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Napoli (H) Champions League 27/11/19 - 8pm

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Frustrating. We had no tempo at all in the first half, and it was nothing to do with Fab going off early on. The game was far too slow and it wasn't helped by the ref stopping every minute to 'have a word' with one of the players or the coaches. It wasn't as though both sides were kicking lumps out of each other.

 

I thought Mertens fouled Big Virg in the lead-up to their goal. Compared to the one Real Madrid got away with against PSG last night, this one was blatant as Mertens deliberately led with his elbow. He wasn't even looking at the ball! Mertens is one of those players you'd never tire of volleying into the air. The rest of the Napoli players weren't far behind for constantly getting in the ref's face asking for cards.

 

We were a lot better in the second half as there was much more zip about our play. The front 3 were still struggling to get meaningful chances though. Bobby had one effort cleared off the line, and Salah hit a very presentable opportunity straight at Meret. Bobby headed another half-chance wide as the defender did well to put him off. I can't recall Mane having a chance.

 

Playing Gomez at right back caused us to lack attacking impetus. He tried hard but he doesn't have that attacking edge that Trent has. We brough Ox on for him and put Hendo at right back, knowing that Napoli were content to just sit back and try to play on the break.

 

Degsy of all people got us back in it with a determined far post header from a corner. Mertens can fuck off with the claiming for a foul.

 

After that, we had most of the ball and nearly all of the territory but we were ragged with the final ball. I lost count of how many times Meret claimed a simple catch. The attacking trio never looked like getting on the end of those deliveries all night.

 

Finally, Robbo got booked after a little shove on Di Lorenzo, who tried to make a meal of it by almost hopping up onto the advertising horading before deciding against it mid-hop. The Napoli players lost their shit and wanted Robbo to be sent off. The ref then minced - yes, minced (watch it again) - over to book the Scot, before going over to book Koulibaly for getting involved.

 

They are such a shithouse club. The owner is a cunt. The players act like cunts. The stadium has had a makeover akin to putting lipstick on a pig. Even the manager is allowing a cuntish veneer to mask his general calm demeanour. The fans wanted to cause trouble pre-kick off and I fully expect several of them to try it on post-match.

 

Oh well, it is down to the last match.

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5 minutes ago, Ben Sherman said:

What the hell has happened to Gomez? 

 

He's been sulking a bit since he didn't waltz back into the team after his recovery imo. His positioning in defence is woeful and he adds little in an attacking sense which is something our full backs need to offer in the way we play with only 3 in M/F. He wasn't shit tonight, but he wasn't great either. Hopefully he'll sort his head out, because when we have used him he hasn't been at the races. I actually cringe when we use him as a R/B as he's shite there. 

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It's not a bad result considering the trouble they give us and also our performances haven't been great in general and not winning was on the cards sooner or later.

 

Also, this Salzburg team is excellent but as European champions and as a team with pedigree, a draw is the least we should expect there anyway. 

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10 minutes ago, Pistonbroke said:

 

I said after the game we should have went for it a bit more at the end, draw or loss tonight changed nothing as far as qualifying goes. If we had forced a win we'd be through and had a dead rubber to rest players. I'd have shoved Origi on through the middle in the last 15 to give their back three something different to face, it might have given the other three more space to work with as well. 

 

We have Brighton at home where we should be able to put away and rest players. Then it's the fucking Derby against the rabid blues, so that will be a hard game even if we hammer them, it'll be physical. Then we have Bournemouth away who are a funny old team, maybe we can experiment with formations against them, especially if we win the other two games. 

It's another game where we've struggled to break down however. It's giving teams a way to play against us. We need our trickier players against these teams and we need to move the ball way quicker. 

I remember against Brighton last year away, Salah moved a bit deeper and had a bit of joy running from there. We're going to have to change it up a bit as maybe we're becoming a bit predictable.

 

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I think people are forgetting all the effort the players have put in turning those games around in the last 5 minutes recently. We've had a very tough game against city. We may think we should be snotting teams like Palace but the players still had to give their all on Saturday.

 

After tonight's game, we should be playing Brighton on the Sunday but no, it's Saturday and we've got the shite on Wednesday night. If you think Napoli are cunts, wait till you see what everton will do, hacking everything down.

 

Fab's suspended for Brighton so hopefully, the few extra days means he'll be fit for the derby.

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Gomez at RB was the biggest contributing factor to us being turned over at the Nou Camp - he shouldn’t be in the team in that position, especially in Europe 

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Also, we have real defensive issues. Unable to keep a clean sheet against basically anyone this season. It's a weakness which can't be ignored. Their goal shouldn't have stood today, but we're generally too susceptible to the counter and especially against teams with two strikers.

 

Teams are defending in two banks of four or with five at the back and then they're finding the strikers who occupy the space in between the CB's and where the full backs would be if they weren't getting forward. It's way too easy. 

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Of course it is frustrating because we now have to play a tough game needing a result at a time when we have loads of games.....chance to give players a much needed rest is gone...but let's just remember we are top of the league and top of this European Cup group with our destiny in our own hands.

 

When our 'bad' results are draws and after them we can look at tables and be where we are then things are pretty good.

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, niallers said:

It's another game where we've struggled to break down however. It's giving teams a way to play against us. We need our trickier players against these teams and we need to move the ball way quicker. 

I remember against Brighton last year away, Salah moved a bit deeper and had a bit of joy running from there. We're going to have to change it up a bit as maybe we're becoming a bit predictable.

 

 

I'm sure Klopp will be looking at things and work it out. The reason we are where we are is because we are pretty darn good, especially when we really need a result. No doubting that the players have a huge task next month, but I bet they'd rather be in that position than that of Arsenal, the Mancs or Spurs. Just need to dig deep and a few squad players need to step up to the plate. If we don't invest in the squad come January then we need our heads looking at. 

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39 minutes ago, Pistonbroke said:

Thought Lovren had a pretty good game myself, not only for his goal but he got a decent block in and some good tackles high up the pitch. Had to turn the BT stream off, they are as bad as fucking Sky. 

Arguably man of the match. For us anyway. The Ref got it normally. 

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Our results have been fantastic so far this season so I have no criticisms when we have the occasional blip , but my worry is that we look jaded already with a shedload of games coming up thick and fast. Jurgen has been very conservative with his use of the squad and certain senior players look on their knees. His main task up to Xmas will be to integrate the likes of Origi, Shaq, Keita, Lallana and Ox on occasions and still keeping the results rolling in.

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6 minutes ago, sir roger said:

Our results have been fantastic so far this season so I have no criticisms when we have the occasional blip , but my worry is that we look jaded already with a shedload of games coming up thick and fast. Jurgen has been very conservative with his use of the squad and certain senior players look on their knees. His main task up to Xmas will be to integrate the likes of Origi, Shaq, Keita, Lallana and Ox on occasions and still keeping the results rolling in.


Good post. I would also add Curtis Jones to that list. He’s looked ready to take the step from what I’ve seen. The other youngsters haven’t unfortunately, with the possible exception of Elliot.

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Sounds like Klopps worried about Fabinho. Left in a walking boot on tonight. 

 

This weekend I'd go with a midfield of

 

----------Hendo

----Ox--------Lallana

 

We will be on the front foot at the weekend so rest Milner and Gini fir the derby

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1 minute ago, Lee909 said:

Sounds like Klopps worried about Fabinho. Left in a walking boot on tonight. 

 

This weekend I'd go with a midfield of

 

----------Hendo

----Ox--------Lallana

 

We will be on the front foot at the weekend so rest Milner and Gini fir the derby


A lengthy injury on Fabinho would be a major blow. Only Van Dijk and possibly Bobby are more important to us imo.

 

Apart from Fabinho I think Wijnaldum is the only top class midfielder we have.

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Hope Fabinho isn’t a serious injury, he is pivotal to the midfield now, big loss if he is missing any of December 

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Hopefully Fabinho is okay. We should have enough for this weekend, but the bluenoses will look a good team for the first of their two cup finals next week so would be great to have him back for that. They will turn up undoubtedly.

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Poor performance against a poor/cuntish team. Huge pressure on the final game now. Napoli definitely will be going through so RB Salzburg will be coming out all guns blazing. So frustrating that we couldn't secure qualification tonight, could have played the kids and rested the regulars in the final game. 

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1 hour ago, Alex_K said:

Gomez at RB was the biggest contributing factor to us being turned over at the Nou Camp - he shouldn’t be in the team in that position, especially in Europe 

His performance at right back in the 5 minutes he got against Spurs was awful too. A narrative built after that game about the number of shots they had and how Alisson was the difference. Almost all came after our second and most of them came from Gomez struggling 

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6 minutes ago, Ronnie Whelan said:

Hopefully Fabinho is okay. We should have enough for this weekend, but the bluenoses will look a good team for the first of their two cup finals next week so would be great to have him back for that. They will turn up undoubtedly.

He wasn’t playing at the weekend anyway was he. Banned?

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I'd leave him out of the derby too if there's any doubt. Don't need another origi injury by one of their orcs. We won plenty of games without him last year before he got into the side so we'll have to do it again. We beat villa without him this season. 

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