Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

Thank you for your e-mails on Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, Alisson and more.
Send your views – maybe read 16 Conclusions first – to theeditor@football365.com and the best will make it into the Mailbox…
Sound adviceTo all those sad Merseyside Reds, my advice is, take your lead from Leicester and Blackburn fans and just enjoy your one-off moment of glory. Thirty years will pass again in no time.Richard (Manchester)
Cold feet defeatsWe can now add cold feet to the list of scientific excuses that Klippity Klopp has used for Liverpool defeats, which include favourites such as:– too windy– wind was too cold– too snowy– rhythm breaking referees– TV broadcasters– pitch was too dry– grass was too long.Gary B (Top 4 if they are lucky)
Klopp must do better…but is still overperformingAnother utterly gutting game – anybody can beat us with a low block, and if you are any good at all you can rip us apart. All the games have had the same fundamental hallmark – you don’t need to be at your best to beat Liverpool – just keep us out long enough for us to gift you a goal, and then watch our confidence disappear like a single tear rolling down Hasenhüttl’s cheek in the rain.
Firstly, let me make it crystal clear that I do not want Klopp to leave Liverpool – he is an elite football manager, one of the very best in the world, and has brought my club glory that felt like an impossible dream for decades. I love the man. We are lucky to have him.
That said, Klopp is at fault for Liverpool’s current slump (it is more than a dip, and only less than a crisis because of mitigating factors), and must do better. Even I can see that Klopp has made and keeps making the following mistakes (and there are more):
* Playing Hendo and Fab in defence has robbed our front three of their foundation, and our full backs of their cover / licence to attack
* Nat Phillips has done okay when he has played, but is ignored – regardless, even if he scored an own goal every game the net negative effect on Liverpool’s play would be less than taking Hendo and Fab out of midfield/
* What is the point of panic buying budget centre-backs and then not playing them when we need them? Are they not even worth the wig advice / winning smile that Klopp paid for them?
* Klopp making new excuses every week (cold feet? wtf?) is creating an atmosphere where players aren’t taking responsibility for their performances / mistakes, and so aren’t improving
* Alisson clearly wasn’t ready to come back into the team – he made one save out of five, and otherwise went full Karius to the power of Adrian
* We are only ever playing the same way, doing the same thing over and over again, completely one dimensional, despite the fact that it now only works 50% of the time at best.
* The great managers – Ferguson, Guardiola – adapt and evolve in order to win in more than one way, and win when not at their bestSaying the team isn’t fresh and is mentally and physically fatigued, but then playing them all again, just gives them an excuse to fail
* Thiago. It’s like watching a vintage Rolls Royce on a go kart track. Klopp cannot see that the time Thiago takes to make something look artfully flashy is killing every move
* Klopp went full Rodgers tonight – after a 4-1 home loss is not the time to be talking about the “brilliance” of the performance
* Taking on broadcasters makes him look like a petty knob
Is Klopp capable of recognising his failings and resolving the above issues? Time will tell, but at the moment we are getting worse rather than better.
Important context though is what he has at his disposal vs. the likes of City. From a quick check of transferleague.co.uk and an idle Google:
* City’s 11 cost £175m more than Liverpool’s
* That is £16m (or two Andy Robertsons) more per player
* City had 4 players more expensive than Liverpool’s most expensive player tonight (Cancelo, Dias, Rodri, Mahrez vs. Alisson)
I’m not crying poverty – Liverpool have riches that are the envy of 99.99% of other clubs. I am highlighting that City have invested more in order to have the 11 and squad that they need in order to continue to boss the league when their best player KDB is out injured. Given that Klopp doesn’t have the same, perhaps he should be applauded for extracting such high performance levels from the same first 11 for so long. Although it appears to have ultimately broken them.Morgan (it is time to rest the first 11 for next season) Goford
Is Alisson really one of the best in the world?I have an old friend who I know reads these pages. Im hoping he reads this. So, mate, how exactly is Allison the best keeper in the world?
This is a serious question, not just trolling.
The world is constantly reminded about two things: covid, and Allisons greatness. But 99.9% of people out there have never encountered either.
I have never EVER seen this guy make a good save. Has anyone?
Somehow this guy became the world’s greatest keeper just by being expensive. He stood behind the most effective midfield and defence since Joses first Chelsea and does nothing for most games. He of course had lots of help being raised to this position by the knee-jerkers in chief at F365.
I pointed this out before and was told that its Allisons awareness that makes him great: his ability to make shots go straight at him by being in the right position.
This is the most laughable claim since net spend. And there was serious competition: TAA revolutionising right back was another crowd pleaser. Must mean hes the new popular brand of defender who cannot defend…us football purists definitely want lots of those.
Allison has been responsible for about half a dozen rickets over the last couple of seasons (Arsenal and Southampton (I think a few games back, but certainly one of the teams that beat the scum this season) off the top of my head) but we all know Liverpool fans will claim he was due a bad game….because we all know about their selective memory. I havent checked yet, but I know the comments section will be rife with this.
Because ALL Liverpool fans behave the same. And now we get to treat you all equally. We get to laugh at you all equally.
Contempt for Liverpool and their fanbase is truly the only organic means of equality and inclusivity.Eddie, NI
This was not the endLiverpool’s title defence did not end yesterday but on November 11 when Joe Gomez joined Virgil van Dijk on the season-ending knee injury list. That’s not an excuse, just a fact. When you have two supreme high-energy teams the slimmest of margins will aid the eventual victor – like Laporte last season. You need momentum to win silverware and the more things go your way, the more you feel invincible. Congratulations to City and already looking forward to next season’s instalment – and hopefully stadiums full of fans again.Jo (still love you Alisson) Kent
Congratulations……to City on probably winning the league now, barring a huge collapse.
You were 2-1 better than us rather than the 4-1 that Ali gifted you but thats the way it goes sometimes.
Hopefully our lads can pick themselves up and do something in the CL.
Oh, and top 4 would be nice too!James Outram, Wirral
Liverpool were sterileLook theres no need to get desperately upset about that. Ive seen a goalkeeper make two mistakes in a game which has cost us the Champions League. I do think the outfield players should be questioned a bit though. Your keeper has just had two clangers which has resulted in conceding a goal. Why then pass it to him two more times within sixty seconds. Wijnaldum and Fabinho silly for not seeing he needed a moment to gather himself.
Jones was excellent today. The rest of the team was good but in a very sterile way. They looked good without being remotely threatening. It was the way I imagine youd feel if your daughter announced she had a boyfriend and then you discovered it was Bill Gates.
In the first half we seemed very committed to setting traps for Stones. The strange thing was that when the traps worked we were very idle on the ball so City always had time to recover. It was odd to see Mané elect to go backwards instead of either driving forward or passing it into a dangerous area.
Martin Tyler seemed absolutely delighted when Liverpool went 2-1 behind. He was suddenly all jokes and banter where before he was just his usual boring stats and shit puns. If Sky are the richest TV company in sport then I struggle to believe that hes really the best person doing his job.Minty, LFC
Liverpool have become passiveIt’s 56 mins and I’m watching Liverpool Vs city and I’ve realised something.
This passive, toothless sleepwalk of a display is the norm.
You are what you do every day.
Last season, passive, sleepwalking toothless displays were the anomaly, this season it is the standard. Its a tough thing to accept but the evidence is pretty obvious for everyone not wearing Liverpool glasses. We have FAR more games where we don’t even look like having a shot, never mind a goal than we do games like palace where we dominate teams.
Whether Klopp wanted it or not we have evolved into a passive team. The worst thing is I’ve seen so many of these games now that I’m not pissed off about it anymore. I’m apathetic to it. Desensitized to it. I almost don’t care. Almost. I wonder if that’s how Klopp feels because he looks very distant from the guy pumping his fist after a draw.Lee
TAA is a poor defenderI have been following the criticisms laid on TAA for weeks now and I have been indifferent about his performances. The match is still remaining twenty minutes but I can say sterling will still pass him by like 4 or 5 times again. TAA is a poor defender, totally useless.Boladale, Nigeria
Oh PhilThe game has just ended, and I dont know if the Stockport Iniesta reads the F365 mailbox but thought Id write this just in case.
Dear Sir Phil. If you decide to pop around to my place, take a huge dump on the carpet before using our beloved family dog to wipe the consequent excrement all over the living room walls and furniture, and then take the Missus upstairs and give her one.
Well, frankly, youre welcome!Mark (Surely there wont be any Klopp out mails on Monday will there? Will there?) MCFC
New frauds every monthFully expecting fickle mailboxes today regarding Liverpool. Are we going to forget everything that has happened over the last four years? Players like Trent Alexander Arnold aren’t suddenly shit. People will always say he can’t defend. He can defend, it’s just not his strongest point. Dani Alves and Marcelo are the two best fullbacks I’ve seen in my lifetime. Their quality was going forward, not defending. Trent actually played quite well but Sterling did him for the Gundogan goal. He was probably their best player, especially in the first half. Salah is probably going to win his 3rd Golden boot in four years. I’ve seen people call Allison overrated after today’s result. I recall Ederson making several errors over the last 2 years too. What are people even trying to say? They’re still the best two GKs in the league and it’s not really close. I know people today will probably say someone like Karl Darlow or Martinez is better this season but I don’t change my opinion on players based on 5/6 months.
Allison, Trent, and Salah have done it at the highest level for three years and shown that they are world-class. I see this crap all the time. People put far too much emphasis on form. It actually pains me to read the mailbox sometimes. The narrative at the moment seems to be that Man United are plucky underdogs punching above their weight and Liverpool are a team full of frauds who are finally being found out. If you told me at the start of the season that Liverpool would be without their three first choice CBs for most of the season, I would have placed them between 2nd-4th. It’s just a massive ask especially when you consider how important VVD is. I’m not denying that they have been poor, because they have but that doesn’t mean these players are bad. I don’t think Liverpool can go and spend 50m on five new players in the summer either like City can. Their budget is that of United’s. I just don’t understand why players are completely ruled out if they’ve gone through some bad form.
I’m just never arsed hating players or teams that much, mainly because I’m not a 15 year old anymore. I find it strange that people vehemently hate people that they don’t even know or deny to acknowledge how good they are because they play for a certain team. I’m an Arsenal fan and I notice that most of our fans hate Kane and Dele but I know for a fact that our fans would love Dele if he was playing for us because of his snideness. I mean, our fans adored Wilshere who was quite a prick. I also see a lot of hate for Mason Mount for being Lampards son, but also Southgates son and now maybe Tuchels son… or maybe he’s just a good player? I know it’s probably too much to ask Twitter to think objectively but it would be nice to see once in a while.Dion, Arsenal (Donegal)
The race below Man City is fascinatingIm pretty thankful City did a number on the old scouse mob, thanks to some comical goalkeeping, the current sheer brilliance of one Mr Gündoan and the ever improving Phil Foden (some finish that). The run of form The Citizens have been on indicated a likely win and, more importantly, a title win in general. Youd have to say with how the teams below them are playing, plus their game in hand, youd be slightly barmy to expect anything else.
What it means for the rest of the league is a pretty intriguing battle for places 2 to 9 though. No one is really showing any real intent to be the best of the rest: just when you think Man Yoo might change their fortunes from the last 8 years they do silly things like lose at home to potentially the worst team in PL history and also implode against Everton when in a commanding position. Youve then got Pool who, after not losing at home since 1772 BC, it seems and feels like theyve lost 48 home games in a row. The Foxes couldnt take care of the Wolves, which in a real life animal battle would seem them quickly devoured but I digress.
Surely West Ham are just taking the piss with their current position and, youd expect, based on ability would be the bottom of that mini league. The Toffees look to stick about (see what I did there) but are as hit and miss as everyone else – but they do have a couple of games in hand are pretty decent when their first 11 is fully fit. Villa have got Grealish (one of the players of the season so far) and games in hand but their last win was only against Arsenal which tells you nothing as most teams beat them. On that, interesting to see that only 5 other teams have last more games than them this season, the bottom 5. Lol. Anyway, back to the topic and youve got Chelsea who could be good. They could be bad. Who knows. Their record is mainly based on Lampard but under Tuchel, and what weve seen so far, youd believe they will improve.
Finally, my team, those infuriating cockerels led by the biggest cock of them all. A win against a WBA team means zilch, zero, nada. The defence today was a horribly average mid table type of line up and if you cannot look good defending against that West Brom team then youre in the wrong profession.
So, it makes for an interesting battle and anyone who can show good form over 7/8 games will probably finish 2nd or at least in the CL places. Bottom line is, the season is utterly mental and no one really has a clue what will happen. Unless youre talking about the winners and who gets relegated. Spoiler alert: its the teams currently in those positions.
Keep your eyes peeled on this mini league though, it does look tasty.Glen, Angry Spur
The problem with SpursThe current problems at Tottenham have been there since before Mourinho became the current manager. Pochettino took Spurs as far as he was able to, with the players he had. Pochettino needed investment in upgrading the team with fresh blood, which was not forthcoming from Daniel Levy. Towards the end of Pochettinos reign, you could sense the frustration in his body language when he was on the touch line, due to the lack of financial backing from Daniel Levy as he sought to take Spurs up to the next level.
We also have players who are not up to the job. Deli Ali has been a shadow of his former self for a few seasons now, and its unfair to blame Mourinho for dropping him. Deli Ali needs to go. So does Eric Dier, hes only in the team because he speaks fluent Portuguese and Mourinho for that reason has looked after him, hence he features on such a regular basis. Eric Dier is a liability in the Spurs team, for the number of cock-ups he tends to make.
He certainly wouldnt feature in any other top six Premier League team. Aurier is prone to making mistakes under pressure i.e giving away penalties, although he has improved slightly under Mourinho. Gareth Bale needs to be used on a more regular basis for a full ninety minutes, and given a decent regular run in the team to get him into his stride, but Mourinho seems to resent him, and instead uses him sparingly.
What is the point of bringing him on in a match with ten minutes left? We have more players who just arent up to the job. The captain should be an outfield player and not the goalkeeper. I feel sorry for Kane, Son and Ndombele plus a few others who are playing alongside inferior players.
I totally understand Daniel Levy keeping a tight reign on the purse strings, as paying sky high transfer fees and wages doesnt guarantee success. However, we are far too slow at seeking out potential talent, and dragging out negotiations up to deadline day, instead of getting business done early, and getting new players into the club and ready for the start of the season. We should be ready to pay the going rate for any player we feel will make a positive difference to the team instead of haggling to try saving a few million, only for the deal to collapse, and then end up with a season like this one, with potentially no Champions League next season. How many millions will that cost the club through trying to scrimp on paying the going rate for a player that you really need, in order to help make a positive difference? To be in serious contention for success, we need two high quality players for every position in the team, to cater for injuries, or rotation of players when we have a glut of fixtures like we have at present.
We need a manager with a positive attitude, a man manager who is firm, fair and earns respect from the players. We need to play high intensity football – none of this BORING passing the ball around from side to side and going nowhere. We need players who go out on the pitch on match day and give their all. Players who appreciate five or six figure sums of money they are so fortunate to earn – ON A WEEKLY BASIS – and remember that the fans who are watching them, would love to earn those sort of wages, instead of two, three, four or five thousand a MONTH. The fans work long hours for their money, and pay some of that hard earned cash to watch them on match day. So to all those professional footballers out their, remember who you are and where youve come from. On match days you owe it to the fans, to give your ALL for ninety minutes. There is no excuse for the abysmal offerings being served up by Tottenham against Liverpool, Brighton & Chelsea recently. Shame on you guys!
I come from a generation when men were men on the football pitch. The Norman Hunters, the George Bests. When players used to ride tackles. The days when a penalty was a PENALTY! Some of todays players are a disgrace to the game. It takes the faintest of touches, and their rolling in agony to get a penalty, a free kick, to run down the clock, or get their opponent booked or sent off.
My point is that everyone at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club need to take a good hard look at themselves from the Owner, the Chairman, the Manager and the Players. You are ALL responsible for what happens on the pitch. The buck stops with the high earning players. Everyone needs to get their act together.
One very frustrated Tottenham fan, of which I am sure we have thousands at the moment.Mervyn
Kicking Harry MaguireAn £80m, full England international, 27 year old with years of experience. Who suggested this would be the right transfer, Ole and Ed have blood on their hands cause this transfer takes the biggest Mickey since Sir Alex left. We all suggest there should be someone pacier beside Maguire to improve him (nonsense imo), why aren’t there any suggestions to remove Maguire altogether and get Lindelöf a proper defensive partner? Tbh I get nervous every time Maguire is on the ball, the guy just isn’t good enough. Congratulations to Leicester for robbing us, and Congratulations to Man City for Winning the title once again.Avery (MUFC)
…Somebody please explain to me why De Gea is dominating the headlines when Harry Maguire, 80 million captain, is it at fault for two of the goals?
Firstly, he sees the DCL run, and yet he is too stupid and slow to do anything about it, and then in the last minute of the game he keeps about five Everton players onside by himself? That’s the guy everyone claims needs a new partner to sort out our defence? No thank you.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Maguire is our worst defender, an average footballer overhyped by the British press (shock horror) who now refuses to ever acknowledge anything bad he does.
Almost every single game he has a massive lapse in concentration or makes a ridiculous mistake. It is the most obvious flaw of all time. I cannot for the life of me understand how he ended up as MANCHESTER UNITED’S CAPTAIN. Sickening. It has to be a joke.
I miss the days when I thought he might end up in jail for a year.Gaaavie, Cape Town
The rest of the defence is little betterOGS loyalty to some players has cost United points and will possibly end up losing them a title or a cup win. Between this loyalty/stubbornness and the fact that nobody on his coaching staff, including himself, knows how to set up a defence for a set piece, they will continue to drop points in matches they should have won. De Gea has lost his bottle as well as making mistakes, his pathetic effort to stop the last minute equaliser was laughable. Maguire and Lindelof together are a liability. Both are too slow, Lindelof also has no bottle (look at his effort to stop James goal) and is easily bullied and Maguire just makes to many mistakes. His positioning and decision making is also very poor.
Bailly may not be a world beater but he is better than both of them. Martial has had a stinker of a season and its only last few games that OGS has finally seen the light and started to play Cavani as his number one striker and look at the difference.
With regard to defending set pieces, surely someone in that coaching staff must be able to get them to do better. Time and time again they are conceding from set pieces. The free kick should have been easily defended yesterday. If you look at first header by Michael Keane, Luke Shaw is the guy challenging him. Why aren’t one of the 3 centre halves on the pitch marking him. Remember when they played Leeds and their centre half scored form a corner, Fred was the guy who was challenging him. They are joint second worse for conceding goals at set pieces. They have conceded 10, City have conceded 2. There is your difference in points.Ken, Cork, Ireland
Arsenal underachieving? Really?Sorry Tim, who won the FA Cup last season? Was it Mourinho? Solskjaer? Frank? Ermmm, no, it was none of them. So right off the bat, I think we know who has ‘achieved’ the most in the job so far.
As to Arsenal’s current league position, yeh, as Arsenal fans we know we’re not top 4 (or realistically even top 6 atm). But we also know that that’s the result of five years of abysmal mismanagement at the club, poor investments and a general lack of talent in the squad. We don’t have the money of United or Chelsea to buy our way back into contention, and many of us would grudgingly accept that Tottenham have gone about their business very tidily in the last 5-7 years, whereas we haven’t, so getting on par will take time. Leicester are a shining example of how this can take a club up towards the top now.
Arteta hasn’t been perfect. It is quite annoying him ostracising some young players and trying to persist with Willian (although persisting with Pepe has yielded dividends – Joe fwiw many Arsenal fans talking after the game would disagree Pepe was bad against Villa) but ultimately this season is a mulligan as long as he grows young players, doesn’t permanently break our new shiny toys (Partey, Tierney) and we have a really decent stab at Europa League.
Unlike Chelsea, we’re happy to commit to developing alongside a manager. That might be naive. But it never seemed like the Arsenal of late 2019 were going to get the pick of the coaches. We weren’t even getting the pick of the directors of football. So Arteta it is, and he seems to have the club and players pulling in one direction. And in the last few games (yes even the Wolves and Villa matches) there have been for us signs that we’re actually going somewhere.
Get a tighter wage bill. Have a set of genuinely stellar youth coming through. Promote talent and stop rewarding underperformance (definitely work in progress that one). Be smarter in the transfer market. That will get us back to Top 4, and that’s what we’re looking to hold the club to account for. So far they’ve managed a B- but given we were at a U a season or so ago, we’ll take it for now.Tom, Walthamstow