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Liverpool had it coming…
Looks like Liverpool have been dealt another dodgy card on the injury front.
Before giving some broader thoughts on all this let me wish Joe Gomez a solid and speedy recovery from whatever injury he has now incurred – he’s a really good sort and someone who I hold in the highest regard both on and off the pitch.
I feel we all need to recognise that Liverpool have been particularly fortunate with their injury record over the past 2 or 3 seasons in terms of not sustaining long term injuries to key players. This has undoubtedly been a key factor in the success we have enjoyed in that time. It could never last in that vein and now we have to navigate through some choppy waters for a period. We can’t sulk or feel hard done by in this regard (just the ying-yang of life playing out).
Hindsight will be raised by the “told you so’s” – yes, it would probably have been sensible to replace Lovren with an established CB in the summer, but we don’t really know what deals Liverpool were pressing to get over the line and whether Klopp saw the Thiago purchase as a trigger for Fabinho to operate as flexible cover at CB, so could ease off that transfer search to some extent.
But we now find ourselves in the position where we have one recognised senior CB available for the foreseeable future who happens to be the most historically injury prone – not ideal.
Pace and accurate progressive passing are key qualities that have served Liverpool well in recent years at CB – if these can’t be sustained, then a change of approach from Klopp may be on the cards.
In terms of the guys that have played recently after the VVD injury it looks like Rhys Williams has pace, but needs to build his confidence up re passing (lots of short lateral balls to Gomez in the games recently.. totally understandable). Nat Phillips had a great game against West Ham and is the one most suited to the physicality of the premiership … not sure on the pace front though.
Both have done admirably in the games they have played to date, but I doubt both would play as a pair if (god forbid) Matip gets another injury.
One would play alongside a reassigned midfielder – next in line in this regard after Fabinho has to be Henderson.
So what do we do in January ?
What we shouldn’t do is throw money at a short term fix transfer. We should either bring forward a long term desired purchase (Upamecano is hopefully in their sights in that regard) or look for a loan option from Europe for someone ideally not cup tied in Europe.
There has been some recent click-bait paper talk re Garay who is immediately available – great player .. no pace (+ he’s 34 and just coming back from a long term injury). Not sure that would be the preferred way to go.
Will close by saying that we as fans need to glass half full about all this – let’s see this as a great opportunity for inexperienced players to be tested under the greatest pressure and hopefully take significant strides forward career wise. That’s great for the club in the longer term.
Sure, our chances of silverware this season would have reduced as a result of recent injuries but they are still higher than most … let’s be grateful and enjoy the ride.
Sparky, LFC (let’s chuck $20m at manure for Phil Jones … errr .. tell you what.. let’s not)
Devastated as a Liverpool fan for Joe this morning. Coming off the back of Virgils injury it really is devastating for the players first, club second and me a very distant third.
The only thing keeping me going is that maybe this is a chance for this team to prove its greatness even further.
Losing your two first choice centre backs for a full season to full season knee injuries is incredibly bad luck. We are effectively playing with one hand tied behind our back as a club.
Can we still win the league without a first choice central defensive partnership? Would that be an achievement that would win the admiration of the football public?
I’m sure it would.
As for the other cretins who live in comment sections I’m sure it won’t, some other lame excuse or begrudgery or lies will be generated to hit at this team and it’s wonderful manager.
I for one am in, let’s try and win this league with one hand tied behind our back, bring it on.
Some where Raymond Verheijin is rubbing his hand together cackling in between saying I told you so.
Dale (could this be like Klopps final Dortmund season?) Leeds
Ole developing players
According to Minty, LFC Ole has never developed players at United. I’m sure you’ve missed the several mails pointing out that he in fact has. We can go back and forth here and never reach a conclusion, since this is somewhat subjective. But I have to ask, why didn’t Klopp just…you know….improve Moreno, Lovren, and Karius to the levels of Robertson, Van Dijk, and Alisson.
Maybe you see my point, but if you don’t then let me reiterate. Man United’s CEO/owners have not made the consistent levels of investments to improve the team and the squad to move it closer towards challenging for trophies. To invest in one year and then cut off the money which would have addressed key areas of requirement in the squad is in effect going backwards, considering the investments made by clubs around, above, and even below us in the league. Cavani, VdB, and Telles are IMO good signings, but we still needed a RW, CB, and CDM this summer. We can talk about Ole’s tactical understanding of the game (which is decent enough, if not ‘genius’) all we want, but even Pep/Klopp, or anyone for that matter needs better players more than anything else to win stuff.
MM, Man United, India
I am aghast and flabbergasted at non-Manyoo fans shouting from the rooftops with arguments about how Ole is a shit coach!
You lot are missing a trick here! DO NOT SAY THAT! Let them United fans live in their delusion that Ole is going to part the seas and lead them to the Promised Land! Surely, that is in our best interests, for the likelihood of Ole eventually getting United relegated is far higher than him ever winning any honours!
Shahzad (no, not that other one who keeps getting published), Gooner in exile in Eire
I don’t want to get into the weeds of the already tedious Gerrard vs Scholes debate that’s been dominating the mailbox recently, but can we please PLEASE stop using trophies won as a key metric to separate players? By that logic, we could just determine the best players in PL history by simply counting the trophies they won and then lining them up in that order. I can promise you that the results would be less than satisfactory.
Turiyo Damascene. Kigali, Rwanda
I never see the fascination with arguing who the best midfielder is, or best defender because they aren’t a monolith, they work in systems. It’s not like Forwards and Strikers who are given a freer rein and can express themselves fully. So, with that in mind, I always tend to look at combinations in systems which are the best. For me the best Midfields in PL History are;
Liverpool 2008; Macherano, Alonso, Gerrard the ultimate double pivot with Xabi and Mascerano providing the platform for Gerrard to maraud and be Gerrard. They didn’t win anything, but you wouldn’t with Alberto Rieira and Dirk Kuyt as your wingers.
Chelsea 2005/6; Makelele anchoring a midfield with Lampard and Essien as 8’s earning Lampard his 2nd place in the Balon d’Or. Chelsea’s best PL Midfield and one who defined most Chelsea fans idea of what a midfield should look like. Chelsea with Fabregas and Kante in Conte’s 3-5-2 was also unbelievable even though the midfield wasn’t the defining characteristic of that team, like Liverpool at the moment.
City 2013/14: Fernandinho, Silva, Toure with Toure being the tour de force and Silva’s guile.
Man Utd 1999 era; Giggs, Scholes, Keane, and Beckham, the ultimate 4-4-2 especially when you considered how the full backs operated, Irwin let Giggs play higher up but Neville overlapped Beckham who to allow him to play deeper, and ping longer cross field balls. This was a truly balanced midfield which won everything and had the longevity none of the others had.
It’s also interesting to think how older midfielders would’ve worked in different teams; Scholes was mentioned as a Barce 08 player, not sure who he would’ve replaced because Xavi was better than him and Iniesta and Biscuits (I know) did different jobs maybe he could have been Iniesta pre-Iniesta but by 08 he didn’t have the legs. He certainly wouldn’t get into a Chelsea 05/06 midfield; Lampard wouldn’t have made it in a Barcelona 08 Midfield because they were there to support Messi not a traditional 9 or a Utd 4-4-2 because he wasn’t at his best defending in a two. Conversely fast forward to 2020 tactical styles, Giggs wouldn’t be a left winger in 2020 he’s be a left wing forward or play on the right, Becham may find himself at Right Back and Makelele at centre back.
Also, for what it’s worth, anyone not giving an honourable mention to N’golo Kante in a “Best Midfielder” list is wrong.
Aston Taylor (CFC)
Paul Elliot for the FA?
I think we can all agree that Greg Clarke was left with no alternative but to resign from his role as FA chairman. His recent comments were outdated, hurtful and simply not appropriate from a person in that position of authority.
Many including current England Manager Gareth Southgate have supported the idea of Paul Elliot being considered as a candidate for the now vacant role of FA chairman.
It is worth considering that in 2013 Paul Elliot resigned from his roles as a member of the FA’s judicial panel and as a nominated member of UEFA committees as well as his role as a Kick It Out trustee. The resignation was as a result of a failed business venture with former Charlton defender Richard Rufus. It was reported at the time that Elliot had texted Rufus the words: “Ur (sic) a stupid man n*****”.
In 2014, Paul Elliot was offered a role by the FA on its Inclusion Advisory Board. On accepting this new opportunity he apologised for his previous behaviour saying “I used inappropriate language in anger. I immediately apologised unreservedly and profusely to my family, community and stakeholders and resigned from various roles”.
I believe we should show zero tolerance to racism, and zero tolerance to those who use language in a way that is outdated, hurtful and not appropriate. On this basis, I’d like to ask The Mailbox, should Paul Elliot really be considered a credible candidate for the role of FA chairman?
Two goals from Leigh Griffiths at 90+ mins to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, one directly from the corner flag with the last kick of the game. Utter scenes ensue.
So the France teams manager recently said that Pogba isn’t being played in his best position at United. Yet he plays Pogba in virtually the same position in the French team.
Of course Pogba ended up underperforming in the match last night as well. Now we can hope that Real Madrid or Juve take Pogba off our hands.
I’d say we’re pretty universally agreed (Ronaldo fanboys aside) that scoring bucketloads of international goals is considerably easier in the past 10/15 years than it used to be. Obviously the impact of sports science on career longevity is another key factor, but the number of players becoming their country’s all-time top scorer in recent memory gives it away. These used to be unattainable records, but they’re tumbling one after another (Romelu Lukaku, Robert Lewandowski, David Villa, Wayne Rooney, Miro Klose, Robbie Keane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edin Dzeko, Robin Van Persie, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Lucas Podolski, Edinson Cavani and Olivier Giroud have all flown up to numbers that were reserved for the rarest of goalscorers until recently).
This doesn’t even mention the obscenity of Ronaldo’s record. Masked by the statistic that over 80% of his goals have come in competitive matches is the fact that it is heavily buttressed by goals against Andorra, Lithuania, Armenia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Estonia and, em, Sweden. It’s not quite Ali Daei scoring 108 goals against Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Laos, and undoubtedly Ronaldo has scored a lot of goals against better opponents, but it does feel like these games cheapen the international calendar considerably.
The inevitable counter-argument is that football is more professional now than it’s ever been, faster-paced, more physically demanding with much higher technical levels, and that international goals are likely harder to score if anything. Which brings me to my clinching final argument. The deal-sealer. Michy Batshuayi has scored 21 goals in 32 games for Belgium. End of discussion, the international calendar should be dramatically trimmed to give games and goals more meaning (and to give much-needed self esteem boosts to the elite men of the smaller European states).
Is Sergio Ramos modelling himself on various figures from Russian history? He always used to look like a young Joe Stalin, but with his new scraggly beard and greasy centre-parting, he’s become the spitting image of Grigory Rasputin.
Seriously, his uncanny ability to look like notorious figures from history is like performance art!
Lee (Just had a Nissin Cup Noodle for lunch, fabled Official Noodle Partner for Manchester United. Teriyaki flavour. It was nice.)
Been reading the features on Football365 for ages now but nothing, and I mean nothing tops
Whoop, whoop – that’s the sound of Nampalys.
Had me pissing myself at my desk – well done
Whoop, whoop – thats the sound of Nempalys?
Jesus Maradona Christ, you guys!
N.V.M. (Whoop whoop)
Mark Smith and Matt Stead know all about disappointments. Join them to discover that Chelsea are the only Big Six club without representation on this week’s top ten.
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