Go now, Solskjaer. And take De Gea with you…

Date published: Thursday 3rd December 2020 8:19 - Ian Watson

Keep your mails coming to theeditor@football365.com…

 

Why Ole’s gotta go
Dropping Van De Beek.
Persisting with Martial.
Not subbing a player clearly heading for a red card.
Bringing on Pogba.
Taking off all our strikers when we need a goal, only to bring one on.
Bringing on another striker when it was too late.

We were a ‘bringing on Matic whilst losing’ away from a full house.

Terrible management.

Still, it looks like we’re on for my prediction of not making it out of the group. IN THE MOST SPECTACULAR OF F*CK UPS KIND OF WAY.
Mark Endicott, MUFC

 

…Sat fuming at the incompetent way Ole went about things tonight, Fred was a red card waiting to happen yet left him on for the inevitable, this loss is all on Ole.
Van De Beek has been excellent every game he has played in yet was overlooked yet again by a manager who I have stuck up for but am vast losing patience in.
Things need to change sharpish or we will be joining Spurs on Thursday nights.
Paul Murphy, Manchester

 

De Gea can follow him
For once my son and I decided to watch the game last night, in the hope of recapturing some European magic. After all, PSG were in town, Neymar, Mbappe and our once Hererra.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, Fred should have gone on 20 minutes for the head butt. After he escaped that, even my son, who is 10 said, he won’t last the game, Ole needs to take him off. I agreed but wasn’t surprised when Fred came out for the second half. He was a car crash waiting to happen all game, PSG knew this and it was only a matter of time before PSG did what they do best and Fred was gone. I think the 2nd yellow was soft but who didn’t see that coming? Ole’s job is to read the game during the game and he simply didn’t react in anyway shape or form as a manager.
His post match interview, Ole speaking about the incident even admitted Fred was lucky to stay on and that he kept his cool in the second half. What all of 15 minutes of it? Saying again, Utd were unlucky and didn’t finish their chances, cough cough Martial. It’s rinse and repeat with this man, same interview week after week.
Keane is right on Fred, as he is with most of his comments about Utd. There is one problem though, Utd are not a top side anymore, they haven’t been for almost a decade. These players, the manager and coaching staff are Man Utd level and as long as the club stands by and does nothing then nothing will improve.
The league table is being very nice to Ole, Utd have been utterly outplayed by almost every team this season. They have been lucky, so when Ole goes on about being a bit unlucky, I don’t know what he is on about. You’re not unlucky if you miss a sitter, make a mistake, act like a statue, not perform what you a supposed to do. You’re not unlucky, you are just not good enough. I’m just waiting for the, he lacks a bit of confidence speech coming out next or, he’s a little out of form. Strange how you only hear all that from clubs like Utd, not for the likes of Brighton, Villa etc.
It was a good game of football that the fans deserved. Ole, you really don’t want the fans back in yet mate. I’m not one for wanting yet another manager, don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel any sympathy for prem managers being sacked, it’s hardly like they’ll be down the job centre anytime soon. Ole though, you actually depress me watching you on the side, you inspire me to watch formula one. You proved last night that you haven’t got a clue and it is time.

David De Gea*. Please leave, only at Utd would you have got the ridiculous contract you are on. He Constantly going with his feet. I shouldn’t hark on about our past imperious keepers except to say, Schmeichel reinvented Goalkeeping and that style of making yourself big, fast off the line, closing down the attacker. A style that is used by the great keepers today. De Gea is not a great keeper, he isn’t even top 10 in the prem. The first goal, close the man down! the ball goes right through you. You can see who is getting on the end of it, soon as he makes any sort of movement to strike it, he should down is throat. Instead he’s a statue with the almost going down on one knee, it’s a terrible style and only he does it, everyone knows that’s what he’s going to do. It’s basically what a defender does to block a shot. Same with the second, why are you not diving? Why are you siding in foot first. It has got to the stage where, you shoot you have a 50/50 chance of scoring against him. People will say he made saves after that, but that’s his job.
I saw a close up of Cavani and Fernandes after the first went in, they looked simply bewildered that it went in.
He’s living off past reputations, David De Gea, is a massive weak link in this side. Did Utd look better second half against Southampton? More composed at the back? yes because Henderson is a far superior keeper than De Gea. Saying that, Utd will win nothing with any of those back four, they are Man Utd standard right now.

Martial is not a striker, not a winger, Martial does nothing. His weak shot lead to the goal when he should have scored himself. The second half sitter that he skied over to the Anfield pitch was proof that he again, isn’t very good. I’m fed up with hearing all this nonsense about him and most of this squad being players of real quality, because we don’t see it, well, I don’t anyway.

A bit about PSG. How can people enjoy watching them every week? I don’t think they are a particularly good team, the rolling around, the moaning, the play acting. To be calling Mbappe and Neymar world class is just where the game is at. World Class players don’t leave Barcelona in their prime to join the French league. Neymar wanted to be the main man and nobody else would offer such silly money to him. Watching him last night was laughable. Mbappe is better than him but only when he’s got half the pitch to run into. Close him down and there isn’t really a lot to get excited about.

All in all, I think every honest Utd fan saw that coming last night, the result, the red card, the missed sitters, the bad goalkeeping, the mental substitutions, the PSG actions. So if we can see it, why can’t the ones in charge see it?

To finish off, here is the plus points from last night
Marc, the Mancunian.

 

Not Ole’s fault
Here we go again Man U fans…
The same OGS who brought on Cavani and conjured up a masterclass at St. Mary’s over the weekend is now tactically inept and out of his depth? Was he out of his depth when this same team won against PSG away and beat Leipzig 5-0?
I will forever blame players for all the pitfalls of Man U managers. Except Moyes who was so out of depth.

1. It isn’t OGS’ fault that Martial misses 2 sitters. Game would have been closed long ago. Infact if Martial had buried the 48th minute chance, we would not even be talking here. I watched how Martial missed 3 chances last month when Portugal played with France. The commentator even kept saying how he may never get his chance again. Giroud at 34 keeps scoring for France but Martial even with many starts recently only had one freak goal. Something is up!

2. It isn’t OGS’ fault that the forward play lacked. Twice Rashford was through and fluffed his lines. And so did Bruno. Something was amiss.

3. Yes Fred was rash but there is a reason Fred kept playing. He is one of the few consistent players we have. There is no rule that says that a yellow carded midfielder must be subbed. A lot of midfielders and defenders get yellows from as early as the 10th minute and they play to full. Fred was good before that red. In any case we conceded before he was carded. How do we know if we would equalize even if he stayed on? The game was lost the moment Martial missed two glorious chances. That isn’t Southampton. You miss chances against big teams and you get punished.

3. Telles isn’t convincing. Zero forward play. Even the crosses I heard he whips are non existent. Many a time he roams forward then attempts a long pass that always goes wrong or he passes sideways and backwards. Let’s not kid ourselves. We miss Shaw’s marauding runs. Mbappe made him uncomfortable all night.

4. The team was better before we conceded. Yet again a defensive blunder. That was comfortably a draw. But the soft goal and then red made things too hard.

I don’t see the German team winning. But if they manage to win then let’s blame the players. Not the coach.
ABNER, Kenya

 

…I know there will be a lot of reaction around Ole’s decision on not removing Fred. I understood why he didn’t remove him at half time but he should have taken him off at 60. However, bringing Matic on was also risky as against the pace of PSG, Matic would have needed extra protection and that would have ended United’s forward forays.

Overall, I enjoyed the game. The team balance looked good and the game was all United after PSG’s first goal and we really should have been out of sight had Martial taken his chances. Fernandes really needs to learn when to shoot. Through on goal and clear shooting chances and he still looks to play it to another player to shoot. He needs to develop a bit of Ronaldo selfishness. Martial needs to sit out a couple of games. He looks short on confidence and Ole needs to bench him and bring him on as a sub in the next few games.

Anyone who says Ole out at this point needs perspective. We outplayed PSG home and away. They simply did to United what United did to them last year.I would rather have United play like this and lose than have a Mourinho Masterclass 1-0.
Hassan (Fred really should have been sent off)


READ MORE: Solskjaer and Man Utd are trapped in a vicious circle


Kepa was the problem all along
Having just seen a defence of Rudiger and Christensen have a cleansheet, against a team who last lost in the champions League at their own tuff in 2015, I have to say am sorry to have even suggested that Lamps needs a defensive coach really. Turns out Kepa was the real problem.
Just realising that Jorginho also played the whole game as the 6 and we still didn’t concede madness that.
Vashow

 

Neymar. Nice…
I don’t like Neymar and his shenanigans. But you have to give it to him. He’d been ruffled and roughed up by McSauce who left his mark with a smug grin. Neither came out with credit. But that 3rd goal. Wow! Just wow!

Neymar’s dazzling retrieval of the ball in his own half in a tight space was wondrous! Then electric pace and incisive passing towards the flank and back. Switch to Neymar running into the box his mind and body in synergy. Sprinting then intuitively stepping back into that sweetest of spots. The perfect invitation for the perfect cutback.

Change the action now into slow-motion and observe from behind the goal to behold Maguire mid-tumble on his way to his arse. All control and all dignity rapidly evaporating into those hallowed skies above the Theatre of Dreams. Swing view to DeGea. A man desperately stumbling on his knee feeling around to retrieve whatever his friend Maguire had just lost. Then press play and back to normal speed as that simple cut back led inevitably to a simple tap in. A stunning goal born from poetic genius just a few seconds earlier.

This is why we love football!
An impartial observer

 

Alternate headline

F365 and Man United are trapped in a vicious circle

Jay B, CFC

 

Quicker VAR
I’m currently watching the Man U v PSG game. The second PSG goal at first glance looked offside. However the VAR ref concluded the incident inside 30 seconds.

It seems to me that UEFA have taken the decision that if at first glance it is not clearly offside they allow the goal to stand (without a 5min forensic analysis). Whereas the Premier League VAR refs seem to look for any reason to disallow them.

This is the definition of clear and obvious.

Thanks
Ian H

 

…I think he’s onto something!

“…Those pesky fun wreckers at Stockley Park should simply have a mere 30 second time limit to review a decision/incident.” (Al Williams’ letter, Mailbox Wednesday).

Not just for his reasons but because if everyone in the ground and at home could see a 30 second clock start up – Countdown Theme? – then we’d have an awesome time in the build-up and all the emotion around goal-scoring would come back for us. The music comes to an end:

“Bi-da! Du-da! Diddly-dum. Po!” GOAL DISALLOWED ahh shite.
Tom

 

Gorgeous Giroud
Olivier Giroud is the world’s best third choice striker, simple as that.

Well there we go, we win our Champions League group for the first time since 2016, to go to Sevilla and win so convincingly is impressive, irrelevant to their league form, they showed us a game and a half back at the Bridge so not a team in Europe to underestimate, we can finally give some players a much needed rest in our final group game.

The teams that could finish second though are certainly not pushovers, Porto, Atalanta, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, oh and one of Monchengladbach, Inter or Real, some tasty Round of 16 clashes await.
Mikey, CFC

 

STFU
There’s alot of noise about these days isn’t there?

As i read through Johnny Nicholsons latest article it was all in there. The anger, the annoyance, the one sided argument, the obvious conclusions, the self certainty, some British politician I have never heard of blah blah blah.

I feel like i have read this rant in so many forums lately, across the spectrum of football, VAR, injuries, other sports, lockdown, pandemic, vaccines, pubs opening…just endless amounts of middle aged white men giving out about stuff.

Just noise, noise and more noise. The letter pages are full of it, the comment sections are full of it. And its all utterly pointless and exhausting.

Because what it does is detract from our enjoyment of this beautiful game that I’ve watched for over 30 years now. And i really do love it. I love football and I love Liverpool. I’ve watched some awful football (the 80s) and Liverpool for most of this time but now the football is usually wonderful and thrilling, with more goals and incident than ever and yet the shouting continues. How many great games do I watch where all the goals, skills and tactics are ignored now for some boring discussion about VAR. Honestly, who cares, its just utterly pointless and boring.

Why are we all so angry and what point does it serve? Men used to be known for being strong and silent. I used to wonder what my father was thinking behind the mask of masculinity. Is this it? pissing and groaning and shouting is that all we have to offer?

I think the new leader of the free world summed it up best in the first presidential debate.

Will you shut up, man?

Will you, please? Please shut up. Think about what it is you’re going to say. Ask yourself a few questions before you speak or type. Is this really true? Could there be another point of view I’m not conisdering? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Is this constructive?

And if the answer is no, well then maybe just shut up and stop for a minute and listen.

Amazing things happen when you stop and listen. You get back in touch with reality again, yes that stuff around you annoying you everyday, its called life. Stop and have a look and a listen again. Its actually what you’re here for. To experience life, share it with the people around you, bear witness to the wonder of what it happening. We may be the only place in the universe that can do this, thats reason enough to shut up and stop for a few moments.

And then if you’re in the mood watch a football game. Turn off twatter, just watch it. Look at these wonderful talented players, think of all they have done to get where they are. Maybe they’re not all spoilt primadonnas, maybe there fantastic dedicated young men who have sacrificed and dedicated their lives to get where they are.

Think about their journeys, think about where Sadio Mane came from, Mo Salah, whoever it is at your own club. Marvel in them, enjoy them, support them. Pretend youre a kid again, try enjoying football again. Try smiling and cheering and if VAR overturns it let yourself be pissed off but dont stay pissed off, 5 minutes is long enough, your heart will thank you.

We’re only here for a short time lads and I know that hurts sometimes but spending the second half of your precious life giving about everything doesn’t make it any easier.

So every once in a while, just shut up and enjoy life, and enjoy the peace and quiet of not having to listen to your own voice for a while, I know I will.
Dave LFC

 

Track the runs
I know this has been done to absolute death, but I have a VAR suggestion, everyone will be pleased to hear.

Why don’t all the players wear GPS trackers on their chests – strapped on the front bit to the things they wear anyway (GPS trackers for the clubs)? That way, a computer will know exactly where they are in relation to everyone else. Admittedly this will remove other parts of the body from being offside, but that seems like a small loss, as most sane people seem to think that being offside because the top part of the arm is offside is stupid. Yes, feet could be offside and chest not, therefore goal would stand, but again, seems like a fair compromise – give benefit of doubt to the attackers etc.

This will not remove the fact that the cameras can’t tell precisely which frame to assess the GPS trackers at (i.e. when the ball touches the foot, or when the ball leaves the foot) – but that can be done by allowing a margin of error. Someone cleverer than me, can work out that there is an Xcm margin or error, and so if when the VAR ref stops and freezes play to assess an offside, if the GPS trackers are within Xcm of each other, then on-side, and if more than Xcm from each other, offside. It would quick to get a decision (which we all like), easy to understand, and fool-proof. A bit like hawkeye in tennis, or goal-line technology.
Russell, LFC

 

…Thank you Rob Phillips, Liverpool for raising something that is essential for football to become fun again – we need to remove the human element from offsides completely. At the moment VAR is using additional human intervention to identify whether a matter of fact is satisfied – it can never work. All we are doing at the moment is increasingly the scope for subjectivity and human error, and p*ssing off the world in the process.

Either leave offsides to the human error of the linesman (as this will be better in terms of the context of the actual, you know, football going on in front of him in-person and in real time), or take it out of human hands altogether, which is my preference.

Rob has identified the solution already – the entire Prozone business case is predicated on it – a chip or chips in the same place(s) on every player, and a simple algorithm (or as simple as the offside rule anyway) which crunches the numbers and sets off the proper refs watch thingy when the requirements of the algorithm are met. Lineos can focus on fouls / dives / who touched last on the way out etc

Therefore the matters of fact remain FACTS (cheers Rafa) – was the ball over the line and was the player offside. Problem solved.

Which leaves us with the remainder of the fun-sucking Dementor that is VAR to fix. I agree with Carra that it is going nowhere, and I agree with G-Nev that it was brought in to stop the moaning about incorrect decisions, which is probably a good thing. The thing is that we gone from the good old days where we didn’t have Covid, and every so often you would get proper vexed about a decision costing you a game, to the sh*t status quo where we are intentionally destroying the economy and EVERY SINGLE GAME gets you properly riled, instead of providing the moments respite from the unremitting despair of life that it used to.

So how to fix it? Again, put the control back into the hands of the referee on the pitch – the one who is witnessing everything first hand. Forget the clear and obvious thing – take that away from VAR. The ref on the pitch calls it, if he is unsure of something he checks with his lineo – if the lineo thinks he might have missed something the proper ref can choose to refer it upstairs for a look, or tell the lineo to jog on.

This returns control to the person with the best knowledge of the rules and best perception of events in real time in front of his eyes, with match context to apply to the decision making (unless you are David Coote of course in which case you don’t actually know the rules).

VAR does retain the ability to intervene in off the ball red card offences like sly head butts, kicks in the balls etc – basically VAR can be eyes in the back of the refs head, but it can’t replace the eyes in the front of his head.

Oh yeah, and change the handball rule back to where it was, so it has to be intentional to be whistled. Whoever changed that is a total bell.

Also where the actual f*ck is Mike Riley in all of this? At the moment I feel like he is systematically dismantling fan enjoyment of the game. He could at least look us in the face while cutting our hearts out, rather than hiding in Stockley Park and doing it with red f*cking lines.
Morgan (wish Klopp would stop moaning) Goford

 

Fixture congestion
Well done to Rob for pulling me up on the solution I had proposed (moving the LFC match back to Sunday) – I realized the corner I had painted myself into shortly after sending the mail. I was hoping the mail would not get published/go unnoticed, but alas. I do think this just goes to show how insanely difficult squad management is this season for clubs who are balancing European competitions. That being said, I think Klopp’s main point – don’t put teams who played Wednesday into a needlessly early on Saturday – still stands, I used Southampton-Man Utd Sunday kickoff as I was trying to think of a swap involving CL clubs, but the more seamless swap would have been Leeds-Everton which went off at 5:30pm on Saturday.

I am no expert but I imagine that given all the attention and resources that teams put into sports science these days, the extra five hours actually would make some difference. A 12:30 match kickoff means that clubs choose between letting players get a full night of rest or bringing them in a few hours of pre-match treatment and preparations. The late Saturday kickoff means players can get their normal sleep, more time before the match to identify any knocks/areas of concern, more time spent with the medical staff to prep if needed. I know that “footballers need a good night of sleep!” sounds like a tone deaf call for millionaire athletes to be pampered/treated with kid gloves, but this really is a game of fine margins and every extra hour of rest/recovery can make a difference. When even a piece of iron like James Milner is pulling hamstrings thanks in large part to the unrelenting pandemic schedule, it is worth it for Klopp to keep banging the drum (though his tactics/tone have clearly alienated a lot of people, and he should consider if there are better ways/venues to make this point going forward).

Lots of friends on WhatsApp have said some version of “just manage squad rotation/play backups when you have 3 matches in a week” which ignores the fact that these players and managers are being paid a load of money to, y’know, win these matches. Even clubs at the top of the PL will struggle to maintain form if the combination of injuries (LFC currently missing 8 first teamers) and packed schedule forces a squad of youths and players who would make 5-10 appearances in a typical year. So in my opinion, one shared most vocaly by Klopp and Ole but echoed by other PL managers, it is not asking much for the broadcasters (who have the PL by the short hairs) to concede a bit of flexibility to protect the quality of the product that they are paying all of those billions to broadcast.
Danny, LFC NY (honestly shocked my corporate bootlicker comment got published)

 

…There were a couple of emails recently in the mailbox on injuries, minutes and then the recent public tete a tete between Klopp and Wilder on why having the 5 subs may or may not help.

Because the EPL supports a 2/3 majority to vote any changes, it allows clubs who may only have joined the division or are at the bottom end to impact those clubs at the top end. We saw that with all the shenanigans regarding neutral and home grounds being used to delay restarting the league, on the basis that if no decision could be made the league would be voided that year. (Except UEFA said not.) Clubs were crying foul over neutral grounds and how home grounds made a big difference, even though their home form had been dreadful to that point. We have seen this season that home grounds are not having such an advantage in an empty stadium.

This year it is the 5 subs causing distress. Wilder says no because it is an advantage right now when his team are playing once a week and the bigger teams playing twice a week. On top of that, most of the bigger team players go off on international duty – often with long travel – while his guys get some rest. He has longer to prepare his team for the opposition and allow time to recover. It is why he could play a significant number of his team week in week out. With European and other commitments, the bigger team players put in a greater number of appearances and minutes played. Van Dijk played in 50 club games and 4,564 minutes last season and 9 internationals in 2019. George Baldock on the other hand played 40 games and 3,602 minutes and no international games. That’s almost 50% more games and minutes (Internationals included) over the season!

If we go down the Liverpool roster it was 3 of the back 4 (Van Dijk, TAA, Robertson) the front three plus Wijnaldum who were the biggest appearances and minutes. The lowest, Wijnaldum was more than Sheffield United’s top. So clearly its a major advantage to Wilder to NOT allow more rotation during a game. Liverpool cannot make a broad change during the game in case they receive an injury. So subbing 2 at most. With 5 subs they could easily sub the 3 or 4 and still have one in reserve for an injury. While Wilder has less chance of an injury with his players getting proper midweek rest. Of course, it will be interesting to see how well they fare during the xmas schedule when even his team will play more than one game per week.

And to the point made on injuries. First, you have to differentiate between those sustained from on field clashes. Van Dijk and Thiago were both the result of bad tackles and not strain due to over work. But by losing those, it puts more pressure on the remaining players. There was a shortened pre-season so less time to build up the proper levels and since then, the top teams have been playing twice a week and no break for those on international duty. Second, no matter how much we played when younger, we were not playing at the high level these guys are playing at. They are combining large distances per game plus a lot of sprints during the game. This is the reason the players get so many muscle tears. Just as sprinters and other track athletes get and they are not running and competing with the same twists and turns as modern day footballers.

Klopp is right to rail on the media and other EPL teams who are either setting a schedule or imposing rules that is unfair on the players, may be not their players but players nonetheless.
Paul McDevitt

 

…After reading John’s latest diatribe on manager’s moaning about hectic schedules, I must ask. Is John running for PM anytime soon? Because he seems to have stumbled across the solution to everything.

Not happy with minimum wage? Let’s abandon wages altogether. Tired of traffic at rush hour. Let’s abolish all roads. You think vegetables are icky? Let’s abolish all food items. Someone missed your sarcastic whatsapp text? Let’s abolish all phones.

I’m just surprised no one else came up up with such an innovative solution. Oh, wait!
Adeel

 

Why only Liverpool?
A worried Liverpool fan asks, Why only Liverpool? And why so many defensive injuries? – proving that many a serious point is made in jest.

First: Jordan f*cking Pickford is a c*nt for what he did to Virgil.

Second: Gareth f*cking Southgate is a c*nt for whatever happened to Gomez (although I’ll admit it may not be wholly his fault, given Big Joe’s history of knee-knack)

Third: The f*cking Rona is a c*nt for depriving Trent of a pre-season, which is super-important to Klopp (and to most modern managers, to be fair)

Fourth: Millie’s just an old warhorse now

Fifth: Joel Matip, my sweet Cameroonian prince, is just a bit fragile

Sixth: Fabinho’s partial to the odd twang here and there

Seventh: Alisson’s too good and it’s only fair we give everyone else a chance.

Frankly, I’m surprised and disappointed we haven’t given Gini a go back there – oh, of course, Thiago got done by f*cking Richalison. The c*nt.
Nick Glover, Scouser in Brum

 

…Dear A worried Liverpool fan, I’m worried about you.

You’ve played a lot of football on the streets with your mates and think that dismisses the impact of playing at highest level and intensity? Let alone the psychological pressures of maintaining that standard, or the media and the fans etc?

Mate I played curby a lot growing up as well but I’m not sure that qualifies.

Have a word with yourself pal.
Jon (he’s got to be on the wind up), Lincoln

 

…To my fellow Liverpool fan who’s worried about the growing injury list – as easy as it is put it down to sorcery or some malevolent higher power playing the “dodgy lasagne” card on Liverpool in real life, I believe the simple explanation is that Klopp’s teams generally play a high-energy game powered by passion.

A big part of the latter has been taken away from Liverpool, no thanks to the empty stadiums they now play in. In fact, it’s a huge testament to Klopp’s motivational skills that the players are now so internally driven and focused in delivering. Youth/fringe players have been able to step up and first team-ers are still giving their all (most of the time – Villa, Atlanta aside). That’s why we are still grounding out results. Not easy on the eye but hey, job’s getting done.

On the former, advanced sports science and top-class medical / physical teams have enabled players to recover much faster than before. Players – certainly the fitter ones like Mane, Hendo, Robertson – have been able to play a full game every 3 days without major concerns pre-Covid. And to remain competitive, the elite teams have adapted to playing 2 games a week by building squad depth and fitness.

However this unprecedented season is pushing Klopp’s players to the brink, more so than teams such as City who make up for the lesser intensity with increased intricacy in their play. Even taking aside the Everton game, a combination of Covid-driven reasons (delayed season start + compressed fixtures), PL’s refusal to sanction 5 subs and Liverpool becoming the broadcasters’ commercial pick… well, this has utterly wrecked havoc to the players’ fitness.

And that I believe is really the source of Klopp’s recent ire. He has always sought solutions internally (he still is with Kelleher, Philips, the Williamses and Jones, and also being less expansive in Liverpool’s play) but these strange times have forced him to lash out at the uncontrollable factors (as D. Tickner nicely worded it). He could be advocating for change, he could be protecting the players. Probably both. Right now, it is more a Fergie-type masterstroke, rather than Benitez-style meltdown.

Exiled in California,
Gabriel Schrute

 

 

…I got the impression I possibly touched one of Ferg, Cork‘s nerves. I found it weird how much rage you dedicated to me over three paragraphs because I said that Kelleher’s improved. The assumptions about how I felt about the signings of Mane and Salah is plain weird.

Since you pointed out in his four games last seasons that he kept two clean sheets I thought I would have a little look into those games. Against MK Dons Kelleher faced 2 shots on target and saved both but he handled the ball outside the box and was lucky to get away with it. Against Arsenal he faced 7 shots on target and conceded 5 goals. Against Villa he faced 7 shots on target and conceded 5 goals. Against Shrewbury he faced 0 shots on target.

I get that he’s one of your own so maybe you’re a bit blinded by that but conceding 10 goals from 16 shots on target is not great. That said I am a Liverpool fan, am delighted at how good he looked yesterday and will be cheering him on whole heartedly if he plays on Sunday, which I think he should assuming Alisson is injured.

You seem to assume that because I (correctly, clearly) thought Kelleher was poor last season that I must have been unhappy with the signings of Salah and Mane. Unfortunately for you I write into this website quite a bit and dug this out which I wrote in the day after Salah signed; “What is Salah’s most exciting feature; his pace, his skill or his beard. The debate will undoubtedly rage on throughout the season.”….Now that he’s been banging them in for the past 3 years it’s pretty clear that his beard is the best thing about him but those feel like the words of someone who was quite pleased about his signing.

Maybe get a grip mate? Or a sense of reality?
Minty, LFC

 

Ferg, Cork has a clear case of Irish-tinted specs in his defence of Kelleher. He hasn’t impressed when playing for Liverpool, at all.

Two clean sheets last season against MK Dons and Shrewsbury, who had 2 & 0 shots on target respectively. In the other 2 games (Arsenal and Villa) he conceded 10 goals from 14 shots. The Villa game could be classed as an outlier because it was our youth team against seniors, but to have a save percentage less than 30% isn’t great.

All that said Tuesday’s performance was a massive improvement (especially given the makeshift defence ahead of him) and assuming Allison is still injured, he deserves to keep his place in the starting line up ahead of Adrian.
Kevin

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Life begins at 30. So did this lot’s time in the Premier League. Have we missed any golden oldies?

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