Spurs were ‘the least sh*t side’ in CL final against Liverpool

Date published: Monday 3rd June 2019 2:32

Harry Kane Heung Son-min Tottenham

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Great/odd season
Dear F365.

Congratulations to Liverpool, Deserved champions, especially after the Barca game, even in the first leg I thought the score was very harsh.

As a Tottenham fan it was disappointing, but I do think there is that feeling like we were making up the numbers a little. It was Liverpool’s final where we were also playing, it’s probably as it should as in the European sense we were the minnows.

I thought that we were the least shit side on Saturday, we were at least trying to force the game. I don’t for a second buy into Liverpool intentionally soaking up pressure after the penalty, no side would choose that as an option for 89 minutes, especially when we do have goals in our team, I think we were more aggressive and attack minded, but did also stifle their counters pretty well. But, I did always have the feeling that had we scored, Liverpool could and would have upped their game.

I can understand Kane staying on, we needed to score and he posed a very significant threat, didn’t work out but the intent from Poch was sound.

Thought the Pen was pretty harsh, was a shame as I do think it changed the whole dynamic between 2 good attacking teams so early in the match.

So what next, should be an interesting summer for us, I can see a fairly high profile departure to raise funds and hopefully 4 or 5 significant arrivals. Hope Levy tries to do this early for once but he’s never the only party in a transfer. It’s definitely a crossroads for us, we can’t continue being plucky underdogs and as much as I like the fact we never seem to give up, we need to be able to control games much better. I also don’t think the excuses around how much our squad costs is in any way relevant, look at how much the squads value is as a comparison, just because we managed to buy cheap and bring a few players through doesn’t mean they have no value. I wonder if that mentality starts to feed into the club a little, we need expensive stars to feel like they should constantly justify the faith shown to them.

Anyway, great/odd season. And again well done to Liverpool, would have been a shame/funny if you had ended this season empty I guess.
Steve THFC

 

Well done Liverpool. As a Man City fan I’ve not been their biggest cheerleader this year but fair play, it’s no small thing to win a CL for the 6th time. The question was posed this morning as to whether we’d swap trophies. I think from both sides that’s an emphatic no. I’m not saying city wouldn’t want a CL trophy and I’m sure Liverpool want a PL title as soon as they can. But that’s the funny thing about the end of the season, it gives you a little bit of perspective. Man City were brilliant this year. That 14 game run was incredible given that we didn’t just win 14 in a row,  it was the fact we had to and we knew it each time. An unbelievable run. It made me want the title more than anything else. But Liverpool were brilliant too this year. I sat at the Etihad when we won 2-1 and was genuinely astonished how hard we had to work and play to beat this amazing side. And the pool v Barca game was one for the ages. So all in all (and with the magnanimity a treble brings) I congratulate Liverpool and actually probably wanted them to win on Saturday which was a strange feeling given how much I willed them to drop points all season.  I know a few Liverpool fans very well and I couldn’t begrudge them their joy – I think they’d be the same in return.

If this gets published then I’m sure they’ll be plenty of contrary comments at the bottom. That’s fine, I don’t know any of you. But I know the friends I have who are Liverpool fans and,  as with the vast majority of football fans in this country I have more in common with them than I do with people who, at the end of the day, don’t love the game like we do.

I’ve been to Anfield a few times this year as guests of my friends and I’ve returned the compliment. Notwithstanding the rivalries and social niceties, when you actually get down to a proper conversation with opposing fans there is respect for achievement on both sides, as there should be.

I was ecstatic with the way our season ended and pleased (probably relieved) that my reaction is one of appreciation for Liverpool’s achievements now.

If your victories are less satisfying without the misery of the defeated to feast on then that’s something you should probably have checked out.
Steve -(ask me again during next year’s title run in) Manchester

 

Jurgen vs Rafa
Afternoon fans of F365,

First time writer into the mailbox so keep the slating to a minimum please.  Firstly well done to Liverpool for winning a shocking final but I think that’s been well covered by now.

I’ve had this thought since they won on Saturday, do Liverpool fans now hold Jurgen higher in their fictional manager ranking than Mr Benitez?  Both have now won the biggest European trophy and have finished second in the league so how can you choose?

Although not a Liverpool fan, does Istanbul 2005 mean more to the fans and therefore Rafa Benitez than Jurgen’s triumph?

Interested to find out from Liverpool fans.
A Scott-Mills, Northampton

 

Swapping for CL glory for PL title?
To answer Mangor’s question in this morning’s mailbox, I’d say the vast majority of Liverpool fans (me included) would prefer to have won the league. Meanwhile, I’d say the vast majority of City fans would prefer to have won the CL. Liverpool have won the European Cup/CL several times, and been on the losing end in a number of finals, but haven’t won the league since 1990. City, on the other hand, have won the premier league a number of times but have never even been in a European Cup / CL final.

All of which means that both sets of fans can look back on this mad season with a strange sense of schadenfreude. You got what we wanted more, but we got what you wanted more.

This is the fans, of course. Had you asked the players, I’d say the answers would be more mixed, at least for Liverpool. I’m fairly sure though that Guardiola and all the City players would have preferred the CL, so in that sense the schadenfreude’s all ours.
Mick, Stockholm

 

In response to mangor in this morning mailbox. Would i swap the premier league for the champions league……in short Hell No.

Ask me at the start of any season and I will say I’d like the premier league every single time. There’s a school of thought that city are obsessed with winning the CL and whilst it might be a high priority to the owners not myself or any city fans I know are obsessed with it.

Would I like us to win it? yes
Do I lose any sleep if we don’t? no.

But what does disappoint me nowadays (and I never thought I’d say this) is a poor league campaign or even dropping points in a game we shouldn’t ie palace at home last season pissed me off more than not winning the CL
Paul, Manchester

 

FSG in context
In response to Aussie Red – we do owe a debt of gratitude to FSG for being great owners. However we should remind ourselves of their average net spend over the past 4 years of ~£40 per annum – below Bournemouth in the list (published on F365 in January) if I remember correctly.
They obviously know how to put a structure in place to maximise our chances of success – that is their skill. However would they have broken the record for a CB and GK if it wasn’t for the kindness shown to them by Barcelona in paying way over the odds for Coutinho?
It’s not so much their ‘deep pockets’ but their recruiting of the right people e.g. Klopp to key positions. We all remember the mis-step in season ticket pricing for the new stand a few years ago. It is still a business to them and we’ve made record profits this year.
Don’t get me wrong – I fully agree with and support their approach – but we need to acknowledge the reality of what their net spend on players has actually been.
Alan (LFC)

 

THE penalty
Rob asked in this morning’s mailbox whether anyone who isn’t a Spurs fan thought it wasn’t a penalty.

I’m an Ipswich fan, and I didn’t think it was a penalty at all.

I get all the usual opinions about unnatural positions and the ball hit his hand after hitting near his armpit or chest etc, but most of that completely ignores the specific context of what happened on Saturday.

A penalty should be awarded when the opposition commit an offence that prevents a likely goal threat.

Forward taking it round the keeper who cleans him out and never gets the ball? Penalty!

Last ditch lunge by a defender on an attacker who is just about to shoot? Penalty!

Defender using his hand to block a shot or a cross going to another attacker in an excellent position? Penalty!

Pushed/Pulled over in the box by a defender playing the man and not the ball? Penalty!

Here’s why I don’t think Liverpool deserved a penalty for their first attack on Saturday night:

Mane is not in a position to easily score when he kicked the ball given the traffic in the area.

Mane doesn’t kick the ball towards a team mate in a position to score. Mane doesn’t even kick the ball towards the goal so it wasn’t that Sissoko blocked a shot.

Mane kicks the ball out of the area and if it had not hit Sissoko it would have likely gone out for a throw in to Spurs on their left hand side.

Let’s face it, Mane kicked it at his arm, and Sissoko gave him the opportunity to do that, but anyone pretending Sissoko had deprived Liverpool of a reasonable chance of a goal is just wrong.

I get that the rules are different to what I believe is a sense of natural justice or injustice, but the rules are bollocks sometimes. This is a big area where football needs to change and update itself. I’d go so far as to say two changes would be worthwhile:

1) Do away with the current penalty box area and have a much smaller area that a keeper is allowed to handle the ball in. (Let’s get rid of this idea that many offences within this box are somehow worthy of a shot on goal from 12 yards.)

2) Put a line 30 yards out from the goal after which any offence can be punished by a penalty if it prevents a clear goal scoring opportunity. It doesn’t have to be punished by a penalty – a free kick can be given too from the place of the offence, but the ref can give a penalty or for any offence preventing the ball from going into the net, a goal can just be awarded. (see Suarez vs Ghana, WC 2010).

Yes, I’m talking about making it harder for keepers in order to help create more chances, but I’m also talking about better justice for attacks that are likely to score a goal and less false justice for attacks that were never going to score. Under the current rules, if you’re clean through from goal and 25 yards out when you are tripped deliberately – you get a free kick from that place. (Maybe the defender gets sent off, maybe not. Maybe there are two minutes to go so the benefit to you is small and in fact one of your rivals benefits from a defender being suspended and not able to play a whole game against them.) But under this proposal, if you were likely to have a chance to shoot – as long as you’re in that last 30 yards with only the goalie to beat you’re looking at a penalty from a much closer distance.

Of course the above idea could be complete horse shit? But the intent isn’t. The intent is to promote more justice and remove injustice from the game. The penalty in the Champion’s league final was bollocks. We should be able to do and be better than that.

Absolutely no objection to Liverpool winning the CL though, great team, great manager. Final was poor – partly because the ref ruined it in many ways. We would all have been much better off without the penalty, Liverpool included.
Stu (ITFC)

 

Rob asks “Was it a penalty?” Well no, not in my book, Sissoko is clearly pointing to a defender where they should be and the fact it was given so early in the game, not even half a minute played, instantly change the tempo of the game, I know time played shouldn’t come into a decision, but when it is a major final, less than half a minute in and it is clear that the handball (hits his armpit) wasn’t deliberate, it just spoiled what could have been an incredible all English final, I think if Spurs had been awarded a similar penalty so early on Liverpool fans would admit it was not a penalty, but “Was it a penalty?” debates in general will go on and on and on, similar to debates on politics.
Mikey, CFC (Chelsea fan defending Spurs, yes you read that correctly)

 

Reviewing Arsenal’s season
Season done and dusted now, thought I’d take to the time to review Arsenals season, see how we did and look towards next season.

Expectations: top 6, Semi or final of Europa, latter stages of FA, Caribou

Finished: 5th (B-) and runner up of Europa (B+), 4th round (C) and quarter final (C+)

Performance Score: 2.5/5 – Mostly met expectations, should have gotten top 4 but wasnt predicted

Transfers in: Leno (B) Torreira (B) Guendouzi (B-) Sokritis (B) Lichensteiner (F) Suarez (F)

Transfers out: Perez (B), others

Transfer score: 2.5/5 – while there were a number of positive signings, Lichensteiner as backup to Bellerin massively backfired. Needed to sell more players rather than frees.

On pitch performance: 2.5/5 – bit more subjective, I felt that in general we played decent. Performances against top 6 were much improved but run of games at end of season was appauling. There seems to be a system that’s sometimes in place and very dependant on the availability of players (Bellerin and no Ozil).

Manager: 2.5/5 – had a blank slate and had a lot of work to replace a legacy. Made some good signings and with first 11 went on a long unbeaten run. Then showed tactical inflexibility for the rest of the season. Bit worrying but par for new manager in a transition club.

Positive performers: Leno, Holding, Bellerin, Ramsey, Auba, Laca

Poor performers: Ozil, Monreal, Kola, Miki, Mustafi,, Lichen

Overall: 2.5/5. Bang average. Had 2 opportunities to get this to a 3.5 or 4 but fell short at last hurdles. Probably why fans are a bit frusted, expectations go out the window when you can sense glory.

What we need: LB, CM, Winger, CB(s) some of which can be promoted. We now need to show improvement so next season top 4 is the expectations, another run to the latter stages of all competitions. Let’s see how we do…
Rob A (should have known scoring out of 5 would be pointless) AFC

 

Happy for Hendo; TAA character
I managed to not write in during the build up to the final and in reality I tried my best to avoid the build up as much as possible, if not to avoid the media driven over analysis as much as to avoid activating my nerves.

In the post review of the game, there has been alot of assessment of the emotional context of the game for Liverpool and alot of its players. There have already been pieces on every avenue of the game but two sections of press have made me happier than most.

The first is that people are genuinely happy for Jordan Henderson, once a symbol of the failings of Liverpool FC, he will now be placed alongside the names of Steven Gerrard, Emlyn Hughes, Phil Thompson and Graeme Sounness, in Liverpool’s constantly growing European folklore. He may not be the greatest individually on this list but to even now be allowed amongst such a crowd means he has earned a little bit of real estate in the property of the Liverpool fans heart and if you had said that to someone even a year or so ago, they would have laughed.

The second is Trent Alexander Arnold, for a 20 year old Champions league winning RB from England you would think the hype around the player would be undeniably massive to the point of ad nauseum ( see Marcus Rashford) but maybe its testament to the character of TAA himself or the manner in which Jurgen Klopp has mentored him or even the city of Liverpool and the kind of working class it breeds ( no comparisons to Marcus Rashford character, its more he is an attacking player probably ) that the hype seems almost underwhelming ? Is it because he looks like a more resolute defender with each passing game ? Is is because he has a coy smile and a open face ? or maybe its that that fact that at 20 years old, 87 senior games, 6 records and 1 champions league into his career TAA has only just started. There are certain players I have been excited for as youth prospects at Liverpool but never before has one so seemingly almost fluidly ascended not only into the first team but into the recognition of the wider footballing community without a massive ripple across the lake. I don’t think he needs to endless hype either and he isn’t Kylian Mbappe ( whose own rise as the next legend of football maybe shields TAA) but to be in so many team of the season selections not even with dispute is evidence to how maturely he has performed this season. To those asking him to move to midfield I think you limit his abilities to grow for as long as Klopp is at Liverpool you could witness the evolution of the TAA style, the gerrard that never went to play number 8 but instead honed his craft to be the number 6 any club would want.

He is a local lad and we may need another piece done in June of next year talking about how Liverpool’s 21 year old RB cemented his second season as one of the best RB in the world, although this time maybe even just one of the best players in the world.

Kind regards,
Cole( YNWA, we been bought, sold, gone into debt review, had Roy hodgeson as a coach, Paul Konchesky as a LB and still have as many Champions league titles in the last 10 years as all the other English clubs combined, the European fever is always alive at Liverpool)

 

Social experiment
Just for the laugh, I’d like to give the liverpool and man city jobs to Allardyce and Sherwood. Could be fun seeing them turning them into mid table mediocraties with no one to blame except themselves. Any other managerial social experiments people would like to see?
Hugh, cork/london (Pardew at Juventus?)

 

Fans in Madrid
Quick shout out to the thousands of fans who travelled to Madrid.  There seems to have been a universally great atmosphere, both sets of fans drinking / singing together and very few arrests, which is unusual when one English team is in town, let alone two.  There was an article on this site (reprinted from a while back) about the Spurs – Liverpool rivalry and a lot of comments saying that people just didn’t recognise that as a ‘thing’.  I’m a Liverpool fan and can honestly say that I love seeing Spurs do well.

There are a good few similarities between our teams, and the fact that so many went and just had fun together and enjoyed the whole experience I thought was fantastic to see.  We are quick to condemn (rightly) bad fan behaviour, so we should equally highlight it when fans are as fantastic as they were at the weekend.  Qudos to you all!
Rich B

 

Man City ticket price rises
Hi. Great article from Typical City and I just wanted to agree with it and follow up with some additional personal thoughts. I have voiced my opinion on twitter and surprisingly there has been a large amount of City fans defending the rise, much to my initial surprise.

Most City fans have had rises of £15 or £25 on their season ticket price for next season. That equates to circa £800k (40,000 * £20). When City are already turning over £500 million and are in profit, it’s a relative drop in the ocean. Why is this rise necessary?

When the latest TV deal came in last season it was so huge that just the increase between the new one and the previous one was more than all the match day revenue of all the clubs over the same three year period. So all 20 clubs could have made season tickets free and they would still have been better off compared to the previous deal. A number of PL clubs reacted to this by freezing prices last season. Again, why is a rise necessary?

The market forces argument ignores that there are three main sources of club income, not one – Match Day, Commercial and TV. Pre Premier League the match day revenue was the most important, now it is a distant third. When match going fans are ever increasingly inconvenienced by TV scheduling, which facilitates huge TV deals, why aren’t the match going fans compensated by lower ticket prices? The latest TV deal includes a new TV slot that fans have to accommodate – Friday evening games – on top of all the other slots. So again, why is a rise necessary?

City’s owners have done lots of smart things with the club since 2008 and a treble and the Community Shield this season is testament to that. Constantly raising ‘standard’ season ticket prices is not one of them. Using what the leeching Glazers (who have frozen ticket prices for a number of seasons!) charge, or what London clubs charge is not a valid comparison to what City fans should ‘expect’ to pay. All clubs charge too much, so working out which is the prettiest turd isn’t a valid comparison. The City fanbase, as noted in the article, is one of the poorest in the league. Rich owners do not make the fans richer. The rises are actually making us poorer.  So again, is a rise necessary?

I could go on, but as Typical City noted, other fans are too busy searching for Emptihad banter to care, and some City fans reject all criticism of the club, even from fellow blues, and justify the rises. Until this changes most clubs will exploit our loyalty and continue to fleece the fans. The FSF away ticket campaign was successful as fans came together for once and got the away prices down to £30, to help protect the match going experience and atmosphere at football games. The same logic holds true for home fans as well, and we need to be more vocal and join together again to fight these rises.
AndyD (@AndyDM20), Manchester.

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