The Mailbox has zero sympathy for Everton and their plight after their tactics in the derby. Also: Arsenal are enjoying being relevant again.
Get your views into email@example.com…
For all the fawning over Everton’s ‘great’ tactics and ‘what else could they do’, I was glad to see Liverpool pick up the pace and win. Funnily enough, when Everton decided to actually play football they made a decent fist of it – which makes you wonder why the players waited until 8 games and a half to go and try it.
In several games earlier in the season it looked like several Everton players were deliberately trying to lose games with woeful backpasses designed to get their manager sacked. But in the end, just as with United, the players need to stand up and be counted.
Rolling around the floor feigning injuries – the Richarlison fake after heading the ball was atrocious. Or the over the top theatrical catches and dropping to the ground by Pickford, who just loves all the attention, only to realise they needed the time to get one back once Liverpool scored. Who didn’t love Allison’s parody catch and drop near the end of the game. I thought Joe Hart was the poster child for ADHD goalkeepers, but Pickford takes the poisoned chalice.
The problem with acting the Charlie early on is it makes you look twice as stupid when flailing around and failing to prevent a goal and losing later on.
Everton clearly can play when they put their mind to it but too many players want to take the short cut to hopefully getting a draw and now it’s hard to put in a 90 minute performance encapsulating the best of what they did against Liverpool. Their fellow bottom of the table opponents who they are hoping to suck into the bottom three have continued to show a commitment over 90 minutes. None of Everton, Burnley or Leeds have an easy run in. But if they are to take any points they need to be focused and committed not just trying to wind up their opponents.
…I didn’t expect Everton to turn up and play attractive, expansive football. But you’d have to say, the way they played today, the Premier league would be best off without them.
A nothing team spearheaded by possibly the least likeable player in the division in Richarlison.
Back to the main concern though. Liverpool showed great patience, controlled the ball and got over the line in the end. 3 wins this week. Thoroughly enjoyable.
…That was the most satisfying win of the year.
Everton, an absolute joke. Though they had me afraid on the break.
Cherry on top of the sundae that was Origi’s goal was Alisson diving on the ball after catching it. Eat your Heart out!
Nik (down the blues), Munich
…I haven’t watched much of Everton this season, but based on this evidence, I won’t be watching them next season. What a pathetic performance of total and utter gutter football.
They aren’t the most likeable team on the best of days (Richarlison, Allan, Holgate, Pickford), but add Frank Lampard in and they’re just totally derisible.
I’ve said all week prior to the game I’d didn’t want them to go down, not least because I’d see 6 guaranteed points a season gone, but that’s gone, and I can’t wait to see them drop, because make no shadow of a doubt, Burnley are twice the team Everton are right now, and probably have the better manager – Lampard has no right managing a premier league team.
Someone needs to tell Frank Lampard 50% pass completion and kicking the shins out of your opposition gets you no points, and had every dive been appropriately carded, they’d have had fewer than 9 players at full time, and Richarlison wouldn’t have made half time.
Good bye, good riddance, hope you never come back.
KC (Pathetico Madrid performance)
…Prior to today, I wanted Everton to stay up. After that pathetic display of anti-football, they can go down and stay there for a couple of years for all I care. Tell Coventry we said hi.
John, LFC, Washington DC
Gordon going down
First of all-it wasn’t a penalty. It really really wasn’t. Their arms get tangled and Matip brushes Gordon away who if course goes down like a sack of spuds. Matip’s hand doesn’t go near Gordon’s back. See it being described as a “stonewall” penalty was laughable. The stonewall penalty Everton should have got was against Manchester City. A very very costly and egregious error that could cost both Merseyside clubs.
As for Gordon-he’s a very very good player. But his diving antics are risible. He’s been having about with Richarlson too long.
Derek, LFC, dublin.
I was definitely a bit worried before the game that Everton were going to try and kick a few lumps out of us to level the playing field but it wasn’t as bad as I expected in the end. That said I’m astounded that Richarlison didn’t see red for that foot into Henderson’s knee for literally no reason. No real great surprise that VAR didn’t refer the decision since it was Man Utd super fan David Coote sat watching the monitor. One of the more clear examples of endangering another player needlessly and somehow it was only punished with a yellow.
On the plus side Everton chose, instead of kicking us to try and gain an unfair advantage, to dive a lot to try and gain an unfair advantage. Most of their efforts were so laughable that even Attwell couldn’t pretend to be convinced by them. Credit to him for finally booking Gordon after he’d dived unsuccessfully four times.
Liverpool were not at their best today but it’s been an insanely intense week already so I hardly blame them. At least we don’t have a champions league semi final to worry about in three days. Also when you have Divock Origi nothing seems impossible. I honestly think he is one of the most underrated strikers in English football. If he moves on this summer I suspect he’ll prove that he’s a top player.
Highlight of the game was Alisson doing the pathetic time wasting drop to the ground that Pickford kept doing from the 20th minute to waste time. The crowd loved it, it was hilarious and stuck the knife in.
The simple truth though is that if Everton can play like that against us then their entire team has been phoning it in all season. They should all be looking in the mirror and accepting they’ve all let the fans down this season. They could be in trouble by virtue of the fact that Burnley seem to be finding form but I’d still like to see them survive. The league would be slightly worse without Everton in it for me. The games that I always check for first are Man Utd and Everton and I suspect most Liverpool fans are the same; I want to play the rivals that matter most every season.
Liverpool’s last chance?
It looks like it’s coming down to the wire. I can live with missing out on the league, but by goal difference or a single point will hurt.
Haaland is no Werner so this is probably the last chance anyone else has to win it for a few years.
Aidan, Lfc (bit sh*t when you’re greatest rival is so f***ing good)
Carra on Liverpool comms
Why does Sky allow Jamie Carragher to be commentator on Liverpool games? Its so shockingly biased it’s practically the same as Wrestling colour “commentators” who deliberately say outrageous things.
Steve Limerick Ireland
What’s the point?
Seriously is there any point in VAR in its current format in the premier League? After watching arsenal v United and Liverpool v Everton I just don’t get or understand how the decisions are being made
Pep and Paddy
My friend Paddy failed his first year exams in college, then he failed the repeats and so had to repeat the year. Then he failed his first year exams again. I met him that summer before his second round of repeats and asked him how he was getting on. He told me he was studying now for the first time properly because he realised if he failed again he would have to leave the course.
I asked him why hadn’t he studied before, he said something interesting, “the first time I failed was because I went out every night and hadn’t read a thing, but then I was afraid to study because if I didn’t study and I failed that was one thing, but if I studied and I failed then that meant I was thick.”
He passed his exams that year and went on the finish the course and become very successful in his career. After passing those exams he told me afterwards that he wasn’t afraid of failure anymore, if he failed again that meant he just had to work harder, not that he was stupid.
I love this time of year, because like Paddy we get to watch Pep struggle with his fear of failure in the Champions league. It’s utterly fascinating. From dropping his best player against spurs to picking a radically different team to normal for last years final Pep is accused of over-thinking things in Europe.
Yes he probably does over-think but for me the more interesting question is why?
He is widely regarded as the greatest coach of his generation but the great big blot on his copybook is his failure to win the champions league since his Messi-inspired Barcelona days, back in 2011.
Another friend tried to argue the other day that winning the premier league is harder than the champions league because it requires more consistent performance over a season. While this is true my counter argument is that the Champions league for whatever reason usually asks a team to go to a place they haven’t gone before, to a higher place.
Like Liverpool vs Barcelona, Istanbul or Manu’s comeback against Bayern winning the champions league requires you to go to a place you haven’t gone before, to go beyond yourself, to achieve greatness. This is more than beating Norwich 5-0 or Chelsea 2-1. This is something more, and everyone knows it, including Pep.
So for me this is the most interesting story of the year: how does Pep react in Europe.
Between him and greatness stand potentially three teams that know how to go to that place of greatness in Europe to differing degrees, all time most successful team Real, a club that won the CL with Djimi Traore at full back and a Villarreal team and a manager that are punching several levels above their station.
Pep’s City are the most technically gifted team I have ever seen, but can they win the champions league this year? I’m not sure. For me and the pivotal questions is can Pep go beyond himself, throw himself 100% into the moment to go to that other place where true greatness lives?
Like my friend Paddy what will win out in Peps battle with himself will probably determine the outcome of both competitions. If one of the other three clubs lift this years Champions league and Pep tries to convince us(himself) that the premier league is what really matters with the chorus of his apologists behind him you’ll know he’s probably squelched himself again.
I for one can’t wait, tub of popcorn at the ready for Tuesday night.
No one likes us, we don’t care
As an Arsenal fan I’m quietly loving all the hate we keep getting. Mailbox entries describing us as the ‘most obnoxious team in the league’, Ricard Keys moaning about Arteta spending a lot of time outside his technical area, Scholes moaning about Arteta whipping up the crowd before the VAR review, Rio ‘can we bring Peter Walton in’ Ferdinand almost in tears that a referees decision didn’t go in Man U’s favour. It is all music to Arsenal fans’ ears.
A while ago someone mentioned that the worst thing as a club/manager was when Fergie was being complimentary towards you as it meant he no longer saw you as a threat.
For years Arsenal were told we’re too soft, not streetwise, not able to rough it with the best. We’re hardly the second coming of Simeone’s Atletico or any of Mourinho’s teams, but now we have a manager who realises that a bit of aggression, gamesmanship and pressure on officials all helps and people are crying that we’re a nasty despicable team. Which one is it because you can’t have it both ways?
I can admit that there were some 50/50’s that went Arsenal’s way but the worst decision of them all in the game was to allow Bruno to stay on the pitch for his studs up tackle on Tavares, the ball was so long gone that there was clearly only one thing in Bruno’s mind and that was to petulantly try to injure an Arsenal player in frustration at his and his team’s pitiful performance. The ref and VAR completely bottled that decision and we all know…..’if that was Xhaka’ remains very much in force when you see this sort of thing happen.
Man U fans complaining about decisions not going their way unsurprisingly get little support from any fan of any other team in the league who I’m sure could list a catalogue of favourable Man U decisions against their team.
Xhaka’s redemption arc
After the way Xhaka came off the pitch in that game against Palace 3 years ago and lost the captaincy afterwards, I don’t think a single Arsenal fan thought he would remain a core part of our team. I know he has his flaws, like all the rash challenges and cards he receives, but this season I think he’s been brilliant. He’s held the line well in many games, his ball distribution is still up to scratch. He’s helped to lead the team and his fiery attitude has often pushed him and the team onwards while also being a double-edged sword. He really exemplifies the “duality of man”.
After that belter against UTD I feel like we can finally say that the Xhaka redemption arc is complete. He’s endeared himself to the fans. I think his story is one of the most amazing in Arsenal’s modern history, it’s extremely rare for a player who was unhappy with the fans and widely derided by them to have risen from those ashes and become admired by those same fans. Enjoy your time in the sun Granit!
Vish (AFC), Melbourne
I rate Toni Rudiger and I think his performances for Chelsea this season, despite the fact he is becoming a free agent and having all the current turmoil surrounding the club, have been excellent.
What I really dislike are the current rumours/gossip/leaked information advising Rudiger has been offered 200k a week in a new contract for Chelsea and he has knocked it back.
Think about it 200k a week. How many of you would even see 200k over the period of a couple of years. I know I certainly won’t.
Ok lets say what is being reported is correct. Time to go back to school and do some maths, 200k a week, that’s 800k a month, that’s 10 million 400 thousand a year. And let’s not forget any potential endorsements he has coming his way as well and apparently it’s still not enough money for him. Im sure he already has more money, houses and cars than he knows what to do with, yet 200k per week doesn’t cut it. You are a very good footballer, but you are also a very greedy man and welcome to leave and free up wages for others.
Gary (happy to come out of retirement and play for 10% of that) Fremantle Western Australia
Why PSG fans have had enough
In response to Zak – Worst supporters…ever!
I actually applaud PSG’s fans for booing and refusing to celebrate, and I don’t think it’s entitled or obnoxious. Here’s why:
PSG has become such a joke of a club for various reasons; Neymar jetting off to Brazil with friends for two months every season, most of the players not knowing how to speak or even wanting to learn French, childish divisions within the squad where non-Spanish speakers are ostracised by the rest. The list could go on, but above all there is absolutely no accountability within the playing group, and absolutely no authority from anywhere within the club hierarchy to discipline the players, which is exactly what’s needed.
The world is aware of all of the above and rightly laughs at their misfortunes. For their fans however, enough is enough. I think PSG fans – like all of us football fans – just want to see a team playing for the shirt, and it is plain to see that most of their squad (there are a few exceptions to be fair) couldn’t give a sh*t. More power to the fans!
…I too read about the boos and the ultras leaving PSG game early rather than celebrate the league win and also had the reaction of “why are they so spoilt and petulant” it was only in 2008 when they nearly got relegated before the Qatar money came in 2011 I think. So I did a quick Google and read a few articles on what the problem is and in fact the fans problem is they feel as though the soul is being taken from the club and that the culture of the club is no longer respected. Those upstairs are more interested in buying “superstar names” and using the city of Paris as one big marketing campaign rather than buying and building a cohesive functioning team.
I just thought that was very interesting to read and I’d recommend others to have a read of it as well. Just shows that some fans do respect culture and history rather than billions of pounds and superstar names that frankly don’t care about them.
Worrying sign for women’s game
During the Spurs v Chelsea ladies match today, when Chelsea equalised the spurs women Twitter account tweeted saying something like “Chelsea equalise through a lovely finish from Reiten” (I don’t have the exact wording as it was quickly deleted!)
There were a few replies immediately criticising the account for praising an opponent in any way. So they deleted it and posted “Reiten brings Chelsea level” instead.
This made me a bit sad. I am a Spurs fan and dislike Chelsea intently. But I’ve found the womens game a breath of fresh air – this is purely anecdotal but there seems to be less play acting, more respect, and the ball seems to be in play longer. There also seems to be more positivity in the support (it seems more about supporting your team rather than hating the other).
So whilst a small thing, that tweet being deleted and reposted has made me worry this will all be eroded. As more and more fans of mens football (like me) start following the womens teams as well, what are we bringing with us? Tribalism? Anger?
I think the womens teams deserve all the success and increase in profile they want. I just hope we can do it without ending up with more of the same.
Lee’s email made me think of some of the worst signings ever (also doubling up as some of the worst downgrades in their position). Some of mine are:
Junior firpo (Barca to Leeds) – May be an inability to settle in God’s Country but looks terrible in defence and replaced Alioski who was excellent last season and key to our side.
Roque Junior (Milan to Leeds) – another rubbish Brazilian who either was unlucky, unhappy or just terrible. Somehow won a world cup winners medal.
Tomas Brolin (Parma to Leeds) – out of shape and poor for most of the time (although he gets partial credit for a goal v man utd in a Christmas eve win which made my Christmas).
Joe Cole (Chelsea to Liverpool) – apparently better than Messi in training. Even on a free it was a bad bit of business.
Coutinho (Liverpool to barca) – they played too much for a player who occupied the same spaces as Messi and albeit very good was not worth £142 million. Classic Barca panic buy with no nod to team tactics or planning.
Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell to Man city in 2012. Obviously bought to fill squad space rather than play regularly. Not an Everton fan but I feel so bad for rodwell and his career stalling so much afterwards.
Ravel Morrison – to anyone. The fact that so many managers have thought they could be the ones to help him is both idealistic and a bit crazy at the same. Seemingly had a poor attitude which only he could have worked on but didn’t.
Tom, Leeds fan in Wallsend.
…I see the topic of “Worst Transfers Ever” has been raised again, i will always love when Fernando Torres to Chelsea is classed as a “Worst Transfer Ever”, he was key to us lifting the Champions League and Europa League, he may not have won a Premier League title or dominated the game after his injuries but he was hardly a “Worst Ever” especially when you look back at other forwards we have spent big money on, when i think “Worst Ever” i think Alexis Sanchez to United, Jack Rodwell to Sunderland, Ricky Alvarez to Sunderland and Danny Drinkwater to ourselves.
The Ricky Alvarez deal is just a mind blowing read, if i am right Sunderland paid £9.5m to Inter Milan for a player who then immediately left for free, yikes.
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod