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  1. Report by Dave Usher Now isn’t that much better? No dramas, no late heroics needed, just a routine, run of the mill, easy away win. It’s been a while. Bournemouth are great aren’t they? You break into their house wanting to steal some shit, and not only do they offer no resistance, they make you a cup of tea and show you to the hidden safe you didn’t even know about. Eddie Howe’s team knew they were beaten from the start and decided the best course of action was to just make sure they endured the least amount of embarrassment possible. This was the Bournemouth I was cursing last year when they went through 90 minutes against Man City without so much as leaving their own half, let alone managing a shot on goal. Eddie Howe has done a great job with them, but his approach against the top sides is so meek that he really should be Arsenal’s next manager. His managerial approach would fit that spineless group of wastrels like an arse in a bucket. Klopp made a load of changes from the team that beat the Blues in midweek, and once again they paid off. Shaq and Div came in to destroy Everton and Ox and Naby did it against Bournemouth. Having the ability to make changes and keep winning is huge, especially as it was one of the concerns people had until this week. The squad depth has been questioned but the fringe lads have stepped up big this week. 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.
  2. Saturday Nov 30: L 2 Brighton 1 Three points, a huge sigh of relief but bloody hell, that wasn’t much fun. It was fucking freezing and the performance matched it. Ok, that’s not entirely fair as the opening half an hour was good and we should have been out of sight. Matt Ryan pulled off some good saves though and although we did go two up through Big Virg, the handsome towering bastard, we ran out of steam and it looked like the Napoli game had taken a heavy toll. Still, we weren’t in any trouble until Alisson’s moment of madness, and even then we’d have been fine but for the incompetence / bias (delete as appropriate) of Martin Atkinson. I absolutely can’t get my head around why he isn’t being hammered for what he did. I don’t know if what he did was within the rules, but morally it was dodgy as fuck which is why you almost never see it. When do you ever see a ref blow his whistle when the keeper is on the post lining up his wall? Virtually never. So call me paranoid but when I see a ref who has screwed us frequently of late make a call like that, I’m going to think something is up. This twat needs keeping away from our games, but he’s on the VAR for the derby. As I said last week though, it will take a brave man to over-rule any Mike Dean decision, so if we get hosed on Wednesday it will be by the beady eyed Birkenhead official, not Atkinson. Tell you one thing I noticed today though. Lewis Dunk is a much better player than I thought. I had him down as a Burnley type, sit deep with lots of protection and head everything away type of centre half, but he's not. He's really good. He's the player that people wrongly believe Harry Maguire to be. No wonder Leicester wanted him to replace Maguire, and no wonder Brighton were demanding a similar fee. Sunday Dec 1: Started watching that Barca documentary yesterday and finished it today. I was shocked. They're absolute dickheads. It’s no wonder they bottled it at Anfield. Prior to kick off they're all sat there, nobody is talking to eachother, half of them are looking terrified and Coutinho is actually praying. There's complete silence in the dressing room and they can all hear YNWA being played and the crowd singing. 
 If I'd been in there I'd have banged Livin on a Prayer or 500 Miles on the sound system so fucking loud they couldn't hear the crowd singing and they’d have been so fired up they’d be ready to eat raw steak. As it was, they looked like they were gladiators about to go into the arena to be fed to lions. Which they were, as it turned out. How can a club that big, and so successful, act so amateurishly? Meanwhile, Paul Scholes says Freddie Ljungberg isn’t the man for Arsenal because… wait for it…. he wasn’t wearing a suit today. I don’t even know where to start, so I won’t. 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.
  3. Steve Bruce, he’s got a beautiful head, he’s got a beautiful head, he’s got a beautiful head. What a guy. What a result. Good old Newcastle eh? I’d been following the game on the way to Anfield and when news came through of De Bruyne’s late screamer, it was a case of ‘ah well, never mind, still eight points clear if we beat Brighton’. I was stood outside the Kop when I heard a cheer coming from the Albert that could mean only one thing; Newcastle had equalised. I would quite happily have hugged Steve Bruce at that moment and I won’t even say what I’d have been prepared to do to our old mate Jonjo. Leicester may be our nearest challengers but every point dropped by City is huge. Eleven points is a big gap and will take a lot of closing, but anyone dismissing them needs their head testing. If the gap gets to 14 or 15 then maybe I’ll relax, but last season cut deep and I’ll be the last one to arrive at Man City’s funeral. Fair play to Newcastle though, they aren’t scared of City are they? They were one of the few sides to beat them last season and now they’ve come from behind twice to snatch a draw. It’s funny really, because all I do is rip Newcastle and Wolves fans, but along with us, those two teams have done more to slow City down than virtually anyone else over the last couple of seasons. What makes Newcastle’s record against City more impressive is they always seem to concede first and then come back. Last year they came from behind to win, this time they twice came back to grab a draw. Sterling put City in front as the ball ricocheted off four players before landing perfectly for him to find the bottom corner. Newcastle hit back immediately though as Almiron found Willens and he lashed one in the bottom corner. Almiron looked all emotional as it was his first assist apparently. I knew he hadn’t scored yet but to not have had an assist either is just shit, as he’s played 25 games or something. I don’t know how that’s even possible. As you’d expect, City had chances but they weren’t exactly peppering the Newcastle goal. Dubravka made a couple of decent saves but was eventually beaten by that De Bruyne thunderbolt. Shades of Tony Yeboah about that. They always look better when they go in off the bar. Then up stepped the Redmen to save the day. Javi Manquillo won a free-kick and when the ball was rolled back across the edge of the box, good arl Jonjo lashed one into the corner. The only way that could have been better is if Big Andy had come off the bench to score the winner, but that didn’t happen because he’s fucking injured. Again. While City were dropping two points and falling further behind, another of the chasing pack were faring even worse. A little over a week ago Chelsea were within eight points of us. Two successive defeats later and they’re just a spot in our wing mirror now. Losing at home to West Ham was a real shocker, as they haven’t been beating anybody for months. Mind you, I have been saying that their biggest problem is that wiseguy keeper who keeps throwing them in. Pellegrini finally dropped him and went with former Red David Martin instead. He’s 33 and this was his Premier League debut having spent his entire career either on our bench or in the lower leagues. He kept a clean sheet, broke down in tears at full time and then climbed up into the stands to celebrate with his Dad, Hammers legend Alvin. Lovely scene that, nice moment for them both. Admittedly, if he wasn’t a former Red I might have been less moved by it and might even have called him a bit of a fanny, but he’s a good lad so I’m genuinely happy for him. Cresswell got the only goal of the game but it wasn’t exactly smash and grab as they had some other great chances too. Remarkably, Chelsea didn’t commit a single foul in the entire game. Ron Chopper Harris will be turning in his grave. How is that even possible? This is just a teaser, click here 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.
  4. Report by Dave Usher And to think I was actually worried about this one! In my defence, I think there were some good reasons to have some trepidation about the game, but the team selection wasn’t one of them. Not for me anyway. Far from it. It’s easy to say now with the benefit of hindsight, but I didn’t have any issue with the five changes made by Klopp. In fact, when I saw the team I felt more relaxed about our chances than I had before. Tiredness was one of the main reasons I wasn’t feeling overly confident, but those changes alleviated those fears. I know a lot of Reds will have been concerned about Salah and Firmino being left out, but it genuinely didn’t bother me one bit. In the Brighton report on Monday I called for Divock to be given a start, and although we haven’t seen Shaq in months he must have been looking sharp in training or Klopp wouldn’t have picked him. This was the front three that smashed Barcelona, so there was no reason to think they wouldn’t be up to the task of beating Everton. Origi has history against the Blues at Anfield. He’s like a modern day Rushy in this fixture. Evertonians no doubt see him in their nightmares. He’s the bogeyman to them, and I’m sure he knows it too. Not playing him would have been daft really. Lallana was a surprise inclusion, but again, that didn’t bother me. So why was I going all Han Solo and telling everyone “I have a bad feeling about this”? A few reasons really. History being one of them. We went into the game having equalled our longest ever unbeaten league run. The last time, that run was ended by Everton. Now we’re playing them again, on the exact same number of unbeaten games as last time? What are the odds on that? That type of thing always unnerves me. Of course, Everton were actually good back then and that game was at Goodison. This was at Anfield, where Everton haven’t won for 20 years. That unnerved me too though. Eventually they will win at Anfield, and with everyone talking about how the gap between the clubs is as big as it’s been in decades, it felt like we were ripe for an upset. The main thing that had me sweating though was how we’ve been playing, and specifically how tired I thought we looked against Brighton. That’s why I felt more confident when I saw the team. It was a really weird game though. The way we played in that first half was strange, and nothing like what we’ve seen all season. It was like we’d turned the clock back two years. This was the return of “the Red Arrows”. 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.
  5. Saturday Nov 23: Palace 1 L 2 Another week another arse twitching win. Feels like almost all of our games this season have finished 2-1 and loads of them have seen us win it late. We can’t do that indefinitely but it won’t matter if we’ve built up a big enough lead. We’ve already won loads of games that we could easily not have and it feels like we haven’t really played well for a lot of the season. That's probably not true but it feels like that because so many of our games have ended up on knife edge. Our record is incredible but the performances have not always been. There are two ways to look at that. Maybe we’re pacing ourselves and will come on stronger in the second half of the season (we usually do) or maybe this is who we are now. Maybe we aren’t that wildly exciting crazy team that would win 4-0 or 5-1 virtually every week but then lose a stupid one completely out of the blue to undermine it all. Maybe now we’re just a winning machine, grinding out three points week after week without ever really crushing anybody like we used to but also never dropping stupid points. The front three are definitely not the unstoppable force they were two years ago and that’s the main difference I think. Sadio is better than he was two years ago but Bobby and Mo aren’t producing the same numbers and that’s the main reason we’re winning 2-1 every week instead of hitting four or five. Recently I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit. Are they not playing as well or have teams just figured out ways to restrict us? I wouldn’t say we’ve been 'found out', because we’re European Champions and have only lost one league game in 18 months!! Something has changed though. Those devastating length of the field counter attacks we were seeing all the time have all but disappeared. I can only assume it’s because teams are much more careful against us now because the fear factor is there. We’ve had to adapt because we get less space and as a result of that we’re less of a counter attacking side and more of a patient build up one. It’s working for us and the points speak for themselves, it’s just not as thrilling to watch and it's a lot more stressful when games are in the balance right up until the final whistle. Still, if it brings us the title though then I’ll take a 2-1 win every week thanks. Sunday Nov 24: Eden Hazard says a Liverpool player should win the Balon d’Or and his choice would be Sadio. He’s defo getting more and more traction now and it wouldn’t be undeserved if he won, but the problem is that he’s taking votes of Virg and that will no doubt open the door for Messi. Let’s not kid ourselves, he’ll win it again because he’s "the world’s best player". By that rationale though, he should have won it pretty much every year that he’s played. The reason he hasn’t is because it has often been determined that someone else (usually Ronaldo) - while being an inferior talent - has had a better year than him. Just like Virgil in 2019. Messi will win it though. I doubt Virg gives much of a fuck about it anyway. The fans will be more upset about it than him. Meanwhile, Naby Keita is one of the nominees for African Player of the Year. Who the fuck is voting for this? If it’s the public then that can be explained away by the lack of TVs in many African households, but if it’s the players and / or coaches then what the fuck?? He’s barely played for club or country and when he did he usually got injured. 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.
  6. tlw content

    Opposition View: Everton

    It is the fixture that divides the city but it is fair to say the gap between Liverpool and Everton has not been this large for many a year. The Toffees come to Anfield in 17th place with a manager in crisis and a fanbase fearing relegation if things do not improve quickly. For this Opposition View, TLW tried something a little unique. Instead of an individual answering the questions, we thought it would be worthwhile to gauge the opinion of a range of Blues supporters from the Everton FC fan forum. What you see is brutal honesty and quite a fascinating insight into what has gone wrong for our neighbours this season. In your opinion, what are the main reasons behind Everton’s inconsistent form over the past 18 months? Rob Preece: Poor signings and management. An over reliance to stick with a system that doesn’t work. Zonal marking. No striker of any great note and a lack of creativity from midfield. David Holroyd: Look at the money Liverpool spent on Salah and Mane. We got Gylfi for almost same price. We should be looking for a better manager than Silva. Benitez would be a better choice, don't be afraid because of what he said in the past let him see for himself. Andy Kay: 30 years of mismanagement from the start of the Premier League era. Wasted money, the stadium, merchandise, kits, players and directors who don't care for the club.... We've become a laughing stock while Liverpool have embarrassed us in every way possible. We are Espanyol, Torino and 1860 Munich rolled into one. Once the pride of Merseyside is now a shambles. Elaine Dutton: A pick and mix squad of players brought in by Koeman, Allardyce and Silva to play specific roles and as each new manager comes in with his own style we have players who don't fit in to that way of playing. There is no heart to the team with Jags, Baines, Coleman, Gueye and Lukaku no longer at the club or past their prime Why do you think Marco Silva has struggled so much to get the best of his squad? Matthew Thompson: Not replacing Zouma and Gueye and also having injured midfielder (Jean Philippe) Gbamin out for 2/3 months, Gomes for likely the rest of season and not once being able to play his strongest 11. He also wanted a left footed right-winger. We all knew before the season started that we were short at the back and that has started to become too much of a gamble. We have a good crop of players but we lack that finishing touch. Dan Lawrence: Square pegs and round holes. He's stubborn the way he wants to play and wedges players into formation when main players are unavailable. Also I don’t think he knows his best 11 and the zonal marking doesn’t work but he still insists on using it. He’s a nice guy but as a result we are too nice on the pitch. Everton have looked to be big players in the transfer market of late bringing in skilled players like Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson. But do you believe you have lost some of that grit and graft that was part of your DNA under David Moyes? Mark Hayes: The initial downfall was appointing Martinez. I know there will be a lot that disagree because they have fell for the Spanish stains’ bullshit and seem to forget the state the team were in when he left, but here's a reminder... a team that were so unfit because of his training ideas, that they struggled to even see out a game. A team that couldn't defend because Brown shoes didn't think defence was that important and training to defend set-pieces wasn't even a consideration. Finishing 5th with what was Moyes' team (apart from a young hungry Lukaku) was a one off and we all saw the real Martinez team the following two seasons. Unfortunately the club did not learn by their mistake and carried on making them with Koeman and now Silva. Mark Mellor: Unfortunately yes, for me passion is as important as talent? Look at Norwich and Sheffield U, on paper we should be better because we have a more expensive team but they both play as a team and are really up for it? We need more of what they have? Commitment!! Which player(s) have impressed you this season and who needs to raise their performance? Jon McCarthy: (Djibril) Sidibe has been a decent signing, Bernard has done well when fit, but as for the rest of the team.... shambles. Gylfi hasn't shown even a glimpse of the 'talent' he has. Anthony Gray: Mina has surprised me as i didn't think he was any good but he's actually not that bad... Bernard, Gomes, Sidibe all done ok.... Completely in shock over Digne, where’s he gone?? Siggi has always been defended by me, but now there's no argument for me to defend him. He's too slow and does not look interested. Pickford is just a little fat prick who thinks he's class when he is far from it. Mark Killey: Not one of our players would get into a normal top 6 team and that just shows who has impressed. We have a squad who play average to poor football week in week out. Silva was never the man for the job, but with that team off mercenaries I can't see anyone getting us out off this shite where in now. What would be your ultimate Footballing nightmare. Relegation or Liverpool winning the Premier League title? Mark Quinn: Not being bottom 3 is the priority of course. It's sad when the obsession with the other lot blurs our own priorities. Kenny Almond : Bottom 3 100%! Don't get all these fans who want us to lose games so it helps others who are challenging. I want us to win every game we play! As much as I hate the red shite we seem to be more bothered about them. At the end of the day whatever team manages ends on top after 38 games wins the league and probably deserve it. We need Silva out and kick on up the table at this point. I would take a mid table finish and only Everton matter to me. Alan James Martyn: Let's be positive; it's not over until the final whistle. The Reds haven't won yet and we ain't down. We are true blues and have more home grown fans then them. Who is someone that you believe can take the game to Liverpool and conversely who do you need to contain? Kyle Marsh: Our wingers against their fullbacks. They're both good going forward but not great defensively. Dan Malone: Five at the back. Start Kean. Robert Cruikshank: Everything comes from Trent and Robertson. Nullify them, that gives us a chance. Do you have a score prediction for this fixture? Mike Warren: We either going to get battered or lose by 1 absolute stinker of a decision. Hope they surprise me with a win though. Wes Hershberger: 2-2 draw, Moise Kean equalizer on 92’ Graham Weedall: My heart is saying 1-2. But my head is saying 3-0. View full article
  7. With December finally begun, it’s time for all things festive. From Christmas markets to seasonal shopping, it’s one of the best times of year to get together with friends and family and celebrate one of the best times of year. Of course, December is also a great time to watch football. Liverpool FC are set to play 9 games throughout the month, as part of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and the Carabao Cup. Their fixture against West Ham on December 21st was postponed, due to the club’s invitation to participate in the FIFA World Cup. Here are the top 5 matches that are not to be missed throughout December. Wednesday 4th: Everton Kicking off with one of the most exciting games at the start of the December month is a match against Liverpool’s city rivals, Everton. The Merseyside Derby continues to be some of the most anticipated games of the season and for good reason; there’s nothing like a good old fashioned rivalry to really up the thrill of a football match. It’s one that almost every member of the team are absolutely looking to take part in. Liverpool star and Spaniard Adrian San Miguel, for example, says he’s ‘already focused’ on the game ahead. There’s some big claims already being made, with Liverpool being expected to play the game. In play betting with 888 will enable fans to see the line-up and the intensity of the game before they stake any money. Liverpool have had a fantastic season, having only dropped two points and are still sitting comfortably at the top of the league, but the number of games could cause them to slow the pace. The game begins at 20:15 on Wednesday at Anfield. Saturday 7th: Bournemouth While A.F.C. Bournemouth are currently sitting 12th in the Premier League, the game against Liverpool on Saturday the 7th is definitely one to follow. Bournemouth haven’t had a particularly fantastic season; Liverpool have had 6 total wins against them in the past, with Bournemouth securing just 1. But things can always change. And while Liverpool have the homefield advantage, it’s still a game worth tuning into. Play starts from 15:00. Saturday 14th: Watford What makes this game so exciting? Watford have something to prove. In February 2019, Liverpool had one of their best games against Watford. They had previously dropped six points in their top flight games. A goal from Divock Origi and two goals each from Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk saw them defeat Watford at a massive 5-0. “Our target was to win but when you find an opponent like Liverpool then it’s very hard to get the points,” former manager Javi Garcia said at the time. “It’s important to be calm and keep confidence in ourselves now because our levels have been good.” With so much to prove, Watford will be looking to make their comeback and show just what they can achieve. At 20th in the league, they’re the bottom team now facing the top team; maybe this is their chance to make a statement or face another devastating loss. And potentially face relegation for next season. Thursday 26th: Leicester City Set to be one of the most exhilarating games of the season is Liverpool vs Leicester City on Thursday the 26th of December. It was not long ago that Leicester City fans warned Liverpool that the Premier League title race is far from over. A game against Everton at the King Power Stadium saw The Foxes clinch a record-setting sixth straight Premier League win, reducing their gap on Liverpool to a mere eight points at the top of the table. With Leicester City sitting second on the table, this is definitely a match for the books. Kick off is at 20:00 and you can be sure fans on both sides will be watching in anticipation for what’s to come. Sunday 29th: Wolverhampton Wanderers With the Wolves sitting at 6th in the Premier League table, this post-Christmas match makes the list of one of the top to watch this December. The Wolves have yet to lose a game this season across all leagues, winning three and drawing another three. Can they beat the hard-hitting top table Liverpool? That’s yet to be decided. But there’s certainly going to be some excitement around this game, which kicks off at 16:30.
  8. Liverpool FC has a long history, stretching back to the Victorian era. During that lengthy time it’s had its fair share of ups and downs, with some difficult nadirs and some stunning zeniths. Here’s a summary of some of the best times or, to be more exact, the best managers the club’s ever had. During these times those who love a good punt have had a good run for their money with some amazing bets that have come home. We’ll also provide a thought for the future. Steven Gerrard was a legend as a player for Liverpool, and now some, including Jürgen Klopp, are tipping him as the next manager when Klopp calls it a day. Bill Shankly Manager for a decade and a half, when Shankly started his tenure Liverpool weren’t even in the First Division. By the time he’d left, they’d won the First Division three times. Perhaps even more importantly, the foundations had been laid for even greater success under his assistant, Bob Paisley. Anfield itself was in disrepair when he started in the late 1950s, but Shankly did have one big asset: a cadre of capable assistants in Paisley, Joe Fagan, and Reuben Bennett. Transfers were needed as were improvements to the training facilities, but perhaps the biggest hurdle was wrestling with the board. But tenacity paid off and Liverpool got promoted. A few years later Liverpool won the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Shankly was also the man who, experimenting with colour schemes, adopted the all red kit that has become firmly rooted in the team’s DNA. Shankly was the Moses who led Liverpool from the doldrums to success, and those who followed him continued that upward trend. In the latter years of Shankly’s tenure and those of his successors, money on Liverpool for titles was a pretty good bet. Right now at the time of writing they’re favourites for the title, shorter than evens, but closely followed by Manchester City. Betting can add to the thrill of watching football, but if you prefer casino to sports betting then there are some great UK online casinos to visit in 2019. Here you can learn about which sites have the best bonuses and other exciting incentives for you to enjoy. Bob Paisley No discussion of great managers would be complete without Bob Paisley, who was assistant and then full manager at the club from 1959 to 1983. Manager during a heyday for the team, Paisley is one of only three managers to have won the European Cup three times (Zidane and Ancelotti being the other two). Whilst assistant to Bill Shankly the team returned to the First Division, and he eventually succeeded Shankly in 1974. Although manager for just under a decade, during that time Liverpool were dominant both at home and abroad. Half a dozen League Championships were won, and three European Cups, with a plethora of other trophies filling the cabinet. When he retired, he’d been named Manager of the Year six times, (coincidentally, the same as the number of league titles he won). Kenny Dalglish As a player Kenny Dalglish (aka King Kenny) won the Ballon d’Or during his hundreds of appearances and more than a decade at the team. He won League Championships, FA Cups, and more besides. But it was in 1985 that he became manager, when Joe Fagan resigned. Dalglish was manager for two periods, from 1985 to 1991 and 2011 to 2012 (when he replaced Roy Hodgson). In between these periods he focused on charitable causes, working with his wife to help fund cancer care. It was during his first stint that Dalglish achieved glory for the club, topping the First Division on three occasions and claiming the FA Cup into the bargain. It was 1986 when the double was won, Dalglish being player-manager (a dual role he retained until 1990). Dalglish was manager during one of the darkest days in English football: the Hillsborough disaster. Although never in a position to prevent the tragedy unfolding, it’s right to acknowledge the example he provided in being dignified in the face of adversity, attending numerous funerals of those who died. Some things are bigger than football, and Dalglish showed that, more than just being a good manager, he’s a great man. Rafael Benítez Benítez was manager for several years at Liverpool, but for many people the single memory they have of his time there is the sensational 2005 Champions League final. Picture the scene. It’s half-time. Liverpool are 3-0 down to Milan in Istanbul’s Atatürk Stadium. Some fans have already left the stadium to get an early start on the long, weary journey home. And boy, did they live to regret that decision. There was a goal for Liverpool. And within a few minutes there was another, and then Liverpool scored again to level at 3-3. Extra time beckoned, and then penalties. Jerzy Dudek imitated Bruce Grobbelaar’s wobbly legs to try and distract Milan’s players and saved two penalties to win the Champions League for Liverpool. It was their fifth success, and they got to keep the trophy permanently. Besides that epic victory, Benítez also led Liverpool to win the FA Cup, although the Premier League title eluded him. This season might be another story, as Liverpool have a clear lead and have enjoyed an unbroken string of wins. Jürgen Klopp Some might argue it’s wrong to include a still serving manager on the all-time greats list, but Jürgen Klopp has already earned the affection of the fans (and whoever said Germans don’t have a sense of humour evidently forgot to tell him). In his few years to date at the club he’s led Liverpool to successive Champions League finals, winning the 2019 final against Spurs. On the domestic front he came close to leading Liverpool to the Premier League title, and so far, touch wood, he’s had a perfect start to the current season with eight matches played and eight matches won. Likeable and successful, he brought Mo Salah to the squad and the Champions League trophy to the cabinet. Many fans will be hoping he’s there for the long haul, although there have been recent suggestions he might stay for just a few more years.
  9. Liverpool FC has a long history, stretching back to the Victorian era. During that lengthy time it’s had its fair share of ups and downs, with some difficult nadirs and some stunning zeniths. Here’s a summary of some of the best times or, to be more exact, the best managers the club’s ever had. During these times those who love a good punt have had a good run for their money with some amazing bets that have come home. We’ll also provide a thought for the future. Steven Gerrard was a legend as a player for Liverpool, and now some, including Jürgen Klopp, are tipping him as the next manager when Klopp calls it a day. Bill Shankly Manager for a decade and a half, when Shankly started his tenure Liverpool weren’t even in the First Division. By the time he’d left, they’d won the First Division three times. Perhaps even more importantly, the foundations had been laid for even greater success under his assistant, Bob Paisley. Anfield itself was in disrepair when he started in the late 1950s, but Shankly did have one big asset: a cadre of capable assistants in Paisley, Joe Fagan, and Reuben Bennett. Transfers were needed as were improvements to the training facilities, but perhaps the biggest hurdle was wrestling with the board. But tenacity paid off and Liverpool got promoted. A few years later Liverpool won the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Shankly was also the man who, experimenting with colour schemes, adopted the all red kit that has become firmly rooted in the team’s DNA. Shankly was the Moses who led Liverpool from the doldrums to success, and those who followed him continued that upward trend. In the latter years of Shankly’s tenure and those of his successors, money on Liverpool for titles was a pretty good bet. Right now at the time of writing they’re favourites for the title, shorter than evens, but closely followed by Manchester City. Betting can add to the thrill of watching football, but if you prefer casino to sports betting then there are some great UK online casinos to visit in 2019. Here you can learn about which sites have the best bonuses and other exciting incentives for you to enjoy. Bob Paisley No discussion of great managers would be complete without Bob Paisley, who was assistant and then full manager at the club from 1959 to 1983. Manager during a heyday for the team, Paisley is one of only three managers to have won the European Cup three times (Zidane and Ancelotti being the other two). Whilst assistant to Bill Shankly the team returned to the First Division, and he eventually succeeded Shankly in 1974. Although manager for just under a decade, during that time Liverpool were dominant both at home and abroad. Half a dozen League Championships were won, and three European Cups, with a plethora of other trophies filling the cabinet. When he retired, he’d been named Manager of the Year six times, (coincidentally, the same as the number of league titles he won). Kenny Dalglish As a player Kenny Dalglish (aka King Kenny) won the Ballon d’Or during his hundreds of appearances and more than a decade at the team. He won League Championships, FA Cups, and more besides. But it was in 1985 that he became manager, when Joe Fagan resigned. Dalglish was manager for two periods, from 1985 to 1991 and 2011 to 2012 (when he replaced Roy Hodgson). In between these periods he focused on charitable causes, working with his wife to help fund cancer care. It was during his first stint that Dalglish achieved glory for the club, topping the First Division on three occasions and claiming the FA Cup into the bargain. It was 1986 when the double was won, Dalglish being player-manager (a dual role he retained until 1990). Dalglish was manager during one of the darkest days in English football: the Hillsborough disaster. Although never in a position to prevent the tragedy unfolding, it’s right to acknowledge the example he provided in being dignified in the face of adversity, attending numerous funerals of those who died. Some things are bigger than football, and Dalglish showed that, more than just being a good manager, he’s a great man. Rafael Benítez Benítez was manager for several years at Liverpool, but for many people the single memory they have of his time there is the sensational 2005 Champions League final. Picture the scene. It’s half-time. Liverpool are 3-0 down to Milan in Istanbul’s Atatürk Stadium. Some fans have already left the stadium to get an early start on the long, weary journey home. And boy, did they live to regret that decision. There was a goal for Liverpool. And within a few minutes there was another, and then Liverpool scored again to level at 3-3. Extra time beckoned, and then penalties. Jerzy Dudek imitated Bruce Grobbelaar’s wobbly legs to try and distract Milan’s players and saved two penalties to win the Champions League for Liverpool. It was their fifth success, and they got to keep the trophy permanently. Besides that epic victory, Benítez also led Liverpool to win the FA Cup, although the Premier League title eluded him. This season might be another story, as Liverpool have a clear lead and have enjoyed an unbroken string of wins. Jürgen Klopp Some might argue it’s wrong to include a still serving manager on the all-time greats list, but Jürgen Klopp has already earned the affection of the fans (and whoever said Germans don’t have a sense of humour evidently forgot to tell him). In his few years to date at the club he’s led Liverpool to successive Champions League finals, winning the 2019 final against Spurs. On the domestic front he came close to leading Liverpool to the Premier League title, and so far, touch wood, he’s had a perfect start to the current season with eight matches played and eight matches won. Likeable and successful, he brought Mo Salah to the squad and the Champions League trophy to the cabinet. Many fans will be hoping he’s there for the long haul, although there have been recent suggestions he might stay for just a few more years. View full article
  10. tlw content

    Opposition View: Everton

    It is the fixture that divides the city but it is fair to say the gap between Liverpool and Everton has not been this large for many a year. The Toffees come to Anfield in 17th place with a manager in crisis and a fanbase fearing relegation if things do not improve quickly. For this Opposition View, TLW tried something a little unique. Instead of an individual answering the questions, we thought it would be worthwhile to gauge the opinion of a range of Blues supporters from the Everton FC fan forum. What you see is brutal honesty and quite a fascinating insight into what has gone wrong for our neighbours this season. In your opinion, what are the main reasons behind Everton’s inconsistent form over the past 18 months? Rob Preece: Poor signings and management. An over reliance to stick with a system that doesn’t work. Zonal marking. No striker of any great note and a lack of creativity from midfield. David Holroyd: Look at the money Liverpool spent on Salah and Mane. We got Gylfi for almost same price. We should be looking for a better manager than Silva. Benitez would be a better choice, don't be afraid because of what he said in the past let him see for himself. Andy Kay: 30 years of mismanagement from the start of the Premier League era. Wasted money, the stadium, merchandise, kits, players and directors who don't care for the club.... We've become a laughing stock while Liverpool have embarrassed us in every way possible. We are Espanyol, Torino and 1860 Munich rolled into one. Once the pride of Merseyside is now a shambles. Elaine Dutton: A pick and mix squad of players brought in by Koeman, Allardyce and Silva to play specific roles and as each new manager comes in with his own style we have players who don't fit in to that way of playing. There is no heart to the team with Jags, Baines, Coleman, Gueye and Lukaku no longer at the club or past their prime Why do you think Marco Silva has struggled so much to get the best of his squad? Matthew Thompson: Not replacing Zouma and Gueye and also having injured midfielder (Jean Philippe) Gbamin out for 2/3 months, Gomes for likely the rest of season and not once being able to play his strongest 11. He also wanted a left footed right-winger. We all knew before the season started that we were short at the back and that has started to become too much of a gamble. We have a good crop of players but we lack that finishing touch. Dan Lawrence: Square pegs and round holes. He's stubborn the way he wants to play and wedges players into formation when main players are unavailable. Also I don’t think he knows his best 11 and the zonal marking doesn’t work but he still insists on using it. He’s a nice guy but as a result we are too nice on the pitch. Everton have looked to be big players in the transfer market of late bringing in skilled players like Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson. But do you believe you have lost some of that grit and graft that was part of your DNA under David Moyes? Mark Hayes: The initial downfall was appointing Martinez. I know there will be a lot that disagree because they have fell for the Spanish stains’ bullshit and seem to forget the state the team were in when he left, but here's a reminder... a team that were so unfit because of his training ideas, that they struggled to even see out a game. A team that couldn't defend because Brown shoes didn't think defence was that important and training to defend set-pieces wasn't even a consideration. Finishing 5th with what was Moyes' team (apart from a young hungry Lukaku) was a one off and we all saw the real Martinez team the following two seasons. Unfortunately the club did not learn by their mistake and carried on making them with Koeman and now Silva. Mark Mellor: Unfortunately yes, for me passion is as important as talent? Look at Norwich and Sheffield U, on paper we should be better because we have a more expensive team but they both play as a team and are really up for it? We need more of what they have? Commitment!! Which player(s) have impressed you this season and who needs to raise their performance? Jon McCarthy: (Djibril) Sidibe has been a decent signing, Bernard has done well when fit, but as for the rest of the team.... shambles. Gylfi hasn't shown even a glimpse of the 'talent' he has. Anthony Gray: Mina has surprised me as i didn't think he was any good but he's actually not that bad... Bernard, Gomes, Sidibe all done ok.... Completely in shock over Digne, where’s he gone?? Siggi has always been defended by me, but now there's no argument for me to defend him. He's too slow and does not look interested. Pickford is just a little fat prick who thinks he's class when he is far from it. Mark Killey: Not one of our players would get into a normal top 6 team and that just shows who has impressed. We have a squad who play average to poor football week in week out. Silva was never the man for the job, but with that team off mercenaries I can't see anyone getting us out off this shite where in now. What would be your ultimate Footballing nightmare. Relegation or Liverpool winning the Premier League title? Mark Quinn: Not being bottom 3 is the priority of course. It's sad when the obsession with the other lot blurs our own priorities. Kenny Almond : Bottom 3 100%! Don't get all these fans who want us to lose games so it helps others who are challenging. I want us to win every game we play! As much as I hate the red shite we seem to be more bothered about them. At the end of the day whatever team manages ends on top after 38 games wins the league and probably deserve it. We need Silva out and kick on up the table at this point. I would take a mid table finish and only Everton matter to me. Alan James Martyn: Let's be positive; it's not over until the final whistle. The Reds haven't won yet and we ain't down. We are true blues and have more home grown fans then them. Who is someone that you believe can take the game to Liverpool and conversely who do you need to contain? Kyle Marsh: Our wingers against their fullbacks. They're both good going forward but not great defensively. Dan Malone: Five at the back. Start Kean. Robert Cruikshank: Everything comes from Trent and Robertson. Nullify them, that gives us a chance. Do you have a score prediction for this fixture? Mike Warren: We either going to get battered or lose by 1 absolute stinker of a decision. Hope they surprise me with a win though. Wes Hershberger: 2-2 draw, Moise Kean equalizer on 92’ Graham Weedall: My heart is saying 1-2. But my head is saying 3-0.
  11. Report by Dave Usher Last week I wrote about how stressful these 2-1 wins have been and that it would be nice to finally have a routine 4-0 for a change. I had hoped this might be it, but no, it was another 2-1 in which we had to watch the closing stages with clenched arse cheeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. What’s to complain about? I read that we’ve taken 67 points from the last 69 available, which is an astonishing achievement. So yeah, this is great. I’d just like to have a relatively stress free game once in a while. For a team this good it really shouldn’t be too much to ask. In theory we should be thumping Brighton at Anfield. Over recent seasons we’ve generally spanked the ‘lesser’ sides and haven’t had much trouble with any of them. For a while this looked to be going the same way as we raced into a two goal lead, but it ended up being a real slog even before the late drama with the sending off and the scandalous situation around the free-kick. So what went wrong? A combination of things I’d say. Brighton are better than I realised. They lack quality but you can see they are extremely well coached. With better players they’d be quite dangerous. They reminded me of Swansea under Brendan. Everyone knew where he should be when they had the ball, and the way they played out from the back through our press time and again was very impressive. That coach knows what he’s doing, but theres only so much you can do to bridge a massive gap in quality and we could easily have scored more than the two we did. We didn’t get the third goal which would have made it comfortable and from about half an hour onwards I thought we looked leggy. Maybe the midweek game against Napoli caught up with us. Still, up until Alisson’s moment of madness we didn’t look in any danger. That, combined with them scoring from the free-kick, was the turning point and after that it was all hands to the pump. We were hanging on a bit, but the defence held out without any real drama. It all started so well as we peppered Matt Ryan’s goal. He denied Bobby twice and Ox once, but was powerless to stop Big Virg twice heading in pinpoint deliveries from Trent. There’s virtually nothing you can do to stop those goals. Maybe on the first they could have held a high line and played offside, but the second goal is impossible to prevent. Perfect ball in that is met by the tallest man on the field. Whaddayannado? 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.
  12. So Mourinho is back then, which is a shame as I’ve warmed to him quite a bit since he left United and became a pundit. Now he’s back in the rat race I expect he’ll go back to being a rat and I’ll go back to hating him. Pity. He’s slowly working his way down the pecking order of English clubs, so maybe those Everton fans who thought they had a chance of landing him will be proved right. In ten years or so. I’m not happy to see him back, more so because of the way the media react to him than anything else. There’s an obsession towards him and frankly it bores me. It’s not 2005 anymore lads, he’s no longer “box office”, he’s just a guy. Thankfully he’s unlikely to be posing much of a threat to us this time around given how far we’ve pulled ahead of Spurs over the last 12 months. Honestly, it’s mad if you go back a year and see how close they were to us. So much has happened since then though and now they’re somehow below Arsenal in the table. Only by a point mind, and probably only for another week. I think Mourinho will get Spurs into a comfortable 5th place position within a few weeks as they’ve got a lot of good players there. He’s not going to get them performing better than they did under Pochettino before it started to go wrong, but he’ll get them back on track. He started with a win, but they were only playing West Ham and everyone is beating them at the moment so it doesn’t really mean much. They looked quite good for 80 minutes though. West Ham’s witness protection programme keeper was exposed again for the opening goal as Son’s shot just went right through him. Moura made it 2-0 when he converted a cross from Son, but it was Deli Alli pulling all the strings. This was his best game in two years, which I’m sure won’t have gone unnoticed by Pochettino. Alli spoke afterwards about how tough it was seeing Poch leave and how much he appreciated everything he did for him. He’s got a funny way of showing it. I mean, if it was a gradual improvement that got him back to top form under a new boss then fair enough, but one game under Mourinho and suddenly he looked like the old Deli Alli again? I smell a rat. Kane headed in an Aurier cross to make it 3-0 but then West Ham came back at them and could have completed an unlikely comeback as Antonio came off the bench and turned the game for them. I’d completely forgotten he existed. He must have been out injured but now he’s back he needs to start every week as he’s the only West Ham player I’d worry about as an opposition manager. Other Hammers players are more talented (Felipe Anderson, Yarmolenko, Haller) but Antonio is a handful and puts himself about far more than any of those other flakey bastards. It’s not fashionable to say it, but he’s a pretty good player. He’s in that bracket with Ashley Barnes and my boy Troy Deeney. Much better than people think. He fired in from 18 yards to give them hope and Declan Rice then thought he’d made it 2-3 with a minute left. VAR had other ideas though. He was clearly offside and it was rightly disallowed. Ogbonna did pull another one back in stoppage time and if there’d been a few more minutes left they might have snatched a point, but they’re in a terrible rut right now. They’re basically the Everton of the South. 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.
  13. Report by Dave Usher That was horrible. Just a thoroughly horrible experience from start to finish. The atmosphere around the ground beforehand was was horrible. The game was horrible. Our performance was horrible. The opposition were horrible and the referee was way, way beyond horrible. It was just fucking horrible. If we never play Napoli again it will still be too soon. On the pitch they seem to be able to deal with us better than anybody we’ve faced in recent years, while off the field those fucking shithouse fans of theirs make it a really unpleasant experience both home and away. Why anyone would choose to go over there is beyond me. I’ve watched Gomorrah and Naples is the last place on earth I’d ever want to visit. Why put yourself at risk like that? Our fans went over there and were not allowed any freedom, for their own protection as much as anything. It’s not safe. Those street rat ultras rule the roost over there and it seems the same is true when they come here. Why are they indulged like that? How are they allowed to be walking around town brandishing golf clubs and attacking random people? What the fuck are we doing allowing that shit? Next time we play them, or Roma for that matter, don’t give them any fucking tickets. If that means they don’t give us any for the away game, fine. It’s 2019 and this kind of shit just shouldn’t be happening. I mean think about it. A group of a hundred or so scumbags were walking around town with fucking golf clubs. That just can't be allowed to happen. Ban the fuckers. And if that’s not an option, then do unto others as they would do unto you. Next time as soon as they get off the plane, stick them on coaches and take to them to a designated area and keep the fuckers there until they are escorted to the ground. Why should they be allowed to just roam around causing aggro and attacking innocent bystanders? Why the fuck should the people of this city be subjected to that? Uncivilised backward thinking cunts. I’ve never seen so many police at the game before. As I drove down County Road a couple of hours before, there was a helicopter hovering over Stanley Park and police vans and cars whizzing down the road with sirens blaring. Then when I met the lads and we were walking up to the ground, four police vans went racing past with a load of coppers in riot gear in them. Outside the ground there were coppers everywhere (thankfully) and about half an hour before kick off a big mob of Napoli fans started kicking off outside the club shop. There was just a really unpleasant vibe about the whole night and enough is enough. Why are we running the risk of another Sean Cox incident? Either ban them or segregate them. Don’t just let them walk around in a big mob attacking people. Or split them up into small groups, let's see how fucking hard they are then. I guarantee you won't hear a peep out of them when they aren't in a mob of at least fifty. 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. Report by Dave Usher A great man once wrote (and sang) “I’m feeling like a Monday but someday I’ll be Saturday night”. We’ve been Monday for a long time, but it’s Saturday night now and we’re partying. This is some historic shit we’re living through. We’ll be telling our grandkids about this team and their crazy match winning exploits. There are all sorts of facts and stats I could throw at you here, about unbeaten runs, points totals over a rolling period of games (101 over the last 38 apparently), all the late winners etc. But there was something I saw on Twitter today which probably sums it up better than anything; in the last 18 months we’ve played in more Champions League finals than we’ve lost league games. Amazing. It’s mad. What we’re seeing is unprecedented in this country. No-one has done this before. Man City have matched (surpassed, actually) the run of league results but they didn’t have the European success running parallel with it. So yeah, what we’re seeing right now is historic. The performance at Palace was mediocre to say the least. But we won. Again. It’s what this team does. All the time. Did we deserve it? Probably not, but you don’t get points based on performance. Sometimes you just can’t produce your normal level for a variety of reasons and when that happens most teams, even good ones, drop points. The very best teams don’t though. Palace will feel they merited a point and they may be right. When they equalised I certainly didn’t think we’d been hard done by and Klopp said as much too. It hadn’t exactly 'been coming' but it wasn’t a massive shock either. We’d had the chance to put them away but we hadn’t taken it and it looked like we might pay the price when we conceded with eight minutes left. Then we just rallied and won the game again. The resilience of this team is like nothing I can remember. 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.
  15. Liverpool’s 28 goals in the first 12 games of the season were enough to put them eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table. We all know there’s a whole lot of football still to be played this year, but if The Reds do manage to hold on to that lead till the end of the season, it will be the first time they have done so in the Premier League era.
 
 Plenty of the credit will undoubtedly go to Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, and the latter, in particular, is already being associated with that dreaded GOAT acronym. These voices will get louder if he manages to become only the third footballer to win three Premier League Golden Boot awards. He’s currently 7/1 to do so, odds that seem strangely long given the way the season has gone, but that is a peculiarity of how betting works, particularly in the Premier League. 
 Of course, Salah and Mané are not the only Liverpool players to top the scoring charts in the Premier League era. So how do they really compare with some of the greats from across the years? 
 Ian Rush 
 If we were considering all-time greats, it could be that nobody would touch Rush. 346 goals across all competitions is an awesome achievement. But by the time the Premier League came along, Rush was already in his 30s, and his most glorious achievements were in the past. Still, 45 goals in 130 Premier League appearances between 1992 and 1996 proved that he was still very much the go-to man for Liverpool in the early 1990s, and cemented his place as a legend of the team. 
 Michael Owen 
 When Rush moved on to Leeds United in 1996 it was a daunting pair of boots to fill. Michael Owen brought a new style of football to the game and could not have been more different from Rush. However, there was one important similarity, and that was the Wonder Boy’s ability to find the back of the net. He scooped the Golden Boot in his first full season, and repeated the feat the following year, the first to do so since Alan Shearer’s domination in the early 90s. Even today, Owen is in the top ten goal scorers in league history, and the vast majority of those were scored in a Liverpool shirt. 
 Robbie Fowler 
 Fowler appeared on the scene alongside elder statesman Ian Rush in 1993, and became synonymous among the Anfield faithful with the Premier League era. With 65 goals in his first three seasons, greatness seemed assured, but injuries dogged his progress. Still, despite that and even taking into account his five year absence at Leeds and Manchester City, Fowler accumulated an incredible 128 goals across his two spells at Liverpool. 
 And the rest 
 The above three examples show how difficult it is to define an all-time great. And that’s before we even think about adding the likes of Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres or Roberto Firmino to the list. One thing is certain, Salah and Mané have already ensured their names will be justly mentioned alongside these giants of their respective eras.
  16. Saturday Nov 16: Jesus, Dom Matteo is seriously ill. There’s some talk that it was a brain tumour and he’s already been operated on. Scary shit. He was only on LFC TV last week and looked fine. Hopefully he comes through this. Awful business. Stay strong, Dom. Meanwhile, a mad week for Gomez ends with him being sent home from the England squad with a knee injury after an accidental clash with Trippier, who will no doubt get a standing ovation by the England fans tomorrow. Hendo has been sent home too, as he’s still suffering with the virus that caused him to miss Genk and only last for 60 minutes against City. He’s had that for over a week and still isn’t right, so that makes his display against City all the more impressive. I can’t even get out of bed when I’m ill (and sometimes when I’m not), but here’s Hendo running wild against City. What a guy. As for Joe, as long as this injury is nothing serious then this is a good thing. Get him back to Melwood into the loving arms of Klopp and the lads. Apparently he was pretty upset about the booing and I daresay he’s still shaken up about having to deal with all the other unexpected shit too. Being back around Carol and Caroline and the rest of the staff at Melwood will help, and I’m sure Milner will be there ready to take the piss out of him and make light of it all. Wouldn’t be surprised if Milner has the lads greet him with boos when he walks in. Virg is away with Holland but was asked about it all as Gomez is his boy. You could see the disapproval all over his face. I reckon Virg thinks Sterling is a cunt. I always remember the way he just dumped him on the floor last year when Sterling had landed on top of him. There was utter disdain in that and I’m sure he also remembered Sterling not voting for him for Player of the Year last season too. And there was that snide challenge on Sunday of course. Next time we play City I can see Virgil launching Sterling into orbit. Sunday Nov 17: Virg is coming back early too, having left the Holland squad due to ‘personal reasons’. Maybe he’s coming back to beat the shit out of Sterling for messing with his little bro? Also today, Lallana is said to be interesting PSG. Probably bollocks, but he’s a free agent in the summer and if they are now having to cut their cloth according to FFP rules then their days of big spending are over. Lallana would probably thrive over there, but West Ham on a 150k a week deal still seems most likely. It’s what they do. I’m still amazed they didn’t take Sturridge. Speaking of whom, has anyone heard anything of him since he went to Turkey? I hear more updates on Karius than Studge, which seems weird. Probably been injured. Wow, Everton finally won at Anfield today, as Liverpool Women continued their winless start to the season. That’s it, don’t let them play at Anfield again. Completely unacceptable. 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.
  17. Saturday Nov 9: Klopp pours cold water on the Mbappe rumours, or at least he tries to. “I don’t think there is a club in the world that can buy Kylian Mbappe from PSG, that is how it is. We cannot do it, it is as easy as that. OK, from a sporting point of view, there are not a lot of reasons to not sign him, what a player he is. But it is about the money of course. No chance. Absolutely no chance, sorry for killing that story!” No chance right now, and possibly no chance next summer either. PSG don’t need the money so they don’t ned to see. But Mbappe is not spending his whole career in France and at some point in the next couple of years he will move, and it might be as a free agent. Ordinarily we wouldn’t be able to compete for a player like that, but Spain’s big two have issues and England is now the place to be. And what is the most attractive club in England right now? Us. Mbappe would want to come here, of that I’m pretty certain. So as Klopp says, it comes down to the money. And for me, that’s where Nike come in. They give him a massive sponsorship deal, we give him the same wages as our top players or even a bit more, and maybe a deal can be done. Nike are going to pushing our ‘brand’ all over the world, with LeBron and Serena Williams and all their other stars helping to promote it. Messi and Ronaldo aren’t going on forever and Mbappe looks like the heir apparent. If you’re Nike, why wouldn’t you want to get your big star at your flagship club? It’d be a license for them to print money, and to sweeten the deal for them maybe we hand over all image rights for him. Look, I don’t know exactly how these things work, but I do know that if Nike think they can make more money from having Mbappe at Anfield then between all parties they could work something out. So in short, Jurgen can say whatever the hell he likes but he’s not killing my buzz on this. Meanwhile, the u18s were 6-0 down after 40 minutes to West Brom today. It ended 6-3 after they rallied, but fucking hell, Aston Villa’s first team must be licking their lips about that quarter final now. Some of these kids (Kometio, Cain, Clarkson, Norris I’d guess) will be involved in that because there is no other real alternative. The u18s seem to concede a shitload of goals but they score loads too. Their games are wildly entertaining, they’re like the first team pre-Virg. In fairness they’re usually a fair bit younger than their opposition as there are loads of 16 year olds in the squad. Conceding six in one half though, that’s not good. West Brom’s 16 year old centre forward was dynamite though. He scored four and really looked the business. There has been some talk that we’ve got an interest in him and want to nab him before he signs pro terms with them. Makes sense from our point of view. The last time we did that was Bobby Duncan, and while that ended badly we actually made money on the deal. It might not be the smartest thing of the lad though. Jerome Sinclair came from West Brom too, and in hindsight his career might have turned out very differently if he’d where he was and broke into their first team instead of coming here and letting money influence his career path. Sunday Nov 10: L 3 City 1 Fair to say we’ve had worse days than this one! Great result, great performance, great atmosphere. This team just delivers relentlessly. I didn’t want to make any predictions prior to the game because it usually blows up in my face, but honestly, I’d have been genuinely amazed if we’d lost. I thought it was possibly that we might smash them everywhere and we almost did. We could have been up by four at half time, even though City played well. That’s the thing though. They’ll always play well because it’s impossible to restrict their possession and stop them creating chances. It just can’t be done because they’re so good with the ball. It’s a combination of great players and Guardiola’s unique style, but for all their lovely football they have weaknesses, and nobody can exploit those weaknesses better than us. I thought this was a tactical masterclass by Klopp. We genuinely looked like scoring every single time we attacked them. Klopp knew where the spaces would be and he ensured we were able to exploit those spaces every time we won the ball back. It’s funny how Guardiola is seen as the tactical genius while Klopp is labelled as Mr Motivator. The truth is Klopp is just as good tactically as any manager out there. We’ve been saying for a while now how we’re in Man City’s heads. From top to bottom they seem obsessed with us (Kevin De Bruyne being the obvious exception, as he’s never got involved in any of that shit and is always complimentary). Guardiola seems to spend every waking moment worrying about us and to his credit he doesn’t pretend otherwise. He’s openly admitted it multiple times. It’s one of the few things I like about him actually. When he describes us as the best team in the world at the moment, he’s not lying. We’ve outperformed City over the last 12 months and when he says Anfield is the toughest place int he world to get a result, he’s not just blowing smoke up our arses, it’s the truth. So while a lot of people mocked him for saying this was one of the best performances he’s seen from his team, I get where he’s coming from. City played well today. Their finishing could have been better, but generally I’d assume they did everything their manager wanted. Here’s the thing though. We’re really, REALLY, fucking good. And our strengths match up beautifully with City’s weaknesses, which is why we looked like scoring every time we crossed the halfway line today. If City play like that against virtually anybody else in the world, they win the game. Against us, it’s not enough. That’s why I think Guardiola was so complimentary of his team. All that being said, he’s a terrible loser and is the first one in football to point at the officials any time he doesn’t get his own way. His “TWIIIIICE” meltdown on the touchline was hilarious, but the way he make a tit out of Michael Oliver on the field at full time was not. I’m annoyed by that. Few people have a lower opinion of referees than me and there were a few things Oliver did today I didn’t like. But it’s fucking hard. The pressure in these games is massive and sometimes there are decisions that aren’t black and white. You can give a decision that will split opinion, but unless it’s an obvious mistake a ref shouldn’t be hammered for it. Oliver was probably an 8.5 out of 10 today. Maybe even a 9. Yet instead of receiving praise for his display all we’re hearing is this bullshit talk about City being screwed by the ref and VAR. Why? Because Egghead Pep threw a strop. His actions dictated the storyline. It should have been about Klopp’s tactical masterclass and an excellent refereeing display. Instead it’s all about Guardiola feeling like he’s been shafted by the officials. Still, never mind eh. Nine points clear of them even though our fixtures have been much harder then theirs. Happy days. 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.
  18. As the English Premier League continues growing every year, millions of dollars are bet across the globe every season weekend. The league attracts millions of football fans worldwide, offering betway punters the chance to enjoy some entertainment and earn some cash. However, it presents unique challenges to both recreational and serious bettors alike. This detailed guide on how to wager on the Premier League games will give you smart tips and advice to enhance your betting skills and help you breakeven when placing wagers. Premier League Odds Explained To maximize your chances of making money, its essential to understand the Premier League odds before you start placing bets. Fortunately, top bookmakers offer odds on almost every market you can imagine in football, ranging from outright bets to handicaps and total goals. Here are the most popular types of bets available on premier league games: Match result (1X2) – Like any other sport, this bet involves predicting whether the match will end in a home win, a draw or an away win. Goal Total Under/over – By selecting either over or under a specified number of goals, you’ll be predicting whether the total goals scored will go beyond or below the figure. For instance, if you bet on Over 2.5 in a game, you’ll win the bet if the total goals are more than 2. Asian Handicap – If you like to bet on EPL games at Betway, this market is one of the best to improve odds on strong favourites. The bet involves giving one team an advantage over the other by allocating it some free goals at the beginning of the game. How To Bet And Win On The Premier League When placing a wager on Premier League games, you need to learn tips and strategies to increase your profit and minimize the risks. Most of these things apply to sports betting in general, so it will be quite easy to succeed in other leagues by using them. They include: Conduct in-depth research and analysis on the teams and the players, comparing recent form and head-to-head statistics Identify value bets and avoid betting on strong favourites as they usually have very thin odds Keep a record of your wagers and apply a consistent staking method Have a proper bankroll management system Premier League Betting Statistics Here are some basic statistics on the premier league, as revealed by the 1900 games played over the last five seasons. Please note that these stats should only be considered as part of your primary analysis. The Home Field Advantage The worth of the home-field advantage is an important consideration and a great starting point for your analysis. According to the last five premier league seasons, it carries a significant amount of weight, with 44.5% of the games played won by home teams, with away teams winning 30.3% and draws ranging at 25.2%. Premier League Games Are Drawn At Halftime Based on the last ten league seasons, 42.3% of all Premier League games stand at a draw by halftime. However, about 34% of home teams lead by the end of the first half, while only 23.7%of away teams have been able to emerge victorious in the first half.
  19. Liverpool’s 3-1 over Manchester City has put the club on course to win the top-flight crown for the first time in 30 years. It would take a dramatic collapse for the Reds to fail to close out the Premier League title, boasting an eight-point lead over Leicester City and Chelsea along with a nine-point advantage over Manchester City after their triumph at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s men have a strong squad, but no team is beyond need reinforcements, especially if the club are going to continue to compete on four fronts following their victory over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup. Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have already been struck down by short-term injuries this season, while Xherdan Shaqiri in the depth position behind them has been ruled out for a period of time. Joel Matip has been managing a knee problem, pressing Dejan Lovren into action at the back, while Joe Gomez is also an option. However, it could be a concern, putting further pressure on Virgil van Dijk to be available in all competition for two matches per week. The Reds will be scouring the transfer market to ensure that they remain on course to lift the title come the end of the season and are currently being backed at 2/5 as of 14th November in the Betway football betting odds to end their drought. We’ll now look at three players that Liverpool could sign in January to push them over the line. Timo Werner Liverpool’s front three has been the foundation of their dominant form over the last two seasons. The interchangeable play between Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane has been the envy of almost every team across Europe. Without one of their forwards, the attack is not quite balanced, although Divock Origi has performed admirably in stepping up now and again, notching important goals. However, the Reds will be targeting someone that can play in the same system. Kylian Mbappe would fill that role spectacularly and would surely confirm both the Premier League and Champions League crowns for the Reds. Klopp has already distanced himself from the Frenchman, citing that he would cost too much – a world-record fee. Werner, on the other hand, would be affordable as he reportedly has a release clause of €30 million and has experience playing across the front line. The forward is a player on the rise and has the energy to fill the demands of Klopp’s system, boasting a keen eye for goal in the process, with 11 goals to his name in the Bundesliga this term. Werner could be lured away from RB Leipzig, providing intense competition in the final third as well as offering respite for the big three. Jack Grealish Liverpool have enough box-to-box midfielders, especially with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fit and firing once more after a difficult time due to injury. Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are the engine room of the team, allowing the front three and the full-backs to put teams under immense pressure in the final third. Although the Reds are not short on creativity they could be lacking a midfielder with the ability to unlock def aences. A penny for the thoughts of Philippe Coutinho as he would be the perfect player for the role, but he chose to leave Anfield for Barcelona, only for his career to stutter since his departure. There was reported interest in a reunion, although it did not come to fruition as he ended up joining Bayern Munich on loan. The Reds could target a younger player and someone in the mould of Grealish could appeal. He has great talent on the ball with the ability to slice open opposition defences. Whether the 24-year-old has the consistency at this stage of his development to become an integral part of the team is doubtful, but he would be more than useful to ease the burden on the starters. A bid in the region of £40m could test Aston Villa’s resolve for their skipper. Kalidou Koulibaly A real statement of intent from the Reds would be to move for the Senegal international. Koulibaly has been dominant for Napoli in the middle of their backline for five years. His ability was recognised last season when he was voted the best defender in Serie A. At the age of 28, Koulibaly may be eyeing a move elsewhere to achieve the success that has eluded him at the Stadio San Paolo. Pairing Koulibaly with Van Dijk in the Liverpool backline would give the Reds the best tandem in the world. It would give them such a huge advantage over their rivals. It would be expensive, but it could be a move that locks down success on four fronts.
  20. Liverpool are currently enjoying a strong first-half of the season so far, as they lead the way in the Premier League title race ahead of main rivals and defending champions Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp's Reds are also still on course to defend their Champions League crown after an historic sixth European triumph last term, when they overcame domestic rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the final. That win saw the German coach write himself into the club history but he still has his sights firmly set on a top-flight victory, but they still face a stiff test from Pep Guardiola's Sky Blues. Klopp's side are currently regarded as the narrow favourites to finally go all the way and lift the Premier League crown this term, with fans able to bet on Liverpool ahead of every domestic fixture along the way on Ruby Bet during what could be a historic season. While they are pushing for silverware on all fronts, Klopp's side have been recently hit with the news that they will have to contest two games in as many days at the end of this year. The Reds qualified for the Carabao Cup quarter-finals and will face Aston Villa on December 17th. But the Premier League league leaders are also scheduled to play a FIFA Club World Cup semi-final the very next day on December 18th in Qatar. This has obviously caused much frustration for Klopp, who will now have to decide which is more important and name two full squads to play two games across a couple of days just before Christmas, in two different countries! It's a crazy situation for any club and the Liverpool boss wasn't pleased, stating, "we cannot carry on like this." The fixture pile-up could ultimately cost the Reds in the long run and hinder their chances of winning the silverware they crave and are already lined up for. From the dates of November 23rd until January 2nd, Liverpool are scheduled to play no less than a whopping 12 games in just 37 days. These games will also be contested across four competitions - the Premier League, Carabao Cup, Champions League, and Club World Cup. Meanwhile, their FA Cup third-round tie is still to be determined early in 2020 on top of all of that as well. This isn't the first time that Liverpool and Klopp have had to deal with a worrying build-up of fixture problems, which is threatening to derail their season prospects and bid for silverware success once again. Back in 2016, Klopp fielded a weaker side in an FA Cup replay clash but ended up losing the game. If they had won they would've had to contest the next round just a few days after an EFL Cup final meeting with Man City, along with a Europa League game mixed in for good measure. Klopp and his Liverpool side face a whirlwind fixture pile-up in the coming weeks but, if they can come through it, success may lie on the horizon as a deserved reward.
  21. This week’s round up will be like the semi-final stages of the Champions League - a Man City free-zone. We played them on Sunday so that was covered in the match report. All the fall out from it - and there's a lot - will be in “the week that was” due to be posted up at the weekend, so this will cover all the other games. May as well kick things off with the two sides who are now the closest of the chasing pack. First up, Chelsea beat Palace in the early game to temporarily go second. Kevin Abraham broke the deadlock in the second half with a composed finish and Pulisic wrapped it up late on to give Chelsea six league wins on the spin. They haven’t played anyone decent in those six games, but you still have to win and they have. Pulisic is looking really good now and Lampard has introduced another youngster into the side, Reece James, who was terrific and completely shut down Wilf Zaha. He probably shouldn’t be allowed to play again until he’s been the barbers though. Dreadful state of affairs that. It looks like a tarantula orgy. James’ hairstyle apart, Chelsea are looking good and next up they’ve got a certain side who I’m not talking about, which could be a cracker of a game. Defensively they’re suspect but they’re great going forward and their style is attractive to watch. If they get it right tactically and that’s going to be interesting. Palace were shite, because Palace are shite. Been saying it all season, but it’s only a matter of time until they’re in the bottom six. Chelsea’s stint in second spot was short lived as Leicester rolled over Arsenal to leapfrog them. Arsenal losing again was no surprise though. It was away and they travel about as well as BA Baracus, plus Leicester are much better than them. Throw in the fact they were up against Jamie Vardy, a man who has embarrassed the Gunners in recent years almost as frequently as Arsenal Fan TV, and there was nothing down for them really. Leicester smacked them around and it was far easier than the 2-0 score suggested. Arsenal only had one shot I think. They were pitiful. They were lucky not to concede an early pen when Guendouzi grabbed Soyuncu by the shoulder as he attacked a set-piece. VAR didn’t over-rule the ref on that, which again just makes you wonder what’s going on. It’s 100% a penalty and it deserved to be punished for sheer stupidity alone. How are they not giving that? Maybe they were influence by the likelihood that Soyuncu wasn’t even going to reach the ball, but that makes what Guendouzi did even worse. How thick do you need to be to do that? That incident was Arsenal in a fucking nutshell though. They do shit like this every week. If it’s not Xhaka it’s David Luiz. If it’s not David Luiz it’s Guendouzi. Next week it will be Torreira or Bellerin or Kolasinic or Mustafi. They must have the thickest squad of players in the league. Absolutely no discipline whatsoever. This is just a teaser, click here 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.
  22. Report by Dave Usher Last year we missed out on the title in large part due to only taking one point against City, so this win was huge. It doesn’t guarantee anything, but what needed to happen happened, and while the rest of the nation bleats about phantom penalties and pro-Liverpool conspiracies, we can just laugh it off and celebrate another great win that puts us eight points clear at the top, and nine clear of City. While Pep Guardiola desperately tried to ensure the narrative was City being screwed by the officials again (he did the same thing when we spanked them in Europe too), the real story of this game was the tactical masterclass by Klopp that allowed us to keep them at arms length for most of the day while completely ripping them to shreds at the other end. Apparently XG showed that City had more ‘expected goals’. Whatever. My eyes told me that every single time we attacked we looked like we’d score. It might not have always led to a clear chance, but it always looked like it could do. City were dangerous and played some lovely football around the box, but we defended them as well as it’s possible to do while also ensuring we never got pinned back by them and were always able to spring counter attacks. Klopp’s assessment was that you can’t beat City by playing like they do, because they’re the best at playing that way. He’s dead right. They’re sensational at what they do, but what they do at one end does leave them wide open at the other, and we took full advantage of that. It was a strange start to the game as for the first few minutes we just couldn’t get the ball. City got on top of us immediately and forced some early corners. Everything seemed to be going through Bernardo on the right in the early stages, but we were doubling up nicely on both him and Sterling on the opposite side. City had a lot of the ball but our shape was good, and it soon became clear that any time City didn’t have the ball they were in big trouble. It genuinely felt as though we’d score every single time we attacked. They were wide open and I’m surprised we only scored three to be honest, especially as two of them came so early. And how good were those goals? Just beautiful. City can bleat all they want about the first one, I don’t care. Irrespective of what happened in the box, the way we worked it from back to front so quickly was ruthlessly efficient and a sign of things to come. Sadio had stayed forward in “the half space” as Klopp likes to say, and Robbo sent him clear with a pass out of defence. Mané drove at the defence, waited for support to arrive in the middle and then tried to pick out Bobby. City were scrambling back and managed to intercept it, but Mo closed down so quickly that Gundogan’s clearance went only to Fabinho, who just fucking leathered it in from 25 yards. The keeper had no chance of saving that as it was such a sweet strike. It went like an arrow and when you look at the still photo of it you can see the perfect form of Fabinho. Head down, just striking right through the ball. Glorious. He should do that more often really, shouldn’t he? Although if he added goals to what he already does then that’s genuinely not fair on the rest of the league and maybe some sort of handicap would need to be introduced. I don’t know, maybe have him carry a dead weight around the field with him or something. After all, that’s what Gerrard had to do for half of the time he played with us. 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.
  23. Saturday was almost a great day for Man City, but not quite. At half time they were losing at home to Southampton while we also trailed at Villa Park. They came back to lead 2-1 late on, while we were still losing. The gap was three points with them coming to Anfield this weekend knowing a win would put them top. Then in the blink of an eye we’d scored twice and the gap was back to six. We’ve been on the other end of that and it’s fucking soul destroying. No wonder Baldiola was so salty afterwards. Instead of worrying about what we’re doing, he should probably be asking himself how come his side made such hard work out of beating a team that had lost 9-0 at home in their previous game. I usually expect to City win regardless of who they’re playing, but at least in some cases I can talk myself into why the other side might have a chance (Wolves recently is a good example). Southampton though? I gave them a zero percent chance of winning and only a tiny percentage chance of not losing by at least three. Yet but for shite goalkeeping from the recalled Alex McCarthy, they’d have won. Both City goals were easily preventable with a half decent keeper. Actually that’s unfair as I reckon McCarthy is alright usually, but he fucked up on both goals in this one. Mind you, Ederson was even more culpable for the Southampton goal when he fumbled a shot and then almost got kicked in the face by Ward-Prowse as he unsuccessfully tried to retrieve the situation. Some would call that brave, but it doesn’t impress me as he looks like he’s spent his entire life putting his face into situations where it gets booted to fuck. If I had a face like I’d be the same, as what does he have to lose? He’s the only player I’ve ever seen who can get booted in the face by Mané, have a shitload of stitches and somehow end up looking less brutal did he did before. He was subbed at half time in City’s midweek draw with Atalanta with a minor injury. Hopefully he misses the game on Sunday, not because I see him as being much better than Claudio Bravo, but just so I don’t have to look at him. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m no Brad Pitt, but he’s just painful to look at and a lot of it is self inflicted. The horrible tatts and the Jaws from James Bond braces, just why?? I’m not reading anything into that Atalanta result though as it’s tough going to Italy and winning, especially when you have to play the final 15 minutes with ten men and Kyle Walker in goal. I was hoping that would provide some comic relief and it almost did when he made a pig’s arse out of a free-kick, but after that Atalanta just went backwards and never got near him. Fucking shitbags, a draw was no good to them whatsoever but instead of throwing everything forward, they spent the rest of the game trying to get City players booked and sent off. Normally I’d be all in on that, but not in a Champions League group game as there’s no benefit to us in that. City come to Anfield this week and we’re supposed to believe that David Silva won’t be available. Not buying it. He’ll play. So will his racially insensitive namesake Bernardo, who has somehow managed to get his punished delayed until after this game. Fucking stinks that. If there’s any justice he’ll get a red card, the snide little shitbag. 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.
  24. Saturday Nov 2: Villa 1 L 2 Fucking hell, why can’t we ever just win comfortably? Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be any more full of admiration for the stones these lads have, but we’re a great side that is capable of blowing teams away, so how about we start doing it so we don’t have to be put through the shredder every week? I’m not specifically just talking about today, as Villa aren’t a pushover and it was never going to be easy, but so many of our games are going down to the wire. It’s emotionally draining. And yet, we’re six points clear. These late goals are the difference between us and the rest. Games when you’re in trouble and in the past would have lost points, we’re somehow coming away with wins. The ‘lucky Liverpool’ shite that’s being thrown around though is laughable. How were we lucky today? If anything, we were fucking massively unlucky and had all the excuses we needed to justify dropping points. But we didn’t drop points because no matter what is thrown at them, no matter how many setbacks they run into, these lads aren’t phased by any of it and they just go out and win. There was nothing lucky about today. We battered Villa and although the goals came late there’s no doubt we deserved them. If VAR wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen to football we’d have been home and dry long before that anyway. The disallowing of Firmino’s goal was so staggering it was bordering on corrupt. I genuinely don’t know how that can be allowed to happen. Literally the only person on the planet who is saying that is offside is Martin Atkinson. I know the linesman flagged, but I bet when he saw the replay he knew he was wrong. That just leaves Atkinson in his own. Then there’s the handball that wasn’t given. This is exactly the kind of game you normally lose and everyone blames the officials. Not this team though. City won late too but Guardiola decided to talk about us again. In particular, he made reference to Sadio ‘diving’. Interesting. How did he know so quickly that Sadio had been booked today? They probably pay someone to keep an eye on us, the weird obsessed bastards. Who the fuck does this tit think he is though? Sadio isn’t the type to do this, but he should be demanding a public apology. Guardiola has essentially called him a cheat and questioned his integrity. I wouldn’t let it go if it was me, but Sadio will probably just laugh it off and won’t give it a second thought. The u23s won the mini derby today with a winner four minutes from time. Gotta love how these late goals are just a feature right throughout the club. The 18s have had a few this year too. Herbie Kane got this one and it was a cracker. Such a good player him, I can’t understand how he’s ended up stuck here when he’d walk into most teams outside of the Premier League. The other goal was scored by Tony Gallacher, who I’ll be honest, I couldn’t pick out of a line up even though he’s been here a few years. I’ve seen him play a fair few times but can’t ever remember anything about him, good or bad. He must be alright as he’s been kept on when loads of others have been released. Sunday Nov 3: More refereeing and VAR nonsense today and once again Martin Atkinson was involved. He was the on field ref this time, and managed to anger both Everton and Spurs. At least you can’t accuse him of favouritism this time. He’s an equal opportunities shitbird, I’ll give him that. I don’t blame him for sending off Son though, as I’d have done the same thing. Fuck him and his crocodile tears, he committed a petulant, snide foul and now he has to live with the consequences. VAR absolutely ruined this game for anyone inside the stadium though, and this is the thing that isn’t getting enough attention. If you’re at the game and VAR is getting involved, it basically just shits all over your match going experience, sometimes even when decisions go your way. It’s fucking horrible, there are long delays and they still end up with the wrong decision half the time. Fuck it off. Get rid. In other news today, fake news, David Silva is a doubt for next weekend. You know he’s nailed on to play. Same with that Rodri fella who is supposed to be out. Shit, I wouldn’t even be shocked if Sane and Laporte are back in time having been given some illegal, state of the art, miracle treatment. Don’t put anything past these fuckers, they’ll do anything to win. And why the fuck hasn’t Bernardo been dealt with yet? It was meant to be weeks ago. You watch, his hearing will be next week after they’ve been to Anfield. It’s fucking bullshit is what it is. Anyone else would have been banned by now. Something else I saw today and it’s really tickled me. Solskjaer has lost as many Premier Leagues as Klopp, despite being there less than a year and having played 104 games less. That’s one of the most incredible stats I’ve seen. I mean, yeah, United have been shite, but even so that seems mad doesn’t it? I mean who’d have thought that a guy who was out of his depth at Cardiff would do so badly at Manchester United? If only there had been some sort of sign? 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.
  25. The two best teams in England meet on Sunday in what has quickly become one the most compelling rivalries in Football. After last season’s title heartbreak, many observers were wondering how Liverpool would respond. The answer has been unequivocal as they have looked men on a mission. Man City naturally were the favourites coming into this new campaign having won the last two titles, but head into this showdown six points behind the Reds. However, you certainly underestimate the team from the Blue half of Manchester at your peril. It has all the makings of being a classic and TLW asked @tom_brunt from @manchesterisB for his thoughts. How do you view Man City's start to the new season? Two defeats to teams that we wouldn’t expect to lose against is always a hammer blow but we have faith in the team and management that we can have a better middle to end of the season, though clearly it would have been preferable to be on maximum points at this stage Which player has excelled for City in the new campaign and conversely, is there an individual who you think needs to raise their performance? Fernandinho stepping into a CB role has looked good although he has made a few mistakes of late. (Phil) Foden, (Tommy) Doyle and Angelino have impressed and I would like to see more of them. Bernardo needs to improve; I feel the ongoing allegations about racist behaviour on twitter have not helped his cause. BUT he is a quality player and will come good... maybe on Sunday? It has been a remarkable decade in Man City's history. Who do you believe has been the pre-eminent player in this period: Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero or David Silva and what makes you come to that conclusion? For me I find it really hard to differentiate the three, I have pictures of all of them on my wall. The player I will miss the most is David Silva, he is easily the most talented footballer I have watched. There is unlikely to be a dry eye in the house when David Silva plays his final game for the club at the end of the season. Do you believe Pep Guardiola has the faith in someone like Phil Foden to fill his position for the long term? Foden is Silva’s natural replacement; this is obvious to any blue. I have full faith that we will see Foden more this season with a view to him being a first team regular next season. There is a real lack of competition at the top end of the Premier League in the present moment with the usual suspects falling by the wayside for one reason or another. However, there is one team in Liverpool who have matched you stride for stride over the last season and a bit. How do you currently view the competition/rivalry with Liverpool - with frustration because you haven't been able to run away with the league title, or with some grudging respect as it brings out the very best in you? I think Liverpool play a really exciting and positive brand of Football and its great to have a rivalry of course as the league will be boring without it and I’m just glad its not United. The media has and will continue to hype up the rivalry for obvious financial reasons but I think there is a lot of mutual respect between the two sets of fans. While the managerial record of Guardiola speaks for itself over a long period of time, as a observer of the game, what has impressed you most about the work of Jurgen Klopp in his time at the Reds? If Pep were to leave, Klopp (or similar) would be someone I would want as manager. Obviously this isn't going to happen however, I like his personality. His positivity shines through. A victory at Anfield is something that has alluded many City managers over the years. So with that said, do you think that Guardiola will go all-out looking for the three points, or will he look to play it safe and take a point with plenty of water to still go under the bridge this season? If it wasn't for Mahrez spooning the penalty over the bar last season this discussion would be different. I think the teams have a huge respect for each other and will set up that way. It will not be gung-ho but I believe that Liverpool's defence will be stronger than ours. Who are the key Liverpool players that you feel pose the most threat to City claiming a satisfactory result on Sunday? VVD at set pieces and of course your front three Have you got a score prediction for this important clash? I am usually not one for predicting scores but I think a score draw. View full article
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