Keep your thoughts coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
The oversung heroes we missed…
Another cracking piece (F365 are in form!) this time on oversung PL Heroes. Funny how it combined being spot on (Declan Rice; Harry Winks) with being ridiculously wrong (Danny Ings; Ben Chillwell).
My tuppence worth for more merit of inclusion:
Man Utd: Marcus Rashford
Really, really, really good guy. Questionable if he’s quite as good a footballer (yet). English, therefore hyped like Tarkowski and others who made the list, but inconsistent. I think F365 recently wrote that Rashford should be at most threat if Utd make signings up top – and I agreed. Oversung and overhyped (on the pitch), a wonderful young man off it.
Liverpool: Bobby Firmino
Controversial one because he is class, but it seems anyone who challenges how good he is gets bashed with the “you don’t understand proper football if you don’t see how important Firmino is to Liverpool” retort. I get it, he’s very good, and integral to Liverpool’s tactical approach and build up play. But other strikers who are also very good team players (at the expense of goals) don’t seem to get the same credit – Giroud being one example. I do think a number 9 (however false the 9 is) should be challenged as potentially oversung when he’s not scored a single home goal for a team that’s runaway champions.
Man City: Aymeric Laporte
Potentially oversung because he’s seen as City’s rock at the back. His absence (with Sane’s) has been noted as the reason City haven’t retained the league, but really that happened because Kompany wasn’t replaced. I think he’s oversung purely because he’s so much better than the other Man City CBs, and therefore the player most needed by City on the pitch. But is he that brilliant? He’s always solid and reliable, but I’ve not seen him regularly enough against top strikers, so I’m not sure. Until then he’s oversung!
…the one we didn’t…
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Liverpool fan reactions to any criticism or thoughts by other fans in the mailbox.
I cannot wait to hear the response to F365 putting Henderson in the Oversung Heroes list. Please make Liverpool fan responses into a regular feature.
I suppose the reaction is justified. This means more to them after all.
…and how it got you reminiscing.
There was a throwaway line in the site’s piece on oversung players – “there’s a tendency to oversing all English centre-backs because once upon a time we genuinely had daft numbers of great ones” – that really got me reminiscing about World Cup 2006.
The defenders in England’s squad going into that tournament were as follows: Terry, Ferdinand, Campbell, Carragher, A Cole, G Neville, and Bridge (who didn’t play). Apart from Wayne Bridge, who was no duffer, you could argue that every single one of those players could be considered a top 5 player in their position at the time. In fact, the team only conceded 2 goals in the 5 games they played, which were both against Sweden in the final group stage round when England were already assured of progression. In addition, they played over 60 minutes of football against a Ronaldo inspired Portugal with only 10 men after Rooney got himself sent off. Somehow, I can’t quite imagine James Tarkowski and Slab Head being quite so sturdy in a similar situation.
Unfortunately, the rest of the squad was not so balanced. Bewilderingly, the starting line-up for the last 16 encounter against Ecuador included Gerrard, Lampard, Hargreaves and Carrick. How anybody thought that was a good idea is beyond me.
What is it about the fans of these big red clubs squealing so much about “guards of honour” and see it as a chance to laugh at whichever team lines up to clap them? I don’t remember mailboxes full of Leicester or Manchester City fans smugly telling us the trophy is a marvellous excuse to demean other clubs and players. Is it a symptom of the fans of these clubs, that supporting their side isn’t enough? Is it from the playground arguments to justify choosing to follow a team that’s on the telly a lot and wins things rather than the team from the town they live in? That not only are they great, they need to diminish everyone else too?
Maybe that’s the “theatre of dreams” or the “this means more” nonsense too. Some could support Northampton Town, Newry or Neath but it’s not the same as this aspirational vomit they drag up to justify the easy way out?
Or maybe I’m just one of those supporters that got fed up of coaches driving past my club’s ground on a Saturday morning to go to Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow etc instead?
Arsenal under Arteta = Liverpool under Klopp
As we reach the summer transfer window I keep seeing so many articles and opinions on the rebuilding job that Arteta needs to embark on, that he needs to clear out so much dead weight and make drastic changes.
Since Arteta started in the job most of the players have steadily improved and the team performances have steadily improved.
If you compare many of the Arsenal players with their Liverpool counterparts when they first started working with Klopp, you’ll see that the levels aren’t that different. With the exceptions of van Dijk and Allison, who at Liverpool came under Klopp’s tutelege with the reputation they have now? Comparing Xhaka to Henderson today is foolish, but the Henderson of a couple of years ago would easily be on a par with Xhaka. Ditto Robertson and Tierney, Mustafi and Lovren, Lacazette and Firmino, Trent and Bellerin…
Arsenal’s players need time under a coach with a plan for each of them and a plan for how his team will play. I am not suggesting that all of these players could make it to the level that Klopp has brought Liverpool and it’s obvious that players of the stature of van Dijk are needed, but until Arteta is given time with them, how can anyone know?
Every time a goal is scored, every single time, the fans celebrate (pre Covid-19), the players have a cuddle and the staff and subs on the bench leap up and congratulate each other. But then, those dreaded words: “Oh wait, the VAR is having a look.” As I have understood it, the VAR checks all goals, so wouldn’t it be better to wait with the celebrations until the VAR has confirmed that the goal stands? This then needs to be made very clear for the people in the stadia and those watching on television. I’m sure Sky could really hype this up (something else to look forward to). Once the VAR has decided not to disallow a goal (this occasionally happens, which must hurt them), then we can all have a really spontaneous knees-up. At the moment, we’re only certain a goal has been scored when play has restarted. The joys of the VAR.
G Thomas, Holland
Is VAR controversy one of the dumbest phrases circulating today?
I didn’t watch West Ham v Chelsea last night. I couldn’t really care less if one gets relegated or the other makes the top 4, nothing wrong with either club I just have no attachment to either.
But I do like language (although you probably couldn’t tell by many of my emails written at 5am on the toilet because my drunk neighbours drunk friend is trying to drive home outside my house and making a balls of it). And I like things to be as they are. It’s good for the mind yknow, bit of order and all that.
I know football writers have stories to sell and clicks to bait but really can we all just pretend we’re rational human beings and accept the system designed to be the best effort to eliminate human error insofar as possible in an incredibly active and subtle game.
Rugby analysis isn’t dominated by lazy analysis of the calls made by the video referee, “video ref controversy“. They actually usually analyse the game, I know bizarre behaviour by the poshos and all that.
In my local there’s a quote on the wall along the lines of (sorry mostly read while drinking pre-Covid beers):
Small minds discuss people
Average minds discuss events
Great minds discuss ideas
Adapted for football writers/supporters:
Simple minds discuss VAR
Average minds discuss players
Great minds discuss tactics.
Ok think my drunk neighbour is gone to bed.
Please ban the phrase VAR controversy from your website (you were not the culprit on this occasion) at least and we’ll all sleep better.
If you’re young enough we will keep playing you till you’re good enough?
Prior to Liverpool fans deservedly taking over the mailbox to tell everyone they don’t care, Mark Danger Endicott claimed F365 did not have a bias against Utd citing recent articles.
He may ultimately be right, but there seemed to be an extra glean and enthusiasm for some writers whe Utd were struggling ,after every draw their would be an article in minutes, with word bingo complete (Ole ,Tactically inept ,can’t defend low blocks etc). The writing was also pretty provocative like articles suggesting we might get relegated etc, did we sign a full back from the 90’s etc.
Hey Ted you can’t have it both ways, you can’t praise Greenwood in one paragraph and then forget he and Brendon WIlliams exist, when having a moan about the manager not giving youth a chance in the next one.
The quote is If you’re good enough, you’re old enough, Not if you’re young enough we will keep playing you till you’re good enough. Greenwood is younger than Gomes and is in the squad on merit, Chong played Europa and was usually the weak link in attack regularly breaking down moves, Garner was usually injured when his big chance was meant to arrive.
If Gomes was unable to uproot Crap and Crapier then maybe he’s not yet good enough to be in a team that is the youngest in the premiership then maybe he didn’t have the physical attributes (Greenwood has actually tried to bulk up). Besides if he had been half Bruno would not have arrived with all the additional benefits he brings,
Gomes is 20 and has played very little football, He was offered a lot of money, but decided he wouldn’t really get a real chance which is fair enough. He is at that age ,Roshaun Williams is trying to work his way up from league one, Josh Harrop who started the game in which he made his debut is still mainly a squad player at Preston
It’s better he goes and makes a proper career of it, as I’ve said before if Pique had stayed at Old trafford he would have many less championships and wouldn’t have seen Shakira’s hips.
It’s not a Liverpool thing…
Gareth LFC, If someone is a supporter of a Big Six side, well obviously they will check whether Liverpool lost. Liverpool is a regular contender of Top Six and Top Four before that. They are also one of the richest clubs in the country, so there will always be some either neutrals or other big club supporters who want them down. Delighting in rival sporting suffering is one
Man United fans will do the same to Man City (and vice versa) because……their derby rivals. Arsenal will do the same to Spurs and they even have a deducated special day celebrating it. Everton also do the same to Liverpool (two friends of mine that are Liverpool fans were salivating the idea of winning the title at Goodison they’re not even from England).
Man United in the 90s and 00s even have a set of supporters who will be wishing they lose….does that mean Man United “means more”? Liverpool isnt the only club that has haters and by that logic every club will mean more, somehow.
And I’m sure Newcastle fans dont need a reason to hate or trase Sunderland, and Crystal Palace fans don’t need a reason to hate Brighton. I could go on.
Hating other clubs because you have a local, regional or even professional similar level rivalry is not new or special. It’a part and parcel of the football experience and totally fine (as long as its sporting failures and not….people dying or anything).
People enjoying your team’s suffering, and you enjoying. gbeir suffering rinse repeat. Thats part of the emotional rollercoaster that is football. It CAN get overboard sure, but the base concept is fine and is not just a Liverpool thing.
John Nic mentions that Liverpool “feel more like a Scottish club than a modern corporate English organisation.”
I find this line weird coming from John Nic, given that Liverpool are one of the earlier clubs to start the furlough. And unlike most Scottish clubs, they don’t have the excuses of not having enough cash/revenue to survive the crisis even with their higher costs.
Norwich furloughed their staff after Liverpool – the same Norwich that has just been promoted, making a loss and almost guerneteed to get relegated again.
Liverpool also only allocate around 55% of the seat in Anfield to Season Ticket holders, one of the lowest percentages in the entire league, let alone the Big Six (more common is 65-75%). That means less space for diehard fans who get the best “pounds per match” and more for tourist who would pay a premium for it. Also I recall that you need to be a member and pay memberships just to have a chance to be in line to for the season ticket.
Also the way the the club treats their women team is…less than ideal. The Athletic had a report some time ago about how they’re being forced to trained on Tranmere Rover’s ground with their pitches (even the Rovers’ players felt sorry for them in the article) as opposes to making room on their new ground. Money can be tight sure but apparently Women Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man City could afford some space within their training grounds for their own women’s teams, whereas Liverpool didnt.
Its not that there isn’t anything special about Liverpool, there are and I agree with some examples in the article. I’m not trying to say they’re worse than most other clubs either. All clubs sometimes make tactical mistakes in things like furloughing and ticket prices, it happens.
My issue with the article is that John as this club that is miles “more special” than other English clubs. The fanbase is less corporate, and so is the song and history but I assure you the management is not. They are among the best and responsible owners in the league but they are not saints (and neither are any other owners in English football).
Finally a positive Article from John nic instead of usual “the end of football is near”.
I am not a Liverpool fan but I agree wholeheartedly with John about LFC.
Be safe and keep up the good work.