If Mo Salah was white he would get twice as many fouls. And other opinions…

Ian Watson
Mo Salah in action for Liverpool against Villarreal.

One Mailboxer reckons racism is blame for Mo Salah being given fewer fouls than Anthony Gordon. Also: Lampard, Liverpool’s route to the final, and Poborsky.

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com


Refs racist towards Salah
Villareal were obviously very well organised and were probably thinking they would take a 0-0 draw back home quite happily. Whilst their attempts to slow the game down were good they were playing a ridiculously dangerous game. Whilst we didn’t score we had 10 corners and 12 shots in the first half. They literally couldn’t keep hold of the ball and it became a training exercise in counter pressing. In a way if the away goals rule existed then they probably would’ve tried harder to score but maybe that’s a thought for another day.

I understand why Emery set them up that way but you have to find a way to not concede chances against this Liverpool if you want to cede territory and possession. If you give up that space and time to this Liverpool they will eventually find a way to hurt you.

If Mo Salah was white he would get twice as many fouls as he does. I can’t believe he didn’t get a penalty tonight. I saw something that he gets a foul every 60 minutes whilst Anthony Gordon gets a decision every 30 minutes. It’s not because Gordon is more talented or gets on the ball more in dangerous positions, it’s because he’s white.

Great that Trent and Mané got a little bit of rest given our schedule literally doesn’t stop for a bit longer. Trent was well marshalled tonight but Mané continues to find a new lease of life through the middle. Amazing that Klopp has managed to get him so accustomed to that role so fast because a few weeks ago he looked a little sketchy in that central position and today looked a natural.
Minty, LFC


Liverpool sidestep another obstacle that could hand them boost for title as well as Europe


Easy, easy, easy
I see that anti-Liverpool supporters are already getting in their “easiest route to the final ever” (not seeing City fans saying this, tbf). Not withstanding a tricky away leg at Villarreal to come (and I’d definitely prefer villarreal to Madrid), but I’m not sure how it’s easier than City’s route?

Groups: Brugge, PSG and Leipzig harder than the (before a ball is kicked) “group of death” AC Milan, Atletico and Porto?

Then Sporting Lisbon (behind Porto in the league) or Inter Milan (Italian champions)?

Then Atletico Madrid (already dispatched twice by Liverpool – so must have been really easy) or Benfica?

Finally, Real Madrid and Villarreal (who’ve beaten Juve and Bayern). To be fair, I’m glad Liverpool aren’t playing Bayern, but they didn’t get through so what exactly are Liverpool supposed to do, ask for a Villarreal v Bayern rematch? Real and Villarreal have both had the toughest routes to this point and are both now losing at half time. But City and Liverpool are two of the best teams in the world right now, and they can only beat who is in front of them. Thing is, both of them would beat most teams and the league, champions league and fa cup have proved that.

Forget the “but they had an easier run” because they’ve both had their moments of fortune. It should be a City v Liverpool Champions League final and there’s a big chance it still might not be, but they are the best teams in Europe right now and it could be an epic final.

For anybody else moaning about how easy Liverpool or City have had it, and you don’t support Real or Villarreal, if it’s so easy, why isn’t your team going for the league or Champions League?

Rob, Worthing.
PS. Yes I’m drunk


Stupid questions
There’s this growing trend of asking what the point of certain clubs is?

What’s the point of Everton? – they’ve been an ever present in the Premier League but have never finished in the top 3. What’s the point of Burnley? – a club that seems happy to merely exist in the top flight and even what’s the point of Arsenal? – London’s most successful club in
terms of league titles but less relevant than Notts Forest on the European stage.

But then I think of an old friend who’s a Dagenham & Redbridge fan. This guy goes to every home game and attends away games when he can. He knows his club are highly unlikely to ever play European football or even emulate Burnley by reaching the promised land of the Premier League. But not so long ago his club was threatened with going out of business and I could see the emotion of what this club meant to him as a fan who goes home and away to watch the mighty Daggers. You could not tell him there is no point to his club.

So while some of you bask in the reflected glory of a club’s success you’ve hitched your wagon to, don’t belittle those whose club may seem to you pointless – there’s a point to every club across the world because they truly matter to someone somewhere.

It would be so easy to cut club football down to franchises operating in certain regions – more money concentrated at fewer clubs – so you could watch the London Prides take on the North West Thunder for example – but does anyone really want to watch that? I know I don’t.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


…Wikipedia has a lot to answer for. It gives hard brains somewhere to go to load up on ammunition when they want to prove some utterly inane point such as “Everton have never actually won the League Cup which puts them in the shadow of such luminaries as Oxford United, Stoke, Swansea, QPR, Swindon, Luton, Birmingham and West Brom”. Wikipedia will also tell you, for example, that since QPR won their single trophy in 1967 Everton have won 3 First Divisions, 1 FA Cup and 1 Cup Winner’s Cup and probably most impressively have never dropped down a division. This is of course ignoring the fact that the only people who use the League Cup as a major trophy are fans of the team that’s just won it or people on the internet trying to suggest that league and European trophy winners Everton are in the shadow of Oxford United.

This is all irrelevant though, anyone who asks what the point of a football club is isn’t capable of understanding anyway. If you can boil a club down to the honours section of their wiki page then you’re not a football fan and you’re a social miscreant. The key thing about football clubs is the word “club”. They’re about so much more than winning but it’s pointless to debate it because if you don’t know you’ll never know. If the only thing you enjoy about football is to look at league tables at the end of the season then your opinion isn’t wanted, I feel sorry for you and you should take your interest elsewhere. If you feel like Everton are pointless then you also feel like your own club is pointless because no club wins everything and who wants to listen to someone who thinks like that.

I find it frustrating that in the past few weeks we’ve had people writing in to mourn the sacking of Mr anti-football Sean Dyche and writhe in smugness about the prospect of Everton getting relegated. I challenge anyone outside of Burnley supporters to say they’ve ever enjoyed a single Sean Dyche match and I challenge anyone to say they’ve never been entertained by Everton.
SC, Belfast


Failing Frank
As a player, I had no great strength of feeling either way on Frank Lampard, but as a manager? I can’t stand the bloke. Following the Liverpool game, they’ve demanded another apology for a decision; that’s the second time in his short tenure, and he spoke to Dyche privately to get another for Dyche’s “comments”. He’s so painfully, laughably thin-skinned. The entitlement is genuinely nauseating.

Throw on top of that, he’s a rubbish manager. “But… but…. he did a good job at Derby!” they say. He came 6th whilst having in Tomori a CB that’s now AC Milan’s best defender, one of the best players currently in the championship in Wilson, and Mason Mount, a player valued at £100m+ that plays in Champions League and Euros finals. True to form, he did succeed in crying his eyes out about Bielsa’s “spying” and demanded another apology, so there’s that.

At Chelsea, he scraped fourth with a low points tally for the position (66, 60 is lowest to achieve it) when Arsenal and Spurs both had dreadful campaigns. They scraped through the CL group stage behind Valencia and then were annihilated 7-1 on aggregate by Bayern in the knockouts. He achieved the absolute bare minimum requirements for the season (top 4 and knockouts) and even then, only just,

One of my best mates is a toffee, he’d have been furious if they’d appointed Ole or Steve Bruce after Rafa’s sacking. Both are better managers (note, not good, just better than Lampard). Everton are a complete mess, Rafa was a ludicrous appointment that was doomed to end in tears from the start, but to bring in Lampard…

I should be grateful really, because it’s nice to know that there’s a club in the league even more dysfunctional and mismanaged than my own.
Lewis, Busby Way

Everton boss Frank Lampard pulls a face


Eveton p*ssed away their lottery win
Thoughts on Everton Football Clusterf**k:
1. We absolutely deserve to go down and deserve all the stick we get in the process. Won the lottery and absolutely p*ssed it away. Give any of the other Prem teams our investment over the past few seasons, no way do they end up close to where we find ourselves now.
2. Having said that, no way do we end up where we find ourselves now if Carlo had remained faithful when the Spanish harlot crooked her finger. However much we hate ourselves, I hate Real more.
3. Back to all the anti-Everton sentiment. Can’t argue with (most of) it. Also, can’t think of any other Prem teams outside the so-called Big 6 that would elicit the same response in our predicament, so I’m smugly satisfied that our Big Club credentials are firmly in place, drop or no. Bless you all.
4. Silver lining of a drop is that at least our chances of breaking our silverware drought next season would got better. (They do give a trophy for the Championship winners, don’t they?) Mind you, after this season the other Championship teams must be licking their chops at the thought of playing us, so prob not a whole lot better.


Skills to pay the bills
Good question Graeme, Glasgow. Off the top of my head, I can think of the “Maradona spin”, where he used to dribble at speed and drag the ball between the soles of both feet, pirouetting 360 degrees and evading the flummoxed defender. The same technique was beloved of Zidane, who may now have lent his name to the manoeuvre too.

Going back a bit, there’s the classic “Stanley Matthews” shoulder-drop and accelerate past the full-back. One for the grandads out there! Plus the Ronaldinho “flip-flap” skill Graeme referred to, I think, used to be named after 70s “samba star”(TM The Tabloids) Roberto Rivelino.

In more recent times, France ’98 saw the birth of the “Blanco” thanks to the Mexican Cuauhtemoc Blanco holding the ball between his feet and ‘bunny-hopping’ away from defenders. Then about a decade later, a similarly lesser-spotted Latin American skill was perfected by nailed-on future Brazilian superstar (and early YouTube sensation) Kerlon. Kerlon produced the seal-dribble, or “The Kerlon” by juggling the ball on his head as he dribbled into the penalty box against Argentina, I think, in an under-17s game!

He faded into obscurity almost immediately, but thanks to his audacity and the growth of the internet, The Kerlon has gone down in football folklore! My all-time favourite skill.

Hope that helps!
Lee, Master of The Kerlon


…In response to Graeme in Glasgow…if you don’t scream “Henry!” whilst opening up your body and curling an effort into the bottom corner then you’ve done your Sat/Sun/5 a side game a massive disservice. Honourable shout out to anyone who does the Drogba double arm pump celebration.
Ronald, London


…In response to the question from Graeme about who else has skills named after them, I am no doubt showing my age but one example immediately shot into my brain, and that was the insanely amazing lob that Karel Poborský scored for Czech Republic against Portugal at EURO ’96. The playgrounds & pitchs of my youth were full of kids trying to replicate it and shouting his name as they did. To this day, if I try and lob a keeper I hear ‘Poborský!’ in my head. If you have no idea what I am talking about, go watch the loft wedge like brilliance for yourself.
Neville (Liverpool fan in Melbourne who put a sizeable bet on the quadruple months agoand is now worried that that bet will somehow jinx it)