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Bayern and City strollers are handicapped in Europe
Bayern Munich, and to a lesser extent, Man City, are handicapped. In Germany, Bayern take the lead and the opposition immediately go into damage limitation mode. Bayern have won the title for the 5th or 6th straight time, so many times you can’t even keep up with the figures. The team also has a rotten business model in which they buy the best talent in Germany, killing genuine competition in the league. As a result, they face no intensity in the league as they stroll to three easy points each week.
So when Bayern took the lead against Real, they subconsciously thought that the game was won. They were lulled into a false sense of security for so long. And then BAM! BAM, BAM!
Man City also face the same situation. Apart from Liverpool and the Mighty Man United, no team in the top six has taken points off them. They’ve beaten Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham home and away. The Mighty Man United are the only team to win at the Etihad for two years.
So when City face a team like Liverpool, who are up their faces playing high-intensity football, they collapse spectacularly. Don’t even let me get started with PSG in France.
When teams don’t face real competition week-in-week-out, they become handicapped in Europe. Bayern are shooting themselves in the foot by buying the cream of talent in Germany at the expense of a competitive league. Although that didn’t seem to hinder them in 2013. Oh wait, they beat a German team to secure the cup…figures!
Keg Baridi, Nairobi, Kenya
Thank christ those two teams aren’t in the final.
Would it be considered churlish at this point to suggest that Saleh may be a one season wonder?
Alan (just asking)
The moment is now for Liverpool
The best part of Tuesday’s result was the silence heard after. Not of Liverpool fans concerned with the two away goals, but by the social media silence. There was no “FSG OUT”. There was no talk about missing Coutinho. No talk of Klopp being a fraud. Just joy and happiness. Even Ox’s injury couldn’t put a damper on things.
Fans will be hesitant to book their flights. People was say “don’t jinx it” or some other nonsense, but the fact of that matter is the only thing that is going to keep this Liverpool team from tasting European glory this year is the injury bug.
Liverpool’s squad is paper thin. So much so that I will look between my fingers at Saturday’s team sheet homing to see the likes of Milner, VVD, Henderson, Firmino, Salah and Wijnaldum given a deserved rest. It will not happen, but one can dream.
Since his arrival Klopp has talked about, at length, about making the right moves in the right moments. Now is the moment for Liverpool These next two games are absolutely massive for the club. Forget about the banter with other clubs, Liverpool have a potential Ballon D’or winner in the first year of his contract. If Liverpool wins the Champions League this season, sky is the absolute limit for this lot.
Brian (Hoping a swift recovery for Sean Cox and Oxlade-Chamberlain) LFC
…I’m sure Mo Salah will enjoy the Marcelo shaped hole Real Madrid have at left back.
Liverpool are actually going to win aren’t they?
Di Francesco looks like…
I’m not sure if you’re still accepting entries on the ‘who did Eusebio Di Francesco look like’ theme, but I think he looks the image of an older Messi wearing glasses as a disguise.
Ollie McG, Tullamore
…Di Francesco is John Turturro playing Klopp in a biopic.
If Alli is average…
I just wanted to give a quick reposte to Moonaldo, AFC and his comments about Dele Alli being average this season. Deli Alli, according to whoscored.com has 13 goals and 14 assists. Henderson has 1 goal and 1 assist, James Milner 1 goal and 11 assists and the ox, 5 goals and 7 assists.
Admittedly Alli has played more minutes (but he is still involved in a goal much nor often) and plays higher up the pitch which also helps his stats but this is why he needs to be in the England team.
I know he set very high standards last year, but he is still only 22 and fluctuations in form are to be expected so lets leave him be and hope he becomes the player I believe he can, which is one of the best goal scoring midfielders in the world.
Bernard (has everyone forgot United tonking Roma 7-1?) MUFC
Will’s question about elite players smoking reminded me of one of my favourite Euro 2016 stories – Marc Wilmots giving Nainggolan a room with a balcony so he could smoke without setting off any alarms. Talk about man-management.
Sam, NUFC, Boston
Management is about leadership
Ian Watson’s article on football managers and why we should be willing to forgive those like Sam Allardyce for his team playing turgid football is total bunk.
First off this is typical of the kind of article that would crucified in (the fabulous) Mediawatch if published by another media outlet. Totally subjective argument with no supporting data.
Second, it is totally myopic as if the idea of leadership and management are isolated in football. There will always be great and mediocre managers in every industry. There will be always be mediocre, yet highly ambitious managers who will blame everything, everyone else but themselves when things don’t go well.
We constantly are reminded of good management at all levels when we see managers come in and transform teams with a lot of the same players they inherited. On a day when we are drooling over how Klopp transformed Liverpool to the levels they are currently playing we get an article forgiving Allardyce for playing turgid football and blaming his players. When Klopp came in he deliberately did not spend until he raised the game of his existing players and gradually layered in new talent.
The difference is that Klopp is a great leader – he leads from the front, coaches, mentors, exhorts his team to do better and they do. Allardyce? He complains about the hand he has been dealt and how awful it is and how it is his players who should be blamed. Winning and playing better at this level is about taking risks, just as in business. Those managers that inspire others also get them to not just take but embrace risk.
Which of those two would inspire you to do better, to take more risks? If your answer is neither, then Ian is right but…
Stu, AFC makes a good point about managers being responsible for the player’s output but he forgets some of the key points of Ian Watson’s article, and that is that players are rarely the first to be blamed when things goes wrong. It’s the managers who gets fired and replaced first. The issue isn’t that managers shouldn’t get any blame at all but that the disproportionate amount of stick goes to the managers first as opposed to the players – and they are certainly the first to be fired and blamed first.
There was also that research point cited in the article about how change in managers don’t cause any changes in performance in overall data. I don’t know the source of that research or how reliable in it (haven’t taken a look at the data) but it’s something to take into account.
Also, in regards to Big Sam, personally feel sorry for him even if I don’t like him due to some of his usual PFM issues (what he did as England manager, his anti-foreign stance, etc). Back when he was hired, there was a very real danger that Everton were going to be relegated and it needed to be nipped in the bud before it got real bad and irreversible. His performances at the club has been far below of what is expected of a club of Everton’s stature but he was basically hired to make sure Everton live and fight another season in the EPL. That is basically what he’s done – even if he had to do it by drying paint. He should get some criticisms here and there of course (January transfer was all his I assume) but mostly he’s doing what he was specialized in.
Next season he should be relieved and replaced with someone who could fulfill the club’s ambitions having fulfilled his role.
Quite the e-mail
Specifically Sarah Winterburn and Daniel Storey – you guys are my favorites.
A few weeks ago you posted my mail for the first time ever and the buzz it gave me was brilliant – I felt part of a crew that I had been watching for a decade.
(This intrepid reader has then found our pre-season predictions from August 2015, which is some feat as we have since lost the archive – Ed)
Sarah and Daniel, you both wanted to Jose to fail at Chelsea that season and so he did.
It hurt so much to see my two favorite F365 people hoping for Jose to fail – but I could kinda seee why. Lord knows he proved it when the season started. All the same, it hurt a lot to see you wishing for Jose (and therefore my team, Chelsea, to fail miserably). From reading your articles for so many years it feels like I know you – it feels like you are friends of mine – a friend of a friend kinda thing. It hurts when your ‘friends’ hope for you (your team) to fail.
Just wondering how come you wanted him to fail so badly when he was at Chelsea but now he’s at United he doesn’t get the same treatment. For the upcoming seasons predictions, will you both be hoping he fails miserably? I will.
You know what I would LOVE….
1.) If you would combine your powers to write a piece on how Jose is a ticking timebomb and it’s only a matter of time before he explodes all over Old Trafford.
2.) If you would write a piece explaining why this is just a blip for Chelsea and give us CFC fans something to feel happy about. Reasons to stop feeling blue.
Tim (still feeling blue) CFC