For what it’s worth I think Klopp is a myth. In 2 years he has not learnt the importance of defending set pieces. He is the most overrated manager in the League. Pulis would have Liverpool more competitive if less exciting. And to conclude… Pulis, Dyche and Hughes would be able to manage the top appearances squad to a higher position than Klopp. Or indeed another hype merchant Eddie Howe
Ben The Baggie (Finally proved right they Rondon is rubbish and a coward)
In response to Naz Gooner, there is a decent medal collection between that 18 and some decent international footballers.
4 Players who have not won any major trophy (excluding the championship) but I think they all played in a major final. I am sure there are many retired footballers and young players who would wish to have a successful career as the guys below.
The below list are not the most exciting or technical group of players you will ever see but they are an important part of any squad, there is a reason these guys are in the top 50 and it is because they are hugely professional on & off the field and are available whenever called upon by their manager.
Robinson – 1 League Cup
Carr – 2 League Cups
Hughes – 0
Dunne – 0
Neville – 6 PLs, 3 Fa Cups, 1 Champions League (Plus a few minor trophies)
Milner – 2 PLs, 1 Fa Cup, 1 League Cup
Bowyer – 1 League Cup
Nolan – 0
Downing – 1 League Cup
Davies – 0
Heskey – 1 UEFA Cup, 1 FA Cup, 4 League Cups
Howard – 1 Fa Cup & 1 League Cup
Young – 1 League Cup
Boateng – 1 League Cup
O’Shea – 5 PLS, 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cups, 1 Champs League
Distain – 1 FA Cup
Murphy – 1 UEFA Cup, 1 FA Cup & 2 League Cups
Barry – 1 FA Cup & 1 PL
Paul, Dublin (MUFC)
Sorry Naz, not having that at all.
First of all, your “dross” squad features some actually very good players. Just because they aren’t a flighty, effete, injury-prone attacking midfielder like basically all of Arsenal’s players over the last 12 years, it doesn’t mean they don’t add huge amounts of value.
Barry, Howard, Neville and Milner in particular were all very good players. Even Stephen Carr was brilliant before he got injured all the time. And John O’Shea might not have set the world on fire after 2003, but I remember him scoring the greatest goal Highbury ever witnessed, nutmegging Figo, banging in a winner at the Kop end, winning 11 major honours and 116 international caps (and counting).
Furthermore, there is a huge amount of value to be placed on both longevity and consistency, which is precisely what top appearance makers implies. A player who can play 36/37 games a season at a 7/10 level is surely worth more than one who can only play 20-25 games a season or can’t sustain a level for any period of time?
Anyone who has played a lot of CM01/02 knows how valuable the “Squad Rotation Option” players can be.
Jonny, MUFC (“backup for the first team”)
Just to comment on Naz’s 18 man dross squad.
Agree with most of it but have to say inclusion of Stephen Carr and Richard Dunne is harsh.
Carr prior to injury and the move to Newcastle was the best right back in the league – named in team of the year two years running I think. Made a solid return with Birmingham too.
Dunne was a solid centre half for City and Villa, particularly the partnership with Laursen under O’Neill was very strong.
Can’t really argue the remainder though.
Naz, Gooner illustrates perfectly the problem with modern football fans.
He thinks that the likes of Phil Neville, James Milner, Emile Hesky, Kevin Nolan, Joh O’Shea etc are/were “f**king dross”, presumably because they don’t have fancy Spanish/Brazilian names/haircuts and don’t have best stats of FIFA of Football Manager or whatever the kids are playing these days.
I wonder what great things Naz has achieved in his life that entitle him to belittle the achievements of players who have won such trifling honours as the Champions League, and indeed every domestic trophy available, between them.
It’s a bit like when my 7 year old nephew told me recently that Chelsea and Man U are both “rubbish”. When I asked him for an example of a good team, he said “Neymar”.
I think Naz and my nephew would get on famously.
RQT (MUFC – and respect for the EPL stalwarts).
Buy average, be average
Pranam is quite correct in this morning’s mailbox re. Liverpool signing bang average players for too much money. The latest example being Ox who is ridiculously average yet somehow cost £35 million. It’s mental. Sure, he can run fast, but that’s about it.
Liverpool are a huge club with a huge following and huge earnings. Probably top 10 in the world and they’ll finish in the top 6 in the league this season for sure, yet consider who they bought this summer…is it enough to mount a title challenge? So many issues with the squad still. WTF even is Wijnaldum? Why no better GK? Stoke wouldn’t have wanted to sell Butland but Liverpool are big enough to force that move.
Chelsea and Man Utd must look at the players at Klopp’s disposal and laugh themselves silly. Their bang average players are squad players – Lingard a prime example (even though he does get paid an obscene amount of money). Neither of those teams would EVER consider Ox for the money spent. Whereas Liverpool go out and repeatedly do it – remember that summer of Charlie Adam, Stuart Downing and Jordan Henderson? None of those would ever make it into a Championship winning team.
It would take too long to list all the average players Liverpool sign but it’s definitely the policy which has seen them be “just-abouts” for over 20 years now. Before Chelsea and Man City’s money it wasn’t an issue for them to finish Top 4 but since there’s been more competition they’ve more frequently been caught out.
The chickens are coming home to roost. Buy average, be average.
Nick P. Burnley FC.
Everton post-Lukaku are Spurs post-Bale
Spurs fan here to moan about people intent on ramping up the pressure on Koeman at Everton.
They’ve obviously not started well, however they’re only 2 points behind last season in the same fixtures, which given they’ve played Chelsea, both Manchester clubs & Spurs isn’t exactly disastrous and should be recoverable assuming the manager is given the time he obviously needs after a summer of change.
As Spurs found after selling Bale it’s nigh on impossible for clubs of the stature & resources of Spurs or Everton to go out and sign a like for like replacement for a World Class player, especially when they’re your main goal scorer. Therefore despite spending this magical £150m, they’re badly missing Lukaku’s pace & goals (not to mention Barkley’s contribution) & instead Koeman has lots of inferior new signings – many new to the league – that are unsurprisingly taking time to gel as a team.
Where I’m struggling though is why any so called expert who watched Spurs struggle post Bale would look at what was happening at Everton in the summer and not anticipate anything other than a slow start. Instead the general consensus seemed hellbent on brushing any such considerations under the carpet in their haste to proclaim that Everton look set to burst into the top 4.
Seriously? If it wasn’t for the fact that there are plenty of ex Evertonians who really should know better in that number I’d be smelling a rat and assuming it was the media setting them up to fail. Who knows, maybe that was the plan all along with the old boys too caught up in it all to realise their complicity in the rabble rousing.
However I suspect Mourinho knew exactly what he was doing when he chose to flag up Everton’s £150m spend rather than their £50m net spend, and how that paled in comparison with his club’s spending once again; or how the only World Class player involved in an Everton transfer this summer is now playing in red.
Yet rather than provide any such context, the likes of Michael Ball choose to castigate Koeman for attempting to set realistic expectations. Which is about as helpful as a plastic teapot at a time when you’d hope that anyone who cared two figs about Everton would be more interested in getting behind the manager to help the club recover from a tough start, rather than purposefully stoking the flames.
So I’d conclude that Everton fans need to be careful which “experts” they choose to listen to before embarking on a witch hunt, especially given Tim Sherwood is currently out of work.
Big Weekend‘s little brother
Burnley-Huddersfield Town. What goes up must come down, and these teams aren’t likely to finish sixth and seventh in the table. The oddsmakers still list them among the leading choices for relegation, and from any angle this looks like a six-pointer. On paper it’s a low-scoring scrap, high energy on both sides. But there should be plenty of tactical interest as well. Burnley can either go 4-5-1 and try to match the Terriers in midfield, or 4-4-2 with even more longball than usual to avoid the press. Huddersfield can try to find space between the lines, with impressive new boy Abdelhamid Sabiri again behind the striker. Laurent Depoitre, a scorer last week, will start again up top in place of injured Steve Mounié. Robbie Brady faces Tommy Smith in the most interesting individual matchup. Steven Defour has adjusted after a difficult first season in England, and is delivering excellent work in central midfield (86.1% pass completion).
Stat: Burnley specialise in shot-blocking, but this is ridiculous: right now they’re at 10.2/game. Leicester are second at 5.8. The highest ever recorded for a season is 5.9.
Leicester City-Liverpool. It’s hard to get a handle on this Leicester side. They had decent outings against both Arsenal and Chelsea, but were second best most of the afternoon against Huddersfield. It’s no surprise they won this fixture the last two years: their counterattack matched up perfectly against Liverpool’s gung-ho, with Jamie Vardy scoring a brace each time. But Vardy is a question mark with a groin strain, which might give Kelechi Iheanacho, still finding his feet, a huge chance. Shinji Okazaki had a fine midweek performance against the Reds, so he may start as well. Neither Matty James nor Andy King has been able to replace Danny Drinkwater, so Liverpool’s three-man midfield should dominate. Watch Emre Can and Jordan Henderson for their positions against the potential counterattack. Mo Salah has looked unplayable at times, and Christian Fuchs is the man under the cosh this week.
Stat: Leicester City and Liverpool are 18th and 19th in fouls committed.
Brighton & Hove Albion-Newcastle United. Two of the most conservative sides in the league, but since both managers must be thinking three points, a stalemate seems unlikely. Most of the pressure is on the Seagulls, who faded against Bournemouth last week and for that matter in their win over West Brom the previous round. In fact the visitors won this fixture last year with a late comeback, albeit with the help of a bizarre deflected goal. There’s some bite in the Magpie attack these days: Ayoze Perez, Christian Atsu, and Joselu have all looked dangerous at times, and Matt Ritchie was the cross-master last week against Stoke. Albion have been less convincing, although Pascal Gross and Solly March combined for a classic cross and header last week. Dale Stephens is no Mikel Merino, but he was excellent against Bournemouth and could be a key man in holding off Perez and getting the ball to the attackers.
Stat: By a significant margin, Newcastle are last in the league in pass completion percentage (68.9%).
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
No, football365, Real Madrid do not need to look at your list of strikers.
Nothing to see here.
Jon (Harry Kane? No one here by that name, pal), Spurs
BREAKING: The Sun are terrible
Yesterday I get a text from a mate saying Bakayoko was in a car crash. I check twitter and someone says he has a broken neck, I check that person’s profile and he’s a man utd fan so hopefully just trolling. Then I check news and the Sun says ‘Bakayoko involved in horror crash’ – and all the worst outcomes become possible.
40 mins later Sky breaks with ‘minor incident and Bakayoko will be available for Stoke’ and the Sun headline is magically changed. How is this possible and allowed? I never read the Sun because of sensationalism but this just shows a complete disregard for anything other than being heard. I would go so far as saying this is the kind of media that brings things like President Trump into the world (not being sensationalist right?