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These Liverpool fans are buzzing…
The daily hand wringing in the mailbox about how Liverpool will internally combust and forget how to play football if they don’t sign 3/4 players that cost more than the GDP of a small country is getting a bit much now. Man City only signed one player of note last year (Mahrez), and granted they have and had an unbelievable squad/coach, but so do Liverpool going into this season!
While the squad is a bit thin in the wing forward positions, our midfield is chockablock with talent, with a second settled season to come from Keita and Fabinho. Our defence is ace and has been consistently fed quality back-up options at full-back from the academy over the last few years with Trent going on to become world class talent. You wouldn’t put it past Klopp to pull off the same trick and shine up another rough diamond this year.
We’re a long way ahead of where Spurs were last season (when they signed no one) in terms of development and squad quality, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t be aiming for fist again. A shiny new forward wouldn’t guarantee inching past the City machine anyway! So I say muchachos; calm down, we’ll be alright, keep the faith.
Shane (Still would have loved to have seen us go in for Haller – West Ham have signed quality – with their new front 4 I’d put your money on them hitting the top 6 now), Glasgow
…After many long, agonizing nanoseconds of anguished prevarication, I’ve decided to go on record to publicly stick my neck out for Jürgen Klopp, offering him my vote of confidence.
It’s been a barren summer since he managed us to our sixth European Title, I concede, but I think it’s possible, however unlikely, that he’s knows the squad he trains daily better than fans watching YouTube clips. Granted, the professional pundit class, that notoriously well-respected, always thoroughly-prepared cohort, thinks he should strengthen, too, but I’d like to see Klopp be given ’till the first International Break before we rush to get Sam Allardyce on the blower.
We have several attacking players that the manager rates highly, who are at a similar age to several of the previously unknown players he brought through at Dortmund who blossomed, seemingly overnight. Ryan Kent, by all accounts, was terrific last year at Rangers and Harry Wilson was one of the outstanding players throughout the season in last year’s Championship. Young players often shine at lower levels because they’re good enough to play at a higher level. And Klopp talks about Rhiann Brewster like he’s one of the best prospects he’s ever seen. If that doesn’t mean a whole f***ing hell of a lot at this point, I don’t know what else he could possibly do to win you over.
Or, maybe I’m wrong. Jürgen Klopp has been in England for almost four years, maybe he could have come up with something on the Irish Backstop by now? The pound sterling is absolutely in the toilet since October, 2015 and, as far as I can tell, it’s been radio silence the otherwise loquacious German. And, to be fair, given the cuts to the police force in Britain this decade, he hasn’t done much to fight crime or drug addiction.
The last time Jürgen Klopp was hammered this hard was his stubborn refusal to move on from Virgil van Dijk and “go after somebody else”. Robert Lewandowski scored at a rate of 1 goal per 4 games his first season in Germany, but Klopp stuck with him. There might be lessons in there.
Ian, LFC Hartford, CT USA
…To be honest, I’m quite happy with Liverpool’s depth at the moment, but for a full-back or two. In goal, Alisson is likely to play every game, Mignolet wouldn’t be ideal for an extended run, but for the odd game I’m not worried. Other than United with Romero, nobody else has significantly better backup.
At centre-back you probably need four, so Van Dijk (who has proven he can play 50 games with no fitness issues) goes along with Gomez and Matip who are both very good, Lovren behind them, and Van der Berg likely to be used in emergencies, although probably Fabinho before him.
As long as Trent doesn’t play like he did against Napoli, we’re set for full-backs knocking 20-odd assists in the best club defence in Europe, but no back up is worrying given Clyne’s injury. For what it’s worth, I think he’d have done a fine job covering both flanks.
In midfield, any three of Hendo, Milner, Gini, Fabinho, Keïta and Ox will play, which again is two full midfields. Hope to see one of Keïta or Ox start every game hopefully.
Front three is as it is, but a second string of Wilson, Origi and Shaqiri is actually pretty decent, considering it’s unlikely more than two will ever play at once. Brewster hopefully gets game time off the bench to allow the main three to rest.
If there’s a replacement full-back to come (Firpo?) that’s a very good well-balanced 23-man squad, if not then Larouci/Milner/Gomez is second choice at LB, which isn’t ideal, but to say we need more signings is a bit churlish.
What players are likely to want to come to sit behind the front three?
…No less than three months ago this Liverpool squad ended a seasons where they achieved 97 points in the League, won the Champions League, and beat Barcelona, PSG, and Bayern Munich. They have lost no important players this summer and no serious first-team player is approaching the end of their career except James Milner. The idea that this squad doesn’t have at least a 40% chance of winning the league this year is ridiculous. Could they use with cover at left-back and an extra forward? No doubt, but this is not the 2005 Liverpool UCL winning squad that had more holes than Swiss cheese. The 2019 vintage is stacked to the rafters with talent and is the envy of Europe. All the fans and the media who are talking down Liverpool’s chances due to a lack of signings and some sub par friendlies need to pipe down. If we get to December in fifth place and are out of the Champions League during the group, then have a go. Until them put a pie in it!
Oliver, London, LFC
Not The Best at all…
FIFA has announced its shortlist for the Best Men’s Player and once again it reveals its Champions League bias. Both City and Liverpool had spectacular seasons with City beating Liverpool to the title. Yet in the shortlist, there are 3 Liverpool players but not a single City player. Kane gets in the shortlist too simply because his team reached the CL final even though he scored less goals in the EPL than Aubameyang, Aguero, and Vardy while tying with Sterling, each of whom is not included in the shortlist.
There is a strong case to be made for Aguero and Sterling definitely should have been on the list. However, as has been in the past, the list reads more like a Best of Champions League than a Best of European Football.
For me, Sterling has been the standout sportsman of the season both on and off the pitch and his omission on the list is no less than a travesty. His targeting by the media for the past few years and many other incidents in stadiums have shown that racism continues to exist in football. His omission then, is not just a personal loss for Sterling but a loss for all those yearning for equal rights for all.
FIFA simply must do better!
Man United not in big bracket
With the utmost respect to Dino Kantardzic, and as a fan, Man Utd have not exactly been competing with the Barcelonas, Real Madrids or Munichs of this world for quite a few years themselves.
Ferguson didn’t get rid of Pogba either. Pogba and his agent decided to do one as they wanted a load of money and more playing time. Ferguson didn’t think he was ready, and also never took kindly to players stepping out of line like that.
His few appearances at Chelsea aside, Lukaku has a one in two average across his career. He’s not a hold-up player, link-up man etc,he’s a goalscorer who makes runs off the shoulder and thrives off quick passes and crosses. Man United don’t play like this, and haven’t for a few years. If played to his strengths, he’d likely be scoring 25-30 goals with regularity, but he’s not.
Pete F, Eire
Busting the Pogba myth
Are there really still some Utd fans out there that think, like Dino, that Fergie ‘got rid’ of Pogba?
He didn’t, he wanted to keep him. He said it himself.
“We had Paul under a three-year contract, and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco. He and I were like oil and water. From then our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to integrate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.”
Another common Ferguson myth was the great supposed shame that he didnt sign Paul Gascoigne as his career would have turned out so different had he gone there instead of to Italy. Gazza clearly had/has his demons with drink and Ferguson didnt exactly help the careers of Paul McGrath and Norman Whiteside who also had their issues.
Any other footballing myths that need busting?
But what has he won?
The Audi Cup! Thank God that tedious argument is now done.
Luke, THFC (It counts. It definitely counts. Definitely)
…Will all those fools that say Tottenham are not successful until they win something please **** off.
Audi Cup World Champs
Gary, New York/Connecticut
A plea to the Football365 family
I’ve been regularly reading the hallowed pages of F365 since 2001 and have been wondering how to tie my story into a footballing context in the hope that I can get it published. I’m not sure I can as the story involves an 8 year old girl who loves Disney princesses not football…
Tony and I go back a long way – we met in 1993 when I got my first ‘real’ Saturday job at a local Burger King. We’ve been friends ever since and we form part of a wider and tight knit group of friends. Football has always been one of the main backdrops of our group dynamic (along with music of course). The teams supported amongst the group are chiefly either Man Utd or Liverpool (which is indicative of the area we grew up in). Many times over the years we’ve spent watching games together and, seeing as our pub going football watching was far more prolific before we all met our ladies, means I’ve watched Man Utd win (in the 90s and early 00s) far more than is healthy for a Liverpool supporter. So that’s the football part of my mail out of the way.
Tony’s daughter Lola had recently visited an optician and then a doctor about a squint. Tests were done and a couple of weeks ago Tony and Marie received the worst news any parents could possibly imagine receiving. Lola has a tumour on the brain. Where it’s situated on the stem of her brain means it is inoperable. She begins radiotherapy a few days after her 9th birthday in August. With daily 3 hour round trip visits to and from a specialist unit on the Wirral, missing work and wanting to spend as much time with Lola as is possible means they will take a massive financial hit to accompany their heart-breaking emotional hit.
So us close group of friends – we’ve decided to try and raise as many funds as possible – all contributing into a single JustGiving crowd funding pot. I’ve been asking my FB contacts, my customers, my other professional contacts, my son’s football team and, I guess now, another kindred group in the 365 readers who I’ve shared comments, discussions, rows and traded insults with over the years. So far we’ve done amazingly, I am so, so proud to have my friends as friends. But we need to do more.
We’ve crazily decided to cycle through our beautiful homeland of Wales: from Cardiff to Rhos on Sea in 4 days to help raise funds into the crowd funding pot. It’s 230 miles taking in some breath-taking scenery and some tough climbs (Brecon and Snowdonia being the highlights). To make it doubly hard, we’re thinking of camping each night. To make it triply hard, none of us are particularly keen cyclists and have spent most of these decades together drinking beer/wine and eating too much bacon and cake. The logistics are still being fine-tuned, but it will be done in October, just as the weather turns to hell.
We’re looking for contributions so that Tony and Marie can use the money in whichever way they see fit – the daily 3 hour round trips for radiotherapy, time off work, a trip to Anfield, or maybe even a fantastic holiday – anything really to ensure that they can provide Lola and her older brother Tom with as much quality family time over the next few months.
If this gets published, it either means that my tenuous mail included enough about football to warrant inclusion, and/or the people at F365 are kind hearted souls. If I’ve gotten this far, then I’d be utterly thrilled if you could take just a minute of your time to donate towards this lovely family. I would never demand any amounts, but I thought an amount ending in 365 would be appropriate (putting a decimal point where you need to).
Thank you so much.