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Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1 - Aug 29 2020 (Arsenal win 5-4 on pens)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

I didn’t particularly want to write a report on this. Partly because it was shite, but mainly because it’s not like a regular Charity Shield game which in itself is only a glorified friendly. This wasn't even that. 

 

It didn’t come at the end of a full pre-season when players are finely tuned and ready to go. It’s in the middle of a shortened pre-season and we’ve only had two friendlies to prepare. 

 

It’s the same for Arsenal and I’m not using that as an excuse, but I feel it has taken away what little prestige and value this game has in a normal season, especially as it was played in an empty stadium. I don’t think it should have even been played this year under the circumstances.

 

All that probably sounds like sour grapes because we didn’t win. I’d be saying it even if we had won though. This game was an inconvenience and we could certainly have done without it, but because it’s relatively high profile it’s hard not to draw conclusions from the performance and judge it like a proper game, when really it’s just a friendly between two teams who are nowhere near peak sharpness. 

 

I don’t think the result or performance means anything. We didn’t even lose, we drew. What happens after that with the pens determines the outcome but it doesn’t change what happened in the actual game. It was a draw and it was probably fair as neither team deserved to win.

 

So we drew with Arsenal. Not the end of the world and if this game had been labelled “The California Cup” or “The Sydney Shield” and had been played overseas no-one would give a fuck. Because it’s the Charity Shield it has a little bit more prestige, but this year especially it’s no different to any of those pre-season tournaments big clubs play in every summer. It means nothing.

 

We didn’t win a pre-season friendly. That’s the upshot of all this, and it’s therefore not worth reading too much into it. That’s why I didn’t want to write a report but I assumed you’d be expecting one so here it is.

 

Despite everything I’ve just said, I am still a little pissed off because it genuinely offends me that once again we didn’t beat Arsenal. They’re fucking shite and this is the second time in as many months that we’ve allowed them to think they can hang with us. Friendly or not, that bothers me a little and I can’t pretend it doesn’t. 

 

I have nothing but contempt for modern day Arsenal and everything they represent. Anything other than a convincing spanking of them is just unacceptable in my eyes, and friendly or not, our players should be pissed off with themselves for allowing this to happen. 

 

Arsenal are fucking shit. They’ve only got one player who is on the same level as our team. ONE!! The rest wouldn’t get anywhere near our first eleven and most wouldn’t get a sniff of the bench either.

 

 

This is just a teaser, click here to view the full report

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

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Totally spot on, Dave !

 

As some one write in the forum, time to forget the hype : world champion, best team in the world, best team ever ect...

 

Results have been poor since February, performance have been average, time to work hard and start as if we were nothing.

 

We do need variety, because we almost play the same team and the same way. It’s Klopp’s business to make us better.

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 I think we could scrape into 3rd this season. They look knackered since Feb and now have a smaller squad for rotations with Lovren and Lallana gone. 

 

But I'm in the same boat as Dave - I just wanted to win the PL so badly that now its done and dusted I'd be happy to "take a step back" if it meant we regrouped after Covid has got under some control, and investment in the squad kicks off again. I found last season very stressful to be honest, when it should have been anything but stressful. So I'm happy enough for us to challenge, be there abouts at the end, as long as we don't look absolute pony doing it. 

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We'll slip back a long way this season, whether it'll be a slip to second like City the season just gone, or further remains to be seen!

 

We haven't strengthened whilst at the top which used to be our forte. Whether due to COVID or due to FSG being as tight as a gnats chuff who knows.

 

I'd like more silverware to keep the run of the last few years going, but it won't be the league or the CL. Maybe we'll buck up in the FA Cup who knows.

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I love Bobby but this last season things just havent happened for him. I think he's too preoccupied setting up other people then when he has a chance, he seems to pass it up for Mo or Sadio. He also needs to cut out the little backheels and make sure the ball gets to a teammate.

 

FIFA have once again clamped down on keepers on pens. I honestly dont know why because it's not like keepers were saving all the pens or even 50% of them. With VAR from this season, if they move before the ball is kicked or are off their line by a fraction, it's a retake unless the striker misses the target. What was disappointing was that virtually all the pens Allison went the wrong way. To be fair, the arsenal keeper didnt save any and Im not certain how many he went the right way on.

 

I didnt see most of the 2nd half except the last 10 but watched the whole 1st half. We were dire. arsenal had only played one game midweek against MK Dons against our two. Surely that wasnt the difference although I gather we had an 'intense' training session before we played Salzburg.

 

Never want the boys to lose and even if this is a no mark game, you still dont want to lose and especially to arsenal. Still, gooners probably think they are in a good place with arteta and now have a false sense of security.

 

It's fucking crazy FIFA \ UEFA and scheduled 2 rounds of international games when most major European leagues havent started. When are elite European clubs going to kick back against this shite? I think the opening fixture against leeds just got a bit tougher.

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I agree with everything about buying someone every year. It’s very worrying after winning the CL and the League we’re pleading poverty!

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I wish Alisson had tried to psyche a few of their takers out before they stepped up. It might not have made any difference, but he seemed to make it way too easy for them throughout the shootout.

 

 

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Maybe it'll be better if Alison can't move early. At least he'll have a 50/50 chance of going the right way. 

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12 minutes ago, mike23 said:

I wish Alisson had tried to psyche a few of their takers out before they stepped up. It might not have made any difference, but he seemed to make it way too easy for them throughout the shootout.

 

 

I don't Charity Shield has always been a friendly, remember when it first went to penalties and wasnt shared and keepers took penalties.

Arsenal keeper came across as a massive cunt

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1 minute ago, aws said:

Maybe it'll be better if Alison can't move early. At least he'll have a 50/50 chance of going the right way. 

Its part of a bigger plan the big sexy bastard is telling them to get it done in normal time.....worraguy

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The only legitimate reason I can think of for that not happening is that Klopp has something planned for next summer and is keeping his powder dry. He’s shown before that he’s prepared to wait for the right player while the rest of us are losing our shit and demanding he compromise and settle for a secondary target 


Give it up, Skip. M’bappe isn’t coming.

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Agree with the whole article. Feels like we got to pole position and now we take our foot off the gas. The side needs fresh bodies, we do need to be able to mix it up.

 

Our players are aging we need to evolve the side. We cant just buy cheap teenagers and expect a production line of capable players from our new academy so FSG can save even more cash.  We stand still and we will regress theres no debate its what happens. We need a couple of top players who are the right age that show clear forward thinking. The amount of people who say you can't improve this side so why spend money its nonsense.  We can improve we should take every opportunity to make those improvements otherwise Gary Neville was right he has no reason to worry about a Liverpool dynasty because of FSG. 

 

I say this with a calm attitude, feels like I cant write without it reading like a rant 

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Dave and others,

 

You may be right about us slipping back, but there is always 'worry' near the surface, particularly during close season. We had similar when Couthino left -'Why aren't we buying X, Y, or Z etc?'

 

I can't see that the team are 'ageing'; we have a couple in the 'approaching 30' category and Milner is 34. The rest aren't 'ageing' are they?

 

I don't think I am suffering from 'blind faith', but basically I trust the manager's judgement. He has gotten more or less everything right so far...let's wait and see..

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3 hours ago, Anubis said:


Give it up, Skip. M’bappe isn’t coming.

 

Why've you gotta be like that? Bet you walk around grottos at Christmas telling all the kids in the line that Santa isn't real. Fuckin arlarse.

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14 minutes ago, Fred Oldfield said:

Dave and others,

 

You may be right about us slipping back, but there is always 'worry' near the surface, particularly during close season. We had similar when Couthino left -'Why aren't we buying X, Y, or Z etc?'

 

I can't see that the team are 'ageing'; we have a couple in the 'approaching 30' category and Milner is 34. The rest aren't 'ageing' are they?

 

I don't think I am suffering from 'blind faith', but basically I trust the manager's judgement. He has gotten more or less everything right so far...let's wait and see..

Difference being, Klopp was after Werner, reportedly Havertz too, so the rug has been pulled from beneath him, he clearly wants to strengthen but has been told he can’t. That’s hard to swallow when we’re Champions and we’ve still not got quality cover for the front 3 we’ve ran into the ground for 3 years.

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4 minutes ago, Fred Oldfield said:

Dave and others,

 

You may be right about us slipping back, but there is always 'worry' near the surface, particularly during close season. We had similar when Couthino left -'Why aren't we buying X, Y, or Z etc?'

 

I can't see that the team are 'ageing'; we have a couple in the 'approaching 30' category and Milner is 34. The rest aren't 'ageing' are they?

 

I don't think I am suffering from 'blind faith', but basically I trust the manager's judgement. He has gotten more or less everything right so far...let's wait and see..

 

I agree with all of that, I'm just saying that the standards we've set are going to be virtually impossible to match without a) freshening it up just a little or b) strengthening in the areas we lack depth.

 

We've reached a point where we don't need to do much at all and that's a great situation to be in. Adding one top quality player every couple of seasons is the ideal place you want to be, especially when all your rivals are having to bring in four or five.

 

We're in that place (f rot he first time since the 80s) but as I said in the report, we've basically done nothing since the summer of Alisson, Keita and Fabinho. Another window of nothing would be hard to explain, especially when we're at the top of world football and raking in money like never before.

 

Off the top of my head I can remember Klopp dismissing links with Mbappe, Sancho and Messi because they're well out of our budget. If that's the case (and I have no reason to think it isn't) and we can't afford the best players even when we have all of this going for us (huge prize money, record kit deals etc) then frankly we are never going to be able to do it.

 

I honestly don't see any way that we can keep up what we've been doing without adding to what we have. The team isn't ageing but it might be getting, I definitely wouldn't say stale, but maybe a little predictable? It's a natural course of events and happens to everyone over time, and that's before you factor in any potential resting on laurels or complacency that might creep in.

 

Everyone knows how we play and what our best eleven is. Eventually these rival coaches will find a way to nullify it. It won't always work because we've got great players, but there will be times when we end up being stifled. And if Arsenal can do it then fucking hell, everyone will be thinking they have a chance. Even a bum like Solskjaer has done it at Old Trafford (twice, I think?).

 

There was an interview with Pete Krawietz a few weeks back where he said that during lockdown he watched all of our games over and over, looking for ways we can evolve and improve. So I expect there to be some sort of change, either in formation or maybe a slight adjustment in tactics and style. Bringing in a new first eleven calibre player would make that a lot easier.

 

That would explain the ongoing talk of Thiago, as him coming in would definitely change how we play as he's nothing like any of our other midfielders.

 

If that doesn't happen though, then what? We're relying on the front three to stay fit and also to reverse the steady decline in their numbers we've seen since 2018.

 

I'm not going to be kicking off about it but I do think if we don't bring in another forward then we're playing with fire this season. If it's because Klopp is waiting for the player he wants to become available then sound, I don't have any problem with that and would be fine with taking a step back this year in order to become stronger the year after.

 

If it's because we have no money, then that's pretty depressing considering the success we've had these last three years. As I said, if we don't have money now when things are as good as they are ever likely to get, then when will we ever have the money to compete with our rivals (not including City, the cheating cunts)? The answer is surely never.

 

What Klopp has done to get us here is nothing short of a miracle really. Keeping us there without having to sell to buy would be just as incredible an achievement.

 

This isn't an "FSG are mingebags" rant, it's more of an observation than anything. I'm not blaming anyone for the apparent lack of funds. I don't know how the money brought in is being accounted for, I'm assuming it's mostly on a hugely increased wage bill (inflated no doubt by win bonuses) and the new training ground.

 

Let me ask this hypothetical question.

 

If Covid hadn't happened, does anyone think we'd have been actively in the hunt for the likes of Mbappe or Sancho?

 

Or would we still be hearing about how they're "great players who would look good in red, but the numbers don't work for us"?

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Spot on Dave, in the long run I’m fine with the FSG approach though. Good to spend money on the new training ground, good to be careful with this new season because nobody can say how il will come out eventually.

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I thought keepers can move before a penalty is kicked, just not move off his line?

 

I agree with everything that has been said about strengthening the squad at this time but, as far as this game is concerned, if we had won 2 or 3 one everyone would be saying it was a fair result.

 

Dont panic

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With our defence and keeper (as long as they all stay fit) we will probably lose only 1-2 games again this season. The problem will be whether we can still covert the draws into wins - like when we played Leicester home, Villa away and Wolves away. Having said that, City and United have not strengthened their defences and so they will still be inconsistent. Chelsea will be inconsistent as well - Thiago Silva is 35 and he is not going to be able to fix them alone and their keeper is shite. Arsenal are a work in progress. Spurs will be Spurs. The other factor to keep in my mind is the absence of crowds for the beginning part of the season and how much that will influence results - it may help or hinder teams - I think United might actually play better without their fans. I think the league will be a lot closer this season - could be 3 or 4 teams in the mix up until the last few games - maybe a bit like 2013/14 - when there was us, City and Chelsea. 

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21 hours ago, johnsusername said:

We haven't played that well since Norwich away. It seems spoilt saying that as up until then we were brilliant. 

We played quite well in the 4 nil win vs Palace and also vs Newcastle away where we totally dominated them after their 1st minute goal. Also, the Atletico game which we lost at home was one our best performances, only let down by a keeper's blunder.

 

So it is surely an exaggeration to say we haven't played well since Norwich away (a game in which we actually weren't that great). The fact we won the league 7 games early is enough for me to cut our players slack.

 

Not easy to stay fully motivated for those 7 games after officially winning it. I would personally have forgiven them if they were all out on the lash every night after City lost to Chelsea.

 

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Well said dave. For a couple of games Last season we mixed up our play to great effect, only for about 5 games then reverted to predicable play again. With Long balls over the top with great speed and accuracy we caught teams out lots of times. Then switching to lightning attacks we were frightening good. Maybe we should do this again throughout the season, keep the fuckers guessing. 

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15 hours ago, Moin Kapadia said:

 The other factor to keep in my mind is the absence of crowds for the beginning part of the season and how much that will influence results - it may help or hinder teams - I think United might actually play better without their fans. I think the league will be a lot closer this season - could be 3 or 4 teams in the mix up until the last few games - maybe a bit like 2013/14 - when there was us, City and Chelsea. 

 

Playing with no fans helped United, no question. Not having the pressure of an expectant Old Trafford made a difference to them.

 

It also hinders us, because intensity is so important to what we do.

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4 minutes ago, dave u said:

 

Playing with no fans helped United, no question. Not having the pressure of an expectant Old Trafford made a difference to them.

 

It also hinders us, because intensity is so important to what we do.

That's my biggest worry for the start of the season. Hopefully it's more the effect of easing off after winning the title but our pressing and intensity has dropped right off  in the empty stadiums. 

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