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Showing content with the highest reputation on 20/05/21 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    Last season's fixture took place in late June 2020 - with the lockdown delaying our coronation as champions. Our first post-lockdown game had been a goalless draw at The Pit, with both sides struggling for rhythm and effectiveness. We put that right a few days later with an emphatic 4-0 win. Mo and Sadio were amongst the goals as usual, but the standouts were Trent's sublime free kick to open the scoring, and Fabinho's second half Exocet missile from miles out. The players were superb that night, and could chill out the following night as nearest challengers City (of sorts given how far back they were) travelled to Chelsea. The Rentboys won, and we were finally confirmed as champions of England for the first time in 30 years. Those were some heady days amid the general carnage of Covid life. Palace visited Anfield in late November 1992 in the PL's inaugural season, and the erratic Reds came away with a resounding 5-0 win. Souness' Liverpool had been miles off the pace in the league, had been knocked out of Europe by Spartak Moscow, knocked out of the League Cup (by Wimbledon I think), and would soon be knocked out of the FA Cup (as holders too) by Bolton in a 3rd round replay at Anfield. Against Palace though, all was good as John Barnes returned to the starting line-up following a lengthy injury. McManaman got two, and there were goals for Marsh, Rosenthal and Hutchison. Just writing those names emphasises what a weak squad we had back then! Marsh's from distance was a cracker, and McManaman's second followed a howler from Palace goalkeeper Nigel Martyn. The commentary in this video sounds like it's off The Fast Show's Channel 9! Charles & Eddie were riding high at the top of the charts for 2 weeks in November 1992 with 'Would I Lie To You?' Decent tune that is still popular today. I think they were one hit wonders because I can't recall them releasing anything else. They were knocked off the top by Whitney Houston, who stayed there for the rest of the decade. It's an early 1990s quirk that if a song featured in a film with Kevin Costner as the hero, the song stayed at number one for aeons in the UK. So we are at the final push. We sit in 4th place with a healthy goal difference over 5th-placed Leicester. Don't freak out over permutations, although matching or bettering their result will complete the job and salvage something from this ordeal of a season. It's a far cry from mood around the Palace game last season, but we can achieve the same outcome. We know we can get a cracking result against Palace, as scoreline-wise the contest at Selhurst Park was our best result of the season. More of the same please. Complete the job, and then get a good rest. This is the last of the match thread entries of this type for me. The 'Number One' idea was to celebrate our status as top dogs, and bring a little musical nostalgia. It wasn't hubris on my part, just an intent to enjoy the team's achievements rather than stressing over games as I used to do. I've enjoyed making these posts, but it might be necessary to go back to more tried and trusted methods. Maybe another theme might come to me over the summer, we'll see.
  2. 7 points
    Don't let the door hit you on the way out. With a grin, Nat Phillips says that he hasn’t seen much footage of Jürgen Klopp, the player, but he does know that his manager sees a lot of himself in him. In the same way that Klopp was the ugly duckling who became enough of a swan to ascend from amateur level to fan favourite at Mainz, so Phillips is transforming similarly — only at a significantly higher level. The unruffled, unpassable player who shut out Karim Benzema and Real Madrid on Tuesday, in another man-of-the-match performance since improbably materialising in Klopp’s team, is the same one Liverpool had decided to sell in October. Yet Klopp is almost as pleased as Phillips to have been proved wrong. “We’ve always got on really well,” Phillips says. “I think we’re quite similar as people, quite similar in sense of humour and I know I’m not the most pleasing on the eye — when you compare me to someone like Virgil [van Dijk] and how cool and calm he looks. “By all accounts from the manager, he was the same. I’ve heard him describe himself as having a first division brain but third division feet and I think that’s where he draws the similarities. And I think it gives him joy to see someone like me succeed.” When you talk in depth with Phillips, you have no problem understanding how this 24-year-old has been able to switch from Klopp’s fifth or sixth-choice centre back to Champions League quarter-final starter. It’s not what most fixate on — the imposing physique and “traditional” centre back skills. Rather it’s the few inches between his ears, a mentality and intelligence that make him very much suited to modern defending. Just listen to him talking about the improvements he made between his first and second leg performances against Real. “I watch clips on strikers before every game and knew Benzema was going to be involved in the link-up play but take very few touches, and the most difficult aspect would be keeping track of his movement around the box. With him, that’s what I concentrated on. I think I did all right. “The area I could have done better in the first leg was the ball over the top to Vinícius [Júnior, who went on to score]. I watched it back and I was half a second too late when I realised I needed to drop. In the second leg, I was alert to it, and as soon as their centre backs got time on the ball to pick their heads up, we dropped to be in position to defend him.” He says that ability to step quickly up through the levels “is nothing too complicated or obscure, it’s just learning from your mistakes and identifying the areas where you need to do better”. He is not thinking about having never played top-flight football until October, or the alternative path he would be on had a move to Swansea City materialised before Liverpool’s centre-half injuries brought him into Klopp’s plans. “I’ve been so focused on making sure I perform well and learning the areas that I need to learn in that I’ve not really taken a step back and looked at things. I’m still sort of living in the moment and concentrating on doing my job,” he says. Too low-key to be on Twitter (“I don’t think I’ve got anything that interesting to say, to be tweeting,” he says, in a laconic Lancashire drawl), he knows nonetheless that he is celebrated — especially on social media — as some kind of fairytale. “It’s hard to ignore, but you don’t want to buy into that narrative because you’re putting yourself down and saying, ‘At some point this little fairy story will stop.’ I don’t think that’s going to be the case. It’s my career and I want to continue to build on it. Once you’ve proven you’re capable at a certain level, those are the standards you need to replicate and improve on. That’s how I’m approaching this. It would be stupid to attain a certain level and then tell yourself it’s a one-off.” Phillips was promoted to Liverpool’s first-team squad three years ago, amid injuries to senior defenders, and says wryly, “I went up initially just to be a mannequin, for shape drills.” He was scared of Klopp for a couple of sessions, then relaxed and they clicked. “What impressed him was [my] training and my ability to take information on board and learn.” That’s no surprise. Part of the reason for Phillips being a late bloomer is that he did not go full-time at the Bolton Wanderers academy, where his dad Jimmy was academy manager, because he was committed to his education. He went to Bolton Grammar and achieved four A stars and five As at GCSEs, then two As and a B at A Levels, where he studied maths, geography and economics. He had his eye on university and a degree in geography with economics: “I thought those were going to be topical, with the way the world is having to adapt to climate change.” This put questions in some coaches’ minds that contributed to other academy players being ahead of him and, amid cost-cutting after a takeover, he was among a number of young pros released in 2016, at 19. A now-famous part of the Phillips story is how he accepted a scholarship at the University of North Carolina before Liverpool — tipped off by the former Bolton coach Andy Hughes — offered a trial. He won a two-year contract, signed on the very day of the flight booked to take him to the United States, where his plan was, while gaining his college degree, to get drafted for Major League Soccer. He did not play a single minute for Liverpool Under-23 until after Christmas of his first season. After he broke into the team he suffered a stress fracture in his back that ruined the next season. Though last season he excelled for Stuttgart in Bundesliga 2 (returning fluent in German), “it was decided I was going to be sold and that’s why I wasn’t included in the Champions League squad. I would literally go out at training and think, ‘This could be my last day at Liverpool, I’ve got to enjoy it.’ ” In a funny way, that proved key. “It took the pressure off,” Phillips says. “I wasn’t playing at training to impress or get into the team, I was playing for my enjoyment and maybe trying things where I wasn’t afraid of getting a bollocking if it didn’t work out.” Like smashing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané? “No,” he says, laughing. “But in the passing drills I was properly wrapping my passes or making them with my laces. Having the confidence to shell it or drag it or slice it, and they were coming off.” It enabled him to show his ability on the ball — perhaps the one area where Klopp had doubts about his game. Of his debut, against West Ham United, he says, “I kept my passes and stuff in possession simple because I didn’t want to do anything to put myself under any pressure.” But, he says, “as I’ve played more games, gained more confidence and probably gained more expectation from the rest of the team, the coaches and myself, I’ve been more adventurous”. His past two games showcased the evolution: against Aston Villa, Phillips had Liverpool’s best passing figures and against Real was playing smart, penetrative balls down the middle of the pitch, of which Van Dijk would have been proud. It comes back to his intelligence and learning ability. “It’s something I’ve got better at, decision-making, being able to spot when it’s on and knowing when to do it. That comes from game exposure as well, and beginning to spot situations. “With Real Madrid, the way they played was quite man-orientated and the way Benzema pressed was about cutting [out] the switch [of play]. As soon as one of us got it, he would always try to split us. So as a centre back in that situation you don’t really have any pressure [on the ball] and can play the pass through the lines.” Klopp joked yesterday that Phillips “has probably the best heading stats in the history of the Premier League,” and he’s not far wrong. But it’s the smarts and improving feet that look ready to sustain a top-flight career that once looked unlikely. Can that be at Liverpool? Would his target, if we spoke again in a year’s time, to still be in or at least around Klopp’s first XI? “I think, currently, yeah,” Phillips says. “Because it’s such a huge club, capable of huge success, and that’s a level you dream to reach.” He says his role model is not a great star but Rob Holding, a former team-mate for Bolton Under-23, who surprised many by going to Arsenal and, amid many big signings and silkier or more glamourous rivals, staying in the first team. “I’m aware Liverpool have three centre backs [Van Dijk, Joël Matip and Joe Gomez] who are ahead of me in the pecking order all injured, so when those circumstances change mine are likely to change also, but for me to strive [to be a long-term Liverpool starter] is going to bring the best out of me and I’m only going to benefit from setting that as an ambition,” he says. “But you know it’s impossible to say where I’m going to end up. Because throughout my whole career so far, I don’t think you could predict anything.”
  3. 6 points
    It absolutely is 100% a term used by the right to insult the left. Undeniably. But that aside, it’s a fucking shite phrase, in line with woke and all the other modern Twitter phrases.
  4. 6 points
    If anyone can find evidence on this here forum of me saying that 1) I'd never get married and 2) I'd never have kids then they're an outright liar. Baby_b due in November. Holy. Moly.
  5. 5 points
    Let’s never forget Carra is a fucking legend and we started singing “ we all dream of a team of Carraghers” in Taskin Square as the antidote to Stevie’s lack of loyalty. Carra telling Mourinho to fuck off being a case in point....we’re a historic big Club you cheap little upstart versus Stevie’s falling for the fake riches. Carra’s a sound lad, always has been and always will be, and the vendetta against him on here is sadly misplaced. Remember his old fella kicking off with the “ring of fire” song after Fulham away in 04.
  6. 4 points
    Away kit looks pretty good
  7. 4 points
  8. 4 points
    From your response there it sounds like you’re a little bit offended by the criticism you’re receiving, so maybe you do give a flying fuck? If people want to voice their disdain or dislike for someone based on his actions towards things that mean something to them, who are you to join the conversation and start slinging belittling insults about and telling them their views are not valid? Hodgson had an unsuccessful time here and spouted a lot of shite, but above all for me was his attitude towards the club and fans, in telling us where we should expect to be, but also towards Kenny, who will always draw defensive responses when addressed the way he was by Hodgson. Kenny and the club mean a lot to people in a partisan sport. It’s not about being offended, it’s about caring about something. Edit - that said, I wish no ill will to the man and all the best for his retirement. Doesn’t change what an unrivalled whopper he acted during his time here
  9. 4 points
    Will be great for Van Dijk to get an opportunity to play alongside Nat next season. Will bring him on no end.
  10. 3 points
    Class is always conveniently left out of gender debates in this country, it's always presented as a * cough * binary issue. But can anyone seriously suggest that a working class British man has an advantage over a middle class British woman? In any field?
  11. 3 points
    He seems to be bigged up by everyone who ever talks about him. I've only ever seen him play against us, but he's always been shite when we've played them and his goal scoring record in general is average at best. Yet he's talked about like he's some kind of awesome ultra lethal footballing machine. He just has big men who play in the channel and his only argument is "well they're only 5'9" and 5'10". His entire managerial career has been lump it into the channel. 30 year managerial career, won the League of Ireland once and the 3rd Division once yet he thinks he's Paisley, Ferguson, Mourinho and Pep all rolled into one. He's a shit cunt.
  12. 3 points
    Aye, I often think back to growing up in Speke, having no fridge, central heating, washing machine, landline phone or shower, being told by a Navy careers officer not to bother applying to be an officer due to my accent, and being told by the deputy headteacher at school not to bother with A levels and become a builder instead, and think about how privileged I was.
  13. 3 points
    He needs a nice break & time to recharge the batteries. Hopefully he can get back to Germany this summer and celebrate his Mum’s life, bond with his family and friends again before getting ready for the new season (hopefully with a few quality transfers and better injury luck). love the man dearly.
  14. 3 points
    I'm going. Can't wait. Please. Just please. Just this one eensy weensy win. Promise I'll try to be good. Swear.
  15. 3 points
  16. 3 points
    2 years today since my dad died. Never realised how tough it would and still could be. Went for a meal with my mum and sister and new nephew today. Sister was pregnant when he died but didn't know, he would had loved his new grandson Good result in the match for him. He was on his last legs when we beat barca but he predicted 4 nil and was made up
  17. 3 points
    Makes a difference though doesn’t it. If we are trying to attract players, you can sell a 6th/7th finish as a team making big strides under a world class manager. Finishing 10th just says very loudly that this is a club going nowhere anytime soon.
  18. 3 points
    What better thread in which to add my 40,000th post. Elize van der Horst.
  19. 2 points
    I thought Williams was very poor but this is not unexpected as he is clearly not at this level at present and up against a clever operator in Wood. Phillips started badly but got better as the game progressed. I don't think either were helped by the high line ( I assume Jurgen knows it doesn't suit them but feels the positives further up the pitch outweigh the problems caused at the back ) and the fact that referees appear to blindly allow Burnley forwards to push defenders blatantly or back into defenders without ever giving a foul. I was surprised Mo's penalty shout was breezed over so quickly.I have to say though that overall Kavanagh wasn't too bad.
  20. 2 points
    I think we could all learn a thing or two from Code about not banging on about the same topics ad nauseum.
  21. 2 points
    Lexical definitions do not - nor are they generally intended to - capture ideological connotations.
  22. 2 points
    Officially meh. Bring back the NB glory days.
  23. 2 points
    I'm continually amazed how commentators and pundits talk about teams like Burnley playing "good football" when most of these teams are managed by the LMA 4-4-fucking2 mindset wankers who mostly play with their entire team camped in their own box and then either lump it up to a big striker or into the channels and hope for a free kick while time wasting from the first minute.
  24. 2 points
    He’ll be back on Talksport the spiritual home of Brexiteer English Managers (Warnock and Holloway) by the end of the month the bitter slob https://thefootballfaithful.com/allardyce-british-football-brexit-mentality-huddersfield/
  25. 2 points
    Going to be tough as Hodgson has history in denying Liverpool Champions League football Like the time he was our manager