Paul Pogba: The ‘perfect fit’ for Liverpool’s midfield

Date published: Friday 25th May 2018 9:05

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Played, Poch
£160000 a week for Pochettino?!

That’s gonna be some hefty compensation flying in from central Spain next Summer.

Bravo Mr. Levy.
KC (does anyone believe he’ll be there in 2023?)

 

Easy run? Pah
Where has this come from that Liverpool had an easy run in the knock out rounds? Of the two teams in the final Real Madrid played teams who lost 10 games in their respective leagues; for Liverpool, it was 11 . Two of the teams Liverpool beat had lost fewer games than any of those Madrid defeated.

Roma lost 7 league games this season, but bear in mind they did defeat the team with the fewest loses of any team in the Europe top leagues in Barca, so maybe they are quite good.

Please research before just automatically assuming everything revolves around 7 or 8 clubs and the rest are rubbish, remember Sevilla have beaten two of our elite clubs in recent years.
Gary in Germany 

 

So, to be clear, Liverpool have had it lucky because they beat the team who beat the Spanish Champions (and who progressed further than anybody from Chelsea’s group). And beat the English Champions. And the Portuguese champions. After winning a group that contained Sevilla (who knocked Manchester United out) and will play the team that finished third in La Liga who have won the trophy for three out of the last four years….

… Real Madrid who beat the Italian champions (who knocked out Spurs) and the French champions.

I might be missing something here, but any supporter of any English club who thinks Liverpool have had it lucky/easy reaching the final, all had their chance to make it to the “easiest final on record” and only one English team managed it.

If it was so ******* easy, why didn’t your team just do that?

Liverpool may not, and probably will not, win it on Saturday… But STFU moaning that Liverpool had it easy because you can only (and only have to) play/beat the teams in front of you.
Rob, London

 

I would just like to give my response to the “easy run to the final brigade” with a few simple facts.
1. We came top of the group containing the team that knocked Man U out.
2. We have just knocked the team out who finished ahead of Chelsea in their group.
3. We beat Man City ourselves.
4. We are about to face the ten who knocked the team that knocked Tottenham out.

So really other English teams had the chance to impact our route to the final and possible trophy, but they did not. We can only beat the team in front of us, and we have.
Ryan, Liverpool 

 

It was though…
I don’t get why everyone’s getting so precious about Liverpool’s fairly easy run to the final. United had an easy run to the last 16 and we still messed it up. You can only beat who you get drawn against and they’ve done that fairly convincingly, including impressively dispatching City. And I’ve got a horrible feeling they’re going to do it tomorrow.

Anyway the reason I wrote in was Tom stating that any run to the final would look easy to rival fans. However I don’t think anyone could call Uniteds run in 98/99 easy regardless of allegiance!

Group stage
United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Brondby.

QF – Inter Milan (back when they were good, current UEFA cup holders)
SF – Juventus (who’d been in the last 3 finals)
Final – Bayern Munich.

What makes this even more impressive is that this was at a time when the format consisted of only 6 groups of 4, with only the top team in each group qualifying automatically, and the two best second place teams also making it through.

Which just shows how good that group was as two of the teams made the final!
Big MUFC (Manchester)

 

Salah’s shooting
I don’t know why nobody seems to have mentioned this yet but I’ve been thinking this the entire season. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a Liverpool fan (and have been for the past 23 years of my life) and I like Salah. However, I can’t help but think that he has poor shooting technique (and perhaps even poor-ish finishing), especially when compared with elite scorers.

I am not talking about other aspects of his play; just the shooting technique and finishing. Some of the world’s best finishers at the moment are Messi, Ronaldo, Griezmann, Kane, Aguero etc. I could go on, but my point is – when you see these guys strike a ball, they really strike a ball. And their finishing (mostly) is precise – they place the ball where they want it to go. Salah, on the other hand, seems to scuff a good number of his shots and they go in more by accident than by design. He also doesn’t possess a thunderbastard the way Gerrard, Countinho or Suarez did.

Now you may say it’s unfair to compare him with the first group of players I’ve named as those are “proper out-and-out strikers” (more or less. Messi isn’t, but he’s Messi). But I’m not saying he has to be at their level in terms of finishing. He has other qualities and for the position he plays, he contributes to the team in other ways. I’m just really surprised that Salah’s scored so many goals while not possessing the shooting technique one would expect a top scorer to have!

Again, if you compare Salah to, say, Robben (the two are as similar a style of players as it gets I think), I think we’d all agree that Robben has a beast of a left foot while Salah’s shot is pretty meh. Salah’s goal against Roma where he curled it into the top corner was of course lovely but that was the exception rather than the norm this season. A typical Salah-esque scuffed goal would be the one the scored against Arsenal back at the start of the season that took a deflection off the defender before beating Cech.

Anyway, I just wanted to get this off my chest and I wonder if anyone else has had the same thoughts.
Raist (I hope he goes on to prove me wrong and score a belter in the final!), Singapore

 

Why can’t a United fan support Liverpool in the final?
Marty’s email in yesterday’s inbox just goes to show how tribalism is rife in football and bringing people further apart. Isn’t sports supposed to be about bringing people closer together rather than the other way around?

As a United fan, why am I not allowed to support Liverpool in a match that does not involve United? Or why am I not allowed to be neutral in a match featuring a team whose style of play I admire against a team featuring one of my all time favourite players? Or why am I not allowed to enjoy matches featuring a team playing exciting football and almost winning the title?

For the record, football is not a religion. If I choose to support United in one match, Barca the next and Roma the third, that’s my prerogative. It’s a football team not a religion and I certainly do not owe anything to the football club.

I presume then Marty will spent the entire final sobbing in front of the Tv over the fact that his team did not make the final.

And Dave is absolutely correct. United got the easiest draw in Europa last year and won the title without even facing a single decent team. It is the minor league though and only has its value because its provides a route to the Champions League to the winner. If United had gotten a similar draw to say Arsenal this year, they would almost definitely not have won the trophy. Which just goes to show how poor they were last year and why Mourinho deserves at least some appreciation for the improvement in league position this season.
Adeel

 

Just a quick word of support for Adeel in the face of a rather po-faced attack in Thursday’s mailbox. Adeel supports Man Utd, but likes watching Liverpool play. OK – why should that a problem to anyone? Who are they to dictate what football teams Adeel can and can’t enjoy? There’s no rule saying all Utd fans must dislike Liverpool and vice versa. In fact, we need more supporters who are mature enough to think for themselves, to rise above mindless, partisan bullsh*t and recognise other fans as people who enjoy the game like you do. Otherwise you get terrible situations like Sean Cox.

And he likes Ronaldo. Great! Ronaldo is one of the best players ever to play the game; we’re lucky to have seen him in the Premier League. People still say they support Holland because of Cruyff or have a soft spot for Palace because of Zaha. Ronaldo plays for Real and Adeel likes the team because of that. Fantastic!

Adeel is what’s right about football – someone who supports a team, but is able to value the game as a whole. Adeel recognises that you can praise rival teams – and even enjoy watching them – when they play great football. So kudos to Adeel and everyone else who defines themselves by what they love about the game and not by what they hate.

Cheers,
Will, LFC (longer than I intended…)

 

Im writing to do something a Man Utd fan should never do. I want to wish Liverpool good luck in the final, I really hope they win. Have I lost my mind? Maybe, I can already hear the chants of “six times” which are going to become excrutiating for the next 10 years every time we face them. So why would a Manchester born and bred red want the scum to win the biggest prize of them all? Wierdly, it all started back in 2004…..

2004 was a terrible year for football, a year that marked a distinct shift in football philosophy. It was the year that Mourinho won the Champions League with Porto and showcased his football pragmatism style to the world. Porto werent a great team to watch, they had there moments or course (like Chelsea did when he was over there, we havent had any of those moments at Utd yet.) but they werent a paticularly exciting team. Mourinho did what he does, just enough to get the pot at the end of the rainbow and we all know what has happened since then. He has been proclaimed as one of the best managers of the world and has the silverware to back it up, but in an industry that is about entertainment he has always fallen way short of “the best”.

That alone was not enough to make 2004 a pivotal year, rather it was the year that Greece (!) won the Euros that really marked 2004 as a low point for the beautiful game. Greece were literally shit. Awful, uninspiring, dreadful, dull, I could go on…. Hell I will, unskillfull, monotonous, unadventerous and not very good overall. But the were organised and they won the bloody Euros by being organised. Ever since then it has been seen as acceptable and even admirable to play chess instead of football. To value positional discipline over genius moments of skill. To accept wanting to poke your eyes out with a chopstick as long as there is a silver pot at the end of the seaon even though said pot will only be seen by the fans for about 20 minutes.

I want Liverpool to win because their style is somewhat organised chaos, their philosphy seems to be score as many as you can as quickly as you can and then see what happens. Its amusing, its fun, artistry you could even say its entertaining which is the whole point of the game.

As Nev said, with City winning the league this is going to be an awful year for Utd fans if Liverpool do this BUT it could be a banner year for football if they pull it off. It will remind people that not only can football be fun but that you can win silver with that philosophy. We have already seen the pressure that City’s style has put on Mourinho and I’m sure a  Liverpool win would only increase that pressure until we finally push him, in a pragmatic fashion, out the back door. So come on Liverpool, break my heart and restore my hope.
Warren Batt (Im going to scrub myself down now)

 

A prediction
I’m a Liverpool fan living in Spain and I teach a whole lot of Madrid fanatics. We´ve spent the last two weeks talking about little else other than the final(my teaching ability may be questionable). But, it´s interesting to note that they are almost universally nervous about Salah running at Marcelo and  Ramos and believe that Isco will be the man for Madrid. So with this in mind here is my wildly optimistic prediction of how the game pans out.

Opening minutes, Liverpool do the usual and go hell for leather. Madrid expect it but can´t do anything about it. Amazingly, Liverpool go two up thanks to Salah and co. Madrid recover, establish control and pull one back.

Second half, Ronaldo is going f*cking mental because Milner is walking all over Modric and Isco. Henderson is pinging passes on to toes and Ramos gets booked. But, Ronaldo equalises because he´s a bastard (read brilliant).

Minutes to go, Madrid can´t believe how tough the game has been. Dani Carvajal gets the ball on the right hand side ready to play Isco in but Robertson remembers Celtic said he was sh*t, nicks it off him, tears goalward and whips in one of his masterful crosses that is BURIED by the onrushing Firmino. Liverpool win, Klopp is crowned the King of Liverpool and the next day Madrid bid five billion pounds for Mo and Bobby.
Alan, (it´ll definitely happen) , Cordoba.  

 

Aidan steps up…
Clearly I’m bricking it about the final. But now is the time to knuckle down, stop any infighting and support the team to win. We may not be the best, but that never stopped us before. Bring.It.On.
Aidan, Lfc (still scared but hopeful)

 

What a finish! That’s two…
Whether we win or lose on Saturday i will cry.  That’s the point.
Aidan, Lfc

 

INCREDIBLE STRIKE! IT’S THE HAT-TRICK!
I don’t have alot to say,
apart from what I saw yesterday
on the tv screen with colours flickering red and blue.

And then I can talk.
Aidan, Lfc (just a stupid thought)

 

 

Pogba to Liverpool
Am I the only person that thinks the best central midfield transfer that Liverpool could do this summer is to get Pogba off United? Now I know these 2 sides never deal with each other but from where I sit Pogba would be the absolute perfect fit in Klopp’s midfield 3 in a similar position to that which the Ox has been developing into. He has the physical attributes to thrive with the workload required and under Klopp he would have much more licence to get forward and do damage closer to goal, particularly for matches against opponents that are sitting deep. With his ability to interplay with Liverpool’s extraordinary front 3 the possibilities are mouth watering.

Whilst Henderson sits and provides the platform and Keita on the other side being an excellent two-way footballer as well, I see a very formidable and physically unstoppable midfield group with Milner, Ox, Lallana, Wijnaldum as the rotation options.

From Pogba’s perspective, he would get to work with one of the best manager’s in the world who would develop him into a key cog in an incredibly exciting and attacking team that would suit him much better than his current situation. To me this move just makes sense.

So Mr Pogba, go and tell United you want out and Liverpool is the only side you will go to. Then Mr Henry, kindly go and drop 120m on United’s doorstep and make this happen.
Jared LFC (and throw in Martial while your at it)

 

Putting the Emery record straight
There seems to be a lot of unfair negativity about Emery

In his first year in Paris, he didn’t win the league. What no one talks about is the fact that PSG absolutely tanked their transfer window. They lost their leader Ibrahimovic, and bought Ben Arfa,Jese and Krychowiak. All thanks to Sporting Director Kluivert, who was pants! The only player he was responsible for was krychowiak. who to be fair turned out to be useless. And he finished 2nd behind an incredible Monaco team who got to the semi-final of the Champions League. It was not as easy as it seems, and he did finish with 87 points.

Claiming his Europa League threepeat doesn’t represent much is ridiculous. No one is saying it is equivalent to the Champions League. But it is not the EFL Trophy either. He was able to beat teams such as Porto, Benfica, Valencia, Liverpool, and Fiorentina. Some of these teams are regulars in the Champions League and put out full strengths sides.

Also, your claim that Guardiola had no experience is erroneous. It might not be much, but Guardiola did manage Barcelona B, winning promotion in his only season. Laporta was able to use that as an example of why he might be ready to step up. Arteta has never managed one game. It doesn’t mean he will be a bad manager, it means he has no experience. None. It would have been incompetence to hire someone at this level with 0 experience.

And finally, his poor record against big teams. You do realize how slanted La liga is against teams not named Barca or Real? Unless you are Simone, you have a poor record against these guys.I would also add that Simone’s record against the big boys is not that remarkable either. And it’s not like PSG just beat 2nd place monaco 7-1 a month ago, oh wait, they did. The PSG job is impossible unless you win the Champions League. Falling against Barcelona and Real Madrid in the last 16 is bad luck, but should not mean he was unsuccessful. He was able to bring out young players and improve them tremendously (Kimpembe, Rabiot, Nkunku, even Areola).

I am not asking Emery to win us the league next year. I would like us to try and win the Europa League, and do well enough in the League. We are one or two players short from having a solid team that can challenge. And based on his previous experiences, we should feel confident that this Arsenal side will be stronger. This would not be a guarantee with Arteta.
Guillaume, Ottawa

 

A ‘completely forgot them’ XI
Been thinking back about some of the last couple of finals PL teams have reached & the players who were involved in them. I couldn’t remember say If Nicolas anelka was part of the 2013 Champions league winning team ( He wasn’t btw) which made me think of the time he actually played for Liverpool. Despite being really excited when they signed him I always forget that hes a former Liverpool player. This got me thinking of some of the other Liverpool players who are quite well known for their achievements at other clubs, but are easily forgotten about. I then realised this would be a perfect Friday mailbox challenge. You have to come up with a “I completely forgot they played for them 11”.

The criteria are this, they have to have had more success playing for another club and be much better remembered for that. Their time at your club has to have been generally forgetable. For example, Larsson at Man United, even though it was short, would be considered a success as he performed very well and it was big news when he signed, so he doesn’t quailify. Or Andy Carrol at Liverpool, even though a short time, it was actually very memorable for all the wrong reasons, so he wouldnt qualify. Samuel Eto at Chelsea however for example would . When you think of his name you think Barcelona, Inter or that move to Anzhi. Many would completely forget he played for Chelsea. So to get the ball rolling I include my Liverpool 11, and please correct me If I’ve left out any obvious ones.                                              GK. Alexander Doni
Starred for Roma in the mid 00’s, & for a while & was one of the best keepers in Serie A )

RB. Steven Caulker (Shouldnt be forgotten had some great days with Swansea, has come out recentley talking about his struggle with his Mental health hopefully things are going better for him)

.CB Mauricio Pellegrino . A couple of la liga medals and a uefa cup at the heart of an excellent Valencia defence.

CB. Sebastien Coates.  Starter for Sporting now and probably a starter with Uruguay at the World Cup.

LB: Paul Konchesky. Was excellent in Fulhams Europa League run, & West Hams FA Cup Final run.

CDM: Nuri Sahin, Could actually do with a holding midfielder like him now.

CM: Suso. Arguably AC Milans Star Player & now A 40+ million pound player.

CAM: Joe Cole. Possibly the most memorable in this team but will always be thought of for Chelsea & West Ham.

ST: Nicolas Anelka. The inspiration for the list

ST: Rickie Lambert. Was immense at times for Southampton. Cant believe that transfer happened.

St: Fernando Morientes. Still devastated this didnt work out

Subs/Honourable mentions: Robbie Keane, Victor Moses, Alberto Aquilani, Jari Litmanen, Luis Alberto, Mikel San Jose, JohnJo Shelvey, Adam Bogdan (amazingly shouldnt actually count since hes still at the club!).
Pierce, (11 years ago but the 07 final still hurts) Liverpool.

 

JT…f*** off
Can I be the first Villa fan to say that if John Terry doesn’t want to play for us against Chelsea, he can fuck off. What are we, a fucking charity case?
Matt Pitt

 

Nevermind his past behavior including his guard of honor mid-way through a game, surely John Terry not being sure if he could play against Chelsea for Villa and Villa actually taking it seriously proves this eejit is on par with Trump for that wonderful combination of ego and stupidity.
Niall, Denver

 

A good cause
First things first; Madrid to win on Saturday and France for the World Cup.

Down to business. I have been persuaded to dust off my Puma Kings next month to participate in a charity match which will see a bunch of us try and keep up a 5 aside game for mammoth 24 hours.

The match is raising money for the Macca Project in association with North Staffordshire MIND. This is a mental health project aimed at supporting young males between the age of 14 and 25 which was created on the back of the death of Thomas McCauley in 2012. The project does some excellent work and you can read all about it at www.maccasproject.com/about

If anyone would like to sponsor us or donate anything that could be raffled off on the night of the match, we really would appreciate it.

You can donate at – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-lucas-maccas

Many thanks to F365 if this is published. If it isn’t, Degsy has got to be good for a tenner….
Jim, Manchester

 

Strongest Under-21s
KC’s U21 team
looked pretty tasty, but there’s only 10 of them. Did he assume Dele Alli (22 but still eligible) has already been sent off? Thought he’d at least wait til the 2nd round against Colombia…
Ollie, Bristol

 


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