Liverpool need Klopp now more than ever. Fergie never had it this hard…

Editor F365
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Mailbox reckons Jurgen Klopp’s record should be put into context by the fact Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t face good managers. Also: plenty on Newcastle; one word on Tottenham.

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com

 

Spurs
Meh.
Jon, Lincoln

 

Ferguson never faced the managers Klopp does
Dear Dave, I read the piece you wrote about Klopp and this team, the first thing I noted was “we (like you and others) don’t believe Klopp is not the man to get us out of the mess Liverpool finds itself this season”. Is there a committee that was setup on behalf of all Liverpool fans across the globe? How could YOU pen an opinion and conclude it’s for ALL? Until someone or some people appoint you a representative, stick to the word I next time you have thoughts to share.

I will not be fair in saying you have no love for Liverpool but at this point, rationality is out of the window, after all, you have been nothing but unfair to Klopp which is what prompted me to send you this letter. In your words I could perceive passion ( one of the pillars of Liverpool FC) and I can say with a degree of certainty that the Lows of this season has driven me to places my courage dare not conceive in its thoughts, but one thing you seem to forget or ignore is that, YNWA means that when life happens to one of us, it happens to all of us. If we won’t walk together through the storm, how could we ask to join the merry when the sky spits the gold of sunshine on us? Klopp has done enough to deserve an eternal place in the hearts of Liverpool fans. From the moment he walk through those doors at melwood, to his trudges off the Anfield turf after that disaster against Real Madrid some 2 weeks ago.

It’s no longer news that this team is in crisis and in need of an overhaul or “surgery” to be able to compete again but to suggest that Klopp is responsible or no longer has the ability to clean up this “mess” is either ignorant, unfair or both. One brick at a time this empire was built and everyone had a part to play, from the pockets of FSG, to the passionate chants of the kop end, from the candy coated convincing words of Micheal Edwards, to the beaming smiles of the Anfield grounds men, from the whispers of little kids taking a peek at their heroes training at melwood, to the celebratory sprints and fist pumps of Klopp on the touchline. No one can take all the glory of seasons past or the sole blame for what this season is dealing us.

It’s not everyday anyone gets to say this, but I believe Liverpool deserve Klopp as much as it does him, he is a reflection of everything Liverpool (even when he crossed a line by barking at a linesman against Man city) and clueless is never a word to be associated with him. No player pulls up the famous red shirt or exit the club without Klopp’s blessings or plan for a replacement, even if not a like for like.

This team needs to go under the knife and no one is sitting on the fence about this, some players have worn out and no longer poses the steel or legs to execute Klopp’s brand of football but it’s unjust to remotely suggest Klopp “would not be the right man to perform the extreme surgery required”. He had the balls to say he would deliver in his first interview as manager and he did so not just winning all there is to win, but hearts as well. I had droves of rival fans who concluded after the defeat to Real Madrid in 2018 that our coach is in a snare because of the finals he has not been able to win (to be fair to them he lost about six in a row) , even some red supporters slipped into that line of thought. He said after the game that “we will come back again stronger” and they did, so I put it to you, How many finals has he lost since that night?

The premier league has seen it’s fair share of breath taking, heart thumping, lingerie-looking football teams and rivalries but never has there been one as City and Liverpool. It may not breed blood thirsty tackles of Merseyside derbies or the hand-in-throat brawls of Arsenal vs Man United (Viera and Means comes to mind) but they (City and Liverpool) have raised the performance bar in the league so high that anything remotely lower looks like a poor season. The competition in the league is at its fiercest, teams at the bottom are pulling off the biggest of offsets on a weekly basis, which make me wonder why you see Sir Alex in the light of such “brilliance” ( no disrespect or disregard to his achievements as United boss) after all he (Sir Alex) didn’t face the Contes, Tuchels, Klopps, Mourinhos, and Guardiolas on a weekly basis not to mention the Diches, Thomas Franks, Howes, Marco Silvas, Brenda Rodgers and De Zerbis (never has the premier league commanded this number of top-level managers at a time) who love coming up against deep pocketed teams.
In the midst of all these mangers, good enough in their rights, Klopp has remained the only one to challenge city and he did so in style. Yes, this season has been an exact opposite of the last, yes, Real Madrid has been a thorn that seem to grow branches in our back-side but I want to remind you that for every great team or manager, is a bogey team that are offsprings of mother-luck. For us (Liverpool) it’s Real Madrid, but our day will come. If ever there is a time this team needs a Klopp, now it is. If there was anyone more than qualified to clean up a “mess” as one we find ourselves in, Klopp is he, how much more when he knows the “mess” more than everyone else.
Noah

Read more: Klopp would be the ideal man to sort out Liverpool mess, were it not for the fact it’s his mess

 

Dyche can’t work miracles
Someone let Ian King know that we could have the greatest manager at the club right now and he couldn’t get any of our players to score. Dyche isn’t gonna get someone to all of a sudden start putting the ball in the back of the net.

Evertonians ALL loudly proclaimed that we needed to buy a striker in January. ALL OF US. Did Everton do that? No, we didn’t. Now we’re paying the price with DCL’s injuries. This lack of attention to what we desperately needed in the transfer market is just another in the long line of exhibits concerning Everton’s mismanagement.
TX Bill (writing this before Arteta makes his adjustments and Arsenal run us off the pitch 3-0…WAIT, Michael Keane playing. Make that 5-0) EFC

 

Arsenal overthinking
I’m an Arsenal fan, so clearly I’m hoping we carry on our good form and go on to win the league this season. But, I do have a little nagging thought in the back of my mind.

Given we still have to play City away this season, there is a good chance that we’ll lose that game – let’s be realistic. This would mean that potentially, we could (and I’m not saying that we will – there’s a difference) win the league but have lost to City three times. Twice in the league and in the FA Cup.

So, yes I’d be ecstatic about winning the league. Of course I would. But would we really be the best team in the country? The most consistent maybe? But the best?

I’ve always thought this about Leicester the season they won it. Arsenal beat them home and away. Can Leicester really say they were the ‘best’ team when Arsenal clearly had their number? I know that won’t change what their fans think. But…

I hate myself for even considering this. But if we go on to win the title having lost to Man City three times….can we really say it? Are we the ‘best’ team?

Negative thoughts are a bitch.
Stu (why can’t I just enjoy it for what it is (if it even happens)?) Gooner in France

 

Goal chasing
Another lovely 50 minutes of football by Arsenal. I say that because listening to the first 40 minutes we were crap and Everton were in charge.

However, when we broke them down they fell apart and Sean Dyche made damage limitation substitutions that didn’t work and will be important to them at the end of the season regarding goal difference.

Also, Arsenal need to capitalise in these games to claw back the importance of goal difference.
Chris, Croydon

 

Men in black
Well, that’s improved the atmosphere at the Emirates. Some lads dressed in black jumping up and down behind the goal for 90 mins and a drummer continuously banging a tuneless beat. Curious what the real Arsenal fans think. Embarrassed or impressed?
G Thomas, Breda

 

United roll on
The first half was quite a dull experience from both sides. United were heavily rotated so you could see that most of the players were trying to get used to playing with each other. West Ham went strong in the lineup, making it a good test for the United players as they would have to start strong or get caught out. Garnacho looked lively every time he got the ball which is great to see for the youngster. I liked that he was not afraid of putting in a cross as United really lack any wingers who can put in a decent cross which could really help especially with Weghorst here. Sabitzer looked good as well. You can see that once Casemiro comes in and plays with Sabitzer that we are going to see a really good player in Sabitzer as he’s impressed with Mctominay or Fred with him which takes some ability to do.

The second half was the perfect example of why a Ten Hag team differs from any of the managers we have had since Ferguson. West Ham scored a dodgy goal with the ball clearly out of play but it caught United as the team stopped thinking it was out of play which is bad from the players as you do not stop till the ref blows his whistle. West Ham scoring seemed to wake up Manchester United as that’s when we bring on Rashford and Martinez with Casemiro already on the pitch as he came on at halftime. United started to press West Ham more which they did not react well. United pulled one back from a corner which turned the tide fully in United’s favour. Garnacho scored a fantastic goal to put United ahead in the last few minutes. Fred scored one in the last few seconds as West Ham where completely out of it.

Overall, The first half was to be expected with 6 changes to the team with the second half proof of how much the players have bought into Ten Hag’s philosophy as we got back into that game and kept going which is such a breath of fresh air compared to previous managers. This performance is even better considering we had a final on Sunday and have been playing 3 games a day since the return from the world cup. Garnacho is looking like a fantastic young player with the right attitude and hopefully a long career at Manchester United. Now onto Liverpool on Sunday where we can hopefully continue our winning form.
Max Of Whitegate

 

The morals behind supporting the immoral
Was interesting reading from the Newcastle fans discussing their club ownership and what it means. What came through clearly is that they seem conflicted and I feel for them being put in this position. This is the insidious nature of sportswashing as we’ve been seeing it. Fighting it requires you giving up something you love just when it has never seemed more interesting or exciting, and all the while knowing that giving it up probably wouldn’t make any difference. But not fighting it and you feel like you are selling a bit of your soul, and for what?

I have wrestled myself with what I would do if Qatar bought Manchester United. It would mean giving up decades of support just when we were turning a corner under ETH. But that is what I will do, just as I didn’t follow the latest world cup. Short term entertainment and sporting triumphs are ephemeral, but my self esteem is with me forever.

Chris says that ” I’ve seen a lot of people say that they’d walk away if it was their club, which is a very easy thing to say when it isn’t”, and he is right about that. And ultimately there is nothing stopping anyone for saying they will stop supporting, but then continuing to do so, because no-one will ever know.

Except of course, the most important person would know, wouldn’t I/you?

So make your own decisions, but your biggest duty of care is to yourself. If supporting your team is what makes you happiest, then you should do that. If that support is causing you to feel unhappy or conflicted, then screw the bastards. You are worth more, and you need to know what is best for you.

Go well,
Collin

Newcastle United supporters at Wembley for the EFL Cup final

Defending Toon
I am going to jump to Greg, Newcastle fan in Leeds and probably other Newcastle fans defence. I totally remember Mediawatch critiquing articles in the press telling Newcastle fans that they should be happy, grateful even, for their position under Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley. Rio Ferdinand was particularly supportive of Mike Ashley whilst pushing his clothing range exclusively through Sports Direct. I am going to give this to Greg. It did happen and it was bullshit.

Had Newcastle had owners in line with say Southampton, Brighton or even Brentford, Newcastle could have hired Eddie Howe and probably be in a similar position. The only question is whether the future potential of Newcastle has attracted players that they might not otherwise have attracted. For this I really don’t think footballers and their agents are that far sighted. We talk about footballers wanting champions league football to be attracted to the best clubs but that’s really not true. Why would Jesus sign for Arsenal and Casemiro for United if that’s the case? Any premier league club can pay the money. Liverpool aren’t in the Champions League every year and have still been in five finals in 20 years. That’s more that Arsenal, Spurs and City combined in a fraction of the time. If a player really wanted Champions League football, the smart money says go to Liverpool this summer and not Arsenal. Or at least go to Arsenal on a six-month long loan before they end up in the Europa league again.

I still welcome the silly money cheque book clubs like Chelsea, City and Newcastle because they are the only clubs that can compete with Manchester United when it comes to money. Liverpool get to three champions league finals in however many years whilst Man United shits the bed and they still only just match their commercial revenues. Now that they actually have their shit together under a good manager, is the league going back to the pre-Abramovic era of United just outspending everybody? You can literally do a Man United transfer record XI and there would be debate whether which transfer record player should get in ahead of which other transfer record player. Even now it’s the leagues best paid player scoring a goal against Newcastle’s third choice goalkeeper to win a cup. Just how does Ten Hag do it? What is his secret?

Until a FFP or transfer process stops one club from consistently outspending their competitors it’s a broken system. The only way to bring in a hint of fairness is to let everyone have all the money. The only way to compete with United’s money is from ultra-wealthy people or states. Until everyone can spend the same amount of money on players and wages, FFP is weighted in United’s favour.

Backhanded way of say United are back I suppose. RIP the Lingard era. It was fun whilst it lasted. I’m expecting an Europa league trophy this year as even under Ole you were beneath your level in that competition.
Alex, South London

 

No issues at Newcastle
There appears to be an obsession with the wheels coming off at Newcastle at the moment and this obsession with Eddie Howe being found out. Newcastle are lightyears ahead of where any reasonable fan would have expected this season. Having reflected on the cup final, yes we were well beaten but if you look at that game it could have easily gone the other way. De Gea made a crucial save from ASM just before Man U got a dubious free kick that Casemiro headed in marginally onside. The second goal was a pure fluke with a deflected ball going over the keeper. And there is a reasonable argument that Casemiro could have seen red. Add to this the fact that Man U can bring in excess of £170m off the bench compared to our paltry £30m and it is clear to see that we are miles behind in terms of investment. Man U weren’t great and it could be argued that they took their foot off in the second half as the game was effectively over but this result was about margins and a bit of luck/quality, but even before the first goal they knew they were in a game. The Liverpool game was a freak twenty minutes of madness and we still looked the stronger side in spells (even at 10 men) Allison kept them in the game (yes I know it could also be argued they took their foot off the gas to save themselves for the drubbing by Real)

Our form has dipped in 2023, but what did we expect, we play a high press and every player busts their gut each game, we have a small squad and have no right even being in contention for the top 4. The fact we are is down to the manager who is getting every ounce out of the players. As Chelsea have shown simply throwing money at a problem doesn’t work, a measured, considered approach is required and in Eddie we trust. Isak will also come good, he is young and had a stop start season with injuries it takes time to get up to speed in the Prem, I fully expect him to be firing next season. We had a great weekend, atmosphere was class and Wembley was like a home game! The most Mancs we saw all weekend was when they were all streaming out the ground to beat the traffic!

We won’t get Champions League and if we do it will be because other clubs with more current investment and ‘quality’ have failed to make the grade. Newcastle are in a good place at the minute with a great manager and a United fanbase, stop looking for issues!
Steve (NUFC)

 

…Ok, I’ll take Ian King’s Geordie bait and bite.

What nonsense. Of course, stuff could go horribly wrong in the next six -twelve months and Eddie Howe might leave Newcastle, but the same applies to pretty much every other manager in the league. It’s a pretty big straw man.

But the piece completely ignores the whole purpose of the Newcastle project – to slowly build a competitive team – is well ahead of schedule, mostly because of the incredible job Eddie Howe has done. For all of the back-slapping that Eric Ten Haag has had (rightly!) in recent weeks for improving Man U’s players – Eddie Howe has transformed a number of players ready for a scrapheap – Longstaff, Schar, Joelinton, Almiron to name a few. This isn’t a team built on buying up results right away.

It’s also worth looking under the data. Newcastle may have only won one game this calendar year, but performances suggest they should have won many more. The manager is doing a great job setting us up to win games, but the attacking players aren’t finishing chances. We’re easily in the top 4 based on xG based results.

Why’s that? It’s because a lot of our players, quite frankly, aren’t very good. We have an odd team of Champions League (potentially) spine of Botman, Bruno, Trippier and Isak (if early promise becomes the norm) surrounded by a load of jobbing players that wouldn’t be picked up by other Premier League teams. Dan Burn at left back has been solid but he’s not a world beater, Wilson and Almiron have regressed to their level and just look at the bench! It’s a who’s who of Championship legends 2019/20. When players’ form drops we have no quality to replace them with. Whereas our top-4 rivals are bringing on £50m signings, we’re turning to Jacob Murphy.

The team is in transition. We’ve had to spend a lot in 18 months because we spent nothing for years before it. We have a team that has no depth and a massive lack of quality in many areas – yet our manager has got us to a cup final and into a champions league race with a box of dodgy tools.

Most Newcastle fans would have said top 8 dream this year – and that might be where we end up if fatigue and lack of quality take hold. But Eddie Howe has shown what he’s capable of – lifting a team up by playing aggressive, high-pressing football and making fans believe again.

Of course, that can change. But what if new owners want Ten Haag out at Man U or Pep doesn’t win the champions League again? These arguments are about as valid as suggesting Newcastle might bin off their most successful manager in 20 years just because the Saudis want to win something immediately.

We’ve just had our first final in 24 years, we’re in a European race. Just let us enjoy football again rather than trying to tear it all down, or just trying to wind us up.
James (NUFC)

Read more: How safe is Eddie Howe once Newcastle Wembley giddiness wears off?

Treble torture
Dear supporters of Man U and Liverpool…

Please stop your D— measuring contests about what constitutes a “treble” — there are thousands – millions maybe- of fans of the other 90 sitting at home who’d be perfectly content with just one of those ‘mickey mouse’ pots..

I believe the millennials call it ‘Check your privilege”

Best,
Dan, London

 

Are United fans talking about a Quadruple?
Belief in football is a funny thing, it seems the most fragile thing in the world, and at the same time, if you have it, you feel invincible. Which brings me to my point. All season Arsenal fans have been very coy and demure over our chances in the league. All of us want to win the league, none of us want to be the one who says it out loud. For fear of jinxing, or experiencing again the crushing disappointment of missing out on your top ambition in back to back seasons.

Which is why in many ways I respect the United fans who are talking about, checks notes, a quadruple. Like, wow, you guys have incredible belief in your team. Maybe that will transfer to your players. Maybe you will go on a run of such staggering proportions that you blow us all away. However, you’ve really set yourselves up for a fall. Because if you DON’T do this historic thing, Liverpool fans, let alone the rest of us, aren’t going to let you forget.

It’s cliche, but true, those gunning for the number one spot have 14 odd cup finals between us and the end. Gonna be a bumpy ride!
John Matrix AFC (We just want to hear the Champions League music again)

 

Who let the Quads out?
…Question for the mailbox: Who is leading this discussion around Man Utd winning a quadruple this season? Is it
(a) The Man United players and coaching team
(b) A majority of the 1427 million fans that we have globally
(c) Media outlets with nothing better to do (incl. F365)
If your answer is (c), congrats you belong to category (a) or (b) above.

Basic logic dictates that winning a quad here would mean triumphing in the FA Cup – a tournament which still has Man City, Europa League – a tournament which still has a well-rested Arsenal, and the Premier League – which still has both Man City and Arsenal above us. A double by either of those teams is more likely than a Man United quad (or even a United double).

But wow the articles everywhere just keep talking about a quad, despite all the other improbable things happening right now – Arsenal winning a league title from City, Chelsea finishing outside top 10, and Newcastle fans being happy(-ish).

Y’all just want to hype up United and then tear them down if they only end up winning a treble.
Gaurav MUFC Amsterdam

 

Jose playing the hits
How long has Jose Mourinho been at Roma? 3 seasons? Another touchline ban, the third this season, confirms he is due another crash and burn. It didn’t take that long at Chelsea, Man Utd it Spurs.
Tunji, Lagos.