Refs’ revenge for Liverpool daring to question derby VAR…

Date published: Tuesday 5th January 2021 7:36

Keep your mails coming to theeditor@football365.com…

 

Refs having Reds revenge
I think Klopp’s biggest mistake was demanding an explanation of the VAR’s performance against Everton because the refs have been clearly and absolutely against us ever since.

I can probably get on board with the handball not being given as a penalty because maybe that is a natural body position when you’re sliding in to make a challenge. But the Mané foul was just crazy. Walker-Peters challenges from behind, gets only leg and yet it isn’t given. When you think that VAR watched Pogba trip himself over and it still decided to give the penalty I genuinely don’t know what we need to do to get a decision.

Salah was in a headlock and didn’t get a decision and even against Newcastle Darlow wrapped his arms around Mane’s legs so he couldn’t move and yet we got no decision. I would think it was just bad luck if it didn’t happen every single week now.

Maybe we just aren’t hounding the refs and going down enough. I don’t think the referees have talent to actually manage these games so perhaps it’s better to do this and force decisions. Man Utd get more decisions per touch in the box than we do but maybe it’s because Fernandes and the rest make a big stink everytime they feel contact as opposed to any kind of bias.
Minty, LFC

 

..Can’t f*cking wait to see the decisions from the ref and VAR when Liverpool play Man U.

(Taking nothing away from Soton’s performance, just bitching about the officials in this game and in general)
James Outram, Wirral

 

Party’s over
Well, the title defence is over. If I were a betting man, I’d put the house on Pep to regain the title. As good as United are, Ole hasn’t been through a title race. That counts, and it will count in the end.

As for us, I can’t get angry, or even properly disappointed, given what this team has delivered over the last couple of years. They’re knackered. They need a break. I’m just grateful for the league and European cup wins. Thank you, gentlemen. As Shankly said, you made the people happy.
Dave, LFC, Galway

 

Reds’ rut
Liverpool are in a rut. Neither the results nor the performances are there.

I hope they turn this around but I think we’re missing Fab from the midfield, an unfortunate secondary impact of the VVD and Gomez injuries…

All of that aside, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to be happy for Ings and Hassenhutl. Fair play and well done to them both.
Gareth (if we win it this year, it will mean more)

 

 

…Predictable.
Unless changes in playing style soon, title will be lost in January.
Sterile domination.
Cross after cross after cross into a box full of Southampton players.
No guile.
Deserved to lose.

Can’t make fully formed sentences at the moment – too incensed.

Well done though Saints – and a great goal.
Somerset Dave

 


F365 Says: Thiago and Trent epitomise half-baked Liverpool


 

Steady on
Liverpool are half-baked? They are still top of the league, top scorers, top possession and top chances created, second only to Man City in most passes. They have played Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Leicester, Chelsea and Everton and where unbeaten in those games. Plus don’t forget they’ve had every single player injured since forever!!

Should the league we worried if Liverpool get their mojo back?

Regardless of Uniteds result against Burnley the game at Anfield should be a corker. United play 3 games between now and the Liverpool game, including a league cup semi final against Peps “fully baked” Man City. Liverpool play only one game before they face United, away to Aston Villa.

For being really crap, this Liverpool team look in a good position.
Robbie DFC.

 

Will Ford’s piece on Thiago and Alexander Arnold was very harsh and lacked the typical Football365 comforting blanket of excuses that have been afforded to one Manchester City player whom this website has never critiqued to the same extent as both Liverpool were this eve. Football365 needs to find a base of consistency. For example, Ford and the editor should have recycled the idea that Alexander Arnold was on a different wavelength to his teammates this eve and that the 38 misplaced passes were an example of Sterling and Silva, ahmm, I mean Salah and Mane dropping their standards 38 times. You know the idea, It cannot be on Alexander Arnold to drag the team by himself to glory for so long and it is only of course natural that such a player would lose form.

I find myself conflicted. Of course I welcome the critique of both players and cannot argue against the idea that Trent was extremely poor. Nor can I argue against the idea that Thiago struggled at times this evening and looked off the pace at times in the first half. He probably should have been taken off as it looked like a red card was on the cards. I was surprised to see Ford savage Thiago’s fleeting performances to date to add depth to the insight into tonight’s game. The basis for his negative review has me confused given the wider narrative of this website. Ford is using the exact evidence, that is ‘clever passes’ and neat touches’ being blown way out of proportion, to eviscerate the reasonable excitement about Thiago’s start to life at Liverpool. Are clever passes and neat touches not the reasons cited by this website for the unflinching defense of the City player with red hair who cannot be critiqued? The tweet sent out this evening with ‘did you see that relatively simple first time pass? class. The entire football narrative around Kevin De Bruyne is based on the foundation of this satirical tweet. And it is in this tweet in which the fickle nature of football punditry is revealed. It is these simple passes which are sensationalised when De Bruyne touches a football almost all of the time. I believe it was Gary Neville who, when watching the replay for his goal against City siad, ‘theeeeeere, its the first touch, that first touch there which made the goal’. Not Sterling’s run and ability to hold up the ball and take the shot, but the most average of first touches 6 yards from an empty goal.

You guys create the narrative, just be consistent in the story telling.
Mike

 

AWB > TAA
Remember over the last couple of seasons, Liverpool fans were happy to tell everyone that Alexander Arnold was the best right back in the world, and even the best to play in his position in PL history? (They do love recency bias). Well, his form has nose-dived incredibly this season to the extent he isn’t even the best double-barrel named right-back in the league right now.

And for all the documented flaws in Wan Bissaka’s attacking acumen, you get the impression it would be a lot easier to coach him to be a bit more creative going forward than it would to coach Trent to defend without blunting his attacking effectiveness.

At least Thiago made a heap of passes again. Does anyone know whether he made the most ever for a player on a losing team? Those are the stats that matter.
Brian, Wexford

 

A proper love-Ings
Couldn’t help but smile when Danny Ings chipped in. What a peach. Hard worker, unbreakable mindset and loved and respected by all. A true champion.

P.S. If the bus driver is still looking for Sadio Mane, he’s self isolating in KWP’s pocket.

P.P.S. Hendo more at fault for the goal than Trent. But the less said about Trent’s performance the better. Time for a rest against Utd.
Sam, LFC, Tier 6 times

 

 

Stop the count
Given the explosion in Covid cases and the added danger from the new English strain, who agrees with me that the season should be terminated and the winner announced? 😀
JODO

 

…Null & Void it!
Vinnie Brownlow, LFC, Glasgow

 

Backing the manager
I’m going to try a slightly different perspective on transfers which may well be dismissed: how about simply considering which players have come in, and are still around to play football? Pretend for a moment that prices are irrelevant, and a player’s value to a current manager is simply if they can step foot on a football pitch?

Last 5 seasons, trying to exclude if they’ve since left or are random kids:
Pool: Firmino, Gomez, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Matip, Ox, Van Dijk, Robertson, Salah, Fabinho, Keita, Alisson, Minamino, Shaqiri, Jota, Thiago

United: Pogba, Bailly, Matic, Lindelof, Fred, Maguire, James, AWB, VdB, Fernandes, Telles, Cavani, Ighalo

I’d strongly argue that Liverpool’s purchases have been some of the very best over a 5 year period in history – but also that they’ve bought a lot of successful first teamers in! And therefore the structure at LFC very clearly works, and Klopp is the beneficiary.

Compare that to United, where in that time Ibra, Lukaku, Mhikitaryan, Dalot and Sanchez have already come and gone. So has Ole really been backed, relative to the team he’s supposedly competing with? Has Ed ever really backed a manager and bought the players needed? The last right-sided forward United purchased was Antonio Valencia. About 12 years ago*.
Ryan, Bermuda (* Until Diallo is announced, and of course wins the Balloon D’Or this year)

 

…I’m all for fans coming out and defending their club and/or manager and any success in the transfer market based on spend or net spend but at least have some dose of accuracy in the figures being quoted. MM, Man United, India in yesterday’s mailbox defends Ole spending only £46m last summer and claims Arsenal spent £84m on Gabriel and Partey. He even notes the 2 teenagers Man U bought (£26m) but fails to put them in the summer spend. There was no disputing Partey’s transfer fee, it was a well reported £45m – so I have no idea how he works out Gabriel cost Arsenal £39m!

If as a club you keep sacking your manager with regularity you can’t then complain that the next man hasn’t got ‘his’ squad to work with. It may wash a bit more with teams lower down the league but with the talent Man U have and the money they spend the manager, whichever manager it is simply doesn’t have that wriggle room. Far too often fans will pick a side and fit their narrative, Man U fans say Ole hasn’t been backed and it is all Woodward’s fault with the players he has/hasn’t picked. But then also give Ole credit for Bruno Fernandes incredible form – but wasn’t it nasty Woodward controlling all the transfers, or is it just the bad transfers that Woodward controls? Similarly I just can’t believe the situation occurs where Ole says to Woodward I really need either another CB or a right-winger, what I really don’t need with that £40m burning a hole in your pocket is another box to box central midfielder……and then Woodward ignores all this and signs Van der Beek. Man U could have signed a CB for £30m instead of £80m for Maguire and got the same quality, that £50m could then be used to plug the holes where Ole seemingly hasn’t been backed by the board.

It isn’t like Ole is asking for top class players and they’re feeding him conference players. How about managers do the actual thing they really should be very good at and taking whatever group of players they have and coaching them, making them better players and bringing them together as a team and a set of tactics that is greater than the sum of its parts? Or is management now just a bit like FIFA or Football Manager, buy your squad and send them on to the pitch and let their talent win you games?

This is only a response to the Man U fans writing in about Ole, not a direct pop at Ole himself because whilst I still have my doubts about him he has man u ‘joint top’ and is extracting performances out of the very good players he has so much be doing something right.
Rich (AFC)

 

Defending Leeds’ defending
Leeds have been without all their centre backs recently, including the two new guys we signed in the summer and our regular and captain, Liam Cooper. We haven’t had a settled pair all season. We’ve been playing right-backs and midfielders in there.

Perhaps our biggest miss is Ben White, whom every Leeds fan will tell you, would be on Gareth Southgate’s mind right now, had he stayed.

The biggest criticism you can level at Bielsa, if that’s what you want to do, is that he likes a small squad, not that he doesn’t know how to coach.

Last year, with White and Cooper, we had the best defence in the Championship. Yes, moving up a league was always going to test that, but injuries haven’t helped. Vigil for Virgil? Fair enough. Now let’s have some Chicken Soupa for Liam Cooper and we’ll be back on track.
Joe

 


The pros and cons of shutting football down again


 

Covid pros and cons
Johnny Nic has a nice list of pros and cons for ignoring C19 and keeping football going or not.

The arguments here are exactly the same as the asinine arguments for how bringing back fans was more important than C19 spread in the autumn.

Cons: continuing football will cause C19 cases and deaths that would not otherwise have occurred.

Pros:

Hope that helps love you bye x
Tim

 

Context matters
Ok just to clear this up for AY. Someone told me if you can’t say it better just write what better was, and, in regard to Cavani-Suarez, Goal.com put it best:

While the word in question used by Cavani is the same used by Suarez, the scenarios are certainly different – one being part of a positive Instagram engagement with fans and the other part of a heated disagreement.

Scenario and context matter. This is why there is no United outrage and why Ole moved on from it as did the media. The FA must act due to how it looks.
Calvino( PS did anyone else see AWB’s back post cross matrix clearance off of El Ghazis head last game?!?) (PPS, say what you will about AWB attacking, he is the only player in the league to make you aroused defensively)

 

…I don’t quite agree with AY’s take on how the FA handled Cavani’ case vs Suarez’s case. The moment you start introducing “context” into what is broadly considered offensively racist language, you create a grey area that will then be used by people who are racist to get away with the offense. I don’t think anyone is arguing that Cavani was being racist to his friend. What the FA is doing here is saying don’t do it at all. We don’t care of it’s your friend, your teammate,if it’s just bants, do not use that language. I saw on social media the outrage that Bernardo only got 1 match for his social media post. That’s because it was the penalty back then, the FA have moved it now to 3 matches, and with the BLM movement, it may even increase it to 5 matches or something like that.

It’s a very simple rule, which is good. The education of any foreign player is also a good step, in the same way they get to learn when to come for training, they are also told the do’s and don’ts. It’s simple, clear and I think that’s the most effective way to deal with it. If Suarez is a racist, you probably won’t be able to change him, but keep your racist behavior to yourself, but when you do choose to portray it to society, guess what, you get penalized.
Dave(It’s like the handball rule, if the ball touches the hand of an attacker and it ends up in the back of the net, not a goal), Somewhere

 

VAR corner
I was very displeased to see no VAR emails after the weekend (I wasn’t really)so thought I should bring it up again!

I have had numerous emails and comments posted which have all referred to VAR NOT being the problem but that it is the incompetence of the people using it is where the problem lies.

But now I’ve had a change of heart, I actually believe that they are not incompetent but are just headline seeking egotistical morons, something I have always believed referees to be anyway! I have just watched a short bit of Sky Sports “refwatch” (or something like that) and the two incidents discussed were the penalties awarded for MUFC and THFC.

For the first one, Steve Warnock and Alex Scott along with 69% of people bothering to vote said “no penalty” their stance being that Pogba tripped himself up, in the second one, both Steve Warnock and Alex Scott, along with 78% (!) of the viewers said that the foul took place “outside” the penalty area. But guess what, the resident “expert” Dermot Gallagher said that the referee had got both decisions right!!!!!!!! With regard to the second one he even said ” the foul CONTINUES and Bergwijn lands on the line, which is classed as inside”, he actually admits that the “foul contact” initially takes place outside, yet still supports the decision.

And that perfectly highlights the VAR problem, current officials and retired one’s unable to admit to an error, when nearly 80% of people, probably higher if a greater sample was taken, can see with their own eyes that they are wrong.

That’s not incompetence, that’s not a “don’t understand the game having never played it” failing, that’s a “look at me, I know more than you and am therefore superior” attitude and until VAR is managed by people without ego’s, it’s not going to change.
Howard (it all started with Clive Thomas!) Jones

 

Truth and perspective
Ved Sen – you are right, in that Lineker and co did show an angle showing contact between Luiz and Pogba. They failed to address how that contact came about that though. Darren Bent’s words after the game were along the lines of ‘Pogba kicks Luiz’s calf and then trips himself, so it’s a penalty for me’, Explain that one?! On Sky today Stephen Warnock and Sue Smith stated why they believed it wasn’t a penalty. Namely that Luiz doesn’t actually make any kind of challenge – he is merely running alongside Pogba. In doing so legs get tangled (arguably with Pogba initiating that contact, albeit accidentally) and Pogba goes down.

I’ve flip-flopped between it is and isn’t (a penalty). Both players also have arms flailing. Some will say it is, some will say it isn’t. That’s okay. It’s not as clear cut as you’re making it out though. Sky even ran a little poll where 66% of people said it wasn’t a penalty. There may of course be club bias in there – as there is with me. My point is though, don’t beat Smith and Luiz with a stick over a decision that clearly wasn’t 100% a penalty.

I can understand why it was given but don’t think it should have been. That’s more perspective vs truth.

Ta.
Gary (AVFC)

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