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Liverpool will NOT retain the title, but…
Firstly, I don’t think Liverpool will retain the title, but that’s because i’m an eternal pessimist sh*t house who has adopted this mentality most of my adult life, as it softens the blow of the frequent disappointments and further heightens the ecstasy of the occasional achievements. Also i’m a bit of a historical stats man and given that no side, not Mourinho’s first Chelsea stint, not Pep’s City, have ever reeled off three consecutive 90+ points seasons, it would seem a big ask for a far less resourced squad by comparison to be the first ones to do this – and of course as we have seen, even if they did that it still doesn’t guarantee that they’d finish first.
Additionally, this last decade in the Premier League has several examples of sides making great leaps forward and then sudden regressions, Rodgers’ Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester City……perhaps it’s the turn of Klopp’s Liverpool and they’ll be passed in the other direction by another club’s great leap forward?
Now, whilst i’ve read / listened to many of the endless cavalcade of commenters / ‘experts’ available to us all in this glorious tech age say that they think Liverpool will retain the title, based on the understandable and simple logic of, ‘they’re still a very good team’, some of the mental gymnastics and contradictory nonsense offered up by those who think differently, many of whom are paid for this stuff, has been laughable.
‘I’ve just got a feeling that…’……apparently Liverpool are due a, or multiple injuries to big players, which seems based on a) the fact this has happened to Manchester City so it’s Liverpool’s turn, and b) Klopp’s pressing game is bound to have tired them all out by now. Well, whilst Liverpool players haven’t suffered long term injuries comparable to the likes of De Bruyne, Laporte and Sane; Mane, Alisson and Fabinho have all missed decent chunks of a season (in the two Brazilians cases, last season) in their Liverpool careers. It’s a well known fact that Klopp and his team take into account players injury records and their durability before they buy them. The classic three in the, ‘if Liverpool were to lose them for a period’ of VVD, Salah and Mane have all improved their fitness records, in terms of games played per season, since they came to Anfield. Also regards the possible fatigue, well the whole squad, whilst playing actual football matches, were not exactly giving their all in those last 7 matches of the season just gone, so I suppose we’ll see how that goes.
On one of the better known (I say better known, I think it’s been the most downloaded one for over a decade) podcasts, which I listened to early this morning, one chap (has a clear Mancunian lilt) who was in the ‘i’ve just a got a feeling’ camp, made reference to the careers of both Mario Gotze and Marco Reus as to why we could expect some sort of fitness falling away this season of some of Liverpool’s star players. Gotze hasn’t played a match under Klopp in over seven years and Reus in over half a decade, and a quick look at Marco’s lengthy injury record suggests it hasn’t really been down to the fact that Jurgen might’ve asked him to run around quite a bit between 2012 & 2014. Desperate, reaching stuff…..as I made clear at the start I think a big injury is due for Liverpool, but it isn’t based on anything that people who are paid for their opinions on the game should be resorting to.
Another classic has been the question of motivation, ‘after that 30 year wait I just think that…’, well ‘that 30 year wait’ only really applies to actual Liverpool fans of the required age doesn’t it? And our oh so relieved selves won’t be underwhelmingly contributing in the ground for the forseeable anyway. As far as i’m aware the only Liverpool fans in the entire squad are 17, 19 and 21 years old, so it certainly doesn’t apply to them. And as much as players say they love a club I doubt Mo Salah was sat during his 4 hour bus journeys to training as a youth cursing Houllier for not keeping Anelka and buying Diouf, and I doubt any of the others foreign or British players ever got thrown out of class for having wrote, ‘Macheda is a c**t’ on the table. They’ve won it once, what is it people know about, for example, 4 times winner and 32 year old Sergio Aguero’s obvious greater, burning desire to give far more them this coming season, just because it didn’t happen for him in the one just gone? Salah and Mane have always made it clear of their ambitions to constantly win and achieve, and Liverpool is their current vehicle to do so. I don’t think they’re smugly content with just the one title because of other people’s 30 year wait.
So, in conclusion, Liverpool won’t win the league, but spare me the guff and guesswork that’s been getting doled out recently.
New season thoughts…
For the best part of the last ten years, I always used to look forward to the resumption of the Premier League. The feeling this time, however is quite muted. I really hope this the result of a condensed and a strange pre season, and not some sort of prolonged fatigue.
So, this season, to keep the interest going I have made my fantasy team and registered in the office league. I have always found it difficult to play fantasy football as it always felt weird to hope Danny Graham would get 20 goals or Norwich to restrict Suarez to just a single goal. Hope this season, I find it a little more worth my while.
Are there private leagues of other mailboxers I could join or is there an official F365 league? And how is everyone coping with the short turnaround between the seasons?
And as regards the predictions, Liverpool to bottle it, City to win by default, Spurs to be genuinely good, Chelsea to disappoint. The midtable is sure to be a competition of the shortest dwarf with Burnley and Leicester surely having reached their ceiling. West Brom and Fulham to go straight back down with Palace.
Feature me next time around when you all take a good laugh at yourselves.
Was Kompany the best defender in the world?
I wholeheartedly disagree with Dion Byrne. Was Kompany the best defender in the world? No. Was he a bloody great player that was integral to City’s success and him leaving hugely contributed to City’s decline this season? Big yes.
Kompany spent a lot of time injured but he was the captain, the leader of the team other than Guardiola and City did not replace him leaving a huge leadership gap in the team no other player had the skills and qualities to fill. Even when injured Kompany was still there in the dressing room to give players guidance and a lift when they needed it. Can you imagine KDB, Aguero or Laporte doing those things? No they are superior players but not natural leaders like Kompany was. Just being world class doesn’t make you a great leader who’s influence on the team goes beyond being on the field. A great example of Kompany was in the 18/19 season. It was in that must win game at home to Leicester where City could not break down a solid defence and would probably not win the league if they didn’t. Did Aguero, Sterling or KDB step up? No it was Kompany who whallopped in a 30 yard screamer that effectively won them the title. That is what great captains do, when the chips are down they raise themselves and the team. Players like that are not very easy to replace and teams that have them are usually reluctant to sell. Until City get another proper captain like Kompany they can spend all the money they want but won’t win much in my opinion.
I think you can forgive someone for overlooking Kompany’s talents as not all are obvious but thinking David Silva is overrated is beyond belief, did you hit your head Dion? Silva is one of the most naturally gifted players to ever grace the PL and has been one of the world’s top attacking midfielders for the past decade. City still have KDB but without Silva their creativity will drop markedly. People are lauding Sterling’s goal tally last season but a big part of how he did it was Silva as few players can wrong foot a whole defence and lay on gilt edged chances like him. Thinking Sterling or Bernardo can just fill his shoes this season is incredibly naive, they are far inferior players in every area to Silva.
Where is the evidence that “everything went for Liverpool injury wise last season” as James seems to contend??
Their keeper got injured in the first half of the first game of the season and missed 9/38 league games. Joel Matip,who was first choice to play alongside VVD,missed a chunk of the season. Fabinho-who has yet to lose a home league game for Liverpool-was out for 2 months. Not to mention Ox and Keita having very stop start seasons.
At least do some research before spouting out your drivel. This is a respected website. We don’t want any Rio “null and void” Ferdinand spouting inane,unresearched,clichéd codswallop types clogging up this fine MAILBOX.
Also Pullis,4-4-Tim and Clinton as Soccer Saturday pundits tomorrow. Who is in charge of punditry recruitment at Sky… Rafa Benitez???
PS.No mention by Rio of not starting this season even though you in the UK have had lockdown measures increased again. Almost as if Rio saying “I ain’t saying to cancel it cos I is an ex Utd player and Liverpool could win the league,it’s cos people is dying” was a lie..who knew??.
JP, it’s clear you need some attention from United fans, so I’m here for you.
However, to be fair, I don’t think I can help you as you seem to live on the moon, where Lampard (2 years of coaching) and fArteta (1 FA cup) are both rated above Ancelotti.
Let me know when you’ve returned, maybe then we’ll have a discussion about proper baiting.
I’ve noticed that there have been several indignant replies to my E-mail in which I suggested that some supporters may have had ulterior motives in wanting to see last season voided. Hands up, it was wrong of me to speculate that fans who spend all day every day spewing bile on Twitter at teams they hate may not have had entirely virtuous motives in demanding that the season be scrapped. My bad.
The Czech season resumes…
After what can only be described as a Czech C-team were “overcome” by Scotland, we’re back for week three of the Czech league season. Zbrojovka Brno followed up their rain-drenched thumping at the hands of Sparta Prague by playing out a 0-0 against Bohemians, a game which either side could have won and both will be okay with. We’ve got Zlín away on Sunday afternoon, another chance to get some points on the board as they had a pretty wobbly time of it last season.
Three Prague clubs fill the top three places going into the weekend – Slavia, Sparta, Bohemians – and two of the three teams yet to pick up a point – Příbram and Opava – were rotten last season as well. The team at the very bottom are Mladá Boleslav who have had an interesting couple of weeks.
As well as getting two absolute lessons, firstly from Bohemians and then Zlín, they’ve been in trouble for fans directing racist chants at Zlín’s Cheick Conde, Lamin Jawo and Youba Dramé. Boleslav were given a pathetic fine of 150,000kč (around ₤5,200) by the Czech FA.
Now, what’s interesting is what’s happened next. The club are working very closely with the police to identify the fans (who all seem to be part of their – unofficial – Young Ultras group, so mainly 15-16 years old) in order to ban them and get them to cough up the fine out of their own pockets. Why this bunch of vicious little oiks wasn’t shouted down in the first place, who knows, but it’s something, I guess.
Anyway, enough of that depressing stuff. Hopefully it’ll be a decent weekend of action, with Boleslav hopefully on the end of another hiding, this time from Viktoria Plzeň. The Champions League semi-regulars already look like they’re in for a long season with an aging squad but Boleslav at home should be a gimme. Příbram and Opava play each other in what already looks like a six-pointer.
Whoever you’re supporting this weekend, enjoy it, stay safe and get those knees ready for a good jerking. As it were.
David (Zbrojovkast on Spotify) Szmidt, Brno, Czech Rep.