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Sugar Ape

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Sugar Ape last won the day on September 6 2021

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  1. I started reading One Piece after enjoying the Netflix programme (over 1000 of them to read and still being published so will keep me occupied for the foreseeable). Having never read Manga before I didn't realise you read it right to left. Took me about 12 pages to realise as I thought it was just the translation and it still sort of made sense, like listening to Yoda. Read Count Crowley and Once and Future recently, both of which are well worth a read. Oh, and Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack as well which is a continuation of the film.
  2. https://bylinetimes.com/2023/07/17/gb-news-star-dan-wootton-unmasked-in-cash-for-sexual-images-catfishing-scandal/
  3. Figured out where he’d disappeared to at the gig.
  4. Dominik Szoboszlai: The versatile technician who could be perfect for Liverpool - The Athletic Dominik Szoboszlai: The versatile technician who could be perfect for Liverpool Simply watching an attacking player’s goals and assists can be a risky game to play. Rarely do you get a full understanding of their playing profile, tactical understanding or role in the team. However, for Dominik Szoboszlai, it is difficult not to sit back and bask in the entertainment. The Hungarian is well-known for his clean ball-striking and wondrous technique — making for a highly enjoyable highlights reel — but a strong season of consistent, technically proficient performances have put many clubs across Europe on high alert. Liverpool look to be most interested in taking Szoboszlai away from RB Leipzig, with The Athletic reporting that the Premier League club met with 22-year-old’s representatives this week, and appear to have been given confidence that it a deal is possible. If that move were to materialise, it would end Szoboszlai’s five-year association with the Red Bull pathway. Since leaving Hungary at the age of 16 to join FC Liefering of Austria in 2016, the player has gone from Red Bull Salzburg to RB Leipzig. And while it may seem like he has had a smooth trajectory to this point, Szoboszlai’s start to life in east Germany was tough, having arrived at Leipzig in December 2020 with an adductor injury that prevented him from making his debut until the following August. Even during 2021-22, his first full season, Szoboszlai struggled to stamp his authority on his new side, coming off the bench more often (16) than being named in the starting XI (15) during a challenging Bundesliga season that saw Leipzig transition from RB-faithful Jesse Marsch to a more possession-based approach under Domenico Tedesco. Nevertheless, Szoboszlai still logged six league goals and eight assists, which he matched in 2022-23 as he became a fixture in latest-boss Marco Rose’s revitalised Leipzig side — with the Hungarian capping the season off with a goal against Eintracht Frankfurt in DFB-Pokal final victory. As evidence of his robustness and importance to the side, only centre-back Willi Orban played more minutes for Leipzig than Szoboszlai in all competitions last season. Szoboszlai’s positional versatility is a key asset. While he has frequently played as a right midfielder in a 4-2-2-2 or a 4-2-3-1 under Rose, you wouldn’t frame him as an out-and-out winger, but rather a creative attacking midfielder who pulls wide. Crucially, Szoboslai is equally comfortable on the left flank, as he has shown at club level and international level — regularly playing as a left-sided attacking midfielder in Marco Rossi’s 3-4-3 structure with Hungary. Whether he is cutting in from the left or right, Szoboszlai has a penchant for playing sharp balls to runners ahead of him or unleashing one of his trademark shots from distance. That’s right, the numbers support what your eyes have seen: only Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane has had more shots from outside the box than Szoboslai in the 2022-23 Bundesliga season. Just two of those strikes found the back of the net last season, and while the xG gods might argue against trying too many efforts from range, Szoboszlai is afforded a longer leash when you consider how emphatic his ball striking is. This is exemplified by his outrageous long-range effort against Borussia Dortmund in Marco Rose’s first game as Leipzig manager (see tweet above). From a central location with little backlift, the accuracy and power that Szoboszlai generates catches everyone by surprise. It is a goal that gets better with every angle you view it from — as the ball swerves away from goalkeeper Alexander Meyer’s reach. The player’s dead-ball technique is equally impressive. On international duty, a long-range free kick into the top corner against Bulgaria in March was one to add to his already growing collection. Knowing what he is going to do is one thing, stopping it is a different story. As The Athletic has previously reported, Szoboszlai would frequently practise nearly 200 free kicks each day in his teenage years, finding the best technique that suited him. That dead-ball striking technique has become one of his core weapons, displaying a fairly upright body posture while still being able to generate movement on the ball. This can also be seen in his unerring ability to drop the ball on a sixpence with consummate ease when taking a corner — a technique that needs to be seen in real time to be truly appreciated. While set-piece specialism has become synonymous with Szoboszlai, do not underestimate his creative output in open play. Overall, the Hungarian’s 2.6 chances created per 90 was the ninth-highest among all players in the Bundesliga last season. You might assume that a healthy volume of that creativity would be unfairly padded by set pieces, but Szoboszlai’s 1.7 open-play chances created per 90 was still among the best in Germany — good enough for the 11th highest in the league. However, it is not just the final pass or the final shot where Szoboszlai steps up, but his overall contribution towards his side’s attacking sequences. Looking at all shot-creating actions — which are the two offensive actions directly leading to a shot, such as passes, take-ons and drawing fouls — Szoboszlai’s 5.5 per 90 is the highest across the Leipzig squad. Breaking this down across his actions, you can see how much he is a threat both in open play and from dead-ball situations. Considering his position on the right flank, crosses from wide were understandably a key part of Szoboszlai’s chance creation last season. However, rather than a lofted or whipped ball into the penalty area every time, the Hungarian is intelligent in disguising his passes — often taking the pace off the ball and playing it lower to deceive the opposition. Take this example against Augsburg. As Szoboszlai arrives onto the ball, team-mate Andre Silva is at the back post. With two defenders between man and ball, a chipped pass might look like the best option (yellow dotted line) but, instead, Szoboszlai elects to play the ball across the turf (white line) into space… … for Silva to convert unmarked at the back post, with Augsburg’s defenders wrong-footed by the disguised pass. Kevin De Bruyne-esque, you might say. A very similar example can be seen against Teutonia Ottensen, where a lofted ball might look the most obvious route from Szoboszlai to Silva (yellow dotted line). Instead, a square ball to Silva (white line) gives his team-mate a yard of space with the defenders dropping towards their goal line… … allowing him to finish well. Szoboszlai’s technical ability is unquestionable, but having the intelligence to select the best option and make the right decisions in key moments is what sets the best players apart. * So, what about the physical side? While nominally a wide player, Szoboszlai is unlikely to burst away from his opponent in a one-v-one situation. Speed over short distances is not his game, but his capacity to hit top gear is often underestimated by his opponents. Per Bundesliga’s metrics, powered by AWS, Szoboszlai’s top speed of 35.2 kmh (21.9mph) places him as the 31st-highest among all players in the Bundesliga — not bad at all when you consider the 506-strong sample across Germany’s top division. That physical capacity can be deceiving. While he might not be profiled as an all-action midfielder compared with other wide players in Europe, no Leipzig team-mate registered more intensive runs than Szoboszlai’s 2,069 in the Bundesliga last season. In fact, his 863 sprints were the seventh-highest total of any Bundesliga player last season. Numbers like these should give Szoboszlai confidence in his capacity to make the transition to the Premier League a smooth one, should a move were to materialise. It is worth noting that there has been a healthy smattering of players moving from Germany to England who have not quite met the demands set at their previous clubs — Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Jadon Sancho and Naby Keita, to name a few — but the technical and physical profile of Szoboszlai suggests that risk would likely be blunted. * Finally, the tactical side. While defensive deficiencies were flagged earlier on in his career, Szoboszlai showed a marked improvement in his game in and out of possession last season. Playing within a Red Bull system synonymous with highly intense, transitional play, leading suitors Liverpool will be confident that Szoboszlai could also make light work of the tactical adaptation within a Jurgen Klopp system. Only Bayern Munich logged a more intense press than Leipzig’s PPDA of 11.1 demonstrated last season, with Die Roten also the only side to register more direct attacks — as a proxy of counter-attacking — than Leipzig’s 77 in 2022-23. Szoboszlai has been key to Rose’s strong transition set-up — staying high when Leipzig lose possession in order to regain the ball in lucrative areas. An example of this is shown against Stuttgart, encapsulating everything that Szoboszlai was about last season. As midfielder Amadou Haidara plays a lofted ball into the box, Szoboszlai is on the half turn — ready to drift forward and pick up any second ball that might land to him. As the ball is cleared, Leipzig have four players in an attacking position to pounce. The ball is headed to Silva on the edge of the area… … who cushions his header to Szoboszlai… … to bring down and arrow his volley into the bottom corner with the sort of technical proficiency you expect from him. Leipzig’s 46 shot-ending high turnovers were also the second-highest tally in Germany last season. So, from an offensive and defensive perspective, Szoboszlai’s narrow position from the right could be a glimpse into the manner in which Liverpool would like him to play. After a tactical switch to a three-box-three structure in possession in the final part of last season, Liverpool’s midfield consisted of two holding No 6s in their build-up — Fabinho and the inverting Trent Alexander-Arnold — plus two advanced No 8s (or 10s) who would support the attack. Following the signing of versatile midfielder Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton, could Szoboszlai be earmarked for the right-sided No 10 position in Klopp’s new system? The Hungarian is already adept at playing in (a version of) a box midfield within Leipzig’s typical 4-2-2-2 set-up, while his long-range shooting could be a useful weapon against deeper blocks sitting off against Liverpool; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has only recently left the club, was known to have been encouraged by Liverpool staff to shoot from distance due to his own powerful technique. Whether Liverpool are the ones to secure Szoboszlai’s signature or not, the player is hot property across Europe and looks ready to make another step up in his career after a highly impressive campaign in Germany.
  5. How Good is Dominik Szoboszlai? | The Analyst How Good is Dominik Szoboszlai? The Newcastle and Liverpool target Analysed Premier League clubs being linked to Dominik Szoboszlai is nothing new. He’s been linked to Chelsea and Arsenal in previous seasons, while Newcastle United and Liverpool both seem to have entered the race to secure the Hungarian midfield star. And why not? The 22-year-old is one of the most outstanding young talents in the Bundesliga, with the ability to score, create and excite fans with the attributes he possesses. Back in November 2021, Hungarian football expert Tom Mortimer profiled Szoboszlai for Opta Analyst after his first year at RB Leipzig, with a particular focus on how he’d got as far as he had and the background behind his early success. At that stage, Szoboszlai had only played 728 minutes of competitive action for the German club across 13 matches. The start of his career in the Bundesliga had been severely hindered by a groin injury that had kept him out of action for the five months at the end of 2020-21, after he’d signed from fellow Red Bull group side RB Salzburg in December 2020. Those fitness woes haven’t returned since, thankfully for Leipzig and Szoboszlai, with the midfielder missing just one match through injury across the last two Bundesliga seasons. Overall, of the possible 9,180 minutes that Szoboszlai could have played for RB Leipzig over the last two campaigns in all competitions, he spent 64% of those on the pitch (5,832). Only Willi Orbán, Christopher Nkunku and Josko Gvardiol have had more playing time for the club across that time. Across those two seasons since 2021-22, Szoboszlai’s top-line numbers are modest: 38 non-penalty goals and assists in 91 competitive appearances doesn’t immediately jump off the page. His chance-creation numbers are far more impressive, mind you, with a team-high 161 created for teammates overall and 99 of those coming from open play – a tally behind only Chelsea-bound Nkunku (132). In the Bundesliga, Szoboszlai is one of only 14 players to have created at least 100 chances for teammates since the start of 2021-22, but of those players he has the fifth highest per 90 average (2.5). Last season saw Szoboszlai find a more regular position in RB Leipzig’s side, with 77% of his playing time coming as a right-sided winger. That was a shift from 2021-22, where he played most of his minutes as a left-winger (potentially to utilise his fantastic ball-striking qualities, allowing him to cut in on his preferred right foot) and in central midfield – those two positions making up 60% of his playing minutes in the Bundesliga, with just 17% as a right winger. His ability to play across the midfield is an obvious attractive trait to any prospective club. While deployed mainly in that right-wing role at RB Leipzig in 2022-23, Szoboszlai tallied the fifth highest xG assisted figure in the Bundesliga (7.72), which was a fair bit higher than any other teammate across the season (David Raum’s 4.48, the next highest). It might come as a surprise to some to learn that 77% of his xG assisted total came from open play last season (5.97), considering the hype around his danger from set-piece situations. That’s not to say the hype isn’t justified, but more to show how dangerous he can be in open play too. Szoboszlai has led the RB Leipzig rankings across each of the last two Bundesliga seasons for open-play attacking sequence involvements, although his 6.0 per 90 average this season was slightly above his involvement rate in 2021-22 (5.4). In fact, 2022-23 saw him rank fourth overall in the German top flight for total involvements in shot-ending sequences in open play (163) but interestingly he had a more equal split between having the shot (49) and being the creator for a shot (48) than any other player in the top 10. Not only was he prevalent in shooting and creating shots for teammates, Szoboszlai led the Bundesliga for secondary chances created – the pass to the player who creates a chance – with 41, showing his importance in the build-up to RB Leipzig shots and an element of his game that many fans might underestimate. It’s also interesting to note that Szoboszlai led the 2022-23 Bundesliga charts for having multiple involvements (being involved in both the build-up to and either the shot itself or the chance creation of a shot) in an open play shot. He was involved in 29 such instances (15 shots, 14 chances created), four more than the next highest, Serge Gnabry at Bayern Munich (25). His quick feet also saw him take seven shots that followed a one-two with a teammate – only four players had more, with three of those at Bayern (Gnabry, Leroy Sané and Jamal Musiala). Despite his tall frame (six-foot-one), Szoboszlai is a good carrier of the ball, too. Across attacking players in the Bundesliga last season, only four players made more ball carries or travelled further with the ball at their feet from carries than he did (384 carries over 4,403m). Despite this, he’s not a player that will look to take on players with regularity. True, he was one of 22 players to tally 100+ take-ons in the 2022-23 Bundesliga, but only three of those averaged fewer on a per 90 basis than Szoboszlai (3.9). His take-on numbers are nearly half that of players like Alphonso Davies (6.6/90), Kingsley Coman (6.5), and Borussia Dortmund pair Donyell Malen (6.5) and Karim Adeyemi (6.4). One thing is for sure: RB Leipzig coaching staff and teammates knew the threat the Szoboszlai posed when in possession in the opposition half. With his ability to shoot from range – only Bayern’s Sané (37) had more shots from outside the box than him (36) in the 2022-23 Bundesliga – and his prolific creative numbers, his teammates looked to supply him at every opportunity. Joshua Kimmich (992) was the only player that received more open-play passes in the opposition half across the 2022-23 Bundesliga season than the Hungarian midfielder (850) and his 31.2 open-play passes received per 90 average was more than any player at Leipzig. Szoboszlai is also a player with a high work rate, with his average sprint per 90 figure 11th highest of the 106 outfield players to play at least 2,000 Bundesliga minutes last season (31.7), while his average distance covered/90 (10.8km) is also in the top half of that group. That’s helpful when playing for a team that likes to win possession high up the pitch. Only the Bundesliga’s top two sides Bayern (382) and Dortmund (314) made more high turnovers in the Bundesliga in 2022-23 than RB Leipzig (298). Forty-six of those ended in a shot, which was only behind Bayern’s total of 73 in the German top flight last season. Admittedly on a rather basic level, this could show one reason why Szoboszlai is supposedly being tracked by Arsenal. He would be an ideal player for Mikel Arteta’s side and their pressing game, with the Gunners making the most high turnovers (388) and scoring the most goals (nine) following such situations in the Premier League in 2022-23. Overall, only Brighton (67) attempted more shots from high turnovers last season than the Gunners’ 62. Szoboszlai was a big part of winning possession back in those areas (within 40m of the opposition goal), with 39 high turnovers in total – the most of any Leipzig player and the sixth highest in the entire league. Only three players contributed more high turnovers that led to shots than Szoboszlai (eight), with the midfielder again leading the way for his club. Overall, only Bayern’s Kimmich (53) started more open-play sequences that eventually led to a shot than Szoboszlai at RB Leipzig (37) across 2022-23. For a quick, digestible way to understand how Szoboszlai played across the 2022-23 Bundesliga season, we can use the new Opta Player Radars and their similarity score between players from any top five European league season over the last 15 years. Last season, the Hungarian had the closest similarity score to James Maddison at Leicester City in 2019-20 (94% similarity) – just the second season of top-flight football that the England international had played and one in which he was among the top five players for shot involvements in the Premier League (153 in total). This was behind only Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Raúl Jiménez and Jack Grealish. Essentially, Maddison was a creative force who would pepper the opposition goal with shots on a frequent basis. If Szoboszlai does leave Leipzig this summer, he’ll depart having scored in the 2023 DFB-Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt – capping off the 2-0 victory with the second goal in the 85th minute. The talented Hungarian would depart having made a big impact in Germany, not to mention a healthy profit on the €20 million Leipzig forked out to sign him from sister-club Salzburg. Red Bull gave him wings, now it’s time for him to fly.
  6. In the comments on Twitter someone drew attention to this article from 2019, again from an office equipment firm, about what office workers will look like in 20 years so it seems like we're fucked either way. Life-sized model shows what office workers might look like in 20 years | Science & Tech News | Sky News Life-sized model shows what office workers might look like in 20 years In just 20 years' time, the average office worker will have a hunched back, protruding stomach and sore eyes, according to a life-sized doll developed as part of a report into workplace health. Named Emma, the model shows what desk-bound workers will look like in the future - with a number of medical problems, unless changes to the work environment are made. She has thick varicose veins from spending so much of the day sat down, as well as a protruding stomach caused by her sedentary lifestyle. Emma also has a permanently hunched back and red and sore eyes from leaning forward and staring at a screen. According to William Higham, the author of the Work Colleague Of The Future report, if employers and workers don't act now to address the health risks posed by modern desk jobs, then we will all end up looking like Emma. "Unless we make radical changes to our working lives, such as moving more, addressing our posture at our desks, taking regular walking breaks or considering improving our work station set up, our offices are going to make us very sick." According to the report, which was commissioned by office equipment firm Fellowes, more than 90% of office workers in the UK who suffer from health issues because of their jobs are therefore performing more poorly at work. Roughly 50% of all of the British workers questioned as part of the study said they had eye problems because of work, and 49% had bad backs.
  7. Seen this article on Twitter before, gonna post it even though it's from the Mail. The discourse in the right wing rags about WFH is getting increasingly deranged as they get ignored over their agenda to push everyone back into the office but this article takes the biscuit. Of course, it was commissioned by an office furniture company using scientific research and working with healthcare professionals. Swollen eyes, a hunchback and claw-like hands: What remote-workers will look like by 2100 | Daily Mail Online Swollen eyes, a hunchback and claw-like hands: Grotesque model reveals what remote-workers will look like in 70 years While working from home was once a rare treat, it has become the norm for millions of people following the Covid-19 pandemic. But a grotesque new model may have you asking to go back into the office. Furniture At Work has revealed what home-workers could look like by the year 2100 – and it's not a pretty sight. Their model, dubbed Anna, has a hunchback, dark, swollen eyes, and claw-like hands as a result of working from home. 'Anna displays many physical effects because of consistent use of technology, screen exposure and poor posture, as well as highlighting potential mental health issues,' Furniture at Work said. The team created Anna following research from the University of Leeds which found that a third of UK home-workers have no dedicated workspace at home. 'To visualise the effects of not having a proper place to work at home, Furniture At Work used scientific research and worked with healthcare experts to reveal what the remote worker of the future could look like,' Furniture At Work explained. Working from bed has taken its toll on Anna, who has a hunched back with raised shoulders, while staring at a screen all day has given her red, swollen eyes. Long hours with her hand curled around her mouse has caused her fingers to curl into a permanent claw. She's also fallen victim to weight gain, a weak immune system thanks to insufficient fresh air, anxiety and depression. Based on the findings, health experts are urging home-workers to take measures to stay healthy while working from home. Brian Clark, Founder of United Medical Education, said: 'Remote workers should take regular breaks to stretch and move their bodies to help avoid back and neck pain.' Sarah Gibson, director of Proactive Healthcare, recommends following the '20-20-20' rule. 'Following the 20-20-20 rule is a great way to look after your eyes if you spend long periods staring at screens,' she said. 'Look away from your screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds and focus on something 20 feet away.' Meanwhile, if you regularly work from home, Mr Clark advises setting up a dedicated workspace. He added: 'Setting up a designated workspace with ergonomic furniture is also important for establishing clear boundaries between work and personal time.' * They also included this handy guide for what avid gamers will look like in 20 years time. What avid gamers could look like in 20 years' time thanks to hours hunched over their consoles He's got bloodshot eyes, a dented skull and blistered hands — and in twenty years, you'll be just like him if you don't take care of yourself when gaming, experts warn. Michael — the pallid and hunchbacked video game player of the future — is a grotesque model that shows how hunching over consoles might affect avid gamers. This cautionary vision was cooked up by researchers based on globally-sourced reports on the physical impacts of the gamer lifestyle. The team propose a number of strategies for gamers to take better care of themselves — including regular stretching, eating well and staying hydrated. Coronavirus self-isolation has led to a boom in online gaming, with gamers spending almost 19 per cent more time on average playing, experts report. Despite opposition from academics and the industry, the World Health Organization now recognises video game ‘addiction’ as an official psychological disorder. To design Michael, researchers reviewed reports by such organisations at the National Health Service, the World Health Organisation, the National Geographic and UK interactive entertainment on the potential effects of the gamer lifestyle
  8. This is from the last roundup I did last year if any of them catch your fancy: Horror Cunning Folk by Adam Nevill Probably the best British Horror author around. He wrote The Ritual which Netflix made into a film. This is his latest one. Cunning Folk Dark Country by Monique Snyman Dark Country Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi Heard nothing but good things about Malfi's books. Going to start with these two. Black Mouth Come with Me by Ronald Malfi Come With Me The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor From Below by Darcy Coates From Below Commodore by Philip Fracassi Short story at about 90 pages but looks good and the author has got a couple of interesting looking books due out in the next year or so. Commodore Beneath the Rising by Premee Mohamed I like Lovecraft themed stuff so I'll check this series out. Beneath the Rising I've also got my eye on this and will probably make this my next horror read after I finish the Star Wars books I'm reading. It's out mid-July and I fancied it anyway but seen Stephen King praising it after reading an advance copy. Boys in the Valley
  9. https://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/alexis-mac-allister-can-become-liverpools-smartest-summer-signing/209890 Liverpool's smartest summer signing? Alexis Mac Allister’s move to Liverpool now appears to be a formality. According to multiple reports, the 24-year-old is due to have a medical this week with the Merseysiders having rejected the advances of Manchester United. The transfer fee is yet to be revealed but it is believed that the World Cup winner will cost significantly less than the £70million mooted just a couple of weeks back. His arrival is expected to kickstart the midfield rebuild at Liverpool this summer. While he might not be the most expensive signing, Mac Allister has the potential to be the most important arrival. He is one of the most well-rounded midfielders in the world and he would give the Reds a number of options moving forward. Jurgen Klopp needs that following the departures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Naby Keita this summer. While the trio weren’t first-team regulars in the final years of their stints with the club, their versatility did give the German tactician options. For example, when Liverpool were going for the quadruple during the 2021/22 campaign, Klopp used Keita in different roles. At the start of the season, he was used on the left side of the midfield three to keep things moving. Then he shifted the club’s most expensive midfield signing over to the right side of the three. That role allowed the former RB Leipzig man more attacking freedom and Keita’s tactical intelligence eased the tactical transition following the arrival of Luis Diaz in the winter window. Most of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s minutes arrived on the right side of midfield but he played across the forward line when required. Milner seemed to do a job anywhere and everywhere. He could inject energy into a game in some matches while Klopp trusted him to help regain control in other situations. Mac Allister can do similar. Though he came through the ranks at Argentinos Juniors as more of an attacker, he’s developed into an all-rounder following the switch to Brighton. It wasn’t necessarily his choice. When asked about Graham Potter last season following his departure to Chelsea, the player jokingly replied: “I wanted to kill him… but that's part of football.” This was in response to Potter moving him into a deeper role in midfield. Prior to this, Mac Allister’s minutes as a professional footballer had come almost exclusively as an attacking player. Whether that was as an inside forward, as an attacking midfielder or even as a false-nine, he was usually found in the final third. “He [Potter] was very helpful — improving my versatility and physicality. I'm a much better player today because of it so I can thank him a lot.” The 24-year-old played in a midfield three for Brighton and really embraced his new role. Prior to the break for the 2022 World Cup, only Declan Rice had recovered the ball (139 to Mac Allister’s 124) on more occasions than the Argentine. Roberto De Zerbi’s arrival saw Mac Allister’s role change once again. The Italian used the World Cup winner in a double pivot in his new-look 4-4-2 system alongside the highly sought-after Moises Caicedo. With Brighton looking to play out from the back, Mac Allister was key to the first phase of play for the Seagulls. It wasn’t highlight-reel-worthy stuff but the way he helped De Zerbi’s team bypass the opposition press was integral to the former Sassuolo boss putting his stamp on things at the Amex. He was also used as a second striker on occasion too. One such time was against Southampton towards the end of the campaign in a 3-1 win for Brighton. Mac Allister put on a show, creating seven chances, completing 80% of his dribbles and winning eight of his nine duels. The one-time Boca Juniors loanee has proven he can be a controller, a playmaker and a facilitator. He did the latter after forcing his way into Lionel Scaloni’s starting XI at the World Cup, playing on the left side of a midfield three. It was a completely different role from any of the ones he excelled in for Brighton this season. Mac Allister himself has spoken about his versatility in the past: “I like to play as a No. 10, I like to play as a No. 6. The most important thing for me is to help my team-mates, win football games and try to be as central as I can so I can be as close to the ball to get on it as much as possible.” An interesting stat, however, shows that Mac Allister seeing more of the ball wasn’t always a positive for Brighton. Last season, the No10 attempted 50 or more passes in the Premier League on 14 occasions and the Seagulls won just half of those games. Obviously, there are a lot of things to consider and plenty of external factors play a part in the outcome of a game, but this is just something worth noting. The Argentine isn’t a high-risk taker in possession and won’t sacrifice the ball. He will only play high-value passes when he thinks there’s a real possibility they will be completed. This doesn’t help his team if they are losing and trying to get back into the game. This could dictate where he is used by Liverpool. The Reds start in a 4-3-3 shape but shift into a 3-2-2-3 system when in possession. The new shape allows Trent Alexander-Arnold to get into central areas. He’s the creator in the middle third. Mac Allister wouldn’t be burdened with that responsibility and instead could play his natural game as someone who aids his team in retaining possession. Curtis Jones made the left-sided midfield role his own towards the end of the campaign. The hybrid position meant he would at times fill in on the left side of the pitch when the attacker took up a central position but then a lot of the time he would find himself almost as a left-sided No10. He was tasked with ensuring the ball wasn’t carelessly lost and in a number of games he finished with a pass success rate of over 92%. Mac Allister could comfortably play that role. He could also play on the right side of the midfield three though. This position was filled by Jordan Henderson and Harvey Elliott last season. The idea is for whoever is in that role to create space for Mohamed Salah and Alexander-Arnold on that side of the pitch. A lot of the time, Elliott and Henderson would take up central positions as a right-sided No10 and there was a lot more emphasis on combination play with the No11 and the No66. The Argentina international has the technical ability to slot into that role and elevate the use of the ball on that side of the pitch. It would get him into the final third and make the most of his short passing game. The 24-year-old is perfect for a number of roles throughout this Liverpool team and this is what makes him such a smart signing for the club.
  10. I’d take Cloggy up on the IP Torrents invite if I was you but other public ones I use depending on what I’m after are: EZTV.re for TV shows Yts.mx for Movies Thepiratebay.org TV and Movies 1377x.to TV and Movies
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