Liverpool made a ‘major mistake’ handing Mo Salah a new contract, while Man Utd fans are worried about ‘atrocious’ Jadon Sancho…
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Forest vs Liverpool
Well that was proper shite after two incredibly positive wins on the spin which literally looked like they were turning the whole season around. Then today a game devoid of any positives really, save for the fact that Alisson is bloody good.
Gomez had such a stinker. I said the other day he has a brain fart in him and today he had no idea what he was doing. Didn’t know when to stay, or go and when to be aggressive and kept giving the ball away needlessly. It might have made more sense to play him at right back where there’s a bit less responsibility. Phillips did enough two seasons ago to justify being given some games right now.
Klopp is at the point where he’s obviously short of players but he needs to consider some kind of tactical change. The 4-4-2 looked better with Nunez and Salah playing close to each other but today with Firmino dropping deep and the forest team congesting the Center Salah looked very lonely.
Questions do need to be asked about training by right now. The team played 60 games last season, had a compressed pre season abroad (which Klopp hates) and now an intense set of games before the World Cup. This should all be shaping our methods but we seem to keep having muscle injury issues which makes me wonder what’s going on.
Watching the end of the Forest v Liverpool game, Peter Drury pointed out that although Forest would still be in the bottom three despite the win, it was more about the confidence it would give them and how they would surely kick on from here. But does that ever really happen? I recall Norwich beating Man City a couple of years ago at this point in the season. It was described as ‘such a boost to their survival hopes’. Yet for the rest of the calendar year, Norwich only picked up one more point and of course were relegated the following May. It seems pundits and commentators can’t recognize when it’s simply a team lifting their performance for one big game occasion, and nothing more.
How did we lose that one? Chance after chance to do something in the opposition box and time and time again we somehow manage to fuck it up. Unreal composure from a team that has won quite literally everything. Salah quiet. Van dijk with questionable decisions. Shots crosses corners so many situations on or around the box that made no sense.
Should’ve easily won that one because one would’ve very much led to two.
To be fair, liverpool only looked like that after Forrest already scored and decided to defend their lead with their lives. Before that we never looked like getting close.
Nik (didn’t watch city or west ham so maybe I am the problem), Munich
My hot take on the Liverpool team is that they are in a state of major transition. From the front:
Forwards are massively inconsistent. We can all tell Salah is on a downward trajectory. Call it the money, mental motivation or physical issues he’s just not performing compared to previous seasons. Scoring 3 against a lower championship level Rangers and scoring 1 from 3 gilt edge chances vs City is the absolutely minimum you would expect from a £350k per week ‘elite’ forward. I genuinely believe giving him this contract was a major mistake. Nunez looks good but super raw, Jota was going through a major goal drought (before anther injury) and Diaz also inconsistent. Firmino is never going to score many and should be a bit part player at this stage.
The midfield needs major refurbishment and is hugely reliant on an injury prone and ageing Thiago. The Ox and Kieta take up squad places but barely play, paid big salaries and contribute little or can be relied on. Hendersons legs are literally gone and Fabinho appears to have regressed dramatically this season. The idea that Bellingham would move to Liverpool is fanciful. But if Liverpool were to drop £100m plus on him that would be all the money gone that is needed across the team.
Much has been written about the defence but when a 37 year old is your best performing player you know you’re in trouble.
If it wasn’t for Allison we’d be 5 places lower in the league.
All in all, not too dissimilar to where united were in early OGS….
I’m not suggesting Klopp out but this team is definitely coming to an end of a cycle.
Too sloppy in the final third
Chelsea vs Manchester United was a disappointing result for United and shows how much we are lacking a goalscorer in the team.
The first half was mostly Manchester United except for a small period near the end of the half when Kovacic came on. United looked good and just too quick for Chelsea but were a bit sloppy in transition and still lacked clinical finishing from the front three. If we had an out-and-out striker I feel we could have been up by 2. The midfield of United was very solid and calm with Casemiro and Eriksen playing and helped keep the ball in Chelsea’s half for most of the first half.
the Second half was not the same game. Chelsea overtook the game and was in control for most of the half except for a couple of counterattacks from United. The Penalty was sloppy to give away from McTominay. Casemiro saved this game from being a disappointing result with the late goal and adds another element to his game that is already spectacular. Elanga brought some energy and I feel maybe deserves a chance over Sancho at the moment as Elanga is fast and good at scoring on the run.
Overall, The game started promising like the Spurs game but still shows that United are not at all near the finished product. I feel we need an out-and-out striker in January as we have been too wasteful with our chances and the only two strikers we have are either an injured Martial or a wanting to leave the club Ronaldo. Hopefully, Varane is ok as he is crucial to the team and our other options in defence don’t give me any confidence to come in and take his place. But hopefully, we can pick up momentum in Europe midweek and be better against West Ham next sunday.
Max Of Whitegate
Man Utd realisms
10 games in is when knee jerkery can be replaced with actual realisms about a team. I meant to write in then but now utd have played 11 with that 11th going a long way to confirm my thoughts and take away some of the gloss from the spurs performance that might have put an overly rose tinted view on accomplishments thus far.
The best thing of utds revival is that the sum of their parts is adding up. Many of the same players who were poor last year are now playing to their potential. And the additions have made a big difference. Utd have a style, are passing and moving well and it is an attacking style.
The defence is solid. Wow, after years of being mediocre at best even with 2 defensive midfielders in front of them, this is monumental. Now we don’t need 2 defensive midfielders to constantly defend…..unsuccessfully. The options in midfield are so much better, Casemiro is quality and can allow Fred to be further up the pitch. McTominay is the one losing out at the moment and maybe this competition for places is what he needs to realise he needs to step up a little. Creatively, clearly Erikssen is a boost but that backline improvement is what allows the midfield to be able to think more about going forwards than retreating.
Out wide, Anthony is showing his class while Sancho is still off the pace. However, Rashford, Martial or Elanga should have taken that starting place from Sancho had we not had a lack of a quality player up front who Rashford and Tony are now filling in for. Cavani would be perfect in this team, unselfish, great finisher and still had the energy and desire to press.
A shame Ronaldo looks to have passed his best before date in this team and I’d love him to sign off with a couple of goals before departing in January. Utd will likely need to spend big in the summer to get 1, preferably 2 quality strikers this squad needs.
On the negatives, other than CR7, 165 million worth of AWB, Maguire and Donny needs shifting, if we can recoup 50 mill for that lot we’ve done well (I still rate AWB even if no-one else does). With Varane injured Maguire might have one last chance to see if he’s the answer. He’s not. Too slow for a top side, hope he has a good world cup though and gets bought.
In conclusion, along with everyone else we’re way off City but in the mix with the best of the rest. The strides ETH has taken with this team have passed all expectations. Top 4 is now a very realistic aim and I think the fight for 2nd to 4th is between Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle and ourselves with Spurs and Chelsea looking the least likely to go the distance. If we continue to improve and get a bit of luck we might have a chance of a cup win if City don’t win all they’ve entered (they’re not in Europa). Hoping we put Rashford on the wing and give a couple of our youngsters a chance upfront at least in cup games. ETH needs to bring through his own youngster(s) and with the style of play adopted I’m sure that will come soon. We won’t be winning the league next year but let’s hope we can give City a better game later in the season and start to close the gap.
Jon, Cape Town (Also wondering if Liverpool not realistically fighting for top spot in the league makes them even more dangerous in Champions league to beat Pep to the one he really wants. Post World Cup tiredness though will be good for a rested Haaland)
Man Utd could have won with a little tweak
A few things stuck out to me when watching the CHE vs MAN U game. First of all was how atrocious Sancho was. The system seems to be setup is a very good pressing team but also the passing style between the players was a beautiful to watch. Some of them seemed to have a telepathic connection and it was one touch. Sancho would either not make the run, loose the ball, or try that stupid dribble where he thinks he will beat 2 or 3 opposition defenders by himself. He wastes too much time dribbling about and ends up losing the ball it’s quite annoying.
Second take, It’s amazing how quickly Graham Potter has got this Chelsea team playing as a cohesive unit. I do think he countered the Man U offensive very well, because they were drowning before they made that tactical change.
Third take, Eriksen getting gassed the more the game progresses. He was extremely slow for a professional footballer, getting easily by-passed by his contemporaries. I believe we all know about his condition but he was just lumbering out there after 35 minutes truth be told.
Fourth take, The penalty was a penalty, because McTominay didn’t it so openly and deliberately that the rules had to apply. That’s called being dumb. Almost like a dumb thief, who steals the crown jewel, with the cameras all seeing. That was akin to a rugby tackle, and not hidden by view. All I can say is , that tackle always happens, but you can’t make it obvious to the world.
Fifth take, Man U have come on leaps and bounds, Chelsea absolutely destroyed Man U last year with Carrick in charge. It ended up as a draw, but just because Tuchel couldn’t penetrate the Man U, deep lying, resolute defence, . I believe both teams have at least, the same level of quality on the squad, but Man U we’re so fluid on all areas except attack.
Dave(the chess-play mastery was awesome),Somewhere
Mason Mount will be a liability for England at the World Cup. His petulant behaviour will be punished by referees who don’t care who he is or what club he plays for.
Also, where is the indignation from the football press regarding United fans with tickets who were not allowed to attend the game yesterday?
Lack of foresight…
I don’t like saying I told you so. Not interested in that kind of stuff. But I was pretty insistent that everyone saying it will be between City and Liverpool were not looking far enough. Saying the teams that challenged for the title this season will be the same teams to challenge next season is not prediction but a lack of foresight. Saying the teams that got top 4 this season will be same teams to get it next season again while occasionally adding one team such as Arsenal as possibles is not prediction but a lack of foresight.
Speaking of lack of foresight, I am guilty of that, I did not think the title will be only between City and Liverpool but I expected Liverpool to be the closest contender. How wrong I was. Liverpool need to fix their midfield fast. They are still good but they are incapable of protecting their defence as they used to. If they intend to evolve and not just continue pressing teams to death, a good positional play assistant coach. Learn to systematically break down teams and get more players like Thiago in.
I am someone who said at the start of the season that Arsenal can get 85 points this season, but I now think I have underestimated them. Their squad is strong, stronger than I first thought. Players like Nketiah, Marquinhos, ESR, Vieira, Lokonga, Tierney and Tomiyasu are very good players but don’t make the first 11. I now think they can win the title. Man City are good, but I don’t buy the idea that you can’t compete. Yes, Yes, Yes, you can compete. Is it unfair that they can just do anything they like using probably not so clean money? Yes. Is football fair? No. Is football a beautiful game on the inside? No. Deal with it. Recruit smartly, develop your academy, keep a sustainable wage bill that allows you to let go of who ever is not up to it but protects your assets at the same time, define your philosophy as a club and employ according to that philosophy, constantly try to evolve and get better. Arsenal have done most of these things and they have gotten them right. It is that simple.
Please, can anyone remind us of that mail that said Man Utd will only get one win after like 10 games after the debacle of [the stadium of] light. I don’t remember the details but I know it was from a Liverpool fan. He was probably being sarcastic but given their situation and what happened in the match immediately after that, that mail did not age well at all. You have to find it for us. But really, ten Hag is a more brilliant coach than I thought. He started out in his preferred style but quickly realised his team was not ready for it yet. Of course, at that time, we thought he realised his team was *incapable* of playing this way. Turns out he just literally went back to basics and started building more layers on top.
The Liverpool game was purely defence and counter, no build up or pretty passing. You would think he was doing well to salvage the situation, but by the first 10 minutes of the Arsenal game, you realise there was something going, they couldn’t sustain it any more than that though. By the Everton game, the team had re-learned playing out from the back and dominated the first 45. By Tottenham, it was there throughout. And the good part is, he found a way to get results throughout. The defence is rock solid, they have played 11 and conceded 16, but 10 of those goals came in 2 games. So 6 goals conceded in 9 and one of them, a penalty. I did not imagine it at the start of the season. But given how well they have developed, I think top 4 is possible, especially if Martial stays fit and in form. Man Utd have played 11 games and 9 of those were against teams currently in the top half. We have played all the top 6 and Newcastle, by far the hardest stretch of games and we are just 1 point behind 4. Hopefully, we go on a run now. We still need De Jong badly, he would be our only ball carrying midfielder and will make a perfect pair with Casemiro. The priority is goalkeeper where we need to do everything possible to get Diogo Costa and it may not seem right, but to truly challenge, we need a world class attack. Players like Leao, Felix and a Saka type RW will be extremely deadly. We should plan to sell our current options in the future.
That roar to the fans from Casemiro after scoring late on was fucking brilliant.
You do love to see it.
So I’m assuming that the FA are going to be rushing to censure ManYoo for failing to “ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion” after the entire squad surrounded the ref to scream in his face following the award of that penalty? Or do they get a pass because their captain is an odious little sh*t and it’s just par for the course at this point?
Ryan [three guesses which club I support]
Fucking cheat codes ruining it for the rest of us!!