Shock ‘demand’ claim made over showdown between struggling Liverpool player and Klopp

Editor F365
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reacts on the touchline
Jurgen Klopp should not expect Alexis Mac Allister to barge into his office

‘Rumours of City’s demise have been greatly exaggerated,’ says the only person spreading them. And Klopp should not expect a furious Liverpool ‘demand’.


SHAKE, rattle and roll
‘THE ANGRY touchline row between Man City’s Erling Haaland and Kyle Walker and the Arsenal bench was caused by a HANDSHAKE’ – Martin Blackburn, The Sun.

It took a while but at least someone has noticed it definitely wasn’t a ‘tunnel bust-up’.


Rumours? No, that’s all true
Oliver Holt constructs one of the single most impressive and ambitious straw men ever in his coverage of the Arsenal versus Manchester City match for the Daily Mail.

‘It is rare that last season’s Treble winners lose a game,’ he writes. ‘It is a matter of wonder when they lose two league games in succession. Tongues are bound to wag. Prophecies of impending doom will multiply.’

Mediawatch must have missed those. Most people still seem to be of the staunch belief that Manchester City are the title favourites; they remain odds-on with every bookmaker, despite those multiplying ‘prophecies of impending doom’.

Also, the last time Manchester City lost two successive league games, they won 18 of the next 19 to claim the title under immense pressure from a brilliant Liverpool team, knowing literally any points dropped in those five months would have been thoroughly punished.

But yes, ‘prophecies of impending doom’ and all that. A little artistic license is fine.

In situations where teams are as dominant as City have been for the last six years, where they have benefited from the vast wealth that comes with being state-owned, it is normal to latch on to occasional periods of difficulty, like this, and extrapolate from them the idea that their hegemony is coming to an end.

That’s not ‘normal’ at all. It’s naive, short-sighted and, crucially, not something anyone has actually indulged in here.

Has anyone said Manchester City have some problems that they need to sort? Of course. Has anyone seriously suggested Manchester City’s ‘hegemony is coming to an end’ after they lost a couple of games without two of their best and most important players? Obviously not.

The reality is that rumours of City’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

The reality is that you yourself have created those ‘rumours’ and then immediately exaggerated them.

Yes, Arsenal took a big psychological step forward on Sunday that should help them maintain a title challenge right to the end this season but don’t confuse that with the idea that City are going to go away.

There is no confusion here or anywhere else. No-one thinks Manchester City, reigning Premier League champions of the past three years, title winners in five of the last six seasons, who are currently two points off the leaders after eight games and traditionally finish campaigns far stronger than they start them, ‘are going to go away’ because their closest rivals beat them 1-0 at home in October with a deflected 86th-minute goal.

Don’t kid yourself they are on the way down. They are only two points off the top. The season has barely started.

There you go, guys. The Manchester City crisis is over. Everyone calm down. The voice of reason has spoken to say they will probably be alright.


Doku tree
As Holt writes elsewhere:

City have lost other key contributors, too. Riyad Mahrez had begun to become marginalised at the Etihad by the time he left for the Saudi Pro League but he was still a wonderful player to be able to bring off the bench when City needed an injection of class in a stalemate.

Arsenal were able to call on Gabriel Martinelli to do that. His hunger and drive breathed new life into their play and ultimately won the game for them. City brought on Jeremy Doku, who is still adjusting to the Premier League. He was unable to make the same impact.

Poor Manchester City, having to use their £55.5m forward who had scored more Premier League goals than Martinelli this season before Sunday. Perhaps their dominance is coming to an end after all.


Where’s Aldo?
‘Another Premier League weekend, another decision that has gone against us’ – the first paragraph of John Aldridge’s column for the Liverpool Echo.

‘I actually thought Anthony Taylor did OK on Sunday in our match with Brighton, but the game ended with yet more questions hanging over the officials’ – the second paragraph of Aldridge’s column.

‘At the end of games, we are always talking about referees, VAR – and we shouldn’t be’ – midway through the sixth paragraph of Aldridge’s column, at which point Mediawatch finally agrees. What a shame he had no choice but to discuss them after an otherwise unremarkable 2-2 draw.

READ MORELiverpool and Sky cry wolf a week after wolf attack as noble refereeing crusade takes grimly predictable turn


Alexis hold ’em
Over to David Maddock of the Daily Mirror we go for this story:

Alexis Mac Allister insists he will not take the easy way out, as he adapts to a new Liverpool role as a defensive midfielder.

Crikey. That would be a bit drastic. What a relief. Do go on…

The Argentine midfielder came under fire for an inconsistent performance at former club Brighton at the weekend, where his defensive howler gifted the Seagulls their opening goal. And Mac Allister also seemed to be put under serious pressure by his former team-mates in midfield, as the home side constantly set traps to drag the 24-year-old out of the defensive position he was supposed to take up.

Yet even though he had never played as a number six before he arrived at Anfield, and he admits it is not his position, the World Cup winner will not demand that boss Jurgen Klopp gives up on the experiment.

Footballer will not barge into manager’s office and order them to make a tactical change. More as we get it.

Alexis Mac Allister at Liverpool
Alexis Mac Allister at Liverpool


Grave digging
The Sun website know a) nothing sells quite like a ‘fuming’ grudge between manager and player, and b) no-one on Merseyside is likely to read their stuff, so they are free to publish stories about how Ronald Koeman clearly doesn’t like Ryan Gravenberch.

The Liverpool midfielder’s decision to turn down a call-up last month to focus on his burgeoning Anfield career has apparently ‘come back to bite him’, as Koeman has not selected him for duty this month.

Gravenberch will presumably be devastated to be given more time to acclimatise to his new club.

‘In his latest press conference ahead of Euro 2024 qualifiers against France and Greece, Koeman admitted he is still bitter about it and explained it was part of the reason why he had refused to call him up,’ it says here. And here are those quotes from the Netherlands boss:

We do have a certain opinion about cancelling for the Dutch Juniors or the Dutch national team.

But I don’t think he has played much yet. Last Thursday there was a competition.

I still think he is a great talent. I hope he can develop at Liverpool and play more, because then he will always be a player for the Dutch national team.

The resentment and bitterness is clear for all to see.


Dirty Harry
‘Bayern chief reveals how little they actually paid for Kane in Tottenham deal’ – The Sun website‘s headline.

‘BAYERN MUNICH chief Uli Hoeness claims they only spent £82million on Harry Kane’ – The Sun website’s first paragraph.

Because Uli Hoeness is famously reliable when it comes to financial matters.


There’s a Starman
‘Ex-Man City star banned from driving & given community work after being caught in Mercedes while disqualified’ – The Sun website.

That would be Ian Poveda, whose entire first-team career at Manchester City comprised 90 minutes of a League Cup semi-final second leg against Burton Albion, in which the Premier League side had an 8-0 first-leg lead.