Mails: Don’t worry about Keita, just enjoy our ‘magnificent’ team

Date published: Thursday 31st October 2019 3:12

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Stewie Griffin’s not us, we promise…
I know Stewie Griffin is one of two things; either someone the editor made up to spark debate amongst Arsenal fans or just a really good troll.

Either way, I like how Ozil gave a Man of the Match performance last night. Sure, some will say it was a bunch of youngesters (even though Lallana, Origi, Milner, Keita, The Ox and Gomez all started) but whatever. Can’t really please everyone.

Glad Ozil is in the starting lineup on Saturday. Finally means we get to see some creativity in our midfield for the first time in what feels like months. Pity it’s due to circumstance and not Unai Emery realising the absolute need for it.
Malcolm. AFC

Pretty depressing time to be a Gunners fan at the moment. But geez, who pissed on Stewie’s chips this time (besides Arsene naturally)? Coming to think of it, I’d pay good money to see Monsieur Wenger piss on Stewie’s chips.

“Arsenal fans seem to intellectually deteriorate every season.”

Do me a favour, and f*ck off mate. Take Xhaka with if you don’t mind.
Yusuf, Cape Town


Don’t worry about Keita, just enjoy our magnificent team
Just thought i’d respond to Brian, Wexford’s ‘concerns’ over Naby Keita. Now, firstly, and I think i’ve voiced this before, why LFC fans currently feel the need to lecture and patronize United fans about their poor form and players I just don’t know. Just enjoy our own magnificent team and watch them being decidedly average in the privacy of your own home / head. They are to be ignored in the public realm. Though I would have to agree with the offending Maurizio and the other contributor re: the concept of ‘what if’ and only applying it to your own team – it’s the kind of argument a 10 year old makes (or Allardyce used to do in post-match interviews when his sides had lost) – having said that it’s also something quite a few well known journalists fall back on when trying to make an agenda driven point.

Anyway Naby Keita, ok well another brief side track, having a pop at Fred being compared with Anderson. Levels of ‘rubbish’ or never met expectations are relative, Anderson won the Champions League, started in another final, and collected several other winners medals whilst at United. He wasn’t flattering to deceive at Sunderland.

Which, right, brings me definitely to Naby Keita. He did flatter to deceive last season, he did not become the main man of our central midfield which many had hoped he would. However he did make many appearances domestically and in Europe for a side that was going flat out to win both major titles, in a record breaking season. In the non-televised game away at Burnley he was outstanding, MOTM (this isn’t a boast, just info) and then toward season’s end he contributed vital equalising and opening goals against Southampton & Huddersfield, who whilst at best were average opponents, every match by that point had become simply must win.

He started and opened the scoring in a Champions League quarter-final 1st leg, and played well, and then Klopp and his staff had enough confidence in him to pick him to start the semi-final (ahead of the club captain) in the Camp Nou. And he looked as good as any other midfielder out there until he succumbed to another injury halfway through the first half – more of that later.

But I hope this explanation might go some way to appeasing Brian’s grievance as to why Keita hasn’t received the same criticism that Fred has. Fred didn’t play in the same high level, vital games last season, millions weren’t watching as a Champions League winners medal got hung around Fred’s neck.

The final comparison with Fred is that at no point was Naby left out of Liverpool’s squad for long periods when fit. Klopp and the staff have always seemed fully confident in his ability. If he’s fit, he’s minimum a sub. But the truth is he hasn’t looked the player that Leipzig Youtube compilatons suggested he could be, but then again this is the nature and demands of Klopp’s midfield – see the constant comparison’s of Wijnaldum’s role and goalscoring for the Dutch national side as opposed to at Liverpool. But most of LFC’s central midfielders seem to acknowledge and are satisfied with their roles as water carriers for the front three, that they don’t need to do anything spectacular, as this special potion has been winning football matches for a quite considerable period now.

However, last night was certainly a great example of the worries over Naby. Personally it seemed suicidal to me (and possibly a strong indicator that Klopp didn’t care about going through!) that Liverpool stuck with the usual midfield shape, leaving Lallana (one previous game at number six v a League One side) hopelessly exposed at times with Naby and AOC also seeming isolated. It perhaps would’ve been more prudent to move Keita back alongside Lallana in a regular centre mid role and simply get him more involved and on the ball.

After half-time, and Milner’s gift of the fourth, Naby seemed to just fall apart with a couple of horrendous touches and then apparently, physically too. This was not unlike the scenario away to Napoli last season, when something similar occurred, team not playing well – five minutes of personally poor play – subbed with an injury. He’s had too many injuries.

We’ve seen in moments that he appears to have more natural ability than any other centre mid at the club, but perhaps confidence is an issue? Contrast him on the night with the player that replaced him, Curtis Jones.

As a supporter, from a distance, the creeping doubts with Naby are based on getting the best out of him in the preferred formation of the first XI, his fitness record and his mental toughness for the long haul in English football. But just like any other member of that squad, until Klopp loses faith in him, i’ll keep mine.


Did Klopp try to lose?
If you listen closely to Klopp, I actually think Liverpool were looking to lose that.

And he would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for the fact that this Arsenal team can’t defend.

Literally have zero confidence in this shower – when were two goals up early in the game, I predicted we wouldn’t win – as predictable as Wenger’s team in the dying days of his reign.

Emery out.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London

So nobody is going to mention Klopp threatening to pull out of a cup competition

I can only hope that if any other team does this ever they get the same amount of silence on the matter.



Lampard the new Pep…
Now I haven’t been exactly a fan of Chelsea in yesteryear. The toxic combination of Mourinho, Terry, Cole, Drogba, Costa etc. made the team really hard to like. Lampard, however, was always the exception. He seemed to be a player which didn’t have anything special (physically or technically) about him, yet was one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. To me, it seemed his talent was more hidden. He could read the exceptionally well and understood where he should be and which option he should choose. In other words he was smart. Although not similar position or similar strengths, Guardiola was also excellent player because most of all, he was an intelligent player.
Similarities don’t end there. Both went to relatively small clubs to learn the trade of management before they unexpectedly got the chance to manage “their club” being relatively young. Both had few alarming results before their methods started to yeild good results. Both had to do without seemingly their best players from earlier years (Ronaldinho and Hazard) and both made bold decision to get rid of some of the experienced players that didn’t fit their vision relying on young, upcoming talent from the academy. Both have vision, how they want their team to play and seemingly unwaivering faith in their methods.
I know it’s early days, but the similarities between Lampard and Pep are striking.
Matti Katara, Helsinki (yes, I know losing Ronaldinho was Pep’s decision unlike Hazard for Lampard)


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