Mails on Klopp and ‘illusion of progress’

Date published: Wednesday 31st August 2016 9:45

Send us your mails on the Premier League transfers as they go through to


Frustrated with Klopp and his left-back blind spot
In keeping with deadline-day tradition we should probably expect Ian Ayre to be standing by the clock-card machine, patting each LFC employee on the back as they vacate the premises at 5pm on the dot. The LFC transfer account should be in the green for £20m or thereabouts after the soon-to-be sales of Luis Alberto and Mario Balotelli, and still no sign of a replacement LB. Job done, apparently.

I don’t understand Klopp’s logic in this circumstance. My only hope is that he is shrewd enough to have built up a sizeable transfer fund for a star signing for January when Mane heads off to the ACN. His transfer policy history would suggest otherwise but three games in and Liverpool are already starting to look like a one-Mane-team. Until this side have two or three match winners or worldies (whatever you want to call them), one of whom should be actual captain material, we can forget about Champions League. Coutinho is too inconsistent and Sturridge too injury-prone to depend on for an entire season.

Deadline day hasn’t even passed and I’m already looking to the January window. How sad am I?
Dazza, LFC, Dublin (Please sign my ‘Bring Back Suarez’ petition…)


Klopp has created illusion of progress
I’m a Liverpool fan who loves Jurgen Klopp. Who doesn’t? The fans love him. The media love him. Fergie loves him. Even United fans (as most of my friends are) can’t help loving him. But I think he’s getting a very easy ride from Liverpool fans so far, especially when compared to his predecessor Brendan Rodgers. If Rodgers had lost 3-0 to Watford, 2-1 to Palace at home, 2-0 to Newcastle, 3-1 to Swansea, 1-0 at home to Stoke or 2-0 to Burnley he would have been ritually bulldozed by the fans but because it happened under Klopp it’s fine or at the very least it is the players who have let him down.

I keep hearing people in the media talking about ‘how much Liverpool have come on under Klopp’ (not making a point of it but in passing whilst talking about something else which shows how much of an embedded assumption it is). They haven’t come on at all and I have some stats to back this up:

Liverpool win percentage under Klopp: 44.64%
Liverpool win percentage under Rodgers: 51.20%
Points per League game under Klopp: 1.58
Points per league game under Rodgers: 1.80

That is significant regress not significant progress. The illusion of progress has been provided by Klopp’s personality and presence. He is ‘box office’; he loses his glasses while celebrating like a madman and says ‘boom’ in interviews, whilst Brendan just said ‘outstanding’ and ‘character’. Everyone wants to be his mate. However, this box office has not yet manifested itself on the pitch where it actually matters. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy too and want him to succeed with every fibre of my being. But let’s stop acting like he’s done it already when he hasn’t.

There is such a thing as too little pressure being on a manager as well as too much. He is getting paid to do this job you know…
Oliver Bayley


Why not Hart for Liverpool and Sturridge for Arsenal?
I’m surprised no one has put the two biggest pieces of the transfer puzzle together but seriously why aren’t Liverpool trying to sign Joe hart and why aren’t Arsenal angling to get Sturridge. Clearly Mignolet is not of the desired level, (what was that stat about letting in all his shots on target this season or something) and I doubt Karius is better than Hart. Even if he is here is a keeper in the peak years who needs no settling in time and who has been in the top five keepers in the league for the last five years or so. Plus, it helps he fits Liverpool’s ethos of feeling hes better than he is and showing lots of passion and stuff.

Arsenal on the other hand needed a clinical, fast striker (basically everything Giroud isn’t) yes they’ve signed Perez but the fact mid-table clubs were in for him shows his level. Why not spend the 30-40 million on Danny instead? Plus hes constantly injured so not only would he fit in but no one would complain about minutes. I mean seriously have you ever heard any of the Arsenal squad complain about minutes? Imagine a front three of Ozil, Sanchez and Sturridge. (SOS)
Francis Franchise (anyone else see Guardiola eat his phlegm on MOTD)


Frustrated with Daniel Levy
Generally, I’m not the type of fan who thinks everything is solved by throwing money around. (Unike the Chelsea fan in the Guardian’s Fans Whine About Transfers Special, who despite their having already spent 65 million, derided their ‘penny-pinching’).

But seriously, Daniel Levy, WHAT THE PHUQUE ARE YOU PLAYING AT?

Spurs are about to have a rare sojourn in the Champions League. Spurs are also financing a new stadium—and unlike West Ham, the taxpayers won’t be paying for it, so Spurs have overheads. We know.

But you’ve also got money from the biggest TV deal in history coming in, PLUS Champions League money. (FYI: Champions League money gets better the better you do.)

I’m not suggesting Spurs go out and blow their wad on 12 new players: New stadium. We know. But seriously, if you’re all about money, you should maybe try to keep the squad you have? A collection of players that at least have experience of playing at Premier and Europa League level? Squad players who, while they may not have set the world alight, at least did okay, and who even managed a decent season or so, in certain cases? Who can be selected as backu-ps when the inevitable injuries and suspensions occur?

Instead, you’ve unloaded…well you know. ALL of them. WHAT ARE YOU DOING…?
Wilson ‘Mr Shouty’ Beuys


Welcome Mustafi
Nice to see that Shokdran Mustafi has a reasonable history of muscle injuries. He’ll feel completely at home.
Chris MUFC


Wenger did it. He did it.
Wait. Arsène recruited a striker, a midfielder and a central defender? In essence, he took most Gunners’ wish list and actually went for it?

This can’t be right… What’s next, Trump for US president?

Louis Bazy, AFC (Technically, three paragraphs)


Lets Wilshere go.

Top in January…

‘Arsenal Midfield injury crisis’

Death and Taxes.


Excited to see Rosicky back home
Something I predicted has happened! Tomas Rosicky has re-signed for Sparta Prague. Now, I’m not an Arsenal fan, but I always loved watching Rosicky play. Elegant, restrained, just sheer class, and now, when Sparta come to Brno at the beginning of October, I can hopefully see him play live. Any glimpse would be nice, before our giant Lithuanian centre-half crunches clumsily into those dodgy knees.
David (srdce Moravy) Szmidt


Time for Chelsea to be sensible?
Steve from Limerick
seems to share a lot of other Chelsea fan’s concerns about this window’s activity and the lack of a centre-half coming in.

Indeed, Conte himself seems to be getting twitchy regarding the situation as quotes regarding transfers seem to come out of every press conference he does.

Thing is, prices are ludicrous at the moment. As has been pointed out numerous times on this site, spending £60 mil on Koulibaly is beyond daft, even with Roman’s wealth.

Seems like the sensible thing to do would be to wait another season for Andreas Christensen to come back off loan at Monchengladbach. Also, Kalas will be having another season of Championship football with Fulham as well. I’m interested to see how both these players get on this year, and whether they will ever make it into the first-team picture at Chelsea, because from what I understand both have been playing well during their recent loan spells.

Zouma will be back soon, and with no European football and a tricky third round EFL cup tie away at the Champions, the demands on the squad are going to be diminished this season.

Chelsea don’t really do sensible when it comes to transfers/loans/player hoarding though so expect us to sign players this deadline day only to see them loaned out immediately or within 12 months!
Will CFC (The Shire)

Well done Joe
Very clever Joe Hart.

Avoid moving to a lesser PL club with obvious loss of status. Instead move abroad and dress it up as cultural enlightenment.

Otherwise known as ‘The Moyesy Shuffle’.
Favourite football sounds
I’d like to officially nominate Garth Crooks’ Squeak (from this morning’s weekly awards) for a spot alongside Gary Neville’s scream during the 2012 UCL Chelsea/Barca semi (which suggested he’d achieved something well more than a ‘semi’), that Icelandic announcer (I don’t wanna know) and Andres Cantor’s 38 second ‘Gooooooooooooool’ during the 2015 Women’s World Cup for the “Weird Sounds Made by Football Announcers” Hall of Fame.

Any further nominations? I’ll put together a YouTube mashup with people’s other nominations for Friday, if anyone is interested.
Ian, LFC (I hate this early season International Break) Hartford, CT USA


Wayne’s in charge
Good to see during the England press conference that the man in charge of selecting the team really made his position clear. I’m sure Sam Allardyce now fully understands when he will be allowed to no longer pick Wayne Rooney…

The worst bit about this whole situation is that the FA seem completely on board with it. I can imagine their marketing department will soon start cranking up the hype for ‘Wayne Rooney farewell tour’. Astonising for a player who has won just a single tournament knock-out match (in 2006) in his entire career.

I know many in the mailbox have an intense dislike of Rooney. I don’t. Not personally, but I do dislike what he represents – the concept of players being guaranteed a place in the team no matter how poorly they are playing or how unfit they are. I suspect Rooney gets so much stick because a lot of people have become just a bit too sick of it by now. Starting with Beckham, then on to the likes of Gerrard, Lampard and now Rooney, it is clear that certain players were always required to be included. It is amazing how many English players in recent years got to choose the time of their departure rather than be dropped.

Oh well, here’s to a second round defeat to, lets say…South Korea, in 2018. A fitting denouement for many of the characters involved.
Michael, Basel


Coming to London to see some legends…
Tomorrow afternoon I commence a 30hr trip to London. I’ve never visited the UK or Europe and I’ll arrive the day before the Arsenal legends take on Milan legends in a charity match, which I’m attending.

The thought of seeing Henry and Bergkamp, players who first spawned my affection for Arsenal, trot out onto the carpet at The Emirates has me shaking with excitement. I know the football on offer will be poor compared to the standard usually seen there, but for me (Jeff? Is that still a thing?) this is a chance to see men who have greatly shaped my life, to the extent they are seen more as idols than actual mere human men to me. I think plenty of the responses to the Portrait of an Icon series summed up their impact on me.

I’ll be doing my best to get along to other games (PSG away is the dream if I can find away zone tickets) but if all other avenues to seeing the Arsenal are closed off, at least I’ll get to see some football at the ground. Funnily enough it’ll be played by players who I have far more affection for than those in the current squad.

Hope to see you lot down at the local.
George (I am fond of the current squad too) AFC, Wellington, NZ


Ideas for sporting weekends please
Just a quick mail that may invoke some fond memories for some people, but more importantly it may give me a bit of advice. I remember a few mailboxes being dominated by suggestions on where to go around Europe for a footballing weekend and that’s what I’m here to ask about.

Where would the best place in Europe be to go for a few lads in their mid 20s. It would be at some stage between November and February.

The things to take into account when you kind people offer your suggestions is quality of football, atmosphere, what the city is like, nightlife, and most importantly, the price of a pint. Also the price of tickets comes into it because I was looking at tickets for a Dortmund game against Red bull Leipzig and the cheapest I have come across are 80 quid!

All suggestions welcome, and thanks in advance.
Paddy (ruling out Italy because that country is damn expensive) Ireland


Well done on taking The Sun to task over their Rashford – ‘top guy’ piece. Whilst you have correctly identified (and called out) the overt hypocrisy over the comparisons between Rashford and Sterling, you haven’t even nearly touched on the major issue with this article. That is, as the one-time largest council housing estate in Europe, Wythenshawe has never been referred to as ‘leafy’ by anyone who has ever been there.

Kind regards,
David McCulloch, MUFC

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