Keep your mails on Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool, VAR and anything else coming to [email protected]…
Regarding this Weds-Sunday lark currently getting Jurgen’s knickers in a twist, has the thought not occurred to anyone that there are 20 teams in this division so the fact that special dispensation isn’t given to the larger clubs on fixture schedules is a good thing no?
It is said that other European leagues give additional time for those returning from European exploits. How lovely. But what isn’t made clear is just how utterly processional a lot of those leagues are. Most have 1, 2 or 3 max potential winners in any given season and those are exactly the same names that would have been the favourites 10 years ago too. By bending over backwards for these all conquering heroes they are just reinforcing the status quo, rather than adding a bit of jeopardy into proceedings and levelling the playing field just a smidge more for those teams with infinitely less resources.
Leicester are currently embarking on a European odyssey themselves. It is already manifesting itself in our performances which are looking jaded with the Thurs-Sunday routine. Our squad is good but cannot cope with too many injuries or knackered players – we just don’t have enough quality to keep things at the right level. We can’t really complain though, we will just have to do what we can and enjoy the ride.
So I have not a smidgeon of sympathy for Liverpool at the moment. They have infinite resources and a 25 man squad that should be good enough to do the job no matter who they put out. It is so tedious to hear such excuses from Klopp (and the fans latching onto his words. I see they are playing Ajax tonight…..they should be ok though, they had 78 hours rest this time…..
Rob (our season is imploding earlier this year), Leicester
Get Zen, Jurgen…
Long time lurker, first time mailer. It’s a short one – with the attention Jurgen Klopp is getting, for all the wrong reasons, I can’t help thinking this is his Kevin Keegan, Rafa Benitez moment, but on long player, carrying on week after week. Well, game after game.
Aside from having a meltdown on TV, one of the real knock-ons here is that everyone begins to focus on the wrong thing. Players included. Yes, Liverpool have had freakishly bad luck with defensive injuries, and appear to be heavily in the minuses in terms of VAR decisions for and against. However it’s never a good sign when your manager starts picking fights during interviews. If we start to feel sorry for ourselves, then eventually we’ll self fulfil, rather than simply going again like the machine Liverpool were most of last season and the one before.
So Jurgen, please either get Zen before interviews, or send Pep Lijnders!
Fergie vs Klopp
Arguably the best football manager in the world. Theres alot wrong with Football but Jurgen klopp is not one of them. Gary Neville associating Ferguson style of deflection to Klopp. That’s not the first time I have come across comparisons between the two. Having watched both managers at work i was so caught up with the personalities.The side line antics.The media destractions I was surprised even shocked when I became aware of how tactically astute Ferguson was in his time and now klopp
Most of the mindless sheep will tell you how Wenger coached lovely football but Ferguson minipulated the Refs,how brilliant Guadiola is but Klopp is seen as bit crazy nothing but a cheerleader… LiVARpool only win with lucky decisions…and no injuries to key players.What if klopp prefers to rest players instead of rotating because it effects the Rythm and effectiveness of his style…maybe 3 subs means you can only make 2 changes without risking the third and going down to ten men.
Wally #UTB, loved your email, great to see some detailed championship coverage in mailbox! More please!
I take slight offense at Luton having limited prospects, its because all the championship clubs raided our youth team a couple of years ago! Cauley Woodrow (Barnsely) and Josh Da Silva (Brentford) both were in our academy along with Tyreeq Bakinson at Bristol City (another great prospect), not to mention Norwich who plucked Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis from our academy!
More recently though, James Justin was bought by Leicester following two great breakthrough seasons for us to be a starting defender for them! Or Jack Stacey who Bournemouth signed who will be playing prem football again next season!
For those that care Harry Cornick or Joe Morrell should probably be in the list instead of Sluga!
And Ivan Toney (Brentford) will be the next big championship signing for a prem club, the guy is so dangerous!
The safety sub…
Theres arguments on both sides about 3 subs Vs 5 and I don’t want to get into those. Instead I want to focus on some strange rationaling.
People who say klopp doesn’t have a leg to stand on regarding subs because he never uses all of them anyway are missing the point.
I used to play football management games and when I did, I never used all the subs. Why? If a player gets injured you’re down to 10 men. That’s why klopp and pep don’t use all their subs. The last one is a ‘safety sub’ in case of injury.
Increase the subs to 5 and I imagine both klopp and pep will regularly make 4 subs per game instead of 2. They will still leave the ‘safety sub’ because it’s madness not too. I remember houllier making all three subs on 60 mins once and then had two injuries so we ended up playing one player who could physically stand but was of no use and the other was stretchered off. That’s the scenario klopp and pep are trying to avoid.
Disagree on the subs issue if you like I think that’s fine, but to argue their argument is flawed because they never use full subs just shows a lack of foresight on your part.
A simple VAR improvement?
I have an idea that I think will improve VAR without the need to actually change much at all about the process.
Simply let us hear what the ref and VAR are saying to each other; like they do in rugby and cricket!
Lots of people saying decisions aren’t clear and obvious because the ref saw the incident, but you don’t actually know that to be true; unless you have asked him personally. Take the Wellbeck penalty – what if Atwell told the VAR he thought Robertson got a toe to the ball at same time as Wellbeck. That is then proven to be manifestly untrue by the pictures, and thus he changes his mind.
If we had the conversation, we’d all have a better understanding of how the decision was made and maybe we’d see less complaining about it (those who don’t know the fundamentals of the laws of football aside – it still amazes me how people can watch a sport without knowing simple things like the difference between serious foul play, and violent conduct – as shown by all the Pool and Utd fans who wanted Pickford sent off for fouls negated by an earlier offside/Maguire push by claiming, well if that’s true, I can just punch or headbutt anyone who’s offside!!).
And before anyone quotes the oft used David Ellery – Arsenal example, technology has moved on enough to be able to isolate voices and if you used the sound from the VAR’s end, anything said by players in the background would be easily mutable – plus, it’s not as if in these fan free days we aren’t hearing naughty and unsavoury words anyway!!
Paul (Spurs) T.Wells
I am so tired and bored of people giving out about VAR. The way it is implemented at the moment is not working due to a number of reasons that have been highlighted so many times. The one thing VAR cannot do is make referring decisions consistent, referees are human (I think), and being human means being unique and special, not a robot. Anyways how I would like to see VAR implemented.
1. A player is only offside when the part of their body that scored the goal is offside e.g. players hand/arm or head is ahead of last different but feet are not, through ball along the ground and they finish, goal stands. Offside is offside but I think how they are implementing the rule is frustrating and leads to fewer goals/excitement.
2. Each team to get a ‘Call’ in each half to request the ref to review a decision or nondecision.
3. VAR Ref no longer reviews and informs the ref that they may have missed something.
4. The ref to request VAR ref to review a passage of play
5. Ref to review replays in real-time first not slow motion
I have not mentioned the whole handball fiasco as I think that rule needs to be reviewed in full and should take ex-players’ opinions into account.
I am sure there is things I missed but I think that would improve the VAR experience, it is not perfect but I think it gives refs more power, managers some influence on decisions and fans more goals.
Paul (MUFC) Dublin
I know it sounds daft and kind of goes against the use of technology but when reviewing decisions for ‘clear and obvious error’ perhaps they should only be reviewed at full speed? That is all.
The weekly (daily?) VAR meltdown is delicious. All those years of bleating “we just want the right decisions to be made” has led directly to this. I’m glad we don’t have it/can’t afford it in the league I follow. 😂
I am sick of the constant whining about VAR! It’s insufferable.
At this point, I’d say let’s get rid of it to stop the incessant grumbling but, let’s be honest, the same whingers who constantly bang on about it would just bang on about the injustice of obvious errors going uncorrected… like they did before VAR’s introduction.
Like everyone, I think the implementation in the PL is awful (much better in Europe), and the new handball guidance is ridiculous (but that is a bad rule – nothing to do with VAR). Generally though, its just the same white noise of complaining from partisan fans that accompanies every single decision that goes against there club and always has.
Here’s a tip, if you’re complaining that a decision got overturned, not because it was the wrong decision but because it wasn’t, in your opinion, clear and obvious enough an error… it was a foul, let it go.
Lots of good emails recently about VAR, not the ones about the injustice for your particular team, or the time it takes for decisions, but just the fact that it is destroying the reason most of us loved football in the first place.
I have had conversations over the years (patronising I am sure!) with people who don’t like football saying that I feel sorry for them as there is literally no other moment in life that replicates (replicated!) the joy of a last minute winner – in what other walk of life would you find yourself 15 metres from where you were just standing, hugging a fat bloke you have never met before in your life? Now it isn’t worth celebrating until 5 minutes later when the slide rules have been applied.
The notion that ‘there is so much money now in football, we need to change things to make sure decisions are correct’ is so ludicrous when you consider that the reason there is so money in football is because so many people liked it as it was. As it is I suspect that lots of people are now considering giving up their pay subscription (particularly considering that if you choose to you can literally watch any game you want on a dodgy internet feed).
The money in football is generated by the people who watch it – the only changes (other than medical etc) therefore to the game should be ones that improve the fans experience, VAR is doing the opposite!
Joff, Barton Gooner
Maradona V England ’86
I’m a bit late coming with this email but i’ve just again looked at the highlights of the Argentina V England game in Mexico ’86.
A few observations:
- No reasonable observer could conclude that Argentina didn’t deserve to win that game – Shilton or anyone else can have no complaints – from a football perspective it would have been a travesty if England somehow went through. The chances created – hit inside of the post etc.
- One team was trying to create, play football and win the game – and the other was running around just to try and stop the opposition.
- Maradona was kicked all over the pitch and got no protection from the ref – as was the norm in those days. There should have been at least one red card – imagine if Maradona played in the modern era where there is more protection.
- Shilton – being the petty little man outjumped by a midget – calls Maradona a cheat; if you were being kicked all game long and you got no protection you would do the same if given the opportunity – he just was cleverer at playing outside of the rules than the English team
- Disappointed in the absolute legend and gentleman that was Bobby Robson for that and his team selection – he sacrificed creativity of Waddle and Barnes for workhorses to try to stop the opposition – in retrospect he got his selection badly wrong
- England never appreciated Barnes – he was the best player England ever had. In Argentina he would have been first name on the team sheet. You see the difference he made when he came on – created the goal and almost an undeserved equaliser – pure genius.
In summary Shilton; you were lucky to have the privilege to share a field with Maradona. Lineker showed himself to be the class act he is in his recollection of that game and the great man.
Talking head or talking sh*te?
“you’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
Say something once, why say it again ?”
Who’d have thunk it ? That Messrs Byrne & Co would have found the perfect words some 43 (yikes) years ago to sum up the career of John Nicholson ! The even earlier NYC prophet Andy Warhol allegedly foresaw an age in which everyone could be “famous for 15 minutes”; but surely, even he – an arch self-promoter – would have questioned why the wonderful democratisation of opinion ushered in by internet has led us to JN’s “pub bore polemic” routine as a kind of depressing wallpaper.
I have nothing against the man per se, I do not know him; he may be a wonderful guy, whose familial, charitable and social contributions are beyond reproach. However, chatter amongst my friends – and it would appear a decent number of those who write-in – suggests that he really needs a reality check in respect of his articles – and specifically his bombastic, “my opinions are right” delivery. His piece regarding Klopp/broadcast schedule complaints was simply the latest in a series of rambles in which our hero seeks to explain in as punchily condescending manner as possible, why the way he sees the world is right – and how others are wrong. Sadly, Socrates he ain’t (the Greek fella – not the late-great Brazilian) – in that his search for meaning would appear to extend only so far as using the trigger of Klopp’s “campaign” to re-hash his “football’s gone to sh*te” trope. Surely, one of the grown-ups at F365 must feel that we are getting close to the time when they say “no Johnny, enough…find a new theme…if you want to be really interesting…do us a piece defending VAR.. or in praise of the top-knot”. It is beginning to feel like one of those catchphrase-based sketches on Little Britain….we know the character (glum miserablist)…we know the catch phrases (“can we have our football back ?”) we’re just ready to move on.
Specifically on that article JN, some thoughts:
- professional football at the highest level is a marketplace – not a place of one oppressive dictator
- a fully-rounded analysis would note that the most power is consistently wielded by “the talent” (and their entourages); not even a global pandemic, with a huge assault on the finances of the biggest clubs could seriously imperil the earnings/value of the on field talent
- that power of talent extends somewhat to the managers/coaches of the best clubs – Klopp, Guardiola, Pochettino – they are a core part of the story – and their achievements in dragging English football to new heights/consistency is not simply a function of spending the money given to them by the media….or Solskjaer would have them eating his dust
- most pertinently though, the media is not “the boss”; rather it is a group of competing interests – always in some degree of ferment, juggling tech advancements, the need to invest long, while being paid short; they are just what their name suggests – a medium. The longevity of executives within these businesses is not high – few of them would recognise the power JN ascribes to them
Klopp is, as Chris Wilder astutely noted, a world-class politician. He is making these points and taking a stand – as it both suits him narrowly (useful to keep reminding people that he is juggling to stay top of the table/in Europe with reduced resources) but because he knows, like with other big issues, his is a voice which will be heard. Why ? Well because unlike JN right now, he is a talking head that people like to listen to, he connects, he talks sense.
Of course – please feel free to challenge all of the above by explaining to me that I have fallen into the ultimate trap; that JN is the talent in your game – as every shaken head and muttered ‘not again” is an indication that he is relevant, sparks debate and offers more monetisable clicks. If so, might I offer a challenge ? Could we maybe task JN with a series of articles along the lines of “defend the indefensible” from Fighting Talk ? I for one would like to see him try that.
To everyone at F365 (including JN!),
I just want to say thank you for the excellent website. I love your content and the range of articles you produce daily. 16 conclusions, after a late evening kick-off, still gets completed same day, which in itself is impressive.
I’ve noticed there was a bit of an exodus recently. One or two good ones got away but on the whole it’s improved the comments section immeasurably. They’re loss our gain you could say.
Thanks again, keep up the good work. It’s a solid crew you have there,
All the best,
Life begins at 30. So did this lot’s time in the Premier League. Have we missed any golden oldies?