Home Football / Soccer Chelsea fans turn on ‘loser, fraud’ Pochettino as Liverpool revel in defying the odds

Chelsea fans turn on ‘loser, fraud’ Pochettino as Liverpool revel in defying the odds

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Chelsea fans turn on ‘loser, fraud’ Pochettino as Liverpool revel in defying the odds

Chelsea fans have turned on Mauricio Pochettino after the Carabao Cup final defeat. Also in a bumper Mailbox: Liverpool’s kids; Man Utd; Palace; Villa; and home-time for Johnny Nic…

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Poch out

I certainly wouldn’t say I was over the moon at Poch’s initial appointment (but definitely thought he’d do a better job than Potter), but I’m slowly finally coming to the conclusion that Pochettino is a soggy fraud. A Spursy fraud with no balls. Possessing players like Sir Harold Kane and Son who could actually regularly score goals, and a second half Lucas Moura hat trick has falsely inflated Poch’s coaching abilities far beyond his actual (overall pretty decent, but not elite) level.

The last few years as a Chelsea fan have been tough, but I’m a fan who realises we have enjoyed a fantastic amount of success in the recent past so I have generally gritted my teeth and dealt with it silently, although some of the shite we have turned out since Roman left has been truly woeful. However, yesterday was just plain bottom of the barrel embarrassing and I’m gutted.

Somehow, Chelsea found themselves in a cup final this year, and even though yes it is the Donald Duck Trophy, it’s something tangible to at least give the players and new regime a boost and suggest that we were beginning to head in the right direction. If we had won, I doubt many Chelsea fans would have actually really celebrated, more of a clenched fist and a “Thank fuck for that” before moving on.

But especially in the last few matches Poch’s Spursiness has really shone through and he may need to go. Very negative substitutions against City when we genuinely looked like making it somehow 2-0 against the Champions (after which they soon scored against us), was followed yesterday by his unforgivable tactics at the beginning of extra time. 1 minute in to ET yesterday it was obvious we were going to lose.

Pochettino literally had a wounded baby deer on the ropes at the end of normal time, and decided to give it a senzu bean. Rather than Liverpool taking it to Chelsea in ET, Chelsea literally sat (ALL the way) back, with all the main counter attacking outlets being subbed off, and let these nervous but talented kids gain confidence and grow into the game, instead of taking advantage and going for the kill. And to hear Poch say afterward that it was also the players who were saying that maybe they should just play for penalties!!! Wow.

What has happened to my club. We used to be a team of seasoned, competitive winners, now we are a squad of insanely overpaid, overvalued young primadonnas. Lost our last 4 finals to the Scousers. Lost our last 6 domestic finals. There’s a good chance that that was Poch’s only chance at silverware with Chelsea, and Chelsea’s only cup final for a few years and this is how they played it.

Rolled over onto their backs and got tucked in by a bunch of (far more inexperienced but not *that* much younger) kids. I never thought I’d say this but we may need to get Mourinho back and light a fire under some asses. Just give him a 2 year contract like Poch to avoid the inevitable third year nonsense. You can take the coach out of Spurs but….

And quickly in regards to the disallowed goal. I don’t see how it’s gone over so many heads that Colwill was marking Van Dijk. So was Chilwell (kind of), but Colwill was standing directly in front of VD before the ball was played – it was his job to stop the ball getting to him. VD was being double marked, and rightly so. I know Poch’s tactics can be questionable, but to really have Chilwell alone mark VD off a set piece?

By standing behind him, with man-mountain VD between him and the ball? Not even goal side of him? Chilwell’s the size of a hobbit. Blocking happens a lot, and it was a great plan and almost worked to perfection, but to stand in an offside position, literally not look at the ball once and only focus on Colwill running towards you and then deliberately block him off so that VD gets a free header, justified the goal being disallowed. As usual, if only we had put in one of our countless chances…

Anyway, best of luck for the rest of the season. But not too much – maybe just the FA cup. The Klopp Farewell Tour is already quite nauseating.

JR

Read more: Chelsea were Spursy before Pochettino, whose mistake is being Spursy about the Spursiness

He’s a loser, baby

I’m sure you’ll get a few of these but allow me to vent my spleen on Pochettino, the man masquerading as a football coach at my club Chelsea.

Firstly , congratulations to Klopp’s Kids who managed as clear underdogs to beat the titans of Chelsea with their team chock full of stalwart professionals , some of whom have almost two seasons of top tier football under their belts .

Ok , this may have been the top of the league side with one of the best managers the game has seen against eleventh place with a man who came third in a two horse race and failed dismally at the worlds richest club but Klopp did bring on half a dozen kids in extra time so fair’s fair even if statistically Liverpool were the older of the two teams on show .

However , despite this there is a distinct reason why Liverpool and not Chelsea won the cup and it’s name is Mauricio Pochettino or “EL L” as he shall ever be known , the man is a loser , the loser stink surrounds him , his team is weaker than the sum of it’s parts , he’s studiously made players worse than they were before they met him and yet has forged a reputation for improving young players as his Southampton team were easy on the eye .

Recently , we played City and were winning until Pochettino decided the best course of action was to fiddle with the defence who up until then had kept City at arms length and confuse the players , none of who then appeared to know who was supposed to be defending where.

What did he learn from that ? Nothing evidently as he did exactly the same in the final and compounded it by not only bringing on players who had played five minutes of first team football all season but shuffled everyone around so everyone was in an unfamiliar position and once more nobody knew which zone they were defending and who was picking up who on set pieces which led to mercurial fleet footed wing forward Mudryk faced with the task of marking the tallest player on the field and the rest is history .

To compound the issue further the coward then decided to blame the players for the tactics of cowering on the edge of their own area for the entire period of extra time when they had previously had Liverpool on the ropes towards the end of normal time which handed the initiative to Liverpool in a game that was slipping away from them , I’m absolutely certain that Klopp had made the changes and brought on the youngsters in the belief that should they lose as was looking more likely he could then deflect attention away from the fact by pointing to the age of the side in comparison to Chelsea’s , wrong though that would be.

Lastly , there was around two minutes of extra time left and penalties looming when the tactical genius decided to bring off Ben Chilwell , one of Chelsea’s better penalty takers “because he was tired” , look at Chilwell’s incredulous face when his number comes up and it speaks volumes .

Pochettino is a coward, a fraud, thinks tactics are minty sweets and on a weekly basis his substitutions actively weaken the side and improve the chances of the opposition.

He’s a loser, get rid immediately

Mark Kelly



Liverpool as underdogs​

Kudos to Klopp and Liverpool for digging deep, staying composed and giving youth its head. It’s clear that Jurgen will be leaving the club in rude health in the short, medium and long term.

I understand that this must seem like sour grapes, even coming from a neutral, but this insistence on presenting Liverpool as underdogs against a historically shit Chelsea just seemed to be oversold by a giddy commentary team. I’m sure Liverpool fans know how grating it can be when a narrative is being shovelled like that. See: Liverpool “over-celebrating” in Klopp’s early days / Salah is “selfish” despite him notching way more assists than Mane.

Despite their selection woes, Liverpool were able to start three of their first choice back four, as well as one of the best right back prospects the league has seen since, well… Trent, and the keeper that started the last League Cup final by choice.

Apart from the obvious miss of Salah (which would deplete any team in the world) a midfield of Endo, MacAllister, Diaz, Elliott, Gravenberch doesn’t scream bare bones. And while Gakpo might not be able to match Núñez’s physicality, he’s an experienced Dutch international who has 36 appearances in all competitions this season.

Now, obviously, having Salah, Núñez, Alexander-Arnold and Szoboszlai on the bench would have been a HUGE boost, but even if the treatment room was empty I could still see the £278m team that Klopp picked lining up for this final anyway.

Yes, an inexperienced bench meant young Liverpool players being thrown in at the deep end, but they could draw on the experience and leadership of the players around them. Compare that with a prickly and underwhelming performance from Chelsea’s captain Chilwell.

Liverpool are a great team, with great players in great form, with one of the world’s greatest managers and fans riding an incredible emotional wave right now. Chelsea have none of that. That’s why they were the clear underdogs.

DHB CPFC

F365 trying too hard

Mediawatch was going a bit overboard on Monday on trying to correct the kids’ narrative I feel. Chelsea’s injury crisis seems less severe than Liverpool’s to me. Of the 8 Chelsea players currently listed as injured on premierinjuries.com, only Reece James is a nailed-on starter (and club captain of course). Silva, Fofana and Badiashile are all probably in the conversation for a centre-back berth, but I would think that Disasi and Colwill are the two long-term options there. Cucurella is back-up to Chilwell; Lavia and Chukwuemeka are both back ups; and I have to confess (as a Liverpool fan) having never heard of Ugochukwu.

Compare that to Liverpool’s injury list. Salah and Nunez are certainly in Klopp’s preferred front three, while there’s a good case that Jota might pip Diaz to the left-sided forward position based on output. In goal Alisson is obviously the starting keeper, though tbf, Klopp was going to start Kelleher anyway.

In defence, Trent is again nailed on starter. In midfield, of Liverpool’s top four midfield options (Jones, Szoboszlai, MacAllister, Endo), the former two were out. It’s also worth pointing out that Thiago was in Klopp’s first-choice midfield last season and Matip had been in the first-choice eleven before his injury (though was likely to be replaced by Konate whom Liverpool were managing through the first half of the season). Of Liverpool’s first-choice eleven then, they were missing six or seven including three of their four most important players (Alisson, Trent, and Salah).

On the wages front, Mediawatch rightly points out that Liverpool’s overall wage bill is similar to Chelsea’s, but how much of that wage bill was out on the pitch yesterday? Chelsea’s starting 11 had a combined annual wage (according to sportrac.com) of £62.4m. Liverpool’s was £50.75m (and Gravenberch, who went off after 30 mins, was joint 2nd-highest earner). Chelsea threw on from the bench players with a combined annual wage of over £20m. Four of the six subs Liverpool put on were academy players whose salary is capped at £50k per year. The other two (Gomez and Tsimikas earn c.£7m between them).

While much of the media coverage is hyperbolic, Mediawatch and Will Ford’s article yesterday both go way too far in trying to address the balance. On paper Chelsea should have won yesterday and had the chances to do so in normal time. They shrank in extra time while Liverpool grew, and serious questions need to be asked of them.

I was particularly disappointed by Chilwell’s attitude, getting into a fight with Bradley and then persistently telling opposing academy players to f-off, not a great look for a captain. As for Liverpool onwards and upwards. Given his steeplechasing onto the pitch to celebrate yesterday, hopefully Darwin will be back soon along with Salah and Szoboszlai to put out some sort of side against Southampton and Forest this week.

Andrew (LFC – why do refs always book both players in a scuffle even if one is much more at fault than the other?), Cambridge

Rewriting history

The fans and the media would make it seem like some sort of David v Goliath, amazing against all odds, Netflix documentary incoming, win for Liverpool’s under 12s against the machine that is Chelsea. So lets take a small look into this.

*Before doing so, just to make sure everyone knows – Chelsea have spent a ridiculous amount of money on a ridiculous amount of players, and then change their manager about the same amount of times they change their underwear.

Before the game: Liverpool were clear favourites, even with some of their players injured. Liverpool are also in fantastic form and are top of the PL table. Chelsea are midtable and outside the top 10, have a manager that’s under pressure and a team that has struggled to score goals at times while also conceding a few comical ones.

Starting XI;

Average age: Chelsea
Average club appearances: Chelsea
Average international appearances: Chelsea

Ending XI:

Average age: Chelsea
Average club appearances: Chelsea
Average international appearances: Chelsea

So Klopp gambles and throws 3 youngsters with very little first team exposure on (Clark, McConnell and Danns) against a tired and inexperienced(not just ages or overall appearances, but playing together) Chelsea team and it pays off

And then the media and fans have rephrased this to be Klopp’s kids winning against a huge money team.

No, no its wasnt. Chelsea threw that game away. They had a load of chances, Kelleher was unbelievable but the biggest thing was they had Poch as manager. He’d fall into a barrel of boobs and come out sucking his own thumb.

If Chelsea had won, would it be the same? Poch’s kids winning (since they were younger) ?!?

Lets not rewrite history.

johnnybruff

More friends of Ford

“Liverpool beat Chelsea, as they should”

Sorry William Ford, but Liverpool having an injured 11 that would compete for the title absolutely DOES NOT mean Liverpool should have won that game. Yea, they are 25 points ahead of Chelsea but to point that out without background is naïve at best and lazy at worst. That lead was gained over time during which Liverpool had a lot of their better players available, that wasn’t the case for the final. For example if you took away City’s entire starting 11 they would no longer be that good, it’s kind of how it works. For Christ sake they missed Rodri for 4 games this season and lost every single one of them. Liverpool still had a strong defense thankfully but in trent, salah, allison, szobo, Darwin and jota they missed over 50% of their first choice player. That is frankly massive and frankly oh so frankly makes a huge difference to their tag as favorites in that clash.

So in summary, missing a lot of your better players makes you a worse team. You heard it here first guys.

Patricia Del Toro

Read more: ‘Klopp’s kids vs billion pound bottlejobs’ narrative stunted by Carragher missing the obvious



…Right. To start with, I hate all those football fans who think a certain commentator or website hates their team. It’s just childish nonsense. Having said that, Will Ford’s piece about the Carabao Cup final is just nonsense. The fact he’s a Chelsea supporter immediately means he’s going to be slightly biased anyway but what he says is just wrong!

Yes. Liverpool hammered Chelsea a few weeks ago. But that team featured Jota, Nunez, Allison, Szoboszlai and Jones. Today’s team didn’t. Almost like it’s a completely different team that Chelsea faced today isn’t it?

Secondly, yes Liverpool may have been slight favourites to win at kick off. But by the 70th minute, Chelsea’s midfield consisted of Gallagher, Caicedo and Fernandez. Liverpools was Endo, Clark and McConnell. That’s not a midfield that has helped Liverpool to top of the table and a 25 point lead over Chelsea.

Will, you know as well as the rest of us that Chelsea should have won that match and won it comfortably. They didn’t because they bottled it not because that Liverpool line up was better

Dave, London

This means more​

To Liverpool. I love the League Cup, it’s a great tournament where teams are forced to blood youngsters in the early stages. It feels so much more visceral than the Champions League, which feels more contrived each year, or even the FA Cup. The finals always seem to be better games as well, the pressure of an FA Cup or Champions League final often makes for a cagey affair or else one team gets overwhelmed. I also think the fact that Semis are played at Wembley detracts from the occasion of the FA cup final. Man I used to love it when they were held at random stadiums.

Massively unfair from Gary Neville, I don’t like them as a club but fair play to Chelsea, I think Poch will build something there given time, they certainly have the players. Cole Palmer is class, as is Enzo and I think they will be strong in the years to come. Kelleher was excellent, as were the kids that came on but once Gravenberch went off I think Chelsea were probably the better team – until extra time at least, by which point I imagine the fear that it was Liverpool’s day was sinking in.

For Liverpool to play like that was all credit to Klopp and the spirit he breeds within clubs. Each lad that came on looked so brave and composed. I think Chelsea also having such a young lineup helped, it was boys vs expensive boys. But Liverpool had the upper hand with the experienced players, they were just better than Chelsea’s. Stick a Van Dijk, a Robbo and a Diaz in there and I think it lifts the whole team.

If he does go (there’s a tiny bit of me that thinks he’ll make a u-turn a-la Fergie) then I hope to god he just retires, because whoever gets him will be formidable. I think that might be it for the farewell trophies though – we’ll be knackered for Wednesday, the injuries will take their toll in the league. That young team doesn’t beat City and if we want to win the league, we need to win that and away at united.

Europa league would be a nice ending but the league should be the priority so imagine we’ll field a few weakened teams along the way and there are some better teams in there than the press would have you believe.

Either way, Klopp’s got his trophy. And it meant something very special to him. I’m sure that every fan of every club feels that winning means more to them as well, I really don’t get why an advertising slogan (quite a cool one), dreamed up by advertising bods years ago gets up peoples noses so much.

Ooh, and my main point was to say I think the League cup deserves better coverage, and not to be hidden away on Sky.

Tom

…Delighted that Klopp’s final season at Liverpool will have at least one trophy to celebrate. The plaudits for the kids are merited with the greatest compliment being that there was no drop-off from each of the more experienced teammates that they replaced. The older academy graduate typically missed out, Kelleher, was excellent. Van Dijk was superb at both ends of the pitch – truly inspirational.

I’ve seen van Dijk used as a snarky counterpoint to Carragher’s comment “That money isn’t everything” to suggest that Liverpool are hardly paupers compared to Chelsea which is true but it seems very much to be missing the point of not just the two clubs relative comparative spending in recent years but of the actual players who made it onto the pitch for the game.

That comparison was most completely shown by the two benches. Both teams included a range of youngsters but Liverpool’s most expensive signing was a £12 million reserve left back while Chelsea had a reserve goalkeeper that cost more than Liverpool’s entire bench and indeed more than every goalkeeper Liverpool has signed other than Allison. The Chelsea bench also included three attackers with a combined fee of around £150 million. That was why Carragher was convinced that Chelsea were favourites – the longer the game went on – as he stated several times – both teams would tire but Chelsea had the bigger squad and better bench to make changes. The fact that Chelsea overtook Liverpool’s XG around the 70th minute according to Opta shows exactly that.

Personally, I’ve no issue with van Dijk’s first ‘goal’ being called back for offside. Colwill may not have been van Dijk’s direct marker nor might he have changed the outcome but he would’ve been in the vicinity of the eventual header and so it’s fair that the officials judged that he might’ve impacted the goal had he not been blocked off by the offside Endo. However, F365 is entirely incorrect to state that the issue was not with the block itself. The decision of offside is only given if Endo is decided to have interfered with play from an offside position. That he interfered with play must be subjectively determined by the officials which is why the referee was called over to take a look to make the decision. If they did not think he had blocked Colwill sufficiently to interfere with the defender getting back to challenge van Dijk then the goal would not have been ruled out – so the question of whether it is a block and which other teams successfully deploy similar tactics is actually rather important and whether it would’ve been called a foul in an onside position is relevant.

Similarly, the decision not to penalise Caicedo for the foul on Gravenberch was not in itself a miscarriage of justice (that happened with Harry Maguire getting away with his foul against Fulham – Curtis Jones not for the first time this season must be wondering what happened to ‘high-degree of intensity’, ‘bend of the leg’, and ‘out of control’ etc. – at least Jones made contact with the ball!). The issue, for me at least, was that once again a referee decided to let multiple yellow card incidents go early only to then discover his yellow cards late in the game. Gallagher, Colwill and Caicedo should all have received yellow cards in the first half for late and dangerous challenges where they jumped into tackles and cleaned out the opponent. Early yellows, particularly for Gallagher and Caicedo, would’ve curbed much of the exuberance that the pair showed to get Chelsea on the front foot in the second half but instead they were able to continue to steam into challenges right up until the referee discovered he could book people for more than pushing/being pushed when of course he booked McAllister for a challenge that had already been ignored 5 or 6 times in the game.

Also guys, “This Means More” was a marketing slogan dating back to 2018 that has since been used on an ongoing basis to promote the community work that the club does around the world. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s not even that unusual for a club to release some wank marketing campaign. Just look at Arsenal’s legendary 2018 kit launch

‘We are THE legendary white sleeves.

We are THE ones who always pick the cannon when we are playing Monopoly.

We are THE ones who know the real ‘Dennis the menace’. He’s not a cartoon, he’s a genius.

We are THE ones who call our uncle Arsène even if his name is John.

We are THE ‘Invincibles’ even when we are playing against mates on a Sunday.

We are THE ones who since 1919 have never known the second division.

We are THE 228 times Thierry Henry found the back of the net.

We are THE ones that are never wrong but always Wright.

We are THE ones riding our motorbikes with Petr Cech’s helmet.

We are THE 13 time winners.

Since 1886… WE ARE THE ARSENAL’

Regards,

Lindsay, Dublin.

Scouse maths

Scouse Maths has long been a phenomenon on these pages, these guys can use an abacus to prove any point, most notably the gold standard Net Spend strand of maths.

But the Monday mailbox provided an outstanding new take on it all.

Shirt Number totals!!!

According to Paul McDevitt’s mail, Liverpool ended the game with shirt numbers of 404. Paul states “Why shirt numbers? It gives you some idea of where the club sees players fitting into the plans that season. Lower numbers equals more likely to play a role”.

What a spectacular argument! Doesn’t Trent Alexander Arnold wear number 66?!

Clearly he has no future at the club!

DC, BAC

Liverpool and more

Red flag nailed the to mast, let’s have some thoughts. Not conclusions, and not sixteen. But thoughts about the weekend’s football.

One: The Klopp farewell tour is off and running. And Klopp is definitely playing it up, as well you would expect a manager who seems to really think about how emotional incentives, for both players and fans, play a part in match outcomes. But you can also see he’s uncomfortable with it. He participated in the trophy lift – an unusual moment – and then immediately ran off the stage. Seriously, if you focus on Klopp and not the jumping players, you’ll see the German skulking his way out as fast as he can. It’s an oddly paradoxical thing. I assume Klopp is milking this for narrative, emotional energy, but also doesn’t think he should be there. But who knows.

Two: The battle of who gets to be the underdogs is a bit galling when you’re talking about two multi-billion dollar enterprises. For what it’s worth, I think both teams can feel hard done by injuries. Liverpool, obviously in the moment. And Chelsea throughout the season (including last night) which has deprived them of the opportunity to gel together and turn all those expensive players into a team.

Three: That said, by the end of 90 minutes it really felt like there was only one winner in it. Diaz was barely able to run. The kids would try but there were plenty of moments that showed that energy just doesn’t let you consistently get the better of players who are that much better and more experienced than you.

Four: And then extra time and… Honest hat on there, as a Liverpool fan I was focused on all the ways my team was struggling. But it’s worth noting that Chelsea’s players would also be tired. Sure they hadn’t played the week before. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s also worth noting that Chelsea’s freshest legs were the ones put up against Liverpool’s senior players. Gomez, Quansah (when do the England calls start?), Virg and Tsimi could mostly deal with the pressure, leaving the youth to handle the tired legs of Chelsea players. And in extra time that meant them getting extra touches and extra time to make things happen.

Five: Firing Poch is not the way to solve this dumpster. Firing Potter wasn’t either. You need to take time to let the managers create a team spirit and ethos. The other part, of course, is that the players have to buy into it too. Chelsea have so many extremely talented young players, who all have histories of winning things and playing in units that were already built, that they feel if there isn’t a culture, it’s on the people above them. When it’s now their job to buy in and create something more. Arteta had the same issues, and solved it by brutally scapegoating individual players to pull the rest of the team in line. I’m not certain if any Chelsea manager can do the same, due to contracts, but it’s worth remembering it took the better part of three seasons of true, unremitting shit (not the pretend “Klopp was bad to start” people spout ignoring any actual context) from Arteta before he turned it around. Chelsea need that time. I hope they don’t get it.

Six: This is true with ETH as well. There’s a culture problem in that team, not a talent one. They’re all – every single one – good or great players. Yes, including Dalot, Rashford, Anthony, Malacia or whoever you hate this week. I don’t like ten Hag for his opinions and actions off the football pitch, but if given time and resources, he cuts the cancer out of that dressing room.

Seven: Arsenal look bloody good. Can we quietly appreciate having three teams in the title race this late in the season. It might end in a blow out, but for now it’s great to see.

Andrew M, Streatham.

Blocks and offside

Hi, long time reader, first time contributor etc etc

I think a lot of the chatter about the disallowed VVD goal yesterday is missing the point.

Endo was given offside as he was deemed to be ‘active’ or ‘interfering with play’ or whatever the term is these days. The only way he was active was because he blocked Colwill. The conclusion you have to draw from that is that had he been onside, the officials yesterday would have disallowed the goal for a block.

This is the point I think Carragher, amongst others, was trying to make (but quite poorly) Had Endo been onside would the VAR and officials really have disallowed the goal, given that happens multiple times in every game? Yesterday, quite possibly given what happened. But the vast vast majority of the time it would go unpunished. The fact it didn’t appear any Chelsea player was screaming for a foul says it all really.

Looking forward to next weekends MotD being littered with analysis of blocks at set pieces going unpunished.

Adam

United built on sand

Seeing the debacle of Fulham’s well deserved win at Old Trafford at the weekend gave me an epiphany regarding United’s run of solid results. With the likes of Casemiro, Mainoo and Shaw back in the team, Hojlund finding his feet and confidence the narrative was, not unreasonably, “see, ETH was just unlucky with injuries, now he has his best players back United are playing decent football and are on a good run”.

However, fast forward to the Fulham game and United notably have Shaw (again) and Hojlund injured. Unfortunate, but teams need to be able to cope when missing a few players. And United really didn’t, in fact they were shambolic, it was a scandalous drop off for the sake of two players being injured (I know there are other long term absentees FYI). Which led to the realisation that the team, at full strength, is able to win in spite of Ten Hag not because of him. That the winning run was simply because United have better players than the teams they were facing. That the minute there is the slightest setback, United turn into a disorganised mess.

One mark of a good manager is that the team still has an identity even with players absent, United lacked much of identity even when playing well but the results came anyway, take away a couple of important players and the whole thing comes crashing down.

Frankly I think Jim will call time on him this summer and back on the merry go round we go. Hopefully with a better team at the top the manager selection might be more successful this time. Frankly playing Lindelof at LB is a sackable offence alone.

Andy MUFC

Erik ten Hag catches the ball during the match.

…How does Ten Hag keep peddling out the injuries excuse when Liverpool just did that in the cup final?

He’s gotta go, the way opposition waltz through our entire team is quite incredible. Thats down to team structure and instilling an attitude of sticking to that structure. Either he has no structure to begin with or he doesnt have the leadership skills to ensure the team follows it, either way time to go. Who replaces him, anybodys guess.

Dave Loaf.

Glasner’s Palace

Don’t know about anyone else but I quite enjoyed this weekend’s football: two new nicknames were coined for teams, Manchester United lost, and Oliver Glasner made a winning start at Selhurst Park.

*Although Glasner was not officially in charge when Crystal Palace played Everton, clearly he had had some influence over the team, even if it was simply asking Paddy McCarthy to set the team up in a 3-4-2-1. This was the formation he employed again on Saturday against Burnley with Joel Ward on the right of the back three as he did occasionally under Patrick Vieira, Adam Wharton and Jefferson Lerma as two central midfielders, and Odsonne Edouard and Jordan Ayew behind Jean-Philippe Mateta.

*Roy Hodgson’s two spells in charge, and Vieira’s, all ended with a strong sense that the time was right for a change. In Vieira’s case, and Hodgson’s second spell, it’s been apparent that there is plenty of talent in the squad, it needs a tune-up and some adjustment, not an overhaul. They, and on the basis of this first game, Glasner, have brought this, it’s just a case of making it last beyond the first time everyone’s had a look at you.

*Whether it’s indicative of his general approach or indicative of players trying to impress a new manager, Palace were out of the blocks quickly on Saturday, immediately pressing Burnley and forcing a corner from a bizarre and optimistic backpass from Charlie Taylor. It was this pressing that led to the red card. James Trafford underhit a pass out to Josh Brownhill and Lerma caught him napping; the Burnley skipper could only react by grabbing his shirt, his “how can it be denying a goalscoring opportunity, it’s Crystal Palace” protests fell on deaf ears and off he went. How much this changed the game is up for debate, but as Vincent Kompany’s side hadn’t managed an attempt on goal to that point, so it’s entirely reasonable to think the hosts would have continued to dominate the play.

*It wasn’t shown on Match of the Day, or mentioned in the BBC Sport report, but Matt Woosnam of the Athletic tweeted in real time that it seemed like Wharton was lucky not to have his participation ended early. There was probably an element of protection in the decision to withdraw him on 66 minutes in favour of Naouirou Ahamada, while Matheus Franca replaced Edouard at the same time. Palace fans had been annoyed that Hodgson had not used these two players in particular more often this season, restricting them to cameos, so it was encouraging in Glasner’s first game he was giving them half an hour to show what they could do.

The impact was immediate. Ahamada dribbled at the Burnley defence and his shot from outside the area forced a save from Trafford and a corner. In the aftermath of that, Ayew’s cross to the back post was headed home by Chris Richards, the American Phil Lynott lookalike recording his first goal for Palace.

*Not to be outdone by his fellow sub, Franca went one better. Encouragingly, Palace kept their foot on the gas and it was the Brazilian who crossed from the left and found Ayew, who slid home for a second back post goal. He also played a huge part in the third goal, carrying the ball for 50+ yards before being clattered by Vitinho. It looks soft because Franca was running out of steam, but the Burnley man clatters into him and if he doesn’t, Franca has the chance to shoot or pass to Mateta, so it had to be a penalty, which Mateta dispatched.

*This was about as dominating a performance as any of us could have expected. For all the acknowledged caveats, they were a team in disarray. While the top sides don’t give that much consideration, to the bottom sides you start looking like a team they can beat, which adds to the pressure. The red card came about as a result of how Palace set up to play, and having gained a numerical advantage, they continued to dominate the play and remained patient, taking half an hour or so to finally score. When they did, they immediately went after a second, and then a third. It was a team performance, a world away from when Hodgson seemed to pin all his hopes on a single saviour, whether Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze or Michael Olise. It was also pleasing to see two players who Hodgson seemed not to rate reward the new manager giving them an opportunity.

*Winning games against ten men doesn’t happen very often for Palace. Since the start of the 2021-22 season up to last weekend, it had happened in six games: Palace had been ahead in two games, level in two, and behind in two. The last time they won a game against ten men without being in front at the time of the dismissal was the very first of those: a 3-0 win over Spurs on 11 September 2021; on no other occasion had they been able to make their numerical advantage count.

*Next up for Palace is a trip to Spurs on Saturday. Everything could come back down with a bump, but regardless of what happens, for now there is a genuine sense of at least being up for the game, instead of an air of resignation that they’re Spurs, they’re a top side, we can’t really expect to have a chance.

*The tribute to Stan Bowles at the end of MOTD2 contained a quote from Gavin Peacock, billed as “ex-QPR player” with no mention that he used to be a pundit on MOTD2 before becoming a priest. It’s my civic duty to remind everyone that he is responsible for Jeremy Aves of this parish having one of the best “blocked by a celebrity on social media” stories of anyone.

*It’s that time of year again: Scotland v England on Saturday was full of players kicking the ball away after a free kick or penalty was awarded, and players were arguing with officials when a decision went against them. You’d get a yellow card or a sin bin for that in football, when are the RFU going to take a similar hardline stance? Why oh why oh why can’t rugby union players be more like footballers?

Well, after Michael Vaughan’s spectacular hot take that reviews in cricket should be more like VAR, this is only ever going to be the second worst opinion on officiating of the weekend.

Ed Quoththeraven

Villa finding new ways to rile

It struck me today that of Villa’s six PL losses this year, four have come against United’s Manchester and Newcastle. Villa could/should be top! That Bailey assist mind, lovely stuff. Oh, and Villa’s 2nd goal involved a touch from all 11 players. Only exciting when City do it though isn’t it?

Gary AVFC, Oxford (avec tongue firmly dans le cheek).

Johnny Nic’s breakout

Thank you Johnny for the wonderful article. Really encapsulates the “other” side of football and life (they are the same aren’t they). You hit the nail on the head on everything and more power to keep the socialist rant coming. If we all agreed with each other, we might as well be lifeless souls used by robots as fodder in the matrix. On the note it’s cellotape mate.

Shivam, MUFC

F*** you, c***. Feel better? Seriously though, very happy things are looking up for you, and you can still see the good in people. Fight on, and rock on.

Zdravko

…Beautiful piece from Johnny Nic. Thank you. You’re a great writer and we’ve missed you. Thank you for sharing your experience, your vulnerability and your unshakeable honesty.

Take care,

Spencer, Arsenal, Bangkok

Source : Football365.com

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