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  1. Saturday Sep 14: L 3 Newcastle 1. Who the fuck do Newcastle think they are? Coming here and scoring first. Cheeky bastards. They even made Virgil sprint a couple of times. The impudence of it! Seriously though, this was another great win for us because it wasn’t so long ago that conceding first against a team that packed the defence would usually lead to a long, frustrating afternoon. Steve Bruce has done us over loads of times like that. Now we don’t seem to have any problems with it at all. Newcastle did better than most opponents will, but even so the 3-1 scoreline flattered them massively as we could have scored six in the second half alone. Bobby coming on transformed everything. I’m sure we’d have won anyway, but the level went up several notches as soon as he entered the game. If we keep playing like this at home, someone is going to be hit for eight or nine goals at some stage. The football is breathtaking and when it clicks it's impossible to stop. A good day for us that became a great one when City were beaten at Carrow Road. They're down to the bare bones defensively now and could be vulnerable. Problem is, I can see them just going all out attack now. They've got Watford and Everton next so I doubt if Ederson will even have to make a save. They might even just play him centre back and include an extra attacker. Sunday Sep 15: “They (the players) gave me all the prestige I have in England, when the first season when it was Fraud Guardiola, Fraudiola. This kind of game here in England, it’s not possible to play because you need to have tackles and you have to play like that.” “These players gave me the prestige that I have. And now all around the world people say how good a manager I am - it’s for them, not for me." He’s fucking weird him. And he’s bald. A bald fraud. Baldiola. Baldfraudiola. What an insecure little tit he is. He doesn’t react well to criticism at all does he? Any time there’s even the hint of something not going smoothly he starts talking shite. For all the success he’s had, he’s one insecure little man. Meanwhile, Steve Bruce was hugely complimentary of us in the build up to yesterday’s game, and he’s not showing any signs of letting up. He can’t stop talking about how boss we are. “Back when I played for United, everybody suddenly started playing one centre forward against us. Back in the day, everyone played with two, then suddenly they would put an extra midfield player in, and it’s what you have to do because you are under threat of getting a hiding. “And a team like Liverpool, they have two full backs up the pitch, they attack at every opportunity, then you face being blown away. They can do that to you, and you have to acknowledge that. If you open up against sides like this then… the big difficulty we all have, is you have to find a way when you know a team is far better than you – and I say that with no disrespect at all to us – then you have to find a way.” “That is Liverpool now, like City a team opponents fear to provoke. And that is the biggest progress they have made over the past 12 months.” He’s dead right. We’ve gone from being a team that opponents thought they had a chance of frustrating and maybe turning over, to a team that virtually everyone is now terrified of (especially at Anfield). Having that fear factor is massive because it means you don’t have to be full tilt every week. When some teams are beaten before they start it just makes life a lot easier. We’ve almost got that now, and the more people like Bruce say things like this, the more it feeds the narrative. This is just a teaser, click to view the full article Please note that the Week that Was is only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  2. tlw content

    Opposition View: Chelsea

    The latest in TLW’s Opposition View series takes us to West London to speak to Karan Dubey from @ChelseaSeason. Karan talks about the early days of the Frank Lampard managerial reign, the expectation levels of the fanbase in a transitional period for the club along with the youth movement at Stanford Bridge. From an outsider’s point of view, it seems like Chelsea are going through an evolution of sorts with a young manager and plenty of young players getting an opportunity to thrive on the big stage. While the club are used to success, do you believe that this culture shift was required? While Chelsea have been the most successful Premier League Club in the last 15 years or so, it’s no secret that there have been some glaring issues at the club that needed to be addressed. One of the biggest issues was obviously the absence of academy players in the first team. For a club that boasts the best academy in the country, there is no one who has broken into the first team as a regular member of the starting eleven after John Terry and that was one of the things that fans and the owner desperately wanted to change. But, as you already know, Roman is an impatient man when it comes to managers. The owner demands beautiful and attacking football, trophies and the inclusion of youth and it’s impossible for a new manager to fulfil all those requirements, especially when there’s always a sword hanging on their necks. That said, maybe the transfer ban was exactly what this club needed at this stage to take that next step towards evolution. And it seems like the club recognises that too. The arrival of Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole and a few other older guards in different positions will only help this club enter that culture shift that it desperately craved for. Even though the results won’t be as positive in the first few months, Chelsea FC will definitely reap the rewards in the longer run. When a club legend such as Frank Lampard makes the transition from a player to manager, it can be understandably difficult for them to adjust. But it can be just as tough for the fans to cast an analytical eye on them because you idolise them so much. While you can’t speak for every fan, do you believe the majority of them will be willing to display patience and additionally, do you think the powerbrokers at the club understand the current landscape of where the club are placed? I would have said ‘no way’ until a couple of seasons ago, but the situation has changed drastically this season. I believe this is probably the first season in a long time where the fans and the power-brokers at the club have accepted the fact that we are not fighting for the Premier League title. The transfer ban, a young manager, and the transition to youth has made the fanbase more patient and understanding in that respect. While finishing in the top 4 is still the priority and probably that’s what the owners are aiming/demanding from the gaffer, there would be a lot more leeway for Frank compared to his predecessors. For instance, we have already lost 3 games this season and no one has called for the manager’s head. That rarely happens at this club. Let’s say, if it was someone like Maurizio Sarri at the helm right now and we had conceded 11 goals in first 5 games with just 2 wins to our name, fans and the media would be calling for his head, transfer ban or not. However, Frank Lampard is a Chelsea legend and has done more for this club than most others. The fans recognise that the gaffer needs some time to implement his ideas and they are ready to offer him leeway that no one else, apart from maybe a Drogba or Terry, would get at the Bridge. Even though it is very early days in his reign, what are the things, which have impressed you most about Lampard’s tactical approach to the game? The most impressive thing that has hit me under Frank has been his ability to be flexible with his tactics according to the demands of the situation. Chelsea, under Maurizio Sarri last season, were used to playing a rigid 4-3-3 system and the gaffer, for his life, wouldn’t tinker with the system or try something remotely different no matter the situation. The fans obviously got fed up with Sarri’s rigidity and so did a few of the players. Frank, however, has already shown flexibility in his approach by playing different formations including a 4-3-3, 3-4-3, 4-4-2 etc. The last Premier League game against Wolves was the perfect example of this. We had never started with three at the back under Frank, and that’s why the change in the system probably took Wolves by surprise as we scored 5 goals at Molineux. In terms of Frank’s predecessors, what sort of light do you believe Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri will be viewed in. For instance, did they leave a legacy to build upon? It’s difficult to build a lasting legacy in just a couple of years, but I still credit Antonio Conte for bringing a change that has made a big impact in the Premier League. I don’t think the Premier League teams were really confident with playing 3 at the back, but Conte’s 2016-17 Chelsea took the league by storm with the 3-4-3 formation and now practically everyone, at some point, has tried that formation and has had reasonable success with it. Obviously, Conte wanted more control with the transfer dealings at the club and that didn’t sit well with the owners, but as a coach, he was and still is one of the best in the business, and his 2016-17 Chelsea will always be remembered as one of the best Chelsea sides to play in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea never really hit it off. Conte built an instant connection with the fans, something that Sarri failed to do. The much-hyped ‘Sarri-ball’ failed to win over the fans mainly due to the tactical rigidity and also the fact that Sarri probably needed another transfer window to buy new players and implement his ideas. Sadly, Sarri and Chelsea were never meant for each other. Chelsea have signed many big names and in some cases developed them into superstars. However, they have also let some real talent slip through their fingers. How important is it for the future of your club that you lock down the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi for the long term and which of that quartet excites you the most and why? Ah, Kevin de Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Romelu Lukaku, just to name a few! Just a few pitfalls of having Jose Mourinho as your manager, I guess. Not that I blame the man. Jose has been the most successful manager in our history and for him to be successful, he needs players who can deliver NOW. A young Kevin de Bruyne, Lukaku or Salah, who were all pretty far from being a finished product, were never going to cut it under Mourinho. However, the arrival of Frank Lampard means that the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Loftus-Cheek will have plenty of opportunities to turn into a superstar at Chelsea instead of watching them slip away yet again. The fans are pretty excited for Hudson-Odoi and for good reason. The boy is only 18 and can already do incredible things. But the one I am most excited about is Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Ruben’s career has been marred with unfortunate injuries, but when fit and at full force, the man is incredible to watch and gives you an impression of a prime Yaya Toure. There is not a thing in the world that he can’t do with a football on his feet, and if he can remain fit, I am pretty confident that he will turn into one of the best midfielders in the world. Christian Pulisic was quite heavily linked with Liverpool over the years, in part due to his Borussia Dortmund connections with Jurgen Klopp. How do you think he has adapted to the tempo of the Premier League so far? It’s been just over a month, but it’s obvious that Pulisic has been struggling with the physicality of the Premier League. From what I’ve seen in the preseason and the Premier League, Pulisic has got incredible touch and vision and is pretty quick with the ball at his feet. However, Captain America has quite frequently been pushed/shoved off the ball ‘legally’ by the opposition defenders something that he wouldn’t have experienced in the Bundesliga. I think Pulisic still needs a few months to get acclimatised to the League before we can see the best of him at the Bridge. The two teams met earlier this season for the UEFA Super Cup. Although coming out on the losing side, Chelsea went toe to toe with the Reds in a captivating attacking affair much removed from the attritional battles of the mid 00s. How much confidence do you think your manager will take from that and do you believe he will set the side up in a similar fashion? Obviously, going toe to toe with the Champions League winners, the players and the manager will take immense confidence from that game. although, I do believe that Liverpool were far from their best in that match. With the possible absence of some key players like Mount, Emerson and possibly Kante and Rudiger, Frank could be willing to setup a little bit more conservatively compared to before. Jurgen Klopp is one of the best managers in the world and he has transformed Liverpool into possibly the best team on the planet currently. They have got an incredible attack, which is again possibly the best on the planet. With both the teams willing to play an attacking brand of Football, it would be an enthralling watch for the fans, just like it was in the Super Cup final. Who in the Liverpool line-up gives you the biggest cause for concern ahead of the big game on Sunday? Mohamed Salah coming in from the right and going up against Marcos Alonso doesn’t exactly instill confidence as a Chelsea fan. Similarly, Bobby Firmino could prove to be a bit much to handle for the inexperienced Chelsea side. Firmino did change the game completely when he came on in the second half in the Super cup final and he would be a difficult one to handle. But obviously I’m more concerned about Alonso vs Salah. Hopefully, Fikayo Tomori, starting as the left side centre back, does a good job, or else... What is your prediction for this fixture? The Chelsea fan in me is hoping for a draw. My prediction is a 2-2 draw with Salah and Mane getting on the scoresheet and Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic scoring for the Blues.
  3. tlw content

    Opposition View: Chelsea

    The latest in TLW’s Opposition View series takes us to West London to speak to Karan Dubey from @ChelseaSeason. Karan talks about the early days of the Frank Lampard managerial reign, the expectation levels of the fanbase in a transitional period for the club along with the youth movement at Stanford Bridge. From an outsider’s point of view, it seems like Chelsea are going through an evolution of sorts with a young manager and plenty of young players getting an opportunity to thrive on the big stage. While the club are used to success, do you believe that this culture shift was required? While Chelsea have been the most successful Premier League Club in the last 15 years or so, it’s no secret that there have been some glaring issues at the club that needed to be addressed. One of the biggest issues was obviously the absence of academy players in the first team. For a club that boasts the best academy in the country, there is no one who has broken into the first team as a regular member of the starting eleven after John Terry and that was one of the things that fans and the owner desperately wanted to change. But, as you already know, Roman is an impatient man when it comes to managers. The owner demands beautiful and attacking football, trophies and the inclusion of youth and it’s impossible for a new manager to fulfil all those requirements, especially when there’s always a sword hanging on their necks. That said, maybe the transfer ban was exactly what this club needed at this stage to take that next step towards evolution. And it seems like the club recognises that too. The arrival of Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole and a few other older guards in different positions will only help this club enter that culture shift that it desperately craved for. Even though the results won’t be as positive in the first few months, Chelsea FC will definitely reap the rewards in the longer run. When a club legend such as Frank Lampard makes the transition from a player to manager, it can be understandably difficult for them to adjust. But it can be just as tough for the fans to cast an analytical eye on them because you idolise them so much. While you can’t speak for every fan, do you believe the majority of them will be willing to display patience and additionally, do you think the powerbrokers at the club understand the current landscape of where the club are placed? I would have said ‘no way’ until a couple of seasons ago, but the situation has changed drastically this season. I believe this is probably the first season in a long time where the fans and the power-brokers at the club have accepted the fact that we are not fighting for the Premier League title. The transfer ban, a young manager, and the transition to youth has made the fanbase more patient and understanding in that respect. While finishing in the top 4 is still the priority and probably that’s what the owners are aiming/demanding from the gaffer, there would be a lot more leeway for Frank compared to his predecessors. For instance, we have already lost 3 games this season and no one has called for the manager’s head. That rarely happens at this club. Let’s say, if it was someone like Maurizio Sarri at the helm right now and we had conceded 11 goals in first 5 games with just 2 wins to our name, fans and the media would be calling for his head, transfer ban or not. However, Frank Lampard is a Chelsea legend and has done more for this club than most others. The fans recognise that the gaffer needs some time to implement his ideas and they are ready to offer him leeway that no one else, apart from maybe a Drogba or Terry, would get at the Bridge. Even though it is very early days in his reign, what are the things, which have impressed you most about Lampard’s tactical approach to the game? The most impressive thing that has hit me under Frank has been his ability to be flexible with his tactics according to the demands of the situation. Chelsea, under Maurizio Sarri last season, were used to playing a rigid 4-3-3 system and the gaffer, for his life, wouldn’t tinker with the system or try something remotely different no matter the situation. The fans obviously got fed up with Sarri’s rigidity and so did a few of the players. Frank, however, has already shown flexibility in his approach by playing different formations including a 4-3-3, 3-4-3, 4-4-2 etc. The last Premier League game against Wolves was the perfect example of this. We had never started with three at the back under Frank, and that’s why the change in the system probably took Wolves by surprise as we scored 5 goals at Molineux. In terms of Frank’s predecessors, what sort of light do you believe Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri will be viewed in. For instance, did they leave a legacy to build upon? It’s difficult to build a lasting legacy in just a couple of years, but I still credit Antonio Conte for bringing a change that has made a big impact in the Premier League. I don’t think the Premier League teams were really confident with playing 3 at the back, but Conte’s 2016-17 Chelsea took the league by storm with the 3-4-3 formation and now practically everyone, at some point, has tried that formation and has had reasonable success with it. Obviously, Conte wanted more control with the transfer dealings at the club and that didn’t sit well with the owners, but as a coach, he was and still is one of the best in the business, and his 2016-17 Chelsea will always be remembered as one of the best Chelsea sides to play in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea never really hit it off. Conte built an instant connection with the fans, something that Sarri failed to do. The much-hyped ‘Sarri-ball’ failed to win over the fans mainly due to the tactical rigidity and also the fact that Sarri probably needed another transfer window to buy new players and implement his ideas. Sadly, Sarri and Chelsea were never meant for each other. Chelsea have signed many big names and in some cases developed them into superstars. However, they have also let some real talent slip through their fingers. How important is it for the future of your club that you lock down the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi for the long term and which of that quartet excites you the most and why? Ah, Kevin de Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Romelu Lukaku, just to name a few! Just a few pitfalls of having Jose Mourinho as your manager, I guess. Not that I blame the man. Jose has been the most successful manager in our history and for him to be successful, he needs players who can deliver NOW. A young Kevin de Bruyne, Lukaku or Salah, who were all pretty far from being a finished product, were never going to cut it under Mourinho. However, the arrival of Frank Lampard means that the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Loftus-Cheek will have plenty of opportunities to turn into a superstar at Chelsea instead of watching them slip away yet again. The fans are pretty excited for Hudson-Odoi and for good reason. The boy is only 18 and can already do incredible things. But the one I am most excited about is Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Ruben’s career has been marred with unfortunate injuries, but when fit and at full force, the man is incredible to watch and gives you an impression of a prime Yaya Toure. There is not a thing in the world that he can’t do with a football on his feet, and if he can remain fit, I am pretty confident that he will turn into one of the best midfielders in the world. Christian Pulisic was quite heavily linked with Liverpool over the years, in part due to his Borussia Dortmund connections with Jurgen Klopp. How do you think he has adapted to the tempo of the Premier League so far? It’s been just over a month, but it’s obvious that Pulisic has been struggling with the physicality of the Premier League. From what I’ve seen in the preseason and the Premier League, Pulisic has got incredible touch and vision and is pretty quick with the ball at his feet. However, Captain America has quite frequently been pushed/shoved off the ball ‘legally’ by the opposition defenders something that he wouldn’t have experienced in the Bundesliga. I think Pulisic still needs a few months to get acclimatised to the League before we can see the best of him at the Bridge. The two teams met earlier this season for the UEFA Super Cup. Although coming out on the losing side, Chelsea went toe to toe with the Reds in a captivating attacking affair much removed from the attritional battles of the mid 00s. How much confidence do you think your manager will take from that and do you believe he will set the side up in a similar fashion? Obviously, going toe to toe with the Champions League winners, the players and the manager will take immense confidence from that game. although, I do believe that Liverpool were far from their best in that match. With the possible absence of some key players like Mount, Emerson and possibly Kante and Rudiger, Frank could be willing to setup a little bit more conservatively compared to before. Jurgen Klopp is one of the best managers in the world and he has transformed Liverpool into possibly the best team on the planet currently. They have got an incredible attack, which is again possibly the best on the planet. With both the teams willing to play an attacking brand of Football, it would be an enthralling watch for the fans, just like it was in the Super Cup final. Who in the Liverpool line-up gives you the biggest cause for concern ahead of the big game on Sunday? Mohamed Salah coming in from the right and going up against Marcos Alonso doesn’t exactly instill confidence as a Chelsea fan. Similarly, Bobby Firmino could prove to be a bit much to handle for the inexperienced Chelsea side. Firmino did change the game completely when he came on in the second half in the Super cup final and he would be a difficult one to handle. But obviously I’m more concerned about Alonso vs Salah. Hopefully, Fikayo Tomori, starting as the left side centre back, does a good job, or else... What is your prediction for this fixture? The Chelsea fan in me is hoping for a draw. My prediction is a 2-2 draw with Salah and Mane getting on the scoresheet and Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic scoring for the Blues. View full article
  4. Chelsea looked really good at the weekend, but I wonder how much of that was down to Wolves being shite? Without taking anything away from Lampard’s side, they did lose at home to Valencia in midweek so that suggests that Saturday’s win says as much about Wolves as it does Chelsea. That being said, Abraham was brilliant and Mount looked good again. Another youngster also got on the scoresheet too as Tomori opened the scoring with a brilliant 30 yarder. Three England u21 players scoring in the same game for a top six side? That’s a Henry Winter wet dream that is. Lampard has claimed that Abraham would have been playing even if Chelsea hadn’t been banned from buying anybody. Bit presumptuous that. Since when have Chelsea managers had any say in transfers? Mount and Abraham are getting their chance because Chelsea can’t buy anybody. Not only that, Lampard is getting his chance for the exact same reason, as no top manager would have taken the job under those circumstances. Long term though it might work to their advantage because there are other kids coming through there that we haven’t even seen yet. Chelsea raced into a 4-0 lead at Molyneux as Abraham utterly humiliated poor Conor Coady on his way to a hat-trick. Wolves pulled a couple back but Mount went through to score and give the scoreline a more accurate look. Wolves are in full ‘Burnley last season’ mode now. They’ve gone from being solid and hard to beat to leaking goals all over the shop and they just don’t look like the same team. Unfortunately they’ll probably turn it around the way Burnley did, but the longer they stay near the bottom the better because their fans are the absolute worst “banter merchants” you’ll find. Ok, second worst. No-one is taking that crown from Villa any time soon. This is just a teaser, click to view the full article Please note that PL Round Ups are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  5. Virgil Van Dijk has played down the impact of Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Napoli in their Champions League clash on Tuesday evening.The Reds were looking good for a well earned point against the Italian side before a debatable penalty and a late strike in injury time by Fernando Llorente was enough to see the home side claim the three points.But Van Dijk said the defeat which was only their second in a competitive fixture this campaign, was not a cause for worry.The Liverpool Echo reported the defender as saying:“It didn’t feel like a wake-up call, I think both sides were focused fully on the game, It felt like it was going to be a draw, and then the penalty changed everything in the game. “It shouldn’t be a wake-up call - we have been performing since the start of the season outstanding, and so there is no reason to panic.“And in the game as well, we played well, we put them under pressure, we created opportunities on the break. “So there were a lot of positive things , the only thing not positive was the result.” Van Dijk believed the final score was not a true reflection of the overall contest and the performance was full of merit.He also believed the penalty awarded against Andy Robertson completely changed the outcome of the game.“I think 2-0 didn’t really reflect the game.“I think we were much better (than last season) we lost it (again), but we played well, we had opportunities on the break, we played in some moments.“We felt comfortable, then they got the penalty which changed the game.”“Lots of times you can say that it felt a little bit harsh, but the ref made the decision so you have to accept it.“Everyone knows how tough it is to come here and beat them, first of all, but also to play well against them. “But you could see we put them under a lot of pressure to try and win the ball quite a lot high up the pitch, and try to break on them.”The Reds will look to return to winning ways when they play Chelsea at Stanford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. View full article
  6. Virgil Van Dijk has played down the impact of Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Napoli in their Champions League clash on Tuesday evening.The Reds were looking good for a well earned point against the Italian side before a debatable penalty and a late strike in injury time by Fernando Llorente was enough to see the home side claim the three points.But Van Dijk said the defeat which was only their second in a competitive fixture this campaign, was not a cause for worry.The Liverpool Echo reported the defender as saying:“It didn’t feel like a wake-up call, I think both sides were focused fully on the game, It felt like it was going to be a draw, and then the penalty changed everything in the game. “It shouldn’t be a wake-up call - we have been performing since the start of the season outstanding, and so there is no reason to panic.“And in the game as well, we played well, we put them under pressure, we created opportunities on the break. “So there were a lot of positive things , the only thing not positive was the result.” Van Dijk believed the final score was not a true reflection of the overall contest and the performance was full of merit.He also believed the penalty awarded against Andy Robertson completely changed the outcome of the game.“I think 2-0 didn’t really reflect the game.“I think we were much better (than last season) we lost it (again), but we played well, we had opportunities on the break, we played in some moments.“We felt comfortable, then they got the penalty which changed the game.”“Lots of times you can say that it felt a little bit harsh, but the ref made the decision so you have to accept it.“Everyone knows how tough it is to come here and beat them, first of all, but also to play well against them. “But you could see we put them under a lot of pressure to try and win the ball quite a lot high up the pitch, and try to break on them.”The Reds will look to return to winning ways when they play Chelsea at Stanford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
  7. Report by Dave Usher At least we played better than we did last year. The 2-0 scoreline was ludicrous really. We should never have lost the game at all but to lose by two was just taking the piss. If we never have to go to play in Naples again it will still be too fucking soon. Whether we finish first or second in the group didn’t matter to me before, but it does now. I’m sick of Napoli. I’m sick of having to play them in pre-season. I’m sick of their rat fans stabbing people. I’m sick of their shitty fucking Kappa kit. I’m sick of their snide bastard players and I’m even sick of Carlo Ancelotti’s rogue eyebrow (and I’ve always quite liked ol’ Carlo). I want us to smash them at Anfield and then never have to play them ever again. I must admit, I struggle to get up for the Champions League group stages these days. Since we’ve become title contenders these games don’t do anything for me to be honest. They’re a necessary evil but my blood doesn't get pumping until the knock outs come around. So going into the game my feeling was that I’d like to win to keep the run going, but that if we were to come a cropper in any game we have coming up then this would be the one that would be the least damaging. Losing a Premier League game can have dire consequences, but basically, this game didn’t matter because whatever the result we should still go through anyway. That didn’t stop me from being fucking livid afterwards though. Livid at VAR, livid at Napoli, and livid at the amount of bollocks I heard on telly and read on social media about it. Yeah, I mean the penalty incident and some of the baffling takes on it. “He gave the ref a decision to make” “It’s not a clear and obvious error” “if that was at the other end I’d want it” and various other nonsense soundbites. I don’t often talk in absolutes and I generally have respect for the opposing point of view. I'm not an "I'm right and you're wrong" type of guy. On this though? Nah. All of the above is absolute horseshit. It wasn’t a penalty. 100% it wasn’t. No debate, no room for ambiguity, it was just a dive and should have been a booking for Callejon. I honestly can’t get my head around how anyone sees it differently. Are we that attuned to cheating now that an incident like this is somehow seen as contentious by people who ought to know better? Apparently so. This isn’t a 50-50 call. It’s not even a 90-10 call. In fact, it’s not even a 99-1 call. It’s a clear dive and the only ‘contact’ that is made (if you can even call it that) is Callejon ensuring that his leg brushes against Robbo’s on his way to the floor. We don't lose very often these days and I'd almost forgotten how it feels. If you take VAR out of the question then I wouldn’t be anywhere near as bitter and resentful as I am about this one. I don’t blame the ref for giving a penalty as in real time it looked like a clumsy foul from Robbo. As soon as it happened I said “oh shit that’s a pen”. So, even if replays had shown that the ref got it wrong I could have lived with that because it’s tough and mistakes happen. Refs will get some of these wrong as it’s impossible sometimes to get them right in real time. But isn’t that the whole reason they inflicted this video shit on us? This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article 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.
  8. Everyone enjoys blowing off some steam after a hard day at work with a few online games, and betting games give that extra thrill. Losing and winning actually mater much more, when there’s even just a few dollars at stake, making these betting games incredibly fun and exhilarating. But with so many enticing options available, how is one to choose the best games to kill some time and win some money while they’re at it? Well, let’s take a look at these two popular options side by side, and go over the pros and cons. What are Your Chances of Winning? The first thing we need to look at are the actual chances of winning money with each type of betting game. Slots: Even chances throughout If we look at the most popular slots like Slingo Rainbow Riches on Mega Casino, we see a 95.6% return to player, and you’ll find a similar RTP on the majority of online slot games. So, it doesn't cost much to play, and you have a good chance of winning. Sports betting: Chances change based on the matchup Even veteran sports betters can be way off on their predictions, as there are tons of variables involved. Who’s playing that day? Who’s injured? Which team is more motivated? How have the teams been doing so far? The chances change wildly from game to game. How Much Variety do You Get? Another important factor is how many different options you get because you don’t want your betting experience to get boring after a while. Slots: Variety of slot games With the advent of video slots, this old-school game format saw an explosion of colorful new varieties. From your classic 7 Fruits Slot and its shiny variations like the Starburst on Prime Slots to Pirate and Comic book themed slots, the options are truly endless. Sports betting: Variety of sports to bet on When it comes to variety, sports betting is no slouch either. There are tons of games to bet on, from soccer to basketball and hockey. You also have different things to bet on within each game. You can simply guess the winners, bet on half-time and final scores, and so much more. How Long Before You See the Result of Your Bet? The biggest thrill in betting is the period of uncertainty, where you don’t know what’s going to happen. However, there’s only so much uncertainty a man can take, and you generally want to know if you’ve won as soon as possible. Slots: Quick bet resolution With online slots, you know where you stand within seconds of making a spin. You may not know what an hour of playing will bring in advance, but as soon as you’ve made that last spin, you can see your credit balance. Sports betting: Depends on the games you bet on This is where sports betting falls behind, as it really depends on the type of game, and even o9n each individual game. If you bet on 5-6 games, they all start at different times, and some may go into overtime. A game might even be postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. How Long Does It Take to Get Good at It? At last, we come to the most important question: “How long will it take to start understanding the system and making smart, calculated choices?” Slots: Don't take long to master While there are some psychological tricks that online casinos play on newbies, as exemplified here, it doesn’t take much time for a new player to see through them and catch on. You can have the basics down within a month, with a little reading and trial and error. Sports betting: Requires constant investments Now, sports betting isn’t just pure luck, as some might think. There are a lot of factors that can help you determine a more likely winner and certain systems of choosing the right games to minimize risk. However, this takes time to learn, and you constantly need to stay up-to-date on all the different teams, club politics, and so on. It seems that, while sports betting has the same kind of variety as online slots do, it has a steeper learning curve, with chances and bet resolution times changing from game to game. If you want something that you can master quickly, play a few quick games every day, and see whether you’ve won instantly, then online slots are your best bet. For all the patient and meticulous betting connoisseurs, however, sports betting offers a bit more depth and excitement.
  9. Sports betting is a form of gambling, and that means it’s ridden with risks and uncertainties. But when done wisely, it’s an exciting adventure that could also earn you extra cash. For sports fans, in particular, betting can make the game more thrilling. But how do you bet successfully? Become an Expert in your Sport It takes more than knowing which team has won more games in the past five fixtures to make a correct betting prediction. You need to understand the sport and its rules. You should also have in-depth knowledge about the league and whether teams play offensive or defensive football. Due to that, many betting experts advise beginner sports bettors to wager on sports they genuinely love. If you love football, concentrate on the beautiful game. If you prefer tennis, learn more about ATP and WTA tournaments. When you become an expert in a specific sport and league, it becomes easy to identify great games for betting. Learn how to find High-Value Wagers If you can identify a high-value bet without doing plenty of research, you have the potential to make lots of money in betting. Being able to differentiate high value wagers from the low value ones is a valuable skill that can save you losses and help maximize your profits. So, what exactly is a high-value wager? With many games, there's always one wager in which the odds look too good to be true. Maybe the bookies don't believe a match between Norwich City and Man City can end with both teams scoring. It could also be that a team like Ajax is underrated when facing Chelsea despite the Dutch team having upset better sides in the past. At times, these hidden wagers are challenging to identify. But once you find and bet on them, you stand to make a lot more money than betting on the straightforward markets. Use available data wisely Unlike many gambling games, sports betting is widely considered to be a science. That’s because of the vast amount of data that could help improve your betting decision. Surprisingly, many punters ignore the swath of information available to them only to bet based on emotions, hunches, and impulses. By comparison, professional punters analyze head-to-head statistics, injury reports, past meetings, and other details before placing bets. They could spend hours analyzing a single game. But when they are done, they can correctly identify the best value odds and make a correct prediction. With major sports like football, basketball, baseball, and rugby, there are often exhaustive data to evaluate. You can't merely lack data to help you analyze a game as long as it's a significant match in one of the popular leagues. Take Advantage of Free Bets and Bonuses Because the idea is to maximize your profits, you shouldn’t ignore bookies’ free bets. Instead, use them to supplement your bankroll or to try new strategies. You’ll find bonus opportunities when finding new betting websites, as a loyal player or during major sports events. The best casino bonus offers, however, are determined based on their terms and conditions. You could earn £500 for creating an account on a bookie site. But if you can't withdraw the money you win from the reward, it's not worth your time. As such, don’t accept every casino bonus thrown your way. Examine each offer and pick those with the most favorable terms. At the end of it all, you want a free bet you could use on a variety of games and withdraw all your wins. Be a Strategic Punter You could bet daily and hope to make profits at the end of the month. But as legendary American football player and coach once said, “Hope is not a strategy.” You need a plan of how to choose games, odds, and betting amounts. You need a method to help you identify the best statistics. A good strategy also helps you become disciplined because you're no longer swayed by emotions when making predictions. The best part about it is that your approach can be unique to you. So, you don't have to copy the many betting strategies available online. But how do you create a good betting strategy? You must have goals and expectations from your betting career. Even if you wager as a hobby, it’s essential to have goals. That way, you can create a strategy to achieve those goals more effectively. Shop around for Odds Bookmakers and online casinos love loyal players. But as a punter, your loyalty should be whichever bookie gives you the best odds. You bet to make money and the better the odds, the more money you can make. As such, shop around for better odds every time you decide to bet. You might think odds 1.65 for Sergio Aguero to score against Newcastle look great, but another bookie could have odds 1.80 on the same wager. On a £100 bet, you would make £15 extra by betting on the second betting website. Again, some bookmakers have better offers, even when dealing with one type of wagers. For instance, Betfred doubles your wins if your 'Any time goal scorer' player nets twice. With Ladbrokes, you earn twice if your picked player scores within 25 minutes of the game starting. Keep your Bets to a Minimum Accumulator bets are great, but you must predict four or more teams correctly to earn money from them. By contrast, you could bet on one side and still make more money than wagering on specific ACCA bets. So, if you want a strategy that will help minimize your losses, bet on a few teams only. Take your time to find one or two extremely high odds in a day and bet on them. You could lose your money. But if you did your research well and get lucky, you will win a decent amount of money without risking too much. To Conclude Sports betting is considered a science for a reason. It requires research and plenty of analysis before concluding. And because you bet to make profits consistently, you need to be a strategic player.
  10. The Champions League clash between Liverpool and Napoli has become another game to be overshadowed by discussion over the effectiveness of the Video Assistant Referee.With the scores locked at 0-0 in the Reds' first group game against the Italian side, Andy Robertson was adjudged to have fouled Jose Callejon inside the box eight minutes from time.Dries Mertens converted the spot-kick before former Spurs man Fernando Llorente made the most of a extremely rare mistake by Virgil Van Dijk to seal the victory for the home side in injury time.In a tight contest where small margins were at play, understandably the penalty decision was at the forefront of Jurgen Klopp’s mind after the contest. The Liverpool Echo reported Klopp as saying:“I'm pretty sure there are different views on that situation but I’m sorry, when the player jumps before there is contact then there cannot be a penalty.“ We conceded the 1-0 and that was the game-changer. We can't change that any more, though. That's how it is. We carry on.“I said last week against Newcastle that if it would have been decisive then we would have a different discussion. Today it was decisive.“I could say a lot of things about it but I'm not a bad loser. I'm not the best loser but I'm not bad.The manager who was much more pleased with the performance of his side at the Stadio San Paulo compared to the corresponding fixture last season, said that there was still too many grey areas with VAR that needed to be worked out.“ It was very decisive in the moment. I think it (VAR) will help in the long-term but as long as human beings made the decision there is still potential for failure. “We are all like this.“ What can I say? The rules are like this, and they'd have to adjust the rules. “The German (refereeing) team, they do it for a while already, the VAR was also German, they have been using it longer than others.“They will find an explanation about why they did the right thing, that's how it is.“If he didn't whistle for the penalty he wouldn't have been overruled by VAR. “We all wanted to have more clarification in these things, now we don't have it. In his post-match press conference, Klopp asked the assembled media a show of hands into how many of them thought it was a penalty.Only two people put their hands up.Then the German produced the line of the night.“Only two guys in the room think it's a penalty then it's still a penalty, they both wear glasses but mine are the right prescription.”Class response. View full article
  11. tlw content

    Klopp: Clarification needed over VAR

    The Champions League clash between Liverpool and Napoli has become another game to be overshadowed by discussion over the effectiveness of the Video Assistant Referee.With the scores locked at 0-0 in the Reds' first group game against the Italian side, Andy Robertson was adjudged to have fouled Jose Callejon inside the box eight minutes from time.Dries Mertens converted the spot-kick before former Spurs man Fernando Llorente made the most of a extremely rare mistake by Virgil Van Dijk to seal the victory for the home side in injury time.In a tight contest where small margins were at play, understandably the penalty decision was at the forefront of Jurgen Klopp’s mind after the contest. The Liverpool Echo reported Klopp as saying:“I'm pretty sure there are different views on that situation but I’m sorry, when the player jumps before there is contact then there cannot be a penalty.“ We conceded the 1-0 and that was the game-changer. We can't change that any more, though. That's how it is. We carry on.“I said last week against Newcastle that if it would have been decisive then we would have a different discussion. Today it was decisive.“I could say a lot of things about it but I'm not a bad loser. I'm not the best loser but I'm not bad.The manager who was much more pleased with the performance of his side at the Stadio San Paulo compared to the corresponding fixture last season, said that there was still too many grey areas with VAR that needed to be worked out.“ It was very decisive in the moment. I think it (VAR) will help in the long-term but as long as human beings made the decision there is still potential for failure. “We are all like this.“ What can I say? The rules are like this, and they'd have to adjust the rules. “The German (refereeing) team, they do it for a while already, the VAR was also German, they have been using it longer than others.“They will find an explanation about why they did the right thing, that's how it is.“If he didn't whistle for the penalty he wouldn't have been overruled by VAR. “We all wanted to have more clarification in these things, now we don't have it. In his post-match press conference, Klopp asked the assembled media a show of hands into how many of them thought it was a penalty.Only two people put their hands up.Then the German produced the line of the night.“Only two guys in the room think it's a penalty then it's still a penalty, they both wear glasses but mine are the right prescription.”Class response.
  12. Liverpool will return to the venue of arguably their worst performance of last season when they kick off their defence of the Champions League in Napoli’s San Paolo stadium on Tuesday night. Divock Origi has been ruled out while Andy Robertson is also a doubt. Jurgen Klopp might look to shuffle his pack a little with a massively important Premier League fixture at Chelsea coming up this weekend, but there is a large enough gap between Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon that he could go full strength if he chose. Some changes are likely, however, and members of the squad who haven’t featured much will be hoping for an opportunity to play. Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Adam Lallana and even young Rhian Brewster will all be hoping to see the field after failing to make the starting line up in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Newcastle. Liverpool are still riding the crest of a wave having become European Champions for a sixth time last June. Not only are the Reds top of the table, they are the only side in all four divisions to still boast a 100% record this season. Despite the Reds having raced into a five point lead at the Premier League summit, Sports Betting Dime still has City are still favourites for the title, but Liverpool’s odds have shortened after their 100% start to the campaign. While it’s understandable that City are favourites to retain the crown they’ve worn for the past two years, it’s puzzling that they are also favourites to win the Champions League. Their record in the competition is poor, whereas under Jurgen Klopp Liverpool have reached successive finals and are the reigning Champions. The Group Stages of the competition always throw up some interesting (and often surprising) results, but in truth we will learn very little from the outcome of these games. The only thing that matters is getting out of the group and often you’ll see big teams losing group games, quite simply because they can afford to. The Reds lost all three away games in the group last year (which included a dreadful showing against Napoli) but not only emerged from the group, they won the whole damn thing. So while this game in Naples is important in regards to keeping the winning run going, in reality it won’t matter one bit if the Reds suffer a bad result. Napoli away is the toughest game in the group, but regardless of the result on Tuesday night, both teams should qualify comfortably from a group that also includes Salzburg and Genk. A win would keep Liverpool’s momentum going nicely, but losing this fixture last year didn’t exactly do them any harm so whatever happens on Tuesday the most important thing is to avoid injuries
  13. Report by Dave Usher Five games, five wins and a five point lead. Winning all of our games isn’t surprising, but the five point lead is definitely an unexpected bonus. I don’t think anyone saw that coming. Apparently this is the biggest lead any team has ever had after five games, so if we don’t win it we can expect to have that little nugget thrown back at us by random little nuggets all over the country. Being top after five games doesn’t mean much but you’d rather be there than not. It’s funny seeing fans of other clubs declaring the title race over. I haven’t seen any Reds even remotely suggesting that we’ve got anything in the bag but I’ve seen numerous other fans crying it in and trying to reverse jinx us. We are good though, aren’t we? I don’t blame anyone who thinks we’ll run away with it, as if I supported someone else I might feel the same way. We’re not like that because we’ve been burned so many times and tempting fate is never wise, but we’re European Champions for a reason. Here’s something else to consider too. I saw a tweet from Carra where he said City are the best team in Europe and we’re really close behind. It’s not an unreasonable statement. They beat us to the title last season and they were miles ahead of us the season before. There’s another way of looking at it though. It depends on how far back you want to go. I mean, I could make the point that over the last 43 Premier League games we’ve collected four more points than them as well as becoming Champions of Europe. We don’t have to take a back seat to anyone right now. One of the main benefits to being this good is the Mike Tyson effect. A lot of opponents are beaten before they even start. City have benefitted from that massively and only have around 15 ‘competitive’ games a season. The rest are just glorified training exercises against opponents who just want to avoid too bad a beating. We might be getting that kind of aura about us now. The european Cup helps, obviously, but it’s more than that. It’s the 97 points, the only losing one game last season (and even that was to City) and the incredible form at Anfield. The other contributing factor is the media narrative. If you’re constantly hearing about how special a team is, it has an impact. In the build up this game Steve Bruce was virtually calling us the greatest side in the history of the world. He didn’t say that in so many words, but it was more or less implied. “As good as side as you’re likely to face” and similar platitudes. It’s not just him either, it’s becoming a common theme. Uni Emery half joked that he wished he never had to play against us. All of this influences how opponents see you. City have had loads of games where it was over before it started and it feels that way with us a lot of the time. Newcastle scored first but it will have shocked them as much as us and I doubt they felt that they might be able to hold onto it. This is just a teaser, click to view the full article 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.
  14. Steve Bruce has continued to lavish praise on Liverpool after the Reds 3-1 victory against Newcastle on Saturday.Often managers give faint praise to their opposition, while mainly focusing on their own team but the Magpies manager was honest in his assessment claiming the Reds are ‘an excellent, excellent team’ and ‘as good you can get.’This time around, Bruce focused solely on an individual, that being the tireless Roberto Firmino.The Brazilian has a tremendous blend to his game of guile and grunt. While Firmino‘s teammates, manager and fans have recognized his qualities for a good while, it seems his play is finally getting the wider acclaim and high praise it deserves.The Mirror reported Bruce as saying:Look, Cantona is as good a player as I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen Firmino week in week out but….“Firmino is similar to Cantona in that he drifts into that little area and he naturally does it, where it’s so difficult for defenders to go.“I haven’t seen him week in week out like Eric but just when you see him here today and what he gives them, it’s a perfect balance. And Cantona gave us that.“Back in the day, we had Giggs and Kanchelskis who had frightening pace and stretched sides so much like Liverpool’s two, and Cantona dropped into that hole and people couldn’t get anywhere near him. “That’s what you see with Firmino.”The veteran manager said the reason the Liverpool front three are so potent is that they tick all the boxes required in terms of elite forward play. “Firmino is the one that drops in, but the pace of the other two is frightening. He drops in and the other two are running over your shoulder.“His attitude and work rate, it’s so important.Bruce says that Liverpool are a team which instills fear into the opposition and therefore incredibly difficult to contain.“Back when I played for United, everybody suddenly started playing one centre forward against us.“Back in the day, everyone played with two, then suddenly they would put an extra midfield player in, and it’s what you have to do because you are under threat of getting a hiding.“And a team like Liverpool, they have two full backs up the pitch, they attack at every opportunity, then you face being blown away. “They can do that to you, and you have to acknowledge that.“If you open up against sides like this then… the big difficulty we all have, is you have to find a way when you know a team is far better than you – and I say that with no disrespect at all to us – then you have to find a way.”“That is Liverpool now, like City a team opponents fear to provoke. And that is the biggest progress they have made over the past 12 months.”It is a another sign of how far we have come that the opposition are showering us with fulsome praise. Respect is not earned lightly and now we have that and deservedly so. View full article
  15. Steve Bruce has continued to lavish praise on Liverpool after the Reds 3-1 victory against Newcastle on Saturday.Often managers give faint praise to their opposition, while mainly focusing on their own team but the Magpies manager was honest in his assessment claiming the Reds are ‘an excellent, excellent team’ and ‘as good you can get.’This time around, Bruce focused solely on an individual, that being the tireless Roberto Firmino.The Brazilian has a tremendous blend to his game of guile and grunt. While Firmino‘s teammates, manager and fans have recognized his qualities for a good while, it seems his play is finally getting the wider acclaim and high praise it deserves.The Mirror reported Bruce as saying:Look, Cantona is as good a player as I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen Firmino week in week out but….“Firmino is similar to Cantona in that he drifts into that little area and he naturally does it, where it’s so difficult for defenders to go.“I haven’t seen him week in week out like Eric but just when you see him here today and what he gives them, it’s a perfect balance. And Cantona gave us that.“Back in the day, we had Giggs and Kanchelskis who had frightening pace and stretched sides so much like Liverpool’s two, and Cantona dropped into that hole and people couldn’t get anywhere near him. “That’s what you see with Firmino.”The veteran manager said the reason the Liverpool front three are so potent is that they tick all the boxes required in terms of elite forward play. “Firmino is the one that drops in, but the pace of the other two is frightening. He drops in and the other two are running over your shoulder.“His attitude and work rate, it’s so important.Bruce says that Liverpool are a team which instills fear into the opposition and therefore incredibly difficult to contain.“Back when I played for United, everybody suddenly started playing one centre forward against us.“Back in the day, everyone played with two, then suddenly they would put an extra midfield player in, and it’s what you have to do because you are under threat of getting a hiding.“And a team like Liverpool, they have two full backs up the pitch, they attack at every opportunity, then you face being blown away. “They can do that to you, and you have to acknowledge that.“If you open up against sides like this then… the big difficulty we all have, is you have to find a way when you know a team is far better than you – and I say that with no disrespect at all to us – then you have to find a way.”“That is Liverpool now, like City a team opponents fear to provoke. And that is the biggest progress they have made over the past 12 months.”It is a another sign of how far we have come that the opposition are showering us with fulsome praise. Respect is not earned lightly and now we have that and deservedly so.
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