Mails: It’s time to judge (and love) Klopp

Date published: Friday 6th November 2015 10:28

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‘I be-lieve oh I believe’ is a good headline except Jordan Ibe is of Nigerian ancestry thus Ibe is a Nigerian name which is pronounced Ebay like the online store.
Dozie Chukwugbo, Bariga (BUZZKILLER)


It’s okay to applaud young English players…
Delighted to see Jordan Ibe get his first goal for Liverpool last night. He has shown what an exciting talent he is and a (very impressive) goal was inevitable. It pleases me especially that Ibe got his chance about a year ago despite not being the finished product. It is encouraging when top-flight teams bring these players through…

A few weeks John Nicholson wrote an article basically deriding anybody who cares about the nationality of players, labelling pretty much everybody who takes this view a Proper Football Men and by implication, xenophobic. I find this quite short-sighted (and to be honest – slightly insulting). If nationality didn’t matter, young players would rarely get experience, as we have seen at the top clubs where results are everything (do you think Ibe would have got such a sustained chance at Chelsea or Man City or Watford for that matter?). England football team would eventually suffer. Now I know a football purist such as Mr Nicholson probably doesn’t care about international football, but most enjoy it. Also, English children would grow up believing they would never be able to play top-flight football. This is something that is available everywhere else. Why should English kids be the only ones deprived of dreaming of playing in the top flight?

Back to Ibe again. He must have improved playing with the likes of Coutinho. Foreign signings have been great for the English game. They undoubtedly bring different attitudes, techniques and quite often they are more likeable (I’m looking at you Terry). However, the amount of top-flight players who are from this country, if it continues on this downward trajectory, will be down to 10% in 10 years. That is not healthy. It’s about finding a balance between foreign and homegrown. A balance Tottenham and the brilliant Pochettino have and Chelsea and John Nicholson, do not. I think you need to learn that not everyone who actually likes it when English talent is given a chance is not a Proper Football Man like Harry Redknapp.
Howard D (Hoping Terry and Savage have a charity boxing match and knock each other into separate comas)


Now we can judge Klopp…and be impressed
I wrote in to the mailbox a little while ago diffusing the annoying Klopp reactions far too early in his managerial tenure. I mentioned that a good time to make an initial judgement would be after the game against Rubin. Well that game has been and gone and Klopp’s Liverpool are taking shape.

The main point of note was the reaction of his players (especially Ibe) when Klopp ran on the pitch after the game and celebrated with the team. The squad appear to be unified and focused. Positive motivation seemingly abundant. The next challenge is picking them up after their first loss; I just hope that’s not this weekend . It feels too early for the momentum to stall.

Also Allen and Lovren looked like solid squad rotation players. Decent back-up, nothing more.
Martin <all over the arrows> Jackson


Was Torres better than Suarez at Liverpool?
As varied as Benteke’s goals have been this season, Torres and Suarez were not strangers to outrageous goals.

Curious to see who the mailbox thinks was a better player, prime Suarez or prime Torres? It’s a hard comparison to make, Suarez just edges it with 82 goals in 133 games while Torres scored 81 in 142, but both had their setbacks – Suarez terrible conversion rates meant he was more likely to bite someone in a match than score from one of his shots (I just made that up, will someone please look that up) and Torres being done for half a season before he was sold.

I would say prime Torres was the better player without a doubt. I just saw him boss too many defences (including the best Premier League defence I’ve seen – was it three red cards for Vidic?) while Suarez was more about the hat-tricks against Norwich (he also did boss our defence once or twice but didn’t exactly have a phenomenal scoring record against the big team in England, and he never played in the Champions League for them).

Basically – find me a highlights reel of Torres’ goals for Liverpool and I bet it’s more impressive than Suarez’s (if I’m wrong please feel free to laugh in my stupid face)
Rikin – (Liverpool under Benitez > Liverpool under any other manager in 25 years)


Ozil and Vardy > Sanchez this season
Having seen numerous articles and comments about the players of the season so far, one common idea has really puzzled me. When discussing the league’s top performers this season, Alexis Sanchez name has always been mentioned as one of the best players this season. I love Alexis as a player and the passion and work rate he shows is infectious and has a massive impact on his fellow teammates. But to suggest his performances this season rank him as one of the League’s best this season just aren’t true. A stunning three-game period in October seems to have blinded people’s opinion. He’s not been bad at all, he’s actually performed quite well, but he has no way performed at the level of say Vardy, Mahrez and even his teammate Özil for example.

The facts are Sanchez may be one of the top goalscorers, but he’s only scored in three PL games for Arsenal this season. Vardy on the other hand has scored in nine games if I’m correct. He still gives 100% every game, but please don’t overrate his performances because of the type of player he is. The much-maligned Mesut Ozil has definitely been performing better.
Alex AFC (Hopefully he really kicks into gear and leads a title charge)


Chelsea fans classy? Do me a favour
Hi M4RCU5X15 (the mailbox name equivalent of Bilyaletdinov),

This season your manager has verbally abused, alienated and forced a respected member of staff to quit simply for doing her job; shoved a child in the street; blamed officials for every pi*s-poor performance your side has put in; chased a referee into his dressing room before throwing wild accusations and insults at him; intimidated and dodged the press; made disparaging remarks about anyone who dare cross him; created a mutinous atmosphere in his dressing room…I’m sure I’ve missed some other indiscretions but that list is already rather comprehensive.

I understand that he is a club legend, but no, defending the frankly indefensible does not make you ‘classy’. The way that your club/fans/manager/players (and of course your not-so-squeaky clean owner) have behaved over the last few years – and continue to – is about as classy as a night out with Josie Cunningham in Newcastle on the pound-a-pint snakebites.

It’s also very rich of you to claim that Chelsea are the only club who do not hound their manager during a tough spell; I seem to remember a couple of seasons ago one gaffer receiving significantly less support during a decidedly more successful spell at the Bridge…or did I dream those hand drawn #BenitezOut banners? I guess he was just a fat Spanish waiter though.
Wubblepig (In fact we fuc*ing love it), Twickenham


…M4RCU5X15 seems to have come up with a new definition of classy, basically standing by a manager regardless of results especially but also his antics that alienate players, unfairly make trained professionals’ jobs untenable, bring the game into disrepute is now classy. Ignoring that Manchester United fans, so far as I’m aware and I can’t speak for everyone, are not unhappy about our league position and nor do we expect to win anything necessarily this year, but actually just want our team to play attacking football that we think would make us win more games, something that should be achievable with the players we have. You know, our fans want us to compete a bit more… not exactly unreasonable given our squad.

If we don’t think LVG is the man with that kind of mindset, we can disagree with that. That is not a lack of class, just like it is not a lack of class to say that you don’t think your boss is the most competent person to manage your department, or even that David Cameron is the most fit person to be PM, if there are valid reasons why you think so. Clearly, hiring someone who hates animals to run the RSPCA would not be the right fit for the organisation regardless of how well he did as CEO of BP or Barlcays or wherever so why should football be different?

One might even say that standing by a manager such as Mourinho despite his antics is actually very much the opposite of classy as essentially you give not only your consent but also approval for him throwing people like Eva Carneiro and the physio (Jon Fearn?) under the bus, deflecting his own failings with conspiracy theories about the FA and the referees and being in general a bit of a tit. So please, tell me again how classy you lot are.
Daniel (“We’re racist and that’s how we like it”) Cambridge


…I am assuming that M4RCU5X15, CFC remembers the way the ‘classy’ Chelsea fans ‘cheered, clapped and supported’ the last manager they had who managed to win them a European trophy? Or does Rafa Benitez not count for the purposes of this anecdote?

Also, if you think all Chelsea fans are supporting Jose, someone may want to have a word with Hugo of SW6 on youtube. (If you haven’t seen his interview in the aftermath of the defeat to Liverpool, I implore all readers with everything I have to search it out. You won’t be disappointed. Just don’t watch it with your nan present).


Are Class of ’92 peak PFM?
– White, British northern males parlaying successful playing careers into jobs in punditry and/or management? Check.

– Pulling no punches when it comes to criticizing foreigners but tip-toeing around any issues involving British players/ managers? Check.

– Being touted for major jobs in punditry and football management despite having no direct qualifications or experience in either field? Check.

– Love the red wine and certainly can run the Reidy gauntlet? Check.

– Partial to nicknames which are just surnames with an “-y” at the end? Check.

– Obsessively hark back to a golden era which they portray as perfect but which actually contained all of the issues they are currently bemoaning? Check.

Is the Class of 92 peak PFM? They never mixed it in the lower leagues but surely Salford City navigates that particular criteria.

And let’s face it, Giggsy is just the type to be caught with Miss Warrington 1997 in a nightclub called the Flaming Snatch.
Mr. F (if Scholes’ United always took risks, why was he benched in two Champions League finals whilst Ji Sung Park started) MUF


Big Sam’s ‘motivational’ speech
The Guardian is running quotes from Sam Allardyce saying that senior players should think about getting the team clear of the relegation zone before they think about new contracts. Which of the following do fans of Sunderland and other teams alike believe is most accurate?

* This is a masterstroke of motivation, dangling a carrot in front of the players to encourage them to work collectively in order to achieve individual rewards.

* This is a risk because the senior players will instruct their agents to start finding themselves somewhere else to play, thus not being especially motivated in playing for Sunderland.

* This has the hallmarks of a man who doesn’t plan on sticking around very long. It will take a mammoth effort to keep Sunderland in the Premier League. I haven’t heard anything definite on this but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a clause in Allardyce’s contract saying that if they are relegated he can leave the club by mutual consent. This would mean the arduous job of rebuilding the squad would fall to someone else, and Big Sam would be available for any Premier League jobs that come up next season.

The literary Ed Quoththeraven


Not missing penis mutilation
Well you won’t find me complaining that the old ‘bugger chops off own penis’ – also known to new F365ers as Non-Football Story of the day – section got chopped (whey!) for the extremely excellent Recommended Reading of the day bit.

Nope. Not one bit.
Ade, Lagos


Vote for Jerome
Come on lads – Cameron Jerome deserves a lot more love in the current F365 poll. I know the site has been redesigned but it’s important to look out for these things because somewhere, somehow, you just know you’re making some Rooney fan miserable in doing so.
Minty, LFC

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