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I dislike Martin Skrtel
Before I start this mail, I want to make it very clear that I dislike Martin Skrtel. He is a cowardly sh*thouse who has outlasted 4 Liverpool managers and makes everyone next to him worse. I know what I’m about to write is biased and I feel being upfront about that is the best way to go.
Last night Lovren & Sakho played together in a 2 for the 1st time since Spurs away last season (if they have played together in a 2 since, feel free to correct me) and I want us to persist with it until either a) rotation is necessary or b) one or both of them get injured. I really believe this could be our best centre half partnership available.
Many people will point towards Rodgers’ persistance with Lovren as being one of the key aspects of his downfall but I believe it was his persistance of playing him with Skrtel that did the most damage. Now, he’s not the smartest player and it could be said that he backs himself a little TOO much, going charging around and getting caught out. But I’d rather that than Skrtel’s constant backing off and tendency to have a nice little wrestle with the opposition.
You never know, being next to Sakho might calm Lovren down. Last night he didn’t do much wrong, he came out and tried to defend on the front foot a few times and it didn’t always work but I’d rather we had defenders willing to do that. Plus, one of the biggest drawbacks to his game has been his tendency to overrate his ability, trying massive switched cross-field balls when he can’t really pull them off & trying to play his way out of danger and failing miserably (West Ham comes to mind) & playing in the less comfortable right hand centre half position might force him to switch on more and simplify his game.
On another note, unbeaten in 6 and 3 wins on the bounce in all comps. Happy with that.
Kris, LFC, Manchester
Delph is a loser
Seeing as Manchester City are beginning to be formidable both in the league and in the continent. Fabian Delph is the obvious loser here. He left Villa hoping to go on and establish himself at a top club competing in the Champions League.
Unlike Sterling, he doesn’t enjoy the luxury of being the club’s record signing who can’t be benched. He is fast becoming a squad player and not a key player. But looking at City’s form already this season, it will be difficult for him to break into the first eleven on current evidence.
His competitor for the defensive midfield berth Fernando has adapted this season and is performing more better than last season.
He isn’t helped by his frustrating injury woes. So Fabian isn’t going to displace him from the team anytime soon barring injury. And with the Euros coming he would definitely need plenty of game time to be considered (to play a key part at the tournament). Gametime he won’t get at City.
Perhaps he would get game time in the latter parts of matches already won (like he did against Sevilla) and domestic cups where fringe players are mostly used.
Though he still has the best part of his playing career ahead of him and he may well become a vital player for City in the nearest future if he stays fit.
But at least he’s living the dream.
Suarez v Torres
(Liverpool under Benitez > Liverpool under any other manager in 25 years). No doubt both players made me excited as a Liverpool fan. Both of them were top-class striking talents when they donned the red jersey.
However, I think Suarez is a better player in Liverpool than Torres. That’s true that Torres has brought us good memories (CL nights, Vidic’s red card, screwing Chelsea) but he had better teams to support him. He had prime Gerrard and Alonso supplying the passes, Mascherano shielding the midfield, and Carragher – Hyypia defending in front of Pepe Reina. In short, he can be sure of attacking because he has a good support and great manager in Benitez.
Meanwhile, Suarez in Liverpool was surrounded by mediocre players, bar Gerrard and Sturridge. He was also coached by ‘pseudo-manager’ Brendan Rodgers. He was also top scorer despite missing the first 5 games of the season. To think he only scored hat-tricks against Norwich is also quite belittling. I remember his magic turns and dribble to help Dirk Kuyt scored the shortest (in terms of distance from shooting the ball) hat-trick against Manchester United. In addition, he made the players around him look better (helping Sterling to develop and made Rodgers looked like a good manager).
So in short, Suarez is a better player at Liverpool compared to Torres. That crazy Uruguayan always make me smile when watching the highlights, too.
Interesting point raised by Rikin this morning.
Personally, I think that Suarez edges it, primarily because of the absolute fear he caused defences, but also because he played in a lesser side. Admittedly, Torres’ goals could be ‘worth more’ given the quality of the opposition he scored against (Real, Inter, United etc.), and he is by far the better ‘finisher’, but I think when he had that watershed injury that seemed to ruin his pace, his finishing suffered correspondingly. Suarez however, nearly dragged Liverpool to a Premier League title; Torres didn’t even reach a final under Benitez, who was known as a cup specialist.
That’s not to denigrate either of them; quite phenomenal players in the league. The goal Torres scored against United at Anfield when he just boshed Ferdinand out of the way is one of my favourite of all time. A striker showing a defender how to be physical but with lightning pace.
In response to Rikin – (Liverpool under Benitez > Liverpool under any other manager in 25 years), I don’t need to find you a highlight reel to laugh in your stupid face. Suarez is, and was, 100% the better player to Torres. This isn’t even a debate.
I wonder if Rikin managed to keep a straight face when he wrote Torres was a better player in his prime than Suarez?
Why ignore the fans?
Daniel Storey wrote in Big Weekend that we should ‘forget the fans, if Chelsea lose at Stoke they should sack Mourinho’ (paraphrasing). Why? Even if you accept the argument that changing manager would improve performance (my personal opinion is that it probably would in the short term, but be bad in the long term, and that it’s the players rather than the manager who are to blame), why should results be so prioritized over the preferences of the fans? Given the choice, I’d rather finish outside the top 4 with Jose than in it without him. That’s in part because I think we’ll do better in future with him (he remains one of the top 3-5 managers in the world); in part because it’s just unfair to sack him and after all his service to the club he deserves time to turn it around; and in part because, well, Jose IS Chelsea – having him at the club is good in and of itself.
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, London
Marcus is back
Hindsight is beautiful thing
Maybe using the word ‘classy’ wasn’t the best word to use. Maybe ‘nice’ is a better word?
The point I was trying to make was that our fans have tried our best not to act to the detriment of the players, I did acknowledge what we as a club did to our medical staff, who as qualified and experienced staff did exactly what they should have done (we will and should get punished for it). The results have been appalling, the style of play has been “found out” and we are champions playing with absolutely no confidence whatsoever. No one knows what is wrong with him, but you can see that he really does care about the club(his actions in the media, on the street, chasing the referee, the accusations and the press dodging have been to our detriment, I don’t know how but he means well, no matter how misguided he is).
If our fans turn on the players and start booing their performances, they will only get worse. I have heard boo’s at White Hart Lane, The Emirates, Old Trafford and Anfield and it really doesn’t help the team. The mailbox is only a sample but the amount of fans who want their manager gone is ridiculous. With Chelsea fans showing support to a manager who is clearly struggling. You have to admit it is certainly to some extent ‘nice’ of us.
Personally I liked Ranieri and didn’t agree when he got the sack, I also liked all the other managers, with the exception of Scholari who didn’t give a damn. Let’s also be fair to us, We didn’t want Rafa, much like Real Madrid fans didn’t, but we warmed to him.
M4RCU5X15, CFC (The fans on the train were scum, but that isn’t all of us)
Leave Mathieu alone
Matt Debuchy in the losers section?
Nacho Monreal was in the same boat last season, when he was 2nd choice to Gibbs. You could have probably pasted the same comments for Monreal early last season that Debuchy got last night. Expecting a sub who has been on the bench for 3-4 months to come in and do well is not realistic. Debuchy is a good defender and was starting to offer good balance on the flanks with Gibbs (it seems like Bellerin + Monreal offer a good balance, similarly for Debuchy + Gibbs but other permutations do not provide the same balance in terms of 1 full back being more offensive than the other) before he got injured.
I don’t know what Storey ‘suspects’ about Debuchy, but given a run of games, I suspect that Debuchy will be much better, and be a very capable back up at RB.
Aye aye, captains
Last week I happened to have the office to myself one afternoon and as my mind inevitably drifted off work I started thinking about the debate over Rooney, his captaincy and his seemingly undroppable status despite his appalling form. This lead to my mind wandering onto what a team of the premier league’s captains would look like.
So I set about making a team, trying where possible to avoid producing a Garth Crooks special, and coming to the conclusion that it was a pretty average team, I’d guess managing an upper mid-table finish perhaps pushing for Europa, teamwork after all. I looked at it, satisfied in killing a good half hour on something intriguing but overall pretty nonsensical and promptly forgot all about it.
Then reading Matt, WARWICK’s mail on the leadership and commitment of players like Keane and Le Tissier and once again finding myself alone in the office, I have just made a new team of captains from the 2000/01 season… and it’d wipe the floor with the current seasons team, its amazing, the level of leadership, grit and determination massively overshadows that of the modern day team:
(There weren’t any keeper captains so ignoring this position)
Southgate Adams Desailly Gray
Wise Keane Ince
Le Tissier Shearer
Rooney Arteta Henderson
Martin Williams Kompany Richards
Long story short… this is a pretty pointless mail. But we have learnt that captains aren’t what they used to be, and that I shouldn’t be left unsupervised at work.
Joey, AFC, Manchester (The thought of that team gives me goosebumps)
(The team with an actual keeper would probably win – Editor)
At number 50…
After watching episode 2 of Class of 92 I had a good think, Is there someone as nice in football (At least in the media) as Phil Neville? Undiluted positivity and good will!
R.R Sofia BG
Johnny Nic love
Can you please thank John Nicholson for his marvelous piece on Tony Cottee. My colleagues thought I was having a mental breakdown this morning due to the maniacal laughter and shoulder shaking at my computer and that was before I read the feature on TC…. I am having a breakdown aren’t I? Is there such thing a ‘mid-twenties crisis’? I need camomile tea and a good leather-bound book…
Superb work again on the Footy People on Telly article. Tony Cottee’s entry is really very high up the list and it seems John Nicholson shows no sign of slowing down or holding back on the quality and content. However, as much as I laugh (and I mean,really laugh), I am always a little stressed at the thought that this series might eventually end. Not end because of the lack of targets, but what if Johnny runs out of nightclub names or former ‘Miss…’ beauty contest winners? ‘Clitz’ is quite simply as brilliant as it is vulgar and I want this series to go on forever.
It’s such a startlingly refreshing piece of work that punctures the mundane daily chores – and I love it.
Gavin (Would really like to visit the executive airport lounge called ‘Flapz’) Hill, Malton
Every week I think John Nicholson can’t possibly top last week’s Proper Football Man section, and every week he does. Hats off.
In honour of it being a Friday (and I am having a strange one), I have decided to help people celebrate the weekend by compiling a handy list of the things Peter Reid drinks (allegedly). I expect everyone to do at least one of these in the next two days!!
- Super glue and creosote best bitter
- High-intensity Absinthe
- Nuclear waste Martinis
- Gloss paint smoothies
- Creosote and super glue cocktails
- Blue Stratos, teeth whitener and toilet duck shandies
- Rocket fuel and Brillo pad specials
- Kerosene Shandies
- Bin wagon of fermented potato peelings
- Rubbing alcohol and Brillo Pad juleps, poured into a bin lid from a watering can
- Hair lacquer, absinthe and goose fat blend
- Mr Sheen and Brasso smoothies out of a Wonder Bra
I know there’s more but it only goes back that far on the features page.
Toby (I genuinely look forward to Reidy’s latest concoction every week), London.
But a PFM isn’t too happy
I know there are a lot of fans of the Footy on TV series, but the PFM stuff really does get my goat a little bit. And for the record, I am not a “PFM” type and have no problems with what a PFM would call “them foreigns.” That is proper banter.
But am I the only one who has noticed how PFM has completely taken over Footy on TV? And I mean the Johnny Nicholson articles and not actual football coverage. The whole series now seems to be little more than a chance for Johnny to poke fun at the presenters he doesn’t like (Peter Bantz Reid) while worship at the altar of his favourites (see Richardson, J. Esquire). The latest – Tony Cottee – is almost 50% analysis on his PFM-ness-ability factor. The ironic thing is that the articles tend to point out generalisations and narrow-mindedness in a lot of these pundits (from today’s – “relies more on having been a player to try and understand what is going on” – as if being an experienced professional and using that to analyse the game is a bad thing) while Johnny indulges in similar tactics. Who knows what these guys do in their spare time? Generally anyone that Johnny likes seems to read Neitszche while the others all play golf or don’t exist outside of football.
For a series of articles that started so well, it is disappointing to see them being brought down by the PFM juggernaut. Can we get back to analysing the pundits as we would like to see them analyse the football? As in, properly and without unnecessary bias?
Vardy v Degsy
So Jamie Vardy has the chance to move into the record books and score in 9 successive games, one behind the all-time record held by Ruud van Nistelrooy on 10, and what happens? Degsy backs him. Now, granted Degsy has been hitting a bit of form in recent weeks but we all know he has the superpower to crush players and teams hopes and dreams simply by putting one of his many mortgage jobs on them.
For that reason alone I’m putting Jamie Vardy in Big Weekend. Fail to score and you’re just a normal chap who was on a fierce run of form, foiled only by the supernatural villainous powers of a Degsy tip. Score and he surely becomes a superhero himself, (who clearly wont be real and doesn’t exist by the way), but to do it with Degsy backing you? Wow, that’s pressure, that’s some Big Weekend predicament, that’s what I’ll be cheering on.
Chris ITFC, (I’ll be watching it in 3D) Liverpool
Ibe-lieve someone is owed an apology
Dozie Chukwugbo, Bariga (BUZZKILLER),
From the horse’s mouth: https://vine.co/v/hA6eumlJ1Ki