Liverpool players are knackered by the gegenpress but Jurgen Klopp will rebuild

Date published: Wednesday 18th January 2023 8:56 - Editor F365

Jurgen Klopp after LIverpool beat Wolves

Liverpool fans are absolutely not blaming Jurgen Klopp, even though his methods have broken his players and he needs new ones.

This Mailbox is a cracker; to contribute to the next one e-mail


The future of Liverpool
To run that gegenpress one needs young blood. A front four of youth picked against the bombastic Julen’s Wanderers saw it through.

Gomez and Tsimikas/Konate at the back with what appears to be a lesser spotted, fully fit Keita in the Georginio role proved to my eyes, the point that playing for Jurgen Klopp doubles your football burn out rate, or at least quickens it.

Those who are totally knackered include Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Firmino, Milner then also Mané, Wijnaldam and probably to a degree Saláh.

Tonight we saw the beginning of the future.

Back up / upgrade for Gomez and ‘tarah’ to the great servants VVG, Bobby Firmino and Henderson. Robertson won’t be long to follow them through the door. Fabinho will be the hardest to replace. But by this time next year Klopp will have Liverpool back within the Champions League places and a new dawn will have risen.

A blend of old and young through this transition yet it is evident that this is a transitional year .
Peter (Rubiales getting a lot of stick here for the super copa in Arabia farrago) Andalucia


READ: Five Liverpool players who need an upgrade features Virgil van Dijk


More fan mail for Greg
Greg, I’ll be honest, you almost lost me at “Grade A Truth Nukes” but I persevered. I didn’t get much further.

Not sure if this sort of hyperbole is done for clout, or if Greg is just part of the “top red bating – too young to remember the Hodgson days” crew.

Journalists, or the sensible ones at least, are not too scared to call for Klopp’s head because they understand that he has worked miracles at Anfield. Literally brought every single trophy to Anfield, and almost won all of them in one season. If any manager in the league has bought some good grace, it’s him.

Maybe I’m old, but this all-you-can-eat, tinder generation who throw their toys out of the pram at the first sign of trouble is depressing. But maybe I’m just a “top red”.

As an illustration to this, there’s a planned march at Anfield on Saturday to tell our owners to leave. The owners that are already actively leaving. Shine a light.


…This is to Greg, with his Nuclear Level Truth Bombs, could you sound any more dismissive or condescending? ONLY 1 league title. ONLY 1 Champions League. There are clubs around the league who’d bite your hand off for just one of those, let alone both.

As an Arsenal fan I’d give my back teeth to have even a snifter of a CL final these days. And in fact, the reason I am relishing our current run is because in hindsight I don’t think I truly appreciated the good years under Wenger and our achievements. I refuse to do that again. And yet you’re here, spouting out about your GREATEST ever Premier League manager being somehow not good enough.

I almost want your club to go into a bit of a spiral now, just to check your galactic sense of entitlement! I’m not saying Klopp doesn’t need to go, I don’t watch your games with any regularity to pass judgement, but to dismiss his achievements….achievements against the financial might of City, Chelsea and United is nothing short of miraculous IMO.

To use the language of your city, I think you need to give your head a wobble.
John Matrix AFC


…Greg, Greg, Greg. I stopped reading your email to begin my reply once I saw the mention of “die-hards” and #kloppout in the same sentence.

Sure we all know die-hards use twitter. And twitter is full of mentally competent people with well informed and balanced opinions.

By the way, I was being sarcastic.
Culk the Younger (hashtag Klopp In)


…Greg is obviously an idiot troll and fair play, here I am responding.

The reason the media is not calling for Klopp out is because the Liverpool fans don’t want Klopp out. Simple as that.

Any talk of how much spend is disingenuous at best, to even challenge this city team on the spend he has been allowed is achieving what 99% of managers couldn’t, nevermind winning the PL and CL along the way.

Talk of him being too loyal is bollocks. Does anyone really believe that Oxlade-Chamberlain would still be starting for Liverpool in 2022 if Klopp had been allowed to spend money like City, United and Chelsea?

The clear answer is FSG out, but how does the club keep it’s soul with the groups touted?

Anyway, I’m so glad that Jurgen is a red.


…Whilst we all know Greg who wrote in this morning is a contributor who has a disturbing obsession with Liverpool (and Klopp) in the comments section, which shows in his way OTT email.

Lets take a few points. So after spending millions Klopp has ONLY won a league title, Champions League and a few domestic cups and that is seen as failure?

For some context, we have also narrowly lost league titles twice, reaching record points, and only narrowly by one point on both occasions lost out to a fantastic Man City. True, we only won one but to accuse us of doing a Leicester or Blackburn is way off the mark. As well as winning the champions league we have reached two further finals. Which is by far the most successful English Club in Europe over the last few seasons. The incredible Man City side is yet to even reach a single final. With just one minor result change in most of these seasons we could have had another league title or champion league to our name. Alas, we came runner-up so if winning only one of each is seen as a failure, what does that make the other 99% of teams? Certainly the likes of Man Utd who have nothing to show but failure for even more money spent on their team over the same time period.

Jurgen has most certainly earned the right to carry on. When we were seriously struggling two seasons ago, we were told the same. Klopp is finished and so are these players. The following season we were back and won two cups and narrowly lost the League and Champions League final.

To be fair, I accept Greg’s point about some of the squad needing replacing now. Certainly the midfield hasn’t got the legs anymore. A few times this squad has come back and put in incredible seasons after suffering disappointment the previous season. Some of these players aren’t up to increasing their level again, that is clear. The forward line has been refreshed. Time will tell if the likes of Diaz, Nunez and Gapko can be as good as Mane, Firmino, Salah. Jota is a proven player in our system.

I would be surprised if the next port of call isn’t doing the same with the midfield. It is clear that this area is the problem and they aren’t capable as a unit of doing what they are supposed to be doing, and have done as far back as last season. This season may be one to many for some of them.

I trust Jurgen to have the chance to re-build. He has earned that and has raised our standards before after a poor season. Can he do it again? Will find out next season I guess. This season is painful, but not yet as painful as two seasons ago when we were worse off and finished strong. If time proves that he can’t do it again, then maybe we can have a conversation about who should re-place him. For now, In Jurgen we trust.


…You an Everton fan? You sound like one. At the slightest sign of a terrible game you call for the manager to be sacked.

Typically you come out with all the hyped garbage forgetting the great esteem he has brought to Liverpool FC. The media are scared of him, that’s another hyped up headline right there.

Liverpool have played some thrilling football over the past few years due to Klopp and the pressing game he likes.

But now, oh no let’s get rid of him. Wrong purely on his record so far. First year I know of since he’s joined Liverpool where things are not going to plan. There’s ups and downs and it’s all part of the game. But no… let’s sack him, unbelievable. Let Klopp fix it and we will see at the end of the season where we are.
Tom Murphy


Massive week for Arsenal
This really is the biggest week for Arsenal.

Tottenham beat Man City and Arsenal beat Man U and it’s an 11-point gap.

Man U beat Crystal Palace and Arsenal and suddenly they are sitting three points behind (a game in hand is worth nothing until the points are on the board)

This month without alcohol or nicotine is proving an incredibly stressful time for an Arsenal fan.

That’s all I’ve got for today,
Ps. Where’s Stewie these days?

Pps. We win the league at home to Chelsea 29th April while Mudryk watches from the bench. Not bitter at all.


…Just a quick piece of background to the Arsenal vs Utd match on Sunday. Arsenal will have had a full week to prepare, whereas we will have had 3 days after, what I am expecting to be, a tough match away against Palace. In fact, since the restart Arsenal have played 5 matches whereas we will have played 8.

I don’t think either has the squad depth to successfully compete in four competitions and that will start to show eventually the longer we’re in the cup comps. So it’s advantage Arsenal this week as they had no league cup commitments, and they could do worse than to get knocked out of the FA Cup next week, ironically against City, to protect that lead they have built up.

I still don’t want us to sacrifice any trophy for league position, heart over head and all that, and indeed TH seems to be cut from the cloth of wanting to win every game/trophy. Pochettino’s apparent disdain for domestic cups when at Spurs was one of my reservations against us hiring him, so it helps reaffirm that decision to be a good one so far in my eyes.
Garey Vance, MUFC


Enjoy the ride, Arsenal fans
Enjoy the ride while it lasts because you never know when it will come again.

I am a Liverpool fan of 34 years of age and I have been on the season ticket waiting list since applied when I was 10. As of renewal time before last season I was 221 on the list but the club offered existing season ticket holders a year’s holiday so they could give up their ticket for a year based on Covid, I am assuming due to travel restrictions or potential travel restrictions that may have come in to play and I’m sure because there would have been plenty of people not ready to be in a crowded environment just yet.

The good thing for me was that those tickets went to the first set of people on the waiting list so I got one, in row 4 of the kop and I was in dreamland. Yes, we didn’t win the league but every game felt special because we were bloody good. Every goal mattered, every stubborn defence was broken down, hugs, cheers and happiness. Yes you may not win the league and yes you may be pants again next season (look at us, lolz) so just enjoy the good times while they are served up in front of you and enjoy having a bloody good side.

Far be it from me to judge but has Arsenal just been a case of “what has dt ranted about on YouTube” for the last few years, so now you are up there and challenging, embrace it and don’t let the fans of clubs who aren’t dampen your joy.

I hope you win it, because it certainly won’t be us. Football is supposed to be enjoyed, yet it constantly seems to bring the knob head out in people.

Jurgen in by the way, that man has already built a team that was 9th in to premier league and champions league winners so as long as he is backed he will do it again. Our problem is that because we have had so many players hit their peak at the same time, they also start the downward slope at the same time, and in this generation of finely tuned athletes and science “a yard slower” is vital.

Also to the klopp outs, who on Earth do you plan to bring in to replace him.? There is absolutely nobody other than Pep I would have as manager of us, and that’s not I’d rather have Pep, he is the only one I would consider removing Klopp for if push came to shove and as that is never going to happen…. Klopp in.
Ryan, Liverpool

Arsenal's Martin Odegaard celebrates


It’s January and nothing has been won yet
I’d just like to remind everyone that it’s January and some teams haven’t even played half a season. Eight points isn’t an insurmountable lead with five games to go never mind twenty. That’s two losses and a draw. Besides, if we talk about the title race now then what are we going to talk about in April?

Rather, can we talk about how Richarlison seems to have gotten away with pushing an opponent in the head in the lead up to “the kick”? Can we talk about how he used his press time to explain why he pushed Ramsdale in the head and not apologise for it? Can we talk about how Tottenham were so quick to say “violence has no place in football” while simultaneously not punishing one of their players for violence in football?
SC, Belfast (I seem to have shared an opinion with Piers Morgan so I’m off to have a long, hard look at myself)


Thoughts on the issues at Man City and why Arsenal will win it
I am one, a Man City fan, we do exist (though not in the F365 mailbox it seems)

City’s current position isn’t a surprise, the pattern has seemed the same in games for a few seasons now – score early and we win easily, still close at half time and it could go either way…this run of results has been “on” for a while, we’ve just had individual brilliance to get us out of it…


Some “important players” have stayed too long…Bernardo and Gundogan (both of whom are brilliant – and much loved) have wanted to move away for a while, still performing but that must have an impact on the squad…

Our best defenders are prone to injury – Most City fans will point at John Stones as being our best CB (not Diaz), but he, Diaz and Laporte are all made of glass and Ake / Akanji aren’t “quite” the same. Walker is incredible and still rapid and let’s be honest, Cancelo isn’t a defender is he?

What seemed like good selling may have been misguided. Most of us found Sterling frustrating but he’s missed as an outlet, as are Jesus (as a winger and a fighter) and most surprisingly Zinchenko who is just a brilliant footballer. Having laughed at Arsenal as a feeder club for a while – who’s laughing at the moment?

Lack of experienced depth in squad – don’t laugh. Yeah, yeah, bought success etc (we know we have)…but go much beyond the starting line up and a couple of big name subs and you’re into academy players coming through. For most of us that’s a good thing…hopefully Lewis and Palmer will be with the club a long time but asking them to influence games regularly now is stretching it a bit.

Short of a massive turnaround in morale and hunger I just don’t think City are on for the league this season (Champions League seems to be accepted as the target). Arsenal have “got it” both in attitude and aptitude and in part we’ve helped by providing them with “winners” who are hungry (having been seen as “not quite good enough”) to make a point.

It’s not a crisis but time for a semi-rebuild at City, trust in Pep (but please build it around Foden)
Blue Dave


The Ten Hag process
Interesting pair of articles about ten Hag’s successes so far and his next obstacles: if this morning’s gossip is to be believed, then two of those could be hurdled perfectly over the summer, at reasonable cost. If we can bag Kane and Pickford to replace Ronaldo and de Gea then we’d be on to a seriously good thing.

Although Osimhen and Vlahovic could become brilliant long-term solutions up front, there are still question marks over both—and £100+ million is far too much money for another gamble—whereas Kane is an utterly safe bet. His (albeit often successful) habit of dropping deep for England and Spurs has been a consequence of playing for two teams who (usually) set up without a proper number ten. With Fernandes pulling the strings behind, Kane would be able to stay up top more often and—all being well—score an absolute hatful. Lovely.

Replacing de Gea is trickier: Pickford has had pretty alarming runs of form in the past, but I think would still be the right choice. As with strikers, few truly top ‘keepers seem to be available this year, and while Costa might have a higher ceiling (and longevity/‘resale value’), he’s not quite fully proven either—to my eyes he looked a bit ropey for Portugal—and is also too much of a risk at the £60/70 million being quoted. For £20 million, however, Pickford could push on and become a really excellent ‘keeper—which would be wonderful—but if he doesn’t we can start the search again in a couple of years, quite possibly in a better market, without a massive loss on the books (and another decent character slotting into an ever more likeable squad).

My third dream signing would be Joshua Kimmich, to play at right back (tucking into midfield as right backs are wont to do these days) as well as providing back-up for Casemiro, should be ever get injured *shudders*. Hugely, hugely unlikely, of course, but then again nobody was thinking we’d get Casemiro this time last year… If not, Dumfries seems the best option going, although a very pricey one.

With regard to other squad uncertainties – namely Maguire/Fred/Wan-Bissaka – I’d lean on the side of ‘get rid,’ and believe ten Hag will too, insofar as he has any money left to spend on replacements, or whether we can lift another long-standing curse and actually become a decent selling club. If we could get some money for Fred (hardly unreasonable for a Brazil international), say, then bringing in ten Hag’s man Kudus would be a nice option to rotate with Eriksen and Fernandes—who are surely going to need a rest one day—at minimal (net) cost. In the same vein, Kim seems to be an upgrade on Maguire (especially as Shaw can now magically come in for Martinez on the left hand side), and could be a long-term successor for Varane. I wouldn’t mind making the Weghorst and Butland signings permanent, either, while letting Martial and Henderson go. Weghorst is a natural back-up for Kane, and would presumably be happy to play that famously limited role, while Butland ticks all the ‘back-up keeper’ boxes quite nicely, too—better than Henderson, anyway, who seems to think he’s twice the ‘keeper that his performances suggest.

All that would potentially leave us with the following (asterisks indicate the next batch of last-chance salooners to keep an eye on, with a view to replacing if they don’t step it up):

GK: Pickford / Butland
RB: Dumfries (or Kimmich!) / Dalot*
CB: Varane / Kim
CB: Martinez / Lindelof*
LB: Shaw / Malacia
CDM: Casemiro / McTominay*
CM: Eriksen / Kudus
CAM: Fernandes / van de Beek*
RW: Antony / Sancho*
LW: Rashford / Garnacho
ST: Kane / Weghorst

This is all fantasy, of course – especially if ten Hag really can get Sancho back to near his best, and the Glazers really do go—but it isn’t *sheer* fantasy, and that squad looks as good as nearly any in Europe at the moment, full of players who might actually want to play for us, and who are largely known to be hard-working and professional.

More likely, of course, is that none of this will happen, that the Glazers won’t have sold up and so won’t release any funds, and we’ll be left scraping the loans barrel with Varane out injured for the season and Garnacho and Rashford off to Barcelona/Madrid/PSG. But at least we’re beginning to dream of better days, and—really—that’s the biggest change ten Hag has made…
Tiger (MUFC) Cambridge


Defending Romero
Just want to clear things up on good old Cuti Romero. You have to be a Spurs fan to appreciate what he brings to the table. Yes, I get it and see it, as an opposing fan you may not see what the fuss is about. He is (kinda) reckless at times and often should be sent off. However, whilst that may come to bite him on the bottom, he does tend to stay on the pitch for us. I love the fact he plays on the edge. In addition, considering the absolute dogshit we’ve had in defence since those halcyon days of peak Jan & Toby (jeez, what a contrast to now), then Romero is an absolute hero.

He tends to give a f*ck. This helps. He is a sh*thouse. Something we have typically and sorely missed down the years. He has also won one of those weird shiny things that we seem so opposed to getting near to. Like, the opposite of a magpie. Whatever the footballing equivalent of a magpie is, we’re the opposite – that’s us. He also isn’t Eric Dier, Japhet Tanganga, Davinson Sanchez and, to a lesser extent, Ben Davies. I actually rate Lenglet so will leave him out of it. So anyway, he is absolutely golden when stood next to that shocking array of mediocrity that is our selection of centre backs. He is rarely at fault for us conceding and, believe this or not, we do look better when he plays. Damned with the faintest praise if ever there was any.

1 billion bonus points also gets awarded for simply not being Hugo Lloris.

Hope this helps clear it all up.
Glen, Stratford Spur


On the fickleness of fans
I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before but the way people view players now does my head in. All of last season I was wanting people to get off Rashford’s back. People suggesting he wasn’t good enough, trying hard enough or just plain shit. Now he’s world class. Stop using small sample sizes to judge players. We had 3/4 years of Rashford to know how good he is and what he’s capable of. Likewise Trent. I’m not going to judge him on 3 months of inconsistent form when I can judge him on 5 years of being world class.

The new one I’ve seen more and more is Mason Mount. Chelsea and England’s scapegoat. Watching the England vs USA game, I could see he didn’t play well. But the narrative seemed to be that he was the only player who was poor and he’s Southgate’s favourite. Just like he was Lampard, Tuchels and Potters favourite… Or maybe he’s just pretty good.

I’ve seen some suggest he’s not good enough for Chelsea. He’s been their POTY for TWO seasons in a row. He was absolutely crucial in them winning the CL, scoring vs Madrid and assisting in the final. He got double figures in goals and assists in the PL alone last season. It’s not just that, it’s the work rate he puts in. Constantly pressing, linking up play, getting in the box and doing his role defensively. He’s a managers dream. He doesn’t have the dribbling of Foden or Saka or the aesthetics but he’s been vital for Chelsea. So if anyone replies and says something about him being shit this season, yes he’s been below par… Chelsea as a whole have.

At the time, I didn’t judge Hazard on his one bad season in 15/16 when I could look at his previous work and understand hes a good player. Stop rating players on dips of form. You all thought Shaw was shit in September and were outraged Southgate called him up to one of the games before the World Cup.. another one of his favourites. Last season, it was all about Southgate showing favouritsm towards Rashford and not calling up Bowen. Now it’s calling Southgate an idiot for not starting Rashford vs France.

Honestly, I don’t understand how fickle people can be. It’s not that hard to look at football as a whole. If someone falls off hard and is poor for like 2/3 seasons with no signs of a return like Dele, then fair enough. But Rashford coming back from an injury in a struggling United team or Mounts form dipping in a struggling Chelsea side is just not a good measure. Especially when both of them appear to have top mentalities and quality.
Dion, Arsenal


VAR shows people running football don’t understand it
Football is about entertainment, not perfect refereeing decisions. Perfect refereeing would actually reduce the entertainment.

Look at rugby for proof. In rugby, the convention is that any ref’s decision must be accepted. The result is that on Monday morning, everyone discusses football not rugby.

VAR was sold as fixing egregious mistakes like phantom goals. Mission creep has it fixing new egregious errors like actually celebrating goals.

But there is another concern I have about VAR: who selects the video to review? Are they checked for being biased? A number of times (eg Richarlison raising hands to Ramsdale), a clear straight red doesn’t get reviewed. Even if that hasn’t happened yet, when champions league qualification or staying up is worth 10s of millions, someone is going to try.

At some point soon, there is going to be a corruption scandal around VAR. Get rid of it. To quote Saint Sigourney “Take off and nuke it from orbit. It is the only way to be sure.”


Losing the mojo
In response to Tom G and his thoughtful email “Has Anyone Else Lost Their Football Mojo?”, the answer is YES but as it seems with Tom G himself I can’t quite walk away completely.

Somewhere around 2010 my interest quietly began collapsing. I now view a couple of matches at most per year on the telly and the last match I attended in person was Werder Bremen at Borussia Moenchengladbach on a family boys weekend in 2011.

Partly I think it’s disdain for the whole idea of watching immature multi millionaires playing a child’s game which other rich fools pontificate on without any obvious grasp of sport let alone life.

But mainly it is despair at the dominance of a handful of clubs in their domestic contexts and now it seems in the European competitions too.
Elite football, like Formula One, is entirely dominated by the teams with the strongest financial resources. The players themselves appear only to aspire to play for those same clubs rather than experience the challenge and thrill of overturning them.

Count the number of emails and articles on this very site that invoke the usual suspects.

Count the number of trophies won by anyone outside the golden circle in the past 20 years.

There is a reason the game here in Scotland is as poisonous and degraded as it is, with the two clubs who have dominated it for decades.

There is a reason the highest levels of the game are attracting people and sponsors with no embarrassment about their immoral/ amoral conduct toward other human beings.

Players have no apparent desire to win at sport, just to join a guaranteed medal factory.

Fans have no apparent desire to experience sport, just to spend time on a predictable outcome unfolding with no alarms and no surprises.

Sorry to be so dismal but that’s modern elite football for you!

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