We must end the ‘lottery’ of penalty shoot-outs. Here’s an alternative…

Date published: Thursday 19th May 2022 9:14 - Editor F365

Aaron Ramsey sees his penalty saved by Kevin Trapp as Rangers lose to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final.

The Mailbox pleads for penalty shoot-outs to be binned. Also: Rangers; Aaron Ramsey; and Trent Alexander-Arnold is a great defender.

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com


Bin penalties
Its late and I’m grumpy at yet another cup final being decided on penalties.

Not having a pop at Liverpool or anyone else here, but winning a cup via penalty shootout vs an outright win seems…a bit lame. Extra-time is supposedly there to produce a result, but frankly if 22 players can’t do that in 90 mins then it’s not likely to happen with the extra 30. It needs a shake-up.

What if each team starts extra-time with one less player, and has to pull off a player every 5 mins thereafter. It will end up being 5-a-side by the end and the players will be absolutely knackered but the chances of the last 30 mins being goalless would be pretty slim. It would throw out some interesting strategic decisions – who to take off, when to take them off, how to use substitutions. And if after all that the scores are still level then by all means have your penalty shootout. But to my mind extra-time becomes a far more entertaining spectacle with a greater likelihood of producing a deserving winner, instead of a 30 min filler before the inevitable shootout lottery.

Off to bed, hopefully it still seems like a good idea in the morning.


Rangers’ woe
Gutted for Rangers. Awful. Genuinely hoped they’d do it. Aaron Ramsey: £7M a year in wages (£175K per week, Morelos is next highest on £33K per week), barely played (9 appearances in all competitions), on loan, subbed on, and can’t stick it in the net from 12 yards. Great contribution Aaron. Commiserations to Rangers. Gutted for them.


Should we ignore City, Newcastle, PSG?
So, we are coming to the end of the season, and the media, including F365, are fawning over Manchester City, and how amazingly Eddie Howe is doing, pulling Newcastle from certain relegation to mid table safety. And indeed, both clubs and managers are doing fantastically.
And then you write a very nice article about Jake Daniels. Here’s the thing you forgot to mention: the owners of Manchester City, Newcastle and PSG all, deep down, believe that Jake should be executed for being who he is. I’ll repeat that: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE all have the death penalty for homosexuality. According to the owners of these clubs, Jake, who I’ve honestly never seen play, should be executed for being Jake. – And yet, you keep writing articles about the football played by City, Newcastle and PSG.
If I was in charge of a sports media like F365, I’d instruct all staff to simply pretend that Manchester City and Newcastle didn’t exist, totally ignoring these abhorrent clubs and owners.
I could go on, but I’ll stop here – I have a feeling that this won’t be printed anyway…
Tom K


Jake Daniels coming out as gay is pivotal in football’s ongoing battle with homophobia


Trent and the case for the defence
It’s pretty common to say that Trent is a terrible defender who gets “skinned alive” by every man and his three legged dog. But how true is that?

Let’s see.

For argument’s sake I’m gonna compare Trent with the league’s best defenders van dijk, rudiger, laporte and for good measure let’s throw in cancelo as well so we have an actual direct comparison per position too.

Trent this season has 31 appearances, 2 yellow cards, 0 red has commited zero errors leading to goal and 12 fouls. He has made 42 interceptions received the ball 227 times, and 15 aerial duels. Finally he’s made 40 clean tackles.

Laporte has 32 apps, 5 yellow, 1 red, and 1 error leading to goal. 20 interceptions received the ball 173 times, won 51 aerial duels and made 32 clean tackles committing 13 fouls. Strange that Trent, a right back, is making more tackles, committing less fouls and more interceptions when he can’t defend…

Van dijk has 34 apps, 3 yellow, 0 red and 0 errors to goal. He’s made 31 interceptions and received the ball 204 times winning 117 aerial duels and made a surprisingly low 16 clean tackles – guess Virgil prefers to usher defenders away. He also committed 9 fouls. Trent is still stacking up so far.

Rudiger has 32 apps, 8 yellow, 0 red and 1 error to goal. He’s made 26 interceptions, received the ball 117 times winning 52 aerial duels and made 45 clean tackles committing 34 fouls. Rudiger is the first defender to beat Trent on almost everything except fouls committed.

Cancelo a fellow attacking wingback is next – 35 apps, 7 yellow, 0 red, 0 errors to goal, 58 interceptions receiving the ball 211 times. Won 53 aerial duels and made an almost league topping 82 clean tackles committing 34 fouls. So cancelo beats Trent on most measures but commits 3 X as many fouls. He’s also played 4 games more than Trent but even adjusting for that difference Trent would still be slightly behind on everything.

Is Trent a bad defender? Actually not according to the hard numbers. He’s better than most and almost equal to the two best performing defenders (cancelo and rudiger) in most categories whilst also playing less games, committing half as many fouls. Kind of seems like actually Trent is a deceptively good defender on literally all measures.

Throw in the fact he’s got 84 key passes (de bruyne has 82 for reference) created 18 big chances (de bruyne has 15) and also assisted 12 goals (de bruyne has 7) and he’s done all that while also being equal to the best and better than everyone else (including his own teammates) at the back.

Is Trent a bad defender? Doesn’t really seem to be a bad defender or midfielder really. He’d make a pretty superb DM eventually….



Time for redemption, Stevie G
So, I’ve been saying for months now that it could be that Stevie G finally gets his chance to make it up to Liverpool after THAT slip which pretty much handed our current rival the title. It’s kind of written in the stars. I was saying this when we were still a bunch of points behind. Now I’m convinced of it. Then there’s the little magician Coutinho and the not so magician Ings who would both LOVE to help us out. I mean how can it not be fate? We won two games in the last week trailing by a goal and turning it around, one of those with our second string. Add in to the fact Mahrez missed a penalty against West Ham what would have been the league pretty much wrapped up what with their hugely superior goal difference. Now Villa do NOT even need to WIN. A draw would suffice if we overcome Wolves at home. Not out of the question. They are a decent outfit.

Then the dream subsides and The reality hits me. This City is not a normal team. This is quite frankly the best, most dominant team in world football. They don’t give a crap about ‘fate’ and ‘in the stars’. They are a machine and just win. Yes they haven’t won the CL but nobody can say they shouldn’t be in their second CL final in a row. Pep will figure it out and even though I hope my Liverpool always wins I would love to see the best manager in the world win a CL if Liverpool don’t. Let me say this to people that criticise City and the money they spend. Nobody can tell me that City look on paper the best in the world. Nobody other than Pep can make them be this dominant. Laporte/Stones aren’t on anyones list of best centre back in the world. Are Rodri or Gundogan or Bernardo Silva on a best midfield list ? Look at Silva with Portugal and you’ll see what I mean. Anyway my point is that Pep is what makes City who they are.

Hope might be what kills us Pool fans but at least there IS hope. We might not win the league but my word we’ve done our bit. What a season. Haters can hate but some of these haters have terrible memories….Anyways COME ON THE POOL!!! Stevie G it’s down to you. Put your jersey on under your suit and help us! We need you one last time! 🙏🏻
Alex (Liverpool fan in NY)


Riled by Rob
I read rob from Dorset’s email.

A lot of it was boring, and click bait.

But… I had to take umbrage when he said Stevie g was a frank lampard lite.

If we are talking as players, it’s an open never ending debate. Lampard was immense ( despite scoring at least 5 goals with deflections from his derrière)

Stevie G was legendary

Alas, I digress ( that bloody thesaurus helping us stupid Liverpool fans ) if… he was talking about management…

Lamps has taken derby country from 6th to 6th ( with loans from his friends) then killed chelsea with his tactical acumen. Then… took Everton from 15th to 17th

Stevie g has won a title. Broke a richer clubs strangle hold and somehow turned a right back into this seasons top scorer in uefa cup.

Thanks rob. Entertaining. Strange but entertaining ( ps lucky old Madrid getting this far , anything but an easy Liverpool win is embarrassing…. Or.. you are embarrassing)
Ade (hopefully 7 is coming but not taken for granted) Guildford


…I want to know where the Bad Liverpool man touched Rob that he is so focused on Liverpool. Curious still he has yet to put the team he supports in any of his responses. Is he a Blueshirt with the traditional grievances they seem to have against Liverpool? A United supporter who pines for the days of Fergie knocking us off our perch? or a City fan who is upset that Liverpool seems to get credit for things that his club who has spent billions in transfer fees on players does not?

Either way, at the end of the day Dan is entitled to his opinion but the facts on the ground are that Liverpool have essentially been playing Cup Finals since a loss at the sharp end of December put them way out of the title picture. In that time they’ve drawn 3 league games against Chelsea, City and Spurs. They completed a perfect January period after Mane and Salah went to the African Cup and before Diaz was brought in. While dropping 4 total points from January 3rd onward they’ve won the League Cup, FA Cup and made the Champions League Final.

Only the most blindly anti-Liverpool partisan can call that luck with a straight face. You don’t go on those kinds of consistent runs (the type of runs Liverpool have been making regularly for 4 years now) without being good. Good teams create their own luck because of the positions they get into and the way they play the game. Critics of Fergie’s high level United Teams like to bemoan some of their luck (I mean a 17 year old coming on to score a screamer in a neck and neck title battle???) but that wasn’t luck, it was skill, talent and preparation. So Rob can sod off with his lucky. Teams have been coming in and packing the defensive area for most of this year in hopes of nicking something and save for 3 examples in 2022 nobody has.

As far as draws go, and the specific Spurs draw, eh, it’s would have, could have, should have. Spurs is a solid side that came to Anfield to play and played well enough to win. Fatigue from all the matches could’ve played a part in Liverpool not being at their best, but you want to win multiple trophies you can’t make that an excuse. And whose to say if City still had Liverpool equal on points that they don’t turn around and get something from that West Ham match?

So at the end of the day while Rob focuses way too much time on trying to gee up Liverpool supports, for whatever reason he may have, I’ll be tuning in on Sunday to enjoy my club hopefully end the season with a win against Wolves while hoping that Philippe Coutinho, the man whose dreams paid for Allison and VVD has one more gift for Liverpool supporters or ‘Stevie Slip’ can will his side to steal a draw from City. And no matter how it turns out, I’ll still have a European Final to look forward to and an excellent season of entertaining football behind me.

Okay, Rob is half right. It is Liverpool supporters as lucky as hell to have this team to watch week in and week out.
Mark LFC (Stevie Slip? Is that the height of your wit?)


…Following on from my mail yesterday and in response to Rob Dorset’s missive on luck. I will take his 5 points in order and respond to each one
1) OK, but This Means More
2) OK, but This Means More
3) OK, but This Means More
4) OK, but This Means More
5) OK, but This Means More
There is no scenario where this wonderful motto does not work!
Mel – Dublin, Berlin, Athlone Town


Just a quick one, as Rob, Dorset continues his bizarre “Liverpool are actually just lucky” trolling routine, the one massive slice of luck that has occurred was Mahrez missing the late penalty at West Ham, which he bizarrely missed.

*That* was actually lucky.

Therefore, I can only conclude that Rob doesn’t give a tiny rats arse about anything other than riling up Liverpool supporters.

What a plank.
Rob, Worthing.


Oh dear, Dorset Rob apparently needs some more attention so has constructed another ‘factual’ missive.

It lacks coherence & structure, opinions are presented as facts and there’s no conclusion.

James Outram, Wirral


Liverpool are lucky
I’m fairly new to reading the F365 mailbox but reading some recent posts from Rob, Dorset, has inspired me to get in touch!

His posts seem to spark a bit of backlash from Liverpool fans, but I must say I couldn’t agree more with Rob.

Lucky Liverpool? Totally! And quite incredibly, on Robs most recent post he didn’t even mention that complete freak of a goal ‘scored’ by Matip against Southampton. The spawniest goal I’ve seen for ages (and far luckier than that heavily deflected Diaz goal against Spurs last week). Two fluke goals in recent games to keep their PL hopes alive.

I’ve never had a particular dislike for Liverpool in the past but I do get fed up with them these days for 4 reasons;

1. The general media loving they always seem to get.
2. Jurgen Klopp – he’s become horrible, irritating and disrespectful. He never shows an ounce of respect for his opponents unless his team has just beat them.
3. Many of their fans are often unbearable, with that weird sense of entitlement.
And of course…
4. They are just lucky.
Adam, from the south.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
Someone commented asking when it was time to stop calling Arteta raw after my mail so thought I’d look into it because maybe I was being a bit ArtetaIn. I only wanted to compare for a few but found it fascinating and this meeting is a bit dull.

Arteta has been in coaching for 6 years, manager for 3. If we compare him to his peers in the Premier League:

Tuchel – Coach 22 years, manager for 15
Klopp – 22 years managing
Pep – Manager for 15
Ragnick – 34 years coaching, 17 years manager
Rodgers – 18 years coach, 14 years manager
Conte – 17 years coach, 16 years manager
Moyes – 24 years manager
Lage – 25 years coach, 4 years manager
Potter – 12 years manager
Frank – 24 years coach, 14 years manager
Howe – 16 years coach, 13 years manager
Veira – 9 years coach, 7 years manager
Gerrard – 5 years coach, 4 years manager
Ralph – 18 years coach, 15 years manager
Lamps – 4 years manager
Marsch – 11 years manager
Jackson – 12 years coach, very short term management roles
Roy – forever, forever
Smith – 17 years coach, 12 years manager

Yea…he’s pretty raw for a Premier League manager. I’ll stop calling him raw when he has been manager for 5 years I think (quote me on it).
Rob A (found this gem as well: Klopp confessed that as a player he felt more suited to a managerial role, describing himself saying “I had fourth-division feet and a first-division head”) AFC


Women’s football and Liverpool
Firstly, lots of back and forth in the mailbox on the merits of Women’s Football. Especially with people trying to determine if it is better or worse than the men’s game. The interwebs are a funny place and the tiny fraction of it not dedicated to porn does seem to be overly obsessed with rating everything to figure out what is better in a usually infuriatingly successful attempt to get clicks, comments and shares. Why can’t people just accept that Women’s football is just different from the Men’s game. It is not better or worse just different. Personally, I enjoy both. Just like I also enjoy non-league football. You can compile your statistics and player ratings all you want but sometimes seeing a non-league team attempt to clear the ball about seven times and then eventually punting against the goalie’s arse and in for an OG is just fun. The game is so different from the top of the premier league that value judgements on which is better or worse is pointless. Just different and I enjoy them for different reasons. There is a joy in the Women’s game which I see all too rarely in the premier league. There doesn’t seem to be many if any sulking prima donnas and the players seem to genuinely just love playing football.

It is not better or worse.. Just different.

Secondly there seem to be a lot of Liverpool fans out there who need the validation of the general footballing public. They appear to crave the acknowledgement of everyone about how great they are. Sad to say that a lot of non-Liverpool fans will hate you just because you are Liverpool and some will hate you just because you are not <insert football club name here>. It is the way of the world. People genuinely can’t stand seeing other people happy. Especially if they are being happy and not living life by some crazy set of self-imposed rules. We live in the age of the celebration police after all. Remember when you said that Chelsea and Man City’s achievements didn’t count because of money. Remember when their achievements didn’t count because there was no history. This is exactly what fans of other clubs are doing to Liverpool. You are lucky. COVID asterisks. etc. All driven by envy or banter. It is just a way for other fans to have fun whilst they wait their turn to win something. Trust me you will never be able to convince the banterous to change. So save your breath and just enjoy the good times while you can as the lean times are hard.
Simon, Woking (probably won’t get published as reasonableness doesn’t generate clicks)


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