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Featured: That was the week that was (Apr 10-16 2021)

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Saturday Apr 10:

 

L 2 Villa 1 Fucking hell we’re making hard work of everything this season aren’t we? Even when we win it usually isn’t much fun. I enjoyed the late winner but there’s not too  much about today that provides a great deal of encouragement for Wednesday night or indeed the rest of the season. We were alright today. It’s better than we’ve played in most home games over recent months but it was still a massive slog. Everything is just so fucking hard isn’t it?

 

That said, that winner from Trent just felt really sweet. It might be a turning point for us and help us kick on to sneak into the top four but I wouldn’t be putting any money on that. Not the way the forward line looks. Even when they don’t play bad individually it’s just not what we had when we were at our best. Mo has generally been fine, Jota has been a real bonus and Firmino didn’t play badly today. Sadio still looks shite though and wasted a great chance at the end. But you compare how it looked to a couple of years ago and it’s just nowhere near.

 

We’re pretty solid defensively though. The Villa goal only happened because of another blunder from Alisson. Aside from that, and a Trezeguet shot that hit the post, we defended well and that’s been a rare positive this season. The defensive collapse the was predicted when we kept losing all of our centre backs has never happened. It’s just a shame we’re showing shite at the other end now.

 

Still, I was on a little mini-high at full time due to the dramatic nature of the winner, and it actually gave me a little bit of interest in what was happening elsewhere. For months I’ve only paid attention to our game and often didn’t even know the other scores until it came to doing the Round Up on Thursday. Today though, after we won I thought “I might have a little look at Chelsea’s game at Palace. Could be a good result for us there”. So our game finished, I went to make my tea and missed the start of the Chelsea game. Ten minutes in and they were 2-0 up so I just put the golf on instead.

 

I’m going to stick with the policy of watching our games and avoiding everything else until I have to do the round ups.

 

Sunday Apr 11:

 

Had a few little bets on the Masters and one of them was a 110/1 shot who I did each way. He came 5th so I won £23 and I’ve re-invested two quid of it on Big Nat to get the first goal on Wednesday night. 50/1 it was. I know it won’t happen but there is logic to it. As long as it’s 0-0, any time we get a set-piece I’m going to have that little bit of excitement and anticipation, and that’s worth a couple of quid of anyone’s money, surely? If the game ends 0-0 then I’ll have had 90 minutes plus stoppage time of hoping that the bet might come in. *taps nose*

 

There’s a good reason for him being 50/1 though as even though he wins every single header anywhere else on the pitch, when he goes up for set-pieces he’s just like a blind bull in a china shop, just charging around bumping into everything and causing mayhem. I don’t think I’ve seen him get his head on a ball in the opposition box, which is mad really considering how good he is at attacking the ball.

 

It’s a completely different skill though. Look at someone like Craig Dawson who isn’t big at all and isn’t especially dominant in the air defensively. When it comes to set-pieces though he always seems to be on the end of things. Virgil is great in those situations too and we’ve probably missed that as much as anything he does defensively. We’ve coped at the back but we’re zero threat on set-pieces now, which has hurt us a lot as over the previous couple of seasons we were by far the best in the league on that front.

 

Hopefully Nat can make himself a hero and make me a hundred quid.

 

 

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The new CL format looks interesting but we'd need a deeper squad to cope with the extra games because there'd be no dead games like now in the Group stages where you usually know you're through once you hit ten points. Every team except the real no-hopers would be battling to the end of the ten game stage because only eight are going out for sure (presumably into the UEFA) and the middle 16  are going into an extra knock-out round. Only the top eight go through for sure. 

 

In theory the competition will be a lot more exciting than the current format and in practice you're probably swapping three or four competitive group games plus the League cup for eight to ten competitive group games plus an extra knockout stage if you don't finish in the top eight. 

 

It'll generate loads more cash which is the only hope for clubs like us without a state or money-laundering sponsor to compete at the highest level in the long term. I've given up moralising about the rich clubs getting richer because nobody running the game seems to give a fuck about the likes of City and PSG hovering everything up. 

 

And if UEFA want to allocate two extra spaces for high ranking clubs like us who've had a shit domestic season then who's arguing? 

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Obviously we have missed Anfield’s atmosphere, You’re right, but we have also missed leadership on the pitch.

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Many a team has crumbled even before kick off in a packed Anfield. I’m not saying Madrid would have as they are packed with experience and players who are used to big time games. But so were Barcelona. And Dortmund. And Juventus. And Chelsea. And plenty of others. Players who played in those games have all spoken about how difficult it was because of the crowd.

My favourite example of this was against Man City and Vincent Kompany, Mr Too-Cool-For-School, slashing at a dropping ball like it was radioactive. Get it away from me at all costs! Good times.

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On 17/04/2021 at 23:40, Arnaud said:

Obviously we have missed Anfield’s atmosphere, You’re right, but we have also missed leadership on the pitch.

 

True but the two kind of go hand in hand as well. The fans would help the team through those situations where they need leaders.

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Spot on about Richarlison ‘Thiago didn’t like my post’ is he 10?? Perhaps Thiago isn’t on Instagram or wherever he posted it! What a tit!

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