Van Dijk is ‘not a captain’ and his worst Liverpool trait has become ‘contagious’

Editor F365
Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk, manager Jurgen Klopp and midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai
Remember when Liverpool were winning a Quadruple?

If that was the response Liverpool could muster to a disappointing Manchester United result then their season peaked with contagiously ‘casual’ Van Dijk.

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One conclusion
A team that couldn’t beat this abject Man Utd side doesn’t deserve to win the Europa League or the Premier League
Yusuf, Abuja


And a few more
Kelleher might’ve saved early on with his face, but there was no saving face for the club tonight.  Wow.  This was a sleepwalking performance of stunning proportions, just an absolutely inept, incoherent showing for a side suddenly fraying at every seam and billowing directionless in high-force winds.

Tsimikas was incredibly dire as he so often is, Darwin Nunez woeful in front of goal yet again, Szoboslai unforgivably, epically lazy, Van Dijk casual and uninspired, and Salah so out of form as to become the most conspicuous embodiment of the myriad shapeless amoeba floating about in this side.

Alarm bells at deafening levels for the visit of Palace at the weekend.  Such is football and we may not have known at the time, but our season likely peaked with Van Dijk’s extra-time header at Wembley in February.  Surely we go again in seasons to come, but Jurgen Klopp certainly deserved a much gentler denouement than this.
Eric, Los Angeles  CA  (There will be no Istanbul claw back in Bergamo, it isn’t happening)


Holy sh*t.

What did I say a few days ago? Obviously you can add that we cannot learn to our steaming pile of woes. VVD is not a captain. We can’t change play in-match and his continued casualness is contagious.

Klopp is right about one thing: he’s out of energy. Until he goes to his next club, of course.

Elliott can never be a starter, ever. Super subs can have a career: it’s ok. Our front three. Well. So far inferior to their great predecessors (yes, Mo was one, but he’s a shadow of his former self.) Further: none of our front three have a brain cell to share between them. I’d have Jota replace them all and play two attacking kids behind.

You’d think THAT game last Sunday would mean a thrashing for whomever was next, but nope. Thought we’d rock up and murder them, is it?

I’d give no fewer than four of our starters 3/10s. Four. Unacceptable but seems to be the new standard. Nunez, Jones, Tsimikas, Elliott. And maybe a 4 for Gomez. No, make that a 5th 3.

Scott, LFC, Toronto. Planning a murder.

READ MOREVan Dijk’s Liverpool ‘have a staggeringly misplaced confidence they can control games’


Not fun
I’m a big believer in ‘not complaining about the result when you were one of the fortunate XX thousand to get a ticket’.

But that was not fun, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise!
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland


Who bottled it?
So Bayern Munich who are second in the Bundesliga having scored the most goals are a nothing team even though they’ve held an amazing unbeaten Leverkusen to a draw are below par (according mainly to plastic scoucers, reading social media…especially before Liverpool’s game, where they were stuffed by the almighty Atalanta at home (whom have lost 10 games domestically this season).

Did all their young heroes bottle it (that term ain’t nice is it?). Are Liverpool still in the Europa league? Are Arsenal still in the Champions League?

Hmmmm? By the way, don’t ask John Cross!
Chris, Croydon 


The Saka discourse continues
I think football fans are too quick to assume that decisions are black or white. Saka may have stuck his leg out to sell a foul or he may have just been placing his right leg there for balance. It’s a movement that happens so fast that judging it at slow motion is facile. Players have to make split second decisions and muscle memory can often kick in. Anyone who’s actually played football should know that you may have to make a movement like that to stay balanced while trying to go around the other player.

I’ll happily admit I don’t know what the decision should be. There just isn’t a perfectly correct decision here. It’s up to our speculation. Only Saka truly knows what he did. This moment is far too murky for us to decide, that’s why we leave it to the refs who have more expertise. I respect the referees’ decision in this situation, if a collision in the box is too ambiguous then it probably shouldn’t be a pen.

It’s time you all realised that not every collision in football can be objectively analysed. Sometimes it’s just too obscure like in this situation. This is why I’m turning into a more casual fan of the game. Modern football discussions (arguments) are too often about deconstructing every player’s movement during controversial decisions, obsessively gathering and posting mundane stats and endlessly droning on about transfer fees and wages (i.e. who’s winning economically). Suddenly we’re all data analysts and financial experts.

F*** all that, I miss just watching the game and having a good time. I suggest you all switch off from football from time to time. I’m hoping for the best from Arsenal in the second leg, all to play for still.
Vish (AFC), Melbourne, Australia


I wasn’t going to reengage with the Saka debate, but since I’ve seen a new line of defence emerge I thought it was worth commenting.  The argument is essentially that Saka doesn’t have to move to avoid contact with Neuer, and it best summarised by MAW, LA Gooner who says that ‘ Saka is clearly altering his route, taking a touch laterally (when he’s already directly on goal) to avoid the path of Neuer who (and I think this is pretty relevant) gets nowhere near the ball.’

Firstly, I love MAWs phrasing that seems to imply that neuer has done something wrong by making Saka alter his route when he is heading directly towards the goal, as if he should just wave him on like a bullfighter.  But ignoring that, what maw actually does is highlight why it was definitely not a penalty.   Saka has indeed taken a touch laterally, so is no longer entitled to just run straight towards the goal as he would no longer be in possession of or attempting to keep possession of the ball if he does so, he’s just deliberately initiating contact with the player.  The idea that Saka doesn’t hang a leg out is absolutely hilarious, but even if we accept that you only have to look at where his right foot is going to land and see that it would be absolutely nowhere near the ball.  This is the vital flaw in the Arsenal argument – if Saka is taking a route that would allow him to play the ball then he wouldn’t have to avoid contact.  But he isn’t.  He’s deliberately running a line that takes him away from the ball (and let’s face it, kicks his leg out in a completely unnatural way) purely so contact can be made.

And just a hint, when 50% of your own fans and 90+% of pundits and neutrals don’t agree with you, you’re probably wrong.
Phil, London 


City slickers
Reading the past two mailboxes, Man City fans come across as out of touch billionaires.

“We don’t care and have no worries, why aren’t you as care free as us you lazy, bitter and ungrateful plebs?!”

Erm, maybe you feel that way because Man City have won almost all titles in recent memory, have a complete financial advantage over almost every club, and like all true billionaires, are completely and willfully ignoring the cheating and crimes that got you there.

Or maybe it’s more similar to late OJ. Famous, a winner, adored by some, and allowed to carry on despite everyone knowing what he really did.
Calvino (if you’re a pre-2007 City fan, you get a pass)


Gav, Edinburgh’s mail certainly gave me a chuckle. City fans are not mature, they only ever write into the mailbox when people are attacking them for cheating because people stating reality reality hurts their feelings. Why would they write in about winning when they know it means nothing because they are cheats. There is zero to celebrate, supporting City is like reloading the game every time you lose on Football Manager, then telling everyone you won Champions League with Doncaster Rovers and shouting at anyone who calls you a cheater. The success means nothing but people questioning your success is still triggering.

City are a small club, they don’t have a large fanbase domestically never mind internationally. I live abroad and no matter how many trophies they win you never see anybody wearing a City shirt. You see a lot of Arsenal, Utd and Chelsea shirts despite those three barely winning anything in recent seasons.

If City are actually punished sufficiently for their 115 FFP violations I wouldn’t be surprised if fans stayed silent like murderer who’s got caught and is sitting in a cell. There is no point in protesting, you committing the crime and know you deserve the punishment.

Grow up City fans, everyone is bored of all 15 of you pretending you enjoy your empty successes.