Mourinho, Pogba, Woodward can all f*ck right off. And Carrick too…

Date published: Monday 17th December 2018 9:58 - Ian Watson

Anything to add for the afternoon Mailbox?…

What a mess
If Jose Mourinho cannot get a tune out of this expensively assembled squad then he can f**k off.
If Paul Pogba cannot put his ego to one side and put a shift in for a team or a manager he may not like, then he can f**k off too.
If Ed Woodward is not going to sh*t or get off the pot and either back Mourinho or sack him, then he can f**k off too.
And if Michael Carrick is going to sit on the bench and be as mute as Ryan Giggs in his prime, then guess what, he can f**k right off.

In fact, they can all f**k off as far as I’m concerned.
The club is a shambles.


…Beating mid-table clubs used to be the Achilles’ heel for Liverpool.

What a relief that we could brush aside Man United yesterday!
Vincentius (Mou-United forever please), Cambridge


…Ah well. At least United fans in their late teens and early 20s are getting good life lessons from United. It took me a while to work out the world isn’t a meritocracy. Never did I think an insititution the size of United would descend into mediocrity so sharply. “Obviously” the people running such a huge and successful organisation know what they’re doing and would heed warning signs early on and take action. Maybe there was some truth to that but then a bunch of speculators took out a mortgage to buy it and a club that grew demand to see it play organically through sustained success on the pitch became a cash cow for some yanks who entrusted its running to advertising sales reps and accountants. When they took over, really, Real Madrid were the only club in the world who could claim to be bigger. Maybe Barca. The end of this season, United will probably be perceived to be on a similar level to the Milans to promising players looking for big moves and it’s been coming. Inter had Sully Muntari in their team for 4 years. United have Fellaini and Matic. Milan had Pato and Robinho. United have Mata.

Do the people running United not realise that perception of the club heavily relies on how well the team plays? Maybe they realise and they don’t care because the plan is to milk the club for as long as possible and get out just as the graphs begin to dip. They don’t give a shit about United’s name or even football itself so have no interest in improving the team, plus being speculators they’re looking to avoid as many costs as possible. Alternatively, they realise United’s awful performances will ultimately hit their bottom line, want do something about it but have no idea what. Either way, capitalism puts undeserving and often incompetent people in positions of power, kids. 100 years of Mancunian labour and 50 years of Glaswegian footballing philosophy turned United into a global great. Then a rich American filled out some forms with a bank and now his kids get to keep all the money United make. Vote Corbyn’s Labour.

Despite the apathy and/or incompetence in the boardroom though, how is Pochettino doing so well with no money? How is Klopp doing so well with mostly 7/10 players and a much smaller budget than Jose? Ok, so there’s been no long term football strategy behind, seemingly, any of the players the Glazers bought for Mourinho but they did actually buy him lots and lots of players for lots and lots of money. If none of them have a clue about football, Jose is supposed to. That’s his job. Pogba was probably resigning regardless of who the new manager was going to be at the time but the rest of the signings have been Jose’s and maybe you can say Zlatan worked out from all of them. I have no doubt that some of them are stroppy, hard to manage and disrespectful. He’s paid £12million a year to deal with it however and come up with solutions to his problems. If his players engage in selfish and stroppy behaviour, it is because they can. He’s a careerist himself so it’s no surprise that half his squad come across like celebrities who happen to play football rather than elite level athletes earning a living from their passion. He has either created that culture or done nothing about it at best.

Lots of sympathy for Mourinho the past few days. Keane for instance pointing out that most of United’s players are quite average and he’s not wrong but are Firmino and Mane, in terms of individual ability, that much better than Martial, Rashford, Sanchez and Lukaku? Is Keita better than Pogba? Are Son and Pedro much better than what United have? I don’t think so. I was nearly going to say United are missing a Hazard, Kane or an Eriksen but what was the point of Sanchez, Lukaku and Pogba again? Weren’t they supposed to be superstars? Have United, through sheer coincidence, collected most of the disinterested professional footballers, plying their trade near the top of the game. Were they unlucky to lose the grafters and hard workers to other clubs? Or is Jose is the common denominator here? It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that the players would improve significantly under other managers who are currently in the game. The yanks mightn’t give a shiny shyte about United’s legacy but you would have to assume they like money and they realise United need to be, for instance, staying in the Champions League for the money to keep coming in at the same rate. In fact, I’m almost certain several of United’s sponsorship deals have clauses in them which reduce the monies United receive if the club aren’t in Europe’s premier competition so you can probably take it as a fact that the Glazers and Woodward regard it as important. They mightn’t know much about how to build football teams but they paid Jose Mourino the guts of £36 million in wages so far and gave him over £370 million in transfer funds to sort that out. Maybe they can be hard to work with themselves, but if you can’t get people to listen to you in the office, you’re not the right man for the job. United are now in the same place they were when he took over after two and a half years. He has failed.

At least LVG seemed like a nice bloke.
Eamonn, Dublin


Every single criticism made by Keane, Neville, Souness and Carragher after the match, even the ones that contradicted each other were correct.

United are an average Premiere League team, managed by an unsupported and unsupportable manager, run by superb businessmen with zero football acumen, have players with immense talent who don’t play and players with a lack of basic skills who do.

The result was no surprise, the performance was no surprise, the recriminations were no surprise, the non existent formation, game management, tactical plan, misuse of players attributes and Jose’s Ostritich press conference no surprise. Reset? Shut down more like.
Dave, Manchester.


…I remember tweeting about a Man U lineup against Swansea in November 2016 and thinking it was rubbish. They won 3-1. It was when Bradley was in charge.
De Gea, Young, Jones, Rojo, Darmian, Carrick, Fellaini, Mata, Pogba, Rooney, Ibrahimovic. Subs: Martial, Lingard, Blind, Rashford, Romero, Fosu-Mensah and Schneiderlin.
Out of the starting 11, 3 started today, 2 came off the bench. 2 of the subs started with another coming on.

Liverpool beat Watford that weekend 6-1 with following squad, Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lucas, Milner, Lallana, Henderson, Can, Mané, Firmino and Coutinho. Subs: Wijnaldum, Sturridge, Klavan, Moreno, Mignolet, Origi and Ejaria.
Out of the above, 3 of the starting 11 started today, 1 sub started (Wijnaldum) and 1 (Henderson) of the starting 11 came off the bench today.

The team is literally in the same place as it was two years ago. Only De Gea and Rashford are worth their salt. Martial under a better coach would be very good and Mata is on the other side of his career but should be starting regardless. As for Liverpool they have improved in every position. Clyne wouldn’t even be there if players were not injured. Klopp has identified areas of weakness and purchased the required players – not all the most obvious (Robertson). He also believes in his players, never belittling them when they struggled (Fabinho).

I do not question what Mourinho has achieved in his career but he is a dinosaur and will not change his ways at this point. Woodward needs to also go. I always expected a period of transition post Ferguson but I would have expected the club to systematically improve the team each year and phase out the likes of Young, Darmian, Jones, Smalling, Fellaini etc.and line up replacements for Carrick, Rooney and Ibrahimovic.

God they are so shite. 36 attempts to 6. Low.
Well played Liverpool. This season could definitely be theirs.

Cormac, Galway


…If, as Mourinho vehemently suggested, the United players gave 100% and to say anything else is to call them dishonest, it must be down to the selection, formation and tactics of the manager.

Just f*** off now Jose, I’m bored of your pantomime..
Paul, Man Utd


…Let’s get one thing straight, I’m firmly in the Mourinho must go camp. Regardless of who is to blame for our current mess, it will not improve with him in charge.

I’m now under the assumption that the club feel this way, and most the media seem to back this up, but the theory of why he’s yet to go, puzzles me slightly.

It’s being reported that until we cannot mathematically qualify for the Champions League, Mourinho’s payout will be around £15M. Now that’s fine, makes perfect sense. What doesn’t to me, is that if we wait till that happens, he still gets a payoff. Now let’s say its £5M instead (could be more, no idea), that means we are saying £10M. Surely actually being in the Champions League is worth more than that?

It seems from a financial point of view, it is worth getting rid now, and actually trying to get into the top 4? There is still half a season to play.

I look at the immediate impact Southamptons new manager just had, on the confidence, playing style and the result yesterday and cannot/will not except that there is no one in the world that could come into our club and make improvements from the off.

We won’t of course do anything. At the current rate, I can see both Wolves and Everton finishing above us.
Dale Lamb (not angry, just disappointed)


…Usually when we play Utd it’s the same old characters pulling the same moves which are incredibly frustrating. Young always pops up with niggly fouls and as much time wasting as possible (yesterday he picked up the ball, ran away and then looped it up in the air to return it for a throw at least twice) and never gets booked. So what a delight to see him put a reducer on Salah and instead of getting to delight in his anti-hero moment he was immediately at fault for the resulting goal.

Man Utd fans might take comfort in the slightly fortuitous nature of the second and third goals because they were lucky but actually the nature of the victory was much more significant; Liverpool dominated them in the same way we dominated Bournemouth the week before. Other than Alisson chucking one in his own net they never even had a convincing attack at goal.

Was impressed to see Neville take aim at the boardroom in the post match but feel he also missed the point. Man Utd were first let down by Ferguson; he left with no succession plan in place. Even Wenger left a better structure for future success despite leaving behind a much worse team.

Mourinho post match was weird. He had no excuses. Does he even know now that his time is coming to an end?
Minty, LFC


Klopp’s patience pays
Fabinho’s MOTM performance against United and Keita’s continued emergence are proof of something which doesn’t get enough praise; Klopp’s process of bedding players in. We saw it last season with Andy Robertson and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who both became crucial players mid-season.

To my mind there are 3 huge benefits to taking the time with the new players;

It allows them time to bed into the system and squad fully, away from the spotlight.
It removes the pressure when they do play – people have more or less forgotten the new signing hype and pricetags by the time they begin starting matches. They’re therefore judged solely on performance.
It introduces fresh legs at a crucial stage in the season, while giving the likes of Milner a rest. In theory, that means that everybody should have good energy levels for the run in.
From Fabinho to Shaqiri, the man-management of this squad looks excellent at the moment and I hope it puts us in a strong position going forward.


…Next September/October, are we going to have to do the thing where we’re terribly concerned about one of Liverpool’s signings not playing very much yet? Or does Fabinho following Chamberlain and Robertson’s example mean that we’ll have a bit more patience next time? (And Keita looks like he’s going to be absolutely ridiculous too btw)

Fabinho was incredible v United, and has steadily improved in every appearance since the Arsenal game when he was, in fairness, dreadful. The one caveat we need to see about is if he can play that well in the 433, because the Arsenal game was his one game as the sole number 6 in the 433 and he struggled.

But that’s where Klopp deserves so much credit for managing him so well, because he’s basically played him every game in which we’ve played the 4231 which suits him and when Klopp has wanted his classic 433 like against Napoli, he’s not started Fabinho. This allows him to grow in confidence each week.

This confidence is the result of Klopp to some extent building the midfield around him when he’s played, and now he’s reached the stage where he looks looks supremely confident now, and that pass for Mane’s goal is delicious, and one that none of the rest of our midfielders could play, as much as I rate all the rest more than most do.

It’s still early days, and City are obviously massive favourites for the title still, but Liverpool’s last 4 games (since Jordan’s gift to Divock) has been their best run of the season, as we seem to have gained so much momentum from that present. I do find it a little funny that when Liverpool go top again, it’s still ‘for now’, ‘temporarily’, and ‘keeping pace with City’, when they’re first on level games played. Just a legacy of how relentless City are and it makes sense, but I think we may as well enjoy being first for as long as we are!
Matthew, Belfast


Alisson’s mistake didn’t matter
Just a quick one back on comment 6… totally understand a keepers mistake needs to be highlighted, however the bigger picture must be taken in to consideration to the other events you mention. Allison’s save against Napoli is the reason we are still in the champions league. Pickfords error won us and lost Everton the derby. Allison’s mistake today meant f*ck all.
Ryan, Liverpool


Liverpool aren’t all that
So, I just finished watching the Liverpool vs Man Utd game, and I know I will get a lot of backlash for this, but I must say, I am not impressed with Liverpool.
Yes they won 3-1, but I put that down to the incompetence of Mourinho. I lost count of the number of times I thought one of the midfielders should be making a run for a pass, or a midfielder playing a simple pass to a team mate, or a midfielder playing a stupid 1-2 back pass to a defender when a simple pass forward would have opened up an attacking move. It’s no surprise that they scored two additional goals after Shakiri came on. And no, it wasn’t luck or deflections…Shakiri’s sharp movements made those goals.
If Liverpool are to win the league, or go far in the UCL, they have to correct this. If Mourinho had brought in a ball playing midfielder earlier (Mata), they would have made Liverpool pay for their sloppy midfield passing.
Can’t wait for them to be pair with Barcelona in the UCL and receive a proper midfield schooling.
Nelson, Lagos.


Fabinho’s fab
There’s so much to talk about from that match but I think the most damning for Utd was to watch Fabinho absolutely bossing the game, whilst Pogba sat on the bench.

Sensible investment from Liverpool buying players that suit the direction the team is going in, plus clear development and improvement in performances. You can see the plan in action.

Do Utd even have a plan?

I do not for one second think Fabinho is a more talented player than Pogba but one is flying and the other is lost.

Pogba doesn’t fit the manager, the style of play our the other players bought.


…If Emre Can was the new colossus of Anfield according to F365 two years ago…. then what does that make Fabhino …..
DL , LFC , Geneva


Never been that easy
The most worrying thing from their perspective is that when they were good and we were shit it was never that 1 sided. 36 attempts wowser
Ryan, Liverpool


FAO Gary Neville
Shaqiri’s done it again. Twice. So will someone finally eat his own humble pie?
DJ, Singapore but LFC for life (His legs don’t lie. Shaqiri, Shaqiri!!!)

First man frustration
Just watching the Liverpool v Man U game. Does one of those waist high near post corners ever result in anything except being booted clear by the defender at the near post? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a goal from one of them in the 4-5 years since they, for some reason, became all the vogue


Super Saints
I wrote in a few weeks ago after we were destroyed by Man City and, after a few wasted weeks and further dismal results, the board acted (I’m not suggesting any correlation to my mail!). Disappointment followed in Cardiff although with only a few training sessions and a massive defensive error, that can be explained away. As such, today’s game felt like Ralph’s real debut and what a difference!

Nothing too surprising in the line-up with a welcome return from injury for Ings and fans’ favourite Romeu to add steel over the suspended Lemina’s class. As expected, we conceded against a quality Arsenal attack as most teams will. Things certainly felt different though and clearly the most encouraging part was the headed goals; clearly the manager had identified a weakness in the opposition and spent his first full week training for it. While I’m sure the ‘new manager bounce’ helped, I’m genuinely excited to see us score 3, yes three, times in a game, and especially due to an actual game plan. Even for the third one to see a lofted Shane Long cross to the back post instead of usual ‘blind-alley-missed-shot’ routine was pleasing to see, even if the keeper perhaps could have done a little better. Most observers could and did highlight the usual soft (1st half especially) Arsenal underbelly, helped further by their injuries, but you don’t go 23 unbeaten without quality and resilience so today’s win was outstanding.

It seems that even with the same players and just a week, a change in mindset and some old-fashioned management can bring about positive changes. Who knows how well Mark Hughes would have done in today’s situation but I think it’s safe to say we would not have three points (& 3 goals – did I mention that already?!?) and it would have been someone else’s fault!

A big month ahead as the games flow thick and fast, especially with Huddersfield up next and we typically perform awfully over Christmas. This is followed by a window to hopefully fix some of the deficiencies; notably fixing that lack of pace we’ve not corrected since Mane hopefully.
Simon (surely made it into the Winners section finally!) SFC, South London


Koscielny chaos
Xhaka is your centre back partner and you’re the one that looks like you don’t know what you’re doing.

Haven’t seen an Arsenal defensive performance as poor as that since the last time Koscielny was in the team.

We have no away wins with Koscielny in the team in 2018. I don’t want to see him play for us in 2019.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London

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