Did Diaz debut offer a glimpse into Liverpool’s future?

Editor F365
Luis Diaz in action for Liverpool.

The Mailbox reckons we might have seen the future in Liverpool’s win over Leicester. Also: plenty more on Zouma and his cat.

Send your views to theeditor@football365.com


A glimpse into Liverpool’s future?
It’s pretty rare to see Klopp throw anyone straight into our team when they sign. Especially players from abroad; I think he keeps them out the picture to allow them to adjust to a new country and our methods before he chucks them in. Diaz is the exception to the rule it seems and today he showed why; he’s great on the ball, aggressive off it and has an eye for goal and an instinct for where the people around him will be. He’s also very quick.

The most unusual thing about Diaz’s play was that he was almost in a free role. He popped up on the right, left and in central midfield. I wonder if Klopp is imagining a new iteration of our front three where Diaz, Elliott and Jota all play interchangeably to make marking very tricky and will also make it easier to break down stubborn teams that sit deep. He stuck to his side a lot more after Salah came on so who knows.

Against Cardiff and today, Trent looked a bit dreadful. Wayward passes, giving the ball away and getting skinned. I think he had a little too much relaxation on his holiday.

What can we do except try to win football matches. Of course the league is almost certainly done and dusted but a covid outbreak or weird run of form could happen to any team in the league. We’ve already had our share of that stuff, so have Chelsea so maybe (hopefully!) it’s Man City’s turn next.
Minty, LFC


Liverpool and hope
It’s often said: “It’s the hope that kills you”.

I disagree. I know City will win the league but what if…?

It won’t happen, but hope keeps every game interesting and fun until the inevitable.
Aidan, Lfc (and when that doesn’t work out, at least the top 4 battle will be interesting…hopefully)

Big Weekend: Man United v Saints, Coutinho, Rodgers, Norwich


In love with football again
In amongst all the negative stuff flying around at the moment in relation to indiscretions of certain fans and players I wanted to take a minute to express my excitement as an NUFC fan. Before everyone piles in about the ownership etc. etc. I am adopting the David Moyes approach and focussing on matters on the pitch! Tuesday night saw me attend the game with my sons and experience that hair tingling excitement I used to get during the early days of The Entertainers. There is no better place to be that St James Park under the lights, full house and everyone in full song, Frank Lampard even alluded to it after the game. There is a huge feeling of positivity at the moment, everyone is backing the team and the manager and we all feel like we are in this together. It has been some time since that has been the case, all those years of pain as a season ticket holder may soon pay dividends.

At the moment our team plays with a renewed sense of grit, we are pressing the opposition more, we are working together as a unit and we now have two top class full backs to balance our defence and make us a genuine threat on the counter attack, not to mention set pieces (thanks Villa) We have a mercurial player who can excite and frustrate in equal measure, you never know what he is going to do but you love him for it. We have a terminator in midfield, who thanks to excellent coaching and a bit of patience has went from a £40m flop to a mainstay of our team, he never loses the ball and works his ‘Sandra Bullocks’ off!

Some rival fans and even so called ‘expert’ pundits wrote off our January transfer business but I think this shows that as a club we have a plan and we will not have our pants pulled down in transfer fees. Something other clubs should be thanking us for as the market hasn’t been artificially inflated, which has happened in the past when other clubs have had a windfall, Post Bale Spurs springs to mind.

This is a strange season considering we have managed to somehow pull ourselves out of the relegation places, for now, but I feel that we are at the start of something special. Sure we may still go down but with the players we have recruited and the ones I am sure we could attract this will merely be a bump in the road. If we stay up then who knows what is going to happen! As Newcastle fans we are always labelled as deluded, unfair on managers and demanding of success. That is not the case with the vast majority of us, we want what everyone else wants, a club that places fans at the centre, connects with its community and puts the building blocks in place to compete. We are starting to see those green shoots through regular communication with the current custodians, a decent manager who is genuine, honest and acts with integrity, not to mention a group of players who seem to really get it and will give their all. They are even moving Shearer back to his rightful place at the bottom of the Gallowgate steps! Gabby Agbonlahor regularly derides Newcastle and makes some laughable claims about our difficulty to attract players. Gabby, I hear you are coming up on Sunday for the game, believe me when you feel the bouncing atmosphere and see the glow that seems to be around the club at the moment, I am sure you will see the appeal. You are welcome to join us in Tilley’s for a pint beforehand.

The club is going places, it is not just about the money, yes that is a key factor, but you can’t buy passion and you can’t buy the energy that can be unlocked with a little bit of respect and ambition. My final observation on a great Tuesday night at St James summed all of this feeling up perfectly. There is no better sight than seeing your top January signing who only touched down in Newcastle about 4 days ago, warming up for the whole of the second half, watching the clock giving his manager daggers and literally fidgeting with excitement to get on the pitch. When the call came in for him to get on for the last 3-5 minutes he sprinted back to the dugout with an intensity unmatched by any opposition Everton player on the night. But of course he is only here for the money, how could he possibly be attracted by the ‘Project’ and if Brentford had come in with an offer he would surely have taken that, eh Gabby?
Steve, NUFC (lets end the week on a positive)


Rio on refs
When Rio Ferdinand was asked about the Arsenal red card, he replied ‘the ref wants to be in the news tomorrow’. No acknowledgement of the context, just another inflammatory sound bite from an ex player that’s fallen on their feet into punditry and is yet to offer any genuine insight.

I’m not suggesting that it is as bad as our esteemed leader in parliament of course, but once again we have this weird polarised rhetoric that you’re either right or wrong and if challenged, double down. Martinelli made two stupid challenges; one to delay a throw in (and makes contact, so it’s not even just a block), and then cynically chased down and bumped an attacker to the floor with no attempt to play the ball. Both of those offences constitute yellow cards. Michael Oliver tried to let an advantage after the first, and a second yellow card offence occurred so he rightly awarded two yellow cards. Why shouldn’t you be booked for either of those incidents? You can bet that if I do either of those in my Saturday match I’ll get booked (though I’ll be pulling the man back as I’m 35 and there’s no way I’d chase him down nowadays).

A mailboxer mentioned about Joe Cole and how he’s really adding to his gig. I totally agree; I really enjoy listening to him and he seems willing to put the work in. Ferdinand however is an absolute waste of airtime. And that’s even before you consider Robbie Savage was on that panel too. When Michael Owen is the voice of reason…Jesus wept.
Stu, Southampton


Dele’s deal
F365 asks if there is any way Alli can be judged on his football?

The answer is yes, he has been rubbish for more than a year now, and was no better in his first Everton game. The fact that he cannot bother to get his life back together, work on himself and show some dedication to improving his career is worth tearing him down for.

I am brown, and pretty much the same age as Alli, and i would never have a lazy bum like him (or pogba, maguire) in my team. Talent can only take your so far when you cannot be bothered to work hard.

Also, i love people who wear what they feel like, but if you show up on arguably your biggest day since 2020 looking like you cannot be bothered, no one will have any pity for you. Stop canoodling cry babies who dont require. Jamie Vardy gets away with drinking cans of redbull before a game or whatever because he shows up and performs. If he was 25 games without a goal following an idiotic diet, he would be criticized to hell and back. Not everything is about black and white. No one would be talking about his car or his clothes if he performed when it matters. Same with Pogba, Depay, Grealish, Foden and others who live a flashy lifestyle.
For a free transfer, it is shocking how both team can be counted at losers in this scenario.

Which brings me to Antonio, who claimed that why should Zouma lose his job when racists dont. Bring me a video of a player saying the N word, laughing, saying the N word again, laughing more, and then uploading it on a friends social media. The man would be in fired & in hiding.

Managers and morals
The surprise is the anyone was surprised that Moyes picked Zouma. When did managers, players or fans demonstrate ant moral compass?

Moyes could not see the problem. Eddie Howe only has focus on football, conveniently ignoring the vile regime funding him. All the supporters care about is money spent on the team. Say what you will about Mike Ashley, he did not behead people, oppress women and order the murder of a journalist.

Pep Guardiola and all at Man City do not care that they are funded by another unsavory regime. And the less said about Raith Rovers the better. Gambling companies on shirts anyone?

So again, why the surprise about Moyes? He wanted to win a game, so who cares about a cat. Football has become, show me the money and I will look the other way.
Alistair Stuart


Cat-bothering bros
I congratulate Dagenham & Redbridge on having a sensible reaction to the Zouma’s situation.

Let’s see how the Zouma brothers do with the French legal system. Hopfully not well.
Will CFC – to think I was disapointed with his transfer.

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma and a cat
…And so it begins, the whataboutery from West Ham fans – what about this, what about that. But Mike. Take a bow for your hot take.

His hefty fine is two weeks’ wages. It’s nothing. It’s a drop in the ocean. He could donate 6 months salary to the RSPCA and still walk away with £3m per year. That you think it is an appropriate punishment from the club is astounding. A woman punches a horse as part of a hunt – she goes into hiding, loses her job, and will likely struggle financially in life. Woman puts a cat in the wheelie bin? vilified, hounded every day of the week, loses her job. He premeditated the attack on the poor animal. He didn’t do it in the spur of the moment – he had someone ready and videoing him as he dropped the cat and kicked it. It’s not a mistake, it’s abuse. And it’s sustained abuse, because he then slaps the animal in another shot. He’s done it on camera, there is a 99% chance he’s done it previously off camera. They are the actions of an animal abuser and he should face the exact same punishments as the everyman. As for no one being scarred for life – the cat is. Cats have brains, and can suffer psychological damage from abuse. Same as dogs, sames as any other sentient being. The cat is likely now in an animal shelter with a sign that says “Suffered abuse at the hand of his previous owner; may take some time to adjust and feel comfortable around you”.

As for poor West Ham, struggling with a wafer thin squad. WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN. Leeds have played West Ham three times this season with players under 20 – Charlie Cresswell at CB, Leo Hjelde at CB, Lewis Bate at MF and Sam Greenwood at ST. That Moyes doesn’t trust in an academy that currently sits 2nd in the PL2, with the best defensive record in that league shows the lack of managerial skill Moyes has to integrate youth in the team. Didn’t invest, have a cat kicker in the team? Play the kids. Absolutely no sympathy on that front. None whatsoever.

And so classy to bring in sexual assault as your whatabout example. *claps*. But my absolute favourite part of the email is the mention of “Woke”.

I love how someone has managed to make not being an absolute c*nt to animals “woke”.

Mat, Leeds.


…The “fake outrage” and “hysterical faux-woke (there is that word again) hypocritical nonsense” really nailed the door shut on what type of person you are, given that you opened up your mail talking about your “wafer thin squad” to justify Zouma’s abhorrent behaviour.

And no, f365 hasn’t gone downhill over the last 15 years, it’s more a case that you are being left behind and don’t like it. The world is becoming more inclusive and recognising marginalised people and instead of looking inwards, it’s everyone else.

You’re Principal Skinner concluding that he’s not out of touch, the children are simply just wrong.
Jon (too many quote marks, I know), Lincoln


…I felt compelled to write in regarding the Zouma situation.

We all need to recognise that there is a spectrum of views / moral positions across society when it comes to the treatment of animals.

As a person who has had a direct debit for the last 20 years to the great body who kindly removed the animals from Zouma’s family home, I sit towards the end of the spectrum that feels he deserves all the grief he gets.

The fact that the dye is cast for me (in that he is a scumbag) should not deflect from the desire for some good to come out of this.

How ?

A start would be for the impressionable people (primarily kids) who have viewed that sickening video to clearly see that there are real lasting consequences of acting as Zouma has done.

Fining the player two weeks wages is not going to make any difference to his moral compass, I feel.

The player being on the receiving end of continued barracking from the stands will likely have a lasting impact on a player’s psyche and I would strongly encourage stadium audiences to continue to give him a hard time until he can provide clear, tangible evidence of how he has changed.

I applaud the West Ham fines who let him know their thoughts on Tuesday, but interested to see whether that was a one-time thing.

Money talks and I celebrate the companies who have punished both the player and the club for their recent actions. West Ham FC only deserve punishment in that regard for playing him, a choice they can control (weak arguments aired by Moyes over ‘only having 2 CBs’ … Liverpool pretty much didn’t have any at points last year and still played every match, accepting the consequences …. don’t insult our intelligence and claim that you don’t have a choice !).

Throw him to the lions … a lovely example of the power base reversing and a cat getting its revenge on a weak human being.
Sparky, LFC


…No doubt fans from around their rivals will be keen to make a point of the recent cat kicking actions out of West Ham. I’ve already seen a link to an inflatable cat ahead of NUFC upcoming visit.
Whilst this is no doubt a great chance for fan banter might this not have a positive outcome if fans flowed the lead of Real Betis fans and threw lots of soft toy cats on the pitch that could then be donated to local causes. Humour and doing good.


Losers and losers
Sorry Mike and Me, but West Ham’s response overall has been…tepid, at best, as was Zoima’s ‘apology.’ A former statement, a more immediate fine and donation to the RSPCA AND dropping Zoila for a game would have gone a long way. In the age of social media, the speed with which bad behaviour can be excoriated requires swift and measured responses. Notwithstanding the lame attempts by West Ham supporters to justify animal cruelty as people eat meat, West Ham are now feeling the pain with sponsors dropping. Clearly they don’t buy that argument either. Besides, why in earth did they record this, if they didn’t think what they were doing was okay. Zouma clealry needs some help.

I said it earlier – Ronaldo will be the problem not the solution. Not because he is a lousy player. He clearly keeps himself fit and eats well, etc. But as a ‘GOAT’ l, he wants to dictate play and teams to maximize himself. Unlike say, Messi, who scored AND made a lot of goals, Ronaldo has really been the Apex goal scorer. Unbelievable heading ability, great poacher but he requires the whole team to play to Him.

Last year, after 23 EPL games, United has scored 53 and conceded 30 and had 45 points. Compare to the Ronaldo ‘inspired’ United with 37 for, 31 against and 39 points. They are worse off in every department. They are a whopping number of goals worse off and just about the same in terms of letting them in. Ronaldo hasn’t helped. With the need to play around him, pander to his shortcomings, this side is scoring significantly fewer goals overall. The team are completely unbalanced.

It was ironic that Southampton came back to beat Spurs, as if there has been a team as close to Spursy as Spurs, its been them. But I’m sorry Sa’ad on those recent performances, Spurs look far from set even with Conte. I don’t seem him staying if they can’t bring in better recruits. When he joined Chelsea and Inter, he had a much better squads. And this is a guy that leaves winning teams.

Finally, Everton. A lot was being put on Benitez’s shoulders and less on the players. In his last game in charge the team made so many basic errors, errors that even schoolboys wouldn’t make, it almost seemed deliberate. Bringing in Lampard is a mistake. The two teams he managed had squads of quality and unrealized expectations. He made them play more attractive attacking football but failed at defence – an area Everton are sorely lacking. People apply too much of an ex-players managerial potential to the great teams they played in or the player themselves. Everton won’t gain the never say die attitude and grit of Lampard’s Chelsea by having Lampard in charge. They would have been better off with Hodgson. Look what Smith is doing at Norwich. Newcastle’s signings are paying off. Everton are in very serious trouble.
Paul McDevitt