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Klopp is prioritising the correct competitions. He is right to put the FA Cup and League Cups low on his list. The Premier League and Champions League are where it’s at. He fields his strongest side week in, week out in those competitions. Why? It makes financial sense and he is putting the club in the shop window to attract the best talent on the planet.
Remember when he prioritised the World Club Cup by fielding his strongest side? Liverpool were shown live on TV in countries all over the world. They probably sold a few million more jerseys because of that competition which boosts the coffers and leads to the club being linked with top players like Werner, Sancho, Mbappe (why not?) etc. Plus the club owners delight in negotiating record kit deals with Nike. If the owners are happy then Klopp gets bigger transfer funds.
Klopp is making sure that the latest wonder kids from Brazil, Argentina, Spain, France put Liverpool in the same bracket as Real, Barca, Juve etc. We have just seen Liverpool finishing a point behind City in 18/19 and they will (hopefully) win the league by a record margin in 19/20. Add to that back to back Champions League finals – the top club competition in the world. In my opinion that’s more attractive than a couple of 4th place league finishes because the team prioritised winning a couple of domestic cups. The magic of the FA/League cup is gone. It’s all about the money these days. I get the point where regularly winning trophies breeds more success but those Liverpool players look happy to me – ignoring the recent blip!
Will, LFC, Limerick.
In response to Levenshulme Blue and his strange lengthy mail this morning complaining about Klopp (“Young Jurgen”, apparently?) denying Liverpool fans the opportunity to go for a day out at Wembley:
Let’s put aside the imminent league title and last year’s European Cup, alongside the 2 minor trophies.
Klopp already provided Liverpool fans the opportunity for a day out at Wembley twice in his tenure. One was 6 months ago. I was there. I indulged myself opening my first beer of the day at an ungodly hour and laughed about it. One was the league cup final in 2016. Both games we lost to City on penalties. Is it “Young Jurgen”‘s fault that Caballero and Bravo made penalty saves while Adrian/Mignolet did not?
In addition to last year, you might note that Klopp is providing Liverpool fans the opportunity for a day out at Wembley this upcoming August. To quote yourself back at you, “you may say ‘pfff, it’s only the Community Shield’, and you’d be right. However, it’s another trophy on your clubs Roll of Honour and another trophy in the cabinet.”
…but more than anything, the timing of this criticism is bizarre. Klopp played a strong side on Tuesday. He played the backup keeper like most other managers do in the domestic cups. He rewarded the two youth players who inarguably deserved to stay in the side. He played our 4th choice forward (in a system which uses 3 forwards at a time). The one and only selection he made which you could say shows a lack of seriousness was Minamino.
I’d have been furious with Klopp’s decision if he had picked a weak side on Tuesday. But he didn’t. It sucks to lose but at least there’s no nagging sense of “what if”. Roll on Saturday/Wednesday.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland
…Just a quick response to Levenshulme Blue as regards Klopp not putting his all into every competition. His side reached the quarters of the League Cup and were left in a situation where they pretty much had no choice than to lose the game. Yes, Klopp played a slightly weakened team vs. Chelsea but anyone who has watched the Blues in 2020 would have expected that XI to have a great chance of advancing. I don’t think he’s being sniffy, he’s just prioritising the league and rotating when he can.
Liverpool fans will be over the moon to have reached a reality where the team winning the Champions League, Super Cup, World Club Cup and Premier League within 12 months of each other isn’t considered to have bolstered the trophy cabinet to a sufficient degree or to have provided fans enough memorable days out. Let’s not forget Liverpool do not exactly have a huge squad – can’t imagine Lovren, Lallana, Shaqiri or even Origi getting any game time at City and they’ve already deemed Milner surplus to requirements once. City have made a point of stockpiling two players for every position with the express purpose being to win every competition available.
Liverpool hitting the jackpot
There’s been so much written about whether Liverpool’s season has been a success or not recently (it most certainly has, unfortunately) that I’d like to try and sum it all up in a nice, little nutshell.
You buy a lottery ticket with the jackpot at 10 million quid. You sit and watch the draw and can’t believe it as each of your numbers drop down one by one. You jump around like a loon thinking what you’re going to spend your 10 million on and then you hear that there’s been 10 lucky winning jackpot tickets.
Now, you either carry on jumping around thinking what you’re going to spend your million on, or you sulk at the fact there’s hardly ever that many winning tickets and let the thought of losing 9 million consume you.
A million pound buys you a lot of happiness (if it doesn’t, you don’t deserve it) and sulking makes you look ugly. Or uglier in most cases.
…A message to the haters: I’ve read too much guff from all quarters lately and everyone other than Liverpool fans seems to be an expert in Liverpool’s aims and aspirations. All these aims and goals however ridiculous have the true aim of taking any shine off what Liverpool are achieving. Whether it may be firstly going invincible, a treble, the double, a record points tally, number of unbeaten games, greatest premier team. I realise that the press and radio need something to fill their columns and airwaves.
I will now set the record straight.
I am a Liverpool fan. They will hopefully end their wait of 30 years to be English Champions again. We’ve heard so much about football only starting in 1992 and they can now also hopefully put that other barb that has been thrown at them to bed. I was 20 when Liverpool last won the league. If they win the league they will at the same moment be World Champions, European Champions and English Champions and I will be elated. Something I sort of accepted could never happen. But that won’t be enough for some. We will then get comparisons to other past teams. There is now even talk about if Liverpool win their first league title in 30 years and nothing else that it will be an anti-climax. Unbelievable. Liverpool are in a loss of form at present. Understandable given they have only lost twice in the league since the start of last season. They amassed 97 points last season and have won 26/28 games this season. How their blip hasn’t come before this point is credit to the players and staff.
If they take the league title this season I do not care if they don’t get another point or a win for the rest of the season and I feel most true Liverpool fans will feel the same as my team will at last be deservedly the Champions. Again.
Levy’s recruitment record
Generally speaking, I have been supportive of what Daniel Levy has done at Spurs, built a club that is financially sustainable, great ground, training facilities and all that – he is clearly a talented businessman. He does though have a rather poor recruitment record. Levy has had, including caretakers, over a dozen managers in his time as Chairman of THFC, in my eyes, only three have been successful, Jol, Harry and of course Pochettino.
We could argue that Harry and Mourinho were both hired the same way, a manager fired and miraculously a replacement can come in the next day, so this recruitment technique seems to suggest a 50:50 success rate (yes, am already saying that Mourinho is a wrong-un, but I am guilty of holding that view from day 1, too similar to the George Graham scenario for my taste).
But interestingly, the other two successful managers were hired following a failure to secure or hold on to his first choice – Jacques Santini’s sudden departure enabled his number 2, Martin Jol, to take over. Pochettino only got the job because Louis Van Gaal did an about face and decided that Manchester United was a better option.
So all in all, Levy has fluked his successful managers and failed manfully with the likes of Tim Sherwood, Juande Ramos, Villas-Boas and now, the cherry on top Mourinho.
Already Mourinho has reverted to type, blamed everyone else and taken all the joy out of watching Spurs – hope Levy is smart enough to have built an exit clause into Mourinho’s contract.
Alternatively, this could just be a huge ploy to help Amazon with the next series of All or Nothing…..here’s hoping.
…Mikey CFC asks us Spurs fans how we feel about Mourinho and whether we want him as manager. I’d say the closest word I can come up with is “ambivalence”. I didn’t want Mourinho per say; but I can recognise and accept that he’s currently hampered by circumstance to some degree and that with the right moves in the summer, things can work out with him at the helm.
Poch’s time had probably come to an end, given results throughout 2019 (though I still lay most of the blame for that on Levy not moving players on or bringing in those Poch wanted).
As such, it became a question of who to replace him with. My personal preference was a manager who at least played a similar style to Poch – Tuchel, Ten Haag, Nagelsmann, or my own choice would have been Bielsa (,go for the Master once the apprentice has “failed”).
Levy decided he wanted the biggest name out there – Jose.
It’s not a terrible choice; but it does mean you have to accept that the squad isn’t built to play his system/style. It lacks a DM (or positional midfielder as Jose calls it; thought Skipp played that role really well last night as an aside). It lacks a powerful midfielder runner (because Sissoko is injured and Ndombele not fit enough for PL yet) And it lacked a target man style, No.9 for if Kane got injured – which is about as much a certainty as anything is in football these days!!!
I see this as Levy’s biggest failing as Chairman over his time in charge. Every time we change manager, he never picks someone as a replacement who’s style matches the previous one, but is an upgrade in quality. We lerch from possession based game, to counter attack; from high press to low block and it’s been happening since Jol was replaced by Ramos IMO! Which means the new man will normally struggle until the squad is one built in his own image.
So here we go again; having to accept that the current boss doesn’t have the right tools to play as he wants (in the same way Pep and Klopp took at least 1 season to get the tools they needed for their chosen style of play) and thus my ambivelence towards the club for the rest of this year – it’s all pretty pointless until either Levy backs Jose and gives him who he needs/wants; or until the two have their expected falling out because Levy continues to work in his own way…
Paul (Spurs) T.Wells
…There’s bit a fair bit about us lately and wanted to put my own views on us as a club.
I’m a pragmatist in general and as much as I loved the MoPo time it was clear that the approach had stopped working, the selections, tactics, subs and the outward complaining just said that it had run it’s course. Was a shame but in a footballing sense pretty standard. I’m no Mourinho admirer, he was amazing at Chelsea and was something the league needed, a brash, confident young manager that took all the opportunities afforded to him and molded an amazing team. I liked that he didn’t rest on his laurels and would continually try and improve, often at the expenses of some fans favorites. He was single minded in his pursuit of success. It became stale and a bit boring though, trying to instil an inferiority complex at clubs like man Utd is crazy.
I’m still not convinced he’s the issue for us at the moment. I think our performances have improved slightly since the latter stage of Poccetino and the results overall have improved. Of course having Kane and Son out is a huge issue but that doesn’t really explain why we have been so bad at the back. Looking at the team we should be so much better than we are. In my opinion our issues started when Dembele was injured, his ability to take the ball and keep it was so important in allowing our transition from defending to running past the ball for a full on attack, coupled with flying full back’s. It was simple but so effective. Maybe we really are a single defensive ball retainer away from being competitive again?
I’m looking forward to the season ending if I’m honest, I think we need a bit of a reset and some perspective. I would be inclined to let Mourinho have more time, a full pre-season and transfer window and see where that takes us next year. We clearly have some very talented players and a manager with the track record who did seem to understand that Spurs are a different beast to those success driven monsters he’s taken charge of before. I appreciate that he is trying to show a more pleasant side to him but hopefully his more ruthless side is still there behind the scenes, he needs to challenge Levy to get rid of any bad eggs and push to get the ones he wants to play the system he needs.
So, in conclusion. It’s a bit sh*t, but still plenty of reasons to look forward.
Jose’s kicking the soul out of Spurs
The headline is a tad harsh but i couldnt think of a better one.
Been a spurs fan for over 40 years and enjoyed the last few under Poch and the Hoddle/Ardiles era as much as anything in sport.
When Jose was announced i was, surely not, surely Levy can see he is a busted flush. Okay i understand it was a panic just get us in the CL for next season and the books will balance nicely decision. BUT why did he think he could do it ? Hes been old hat for a while. When he was signed i was thinking okay lets take a 2 year sabbatical from football as he should be gone by then.
He has already sucked the life and soul out of a club, okay he has injuries and we understand that but do you have to continually whine about it, just get on with it. Give it a go, remember its about the glory.
I can just see the excuses on Sat when Burnley turn us over that the players had played 120 mins 2 days before a game in which my reply would be well beat the bottom club at home in 90 minutes. Go for the 2nd killer goal when 1 nil up. Everyone could see the equalizer was coming.
Someone give me a nudge when hes gone please.
Down with this sort of thing
What utter tosh from Dave Tickner this morning about Dier. Excusing Dier from jumping into the stands because fans at a football match may have said some rude things about him or made fun of another fan or literally anything is reckless in the extreme. There is never an excuse for professional footballers to go into the stands with the intention of fighting with fans. Full stop, end of story. He deserves a similar punishment to Cantona.
…So I’ve seen a few mails and an article on F365 about Eric Dier’s reaction by climbing into the stands to confront a fan, now as much as I can understand it was probably ill advised to do this, it doesn’t mean I don’t understand why he did it, Eric Dier is a human being and so many “keyboard warriors” yell abuse at players, tweet abuse and much more, now if the allegations of what this “fan” had yelled at Dier are true you can certainly understand his reaction.
Footballers are human beings and so me “fans” need to realise this, after all if they yelled the abuse at someone in the street you would hardly be shocked to be confronted by that person would you now?
In response to Stu, London and Chris Bridgeman, I have a real niche ‘closet-traditionalism’- the word “Group” to describe their players, as loved by Brendan Rodgers and Sean Dyche. When did the words team (the 11 and subs) and squad (all the players) become insufficient?
I blame some FA Management course in 2012 or thereabouts…
Life with the lurgy
1. With the advice being to not put our hands to our faces – how are EPL players going to talk to each other going forward ?
2. With the increasing likelihood that games will be played behind closed doors- Liverpool’s players will literally walk alone to the title. Oh the beautiful irony.
Johnno (admire the performance but hate the schmalz)
Old man views
Long time reader, first time writer.
A couple of views I know I shouldn’t hold but do, following on from the question from Stu, London.
Coloured boots on defenders: Deep down I still resent seeing a defender in coloured boots. I’ve made peace with a striker or a nippy winger having some flash gear, but seeing a league 1 right-back at Colchester United circa 2002 with a David Beckham haircut and white boots (yes, Sam Stockley I am talking about you) awoke an inner ole get I had no idea existed.
England/big man: I love this new England side. I love the nice lads who seem happy to be there, I love the idea that we have players technical enough to play a bit, to pass it out from the back. But when we’re a goal down with 20 mins to go I still find myself shouting “Get Heskey/Crouch/Carroll on and lump it!!” I’m not even sure we have a working ‘big man’ anymore – Kane is a solid man, but he’s more than a target man – but I can’t shift decades of Engandness from my football brain it seems.
Jeremy (my dislike of VAR is entirely logical) Aves
…Chris Bridgeman, Kingston Upon Thames – loved your email! It was quite cathartic reading it. A few responses if I may
*I am not so pushed about which colour boots a player wears. My only concern is when it hits me in the pocket. The modern boot doesn’t seem to stand up to wear and tear of my 9 year old.
*I am not one for the premeditated goal-celebration dances either. It is all about the brand. However, when the young lad “bangs one in top bins” he wheels away Shearer style, finger in the air, while his mates try to catch him / rugby tackle him. Sheer unfiltered joy. Now that is a celebration. It also doesn’t tend to offend the snowflakes on the pitch, or their snowflake parents on the side lines.
*I get the over-saturation of football on tv (my wife tells me about it all the time), but does anyone really sit down and watch football 7 days a week? I’m a Man Utd fan, I will watch them when I can. I will dip in and out of Champions League matches, but won’t really watch unless it includes one of the bigger teams. I will keep track of things on various apps, and if penalties should appear I am all over that. Otherwise I am content to watch United at the weekend, and catch the highlights on Saturday night / Sunday morning.
*Yes, a centre half lining out with 10 on his back is annoying, but what really annoys me is the guy who intentionally requests some obscure number, or the guys who picks 34 because he was a 7 at his previous team. F** off!
*VAR… yes it is messing things up, but it is a symptom of a larger problem. The rules, individuals interpretations of rules and VAR all contribute to the current cluster f***!
Just a reminder to all the F365 readers that it’s World Book Day today. A good time to read one of the many fantastic football books out there.
As for myself, to celebrate the day I’m I’m going to put on a Manchester City shirt and cook a few books.
Taylor Brawn LFC
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