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15 Jan 2022 14:44:56
It's important to not forget the wider context. We have traditionally been able to attract the very top players because of our history and standing but now money talks.
FSG have done wonders for the club and given us the stable footing we needed but unless we're sold to a billionaire owner right now is as good as it's going to get.



16 Jan 2022 10:41:26
RBP - our existing owners are billionaires. Just saying.

13 Jan 2022 21:44:55
It’s mental to think we were probably the best team in the world 2.5/ 3 years ago. We thought we could stand still and others wouldn’t catch up. So so stale.



13 Jan 2022 21:44:43
I'm not a fan of posting after a negative result but this game has tilted me. Yes I know its only the mickey mouse cup but that's not my problem.

Our squad is ageing we desperately need funding and this game proves it. We loose manè and salah (I know 2 of our best players) we never looked like scoring without them.

Brentford on Sunday will come to anfield relishing it, our midfield was a 36 year old, a completely out of shorts captain and fabinho.

Arsenal went down to 10 they was always going to sit with 10 men behind the ball.



16 Jan 2022 10:42:47
KJM - I hope our captain remembers his shorts today!

Liverpool Article 24 Dec 2021
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool A Liverpool Perspective





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A poor performance by Liverpool overall, who struggled to supply the front three throughout the match, but the performance by the officials, both at the ground and in the VAR hub, was far, far worse. In fact a good game has been massively overshadowed by just how bad the incompetent (at best) officials are. Then the PGMOL compounded the issue by showing how corrupt they are under Mike Riley by covering up the mistakes (if that is what they were) with a tissue of lies to twist the laws of the game to suit their agenda. That for me is the worst thing about this match. It takes it from the realms of mistakes to close on match-fixing.



As for the actual football, Liverpool's game was littered with individual mistakes, which allowed chances to fall the way of Spurs, but would they have come if Kane had received the red card he clearly should have got? As a few fell to his feet, the answer is a definite no. So we are now into the realms of discussing a game that has had its result massively altered by an official's intervention, which should not be happening now we have VAR. And for them to then compound the issue by doing it a second time, again in favour of Spurs, on the ludicrous decision not to award Jota a penalty, it becomes a nonsense to discuss what actually did go on.



That is what has made this so difficult to talk about, because Spurs did have a number of chances to win it, as did Liverpool, but they should not have had them. It has gone way beyond a joke now just how bad the officiating is in English football, it has deteriorated to the point where Poll and his three bookings would be an improvement!







Tottenham Hotspur





They came with a game plan which almost worked to a charm, though it was helped by the referee that is not their problem. It was a simple plan, defend deep and draw the Liverpool centre-backs forward and then put the ball into the space in behind them, mainly Matip's area as he is terrible at dealing with balls in behind him. They utilised the pace of Son to maximise Matip's weakness and very nearly got a win off the back of it. If Kane was not a shadow of the player he once was, they could very easily have nicked a home win.



It does show you how far Spurs have fallen in recent years, from a team that felt like they could take on anyone head on, to a team that looks to snatch a result from the top tier sides. However that is not Conte's fault and, to be fair, even if he managed the current Manchester City side I doubt he would have set out with different tactics as it is the way he plays. I have seen it criticised as a long ball tactic, but that is down to a lack of understanding about what long ball tactics actually refers to.



It is not playing long balls into space for someone to run onto, it is the hoofed balls in the air for a target man to battle for that the long ball refers to. A long pass is different from a hoof into the air to give someone time to get into position to contest it when it drops.



You can see they got Royal from Barcelona, as he has the play acting and pretending to be injured every time anyone moves within 20 feet of him down pat. He does not even try to hide it most of the time and jumps up immediately the decision is given in his favour. It amazes me that referees do not see that and book players when they do that for unsportsmanlike conduct. That would soon stamp it out of the game.







Liverpool





Klopp - it is little wonder he was fuming, if Tierney and the guy in VAR hub put on Spurs shirts for the match, at least they would have been honest. I am just impressed that he managed to calm himself enough not to get a red.





Alisson - a very mixed game from the Brazilian. Some world class stops mixed with a few flaps at crosses and a mistake to allow Son in to equalise. I still do not understand why he is not getting protected on corners, Alli was allowed to upset his poise all game long with no one at Liverpool reacting to it. His long ball to Tsimikas at the end of the game deserved better.





Alexander-Arnold - was another game where he showcased his attacking skills and dangerous delivery, but he also did well defensively most of the time. There were a couple of weak attempts at a challenge that could have caused a lot more problems for the team. He does need to be stronger sometimes, he can be prone to just dangling a leg out, rather than making a real tackle.





Matip - as usual, Matip was given a chasing by a pacy forward. He simply could not handle Son at all and kept allowing himself to get drawn too far forward. It was a very poor defensive performance and he showed once again that anything played in behind him, even balls that should be meat and drink, cause him problems. I do not understand why Klopp persists with him when coming up against a player such as Son.





Konate - I have seen a lot of praise for his performance, but personally I disagree and thought he was very poor. Konate was nowhere near Kane, constantly standing too far off him and giving him space when Konate has the pace to be able to close him right down. He did get lucky once when miles away from where he should have been but was able to block a shot. Other than that, like Matip he was wandering right up the pitch, when he needed to drop off to cover for runs.





Robertson - he was having an excellent game, with a goal, dangerous runs, good deliveries into the box and link up play, but then stupidly got sent off. Along with Alexander-Arnold, he was Liverpool's best player, right up until the red. I know he had been assaulted by Kane, so probably thought if that is not a red I should be fine, and had just taken a blow to the head, but it was still silly and needless. He did look back to his best though.





Keita - I have no words that can be printed for him and his constant bottling out of challenges. He was badly at fault on the first goal and he did nothing to make up for it for the rest of the game. Keita was, once again, a waste of a shirt and continuing to perservere with him is costing the team.





Morton - the youngster struggled badly. He only actually managed to connect with one header, continually misjudging the flight of the ball for all other ones, which is a worry. You can excuse the poor positional play, it is not really his natural position playing the deep holding role, and he was not at all helped by the utterly abysmal Keita. I would actually put a large portion of his positioning down to a need to try and cover for the empty shirt playing to his right.





Milner - had a really poor game, his passing in particular was horrible. Almost every pass he attempted came up short. You can never fault his effort, but it was a bad day at the office for him.





Mane - needed better service, he was a threat most of the time, but never saw enough of the ball to really get at Spurs.





Salah - one of the Egyptian's worst games in a Liverpool shirt, he was really not on his game, but he did get no service and it is a ludicrously high bar he has set. So, while it was a bad game by his standards, he still showed moments of Salah brilliance, which would be enough for a mere mortal to be considered as having a good game. We just know Salah is capable of so much more.





Jota - anonymous in the early parts of the game but then he pops up and scores and should have had a penalty for a blatant foul on him in the first half. He moved to the right after Firmino came on and put himself about well until he was taken off.





Firmino - replaced Morton in the 60th minute. Struggled to get into the game and looked a little rusty with some heavy touches, but he still tends to follow that up with a piece of skill. Nowhere near his best though and looks in need of match sharpness.





Tsimikas - came on for Mane in the 82nd minute. Mostly did well but should have done better at the death when he received a long ball from Alisson and dallied too long before crossing.





Gomez - was brought on in the 90th+2 minute to take Jota's place. He was just on to shore things up at the back and he did that.



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19 Dec 2021 17:33:52
Just how is that not a red? And then no penalty? Also just how important is Fabinho to this midfield. Missed big time.



Liverpool Article 18 Dec 2021
Liverpool v Newcastle United A Liverpool Perspective





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Not the best watch, but a comfortable win over a passive Newcastle side, as expected. With the loss of two key players on the eve of the game due to them testing positive for covid, it is little wonder the performance was not as fluid as it could have been. Van Dijk's diagonal balls are important to opening up the play, which is particularly important against a team utilising such negative tactics. But I feel that Fabinho is even more crucial to Liverpool's play and his loss was the one that was more keenly felt. Not only does he break up play better than almost anyone around and has an excellent range of passing and vision, but he also is always making himself available to receive the ball. That extra option was missing as Henderson tends to drift out to the right and that leaves a space in the centre that no one was in.



It particularly showed in Thiago's play, in my opinion, as he looks to move the ball quickly to where players should be and there was no one filling the slot Fabinho occupies regularly. That left him either misplacing passes that were played to where the Brazilian should have been or having to take an extra touch to look for an option. Neither are good, the first led to the Toon opening the scoring and the latter meant they had time to set up their defensive block before he could play the pass.



Of course there are always controversies that need to be discussed in a game of football and this match had one in particular surrounding Liverpool's opener. There was a coming together of a couple of Newcastle players, no clash of heads, nothing like that, but two of them went down in their box. One, Schaar, looked up and saw play was going on and jumped up and got involved. The other, Hayden, also looked up and saw play was going on, so he lay back down quick pretending to be hurt. Oddly he had been clutching at his neck until he realised the game was continuing but Eddie Howe later claimed Hayden had a head injury and was dazed, despite there seeming to be no contact with his head by anyone. In fact the contact seemed to be simply with his teammate and his back. But that just begs the question as to why the Newcastle medical staff and Howe himself let the lad play for the rest of the game. What happened to concussion protocols? If Howe is (unlikely I know) telling the truth about the lad being dazed for a while after the match, then he should be facing serious trouble over failing his duty of care for a player with possible concussion. If Howe, as is much more likely, is full of brown smelly stuff, then he should be getting censored for bringing the game into disrepute.



I am hoping that this is a sign that officials have now got wise to the constant playacting of opponents against Liverpool, feigning injury repeatedly to break up play and stop Liverpool building up a head of steam. It has been an increasing frustration to see players who are clearly cheating getting rewarded with a stoppage in play and a rest for their team, who have been under the cosh at the time. For me, if there are injuries, they should just be removed from the pitch for treatment and the game should continue. That way only genuine injuries will want to have treatment.



Other than that, the only questionable decision I can remember was the lack of a penalty for a clear and very obvious shove by Jamaal Lascelles, which the referee should have at least been asked to look at and make up his mind over. I am not sure what more he needed to do to give away a penalty personally. He leans over and shoves with both hands. It was about as blatant as it gets.







Newcastle United





Howe is blaming the referee for their defeat, when clearly his tactics and idiotic decision to bench Callum Wilson were far more of a problem for Newcastle. Added to their lack of quality and confidence, they were always in for a struggle no matter how depleted Liverpool were. The Toon are a poor side with a worse manager and it is going to take some major investment or a lot of luck for them to survive this season. There is little to say about them to be honest, they were well beaten, despite their good start thanks to a poor pass, and offered little real sign of having the nous to get anything from the game.







Liverpool





Klopp - his team are now so well drilled that losing even two key players in their positions rarely stops the juggernaut. Though I do still think he is criminally underusing Minamino, even though he has never let the side down when he has played.





Alisson - unlucky on the Newcastle goal as he was moving the wrong way to get into position and the shot went back across him. That left him with no chance to save it. Other than that, he was much more assured again, unlike last time out.





Alexander-Arnold - an all-round performance punctuated by two moments of brilliance, one at each end of the pitch. That goal was spanked with some real power and it is unlikely Dubravka could have saved it even if he had been set when the right-back smashed it. At the other end, his tackle on Ryan Fraser was excellent and clean, despite the officials needing their usual 20min on VAR to check and check again.





Matip - he still terrifies me. You just do not know what will happen when he gets on the ball. Added to that, he takes a lot of risks defensively while lacking the recovery pace to get back if it does not pay off. To be fair to him, most of the time he gets it right, but it still leaves my heart in my mouth every time!





Konate - a much better performance from the big defender. Not just defensively, he is starting to show his technical ability on the ball with some very nice threaded passes. I like that he puts pace on his pass and forces the receiver to be awake to control it. That removes any complacency from the recipient, as well as speeding up play by moving the ball forward quickly.





Robertson - that was much more like the Robertson that Liverpool fans know and love. He is coming back to form and that is a big plus as now the Reds can offer a threat down both flanks. That was key against Newcastle, who wanted to play narrow, but could not stay there because of the runs he made.





Thiago - looked lost without Fabinho alongside him to provide an easy option for a pass all the time. Though the worst thing for me was not that he gave away the ball, but that he did not sprint back to try to rectify the mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, but you like to see players bust a gut to try and fix those errors.





Henderson - offensively he is always making forward runs and pulling the defence about, usually out on the right. Unfortunately that often left a big space in the centre, as he emptied midfield. That meant Oxlade-Chamberlain was sometimes being required to drop in and fill the gap in front of the defence, when the ideal would have been the two to be the other way round.





Oxlade-Chamberlain - never really got into the game, though he did show a few flashes of his ability.





Mane - he was unlucky not to score after latching on to Shelvey's loose pass and did well to stay on his feet and try to score. Most players would have just gone down for the penalty instead. Overally he was a constant menace, linking nicely with Robertson, though his air shot was probably the funniest moment of the game.





Salah - despite his goal, he was not at his supreme best, though still far too good for Newcastle's defence. It is little surprise he was frustrated at being taken off as he shanked a few chances that you would normally expect him to do better with. 22 goals already this season showed just how well he has performed each week, so it is little wonder that he was ever so slightly below his best. That is not bad, it is still better than the rest of the Premier League.





Jota - as is often the case with Jota, he scored but was extremely poor other than that. A few games back he looked to have figured out his role in the team, but it seems to have been a blip rather than his level. Still, you cannot really complain so long as he keeps scoring.





Keita - replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 74th minute. Keita looked really rusty after coming on, most of his passes were behind the player he was passing to, forcing them to stop their run, when he was trying to play it into their run. It was not a game to judge him in though, it was just a chance for him to get some minutes in his legs and shake off some of that rust, hopefully.





Firmino - was brought on in the 74th minute to take Salah's place. Like Keita he looked rusty and off the pace.





Milner replaced Thiago in the 90th minute. Never had time to impact at all.



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18 Dec 2021 21:41:16
Random question but if gini wijnaldum was available on loan in January for rest of the season, would you take up the move? Not at all saying it's a possibility, but dealing in the ifs and maybes only.



Liverpool Article 13 Dec 2021
Liverpool v Aston Villa A Liverpool Perspective





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That was a difficult watch, with the referee having a terrible game, though Villa can probably be thankful to him for having no match management and allowing them to break up play constantly. Without his constant stoppages for nothing, they would have been under real pressure for sustained periods. Added to that, he only responded to their blatant time wasting when the crowd got on his back, showing how weak he is as a referee. Atwell also allowed a clear Salah dive to go unpunished, despite making it obvious that he thought it was one. That should have been a booking. However he should have booked Martinez for his blatant time wasting too.



I am sure Villa fans will be screaming right now about how they should have had a penalty, and they might have a point, but there was also one on Robertson that was not given, so not sure they can complain too much. The ref was just utterly abysmal, he looked completely out of his depth. It was a performance that reinforces your faith in the total incompetence of the English referee that Graham Poll did so much to establish.



The game itself was ruined by its stop start nature, though Liverpool were the better side until Villa actually had a go. There was little to pick out from a Liverpool point of view, as play was so bitty, other than it seemed like Oxlade-Chamberlain was far too deep to present a real problem to Villa. With his ability to run with the ball at pace, and his shooting power, he needed to put himself right on their centre-backs and force them to make decisions about who to track. Instead he dropped off into a congested midfield, as they were defending deep. It meant he offered little and the game changed when Jota came on and played higher up.







Aston Villa





You just have to wonder if they would have got more from the game if they had gone for it earlier, instead of waiting until they went behind. I understand the thinking, but Liverpool looked unusually fragile yesterday, I would have expected the Villa coaching staff to want to capitalise on that. Days like that are ones a strong tactical manager would have exploited. Instead you are left wondering what could have been for Villa.



I also find it bizarre that the commentators and pundits think Mings was on for man of the match before giving away a penalty making a needless challenge. That just shows that people prefer a defender to be out of position and having to make blocks and challenges that a defender positioned well would not have needed to risk. Konsa was doing that, he just seems to always be there, rather than throwing himself into the way last second like Mings. That is not an accident, he is simply better at defending.



The midfield for Villa were very good at protecting the defence, McGinn was excellent again and Nakamba, though a bit rash, is becoming one of the better players in the Premier League at breaking up play. The one weakness for me is Luiz, his highlight reel will be excellent as he does little flashes but overall he does not impose himself onto the game enough for my liking.







Liverpool





Klopp - I think he made one major mistake, starting with Oxlade-Chamberlain as the central forward player as he never got into the game at all. At least he changed it fairly early, but it turned out, with hindsight, to be a poor decision to put the Ox in there. I also feel persisting with Matip is the wrong choice. It is clear that he does not see Matip as the long term first choice and it would help the team if a clear centre-back partnership was established with his first choice pairing.





Alisson - had a mare, there is no other way to describe it. His slip early on seemed to make him nervous for the rest of the game. Yet he still goes home with a clean sheet on his record, which says a lot for how little Villa actually threatened.





Alexander-Arnold - he must be wondering how he has not gone home with another assist at least. As usual he provided some quality balls in. Defensively he was not really tested enough, which allowed him to keep pushing on.





Matip - caught a couple of times by straight balls over the top as usual, but Villa lacked the pace to make the most of that avenue of attack. It would also help if he would learn to communicate with Alisson better, my heart cannot handle more of their mix-ups! On the ball, he plays some good passes and his runs forward, while ungainly looking, seem to be unstoppable. Matip always looks on the verge of tripping over his own feet or giving it away, only to somehow emerge past a couple of players with the ball. It makes me so nervous but it is a great way to create openings against a packed defence.





van Dijk - an off day for van Dijk, defensively anyway. He was having one of his switched off, lackadaisical days. He made more errors in this one game than he usually makes in a month. On the ball, his long diagonal passes were still excellent. So, all in all, a mixed day for the big defender.





Robertson - caused havoc going forward, made some brilliant runs and linked well with Mane. He looked much more like the Robertson of old. With Villa's front 3 being so narrow he was able to charge forward at will.





Fabinho - while Villa's front three being narrow gave the full-backs more freedom, it restricted Fabinho a little more from being involved higher up the pitch. He was a little subdued due to having to be watchful and to ensure that he did not leave gaps for them to operate in.





Henderson - he is the driving force a lot of the time. I would like to see Alexander-Arnold being the one getting to the outside to cross it in more often, but it is effective at creating space for a ball in when they switch over their runs. It is just that the priority for me should be finding ways to get Alexander-Arnold in those areas as his delivery is better.





Thiago - not everyone's cup of tea, but for me Thiago makes a huge difference to Liverpool's play and control of the game. He is not always spectacular and he can skate very close to the wire in disciplinary terms, but he is brilliant at what he does. His return to fitness and Liverpool's improved form are not coincidental.





Mane - he might not have scored, but he was causing real problems down his side all game. With Robertson always providing an option, the pair of them gave Villa's right side a hard day.





Salah - early on he should have been booked for diving and the penalty on him could be considered soft, though for me Mings is a moron and just needed to shepherd him out, rather than give the referee a decision to make. If you challenge from behind in the penalty area it is always likely to be a penalty. The way Salah hit that penalty made it unsaveable and some of the skills he showed were brilliant. For once he was probably too unselfish though and should have shot more often. Which is something I did not think I would ever say about him!





Oxlade-Chamberlain - struggled badly. He has looked good recently in midfield, so not sure why Klopp wanted to play him there. I do understand the decision to drop Jota, who was awful last time out, but why not give Minamino the chance? Oxlade-Chamberlain gives his all but he was dropping too deep and failed to put any pressure on their defence, making it easier for them to deal with Mane and Salah.





Jota - replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 58th minute. His arrival changed the game, even if he was not particularly good. Just having someone occupy the centre-backs helped out massively. Sometimes a player does not need to play at their best to be a big help to a team performance and this was one of those times.





Milner - was brought on in the 83rd minute to take Thiago's place. I am not sure his arrival actually helped Liverpool to be honest. I love Milner but Thiago's ball usage and retention help keep Liverpool on top in matches. As soon as he went off that was gone and Villa were able to really take the game to the Reds. That is no fault of Milner's and he played his part in keeping a clean sheet.





Minamino replaced Mane in the 88th minute. He needed more time to have an effect. For me he deserves a run of games to see what he can do in that central slot.



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