Mails: Are Liverpool now Man City’s bogey team?

Date published: Friday 6th April 2018 1:26

Keep emails coming to


Do teams psychologically train?
After Liverpool’s demolition of City this week, I was doing some thinking about why City have steamrollered most teams in the league but have come unstuck twice now against Liverpool, are they becoming City’s bogey team? No disrespect to Liverpool on that. It got me onto the subject (in my tiny mind) of teams that are mentally strong and whether their managers or back-room staff do any work on the psychology of the players. I remember Roy Keane once saying that Man Utd often had teams beaten in the tunnel before the match, he reckoned he could see when the opposition were thinking ‘we’re going to get destroyed’. This may be rubbish but what is the key to beating a side who are technically better than you or always seem to beat you? Other than kicking lumps out of them, which doesn’t work now that football is practically a non-contact sport.

I guess this is where the old ‘magic of the FA cup’ comes in, if a team is two leagues above you, you are expected to lose, the pressure is off and there’s nothing to stop the players going out there and just having a go at the opposition. I reckon it’s different when you’re facing a team who are in the same league as you, especially if they are two places above you and you’re expected to be able to match them. Maybe Klopp has the ability to get his players to stick to their game plan and also lets them go out there and have a go, without fear of reprisal if they lose, or they just have a game plan that works especially well against City, I certainly don’t know. I reckon there is mileage in working on the psychology of the players though, especially if you can get them to overcome previous hurdles, like the England team in a penalty shoot-out for example.

Does anyone know if teams do this on a regular basis? Real evidence that is, not ‘my mate said’. For reference, Glenn Hoddle getting that Eileen Drewery in does not count, what the hell was that all about anyway?

Paul, Man Utd


Damien’s World vs the Real World
Damien’s World
Tottenham Hotspur one time conqueror of Chelsea in Stamford Bridge (2018) after 28 yrs wait, Liverpool two times Conqueror of Manchester City in 2018, Tottenham Hotspur one time runner up to Juventus after an excellent round of 16 display in an European night, Liverpool one time Champion after an excellent comback against Dortmund in the Europa league round of 16 display (in my own world Sevilla won the damn thing that year).
The real world
Sevilla 5 times Europa league champions (most recent between 2014-16)
Real Madrid UEFA champion league  current holders
Monaco won the ligue un title last year playing breathtaking football as well.In conclusion, am not one of those who believe that Liverpool F. C and Tottenham Hotspur needs to win trophies, but great performance are always special but trophies compensate for any eye sore that comes along the way and live longer in the history books.
E.N.A – Nigeria (look at Barca and Real Madrid,  wonderful performances while winning trophies, you too can do that)


Few Arsenal related points….
The Ox rebuttal got me thinking.

Is there a worse metric than ‘per 90 mins’? Coming on as a substitute when your team is chasing the game against tired legs, are you not likely to be more productive per minute than someone who started? Giroud was king of this. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Ox has been more productive in a season as a substitute in forward areas than a season where he was occasionally started as a wing back?!

Wilshere looks burnt out and should be rested Sunday. He was absolutely awful in possession last night. Let big Mo Elneny start, he has the legs to let Ramsey do his thing.

In the summer, we need a centre half (Koscielnys Achilles has sadly goosed him), a midfield controller, obviously a goalkeeper and a pacy wide option. Oh and a new manager. Sadly we’ll probably do none of this.
Ian Dorren, Essex Gooner.


Attack Klopp and Pep but please stop attacking the English language
As a decade long reader and occasional contributor to the mailbox, and a lifelong Liverpool fan, I found Ben the Baggies email offensive in three main ways.

Ben’s utter lack of ability to use the English language. I am not a grammar nazi but blow me, that email read as if it was written by someone writing in their third language (their, they’re, there – the difference is important)
The ridiculous presumption that neither Klopp or Pep can win this competition due to their naivety. Mot football fans with a brain will not need to cast their minds all that far back to remember that, as it turns out, both have done pretty well in the past and, most rational people would think, will continue to do pretty bloody well in the future.
Tony Pullis – the ultimate pragmatist, the only man that could lead either side to be champions of Europe. Well, at least I laughed long enough to stop being annoyed at your inability to use the English language.

In summation, I think Ben the Baggie should be banned from having future opinions on the Champions league. He is clearly an angry man in need of a dictionary and also a quick recap of recent football history.

Long live Jurgen and his cavalier style and genius when it comes to developing talent. I have supported Liverpool for 28 years and this is the most excited I have been about our future prospects.
Neville (an Irish fan of Liverpool living in Melbourne who is losing a lot of sleep to watch us play each week!)


To Ben The Baggie (ref: An angry Baggie),

Yes, Liverpool were beaten in the FA Cup match against West Brom. If you look it at that single, boxed-in context, sure, West Brom are world-beaters, aren’t they?

If you look at the bigger picture, Klopp ‘the tactical genius’ has brought Liverpool a step closer to the UCL semis and potentially another season in UCL next while West Brom (without Chunky as of a few days ago)…. well, looking forward to the Championships next season?

Its all about consistency and context, never about just 1 game…..
DJ, LFC, Singapore


Hey Ben the Baggie,

On behalf of all Liverpool & City fans, thanks for your warning about Pep & Klopp in the Champions League. For some reason I was under the impression that Pep has won it multiple times and Klopp made a final but I’m glad you’re around to set us straight.

Congratulations again on knocking us out of the FA cup. I assume you must still be in the competition so best of luck in the semi final.

Enjoy the Championship next year. We’ll all miss watching your scintillating brand of football week in week out, and it was great to see the Hawthorns packed out every week with fans who support their team through thick and thin.

Yours truly,
Rob, LFC


Not convinced about Walker then…
Hi folks

I’ve watched bemused as Kyle Walker has been discussed as one of the best in his position in the league/Europe/the world in various pieces on the site in recent weeks.

I’ve watched Kyle Walker a lot, for my sins. When he won the young player of the year award in 20102 he was a raw but athletically gifted 800m hurdler with spoons for feet. You hoped that he’d learn the positional aspects of the game and stop losing his composure in important moments both in and out of possession. You hoped that he would learn to do anything but skew a shot/cross on 95% of occasions.

He never did. He was a disaster for Spurs until Pochettino took him (and Rose on the other side) and put them 20 yards ahead of the defensive line. Now you have a position that plays to his undoubted strengths (quick, strong, fit, makes willing runs forward and back for 90 mins). No more of him being the last man and messing up a touch/playing the opposition onside/making unnecessary challenges.  Miraculously, Pochettino also seemed to have coached him in staying on his feet and facing down opponents, which- honest to God- is the only actual improvement and development evident in this guy’s game in going on a decade now.

He’s not a bad lad. He tries very hard. He has been very well suited to the role of “stay out of the defence’s way, and run up the wing a lot” in successive successful teams. But if you think that Kyle walker is a good footballer, a good full back (in a flat four), an acceptable centre half (in a back three) or a wordl-class (!)  wing back (he can’t cross and never does so at the right times regardless) then I will be writing to you after he costs you dearly in the tournament this summer on every occasion when he is called upon to do anything actually useful at either end of the pitch.

And he is still much, much better than Kyle Naughton, to be fair to the lad.
Darragh (sorry for length, there’s an element of catharsis here. You’re lucky Paul Robinson hasn’t come up recently tbh), Spurs, Ireland


What a wonderful week it has been. 
From watching Liverpool somehow get a win against a well performing Palace, to demolishing the Champions elect in front of a raucous Anfield 4 days later. Smash Everton (fingers crossed) tomorrow and this would have been the perfect week (if not close to).

I hadnt even come back down from cloud nine this morning, but had an interesting thought on my way to work, which i would like to share with you. Over the last 2 days, I read A LOT of match reports, tweets, articles, post match analysis, etc. and what dawned on me was the following:

The first few reactions were: Well done Liverpool, tactical masterpiece from Klopp, Lovren solid, TAA future England captain, and of course the dymanic trio scoring for fun.

Then, the narrative switched. Guardiola a.k.a. Fraudiola screwing up his line-up, tactical incompetence, sheer naivety, Leroy Sane useless, de Bruyne anonymous, lots and lots and lots of money spent, and finally watch Liverpool get pummeled in the semi final against any of the remaining teams.

The thought that crossed my mind is that these negative comments are basically saying is, ‘Relax, it was only Manchester City’. (confused emoji)

I guess i can be a bit smug about this right now, and it seems to be human nature, but what is it with making others look bad to make yourself look better? What does it matter if Real Madrid humiliate us in the semis (should we make it there)? In my opinion, most people need to grow up, enjoy whatever football their team is currently serving up (unless youre team is West Brom, shoutout to Ben the Baggie) and applaud teams for a job well done. This is upposed to be a gentleman”s sport afterall.
Nik (Hope they will be saying  ‘It was only Real Madrid’ soon), Munich


Why so snarky?
I really enjoy the Big Weekend feature usually, although I have to admit that I prefer the format it used to have in seasons past. But enjoyable nonetheless:)

I do have to take issue with Sarah Winterburn’s preview (can it be called that) of what Harry Kane has in store. Was it relly necessary to insert a comment about trophies? Or was it to incite a particularly annoyed reaction from Spurs fans? That’s not a joke, it’s goading or prodding. Sadly that’s the state of journalism today. F365 often decries the state of football journalism around the country and worldwide, but that’s an example of how certain writers (looking at you Sarah) are of the same species. Completely unnecessary as far as I am concerned. And by the way, Spurs do happen to be in the semis of the FA cup, playing sort of at home, and against a team they just spanked away from home. So, Sarah’s attempt at a goading joke is either ill informed or simply meant to elicit a negative reaction. Not cool, not cool at all.

And then? “Sadly/Admirably” to cap the preview off. We should think it is sad that Harry Kane might be gunning for a 30 goal season? He needs 6 goals in 7 games to do that. What is “sad” about it? The only thing in his mind is the 30 goals? So I guess he doesn’t really care if we beat Chelsea and end up winning the Cup. Well, you have cleared that up for us.

Come on, there’s sarcasm or humour, but this is just trolling disguised as journalism/football writing.
Patrick (THFC), I for one would be very happy if Kane got 30… wouldn’t be sad at all…



Friday loveliness
Hello all. There was no Friday afternoon mailbox last week, so there was no regular dose of ten things to be happy about (which people may be finding tiresome by now, but I’m now quite taken with trying to write). Oh well, here are some now. Enjoy!

1. The fact that you can rent the old Lužanky stadium here in Brno for free just if you fancy it. My local pub team played a side travelling over here from England last week. Walloped them.

2. The fact that Gary Mackay-Steven had to leg it from a pub whilst playing for Aberdeen only to vault over a wall and into the River Kelvin. He caught pneumonia, leading to him being nicknamed Gary Mackay-Freezin’

3. F365’s Spanish Thing column from some years ago referring to ‘Ian Harte’s Levante’ so often that someone emailed in and asked them to stop, due to him only being able to read it in the style of a musical: Ian Harte’s ‘Levante!’

4. Peterhead striker Andy Rodgers being hit with a two game ban by the Scottish FA for calling people from Dunfermline “mutants”. A niche insult indeed.

5. Ultimate hubris. Baník Ostrava played Bohemians 1905 a couple of years back and decided to protest against the apparent Muslim “invasion” of the Czech Republic (yeah, okay) by making a huge banner knowing the game would be on TV. They thought they’d do it in English for maximum international exposure. The idea was that it’s say “Baník fans: Fuck Muslims!”. They missed all the punctuation. How we laughed. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch.

6. St. Pauli once drank their way out of administration by all the bars in the area increasing the price of their beer by 50c and using that money to support the club. They called it Saufen für Sankt Pauli, or Gulping for St. Pauli.

7. The Mitre Tactic. They really hurt.

8. The close-but-not-quite alternative player names in Sensible Soccer. Oh, and not football-related, but on a similar note, enjoy this screengrab of Fighting Baseball on the SNES; some Japanese chap had clearly been told “come up with some genuine American names”. I think we all know a Bobson Dugnutt.

9. On that note, Tonton Zola Moukoko.

10. Bob Wilson, anchorman.

Have a great weekend everyone.
David (and thanks to Sam for the Scottish stuff) Szmidt, Brno, Czech Rep.


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