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Liverpool fan ‘p*ssed off’ after Salah ‘stinker’; Arteta, Rangnick and…

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One Liverpool fan was still frustrated at some aspects of their performance on Saturday, while there’s criticism for Ralf Rangnick and Mikel Arteta…

Anything to add? Send your views to theeditor@football365.com

 

A frustrated Liverpool POV
Please pardon my supposedly “entitled” opinion as my team is fighting on three fronts and I should just be enjoying the ride:

1. Salah. What a Stinker of a performance, not only is Super Mo horribly out of form but has lost the basics of comprehension that passing the ball to your better positioned team-mate when the opposition is on the resurgence in injury time is the better option. Please Jurgen, give him some time off

2. Mane. Thank you for hitting form when the team is in dire need, you lovely humble human

3. Diaz = pace of Mane + dribbling of Suarez.
Hopefully develops his finishing to another level

4. Van Dijk. Apparently the best CB in the world but hasn’t been putting in matching performance (City’s second goal)

5. Thiago. Motm. MVP. Thank you Bayern.

6. Team. The team has been giving up goals out of sheer passiveness and this should be ringing the alarm bells. When the room for error is zero and given that the likes of ManU (Top4 in sight again), Everton (Fighting to survive) and Sh*t Spurs (Risk of Bottling Top4), the team needs to sort themselves out in managing the game
Priority: PL-FA-CL (If we make it to the CL final, then swap the CL for FA)

Don’t remember being pissed off after reaching another cup final. Silly me, Entitled me etc.
Mihir Nair. Mumbai. LFC. (Salah’s social media-emoji-happy-agent can f*ck off)

 

Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City
Dear Editor,

Not getting overexcited,  but wow. Make no mistake, we just blew City away. 3-2 flatters City.

They threw everything at us last weekend and at Anfield, but couldn’t get over the line.  We finally clicked and, just wow.

City may yet win the league and champions league,  but that was all Liverpool.

Thiago, Luis Diaz, Mane all out of this world. The other 8 also pretty bloody good.

Just enjoy this Liverpool team. It won’t last forever.

Cheers,
Marc

 

Overall that game couldn’t have gone a great deal better given its Man City. 3-0 up at half time is a score most teams could only dream of against them, even if they were missing Ederson and De Bruyne.

The first goal is a reflection on how great we have become at set pieces. Konate is 6’4” and really attacks set pieces. Having someone who is tall and jumps and attacks corners makes us so threatening. I actually felt it was a shame he didn’t start in the league game for the threat he adds from set pieces but then we barely had a corner that game.

One of Mane’s best games ever for Liverpool? The second goal he scored was ludicrous. Thiago appeared to have shat the bed when he chipped it up to him and Mané just smashed it home. The first goal might’ve been from 30cm but it’s a reflection on every aspect of his game; the sense of an opportunity and the speed at which he can close an opponent down. He still had moments of weirdness; failures to control the ball and bad touches but I guess to some extent that’s football at the top level under pressure.

Second final shout has to be for the Man City  fans who chanted through a silence for the victims of Hillsborough. Honestly leaves me wondering what on earth is wrong with a group of people who think everything has to be tribal. Final shout to all the empty seats as Man City failed to take up their allocation. Remarkable how they’ve managed to grow their revenues during covid whilst every other club shrunk and they do that when unable to even sell out for the biggest games of their season. You’d almost think there was something fishy about it all.
Minty, LFC

 

Well that was little bit nervy at the end but fully deserved for Liverpool, they blew them away in the first half and it was always going to be a big mountain to climb for City. Some strange decisions by Pep though, especially not changing it up when they were chasing the game. All in all it was a quality performance and it’s great to get to the final, I thought Luis Diaz was brilliant especially as he was getting kicked up and down the pitch with no protection from the ref whatsoever, he just kept jumping up and tormenting the defence, he’s going to be some player for us.One last note, I always thought there was a certain mutual respect between Liverpool and City fans and there certainly isn’t a bitter rivalry so what was the booing and chanting during the minutes silence for the Hillsborough victims all about? I never had city fans pegged for being classless mattress stains but you live and learn everyday I suppose.
MickT Liverpool

 

Firstly, as a City fan can I just say that the chanting during the Hillsborough tribute was thoroughly embarrassing.  Totally out of order.  I’m very pleased that City didn’t hesitate to put out a statement before the game had even finished apologising to Liverpool FC and everyone associated with it and condemning the morons responsible.  Not sure what comfort that will give the families of the 97.  I know every club has them, but God I hate the f***ing knuckle-draggers that we all have to put up with as part of football.

Back to the game.  As soon as I saw the team-sheet I thought Oh, crap.  Here we go again.  Far too many changes for a one-off match.

Maybe I’m looking back with blue-tinted spectacles, but I genuinely can’t remember a City team under Guardiola playing as badly as they did in that first half.  There was no movement, no urgency, lack of possession and too many passes (of the few they actually managed to put together) going sideways or backwards.  In short, everything Pep hates.  And yet, after such an abject 45 minutes, he changed absolutely nothing.  In fact, the only substitution he made in the whole game was a forced one when Gabriel Jesus came off injured.

Occam’s razor.  He gambled on a ‘b’ team getting a result and therefore being able to put out a stronger team if they, somehow, made the final whilst resting players before Brighton and Real Madrid.  The priority being both the PL and CL.  Nothing else makes any kind of sense.  Well, despite the 2nd half being better than the first (it could scarcely have been worse), it didn’t work.

I don’t wish to take anything off Liverpool’s victory.  It was well deserved (take a bow Mr Steffen), but I simply don’t recognise the Manchester City team that was on the pitch in the first half.

He, Guardiola, is something of a flawed genius, but I still think he is the best manager in the world.

He is renowned for wanting to win every competition he enters.  Klopp, with regards to English domestic trophies not so much and there is a consequent conversation to be had over which strategy has been the more successful in recent years.
Mark (We’ll see, won’t we?) MCFC

 

Lots of excellent points covered in 16 conclusions; just thot i’d add a some more (six!) of my own:

1. Impact of ucl opponents:
City and LFC were both able to field arguably their strongest teams in the PL match, a match in which City more or less dominated, but LFC were able to strike back and hang on for a draw.

But due (credit/ thanks?) to the perennial anti footballers from
Madrid, taking out Walker and KdB, forcing Joao Cancelo to the right and Zinchenko at LB… totally changing the complexion of the FA Cup game.

As deep a squad as City possessed after net spending £500-600mil, it’s interesting to see even City struggle to cope with such high intensity / high stakes games in rapid succession. And if even City have such problems, what more other teams who do not have access to near limitless spending capacity?

Ironically, City’s immense financial advantages (via financial doping), as well as others in the same bin: real and barca previously, PSG and Chelski previously, are only highlighted further via this series of high intense games against high level competitions.

2. KdB and VvD – when irreplaceable players get taken out:
I’m not sure if playing Jota unbalanced lfc (tho he yet again scored a critical goal!), or Fab just had a bad game, or … the whole lfc squad was playing under a mind fog. But as imperious as thiago was in the fa cup match, that dominant midfield player was KdB when both were on the same field.

KdB was doing what Thiago could do, which was repeatedly dominate, create and have decisive impact on the game, not just once or twice via goals created but repeatedly exerting his will on the game over and over again. Evading presses, turning upfield, and pinging the ball to dangerous areas; even making decisive goal contributions.

That was KdB last week, and Thiago this week. They’re both incredible players; kdB was able to do that last week against thiago becos City were dominating LFC; thiago was able to do it this week becos LFC were dominant.

Yet i cant help but wonder, how would the FA cup match have gone had KdB been on instead of Grealish? Grealish was a game changer for a Villa built around him; KdB’s the similar driver of the incredible vehicle that’s City. I’m pretty sure the first half doesnt end 3-0 with KdB running that midfield from the hybrid 8-10 position.

Which also reminds me, KdB is irreplaceable for City. And performances irreversibly suffer when such a critical cog is taken out (credit to city for coping couple seasons back when KdB was out). Just as LFC suffered last season with VvD our (besides 5 other CB injuries lol)

3. City playing Zac Steffen instead of Ederson:
Not sure why Pep felt he had to do this … i didnt read about an Ederson injury?

4. Incredible City/ Incredible LFC:
Even in a game when City were under the cosh and utterly dominated in a first half, with a corresponding dominant 3-0 score, City managed to pull back to 3-2 and make the game nervous for LFC.

That’s similar to last week, when LFC were under the cosh for large parts of the match, yet still able to strike back decisively twice to hang on and level the scores.

Both these teams are incredible mentality monsters. As incredible is the talent on the field, what’s intangible behind the ear lobes is even more impressive: not giving up even in the face of adverse situations. It’s incredible.

5. Decisive factors: fixture scheduling, financial doping, coaching

Just to reiterate. Even as a LFC fan, i cant help but feel that the FA cup match was swung decisively in LFC’s favor by the ucl fixtures. No one survives an AtlMad knockout tie completely intact, and … the biggest casualty was City’s most impactful player KdB. (Ruben Diaz’ and Aymeric Laporte absences also huge factors).

That said, City could mitigate better than most, with a £500-600 mil net spend. If even City with that financially doped spending couldnt navigate fixtures satisfactorily, what more teams with smaller net spends?

But credit to Pep’s coaching and of course his front office scouts. City have bought well (Everton and Man U have spent large and similar amounts, with a third or a tenth of the productive output). And Pep’s coaching has been able to make the most of his immense squad advantage.

LFC are relative paupers in the transfer market, so they’ve had to be more judicious in spending, and greater need to get transfers right. Kudos to LFC’s scouting department, but even more to Klopp, who’s been able to go toe to toe with Pep with a more limited squad.

6. Glad for a short hiatus of City-LFC matches
If both sides win thru, the earliest next meeting is May 29 ucl finals, and that’s a big if.

Whew. Yesterday’s final 4 minutes were not good for my heart. Only so much intensity one can take…. Even if it was a win yesterday lol So it’s good we dont play again for a while.
Gab YNWA

 

I was wondering if anyone else has noticed that, in his six years at City, Pep has played seven FA Cup and Champions League ties against other members of the big 6 and won… zero.
Shappo

Statues…
I’m starting a crowd fund soon to erect a Klopp statue at Anfield even though there’s still one and half a months more to go. It might all still end up in a great ball of disappointment but from the day Taki equalized spectacularly against Leceister in that League Cup quarter-final match, it has been the greatest four months of my entire footballing life supporting Liverpool since the mid-80s, period.

I don’t remember if there was even a season when Fergie’s United were this close to getting the quadraple, but I could be wrong. In all honesty, I think City will probably nick us to the League title by a point. Villarreal might also be our most tricky Champions League opponent to date, given how dangerous they are on the counter and managed by an excellent Cup specialist manager that is Unai Emery. (And I hope we give them enough respect unlike that arrogant Julian Nagelsmann, and Klopp knows better than to do that.) But these still don’t take the past exhilirating four months away. It feels like every game after the League Cup final win is a Cup final match.

And we have Jurgen Klopp and his extraordinary band of merry men (Edwards, Lijnders, Krawietz) to thank for this. Hmm .. alright, I think we’ll probably need to erect statues of that whole lot too! It can be done, right?
Veni (LFC, Singapore)

 

Life’s unsolved mysteries
Some things in life can or will never be explained, be they personal or work-related. To me, the biggest mystery is why Fernandinho never seems to get sent off despite persistent fouling.

It’s either luck, referee cowardice or incompetence or he has incriminating evidence of michael Oliver and Co. I want to say “fair play”, but I cannot – his tactical fouls boil my piss. The types of fouls he gets bookings or warnings for are those that any player from a smaller club would simply not get the same leeway.

I know it’s not every game but it seems really obvious.
Tom, leeds fan in Newcastle

 

Each day I walk home from work, I notice an array of cars with parking tickets secured under their windscreen wipers; they’ve fallen foul of the diligent traffic wardens. But not me, I have a Residents’ permit, which protects me from their evil censure.

Watching today’s game, I wonder if Fernandinho has an equivalent Foul permit. How else can one explain how he remained on the pitch. He should have had at least 2 yellow cards and a straight red.
Rob

 

Below average Rangnick & Pogba sucks
Not going to ramble on about the United match against Norwich today, as the team got the job done with a much-needed win (Although it required a 37 year old Ronaldo hat-trick against the 20th placed team in the league, shameful from the rest of the team) to keep Champions League hopes alive following both Arsenal & Spurs losing. Truthfully, the only players that looked somewhat decent today were Elanga and Mata when he came on…everyone else looked like a headless chicken.

However, Rangnick should take most, if not all responsibility that this game was almost another draw & slip up. Was he watching a different game when our midfield was being completely overrun from middle of the first half to the 65th minute? Looked like Dalot & Telles forgot they were full backs and instead thought they were wingers. It was obvious we were getting overran in midfield, since Bruno doesn’t know how to stick to a single position (someone needs to seriously train him on that), Pogba doesn’t care and is going to leave again for free and Lingard isn’t a CM, but ironically probably did better than both Pogba & Fernandes. The ONLY Defensive midfielder fit currently is Matic with other players injured and Matic doesn’t start. Fascinating to say the least. Rangnick completely underestimated Norwich and truthfully, they deserved a result after begging it back to 2-2 after being 2-0 up.

Rangnick never had what it took to become manager in the first place, even if it was a temporary position. And from what I can see in his press conferences and interviews, especially after games, it seems like he can’t wait to leave as manager at the end of the season. Is he bitter that he hasn’t been offered the job permanently from the club? Or does he just really dislike these set of players? Don’t get me wrong, the players are as much to blame as him and just aren’t good enough. Rangnick can’t be blamed entirely for this season in not being able to man manage some of these players, it seems like an impossible task, and overall results had already gone quite badly before he came in. However, tactically he is obsolete and not very good, and hasn’t got a clue what his best XI is. When you are struggling to pick a balanced team against Norwich, you’re clearly pretty average. Mentioned this before in a previous article, he clearly isn’t a coach anymore. He was probably a very good one back in the day or in Germany, but not anymore or in England.

A few players will leave this season due to contracts pretty much having expired and hope United can sell a few too, but with the salaries of some of the players it’s going to be much easier said than done. Lastly, I honestly can’t wait to see Pogba leave, as it looks like he finally is this summer. By far one of the most overrated players I have ever seen, in a United or Football shirt for that matter, he should play Futsal instead. Jose Mourinho was right about him, just seems like an awful influence in the dressing room and so toxic as well. I doubt many United players will miss him so goodbye and good riddance when he hopefully leaves this summer.
Rami, Manchester

 

Surely this is on Arteta
Good evening,

Interesting article re Arsenal having average players and thus being average.

The problem for Arteta is that this is his squad that he has built, he did not inherit this squad – not really. He has shipped out a huge number of players – many of them experienced players he appears to have fallen out with. You see Cedric playing right back because apparently Bellerin was not good enough, even though he was being linked with Barca (when they were very good) when Emery was at the club. Next thing you know he is being shipped out on loan to Betis (they are 5th in La Liga and he is said to be having a good season) having apparently had a bit of a falling out with Arteta.

He begged Aubameyang to sign a new contract after the FA Cup win, only to fall out with him 18 or so months later and let him leave for nothing. He practically begged Willian to sign on a free transfer, only to fall out with him and (luckily for Arsenal) Willian agreed to cancel his contract (according to reports). David Luiz also left after allegedly falling out with Arteta, which might have been considered a good thing at the time (him leaving) – but we seem to have a pattern emerging, no? Is Arteta capable of managing experienced players? There are others, but it hardly seems worth going into them and I do not want to write an essay.

Even promising young players have been shipped out – Torriera, Guendouzi both stand out as players Arsenal fans (and indeed neutrals) thought might go on to have bright futures in the Premier League – they are both now out on loan, Guenzouzi having fallen out with Arteta. It might be that Guendouzi has a bit of an attitude problem, but this is not a one off – just another on the rather long list of players Arteta has fallen out with. Maybe someone higher up is doing Arsenal a favour by ensuring they are only out on loan deals, maybe they still have a future at Arsenal – if/when Arteta is sacked of course.

Tell me this – bar two or three exceptions, are the players that they have brought in a clear upgrade on those that left? It seems to me Arteta has gambled on young potential and I cannot help but think back to the old League Cup days under Wenger in the noughties, when everyone raved about the Arsenal youngsters. Thing is, not many of them ended up playing that regularly in the first team – I wonder how many of this lot will still be there in 2 or 3 seasons? Then you have bonafide superstars like Saka, how much longer is he going to want to wait around for?

Keeping Arteta after the terrible run last season was questionable, keeping him after they failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in 26 years (or however long it was) seemed daft – I wonder whether he will finally get the boot at the end of this season? Probably also worth quickly mentioning that had it not been for United and Spurs (both having sacked managers) shooting themselves in the foot consistently this season and West Ham having a strong run in Europe (not to mention Leicester having a ‘mare), Arsenal would be a distant 6th or 7th at best.
Tim Harrington (QPR)

 

Arteta out again…
I dont think Arteta understands what Thomas Partey brings to the squad. He protects and links with the defence, carries the ball, and still links with the flair players upfront. The fact that Arteta thinks Sambi Lokonga can do same job says a lot about him. He started by doing the Odegaard and ESR as dual 8s in front of a  light weigjted Lokonga. A tried and tested failed combination. It failed spectacularly, no surprises there. Against Southampton, he started Nketiah, Nketiah hasnt shown he is  ready to play Premier league football. Meanwhile you have Pepe, one of the few people that has  managed 12+ goals under your ….

Enough rants, Arteta will stay coach for next season, he will be supported with £150m to buy new players, with luck we will get to the finals of the conference league, if we get a Pulisic shaped luck, we win the thing and qualify for the next Europa league seeing that we had finished outside European places in the league. Then we start trusting the process again after 4 consecutive finishes out of the top 6

..and to think that we denied Emery the chance to buy his own players, and then sacked him and employed this Pep wannabe
Kufre, Nigeria

 

Happy Easter
A happy Easter to all the Arteta-backing Arsenal fans out there! Stewie would like to offer a heartfelt apology for dissing his “profess”. Three consecutive PL defeats at the business end, just one (deflected) goal scorer in that run, dropped your only senior striker he’s so s*** (but you ditched a guy who’s got 10 for Barcelona!), playing up front with a joker who wasn’t good enough for the Leeds championship team previously. Would love to hear again from that mailboxer who wrote in after the January window to claim “Arsenal fans should be happiest of the Top 6”

All this playing just one game a week all season and out of the lot in Feb. Meanwhile, Moyes is making European semi-finals and competently managing a squad with a far inferior budget and wage bill. The Conte comparison is obvious too.

Still. Good news is it’s Chelski and ManYoo up next! Looking forward to the “Arteta will have overachieved if he makes top 8” chat. Incoming….
Stewie Griffin (Imagine thinking as a fan-base that Emery, with a higher win ratio, cv, multiple trophies etc, wasn’t good enough to back. But Pep’s cone-dude was!)

 

West Ham might do a sneaky yet
Cue “Nobody seems to want 4th” tropes.
Dave (Question for the mailbox, is Emmanuel Dennis worth a punt from one of the big boys?), Dublin

 

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