Liverpool bias clear as England keep overlooking defender Arsenal wouldn’t swap for anyone

Editor F365
Erling Haaland and Liverpool defender Joe Gomez

Joe Gomez has come in for a couple of Liverpool games and is suddently back in the England picture, leaping ahead of brilliant Benjamin White.

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Disappointed in Klopp
Dear F365

I’ve been a Liverpool fan since I was five years old, after watching the 1978 European Cup Final with my grandad. I can honestly say that Jurgen Klopp’s shouting in the assistant ref’s face is the worst behaviour I can remember from our side during a match.

Let’s face it, he seriously lost it, and it’s inexcusable. He behaved like a thug. Despite the fact he’s our manager, I won’t argue if they were to give him a ten game ban, as he brought it all on himself. He needs to at least make a personal apology, and reflect on how poor an example he set.

And I wonder if Darwin Nunez has been seen since the match ended? Because if that’s how Klopp reacts to not being given a foul, he must have gone fifty times harder on Nunez following his woeful decision making and finishing toward the end of the game!
Yours, Michael, a disappointed LFC fan.


Ref off
Really sad to hear about the ref and his horrible experience. Anyone who physically assaults a referee at any level needs a lifetime ban in my opinion. 100% outrageous and despicable behaviour and I genuinely hope he is over that horrible experience now.

I also agree that Klopp was way out of line and the man himself has admitted it too, to his credit. He will get a ban and rightly so. There is even an argument for increasing the length of the ban.

I watch my eight year old play football every week, and it is surprisingly easy to get carried away, but up til now, after a year’s watching, I have not witnessed any unpleasant incidents at all. Clearly they do happen and much too often.

However, it’s all too easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Was he really suggesting a ban of a number of months for shouting at the lino?! I mean, it wasn’t cool, but when you look at the longest bans handed out in English football, it seems a bit harsh.

Cantona got 9 months for physically attacking a fan (with some justification I guess), Suarez got 4 months for his biting, Joey Barton got two 12 week bans, one for actual ABH on a team mate and then again for elbowing Carlos Tevez, kneeing Sergio Aguero and trying to head-butt Vincent Kompany in the space of a minute! Steve Walsh and Paul Davies both got 9 matches for breaking an opponent’s jaw deliberately! And the funniest one, Paulo Di Canio pushing the ref over was 9 matches. Pretty sure the ref dived there though.

What I really took exception to was this line however; “I have no doubt that had yesterday’s incident occurred on a local park pitch without cameras and thousands of spectators it would have likely been physical.” No doubt Jurgen would have attacked the linesman if the cameras weren’t there? No doubt! That, my friend, is a pretty outrageous assumption to make I’m afraid, and not based in any reality whatsoever.

Do we really think Jurgen needs a ban of several months? For shouting at a linesman? Surely we need a distinction between shouting aggressively and ACTING aggressively. Actually punching someone in the head rather than calling them an unpleasant name. I think we need a little bit of perspective here whilst agreeing that this is a real problem.


Welcome letter in the mailbox from ‘Name and Address Witheld’ on the behaviour of Jurgen Klopp towards match officials. The fact the letter writer felt it unsafe to share his own name reveals the moral depths football supporters have burrowed down to.

I write as a Klopp fan, not just of his coaching but his apparent awareness of what happens in the world outside football. However, as has been said by countless others over the years, the tolerance of thuggish behaviour by football folk is a joke, a farce, a window into the essentially bullying nature of many players, fans, managers, pundits, commentators.

And sorry to get all woke on your inadequate macho asses but such attitudes & actions are noticeably less common around the womens game. Why are so many of you like that?
Name and Address Witheld


The ref got a fair Klopp
I have to disagree with ‘name withheld’ in the Mailbox yesterday – a former ref, who was calling for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to face a huge ban for ranting at officials in the City game.

I’m also a former ref (who is about to step back into it), and have played at fairly decent levels in my time too. To go through a game where the calls have been so incredibly inconsistent, even infuriating at times, I can absolutely understand why Klopp went a bit mad-hatter near the end of the match. It still deserved the punishment, but I’d probably have done it too.

Klopp yelled and got angry.  He got a 1-match ban.  Fair.  The officials bottled a number of calls, including missing the foul on Salah that tipped Klopp over the edge.  What’s the punishment for them? Officials won’t always get things right. It’s just part of it.  How they deal with their mistakes is, to me, where the problem lies.

Refs are heavily protected from criticism and judgement and, on the pitch, what they say goes. They get professional critique, but during a game they are the law. This 100-percent ‘my way or the highway’ rule is important in some regards, but it also means that many refs aren’t ever having to face up to their faults, or even acknowledge they exist. If a manager/players calls out a terrible decision in a post-match conference, they get punished heavily .. for speaking the truth!!

Premier League officials are paid pretty handsomely to do the job. Their main role is accuracy. In my job, my main role is accuracy .. but of course, people make mistakes.  When I make a mistake I tell my boss and, more importantly, I apologise to those it impacted.

When refs make a mistake, most of the time not much happens at all.  We never hear from them, or get a “sorry”. All we generally get is a former ref who appears on TV and tries to placate fans, but there’s never any real accountability. At least not publicly.

The ref is there to get things right (most of the time) and to keep the players safe.  If they can’t do that, they can expect passionate football managers, players and fans to yell at them.  I’m not saying it’s ok to yell .. but it’s life man.  You get what you give.

Besides, how many top refs do you think are former top players?  Most have no idea what the players and managers are going through.  Maybe there needs to be some prerequisite for Premier League refs?  You have to have played at a high level, to be allowed to control games at a high-level?
Glen, New Zealand


White rose
The Joe Gomez stuff in Mediawatch really made me smile. It is funny after big results how some sections of the media portray things, and this in particular has got me.

It seems that not too many were paying attention just a week before, as Gomez came on at half time and didn’t prove to be a massive upgrade on Trent, as Gabriel Martinelli played excellently and picked up Sky’s Man of the Match award for his performance.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Joe Gomez, but for him to now be seemingly ahead of Ben White in the pecking order after two good games is such an odd one. With James and Walker potentially out, and Trent struggling, the two right back options for England, if we’re basing it purely on form, should be Kieran Trippier and White.

Literally nobody seems to discuss his price tag nowadays and I think there’s an argument he’s been our most consistent defender this season, despite how shiny and new Saliba’s been. He is bloody brilliant and I would not swap him for anyone right now. Not even Varane.

If England don’t want him, fine, he can have a month’s rest. But it really would be Southgate’s loss, as I think he’d be great as both the RB in a four or the RCB in a five.

Would be a shoe-in if he had a liver bird on his chest, I reckon.
Joe, AFC, Eastbourne


Kopa feel
There’s always been a massive bias towards the Spanish clubs in the Balon D’or, but something about this year’s Kopa award really annoyed me.

Now if you asked me to pick Gavi out of a line up, I couldn’t. If you asked me to recall even one performance of his over the past year, I couldn’t even if I tried.

If you asked me that same question regarding Bellingham, Musiala, or Saka I could name probably countless games or examples of their brilliance, which brings me to my point: why are coaches and writers so enamoured with the Spanish league? I know every league has basically ended up like Spain, with big behemoths at the top, hoovering up all the talent and the accolades, but this idea that the best football is played there, and so ergo, all the best players must be there, is a total fallacy.

To be honest, I am heavily biased in this, I think Saka can walk on water and can do no wrong so I reckon I’m just feeling some form of sympathy rage for him. TBH, he’ll probably take this slight like he takes any knock back, he will just redouble his efforts and become even better.
John Matrix AFC


Bamford v Gabriel
At the risk of sounding like a massive homer (whatever) and after watching in extra slow motion many times – I’m going to have to disagree with people claiming Gabriel should have gotten sent off based on anything other than maintaining a non-sensical historical precedent. I know that we’ve typically seen kickouts like that or any variety result in early trips down the tunnel but honestly this always kind of bothered me.

It seems kickouts of any variety are more harshly adjudicated than, say, clearly barging into a player more who had earlier s***housed you into missing a penalty then trying to trick the ref into thinking you did not initiate that contact in the first place (it looks so premeditated in slow motion – which makes it an even worse offense IMO). Is anyone really going to try to reasonably argue that that play can’t potentially result in an injury (shoulder/arm or the like possibly) for Gabriel? It wasn’t the most violent of falls but it’s the intent and what could potentially happen in a freak situation if continually allowed (which it is and seemingly the mailbox has no problem with this?).

Compare this to whatever Gabriel committed on Bamford that honestly wasn’t executed in an overtly dangerous fashion – Bamford obviously tries to intentionally make it look worse. Yes, I’m sure Bamford really had to ice down whatever part of his body was minimally contacted after that horrific violence from Gabriel.

Keep in mind that I am not discounting that both plays are dangerous – I honestly think both deserved yellow cards. I get it – kickouts are directed towards the player’s legs and that is what is used to play the game but I think perspective on what constitutes “violent conduct” should be broadened. Danger is danger and an injury is an injury.
MAW, LA Gooner


With reference to the Gabriel red card/not red card, there does seem to be an alarming lack of logic around when to penalise certain behaviour. I agree with Minty that blatant assault should be punished whether or not play has stopped. I’m particularly exercised on this point because my son (13) experienced a bizarre footballing injustice at the weekend. Through on goal, he gets a shot away but is then horrifically fouled by an onrushing defender. The shot misses but there is no penalty or red card given because, having got the shot away, my son is not deemed to have suffered a disadvantage. Really? The fact that he can’t walk without crutches is not a disadvantage?

The ref was a nice guy and very apologetic so I daresay he’s applying the rule correctly. My only observation would be what a stupid f**king rule.
Matt Pitt


Having read the Mailbox reaction to the Bamford/Gabriel coming together, I felt moved to have another look at the footage. Firstly it was clearly not a penalty. Bamford fouled Gabriel. On review VAR got that right.

Did Gabriel kick out at Bamford? His leg comes up. more or less naturally as he falls, and there does appear to be an unnecessary straigtening of his lower leg, which could be considered a kick out. Or might be considered to be nothing.

Bamford collapses as if shot (as is his habit), but then bounds angrily to his feet. If there is contact it is minimal. Contact, of course, is irrelevant if the action itself was violent.

To summarise, the action is either violent, or not. If it is, then of course it’s a red card. If it’s not, then what was the booking for? i don’t believe attempted violence is an actual offense.

I’m a neutral. A red card looks incredibly harsh. I’d have booked Bamford for simulation. But then, I don’t like him.

Enough rambles.