Mails: Hail Liverpool, Van Dijk, Karius and ‘bargain’ Ox

Date published: Sunday 4th March 2018 12:13

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Liverpool are … *shudder* … good
I already feel dirty writing this, but my god Liverpool are a fantastic attacking side. How no one else was in for Salah is beyond me. But alongside Man City i absolutely love watching them this year (despite wanting them to lose every game), and Klopp’s style of football is a blessing to the League.

As a Spurs fan I have a begrudging respect for them doing things “the right way” and do genuinely hope they get in the top for along with us, regardless of the tantrums their fans threw after our game.

Question to the mailbox, surely you’re all supporting Liverpool and Spurs over the clubs trying to buy success (ala Manchester via Chelsea)
Dominic (Hello to my boss Sadaf who I think reads this, THFC)

 

Bloody Pep
It’s a bizarre feeling, *expecting* Liverpool to win and them just actually cracking on and doing it. It certainly didn’t hurt that Newcastle came with so little ambition, but we’ve struggled to break down such sides in the past.

Certainly a long way from worrying to see Karius looking more confident and reliable as well. Is having Van Dijk around now really that much of a boost to everyone’s confidence? Certainly seems so anyway. Without necessarily being at his absolute best so far, we just seem so much more solid these days it’s unreal.

Wouldn’t be a mail without a grumble about the red though. We could/should have had two penalties, Newcastle could easily have had one themselves. Can’t help but wonder if they’d have been given had the ref had VAR terrifying him in the background.

But ultimately who cares? We won again, we’re second and we look good value for it.

The autumn grumbling against Klopp ( of which I was as guilty as any ) seems a long way away. We are improving each year under him and he really needs a boatload of credit for that.l

Shame bloody Pep’s in the way really.
James, Liverpool

 

All hail Virgil
For the first time in so many years, Liverpool have looked more composed and less panicky at the back . It’s amazing by ease at the which van Dijk has sorted this defence .. he looks cool calm and collective and has been able to rub positivity on the other 4 . With kieta and possibly another strong defender will make us really challenge for trophies . I have started to love karius . He looks assured now whereas Mignolet always looked a man who feared calamity all the time . Finally these tricky matches are being won by us convincingly..

Way to go lads!
Arsh Khurana 
LFC Delhi
Karius save was world class!

 

…and the Ox
Absolutely loving the Ox, what a great signing and what is increasingly looking like a bargain. I never saw him play this well or this consistently for Arsenal. He’s getting better and better every game, definitely my MOTM. His post match interviews are great too, seems like a very intelligent likeable guy.
MickT Liverpool

 

AOC now has 2 goals and 5 assists in his last ten games. I think thats the makings of a very good “but he can’t play central midfield” central midfielder.

Jordan Henderson was quietly brilliant too. His passing is so crisp and aggressive and he can set a fast pace and force everyone else onto the front foot by zipping balls forwards and into feet. All fans are guilty of undervaluing him because he’s shite for England but who really cares about that, everyone is a bit crap for England.

TAA is deservedly holding down the spot at right back but twice today he played sketchy passes which hopefully reminded him how sharp you always need to be to succeed in the league. I do love us having two incredibly young full backs on either side who are performing to a very high standard. Would love to see Gomez get a chance in the centre next to VVD against Porto. If that’s his future then surely there’s no time like the present to test it.

This team is very good. Maybe one more top centre back in the summer needed, assuming Lovren or Matip is sold? Maybe a top keeper if we can get one who will guaranteed be better than what we have? Man Utd is such a huge test of how good we really are; against one of the best tacticians in the game and probably the most stern defence we have faced since things really started to click in January.
Minty, LFC

 

Ruthless
Karius was excellent again last night. I remember David Preece speaking about Karius on The Totally Football show and saying the player he was seeing in goal (during his period of poor form) was nothing like the player he thought Liverpool had signed. He wondered whether the in and out system was not allowing him become the consistent keeper he could be.

Now he’s had a solid run of games, he has improved dramatically. However, I have heard a number of Liverpool fans comment that we don’t need to sign a new keeper now. I’m not sure I agree with that thinking.  Just because he’s played well and made some excellent saves, doesn’t suddenly make him a world class keeper.

I think for Liverpool it will very much be dependent on who is available. If there is a chance to sign Allison, then you sign him. You don’t turn down a chance to sign a world class keeper. He’s an upgrade on Karius, even playing well, therefore it’s a no brainier. Just look at United to see the value a truly great keeper can add. If Allison isn’t available, or someone of his class it may be worth sticking with Karius. Give him the chance to develop and then decide again in a years time, seeing who is available then.
Mike, LFC, Dubai

 

The real early losers
This is it. The end. There can be no more excuses, no more rhetoric in favour of ‘British Jobs for British Managers’. This has to be the weekend when our most ignorant of pundits realise new (British or otherwise) blood is needed if clubs are to retain their league status as well as fan backing. If this weekend has proved one incontrovertible truth, it’s that Moyes, Pardew and Allardyce can no longer provide club stability and impressive on-field organisation and should never be allowed to walk into a vacant Premier League manager’s job ever again, without firstly being asked to provide evidence as to why they deserve it. And that’s without being able point to ’00s Everton, ’00s Bolton and a season at Newcastle. The football landscape in this country has changed dramatically since then for any of that to still be relevant.

Those three (and others outside the top flight, like Steve Cotterill for instance!) are a blockage to the flow of managers toward the top tier of management. Their methods were once fresh, if a little boring, but that was over a decade ago. How can club hierarchy still look at Moyes and Allardyce etc and see these men as the solution to their problems, when those same managers cannot hold up a record that says ‘we’ve done this recently and it worked’? They should be moved on and quickly. That might be harder to do when you purposely give them short contacts with high pay-offs clauses. But that’s the club’s fault. And so is continuing to employ previously innovative individuals who stood still, when everyone else moved to the next level.

They are Friends Reunited in the Facebook/Instagram age.
James F, BCFC KRO (Since Rowett, we’ve had 1 manager for every 148 days. Shambolic doesn’t begin to cover it).

 

Hope for Jordan
I dunno about all this “Everton’s defence are ruining Pickford’s chances” etc. England are always hopeless at tournaments. What we need is a good keeper who’s experienced at playing behind an equally hopeless defence. He’s got to be a lock for the #1 spot.
Mike Hall, AFC

 

Southgate’s choice
Last week’s article
regarding the dilemma posing Southgate over Rashford got me thinking about how sparse the selection pool continues to be for the England side.

Players such as Jordan Henderson (who admittedly played well vs Newcastle the weekend) has struggled for form, fitness and minutes at Anfield this year. Adam Lallana’s lack of appearances since returning from long term injury must also be alarming for the England manager. But they aren’t the only ones.  In fact, it is easier to name the players that are 1st XI regulars. Taking the top 40 of 365s most recent ladder, since November, Sterling, Walker, Ox, Lingard, Dier, Alli and Kane have been consistent regulars for Top 6 clubs. From middling clubs we have Pickford, Vardy and Maguire. Finally we have Butland and Bertrand, first XI regulars from bottom half teams. To be fair, the emergence of Lingard and Ox is very exciting, but (to state the bleeding obvious) 12 players does not make a squad!

The flip side of this, of course, is that a huge chunk of England players may only have half a season’s worth of minutes in their legs come the summer. Our lack of quality may result in our players actually being fresher than our more talented Continental counterparts, which rather puts talk of Winter Break in perspective, doesn’t it?

The top 40 of the ladder, coincidentally, missed many players from mid table clubs such as Burnley, Leicester and Bournemouth. So Southgate needs to have a real think about how stringently he wants to apply his selection criteria regarding regular game time; do players like Tarkowski, Mee, Albrighton, Cook, Ibe and Wilson deserve call ups? Or does he stick with those players at bigger clubs that have had minimal games. Which players are most deserving of a call up?
Rob S 

 

This does not slip
I’ve seen little (if anything) as tragic as Newcastle fans singing the slippy song about Steve Gerrard:

He no longer plays for Liverpool
When this event happened Newcastle weren’t in a challenging position with Liverpool
This event had literally no impact on where Newcastle finished in the league

Can you imagine, for example, Bournemouth fans at Old Trafford singing songs praising Aguero’s winner against QPR?  After Aguero has already retired from football?
James Outram

 


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