Liverpool defender slammed as ‘liability’ in two positions amid call for Klopp to promote reserve

Date published: Sunday 25th December 2022 10:13 - Editor F365

Liverpool's Joe Gomez tackles Jack Grealish

Manchester City versus Liverpool was an instant classic but the Mailbox is also pretty concerned with figuring out who football’s sh*thousing GOAT is.

Send your mails to


Yes ‘real’ football is back! Crazy game in the carabao cup last 16…what a difference to the World Cup

So many thoughts:

1. is de Bruyne stoppable in this form? Methinks not. Belgium must be in really bad shape…
2. feisty is the only word that comes to mind for this game. Shouldve seen more yellows, perhaps the odd red.
3. i think 7-6 to city would have been a more appropriate scoreline. Couldve been 3-up before the 1-1 scoreline and either Nunez or Haaland with 2 wouldve been ok.
4. Palmer, who? Looks a very good prospect. christ he owned that left side.
5. Gomez – shit in any position apparently. how he starts ahead of Phillips for Liverpool baffles me. Phillips always looks decent, except for the Napoli game but jesus Gomez is a liability both at CB and RB.
6. ah Darwin…just keep smashing them. no need to place these shots. three times he dragged them. he needs to hit them.

‘its only the carabao cup anyway’ is not something i felt today. i wanted to Liverpool to win this. Helps January/February fixture list i guess.
NIk (quadruple dreams ended before Christmas 😉 ), Munich


1. great game, end to end, if only other teams would go toe to toe with city

2. Wasn’t it nice to watch goals and *celebrate* without VAR killjoy

3. Nunez is frighteningly quick, if he can finish he could be special

4. De Bruyne ran the game. Sensational but the tag of “ best midfielder in the world”  is gone, true greats drag their teams up

5. A welcome return to form from Fabinho, great interceptions.

6. I love Joel Matip. Simple

7. Grealish looks like a shadow of the player City signed. Played like Almiron when he came on

8. Kelleher is too good to be a Liverpool number two. He is better than ramsdale, mendy, de gea, lloris. Fully expect him to be sold for big money in the summer

9. Akanji looks like an astute signing, he’s a mix of stones and ake but not a mistake waiting to happen

10. Why does Foden persist with that haircut ?

11. Gutted to be knocked out

Ran out of conclusions.
Ade (7 is coming ) Guildford 


Qatar critics must keep that same energy
Seldom feel compelled to throw in my two cents, but the recent mail from Rory (MUFC, USA) got my hand a-scribbling.

It’s hard to disagree with Rory’s assessment that the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will make for a rather more wholesome World Cup hosting committee than the denizens of Doha, and for all of the reasons Rory describes. It is difficult indeed to imagine a more problematic host nation than Qatar. And yet, if we’ve learned anything from the miserable context surrounding this year’s World Cup, it is surely the imperative that we subject all prospective host nations to the same level, and the same kinds, of scrutiny to which Qatar has (rightly) been subjected over recent weeks, months, and years. If we can agree on that, then concerns about the behaviour of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico must be debated.

Yes, the 2026 hosts are ‘better’ than the 2022 hosts. But that does not render them unimpeachable, and legitimate critiques should not be conflated with what Rory describes as ‘oh-so-original and not-at-all moronic “The USA sucks lolz!!” sentiments’. In many respects, the U.S. does suck. So does the U.K., where I was born and raised; so does Norway, the country I now call home. But neither the U.K. nor Norway is hosting a World Cup in four years’ time. With great power comes great responsibility – and all three of the 2026 host nations have difficult questions to answer about how they operate.

For all three nations, some of those questions have to do with human rights violations.

Where to start with the U.S.? Abu Ghraib happened. Guantanamo Bay is still open. The Republican Party brazenly refused to admit evidence during an impeachment proceeding designed to hold a sitting president to account. An independent panel has recommended that said president be tried in a court of law for abetting a bona fide insurrection. Rampant gerrymandering is  disenfranchising innumerable U.S. citizens, a majority of whom come from underprivileged backgrounds and underrepresented populations. The U.S. Supreme Court revoked the rights of women to bodily autonomy. And so on.

According to Human Rights Watch, in Mexico, ‘[h]uman rights violations—including torture, enforced disappearances, abuses against migrants, extrajudicial killings, gender-based violence, and attacks on independent journalists and human rights defenders—have continued under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office in December 2018. Impunity remains the norm’. Femicide, in particular, remains a huge problem for Mexico. The situation in Canada may not be quite as troubling in the same ways, but it’s worth remembering that, as recently as last year, mass graves were uncovered, full of the bodies of indigenous children forcibly removed from their families and sent to residential schools, never to be seen again.

We all have a larger number of skeletons in our respective closets than we would care to admit. I’m not saying that these transgressions are as abhorrent as those committed by the Qatari authorities. I’m not saying that these transgressions are sufficient to prevent the U.S., Canada, and Mexico from hosting the World Cup in 2026. What I am saying is that, if we’ve decided that some nations should not be granted the right to host the World Cup because of such transgressions, then we cannot fail to identify and weigh up those transgressions in the case of every potential host nation, every time.

Infantino Qatar

Consider another point that Rory makes – and another good point, at that: the shocking arrogance of Qatar’s complete disregard for the unfolding climate crisis. Yes, Qatar’s carbon footprint is among the worst in the world per head of population, and yes, I fully agree that this should be a significant consideration in determining who gets to host the World Cup. Let’s remember, then, that the U.S. remains the world’s largest legacy polluter; that, for this reason (among others), U.S. leadership is a non-negotiable feature of any meaningful global attempt to forestall the worst effects of the crisis; and that, quite aside from reneging on its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement for a number of years, the U.S. boasts numerous members of Congress ideologically wedded to climate denialism.

Oh, and, since we’re on the subject, let’s not forget that the 2022 event took place within what is effectively a city-state. The 2026 edition will be spread out over an entire continent. Air miles, much?

Both sides of the argument between Rory and Paul K have their merits. Still, if Rory is frustrated – as I am, too – by the lack of progress made on the issues presented by Qatar’s hosting role this year, then maybe we can stop engaging in parochial pissing matches about who is ‘better’ or ‘worse’, and focus on having meaningful conversations about the precise criteria FIFA should use in order to determine who gets to host this thing. This isn’t rocket science: let’s make a rule and judge everybody according to that rule, regardless of where they sit on a map, or what preconceived ideas about them obtain.

I don’t mind having the difficult conversations. It’s the pointless ones I can’t abide.

Like I say: just my two cents.
Tom (THFC, Oslo)


I don’t normally write in or bite when I read the mailbox, but Rory defending the US really got my attention.

Carbon emissions? Meh… Wahhabism? Couldn’t care less…

But how about having a host who are the largest military dealer in the world? Which also happens to make it the largest and most active cause of wars around the world. How about Iraq? Syria? Lybia? Afghanistan? Vietnam? And how about regime charges around the world? How about economic sanctions on countries that are considered not pliable, which affect birthday people first and foremost? How about multinational corporations based in the US which mine, pollute, exploit millions of people around the world? And this is just the tip of the iceberg…

But I suppose all those things are okay as long as none of that carnage affects the Miami or NYC nightlife eh? Or the prices in local supermarkets…

Seems like a pretty unsavory host if you ask me. It’s not moral relativism, it’s an immoral host

But actually, I’m perfectly fine with having the WC in the US. I really am. Because football is the reason I want to watch the WC. I’m not John Nicholson who seems to like everything about football that has nothing to do with football and loves nothing that has to do with what the game is.

I love football, and if it’s in the US or Russia or China or on the Moon, I will watch it.

I don’t want the rules changed, except maybe for Wenger’s suggestion about offsides, I don’t want anything changed. Football is loved for what it is, not for some hypothetical changes in the future.

I love the hatred it brings out in people, I hate some clubs viscerally, and I love the joy it brings.

Don’t defend the hosts, the US has done immeasurably more damage than Qatar ever could. Don’t attack the hosts, it has nothing to do with football. Just make sure there is infrastructure in place so we can enjoy our escape from everyday life. Give it to China, to Saudis, to Greenland for all I care, just as long as stadiums are there and people are having fun.

And if you’re not having fun, don’t watch, and don’t speak of it – no one needs to know about your non-experience.

I, on the other hand, will speak of a final that will likely never be matched by any other game as long as I live. It’s a memory that I will recount many times in the next 30-40 years I have left. I will remember the ups and downs of that game, the beauty of each team’s second goal, the drama. And I will remember it with joy and wonder. And not once will I care to remember where the final was located…

So, bring on the WC in the US! The the home of militarism, empire, regime change, corporatism, incarceration of 2m people, gun attacks, etc… None of it actually matters.
James, football fan


Sh*thousing GOAT
Emi Martinez is causing a divide in the football landscape since winning the World Cup with Argentina, now we crowned Lionel Messi the GOAT of the sport on Sunday but we cannot crown Emi as the GOAT of Sh*thousing, sorry but there are so many that could take that crown in the Premier League.

Jamie Vardy – So many moments in his career, from winding up opposition fans after scoring, comments in the media and so much more.

Antonio Rudiger – He may have since left for Real Madrid but outside of Chelsea i know not many rival fans liked him due to his antics.

Neal Maupay – Injured Leno and then scored a winning penalty, celebrating how you may expect, wound up Crystal Palace fans to the point where flares and loo rolls were thrown at him.

Robbie Savage – He was one of the league’s true world class players, world class at winding anyone and everyone up.

Who do you feel deserves a mention to be the GOAT in terms of Sh*thousing?
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod


Really gets my GOAT
When did football talk become so awash with this GOAT stuff?

I first heard that phrase in 2010 on the Fight Night boxing games and since then I only encountered it if Lebron v Michael Jordan debates somehow appeared on my social media feeds.

It’s everywhere now and it’s nauseating. If the Yanks started using snot for tooth paste I swear we’d be doing it within 10 years too.
Silvio Dante


Interesting to see the rise of the GOAT as the go to football conversation of the past 3 or 4 years.

I’m completely with Jack from the Friday mailbox. It’s weirdly childish seeing adults use “my dad is better than your dad” style arguments about footballers, some of whom aren’t even playing for countries these people are from and or for teams that this person supports.

The absolute worst of these are the people on Twitter, who have either Messi or Ronaldo as an avatar and who’s entire online persona is going to bat against the opposite number by insisting that other player just scores penalties. They refer to their hated rival cult leader as Pessi or Penaldo. They use bogus stats to highlight how crap the other player is, while talking about conspiracies by FIFA and UEFA to make these players better/worse than they are.

Just imagine that. Your entire personality defined by which player you like the best. And I thought the #backboris crew were sad.

As they say these days… touch grass.
Jae The Manchild, Tunbridge Wells


The GOAT debate is really infuriating. There is no GOAT and there never can be. It’s not how football works.

There can be a greatest in some sports. E.g. Who’s the greatest sprinter? Easy. Usain Bolt. He has run 100m faster than anyone else. He’s won the triple double. So he’s the greatest. But is he the best runner ever? For example, is he better than Mo Farrah? How can you answer that? Usain Bolt is better at sprinting, Mo Farrah is better at long distance. Neither of them is a better runner because they’re out to achieve different things.

It’s similar in football. There’s clamour for Messi or Pele or Maradona to be declared the greatest, but what about others who don’t get discussed? What about Maldini? Or Beckenbauer? Or Baresi? How about Buffon or Kahn? Why can’t they be declared the best?

This is where the debate is just maddeningly pointless. For example, who is better at football, Messi or Maldini? If Messi is the greatest, he must be better than Maldini, no? But what does that ever mean? “Better at football?”. They both do completely different jobs. Maldini is better at defending. Messi is better at attacking. But neither is better than the other “at football”, because you’re not comparing like for like. If you throw goalkeepers into the mix it becomes ever more absurd. Trying to say who is better, Maradona or Buffon, is just utterly meaningless.

Add into the mix the fact that we’re trying to compare players from completely different eras who played in totally different conditions and the comparisons become more ridiculous.

Messi is great. Maradona was great. Pele was great. But so were many other players who played in positions where they didn’t get all the glory and the headlines. There is no GOAT, there never was and there never will be. It’s not how football works.
Mike, LFC, London

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