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Liverpool’s missed opportunity
When Divock Okoth Origi’s left foot slammed in Liverpool’s second goal of this year’s Champions League final, it confirmed a number of things. It meant that Klopp had finally broken his final hoodoo as could unarguably be considered a bona fide big-time manager. It meant that players, both raw (TAA) and seasoned (Milner), could come to Liverpool, flourish and actually win trophies. It meant that a sensational season of quality football had ended successfully. It meant that Liverpool had an opportunity to portray itself as a reinvigorated elite club with aspirations of becoming a dominant force.
And yet, we are two months on from that glorious night in Madrid, and it feels like everything that followed that victory has been a missed opportunity.
How on earth do you not capitalise on winning the CL and try and strengthen? Especially in a summer when it is needed most:
It was known that winning the CL means you compete in the Fifa Club World Cup which creates a fixture pile on.
It was known that it was now time for the Copa América and Africa Cup of Nations and that these competitions would involve our best players, resulting in little rest or pre-season for them.
It was known that the season would start with the Community Shield in early August.
It was known that we had senior players leaving (Sturridge, Moreno).
Now, I am in no way an ‘FSG-out’ or Klopp-basher, but I have to moan and say how do all these things not scream for a bigger squad?
How can we be two weeks out from the season starting and the buzz from the club is ‘we’ve got Brewster, Ox is back, and Lallana now plays as a number 6’.
It was known that other clubs would strengthen. Do we really think that our exhausted, but fabulous, starting eleven will be enough to keep the rest of the league at bay AND handle a defence of the Champions League? And push for more trophies?
Having moved so swiftly last season to secure some quality recruits it is so bizarre to not see any action this year. Our front three are spectacular, but will be collectively knackered if not properly rotated. Our midfield is solid and functional, but still lacks that creative figure to pop up with a worldie when teams sit deep (hence why many of us would have welcomed the sight of a Coutinho or Bruno Fernandes). Now, our defence is top draw. But Clyne is out for season and we have no deputy for either fullback position.
To say, think, or suggest that our squad will be enough to challenge on multiple fronts is utter madness. This summer’s transfer window is a prime moment to capitalise on two years of progress and it is about to pass the club by.
I don’t want to hear about fixture congestion. I don’t want to hear about players having long seasons and no rest time. It was all known and it appears we are choosing to do nothing about any of it. What a shame.
Actually…calm the f*** down
Been having a lovely football break and made a little return to Twitter to see Liverpool fans melting down over the lack of transfers. I really hope the majority of them are just silly 14 year olds because I have honestly never seen anything more ridiculous.
We have just won the champions league and came second in the league. We did so with only half a season of Keita and no season at all from AOC. We did so with Harry Wilson playing for Derby and Brewster getting less than 90 minutes all season. I don’t think we can hang too much on Gomez or Lallana because both seem to get injured a fair bit whilst AOC might miss 10-15 games a season but not usually 50.
I’m slightly astounded that people are melting down over this. If we are worried about Man City stealing a march on us they have only bought Rodri in (unless I’m mistaken?) but have more pressing concerns as Kompany, a massive dressing room influence if not always on the pitch, has left and their core of Aguero/Fernandinho/Silva gets another year older. Man City have also demonstrated that not all their big money moves work out (Hi Mangala et al).
Transfers don’t always mean progress. Spurs have bought in some reinforcements but they have also sold half their defence without replacing it so far so I might reserve judgement on them too.
Klopp deserves a fair bit of trust at this stage, partly for his record but more importantly for his (and the committee’s) judgement about players. If they’re not buying an attacking replacement it’s because they see something in the kids that none of us know about yet. Nobody quaked in their boots when we bought Mo Salah and Andy Robertson so I love the idea that nobody is afraid of Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson being our back up strikers; it’ll make it all the more fun for the fans and defences will be less well prepared to cope with them early in the season.
Anyway, TL;DR summary: calm the f**k down kids.
Come home, Costa
Why did we sell him outright to Atletico rather than a loan spell?
To be red-carded in a pre-season game when you’ve scored four and you’re up, what, six-one? We need the shithousery of that man.
I know, you love him if he plays for you, hate him if not.
I miss that guy. My wife asked me my favorite Chelsea player a couple of years ago and gave me a “Costa” home shirt for my birthday. She (and an Arsenal fan to boot) fully understood that he might be a see-you-next-Tuesday, but he was our see-you-next-Tuesday.
Mrs. Steve now has a soft spot for the Chels due to Olivier Giroud. He might be marginally less handsome in blue than red, but I appreciate her understanding. She’s no longer an Alexis Sanchez fan, so let that guide your opinion of her (remarkable) judgement.
Steve, Los Angeles
Leave Luiz alone
I don’t know who wrote the piece on the last 10 premier league imports from France but who ever it was couldn’t have been more wrong about claiming chelsea fans would have been happy to see him leave at the end of the last season.
David Luiz is a love him or hate him kind of guy, everyone else supporting other teams seems to hate him but we love him he is a brilliant footballer well able to bang one into the top bins when the occasion requires (just look at his penalties which are usually very accurate) he looks like he cares when he plays and for all the hounding he gets in the media he is actually a very good defender.
Just because you don’t like him don’t make claims for the fans of other clubs. I for one will be very sad when he departs the bridge for good.
Aaron. CFC. Ireland.
Grossly underrating David Luiz.
2) Ibrahimovic – 33 prem appearances, 1 x community shield, 1 x EFL cup
3) Lacazette – 67 prem appearances, 1 x Community Shield
4) Moura – 38 prem appearances, scored a hat trick
5) Fabinho – 28 prem appearances, 1 x Champions League
6) David Luiz – 160 prem appearances, 1 x Premier League, 2 x FA Cup, 1 x Champions League, 2 x Europa League
Ok, only half those honours came after he rejoined from Ligue Une but he still deserves to be above the aforementioned 4.
Don’t worry about Spurs
After reading Robert’s concerns in the mailbox this morning, I think he’s getting himself unduly concerned.
Now obviously, none of us know what’s actually going to happen next season given the fact no one can see into the future; but working of the standard approach of empirical evidence demonstration that previous behaviour is the biggest indicator of future performance, I think Spurs will be just fine.
1. Trippier was a nightmare last season. He was easily culpable for at least 10 goals that we conceded in all games.
2. If Rose is sold, Davies has always proved to be a solid replacement – he rarely let us down in the times Rose was suffering injury problems. We will also probably buy Sessegnon as a replacement; a decent young player who’ll be given time to develop and the access to Poch’s wise advice.
3. Foyth may look a little shaky at CB, but Sanchez is getting better and better with any game and is still only 22/23. Robert seemed to just ignore his existence but he’s proven in countless occasions that he can step in and maintain standards when either Alderweireld or Vertonghen have got injured. Equally, with Ndombele bought and Skipp being brought on nicely, we could potentially see Diet revert back to being a CB, albeit the 4th choice one – I know he had his faults, but I’d argue he’d be on a par with every other Top 6’s 4th choice CB!
4. Will either of Foyth or KWP actually start at RB, or will Aurier, a player with CL predigree, start there. Yes, he too has looked incompatible with the rigours of the Premier League; but if Sissoko can turn it around with a full pre season and run of starts, why can’t we hope Aurier will to? And if all 3 are really underperforming, nothing stops Poch moving Toby to RB where he had played on multiple occasions…
Feels to me that Spurs defence has most positions covered by multiple options, so it’s understandable they target attacking players where their oft criticised of falling to perform if Eriksen, Son or Kane are subdued…
Paul (Spurs) T.Wells
Good golly people are being dense about sell on clauses. Michael from Tipp (North or South?) is the latest.
A sell-on clause lessens the amount of money you get for a player- eg, 20%, Palace, Zaha.
Therefore, if that player is worth x amount to Palace, they are going to want x + 20% or they won’t sell him.
It’s nothing to do with a potential buyer’s feelings on it. It’s not anything to do with market value. The potential buyer is not being ‘forced’ to do anything. It’s not Palace’s ‘problem’.
But it is Palace’s price.
I believe F365 have already addressed this latter point in an article this Summer.
Darragh (KWP has shown no defensive nous fyi), Spurs, Ireland
Alderweireld > Maguire
Jim Jones is asking us all to drink the kool-aid*.
His figures purport to be scientific, but they rely on one very significant factor- Harry Maguire being as good as Toby Alderweireld.
This- and I’m going to be kind but direct here- isn’t.
Call it a secondary assumption that Alderweireld is going to stop being a top class centre back on his 32nd birthday.
I hope that clarifies things.
Darragh (*it’s the appropriate “what are they smoking” in the circumstances), Spurs, Ireland
Your article on Wednesday is clearly written by someone who doesn’t follow the club properly.
Don’t get me wrong we’ve got our problems but this makes it seem like ours are by far the worst when really they’re not.
Yeah we’ve been shafted over on the manager front.
Yes our wage bill was high in 2017/18. We had a bad year that year. It was the first time we didn’t come in the play offs after two years in a row. A gamble was made on play offs that The current premier league / championship financial structure does nothing to did. Bit the gamble didn’t pay off and we’ve released a lot of players since then so our wage bill is lower. Equal questions could be asked of Reading, Derby or Fulham for the same period for the same reason and they’ve basically the same or worse levels of success.
Carlos left, we had a bad manager appointment in Jos Lahukay and gave him far longer in the job than we should have done. But these are the very same journalists that will bemoan a chariman for sacking at the first sign of poor form. Yet give a man a chance and suffer poor season that would likely result and suddenly you’re “a club with no tomorrow”.
“The squad is top heavy” no mention of the fact that we’ve just released two strikers… but yeah last season we were top heavy but we had so many injuries at times it didn’t feel like it. We needed pace we’ve now signed pace. Not only that but pace with experience of getting promoted from the championship – a quality this journalist seems to have down as a bad thing?
He says we’ve players who are hungover from the playoff bids then names Foresterri, Lee, Fletcher and Lees. Literally our best players (not including Bannan obvs. LUV U BB) they’re not too old. They’re not underperforming. Is keeping the core of your squad in tact now a bad thing? Admittedly Lee and Forrestieri were injured a lot but whatyagonnado that’s football.
We have had gaps in our squad i.e. no decent CB partner for Lees, we’ve signed badly there, no decent CDM as back up to Sammy Hutchinson and our young goalkeeper back ups don’t have the organisation skills that westwood has. Therefore, when last season you have a manager who falls out with Hutch and Westwood, the defence has no one to organise it. This added to the pace issue in the squad (which we’ve now hopefully solved) resulted in a less than hoped for season.
Saying that no manager would want to come to Wednesday is really not true. The squad is good but underperformed ( defence issues not really long term if you don’t freeze out your best players, and pace hopefully solved). The fan base is one of the biggest outside the prem. The Chairman shows loyalty to underperforming managers. A decent recipe for success for most managers worth their salt.
To blame Chansiri is unfair. The man came in and invested loads. Came bloody close to the premierleafue dream but missed out. So, yes, we got pushed into FFP considerations due to his spending it is true, but before he arrived we were straddled by debt and potentially looking at a winding up order every other year anyway so it’s a better situation then it was before!
We’ve clearly duped the FFP rules with the stadium thing, but Derby, Middlesbrough and everyone are doing it and the FA didn’t react. What do they expect? Why should we get punished by rules that everyone is breaking?
Bale should be a Saint
Honestly bale have some humility and go back to Southampton the club who made you. Bloody China. Absolute mercenaries these footballers. He’s won everything at the top level, he has earned mega coin, he plays the welsh patriot, well give Southampton 1 year at your “peak” then.
…Benjy says Bale being shown the door at Real has everything to do with the fact that he’s been there five years, does not speak Spanish and has made zero effort to integrate.
He is one-third correct: he has been there five years. However, he clearly can at least understand Spanish and say a lot more than hello and as for his efforts at integration, I must have missed the fly-on-the-wall documentary that revealed this lack of effort over the last five years. I have read reports suggesting he remains well-liked by his team-mates in the dressing room. As for skipping team dinners, I have heard he skipped one so as not to disrupt his sleep routine, the unprofessional git. I would suggest Bale’s proximity to the Real exit door has exhibited more of a correlation to Zidane’s influence at the club than Bale’s proficiency in Spanish.
Hope this clears it up.
Remy the Saint
…To add to the discussion on Gareth Bale, I’d say he is more akin to Real Madrid’s version of Luis Nani: celebrated as a potential successor to Ronaldo and with flashes of brilliance but not nearly as consistent to fill on CR7’s big shoes
This has got to be the most peculiar pre-season in history. I get that it’s all practice but the results aren’t quite match quality difference. It started with Chelsea vs Barca, a Chelsea team that is considered lightweight bossed Barca throughout. There is also the Man U angle where they have won all their games, but the strangest of all has to be the game I’m watching. Real Madrid, after the most spectacular of summer acquisitions are down 4-0, within 28 minutes.
How are Atletico this good after loosing so many stalwarts? I mean, there is not taking it seriously, but how you excuse the Real Madrid performance so far?
Then, I go to history as a way to project expectations. Teams that struggle in pre-season almost always have a poor season, a d teams that absolutely thrash other teams in pre season, seem to hold the same advantage in the season games. If this version of Real Madrid ends up being successful, I’ll be back here eating humble pie, also, I think Man U may even challenge Liverpool for 2nd.
Dave(City may just win it all if things go on as they are.), Somewhere
Man Utd’s gossip XI
Gaaavie is right and I realise that Man United have an unfair advantage in this game, but I believe this is a pretty strong starting 11 I’ve constructed out of our transfer rumours. I would have had more flexibility in the formation if we had been linked with a good left back or two, but I’ve gone with a 3-4-3.
Ved (stuck on a runway) Sen, MUFC