The fallout from Liverpool’s Champions League defeat continues in the Mailbox. For all their plaudits, they’ve won the same pots as Chelsea.
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Klopp’s Liverpool has matched Chelsea
An extremely commendable season from the reds. Breathtaking football at times, making some of the great sides tremble along the way, all the while getting to each final day of each competition they played in. Bravo!
Sadly but rightly, football is all about winning those final days. Liverpool got the the 12th round, weren’t able to get knockout blows vs Chelsea but they just about won in both bouts.
Coming up against Europe’s biggest heavy weight, they came out swinging hard, even landed one or two nice shots, but in the end, a la Mayweather, Real were patient and precise, scoring the title winning blow when it mattered before patiently taking it home.
Champions are defined by who and how they won. This session really highlighted how remarkable it was for Fergusons very own ‘mentality monsters’ to do it in ‘99.
And as remarkable as this Liverpool team is, since Klopp’s arrival, they have literally won one league cup more, and one Europa league less, than a wish washy Chelsea side in the same time period . A Chelsea side who ironically made more money out of finals Liverpool were in this season, than Liverpool(Hazard bonus payment 15-20m)
People criticize Pep now for not winning the Champions league, forgetting all the wonders achieved in Barca( at United’s expense). Klopp would be wise to remember his legacy will also somewhat hinge on what he wins, and not what he loses(which I must add, he is one of the worst at)(Can’t beat Ronaldo with that stick and not take it when it’s true)
Calvino (That was a great season if you forget The whole ‘United being sh*t part’)
…I have been reading F365 for the past 9 years and has just had the urge to contribute now.
Just wanted to point out a few things about the media touting this current Liverpool team has the best ever. They’re simply not.
In hindsight, looking back at their season, they’ve failed to score in three separate finals. They couldn’t score a single goal in 330 minutes of football. (120 + 120 + 90). Won two of that on penalties which ultimately were their only trophies this season. They’ve also failed to win any of the top teams in the league this season both home and away. Surely the media has to see that and stop hailing them as the best team ever? And their fans need to put things into perspective and see their season for what it really is?
Moving on. Solving the mystery of the Klopp’s era itself. in the trophies available to each team, they’ve won exact number of trophies as Chelsea since his arrival. Exactly six each. Stay with me I’ll explain.
Since Klopp’s arrival:
Premier League : Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1
UCL : Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1
Europe Super Cup : Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1
Club World Cup : Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1
Europa League : Liverpool 0 Chelsea 1
FA cup : Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1
League cup : Liverpool 1 Chelsea 0
One of these trophies was won against Moussa Sissoko in a fishy handball call. Two of them were won on penalties against a Chelsea side with no owner, not forgetting the fishing VAR calls in the Carling Cup final. Yet only won team has been the very best and the other is just, meh?
I think it’s time for the English media and Liverpool fans to stop the hype and see what will be said about this Liverpool era when all is said and done.
Finally, I want to express how happy I am for Hazard, the number of trophies in his cabinet does not match his ability and he’s been carrying sub par teams on his back since his days at Lille. Glad he’s able to lazy around and get rewarded for it 🙂
Finally, finally, this doesn’t mean Liverpool aren’t a superb team please. I fully respect them and they play amazing football. I just think the hype is too much.
Victor, Toronto, Canada. (Courtois, the snake, was the difference yesterday. Feel sorry for Virgil, man was broken)
Liverpool through the looking glass
Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure how I feel on the whole. This has definitely been a season which you could look at in couple of ways and both would have a great deal of merit.
The first perspective is that this was an incredible season. We won the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup. We fought for the Quadruple longer than any team in history. We were 10 minutes away from winning the League against a generational Manchester City side. And we were one all-time world class goalkeeping performance from winning the Champions League and beating the most successful team in the competition’s history. Any team that wasn’t City or Madrid would have killed for this season. All of these things are true and basically indisputable.
The second perspective is that this was, unfortunately, an anti-climatic, ultimately disappointing season. To fight for the Quadruple for so long and only get two pots isn’t at all bad of course, but they were very much the lesser trophies. And the reality is that we played 3 finals, plenty of extra time and scored precisely zero goals. That has to be underachieving really, you’d struggle to say otherwise. Once you get there you owe yourselves better than that, but there seems to be an argument that Liverpool aren’t actually terribly good in finals.
‘ Madrid don’t play finals – they win them ‘ has been said a lot, particularly today and there certainly isn’t much to argue with. They *believe* they’re going to win and as a result very often do. Liverpool….play finals. There’s a decent argument that we were the better team in all 3 games but that’s useless if you don’t put the ball in the net. Go back over our history and you’ll see plenty of underachieving in finals – the majority of them since 1990 in fact.
Again it’s a perspective situation. Are we mentality monsters for winning a lot of these despite playing poorly? Or do we suffer from nerves or have an inferiority complex which causes us to repeatedly not turn up?
Lots of questions, rather less answers. And while there is definitely an issue there – if I’ve seen it, Jurgen sure as hell has. And he’ll fix it, it’s what he does.
There is a sense though, that this was *the* chance. City are exceptional and the acquisition of Haaland will only make them more so. It may be hard to get as close to them again and the loss of Mane will scarcely help. Pep very visibly still has a great deal of motivation and he can’t keep avoiding winning the Champions League with this bunch forever.
All that being said, I think I’ll look back on this season pretty fondly in the future. No team has come as close to the Quadruple as us and while we didn’t win the trophies we really wanted, we still won a hell of a lot more than most.
And if every season you didn’t win three or more trophies was a failure, then there have been precious few success stories in the last 150 years.
Frustrated but proud
I’m sure you’ll be inundated with mails about the Champions League final, but a few thoughts from someone who didn’t actually get to see the match!
The argument will remain, whether a fantastic team is “great” if they fall at the final hurdles, as this Liverpool team has done. While I think this team needs to win the league or CL again to be considered great, as a Liverpool fan it’s also somewhat unimportant; I’m lucky to have watched a brilliant era of football from this club, and I’m thrilled about that, even if I can admit to myself that to be truly great one needs to measure up when the trophies are counted, and that being second by a miniscule amount might be a moral victory of sorts, it doesn’t make the trophy cabinet any bigger.
I love Klopp, and he’s been brilliant for Liverpool. But does he have a similar fatal flaw similar to Guardiola? Both systems managers, Guardiola spooked for years in to overthinking his team selection in the CL, to sometimes unlucky and often hilarious results. Klopp is more stubborn when it comes to one off games, and doesn’t seem to adjust his tactics as much as he could. Given the often razor-thin margins in finals, would a bit more pragmatism not go amiss? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the recent finals against Chelsea, a team which hasn’t been as consistently good as Liverpool, were so close, and that Chelsea in both finals had at least as many clear scoring opportunities as Liverpool, if not more, and had a clear plan on how to beat Liverpool, in the same way that Madrid clearly had a plan to beat Liverpool.
Speaking of which, I love Trent, a wonderful player and person. But surely his interview in the Guardian a couple days ago was tempting the fates?! And Salah, adore him, but for god’s sake keep it zipped! Perhaps Liverpool and Salah could have been a bit more focused and self-aware, and kept the tweets and interviews until after the final. It’s telling that the Madrid goal(s) came via the most predictable of routes, and that Salah’s finishing was as it’s been since he came back, which is to say, rather poor.
My point though is not to be negative, rather, as frustrating as the end of this season has been, this is a wonderful and brilliant team, which should be immensely proud for a monumental season which was almost the greatest season ever, only to fall achingly short at the end. Brilliant team, brilliant manager, brilliant support.
Liverpool and England
After another night where all the bluster emanating from Merseyside was blown away, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the final on Saturday and the Euro 2020 final last year.
Both the Liverpool and England sides that lost are very good at consistently beating teams they are expected to; England clear up qualification campaigns better than anyone else and Liverpool have been brilliantly consistent throughout their league campaign this year. But neither of them are good enough to compete against the best.
They both had relatively straightforward runs to their respective finals and both sets of fans were quick to crown themselves as the best teams in Europe after beating some middling teams or sides who were past their best in Atletico and Germany. Despite their opponents in their corresponding finals having come through much tougher runs their fans were still convinced their side was the best in the Europe because This Means More/Football’s Coming Home.
In the CL finals fallout mailbox, a team who had already knocked out the 2 pre-season favourites & previous seasons holders were labelled ‘average’ and were supposedly ‘comfortably dominated’ as Liverpool fans avoided confronting the reality that they just haven’t been good enough. England fans similarly blamed everything apart from their own shortcomings when turning Chiellini into a hate figure and the less said about the reaction to the missing penalty takers the better.
Perhaps it’s telling the 2 major trophies Liverpool have picked up over the past 6 seasons have both come either when capitalising on City’s transition from their first centurions’ team to their current guise and their CL win came in one of those occasional freak seasons where all the big clubs were poor, when Spurs a run to the final too. They were both won on the back of consistently beating sides who just weren’t very good.
Postcard from Paris
I wanted to write in about my experiences at the Stade de France last night. As a Liverpool fan, the result was obviously a disappointment. Unfortunately it was one of those games where a team loses despite generating more goal scoring opportunities. It happens and it’s why football is an interesting sport.
Football is entertainment. As much as we like to get worked up about it, it’s theatre. It’s not really important. If Liverpool win or lose, nobody dies. Nobody loses their job. Nobody’s short and invaluable time on this terrestrial plain is altered in any meaningful way.
What transpired before last nights game was the exact opposite. Never before have I felt so unsafe at an entertainment event. A few times I considered telling my family that we should leave.
My 60 year old father was pepper sprayed by the police.
If there is a benefit of hillsborough and heysel, it’s that the authorities learnt what is required of them to make these events safe and enjoyable for fans.
Last night was not just a disgrace, but incredibly dangerous. We are extremely lucky that nobody was seriously hurt.
I am extremely lucky that I was not seriously hurt.
Football should not be about this.
I’m a Liverpool fan. I have been a Liverpool fan for 45 years, but I am not a Liverpudlian, and have only been to see games a handful of times. Just giving my comments a little context.
I remember that in 2007, when Liverpool played (and lost to) AC Milan in the Champion’s League final that a number of fans rushed the turnstiles and got into the stadium and watched the game, even though they didn’t have tickets. I don’t know how many fans did this, but some did. I remember, clearly, a distraught man after the game, who had managed to obtain tickets, and went with his young son (he was 12ish) on an adventure that he presumably thought would become a cherished memory. Instead, he and his son were left outside the stadium because the ground was full, their seats stolen by fellow Liverpool fans. I also remember one of those fans being interviewed after the game, and he was delighted with himself for gaining access and watching the game. It was proper victory in his eyes. When asked if he felt bad for denying fans with tickets the experience he had just stolen, his reply was what he had attempted was fair game, and that the authorities are the ones at fault for not stopping him. What a c*nt, huh?
When I heard about the numbers of Liverpool fans in Paris yesterday, I said to my wife that this could be a problem at the stadium, and when it was announced that the kick off was being put back by fifteen minutes, I knew immediately that the delay would be longer.
There were ticketless fans there last night. We all know it.
It also appears that the French police were appallingly prepared, made innumerable mistakes and used unnecessary force.
It was a f*cking sh*t show.
Now, it’s way to early for us to really understand what the core problem was – and right now, the French police are looking the most culpable – and I am not trying to suggest that ticketless fans caused the backing up of fans outside the stadium. There is very little to support that.
But there were ticketless fans there. There were fans there with forged tickets – I have seen countless reports of this, they can’t all be lies – and this takes forethought and planning.
And I cannot understand how someone, from Liverpool, after what Liverpool went through at Hillsborough and what they went through, post-Hillsborough, would be so lacking in morality that they would turn up at a game like that knowing full well that their presence there makes it a little less safe, and also would attempt to steal a seat from a fellow fan. It’s despicable. And if you know someone who behaves like this, but think what they are doing is fair game, then shame on you.
I didn’t enjoy the football last night. Not because we lost, although that didn’t help, but because, yet again, I was watching as some people who represent my club were, yet again, tainting the club, the sport, and the occasion.
What a way to finish a wonderful season like this.
Mat (I need a football detox, there is so much about the game that is wrong)
Watching Real Madrid play this season reminds me uncannily of the movie Unforgiven by Clint Eastwood. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. There is the grizzly veteran. Unable to ride the horse anymore, or shoot. Past it. But there is one final adventure the hero reluctantly joins. It all goes quite bad. Then in the end, Clint gets angry and determined and finishes everybody off.
Real has some world class players, on their last legs. They still can produce magic from time to time and they absolutely do when it’s crucial. But it’s not only that. Better and younger teams don’t have the same nerves. Just imagine if the City Real game had been in the group stage. I can bet City would have never let two goals in the last 5 minutes of the game. Same in the final. The pressure made Pool just a tiny bit worse, not finishing the chances they had while Real took theirs. I guess that is what the combined age of Methuselah gives you, calmness under pressure.
Matti Katara, Helsinki
Welcome back Forest! It’s been too long.
Steve Cooper has done an impossible job.
Don’t worry be happy
Steve Gooner in Australia asks a good question about happiness among fans. Certainly Spurs fans should be feeling mighty pleased to have finished the season strongly and kept hold of Conte as a head coach who is able to get the best out of a team.
But more generally, I would like to propose a rule for all football fans everywhere. It is simply this: every fan has the right to feel happy about their own club.
This isn’t entitled “every fan deserves their club to succeed” but rather “enjoy the success, victory or whatever achievement you have seen in your club.”
It’s becoming wearisome and predictable that anyone who isn’t winning absolutely everything can’t be allowed to enjoy their lot. When did we all become so miserable?
Avoiding relegation, having a cup run, seeing a homegrown player develop, watching a signing being better than you hoped, winning against the bigger clubs or whatever it is, Just Enjoy It. That’s it, that’s what your allowed to do, don’t let anyone say “well they’re not as good as X” or “you’ve only won Y.”
Paul in Brussels (btw Bruges won the Belgian league, so hats off to them I suppose)