. He didn’t become a bad player, he was clearly unhappy at Arsenal and I think we can all agree that Mourinho’s dressing room when he signed was not a good place to go and become happy again. I think if happy Alexis is welcomed back to a happy dressing room at Utd, he’ll show us what he can do.
Daniel (also glad to see Young and Lukaku doing well at Inter) Cambridge

 

 

Winston Bogarde should ALWAYS have the final word
Sarah Winterburn makes the point that Alexis Sanchez is perfectly entitled to refuse a pay cut. But it’s not comparable in the slightest to any normal person, who might work until their mid 60s, volunteering to take reduced wages because they’re bad at their job.

Sanchez’s refusal is noteworthy because by insisting on seeing out his contract, he’s effectively announcing his retirement. He’s coming up to 32 years old, he’s never going to get in the current Man Utd team, and his playing style means he was never likely to have great longevity. No matter how many chances he creates against Torino, he’s not worth that much money to Inter.

He is pricing himself out of a move so he can collect his huge Man Utd salary, as he’s entitled to do. But I’m sure I remember a few years back F365 mocking “former footballer” Wayne Bridge for doing exactly the same thing. This being a football site, I’m surprised you’re defending Sanchez for opting to sail off into the sunset with a vast pile of cash rather than light up Serie A for one last season.

The final word belongs to Winston Bogarde, whose four years on the payroll must be fondly remembered by Chelsea fans: “This world is about money, so when you are offered those millions you take them. Few people will ever earn so many. I am one of the few fortunates who do. I may be one of the worst buys in the history of the Premiership but I don’t care.”
Martin, BRFC

 

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