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Koeman feel the noise…
May I be the first to say YYYYYEEEAAAAAHHHHH! Thank God for that. Ideally, I’d like to see Wayne Rooney, Sport Pesa and Angry Birds binned off as well so we can get back to being Everton. But I’ll settle for a new manager who gets us.
PhilT (can’t tell you how relieved I am)
Harry Kane will leave Tottenham. Full stop.
Despite wholeheartedly disagreeing with Johnny Nic’s column I did rather enjoy reading it. I would love it to be true, he puts forward some very valid points, but do I think they will come to fruition. Not a bloody chance.
Firstly, Johnny’s pal who works for 50% of what she could make because she is happy where she is, is a fine example of happiness does not equal money, and fair play to the woman. However, we are talking about a high-level athlete who is hard wired to compete at the highest level, to succeed, to break records and to achieve and achieve. To excel is in his nature, and as great as le Tissier was, silky skills and all, his scoring record was nowhere near what Kane is doing, and not on a world stage either. Le Tiss also had that lazy attitude which he himself admits and wasn’t getting a sniff of the first team with England. Harry Kane IS England.
Kane is looking around at his peers making 30% of what they are, and achieving twice the bloody stats. As nice and all as lovely Harry is, a mug he is not. I don’t think he will go to Barca or Real, and I would love to see him at Spurs for life, I like Spurs, and I don’t want to see their team picked apart because Levy is being a tight arse. But it will! It has already started kicking off, and when you have one of the best managers and strikers in the world, the wallet has to come out. Pochettino will not stand for his best players leaving because Levy wants to be a tight arse. One will have to budge and Levy is not stupid, tight – yes, stupid – no! Arsenal tried to compete at the top level, despite competing for level 2 players and paying level 2 wages for the last 10 years, bar the odd exception, and at that stage it was too late (Sanchez/Ozil). Liverpool have done the same and both have suffered as a result. Spurs have some massive momentum behind them now and they need to ride that wave to the next level – wage caps do not facilitate that.
Southampton were not a top team, Le Tiss was a whale in a pond. Kane is surrounded by high level, ambitious players. Will all 11 of them keep to themselves regarding pay? No chance, and as soon as one breaks rank and gets the pay day, the dominoes will fall – and rightly so. I think Kane would be mad to leave England anyway, he will be the new Rooney, golden boy of English football and you don’t maintain that by going abroad – he needs the Premiership stage to keep that image up, week in week out and I for one will be very thankful for that. Goddamn he is a very likeable chap!
Rowan, Red Devil Dub
…I’m sorry John Nicholson, but as much as I’d give for you to be right (at least one kidney), there is a clear and obvious reason why he may have to leave Spurs, which is to give him the best possible chance of winning the Champions League, Ballon d’Or etc. I’m sure he’s loving life at Spurs, but this is someone Pochettino described as being “the best player in the world in terms of mental strength, willpower and endeavour”, and who has regularly spoken of a desire to win everything he believes his ability deserves. And for someone who was as seemingly average as Kane was to have dragged himself to the very top of his profession purely through hard work and determination, you can bet that he’ll be following through on that.
As fans, we can only pray that Spurs do manage to take that final step and become somewhere that he can realise the success he absolutely deserves. But fortunately, I genuinely don’t believe there is a better manager to take us firmly into the elite than Pochettino: his ability to learn from his mistakes and continually evolve this team to equip them for increasingly greater challenges means there is a very real chance we get to watch Kane fulfil those dreams at White Hart Lane II. Exciting times at Spurs.
Alex G, THFC
…Good article by John on Harry Kane not leaving Tottenham because he is a Spurs man and he would play for them for half the amount he’s on.
I’m inclined to agree. He appears to be happy, he is playing for a great manager, with a great team with a spanking new stadium on the way and could easily win a couple of golden boots. He is a Spurs fan and I can see him there for the rest of his career.
Until I thought of our own ‘Arsenal Man’, Thierry Henry. Whilst Henry has a clear, deep love for Arsenal (even if it appears to be waning a bit), and had a great time playing for one of the best teams the premier league has ever seen, scoring countless goals and winning trophies, he still left for Barcelona to win a Champions League medal. He cried when he left, he cried when they unveiled the statue and I am yet to see a celebration quite so emotional as his when he scored against Leeds when he came back on loan (personal bias obviously), but he still went.
I think the press are wrong for now, but when he starts working towards 29-30, if Tottenham haven’t won the Premier League and/or Champions League, he will go somewhere he thinks he can. We all want to leave a legacy behind, in all walks of life. For footballers, this is a Champions League medal or a World Cup medal. Unless he has German blood in him somewhere, it’s not going to be a World Cup medal…
Rob A (Totti, the definition of football loyalty, got a World Cup medal, but not a Champions League) AFC
…Interesting article on Harry Kane and staying at Spurs.
Whilst I agree – to an extent – with the argument regarding wages, there are a couple of problems with this logic. Firstly, Kane is getting paid considerably less than players of a similar calibre at other clubs. Regardless of who you are, the ego is always a factor and I cannot help but think Kane would want parity with the top strikers in the Premier League, bearing in mind he is one of them. Could Spurs provide that?
Bigger than the wage issue however, is his consistently voiced desire to win major trophies in his club career – as well as the Ballon d’Or. He has spoken of his wish to win the Champions League and Premier League numerous times over the past 18 months, to the point one starts to wonder whether he is perhaps sending a message to the Spurs board – are we really to believe it is only Danny Rose who has concerns over Spurs’ transfer dealings?
A quick Google of ‘Harry Kane wants to win the Champions League’ provides many news result, but the most telling thing to note is they come from a wide variety of interviews he has done…
Whilst wealth might be the main driver in the eyes of some, perhaps Kane just has huge ambition he wants to fulfil. With a new stadium and huge domestic competition in Manchester, can Spurs really afford to compete on that level in the next few years?
Tim Harrington (QPR), London
No place for Henderson in this Liverpool side
So in my opinion there are two changes to the current line-up that would go a long way to resolving some of the defensive issues we are having, on a positive note Klopp did trial one of them at Wembley so hopefully we might see these soon.
Firstly Gomez has to replace Lovren, the fact that Klopp went with this rather than bringing on Klavan suggests that he thinks the same and has hopefully realised that Lovren and Klavan are not good enough. I thought Gomez had an okay game at CB, the goals we conceded once he switched to CB were both due to Mignolet’s poor decision-making. As mentioned in commentary, Spurs did not send their CBs up for the freekick that lead to the third, Mignolet should have spotted this and set his defence up differently and the fourth was another Mignolet blunder. He’s young, confident and with more game time at CB should be able to form a good partnership with Matip, who is also prone to making mistakes but seems a lot more reliable than Lovren. This would also give Alexander-Arnold some more game time at RB, he’s been impressive every time he plays with Clyne still to come back.
The second change would be to play Can in the holding midfield position, I know it was only Maribor but he had a great game in this position. He gets stuck in, breaks up play well, can control tempo when required but best of all, and what sets him apart from Henderson, is that he loves to play the ball forward. Obviously the issue with this, and why Klopp hasn’t tried this in the bigger games, is what to do with Henderson. I was a huge Hendo fan, I wanted him to be England captain, but he has been dreadful this season. I think he thinks that he’s the new Gerrard, that he can’t do anything wrong and that he won’t be dropped and this has led to complacency. With Can at the base of midfield Hendo could be played further forward as a box to box type which would make use of apparent best asset, his running. The other option is to drop him, I would go for this one at this point. Can seems a passionate lad so make him third in line for the captaincy which would effectively make him the matchday captain, I reckon this would get even more out of him and maybe even seal the deal for the new contract.
I think we will see the first change next week, the second may take a bit longer but I think Klopp is losing his patience with Hendo, something the fans have already done.
James Harley, LFC
Oh for Virgil Van Dijk…
Spurs were excellent. By the time Liverpool came into the game the contest was truly over. Big question: Would Van Dijk have made a difference?
Usually I’d say “not really, one player doesn’t sort out every defensive issue on the pitch” but against Spurs of course he would. A high calibre centre-back marshalling, organising and generally not being Lovren would’ve been a huge step in the right direction. Missing out on one key target really has made Liverpools summer dealings look haphazard.
Martin (Spurs really were excellent) Jackson
The stats say the defence has to change
Good morning to all illustrious F365ers,
I recently received a small amount of, I think, good-natured flack about my stats examination of Klopp. This was received in some quarters as ‘if we ignore the losses, Klopp is great’ which is quite obviously not the point I was trying to make, but heigh-ho.
Any way in light of the debacle at Wembley yesterday, I have crunched my stats again and everyone’s new favourite number – expected goals (xG) – is SCREAMING at Klopp to get rid of the dross at the back. It is blindingly obvious that this is hardly a new conclusion but as a stats geek it’s useful to see how the number crunching matches up to anecdotal evidence and with regard to Klopp’s Liverpool the two things go very much hand-in-hand.
I use xG numbers from our friends over the pond, FiveThirtyEight.com. They didn’t produce numbers for Klopp’s first season but since then the team has scored one more goal than expected and has conceded 11 more than expected. Turn this into dropped points, where every win irrespective of competition is deemed three points, then that is 21 points that have gone begging. Without such defensive inadequacy Klopp’s points per game would sky rocket from its current 1.77 to 1.96 and all of sudden everything is rosy. Do the numbers for just the Premier League and per game goes from 1.78 to a flat 2.0 which for the time he has been at the club is a perfectly sound result.
I am *still* keeping the faith but Liverpool (note collective, not necessarily Klopp himself) has got to off load the dross and purchase improvements so that in a year’s time all the current poor play is just a distant bad memory.
That’s my two penn’orth, hardly ground-breaking, but there you go.
Man United cannot handle the press
I think the problem with United goes beyond just promoted teams. I think United actually just have a problem with any team that employs a pressing game. I don’t know why this is the case because it stretches back to the Ferguson era, to my recollection. Whenever a team pens us in, or presses us high up the pitch when we have the ball we tend to lose our heads and make silly mistakes.
Maybe it’s the type of players we bring in, maybe the expectation of the crowd (in terms of attacking style) weighs heavy on the players, maybe it’s just my imagination. But I have always felt like the way to beat United is to simply press high up the pitch. You don’t even have to be amazingly attacking, just hassle the players in their own half, wait for the mistake and then try and take the chances that come as a result. When not in possession just pack the defence and, more often than not, we won’t find a way through.
Ferguson’s main skill was that he did manage to find a way through against most teams even if they did pack the defence, with success to the point that all but the elite teams were reluctant to do anything but try and keep it tight at the back and hope not to get embarrassed. It didn’t always work but more often than not he could get a result. Now, we don’t have that same aura of fear and teams know they can face us and play their own style rather than try to mitigate ours. So teams like Huddersfield can happily play to their strengths first and foremost, knowing that they have a reasonable-to-good chance of a positive result, and if they don’t manage to then it’s not the end of the world.
For whatever reason – I’m still not sure what it is – we seem to have hit a blip in form for a few players all at the same time, plus we are missing Pogba greatly, which isn’t all that surprising; take away any teams best player and they’ll suffer a downturn of some sort. Mourinho’s job now is to find a way to turn the slump around, start getting some support for Lukaku (who has had naff all service in the last three games), and to try and bring back some confidence. It’s only one bad result and a couple of shonky performances, and we are still in second (for now) so it can definitely be turned around – there’s a long way to go yet.
Come on Jose, give us a Pogba-less solution
Saturday is going to be awful, we kind of already know that Jose would be setting up to defend against Spurs so the match would be difficult to watch but after this weekends results its going to be absolutely dire. Mourinho’s first instinct is to not lose, after defeat in the last game this instinct becomes an obsession, when the side you’re facing just spanked another top 6 team this obsession becomes a fetish. I’d really be surprised if Lukaku touches the ball within 40 yards of Lloris. Its going to be 10 men in the box for 90 minutes and Jose will revel in it, even when the we inevitably lose 3-0.
Herrera has been woeful since returning to the team but he and Matic seem to have the same job, box to box, which neither are competent enough to do. Miki has been awful partly as Pogba would draw midfielders toward him with runs/links ups which created space for him. Without Miki in space or a Pogba pushing up there is little interchange with our wide forwards, reducing their effectiveness. There was quite a few mails recently questioning Klopp’s lack of tactical nous, that he only has one way to play, Jose is just as bad. There has been no change in tactics since Pogba’s injury. Where is his solution to the problem?
Change the formation, instruct the players differently, instil some confidence, earn your bloody paycheque you miserable git.
Big-ups to the City defence
I need to make a defence of City’s defence here. We had another lazy comment in this mornings mailbox about our defence and it’s shortcomings…’That defence is not very good and the attack is bailing them out on a weekly basis’. David, you’ve clearly not seen many minutes of our games this season, because if you had you’d realise that comment is pure b*llocks! For fear of going full Rafa, here are a few facts…(league only)
We are undefeated.
We have played nine games and kept clean sheets in six of those games, only one less than United’s seven.
We have conceded four goals this season, the fewest in the league.
Of the four we’ve conceded two were against Stoke last week, one a wicked deflection and the other an own goal. A third was an unsaveable thunderbastard from Charlie Daniels against Bournemouth. The fourth was scored by a potato, granted.
We have only conceded 11 shots on target this season (again the fewest in the league), meaning Ederson has only had to make 11 saves. That is a ridiculous stat over nine games. Everton faced more in one game yesterday. Also, De Gea in a team that has kept one more clean sheet than us has made twice the number of saves, further adding credence to my arguement that our defence has been wonderful at snuffing out chances for the opposition.
Nicolas Otamendi has completed the most passes in the league this season, John Stones eighth on that list. Both players are at the forefront of how we play, setting up our attacks from the back along with some ludicrous distribution from Ederson.
I’d argue that our defence is far from being bailed out, but is in fact providing the platform for KDB, Silva, Sane, Steling, Jesus, Aguero etc (Christ, we’ve got some options!) to thrive and do the business to win us games. Our settled centre back pairing of Stones and Otamendi have been nothing short of superb, and credit to them both, because once Kompany had his now yearly set back a lot of City fans were concerned about our options in the heart of the defence. I’m sure having a pair of able full back on either side and the quite magnificent Ederson behind them has helped, but the improvement in them both has been vast.
Use your eyes to form the basis of your opinions, don’t resort to lazy assumptions based on the past. It’d be Liverpool’s year this year if the latter was the case!
Mark M32 Blue (Ederson – our signing of the season!)