There is Liverpool confusion regarding what they are smoking over at Arsenal’s budgeting team. Also: why Alexander-Arnold is no midfielder.
Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If Man Utd do indeed sign Anthony from Ajax for a reported £80+ is will represent a huge outlay. Remember Utd fans mocking Liverpool for spending much less on a prolific forward in Nunez? Saying he was playing in a weak league etc, despite ignoring his Champions League scoring record. Anthony plays for the best, most dominant team in just as weak a league, and got the sum of 8 goals and 4 assists. Those are incredibly poor numbers.
I guess Utd just love to spend their money on poor right sided players (over £72m on Sancho). Will be over £150m in two players in Anthony and Sancho that provided a total of 11 goals and 7 assists between them last season. It’s their money to waste, so I guess they can do whatever they want with it.
Badwolf – I have to agree with you. I wonder myself where all our money is going. We have spent a lot on redeveloping the stadium and building a state of the art training complex (something Utd should take note of). Surely though this shouldn’t result in a sell to buy, balance the books method (hate to say it, NET Spend) to transfers.
I get it’s prudent, and the club is well run. Who knows how much money we have stashed away, but it’s not being spent on players. We will go and sign players for big money when the one we want is available. It just has to be balanced out in sales, which for me, is an issue. The club don’t seem willing to spend big money without making most of it back.
I’d like to believe it’s to future proof the club. We can’t match the spending of Chelsea, Man City, or Man Utd that is clear. However when we see Arsenal spending huge sums, and not making any on sales, then it does seem strange. Maybe in a couple of years Arsenals spending now will be a problem and they struggle.
As a club though, we should be able to certainly match teams like Arsenal’s spend. If this model keeps us competing for trophies, and prevents us getting into a situation like Everton, or worse, Barcelona, I am happy with that.
Keep the mailbox musings coming.
The stats do lie
People are forever using stats to prove their point even when they often don’t mean anything. It’s the last defence of the unimaginative and tantamount to Christians holding up the bible as proof of god’s existence.
That said, here are some stats to prove my point.
Liverpool’s last 4 competitive games:
Liverpool v Man United
Possession: 70% v 30%
Attempts: 17 v 13
Total passes: 645 v 273
Completed passes: 540 (83.72%) v 180 (65.93%)
Dangerous attacks: 84 v 36
Liverpool v Palace
Possession: 73% v 27%
Attempts: 24 v 7
Total passes: 741 v 274
Completed passes: 639 (86.23%) v 182 (66.42%)
Dangerous attacks: 87 v 18
Liverpool v Fulham
Possession: 67% v 33%
Attempts: 11 v 9
Total passes: 612 v 294
Completed passes: 473 (77.29%) v 181 (61.56%)
Dangerous attacks: 63 v 43
Liverpool v Madrid
Possession: 50% v 50%
Attempts: 23 v 3
Total passes: 611 v 525
Completed passes: 536 (87.73%) v 446 (84.95%)
Dangerous attacks: 87 v 27
On the stats alone you’re looking at 4 wins for Liverpool, 3 of them comfortable wins. The stats are very similar if not identical to those during periods where they’ve been incredible. Those bemoaning the loss of Mane need to remember that he was with them for those cup finals in which they scored a total of zero goals.
When it comes down to it, Liverpool have been shite for a few months, shite by their own standards, but shite none the less. Teams are on to them; the high line hasn’t been working as well. The injuries have impacted certainly but when you look at the players available and those who’ve played in each of those games, all of those should really have been a win. Rhetoric about more CM’s is just panic, in the long term yes more support is needed for a heavily injury prone area of the team, but it doesn’t excuse Liverpool’s results and performances over the last 10-12 competitive games.
A final note on United. It may be best for the club and supporters to calm down somewhat. Most I’ve seen seem to be getting carried away with themselves. United were decent against Liverpool but let’s be honest, most of that was adrenaline against a very poor Liverpool team. Are the players going to be that up for it against the likes of Southampton? I’m not sure. All I do know is that a poor performance against Southampton and it’s another 3 steps back.
Mike L, Merseyside (LFC fan who remembers the Hodgson era)
Why Alexander-Arnold is no midfielder
I read quite a few mails on this site and other forums which suggest Alexander Arnold should move positionally from RB/ LB (2 & 5) to a CM (6,8 or 10).
I will attempt to explain why this is quite difficult to achieve, at any level not just the premier league.
It is generally easier to move a player back from the front (forward to midfield) rather than (defence to midfield/ forward). The key difference, (when you team is in possession) between midfield players (using a 3 player midfield) and your defensive right and left back, is the scope of the pitch the receiving player can view and their ability to see movement and receive/ control the ball and play the pass.
When in possession, your (2) and (5) receive passes that they can generally view within 90 degrees. i.e. the pitch boundary line ends to their right or left (dead space), all other available playing space and players are either in front of them or to their side, baring their own GK. This allows them to receive passes to feet or just in front, talent permitting, facilitating the ability to pass forward into open space or teammates feet. As they can negate the dead space their focus is narrowed to the portion of the pitch they can see whilst receiving a pass.
In central midfield positions (6,8,10), players generally receive passes with their back to the opposing goal and opposition players. This limits their view/scope to their left, right and immediate front (back towards their own goal). In midfield you cant negate any dead space, and as such need to have your head on a swivel whilst receiving passes. Barring the top talent in the world, this makes playing first time or forward quite difficult.
Some players are not comfortable receiving passes with their back to goal or it negates their talent which is playing the ball forward early. I imagine Alexander Arnold is one such type. He prefers knowing the he can negate the dead space to his right and back, and allows him to focus only on his pass forward, to directly infront, left or infield.
As for positional changes from attacking positions to midfield, both general positions require receiving passes with back to goal, and thus makes it slightly easier to adapt players when they are comfortable already receiving passes in this manner.
Mark. Dublin (schoolboy underage coach with bad knees)
It can’t just be me that is wishing this seemingly endless transfer window will end.
For some reason, this year, it seems to have been open twice as long as before?
With working from home, and having SSN and the transfer berks on loop all day as white noise in the back ground, I found myself last night, a 43 year old man, watching Rangers v PSV hoping that Rangers would win to give Utd a better chance at signing Cody Gakpo.
A player I know nothing about but am now convinced, but with Antony (equally clueless) and Rashford, will rival Messi, Suarez and Neymar in their Barca pomp.
As an aside, Utd should be looking at Ibrahim Sanagre, but that’s by the by.
Deals, Over the Line, Talks, Advanced Talks, Interest in the Player, Loan with an Option, Add Ons, Up Front Payment, Frenkie De Jong, Levers, Agreed Personal Terms.
Make it stop.
The League Cup
Despite our terrible record in the league cup, I don’t think it should be retired anytime soon.
My solution would be to prevent teams who have qualified for Europe from entering.
It would rid the competition of glamour ties involving the top six but it would also provide an opportunity for silverware, and a route into Europe, for everyone else.
And who knows? It may also mean the competition may be prioritised by teams outside the top six if they have a chance of winning the thing.
It’s almost a decade since Swansea’s league cup win – now’s the time to make this sort of thing a more regular occurrence.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
There was a mail earlier this week about how 5 subs might mean being subbed at half-time is no longer so bad, and it resonated with me because I’d recently been thinking about something similar.
What if having 5 substitutes brings an end to one of football’s ultimate embarrassments; the substitute who gets subbed off.
Currently, the only times this is devoid of shame is if the sub themselves get injured (acceptable) or at the end of extra-time to allow a penalty taker on (borderline, but just about avoids being laughed at).
Many clubs now employ a high-energy pressing game. It is effective but can of course be quite tiring for the players. How often have we heard commentators say something like “Will they be able to keep this up for 90 minutes?”.
But now, the extra options from the bench could mean some players designated to absolutely give everything, with the plan to replace them with a similarly tasked sub.
But will we ever see someone do it for 30 minutes, be subbed off by someone else who does the same and comes off after an hour of the match?
If that happens, the days of someone inevitably bringing up Ali Dia could be over!
Joking aside, it could be useful. Premier League players run an average of about 10km per match. But if 3 players could share the load and put in maximum effort for 30 minutes each, you could end up with maybe a combined 15km which would certainly help when it comes to pressing, tracking back etc.
We do talk about Bruno
Once the ball has crossed the goal line for a goal the next kick must be taken by the team that concedes.
Why are players from the scoring team allowed to grab the ball at all, let alone try and grab it from the hands of a player whose team have the next kick?
Refs need to clamp down on the needless skirmishing for the ball – just get back and get in position, then the ref can see if there’s any time wasting going on.
All the needless shenanigans in the goal mouth tend to do is slow things down.
That said I’d love to have seen Salah try and take the ball away from Big Jack back in the day…
Steve from the Gelderd End
You’re wrong Lewis, Busby Way. I would hate Fernandes just as much if he were playing for us as I do if he were playing against us. In fact, I would hate him more if he were playing for us. He’s an embarrassment.