The season is ‘almost over’ for Liverpool now…

Date published: Monday 19th October 2020 2:26 - Joe Williams

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Get your mails in to…


Liverpool’s season is almost over now…

Some emotional reactions over the Van Dijk and Tiago injuries, which as a LFC fan I understand. BUT… the law is right… the punishment should be based on how bad the challenge was, not how bad the injury is. Both challenges were reckless and deserved straight reds and bans, but not season-long bans. Neither were intended to injure. I thought Richarlison’s was worse, and his reaction shameful, but Luke Shaw’s on Lucas Moura was worse than either, it just luckily didn’t cause injury. And remember what Martial saw red for? Perhaps the reckless challenges should carry a longer ban, like six matches, but punishment shouldn’t be based on the extent of the injury.

As for the idiot on the VAR, he should be sacked. Not imprisoned, dragged thought the streets or hung, drawn and quartered, just sacked for incompetence as you would be in any other job.

Our season is now almost over, with Alison and Tiago out for a while and VVD for months at least, but at least we won the league. If this was last season I’d be forming a Militia!
Giles LFC


Deadly serious Liverpool mail…

So I am progressing through the stages of grief, and have hit bargaining.

The only answer to the Van Dijk situation is to lean as hard as possible into the zeitgeist of 2020 and of most of Liverpool’s Premier league experience – we must do goals! Lots of goals! At both ends!

There are all the ingredients. We have a talented but calamitous keeper (for the moment) speedy, cultured, skittish centre halves, wingers masquerading as full backs and an array of sumptuously talented forwards.

We must see the Villa and Leeds games not as aberrations but as the blueprint. Who cares if we lost the odd 7-2 if we win a bunch of 5-4s!  Focus not on the league but on getting Mo another golden boot! Truly emphasise the things that bring us joy.

What else could bring more joy to a sad situation than the the return of Pure Chaos Energy Liverpool?
Dan, Plastic LFC 

Pickford should’ve received a booking…

I reckon you have had about six times as many mails on this as you wanted, and I was going to abstain from ‘contributing’, but…

Thing is, I watched the Derby in a bar, in Greece, where I live (Greece, not the bar).

The bar had a few Evertonians in it (cards on the table: including me), more Liverpool fans and probably a majority of neutrals.

The general feeling was that Pickford’s challenge should have been a penalty and a booking. That was – and still is – also my view. When the offside was given, there were some severely raised eyebrows, but once again, we mostly agreed that a booking should still have been given.

When Richarlison was sent off, some people argued he should have been booked – as he won the ball and it was in the centre-circle – but others said it was dangerous and a straight red should be given. Many of the reds also conceded that there had been plenty of bad challenges throughout the game, and that many of those were from Liverpool players.

So I was more than a little surprised when I came to the UK media response to the two incidents.

This website (and forgive me, I like you, but…) was one which surprised me, as it contained Sarah Winterburn referring to Pickford’s challenge as an ‘assault’ and a story about Richarlison’s apology on Twitter in which he was first accused of being in some way a ‘repeat offender’ on this (f365 chose to criticise him for his legitimate question on that) and was then racially abused by Liverpool fans: the story in that context very much reads ‘what could he expect? It’s your own fault if you go on twitter as a black man’: he was apologising for goodness’ sake…

Anyway, the thing is, I was wondering why the response in the UK, including from people who support neither side, was so much worse than among actual fans elsewhere.

So I went back to watch some of the UK coverage. And then I noticed something. Most of the people in the bar where we were, either couldn’t hear the commentary or, for many of us, it was in a second language or one they didn’t speak at all.

The reason I mention it is that the UK commentary and immediate post-match analysis was, well… wild. And I think that might be important. Because these people shape your view of the game and what happens in it, whether you like it or not. If you fill a studio with former players of one of the sides involved in a match, you are hardly likely to get a balanced analysis. Even Carragher’s take-down of Souness the following day was two former Liverpool players (albeit one a former Evertonian) talking about a Liverpool game.

The thing is, Pickford made a bad challenge. It was certainly a foul, and I thought a booking. But even if not, the use of the term ‘assault’ is nonsense. And having watched back the ‘analysis’ in English, I wonder whether that’s where that odd response came from.

For what it’s worth, this isn’t about Liverpool fans. I would be angry if that happened to an Everton player (I was when it happened to Gomes. But somehow we were all supposed to feel sorry for Son, even as Gomes lay there with a broken leg). But the Liverpool fans in the bar watching alongside me were far less angry about this than some Liverpool fans in the UK, and the UK media response has been way over the top. I just wonder whether the massive and disproportionate presence of Liverpool fans and former players in TV studios during and immediately after matches had something to do with that.

Finally, the sad fact is fans of both sides can point to an enormous number of very ugly fouls in Derby matches in the last 20-25 years. Everton fans can point to some which went unpunished on Saturday.

As I have said elsewhere, either we want this (for example, when Liverpool fans and former players said Kuyt’s hip high double-footed lunge on Phil Neville proved he ‘gets the Derby’), in which case we all need to stop whining every time it happens, or we don’t, in which case we all need to start talking seriously about making sure the players understand they have a responsibility to one another as well as themselves and their teams.

Anyway, I guess until next time, Everton are the worst bunch of savages ever to have lived, and you should all hate them for being mean to snow-white Liverpool.

I do wonder about the ‘analysis’ point, though. Just a thought.

Filakia from Thessaloniki,
Rory O’Keeffe, Thessaloniki


Four red cards and the power of three

From the Merseyside derby and its consequences, there should be 4 red cards in total :

(1) Richarlison’s foul on Thiago. Checked. Correct decision.

(2) Pickford’s foul on VVD. Retrospective red card, and 3 match ban for violent conduct. It was clearly a rugby tackle.

(3) Michael Oliver’s incompetent refereeing and dereliction of duty in not sending Pickford off. Retrospective “red card” ie 3 weeks ban from refereeing duties.

(4) David Coote’s similar incompetency and seemingly judicial attitude to Liverpool.
Retrospective “red card” ie 3 months ban from referring duties.

Seems about right.
James H ? Singapore


People need to calm down…

No, Pickford shouldn’t be banned for as long as Virgil is injured. I was going to put in a long ‘what if’ of players feigning injury and missing games just to weaken other teams but I won’t bother.
Aguero should not be banned for putting his arm around the official (Simon most shoulders tend to be close to the neck). Again I was going to put in a long story about how the official completely ignored Aguero when he was talking to her and this is most likely the reason for his contact. But the reason is because we have seen players put their hands on officials before and not get punished.
Raúl H you can say Liverpool suffered 4 goals off defections (I thought it was three?) but you can’t say a 3-3 draw is better than a 7-2 defeat no matter what Liverpool based planet you live on.

People need to calm down and put things in perspective, the Van Dijk injury is horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on any player but you can’t go around throwing out arbitrary bans you lunatics, it would not be workable at all.

People need to stop getting carried away.
John, Villain, Ireland



Long time football365 lover, first time writer….

Firstly I just want to say I love football365. Love it. Before the outbreak of covid19 it was my regular ‘go to’ for keeping tabs on the football world but even more so now. Working from home this past 7 months my daily routine consists of logging in to ‘start’ work before grabbing a coffee and clicking onto the site to see what nonsense some fans come out with after the weekends fixtures. While I have never felt the urge to write to you (due to a mixture of laziness and poor grammatical expression) I couldn’t help myself after reading comments from  ‘Ryan C, LFC’ amongst others.

Firstly I want to make you aware that I am an Arsenal fan who would much rather see Liverpool win the title year in year out over the Manc clubs and Chelski so this isn’t some sort of jealous remark due to my clubs lack of of ‘big’ honours over the last decade so here we go… GET OVER IT. You’d swear Van Dijk is to first player to come out the wrong side of a bad challenge. The cries to have Pickford banned until Van Dijk is back are embarrassing. I’m not going to list every bad Liverpool tackle over the last few years because 1) I’m not bothered and don’t need to justify my opinion, if anybody disagrees with me I suggest jumping onto youtube if you have an hour to spare and 2) I genuinely do have to work at some stage today. But below is an example of a malicious tackle that had no reparations. If you cant take it don’t give it. (and before anyone wishes to comment on this, it doesn’t matter there was no contact, he intended to hurt the player).

Also… Mane’s elbow on Tierney anyone??

And while I’m at it I’d also like to point out to the Liverpool fans that yes you were the best team in England last season and yes you fully deserved the title but the fans tend to keep quiet about the consistent diving that, while not career threatening to another footballer, does help build up those lovely lovely points that picked up your first title in 3 decades.

So my advice to Liverpool fans – shut up complaining. What happened this weekend happens to every club at some stage. You get the rub of the green as much if not more than any other team in the league. I think the outbursts are mainly due to the fact that Liverpool’s board failed to bring in another centre back over the summer, a position the team were crying out for. It keeps the title race that bit more interesting now.

The rumours that Richarlison had to remove apologetic tweet due to racist comments is the worst thing to come out of this ☹
Dub Saul (Arsenal for top 4?)


I believe that a genuine punishment should be dished out to Jordan Pickford AND Everton FC.

So why not ensure he’s not retrospectively banned and that he continues to be selected.
Paul, Dublin



I can’t help casting my mind back to last season’s Community Shield. I remember a pretty ropey challenge from Trent Alexander-Arnold on Leroy Sane. Sane is helped from the pitch and the next day it’s announced that he’s done his ACL and is off to see Dr Cugat.

However, I just don’t remember Liverpool fans demanding that Trent be banned until Leroy was fit again. Maybe I forgot that bit and I am sure F365 will perform a public service by reminding me of his season-long ban in 2019-2020 – and indeed provide quotes from the Empire of the Kop saying this was an entirely appropriate and proportionate punishment. Or maybe we can be entertained with lengthy justifications of why Trent is a good lad but Pickford is a disgrace.
Mark Meadowcroft

PS: Aguero – not great, Sian Massey-Ellis is terrific, Pep’s answer in the press conference was a bit flippant and Sergio should apologise but is there any sense of proportion left in anything?


Liverpool are rightly up in arms…

I am seeing a lot of Liverpool fans up in arms (rightly so) about how Pickford will escape censure for his horror tackle on VVD. How they want him suspended for the same duration as their player. As an Arsenal fan, I can tell you the heartbreak of seeing players like Wilshere, Eduardo, Diaby, Rosicky and almost Ramsey have their careers decimated by inferior players who have been told by managers to ‘leave something on them’ in the tackle.

I’m sick of hearing old footballers talk about ‘in my day’….mate, in your day you smoked 20 Rothmans and drank a pint at half time. Your knowledge of the modern game is next to useless. I’m sick of commentators talking about soft sides vs ‘traditional’ football teams as if euphemisms will make up for their crappy play. These horror tackles happen when players buy into the hero narrative, ‘leave your blood and spirit on the pitch’ , no surrender BS.

Liverpool are now without a key player, and their team will now have to compensate. Their player is on the sideline, which will have a massive impact on his recovery and reintegration. All the while, next week, Pickford is out there, potentially getting ready to foul someone else in that ‘fully committed’ manner that he thinks makes up for his general poorness.
John Matrix AFC (PS – can commentators stop saying meaningless BS like he ‘isn’t that type of player’….no one is until they are. And if Roy Keane has taught us anything, players DO hold grudges, and will happily ruin careers)


Liverpool didn’t dominate??

Not sure what game James EFC was watching but I’m not sure how he thinks Liverpool didn’t dominate.

Liverpool had 59% possession.
Liverpool had 22 shots and 8 on target.
Everton had 11 shots and 5 on target.
Not to mention the perfectly good goal ruled offside and Jota and Mane somehow not making it 3-2 before the disallowed goal.
Throw in the fact the shots on target included 3 world class saves from Pickford(from Trent,Matip and Salah) & if that’s not dominating I don’t know what is.

Onto the Gomes incident and you mention people were upset for Son.
The big difference is Son slipped as it happened and did not mean to tackle Gomez never mind injure him.Son was distraught and was in tears.

Pickford came out in a reckless manner(for which he has form)& hit VVD waist high without any worry for the safety of his opponent.He had both legs off the air and could have ended the career of VVD.He then hopped up,made a token effort at an apology and didn’t have a care in the world as VVD was being looked at by the physio.He did what he always did and jumped about shouting at his own players.

He showed no remorse at all and strolled off at ht looking like a scumbag walking outside a kebab shop looking for a fight after a night of drinking(which he also has form for).

I won’t even get into you defending Richarlison but the fact he nailed Thiago, looked up,saw Thiago was injured and feigned injury himself sums that guy up as a character.Dives non stop.

PS. How is Coote the ref for Leeds v Wolves tonight after his “performance” Saturday in the VAR debacle?

PPS. Can TV companies stop employing ex refs to discuss decisions.They sit on the fence and stand up for their ref mates. Pointless having them on.


VAR is a cancer…

Although I agree with some of the points that Ribbs made in this morning’s mailbox, I also think that some of them were a little ‘fuzzy’.

First of all, I am 100% NOT in the ‘Pro-VAR’ camp…best to get that out of the way!

My main problem with VAR is that the final decision is now no longer with the Ref on the pitch, which I think is critical to the game as a whole…and the core reason why many detractors think that VAR is a bad thing.

Since football was invented, the game was played and officiated on the pitch…now we have an additional ‘Ref’ miles away, a ref who does not always have the complete context, or a good feel for how the game is being played out on the pitch…instead they have a limited (and sometimes flawed) video of an incident that they review and have to make a decision on, quickly. And as others have said before, sometimes it’s OK for a Ref to NOT apply a rule if it potentially skews the game or the result (e.g. not always giving a 2nd yellow or playing advantage)…this is what most of the world calls ‘common sense’, whereas VAR simply does not care about all that common sense stuff…it simply applies what it sees as the ‘rules’….in much the same way that a bad copper decides to punish someone for nothing more than a minor (victim-less) infraction!

Although I largely agree with Ribbs’ views on subjective decisions etc, I also feel that what is adjudged to be ‘subjective’ is also going to be, well….subjective. In other words, we will never all agree on what constitutes ‘clear and obvious’ because what is obvious to you may not be obvious to others…so that is in itself, subjective! An argument that can never be resolved in other words.

I feel that the problem is rooted in the change that saw some decisions leave the field of play 2 seasons ago…this just adds another subjective opinion into the mix, a faceless, out of context decision most of the time. So this is why I agree, but also disagree with Ribbs’ mail…I think he is right about the whole clear and obvious thing, but as soon as a decision is made outside of the field of play, the amount of potential subjectivity just gets multiplied…leaving us with the mess we have today.

For me (Clive), VAR should be abolished immediately…it is consistently warping results and messing with the entire spirit of the game’s rules…it’s even affecting the enjoyment of the game as a spectator. Of course, some of the game’s rules should be looked at again (Handball, Offside especially), but MOST importantly, we should leave the on-field Referee to decide everything…yes, everything! This way, we avoid another ‘subjective’ opinion on an incident that most half-decent on-field Refs will get right most of the time.

VAR is a cancer, no point treating the spread of it…better to just take it out of the equation altogether! Now that’s a change I can get on board with!
Del (COYS)


VAR (part 427)

Is there not a simple solution to the ongoing VAR debate about interpretation of offsides?

The red and blue lines drawn across the pitch should be thicker to take into account the limitations of the technology and uncertainty about when exactly the ball has been played.  If there is a purple line caused by the two lines overlapping, benefit of the doubt goes to the attacker.  That way Mane would have been given onside on Saturday (as he clearly should have been).

More needs to be made about Pickford making a complete hash of Henderson’s shot.  This is the kind of instinctive save that has been his saving grace over the past couple of years despite all the other issues in his game that have become markedly more exposed.  I’ve argued before that he’s suffered for a long time from not having a settled centre-back pair in front of him but sadly even I’d agree that is time to take him out of the firing line now…
Martin (EFC)


Juan Mata

Man Utd fan here – but I dont want to add to the tedium of the overanalysed OGS debate, the Maguire situation, etc etc.

I’d just like to highlight the joy that Juan Mata is.

He’s still an incredibly good and talented footballer.  Whenever he plays in the first XI (ie not the Carabao Cup), United tick.  We move the ball better, we keep the ball better, we play more intelligently and we make better use of space around the park.  I know it was “only” Newcastle, but it happens time and time again any time he’s given a chance.  Sure, he’s not the most mobile footballer on the planet, but his running is still a damn sight quicker than Pogba’s walking, and he doesnt give the ball away very often.  That he gets continually overlooked is very much to Man Utd’s detriment, and hopefully he can get a run in the first team that will make Pogba realise that he needs to put a shift in to be in the team.  There’s no whinging and moaning behind the scenes at constantly missing out – he just gets on with it and tries to perform when he’s given the opportunity.

He’s also obviously a top end human being, very nice guy, does a lot of charity work etc.
Ben (We should have fought harder to keep Herrera), MUFC


Where are the defences?

They say attacks win games and defences win titles. I know it’s a small sample size , but this is what the big 6 look like so far:

Liverpool: Attack – Stellar. Defence (with van Dijk) – Rock solid (just the 11 goals conceded in 3+ games). Defence (without van Dijk) – Not solid

Man City: Attack – Superb. Defence – Quite good, except when they aren’t, which is often

Man United: Attack – Pretty good in the single dimension it has. Defence – Dodgy as hell

Chelsea: Attack – Wonderful. Defence – Erm… what defence?

Arsenal: Attack – Fairly good. Defence – Fairly good

Spurs: Attack – Phenomenal. Defence – A bit rubbish

So, into which black hole did we fall that Arsenal has the strongest defence in the big 6 (albeit in a tallest dwarf sort of way)? When has there ever been such a dearth of defensive talent in the league as a whole? And, most importantly, are Villa on their way to ‘do a Leicester’?
James, Switzerland



Aguero’s perceived sexism

Dear F365,

I completely disagree with Simon, Norf London Gooner. Now I’m a city fan so maybe there’s a hint of bias in there, but I like to think I’m objective when looking at anything one of our players has done. There are countless examples that I’ve seen over the years of players putting their arm round or on the referee/assistant in a non-aggressive way to try and curry favour with them and get them to see their point of view. I distinctly remember Mike Dean reacting in mock horror when one such incident occurred. The officials should be left alone to do their job and not be harassed in any way. I’ve got personal experience of this since I’m a qualified referee and quit when I was younger because I got bored of the abuse. Luckily I can say bored rather than scared or depressed because nothing too bad ever happened to me.

The main point I wished to make though was that just because It’s a man instigating something with a woman doesn’t mean that it’s always about being sexist. If he’d patted her on the bum or stroked her hair then absolutely, but he did the exact same thing that male players do to male officials. These types of thing pass by without comment on a weekly basis. That’s what the real problem is, let’s not make it about anything else that can’t be substantiated. I think trying to make this an issue about him being sexist doesn’t actually help that debate, because it means you’re actually treating her differently to the male officials, and where’s the equality in that?

Andy, Cheshire


Simon, Norf London Gooner – The epitome of mansplaining and a feminist who is sexist deep down. Everybody knows Aguero wouldn’t have done it to a male ref?? What the fuck are you even watching mate? Male referees get crowded, assaulted and personal space invaded even in the EPL. There is literally inches between their lips and the players during fouls and appeals, and a bit of shoving here and there. Equality means that female refs too would deal with the good and bad aspects of refereeing. You cannot be selective in what you want, because thats just sexist.

I couldn’t care less Aguero put his hand around the lineswoman, because incidents of players touching the referees shoulder, hand, arm or back happen ATLEAST 2-3 times a game during fouls, throw ins or offside calls where they can have a laugh or appeal. Players are always acting nice and friendly with the ref. I have literally seen Ronaldo, Messi, Rashford, Mourinho, Pep, Ole, Kane, Grealish, Henderson and many other players touch a male referee around their shoulder, arms, back or elbow when close in the last 4 weeks bro. When the ball or player hits a ref, a close offside call etc. These incidents regularly have player and ref talking and sometimes barely touching.

So should a player treat a female ref diff? Or are you just angry because when he does it to a random ref, no one notices. It is absolutely heartbreaking that shit like this gets said and ensures that discrimination continues across workplaces because people refuse to let women be treated the same as men. You are literally stopping the lineswoman’s progress as now there is a fair chance that in the big big occasions, you would want to avoid such idiotic controversies and rather just pick a plain safer male ref because people like you cannoit help but meddling with someones career by shining some light into it for no reason and creating controversy about her gender.

Equality is treating all genders equally. If you are going to be condesending to a male ref, you sure as fuckin hell can be condesending to a female ref. If you are going to joke or laugh with a male ref, you can sure as fuck do that with a female ref.

Imagine if a player someday shoves a female ref, we are going to throw him in jail rather than give him the same punishment as he would get for shoving any ref, regardless of gender which is a straight red and a few games banned. We will end that guys career.

Please understand guys, EQUAL RIGHTS will only work when we actually stop this bullshit. Would there be 5 articles if Aguero had his hand around Mike Riley? No ? Thats why you are the sexist, looking to create issues using gender when none are required.


(Could also attach a montage of 50 photos of players touching ref around their shoulder featuring aguero and other players, let me know i) 


Super Frank Lampard and individual mistakes

Surely Frank is right; all three Southampton’s goals had a tint of burlesque. But not all were “individual mistakes”.
No siree…

First, Christensen and Zouma leave a straight and wide-open boulevard between them, with time galore for Inggs to casually side-step Kepa’s gauche attempt at getting in his way.
Simplest play in the book. Also impardonable at this level.

Now,  the second goal will leave forever in various “blunders” Youtube compilations.

A real gem. Zouma’s tease of a backward pass. Kepa tackling the post for whatever reason.

Keystone cops quality, arms down.

But then, for Vetergaard’s lucky overtime deflection of Walcott’s lamest shot: where oh where was Ben Chilwell?
I’ll tell you where: meaninglessly contesting the header, mainly against teammates Zouma and Abrams, all 5’10’ of him, smack in the middle of the box.
Providing support where it was not needed.  Leaving Walcott alone on a glade his to defend , care of a puzzled Havertz, who, like true nobility chose to turn his back at Walcott’s vulgar shot.

Unlike plebeian Gary Cahill of old who’d have stuck his face in, eyes wide open, hoping for a chance to finally bite into the football.

Out of these three goals only the second is an “individual mistake”.

The other two are gross positioning lapses, the kind of which decide Andorra vs. Liechtenstein darbies.

Defenders in Brownian motion, abandoning their post without orders, without leave.

“Individual mistakes” cannot explain Germany, France and Denmark  center-backs religiously flubbing it for us, while eliciting praise and Beckenbauer-comparisons internationally.

As much I idolize Frank , 211 goals, 2006 flick against Barca and all that, he is clearly way over his head defensively.

Chelsea need a defensive coach more than signing new players.

Bring in one of those catenaccio fanatics, maybe he could also teach our lads how to transition out of defense.

Right now our transition game makes Dave Bassett gloat.
Radu челсиTomescu, Taipei, Taiwan


West Ham…

To the Liverpool fan in this morning’s Mailbox saying Spurs drew 3-3 to a team managed by David Moyes of all people. A) thanks for welcoming us to the clubs…I wish we had a CL Trophy to show for it and not just a point but I shan’t grumble! B) I’ll whisper it, but it might be time to start giving Moyes his fair credit. That’s now 4-0, 3-0, 3-3 against great teams with the xG to back it all up. We also had the better xG in an unfortunate loss to Arsenal. Combined with our end of season form, I don’t think it’s fair to malign Moyes anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t my first choice as manager (either time…) but now he’s here he is implementing a clear strategy. We’ve had an obscenely flabby squad which he’s trimmed down, he’s vetoed a number of Sullivan signings as he doesn’t think they’re good fits, he has his core squad that he has been getting lots out of. And, most bizarrely, the more expensive and fashionable players seem to be buying into it just as much as the Championship recruits.

We may be an injury or two away from a crisis, but the fact that I can’t remember a long-term injury in his tenure is a good sign.

We’re a grunty, in your face, annoying team. I’m all for it. Hala Moyesey
Sam Evanson


Football without fans…

Dear Football365,

There have been a lot of people upset with VAR this season, but clearly this was all trivial nonsense. Luckily, now Liverpool have made an official complaint about it, things should be sorted out in no time.

*A lot of people think football without fans is nothing, but they’re lowballing: football without fans is Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion. This was an absolutely dire game, but in times that allowed for a full stadium, the atmosphere would have affected the game. As it was, this was about as predictable as could be: Albion dominated possession in midfield while Palace let them get on with it, restricting them to low percentage chances as well.

*Palace lined up in a 4-4-2, with Jeffrey Schlupp on the left of midfield in place of Eberechi Eze. Eze is a more gifted attacker, but Schlupp offers more protection to Tyrick Mitchell. With Graham Potter playing a 3-4-3 and allowing Tariq Lamptey to advance down the right, it made sense to double up on him and enable Wilfried Zaha to exploit any space behind Lamptey should the ball be won back with the Brighton man high up the pitch.

Knowing Zaha was going to be playing centrally but roaming all over, Potter lined up Dan Burn in midfield. He’s best known as a giant full-back, so it seemed like a bold call, albeit one that paid off.

*The home side’s star man was Jairo Riedewald. He’s had to wait for his chances to play in the first time, but he was composed on the ball in central midfield.

*Joel Ward must feel like he’s cursed. After that awful penalty decision against Everton, it was his mishit clearance that went led to the Albion equaliser.

*One of the things that people get hugely frustrated about with Roy Hodgson’s management style is the lack of desire to press home an advantage. It just seemed too obvious that, with a one goal lead at the break, Palace would be content to play the rest of the game in their own half. At some point, against teams who like to have the ball, there needs to be some sort of effort to keep them honest, to make them shift from attack to defence mode and graft to win the ball back or at least, to have to work their way down the field again from their own end. For all his experience and success in the game, this excessive caution is a blind spot for Hodgson and it’s hard to shake the feeling it’s causing as many problems as it’s solving.

*It wouldn’t be Crystal Palace v Brighton without mentioning Lewis Dunk. Palace fans really do not like him: being Brighton captain is obviously a factor, but the stereotype of the Brighton fan who sees Albion as their second team is not helped by their captain being someone who grew up in Brighton supporting Chelsea. Another fun part is that he seems to reserve some of his worst performances for games against the Eagles. Only he will know what he was thinking, jumping into a tackle Pickford-style, but it was incredibly stupid and he fully deserved his red card.

*Next up for the Eagles is a trip to Craven Cottage to take on Richard Osman and Scott E Parker’s Fulham. With Patrick van Aanholt fit again, I would expect to see him restored to the starting lineup along with Eze, with Palace taking more of a front foot approach. If they don’t, this could be the new worst game of the season.
Ed Quoththeraven


Mediawatching Johnny Nic…

One of the stick John Nicholson repeatedly uses to beat the EPL is how the games are boring and not entertaining compared to the Championship. Look at his articles over the years and you can see this. Nothing wrong with this, the Championship is pretty exciting.

Now this season, the EPL is much more open, higher scoring and unpredictable than before (Everton and Aston Villa are top two after drawing/mauling the Champions and are in super form), and now he is claiming it isn’t “elite” and the art I defending is lost, etc and how it isn’t “premier”.

I understand that John loathes the Premier League for reasons unrelated to football. But he can’t claim Championship is the best due to its openness and unpredictabality and beat the EPL for not being that – then beat the EPL again for going in that direction he likes football wise (which it is so far this season).

I am not saying critcizing the drop in defending is unfair or inaccurate but it is hard to take John’s arguments seriously when he switches them around to just hate something as opposed to welcoming the (so far) changes based on the type of football he said he likes to watch in the past. Its just unhealthy tribalism and I expect better from a F365 writer.
Yaru, Malaysia

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