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"That's Football" by John Brennan


“That’s football!” Funny, I’d love to see him turn to the Main Stand when we concede yet another goal that’ll be soon be a GIF and hear what he has to say. “That’s shite!” Or, maybe, “That’s what we’ve been working on at Melwood all week!”

 

Nah, I didn’t think so either. It’s hard to be grumpy after the attacking performance we saw on Tuesday but I’ll give it a good shot.

 

Firstly, the self-congratulatory “That’s football!” He just can’t help himself, this guy. If he spent as much time working on our defensive problems as he does geeing up the crowd, then we’d be a lot better off. Heck, we might even have finished third last season and avoided two extra games in August. His foray towards The Kop after the game? He’s got almost everyone eating out of his hands, hasn’t he?

 

Anyway, did we win something the other night? You would have been forgiven for thinking so, given the eulogistic post-game interviews. We’ve qualified for the group stages of the European Cup. Yippee! That’s a snarky “Yippee”, as you’ll have gathered, unlike Klopp’s, which was genuine. “Lost in translation”, no doubt. Now that we’re there we could go far. I agree with Dave – these two-legged games suit us much better. Lose 3-2 in Maribor? Possible. Annihilate them 9-3 at Anfield? More than likely. That’s the way this team works.

 

So, Hoffenheim? Well that was exhilarating, fast, incisive, probing, out-of-your-seat football. It brought us back to the best days 2014 when Suarez, Sturridge, Sterling and Gerrard were destroying anyone who crossed their path. Any time this team attacks, it looks like scoring. The danger comes from everyone and everywhere.

 

Klopp has created this, let there be no equivocation. He deserves and has got credit for that. The jury is out on Salah, obviously, as he’s been here just a month. But based on what we’ve seen so far, it augurs well for the season. Mané, a Klopp signing – for which he also deserves credit – is outstanding. Firmino gets better with every game; Klopp also deserves credit for getting the best out of him and putting players around him who complement his game. Pace, allied to vision and intelligence is a lethal combination. We are in for a treat this season. No team can live with this team in full flow.

 

Where it could come crumbling down is the pressure these front men are under to produce. Game after game, will it be possible? Last season, we played 47 games in total (38 + 6 League Cup + 3 FA Cup). By my calculations, we have 30 games before the end of December. And more if we progress in the League Cup. In December alone we have SEVEN league games and our last European Cup group game (2nd, 6th, 9th, 13th, 16th, 23rd, 26th, 30th).

 

These guys are brilliant but will they be able to produce 2 or 3 goals every week? Can we rely on others (like Sturridge and Solanke) to pick up the slack? What happens when the inevitable injuries take their toll? With this team, one goal is rarely enough – and those are the days we could suffer.

 

The reason, of course, that one is rarely enough is because of our defence. In those 47 games last season, we conceded two (or more) 12 times. As long as that’s the case, this team can’t win anything. There is a developing narrative of a defence and attack “trade-off”, alluded to by Dave in the Hoffenheim match report.

 

It goes something like the following: “we’re so attack-minded that you have to be prepared to conceded goals.” The premise is that we’ll score enough to win most of our games. Except we probably won’t. Our front men are going to have off-days and when they do, we can’t rely on our defence to keep clean sheets. Hoffenheim opened us up at will at times. Better teams – ones who can defend AND attack – are going to cause us all sorts of problems. Even Watford – WATFORD! – did it to us the first day.

 

The average goal difference to win the Title in the last five seasons has been +47. Given the rate at which we concede goals, we’re going to have to score well over 90 to have a chance at the Title this season, or, at least, to be in contention. In a 50+-game season in all competitions, I’m not sure we can. The winning of trophies will depend on our defence bailing the front men out at times. Goodness knows, they owe Mané, Firmino and company one. That too “is football”.

 

 

John Brennan

@JohnAPBrennan


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47 Comments

Id guess youre going to get flak for another negative leaning article. I dont think youre wrong btw by any stretch.

I think anyone that thinks the squad is good as it stands is just utterly obviously wrong unless we get the biggest slice of luck ever.
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I'll save Tony the trouble. Load of shite.
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The worries about our defence and the ability of the attack to produce consistently all season with the number of games we have is all spot on.

The failure to understand Klopp's personality is either rather surprisingly unintelligent or sadly shitcuntery.
    • 4
I didn't like the article. Not because it said we aren't very good in defence - that point is well made! But I didn't like the undercurrent against the manager. I don't like this sort of thing. Klopp wears his heart on his sleeve but I like him for it. After a long slog of a season we got top four and a CL qualifier as a reward. We came out well on top in the qualifier and when he said "that's football" I loved it. It encapsulated what he wants his team to do and I for one was impressed. It was a lovely goal with pace, movement and finishing.

We just finished top four for only the second time in 8 years. We navigated the qualifier and now we're back where we wanted to be, I don't get the negativity. Sorry mate!
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Klopp will be rubbing his hands together by Christmas.
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Like the entire site lately a load of fucking shite

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We're a bad run away from a full Klopp out brigade raising it's head.  All the early signs are there and once it's begins, it doesn't stop.

 

Strange, when he's done nothing but overachieve so far.   Looks like some people don't deserve nice things and miss the days of losing 6-1 to Stoke and ending up 6th/7th,

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We're a bad run away from a full Klopp out brigade raising it's head. All the early signs are there and once it's begins, it doesn't stop.

Strange, when he's done nothing but overachieve so far. Looks like some people don't deserve nice things and miss the days of losing 6-1 to Stoke and ending up 6th/7th,


This.
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Terrible article. "If he spent as much time working on our defensive problems as geeing up the crowd." What a load of shit. He celebrated a very good 3rd goal to put us 4 up in a CL qualifier to put the tie beyond doubt.
Plenty of things about the club to give out about, this is definitely not one of them. Strikes me as negative for the sake of it
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We're a bad run away from a full Klopp out brigade raising it's head.  All the early signs are there and once it's begins, it doesn't stop.
 
Strange, when he's done nothing but overachieve so far.   Looks like some people don't deserve nice things and miss the days of losing 6-1 to Stoke and ending up 6th/7th,


Spot on, for years we keep,hearing with other clubs regarding the manager (like Wenger) "be careful what you wish for" .
We had a taste of mediocrity when Rogers (don't give me the title challenge he had a fucking monster playing for him) and Hodgson were here , lose Klopp and who would our next manager be?
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Did you swallow a dictionary?
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Well written nonsense. Technical merit - A+. Content - F.
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Klopps ace, our defence is shite.
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Utter shithouse cuntery.

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Anyone having cheap digs at Klopp is a cunt as far as I'm concerned
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I understand that John is one of the old guard and Dave's mate , but so are likes of Paul , and he doesn't expect his musings to be handed down under TLW content on tablets of stone.

Some valid points of course but the arbitrary dislike of Klopp permeates every sentence he writes and detract from a lot of the comments he is trying to make.
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Thanks for pointing out that the "yipee" was snarky.   I wouldn't have guessed from the general tone and disposition towards Klopp.

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Not for me Clive, he needs to do better there.
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I understand that John is one of the old guard and Dave's mate , but so are likes of Paul , and he doesn't expect his musings to be handed down under TLW content on tablets of stone.

Some valid points of course but the arbitrary dislike of Klopp permeates every sentence he writes and detract from a lot of the comments he is trying to make.


I'd like a few more articles on the site, even if they are only long-form posts. It's nice to have a permanent record of what people thought at the time that can be accessed easily. Speaking of which, what has become of the Diary?

As for the article itself though, the need to ram everything into the overarching hostile - I don't use the word lightly - narrative undermines the sensible points.
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A few points:

 

1). Don't expect this or anything I write to be seen as "tablets of stone". Just my take on where we are at the moment. Everybody is free to write - be they for or against him, a player or anyone else at the Club.

2). Yes, I've got a problem with parts of Klopp's personality and decisions (at times), hence the snarky tone. I'm in the underwhelming minority on this - most people seem to love his exuberance. I just hope he backs it up with success this year.

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That was two points. Otherwise known as a couple of points but not really a few points. Excuse my snarky (sarky?) tone.
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Brennan is trying to force Klopp out.
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That was two points. Otherwise known as a couple of points but not really a few points. Excuse my snarky (sarky?) tone.

Phew! There are still grammarians on this mortal coil of ours.

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Excellent article John, fuck the begrudgers!
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He's delighted because all top managers (like players) want to be in the CL. Plus, it's the only thing we've had to look forward to since Basel.

Put into the context of how he normally celebrates, I'd say there was nothing abnormal about what he did at the end of the game.

Are you suggesting the fans didn't feel the same joy? I was there, it was obvious we were all delighted with that.

Onto the subject of that third goal, I doubt you'll see a more perfect team goal all season and you'd certainly be hard-pushed to find a better one on the whole of YouTube.

Especially considering what was riding on the game.

It's what he wants to create here and that was the result of the clear hard work he puts into the attacking side of our game. It's heavy metal football and we knew we were getting it.

And it ain't easy without a Suarez or Gerrard.

I've said it before - give me this over some of the turgid nil nils we had with Rafa and Ged any day of the week.

The paradox of setting up a defence is that it's much easier when you have a world class midfield and striker. Rafa and Ged had that. We currently have neither.

Only serious investment will change that.
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