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Is Klopp a believer?
Klopp has achieved something amazing for Liverpool and what a fit he had been the past three seasons. I absolutely want Klopp to stay as Liverpool manager and get things back on track. However, I feel the real problem is:
Klopp is primarily a motivational manager, his personality is infectious.
I don’t think Klopp believes football should be being played in the pandemic.
His mindset has changed and its now all over the team.
Jurgen used to be about ignoring external factors and focusing solely on what LFC can do internally “Turn from Doubters to Believers, Starting Now” was Klopp’s rally cry when he joined.
Understandably injuries to the CB’s cripple the team and the epidemic plus new champions’ pressure creates a much greater amount of strain on Klopp. But German pundits aren’t surprised by this “Different” Klopp, they saw it over a longer period before he left Dortmund.
Buvac his former assistant was known as the Brain, Klopp isn’t tactically inept by any means (although we are seeing a real stagnation in new ideas).
– VVD’s loss hampers the team, but not as much as our two midfielders in defense does to our flow.
– Thiago doesn’t work so far back.
– Allison has made about 6 errors leading to goals so let him do only what he does best, save shots and start attacks from the ball in his hands.
– The risky ball is now played from defense to midfield, not midfield/defense to attack.
– Origi , Shaq, Ox are spent forces that don’t deliver 8 out of 10 times.
A believing Klopp plays Kelleher instead of a still ill Allison. Starts trusting defenders in defense and gets the midfield back to normal.
Klopp, we need you to change back, from a Doubter to a Believer. Starting now.
Andrew (100% believe Klopp can do it), LFC
Keane can’t criticise Jurgen
I noted the criticism of Roy Keane towards Liverpool after Sunday’s very disappointing result against Manchester City.
Keane called Liverpool “bad champions” and said Jurgen Klopp continually made excuses for Liverpool’s poor recent run of results.
What makes Liverpool such bad champions according to this managerial great, whose stellar career in the dugout has thus far included stints at Sunderland and Ipswich Town, both of whom are currently languishing in League One?
His stint as assistant manager to Martin O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland also ended ignominiously.
I understand Keane’s natural animosity towards Liverpool as a former captain of Manchester United, but I think he overstepped the mark with that particular comment.
As a player, I respected everything Roy Keane accomplished in the game, but as a television pundit, I think he just loves stirring up controversy at any opportunity.
I recently read Mr. Keane is keen (no pun intended) on a return to football management.
He should in my own humble opinion apply for the managers’ job at Salford City the next time it becomes available.
He would be right at home with the class of 92 owners of that club, including another failed football manager and now full-time Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.
Mr. Keane might then begin to understand the demands of modern football management.
He might one day be in a position to criticize managers like Jurgen Klopp if he ever achieves anything near what the charismatic German has achieved, not just at Liverpool but also at Borussia Dortmund and Mainz.
Dejected Liverpool Supporter.
So is Liverpool getting Thiago from Bayern for just 30 million or Bayern getting THIRTY million from Liverpool for Thiago the real deal of the century?Manyooligan SoC
…I have seen some funny discussions regarding Thiago’s impact at Liverpool, and even funnier statistical comparisons with other players in the league. Let me tell you why I think Thiago isn’t working at Liverpool.
It’s because Thiago is a quality footballer who is trying to keep the ball on the ground and create attacking phases, but he has been brought into a longball team.
Thiago’s game is antithetical to Liverpool’s game.
Obviously I know this wile rile the Liverpool fanbase, but that’s not my intention, it’s just a happy side effect. This is really what I think the problem is and something I would be concerned about as a fan.
Lots of analysis around about the knock on effects of Liverpool’s defensive injuries, but I haven’t seen anyone point out the most obvious one – they now have almost zero threat at set pieces. The stats show they are getting almost exactly as many corners per game as last season, but while they were the top scorers from set pieces last season with 17, they’re now 9th with only 6 (and 2 of those came in the first 3 games when VVD was still fit). Defensively they conceded only 7 from set pieces last season, while this season it’s already 6 (starting with Everton’s equaliser shortly after VVD went off…). So from +10 GD on set pieces to -1, just over half way through the season (Citeh also +10 last season, +5 so far this, and on track for a fairly similar points total). Before spending too much time on how much Henderson and Fabinho are missed in midfield, it’s probably worth remembering that if you become half as good at scoring from set pieces and half as good at defending them, you’re probably going to drop a few more points.
Ole’s ‘loyalty’ to De Gea
Following up on Manjoranjan’s email re. United’s various issues, they ask the question about Solsjaer’s loyalty to de Gea and how many more mistakes he needs to make…
I don’t think its a question of Solsjaer being loyal to a fault, I think its the simple matter that de Gea has several years to run on an astonishing £375k a week contract.
Considering that the mistakes had already crept into his game, it felt a terrible decision at the time. Maybe the hope was the new deal would give him a shot in the arm and improve his performances… which was a terrible idea, as “astonishing wealth and untouchable job security for six years” doesn’t seem likely keep a player hungry…
It would certainly be a bold move for a coach to bench a player who, I understand, is still due approximately £70m in wages over the next 3.5 years. However, I doubt bravery comes into it, Solsjaer probably simply isn’t allowed to drop him.
I know that you’d like to think that selection is purely on merit, but being realistic, the club would probably prefer that the manager persist with the £19m a year player who’s still quite good (but not £375k a week good), rather than drop him (i) in the hope of preserving his resale value; and (ii) so as to not make the executive vice-chairman who gave a waning keeper a ridiculous contract look stupid (as if he needed the help).
It’s exactly why Rooney stayed in the first team well past his sell by date… to get dropped on that kind of money you need to be properly bad…like Alexis Sanchez bad…
The issue is that they never learn. That’s why this time last year Phil Jones signed a new deal worth £75k a week till 2023 – to preserve his resale value! Which moron will give United a penny for him…
De Gea is in the same bracket – it’s not that he’s anywhere near that bad (or even that he’s beyond getting back to his best – though I’m sadly starting to doubt it) but that for the ridiculous numbers, that his performances simply do not justify, United have painted themselves into a corner. De Gea is undroppable until the summer where maybe United may look to sell, at which point he’ll be unsellable, because he is simply no longer worth buying out of the balance of his contract plus a transfer fee…
Bamford for England
Couple of points about England.
Harry Kane, with his ability to drop slightly deeper and link teammates into attacks as well as scoring goals, is a unique player for England. Even more so than he was in 2018.
So what happens if he’s unavailable? I think Ings, Abraham and Calvert-Lewin are fantastic strikers in their own way, but the guy who Southgate should have as his backup is Bamford. Never been a fan but he’s been fantastic this season and like Kane he can drop deep to link things up. As a Spurs fan I’d also say he’d be perfect for us as a Kane backup but Leeds shouldn’t and probably wouldn’t sell.
And can you imagine going into the Euros with a 4-1-2-3 side of Pope, Trent, Stones, Mings, Chilwell, Henderson, Mount, Foden, Grealish, Kane, Sterling? That strikes fear into any side in the world.
Of course Southgate probably starts with Pickford, Walker, Maguire, Stones, Trent, Rice, Hendo, Chilwell, Rashford, Kane, Sterling, but yeah.
A theory over City’s spot of trouble
Having seen Manchester City miss yet another penalty (and yet again in a big game), I began to wonder what it is about City that they have such a poor record in one of the easiest situations to score that exists in the sport. It is simply mind-boggling that players like de Bruyne, Aguero, Mahrez, etc, etc don’t just tuck them away robotically. Here’s the half-baked theory I’ve come up with- Pep sees the game so creatively and complexly, and intensely communicates his vision to his players, such that a wide open shot from 12 yards is too direct, it’s too simple to just put it away, and the whole thing is overthought and fluffed. See also Pep’s history of overthinking in important Champions League games- he can’t just put out his best lineup with tactics they are accustomed to, he has to innovate and throw something the opposition has never seen at them, which often backfires. Pep’s strength, this visionary genius, which pays handsome dividends in almost all game scenarios, causes the team to suffer in these situations where simple would be best, in my opinion.
Paul (Seriously, just let Ederson do it), Gooner
In praise of Zinchenko
I enjoyed reading Sam SCFC’s mail earlier about Oleksandr Zincheko.
I’m firmly in the camp that he deserves a huge amount of praise. First of all, it’s abundantly clear that he’s a high quality footballer. He was bought back in 2016 on the off-chance seemingly that he might develop into something worthwhile, at least to be sold on for a modest profit. The way in which he fought himself into the first team picture after his loan at PSV was on its own impressive, but he has subsequently played 82 times for the club to date (50 in the PL), and is now very much the first choice left back. He saw off the threat of Fabien Delph (who let’s not forget was a very capable left back through the 100 point season), and subsequently is now firmly ahead of very expensive World Cup winning team cheerleader Benjamin Mendy. This, despite never having played a game for the club (to my knowledge) in his preferred position (which no one is especially clear on – classic left winger?).
He also has generally been a model pro (his wife’s ill-judged Instagram comments last year excepted), and seems very much aware that his career is going pretty well, and if he continues to work really hard, he might just maintain it at that level or get better. Suggestions that he is weak defensively are lazy assumptions based on pretty much no evidence – I can only recall one mistake he has made, and that was in an away game at Southampton we went on to win comfortably. Pep clearly wants to develop him, and assuming he is content to remain a left-back forever, he might just save City a bucket load of cash in the summer. Like so many of the current City first team, it’s fascinating to see what Pep can get out of him.
Taking a break
Liverpool getting hammered is something I’ve seen plenty of in my time as a fan so it was never likely to be the reason that made me need to take a break from football. Watching the Super Bowl and Six Nations yesterday made me realize how good officiating is in these two sports. Sure American football takes an age, but they have plenty of time between what is perhaps the slowest game on the planet. And that pace has always been why I prefer English football over the American variety. But when a referee is given all the time I wish he didn’t have to made a silly call like sending Soucek off, I’m done. It just isn’t any fun anymore. I feel for Mike Dean getting death threats, but my problem isn’t the wrong call; it’s the amount of time it takes to make the incorrect call. If the debate was over time vs. precision, I could understand the debate over VAR. But it’s the worst of all worlds now: too long and too wrong. I’ll admit something now that the VAR people don’t want you to know. When a call went against Liverpool because of a referee who missed something critical, I was secretly happy behind my mask of righteous anger. I made up silly conspiracy theories like the referee lived 30 miles away from Liverpool’s opponent. But like most people in the world, I can hold two thoughts in my head at the same time. I can be a little bit angry about an unjust call and I can be a little bit happy at the drama and spectacle of the game I love. This isn’t that game, so give me a ring when we are rid of VAR and can enjoy ourselves again even when we’re telling the referee to get up off his knees because he’s blowing the game.
Just a quick one, but I can’t be the only person that spots xG in a mail or an article and immediately skips to the next mail/article?
Jamie, MUFC, Belfast