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Liverpool should buy Hazard
I’m a Liverpool fan and I must admit it’s been a crazy season, the tension, fear, expectation have been unbelievable, I have enjoyed myself but it’s certainly for Man City to loose and I don’t see it happening.
I am now looking at next season and I think Liverpool need to go big this summer transfer window and buy Eden Hazard. That’s all we need and all the challenges with creativity we sometimes had this season will be gone and instead of 3 we will have 4 consistence scorers.
I don’t see it happening but if this team wants to dominate for the next 4-5 seasons and really make a statement of their ambitions and how they see themselves then there is no better way of doing it than bringing Eden.
Vincent f*cking Kompany!
That was Vincent Kompany’s first shot on target from outside the penalty area since December 2013. It’s like Macheda all over again. It just doesn’t make sense.
Liverpool have scored some fortunate late winners this season, Divock Origi appearing from nowhere to save us against Everton for example. Origi is, though not a good player, a striker who knows how to find the goal. Shaqiri coming on against United and getting a couple of deflected goals, again there was method to the madness of the goals.
But Vincent Kompany scoring THAT goal really leaves a sour taste.
Give me Aguero at the absolute death of the game. Give me Raheem Sterling putting his old club to the sword. Something that makes sense. This is just too much to take. He has been carried by his team mates this season and seeing him on the team sheet tonight made me more upbeat because he is simply not a scratch of the player he was.
They will most likely finish one point ahead of us because of a freak moment. Yes that’s football. Yes that’s why we’re supposed to love it. But I think a lot us reds need a sabbatical.
…Ok, I am a United fan. But if you can’t smile at the circumstances, timing and quality of that goal do you really get football?
Kompany just scored with his first shot on target from outside the box since 2013. It’s definitely destiny.
…Sorry Liverpool fans.
Surely now it is obvious the fate is on man city’s side, when the last difficult match is decided by a most un-man city like goal and by a player who everyone thought was pretty much their mascot at the start of the season.
Jan, exiled in New Zealand
…If there had to be one Man City player to score a thunder-bastard that all but ends Liverpool’s title aspirations, I’m glad it was Kompany.
Great player, great captain and undoubtedly a City legend.
If/when City beat Brighton, this season won’t have been a disappointment – just really bittersweet.
Two games left at Anfield now, and I really hope we get a “football party” and that the Liverpool players get the ovation and adoration their play throughout the season deserves.
Elias, LFC, Johannesburg
Everyone has to lose sometimes. Just a shame it was Liverpool, and we’ll be the best losers of all time yet again.
Thing is, the eternal hunt is almost better than winning.
Aidan, Lfc (not sure what I’d do if I was the dog that caught the cat…maybe dance?)
…What can we do if City keep doing that? No, not wonder goals. PL clean sheets. That’s 10 in their last 12 games, half of which were 1-0. We’ve only done the latter 3 times all season. They just don’t look like conceding. And always score.
Sigh. Maybe Brighton can change such things, but seems very unlikely. But let’s try and beat Wolves first, very dangerous fixture, although maybe them definitely being 7th might help?
Mike Woolrich, LFC
…I told myself I wouldn’t care this much again, but the truth is, I’ll care until we win the league.
It all seems so unfair. City fans have had so much joy over the years, from when they supported United in the nineties, and Chelsea in the noughties.
Dom (hell yeah I’m bitter. Kompany hits that another 500 times and never scores it again) Littleford
When people talk about the best television series of the post millennium golden age from the late 90s to the current GoT love in, it should be remembered that nobody remembers Lost! At its best it was peerless, a fantastic cast, massive budgets, standout moments every episode and an endless journey that was thrilling and intriguing in equal measure until it was clear that the journey was going nowhere and that everything up to this point, as joyous and exciting and affecting as it was at the time, was actually pointless. Thus its ending was a huge anticlimax and nobody remembers it or celebrates it or talks about it nostalgically. We were sold the lie that it’s all about the journey and that the destination was a mere incidental, a sideshow in our postmodern experiential culture. For Liverpool the journey has been compelling and joyous and thrilling with standout moments – and I couldn’t be prouder of the boys – but as with Lost! all that is rendered nought when the ending is such a crushing anticlimax. Origi’s last gasp winner(s), Alderweireld’s own goal, Mahrez’s penalty miss, Speroni’s calamity and Salah’s exocet against Chelsea are not narrative clues that point to a relentless red destiny they are just polar bears, and dharma initiatives and Jacob. They say it’s the hope that kills you but it’s having 94 (potentially 97) and knowing that it isn’t enough and that when they draw up a list of teams from the PL’s golden age these magnificent men in red will have been forgotten. After Chelsea in the FA Cup Final, Sevilla, Real Madrid, losing to City on penalties in the LC final and now this. I’m not sure I can cope with another series. And yet, for all those rivals who are enjoying the Schadenfreude it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Mike Pearson – (now I’m lost, lost in the heat of it all – Frank Ocean)
You watching, Paul?
Ndidi is everything Pogba should be.
Sympathy for Woodward
I think anyone can see it’s been a disaster for Utd since they appointed Ole as their permanent manager. They’ve had some terrible results, got their pants pulled down in the champions league and missed out on a top four spot when it looked to be in their grasp. The worst part is that the players don’t even seem to be bothered about any of it.
After the results were going so well for Ole, Woodward was given a decision to make; see how it goes until the end of the season, or back him with a long contract with a crucial part of the season remaining.
See how it goes and maybe the Utd players see that as a sign that Ole isn’t going to be there next season, their effort and form tail off by a couple of percent and Utd miss out on their goals for the season. Or, give the much-loved manager the job full-time, give the players extra motivation to be part of his project and get the fourth place trophy wrapped up.
In retrospect appointing Ole was the wrong decision, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad decision.
Adam G, Tokushima, Japan
A time for humility
I’ve been supporting Man Utd since I was about 4 years old. I recall watching them beat Norwich as a first football experience and since then I’ve been hooked. Yes I live a stone’s throw from the Valley and have been a Charlton season ticket holder recently but Man Utd have always been my first love. And what a magnificent number of years we’ve had as supporters. Ferguson, one of the greatest managers ever at the helm and we constantly expected to win the league and challenge in every domestic cup competition. Unforgettable moments from fantastic challengers like Newcastle (I’d love it if we beat them), Arsenal (Battle of OT, Invincibles, Giggs wonder goal and the list goes on), Liverpool (Rafa’s facts, Gerrard and Torres – what a team), and some more I’ll come to in a moment. The Champions league was a slow burner, and I remember bad days initially away at teams such as a Galatasaray with amazingly passionate fans, flares and all sorts. But Fergie finally got to grips with it and then won it twice.
Later on other teams gained as much money and pulling power as we had. Chelsea and Mourinho Mk 1 were something to behold and that initial 95 pt team were phenomenal. 95 points and only 15 goals conceded all season. Ridiculous. They won the league at a canter again the next year and somehow Fergie went and built a team to overcome them and win the league 3 times in a row afterwards. Man City have grown and are now destroying all and sundry. Yes question marks about their ethics and source of the cash, but there is no denying the quality of the team and the football. Pep Guardiola has shown his quality time and again. And as a I write this, Captain Vincent Kompany has scored an unbelievable goal to leave City with just one more win required. What a player he has been for them. Heart and soul he’s a sky blue all the way through. I salute and take my hat off.
And I come to Liverpool this year. Sure being a Man Utd fan, I’m supposed to hate them. And they were easy to dislike back in the day. Players like Jason McAteer, Neil Ruddock and Jamie Carragher used to wind me up no end. But then I’d cheekily purchase Stevie G in my Pro Evo Master League because he was fantastic, and would regularly and infuriatingly do the business against us. And what a team they have built this time. Klopp is the manager I wished we could have gotten, I knew it when he was at Dortmund and he celebrated a last ditch goal line clearance in the Champions League final like they’d actually won the game. The passion, the way the team played, the demolition of countless teams and Real Madrid. Would he have gotten the time he needed at Man Utd? Not sure. And he probably knew it. Liverpool came very close to winning the league under Brendan Rogers too, and even though they had Suarez in peak condition it wasn’t a fluke. Klopp has shaped the team to continue pushing on way beyond that point and their record points total proves it.
Which brings me on to the point of my whole email. I really hope that Man Utd eat a good slice of humble pie this summer. I really hope we take stock, look at ourselves and stop trying to fix all the problems straight away, one single summer blah blah. Enough talk of being title challengers next year, with ‘these signings’. The current top two teams that have blown away the opposition have spent many seasons getting their houses in order, from the top down. This stuff hasn’t just come together in some flukey ‘We picked the right manager’ way. Football has changed a lot. And we need to change too. We are no longer the ‘biggest, bestest in England’ despite what the financial information says. We have finished sixth, gaining Europa league qualification with a woeful record of 8 points from the last 24. No more ‘glory buys’, delusions of grandeur or silly sound bites. Scout properly (Rio as DoF? Erm..). with a clear plan beyond one or two seasons. We need to recognise where we are in the football world of 2019, and start acting like it. It took a previous behemoth in Liverpool a long long time to realise what had happened and we are going down a similar path.
(Didn’t even mention Spurs having yet another brilliant season)
… I’m 45 and have never said this and never expected to but after watching Man Utd on Sunday I realised I’m actually p**ssed off that Wolves are going to finish below Utd. They really, really shouldn’t have. I’m aware it’s our own fault as Huddersfield have won three games this season, bizarrely two of them against Wolves.
When I go through the Utd team and I’m being genuine and people can disagree but I wouldn’t swap any Utd player for a Wolves player. If I stretch it maybe Lindelof but the rest. People say Rashfords great and this that and other and he’s going to incredible and he’s young but maybe he’s not that good. Maybe the media just want him to be. He’s actually 21. He’s not 17. His scoring record is fairly medium. I believe at 21 Kane scored 21 league goals. We can all name many other players at that age and younger who seemed to be able to manage being 21.
You can go though whole team but just a few; Jones, can’t pass, positioning awful, lacks football brain and is a rasberry ripple. Ashley Young, he’s a fine servant, he’s also 67 or something like Batman’s Butler Alfred. If Dalot, Smalling, Rojo, Darmian and Bailly are the answer you should worry about what the question was.
Pogba, again do the media just want him to be one of the best players in the world and so keep saying it even though he obviously isn’t. Just briefly Erikson better player, Sissoko (yeah I know laugh all you like) more effective, Hazard obviously, again I feel sorry saying this and can hear the sniggers but Henderson and Wijnaldum more effective, Siguardson, possibly a better player but if he isn’t he plays better so where do we make the judgement?. I can go on. Anderson, Maddison, Neves, Moutinho, won’t bother mentioning City so perhaps when he buggered off years ago it was because Sir Alex either didn’t rate him or thought he was a bit of a knob.
Fred, I’m not clever enough to understand what’s gong on there, Matic is like an elderly wheezing pensioner you have to help up the stairs, Martial, never going to be a superstar, Lukaku, his goal scoring record at W*est Br*m, Everton and Utd speaks for itself and yet and yet he’s quite rubbish isn’t he?
Sanchez is obviously a subject that requires an academic study.
Anyway Utd amuse me they really need to connect with reality, stop talking about top four blah, blah. They need a five year plan and if it involves finishing tenth and not winning anything well…is it worse than this for their (admittedly odious) fans?
Dean Butler WWFC
…What a goal by Kompany that was – it genuinely gave me goosebumps! Not only was it an absolutely perfect postage stamp finish that gets better with every viewing and every different angle, but the context of the goal makes it pretty much perfect. A captain’s goal, not really typical of the kind of goal he’s scored throughout his career, in a game in which they were struggling to break down a stubborn defence, that pretty much goes against the style of the manager and the team, and to put them one win away from the title. If you made it up you’d be criticised for making it too cliché.
Of course, no mail from me would be complete without some United context. I was going to write in soley about our Huddersfield game but I think I’ll just make a few points here. If United had a player with even a 10th of the leadership and determination of Kompany in their team then we wouldn’t be in such a shit state. That kind of performance – especially when his body must surely be telling him to stop – is exactly the sort of thing we are a million miles away from. We haven’t even got a player who could dream about that kind of finish – and Kompany’s a bloody centre half!
Keep Lindelof, McTominay, Rashford and the youth team but seriously I really don’t give a shit about the rest of them. Release them on free transfers for all I care, because none of them deserve to be pulling a living from football. Such apathy, such disregard for their duties as professionals, such disrespect to the fans and the club. Hardly any of them deserve to be there, and even fewer of them look like they actually want to be there.
The club is a catastrophe. Many people have tried to outline what they think the club needs to do but the sad truth is that it would be quicker to list things that don’t need to change. The players have shown, without a shadow of a doubt, that they just don’t care, under 3 different managers now. The problem is that there are so many of them that need to be moved on (finding gullible takers is a whole other problem) but you can’t change the team enough in one summer. At least 12 different players need to be moved on (De Gea, Valencia, Young, Jones, Smalling, Bailly, Matic, Pogba, Fred, Martial, Sanchez, Lukaku) that you’re talking about an entire team’s worth (plus a sub!), and we’re apparently only looking to bring in five. We don’t have enough youngsters to promote so that means probably at least 7 of that list are still going to be there next year.
Even then, through a combination of ineptitude, ignorance and idiocy, the recruitment this summer is going to be a farce. The players who we want to bring in will all have their price bumped up by the selling club, who know we are absolutely desperate, as will the demands of said players because who wants to come and play for this shambles of a club right now? Even most modest targets would be looking at us as a sideways step at best right now. Would, for example, many of Leicester’s, Wolves’, or Watford’s players really want to jump ship to us at this juncture? Why would they want to leave exciting projects which are actually making progress for a poison chalice move to a club that is seemingly determined to implode?
Ole might well be a good manager but this job will certainly not tell us whether he is or not. Nobody could do this job with the resources available. Nobody. People are suggesting like he should have coached them better but seriously, how do you coach this lot? The words “polish” and “turd” spring to mind. I fully expect that by this time next year we’ll have a new manager in charge – or at least be looking for one – because Ole will either resign (to keep his dignity) or get fired because of fan/sponsor pressure. I don’t think it’s because he was the wrong man for the job, I think it’s because this is a sinking ship and there’s no saving it. Next year is going to be a disaster akin to Spurs in 2008/09 unless significant changes are made. I just don’t see those changes coming because there is nobody above the manager who knows what they’re doing.
…Man Utd have had a bad year, we can all agree on that, but they will only finish around 3-4 points off the top 4 this year. The gap ain’t that big.
Arsenal are rebuilding with less money, Spurs will likely lose a key player this summer, and Chelsea have a transfer ban and an unsettled manager. The gap ain’t that big.
As biggest on field problem man utd have is their pony defense. Just sign, Johnny Evans, De Ligt, Chilwell and Wan Bissaka, job done too easy.
Arsenal not arsed
It’s hard to put into words just how angry Arsenal fans were on Sunday.
We were playing a team that had just survived relegation so had nothing to play for so we should have been the ones desperate for the three points so as to take the race for the top 4 to the final day of the season.
What the fans were treated to was one of the most gutless performance I’ve ever seen and the cherry on this particular sh*t pie is that we have somehow conceded more goals than we have ever managed in Premier League history.
And announcement was made at the start of the game instructing the fans to stay in their seats for a ‘lap of appreciation’. This was to honour the departing Cech, Welbeck and Ramsey, while applauding the efforts of the contracted up Mustafi, Xhaka and Mkhitaryan.
Yeah, no thanks – I headed for the door – as did many of my fellow gooners. Now I wish the departing players well but to have to see these other three walking around the stadium expecting applause was just too much for me.
In the programme there was an interview with Granit Xhaka, who spoke of the honour of captaining the team in a North London derby. The likes of David Rocastle and Paul Davis were never given that honour but Xhaka, who apparently has conceded more penalties in the league than anyone else and is supposed to protect a defence that has conceded more goals in 35 bloody years, was given the captain’s armband against Spurs.
Worse still, this joke of a player probably won’t be moved on this summer despite the fact we have never qualified for the Champions League with this guy in midfield.
I’m rambling but for me, Unai’s job is to sort that defence out or get out. The last time we conceded that many goals, we regrouped, went and hoovered up all the bright young things English football had to offer, got rid of the deadwood, have George the job, who came in and sorted out the defence.
It’s too simplistic to say 5th place is where Arsenal should be because we have taken 0 from 9 away from home and 1 from 6 at home from our recent games – a team that was arsed would have got over the line – and that’s why the fans couldn’t be arsed to stay for the lap of appreciation.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
A shake-up on the way?
It has been fun watching the implosion of the 3-6 place teams these past few months (barring Spurs’ improbable semi-final run) and amusing reading all the whining and “we’re doomed, doomed I tells ya!” from their fans in the mailbox. Equally I have enjoyed the great football being played (at least at times) at Wolves, Watford, Everton, Leicester, Palace (away, god Zaha is good) and my own club West Ham. As a supporter of one of these ‘limbo clubs’ (not in danger of relegation or of troubling the top 6) it has all given me some optimism that there might be a shake-up at the top-ish (3-6) table.
Speaking for my own club, after years of ‘all mouth no trousers’ from the board we bought well in the summer with an extraordinary strike rate with the signings we got for about 100 mil. Diop and Balbuena have been excellent, with the former showing why Jose called him “a monster” when we beat them early season. The one really big money signing Anderson is a joy to watch, and whilst he is definitely a flair player he always tracks back and is prepared to muck in as well. Yarmalenko felt like a steal and was unfortunate to lose the whole season to injury after the first 3 games (ditto the free Sanchez). The young and lightening quick Fredericks (free) had a blinder on Saturday and seems to have benefitted from having Zabaleta to learn from. Fabianksi is likely to win our player of the season (and for once not just because we have been sh!t), an absolute steal at 7 mil. Wilshere has been massively injury prone as usual but at least we didn’t pay a fee for him and can always hope that he can stay fit next season. Only Perez (4 mil) and (Nasri, short term free in Jan) have failed to impress. The massive London Stadium now feels like home (finally) and it looks promising that the owners will continue to back Pelegrini this summer with a boat load more cash.
My point is that 100 mil was spent wisely, and has enabled us to compete with the bigger boys (beat Arsenal, Spurs, Man U, drew with City away (dive for a penalty) and Liverpool (insane offside goal)), even while bedding down Manuel’s completely new system. Wolves and Everton (belatedly) look like they have spent wisely too and the key point is that you’d fancy any of us to have a chance against teams 3-6 on any particular day, which has not been the case in prior years/decades. Spurs in 3rd have lost 13 (THIRTEEN) games ffs! What’s more, if you look at Arsenal and Spurs in particular, it is not clear at all that they will invest as much this summer into their squads as teams 7-11 will. The question is whether with one more good transfer window from the top-middling clubs, and another season of stagnation in North London and rebuilding at Old Trafford, we might suddenly be talking about a 3-11 Tier rather than a 3-6 Tier. My hope is that this will be the case, not only for selfish reasons, but for the sake of the competitiveness of the league and especially for the enjoyment of the fans. It would certainly make each weekend far more exciting for the arm chair fans.
One last question. Does anyone think that the years of the top clubs being able to simply outspend everyone else has blunted their transfer efficiency now that the financial table is slightly more level? Meanwhile over the years the mid table sides have had to scout more deeply and be way more careful with their use of their limited resources. Seems like the “strike rate” for signings (meaning the % of new signings that turn out to be a success, or at least value for money) is far higher at the moment with the mid table sides than with the spend happy rich kids (leaving the disastrous Fulham spending aside). Just a thought. In conclusion, can’t wait for next season!
Why Barca won’t make the same mistake
Last season when Barca went with a 3 goal advantage to Rome, few would have thought the drama that unfolded for the next 90 mins. And again this season Barca will go to an away ground with a 3 goal lead but chances of the last year’s result being repeated are highly unlikely cuz…
Unlike last season Valverde has rotated the key players from time to time and kept them fresh. Last season just 3 days before the away trip to Rome Barca started 8 starters against Leganes which resulted in players being highly fatigued coming into that game but this year none of the players started in the weekend’s loss to Celta with some of the players not even making the trip to Baliodos. On the other hand, Liverpool was involved in a tough game against Newcastle on the weekend which saw a majority of their first team players being involved int he action. So coming into this game Liverpool will be the more exhausted side of the two and this will certainly give Barca an edge over them.
Liverpool hasn’t scored the away goal which means even if Barca score 1 they would have to score 5 goals and with Salah and Firmino doubtful for the clash it makes Liverpool’s task even more daunting. Given that Barca has conceded just 5 goals in 7 games in this season’s CL I just can’t see how Liverpool can put 3 past them in 90 mins.
Liverpool needs at least 3 goals to stay in this tie meaning they will go for an all-out attack from the word go. This is going to leave spaces at the back and we know how dangerous Barca are on the counter-attack. Even at the game at the Camp Nou when Liverpool was looking for that away goal in the final stages of the game, Barca created probably 2-3 chances and if it was not for the wasteful finishing of the Barca players we would have been talking probably 4 or even 5 nil. So try doing that for 90 mins and you know Liverpool will certainly concede at some point in the game.
And finally, with Messi announcing that the Champions League is the trophy he wants to make sure comes back to the Camp Nou again at the start of the season expect some Messi magic being sprinkled at the Anfield and when that happens, you know you are f**cked up.