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About Cij

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  1. El Hadji Diouf - his performances for Senegal at the 2002 World Cup garnered a lot of praise and created considerable hype about his impending arrival at Liverpool. As it transpired, he was one of the most loathsome pricks ever to sign for the club. Spitting at a Celtic fan and a child supporter of Boro, robbing Mellor's debut penalty opportunity, constantly ripping Gerrard and Carragher. The man is, was, and always will be a 24 carat dickhead.
  2. Cij

    Naby Keita

    I want to preface this by saying I firmly believe Naby Keita is entitled to the presumption of innocence and I have no idea what, if anything, may have happened. It appears that no action will be taken on foot of the investigation conducted by Merseyside Police and that should be the end of the matter. With that said, there is no need for anyone to castigate the complainant given none of us are privy to the full story. People have attacked her and cast doubt upon her claims with the following fallacious arguments: "Naby does not speak English so would not host / attend a party or be capable of offering her £1k" - His English remains poor but Jurgen discussed late last year that he has made great strides in this regard. "Naby does not even live in Formby" - He does and I believe it is in the Freshfields area along with Klopp and Lallana. "His agent's name is Bjorn Bezemer not 'Leo'" - That is quite correct, he shares the same agent as Sadio Mane. However, the complainant only said that she received calls from someone identifying themselves as his agent using the name Leo. Naby's 'entourage' does include a Leo and Baio (not Bayo as noted in her contacts) both of whom are former LFC youth players around the same age as Naby. It is noteworthy that the complainant correctly identified the names of two people in his circle. That does not corroborate her allegations but does suggest she may have met him. "He would have been in the team hotel as we played Manchester United the next day" - Keita was injured for that game and not in the squad. It is most unlikely he traveled to the team hotel. "Why is all of this only coming out six month's later?" - The complainant reported it to police within a very short time as the evidence bag shows it was collected on 23/01/2020 in Salford. I was sceptical about the picture of the evidence bag photo initially but there is nothing on the face of it to suggest it is anything other than what she claims it to be. She appears to have gone public in response to receipt of confirmation no charges would be brought. She clearly feels aggrieved by this decision. ... and so on. All of the above is circumstantial and does not prove anything. However, I am yet to see a single detail proving the complainant is lying. I have no intention of 'white knighting' here but I simply have no clue what did or did not happen as I was not there. The reasonable thing to do is therefore to withhold judgment on her claims whilst affording Naby the benefit of any doubt. She made a complaint, the police took up evidence in Salford where the complainant lived, it was investigated by Merseyside Police, and there was ultimately insufficient evidence to bring a charge. Best to leave it there as a baying mob attacking her is not a good look for the club. If the complainant's claims are false and malicious Naby can pursue an action for defamation and breach of privacy if he wishes. I doubt he needs any of supporters to defend his interests.
  3. Absolutely days of our lives. Lap it up. Team seemed crackers but Jurgen knows. We are a class act. Whatever about the superstars, the likes of Wijnaldum, Robertson and Henderson have the chutzpah and drive to get us over the line. Mane was sublime, Origi is a stone cold legend, and Shaq was class. I have waited my whole life for a team like this. Magic!
  4. Cij

    Other Football - 2019/20

  5. We’re champions of Europe, We’re back up at the top, And it’s all down to one man - his name is Jurgen Klopp, Beat Barca, Bayern, Porto, Spurs, Paris, Napoli, Now you know why Liverpool is the only club for me. Allez, Allez, Allez
  6. You don't need to be clairvoyant to know how this one will go. Jose will set up with a flat back 10 and pad his team out with as many snidey grocks as possible. The first five minutes of the game will see one of his 'forward' players scythe down Mo Salah with a 'clumsy' tackle a la Eto'o on Henderson a few years ago. From there, the fouls will be rotated with a level of even-handedness that Karl Marx could only dream about. Every time they get a throw-in it will appear as though their full-backs are experiencing teething issues on their first day trialing a new set of arms. A number of their forwards will bear the hallmarks of a worrying inner ear infection given their extraordinary lack of balance and susceptibility to gravity any time they get near our box. De Gea will be riddled with indecision about his preferred side of the 6-yard box from which to launch goal kicks into orbit. Lukaku will accidentally land awkwardly on Virgil's ankle after 'contesting' (and losing) one of David's ballooned clearances. Pogba will be lauded repeatedly by the commentary team despite being as useful as a cock flavored lollipop. 'Sign On' will be sung with gusto by the denizens of leafy Longsight and Gorton (and Surrey granted). 'Always The Victim' will also be reprised again and again on the basis that it ABSOLUTELY does not refer to Hillsborough and could never be interpreted as such be any rational member of society. Claims will circulate on social media of phantom graffiti and vandalism in toilets, the entire away end will surreptitously make airplane gestures (which, miraculously, will not be captured by any of the 80,000+ camera phones within the ground), and our supporters will debut the stage version of 'Two Girls, One Cup' to the alleged horror of the spawn of some Manc Orc. In short, I would be extremely pleased with a win.
  7. Cij

    Virgil Van Dijk

    Whilst I would love us to sign Van Dijk there is an argument to be made that we should move on if we can't agree a deal with Southampton this week. He has been injured for six months and has now had a disrupted pre-season so we have not had an opportunity to confirm he is fully recovered. In reality, he won't be match-fit until towards the end of September at the earliest. Lovren and Gomez are currently injured too so there is the possibility that we will be starting the season with Klavan at centre-half with no cover. I appreciate we would be signing him for five years rather than five weeks but I don't want to scupper our chances of competing for the league this year by being held to ransom by Southampton. Despite their claims, Southampton will not be relishing the prospect of a disgruntled captain having to be re-integrated into their squad and the possibility that they never receive similar offers again if it transpires he has lingering issues due to the ankle injury.
  8. Cij

    Summer 2017 Transfer Thread

    It was strange when the Echo ran various pieces following the end of the season detailing how this was going to be the club’s most extravagant Summer window ever and reaming off various high-profile targets. Bragging about how much money we have inevitably results in selling clubs demanding higher prices? The only logical reason for doing this was to convince our key targets that the club is ambitious and on an upward trajectory. Fine, up to a point. Klopp appears to have successfully persuaded a host of excellent players that this is the place to be – Salah, Van Dijk and Keita in particular – and the onus now very much rests on FSG to get these deals over the line or supporters will turn on them. The club’s bombastic leaks understandably created expectation among fans. Kudos for wrapping up Salah but the rest of the omens are not great. FSG clearly baulked at Southampton’s asking price for Van Dijk. Southampton’s top brass employs a tried and tested approach when it comes to selling their top players in order to keep their own fans onside. They portray themselves as reluctant sellers and force the player to demand a transfer, see Fonte, Lallana, Lovren and Wanyama by way of example. A deal is always done but only when the money is produced. The fact that we publicly backed down was ridiculous. FSG have attempted to be cute by cosying up to Van Dijk in order to alienate other suitors and drive the price down. This has understandably irked Southampton. The same strategy seems to have been adopted with Keita. No problem with that once you follow through with a realistic bid but we appear to be operating in a vacuum. I suspect the post-apology hope is that some other club will act as a stalking horse for Van Dijk and we will match any bid that is accepted. My biggest concern is that Van Dijk and Keita have clearly been identified to address very specific weaknesses in our squad. Van Dijk dominates aerially to a virtually unparalleled degree (he is basically twice as effective as Lovren) which should greatly help with our Achilles’ Heel when defending set pieces. Keita has an incredibly well-rounded game and the closest comparison is Thiago Alcantara. Klopp has long been looking to bring in a ball-carrying midfielder who can pass through the lines – like Dahoud and Zielinski – and Keita excels at this as well as the defensive side. ‘Packing’ is the measures in football analytics for players who assist their teams to break through defensive lines by passing or dribbling. Keita appears to be right up there with Kroos and Thiago in this regard and is tailor-made for puncturing through the low-block defences we struggled against last season. It speaks volumes about FSG’s ambition if they fail to wrap up these deals at this point in the team’s development. Klopp secured Champions League by the skin of his teeth with a bare bones squad last season. That simply won’t cut it next year with all our rivals pushing out the boat this Summer. The right signings might actually allow us compete for the league next year. Perhaps FSG are waiting for bids for Sakho, Moreno, Markovic and the like before pressing on with Van Dijk and Keita but if they are not brought in before the end of the window a backlash will inevitably ensue.
  9. Cij

    LFC Accounts 2015/16

    I avoided getting bogged down in departures / loans as we are not privy to the details of any contribution to the wages of players sold or on loan. I was actually nerdy enough to work out the cost of wages for departing players between the start of the club's financial year and their date of disposal but only really wanted to provide a rough explanation for the £42m increase in wages. I believe that agent's fees are amortised as 'signing on fees' under the admin heading in the accounts. The FA disclosed that our payments to agents in the 5-month period from October 2015 to February 2016 totaled £6.6m so we can extrapolate that out to around £15m over the financial year.
  10. Cij

    LFC Accounts 2015/16

    The £42m wage bill increase in the most recent accounts really surprised me so I have done a ‘back of a cigarette box’ calculation to see how it has arisen. It goes without saying that the figures won't be entirely accurate as they are not in the public domain but I have done my best to piece it together from the available information. The most obvious category was new signings and the acquisitions of Benteke, Firmino, Clyne, Milner, Ings, Gomez, Bogdan, Grujic, Caulker, Allan and the full time arrival of Origi from Lille will have added slightly north of £26m to the wage bill. We also handed out a lot of new contracts / pay rises in 2015/16 – Coutinho, Henderson, Skrtel, Sakho, Mignolet, Flanagan, Smith, Ibe, Brannagan, Ojo – which when added to Sturridge’s bumper deal in October 2014 would have given an uplift in the order of £11m. Klopp replaced Rodgers in October 2015 and was joined by his backroom team of Buvac and Krawietz. Rodgers’ and his entourage were paid £15.7m by way of ‘redundancy and associated costs’, which are listed separately in the accounts. However, Klopp is reportedly on up to £7m p/a (including bonuses) so it seems reasonable to allow £3m for himself and his team for October 2015 – May 2016. The final £2m appears to relate to the club employing 70 new staff between Commercial / Admin and Ground Staff. At an average salary of £28.5k that seems about right. The upshot of all this activity is that LFC had a wages to turnover ratio of 69% in 2015/16. The Board will not be too worried about that as the new Premier League deal and revamped Main Stand will increase revenues by up to £70m next season. Last Summer’s signing of Mane, Wijnaldum Matip & Co. will have added approximately £21m to the wage bill over the course of their first year, which will probably be pushed up to £25m by the time Lovren and Lallana’s new deals are included. About £18m in wages has already been clawed back by the departure of Skrtel, Allen, Benteke, Illori, Ibe and the rest. My best guess is that LFC's wages to turnover ratio is currently in the ballpark of 60% and we will try to offload Lucas, Sturridge, Manniger, Moreno, Sakho, Wisdom, Flanagan, Bogdan, Ings, Markovic, and possibly Can to free up a further £550k a week in wages for new signings. On that basis, Klopp could make six £90k a week signings this Summer and we’d still end up with a wages to turnover ratio of a very healthy 60%. I suspect Klopp was well aware there would be limited funds to spend in his first few transfer windows (as the club had to fund the Rodgers' payoff etc.) and he used that time to assess the squad thoroughly. He has made a conscious decision to freeze out Sakho, Moreno, Markovic,and Sturridge; presumably to encourage them to move on and provide him with the resources to shape the squad in his own image. I know this stuff bores a lot of people to tears but it actually does provide some insight into what is actually achievable. With Champions League qualification, I would expect the club to spend up to £90m this Summer.
  11. Cij

    Goalimpact - LFC Scouting

    The following table lists the Top 50 most influential players in the world in December 2016. It shouldn't be read literally; Gotze is obviously not better than Messi. The point though is that Dortmund's level drops off more without Gotze than Barca's without Messi. The GI equation also happens to be a pretty good barometer of the best players and when supplemented by scouting should help to sort the wheat from the chaff. All I am trying to illustrate is how 'Moneyball' actually works in practice. This type of information is what is informing Michael Edward's decisions on our transfer targets. Rank Player Team Goalimpact Player Age PeakGI Nationality Previous Rank 1 Mario Götze Borussia Dortmund 216,51 24,50 221,74 Deutschland 3 2 Thomas Müller Bayern München 212,59 27,25 215,05 Deutschland 1 3 Busquets FC Barcelona 207,43 28,42 212,11 Spanien 10 4 Lionel Messi FC Barcelona 203,50 29,42 209,97 Argentinien, Spanien 8 5 Piqué FC Barcelona 199,92 29,83 207,05 Spanien 15 6 Pedro Chelsea FC 199,34 29,33 205,66 Spanien 11 7 Manuel Neuer Bayern München 198,81 30,67 210,94 Deutschland 9 8 Toni Kroos Real Madrid 197,03 26,92 198,87 Deutschland 20 9 Karim Benzema Real Madrid 195,17 28,92 200,82 Frankreich 5 10 Mesut Özil Arsenal FC 193,66 28,17 197,91 Deutschland 2 11 Cesc Fàbregas Chelsea FC 193,65 29,58 200,36 Spanien 6 12 Robert Lewandowski Bayern München 193,29 28,25 197,79 Polen 4 13 David Alaba Bayern München 192,70 24,42 198,13 Österreich 42 14 Marcelo Real Madrid 192,14 28,58 197,12 Brasilien 14 15 Theo Walcott Arsenal FC 192,10 27,75 195,56 England, Barbados 7 16 James Rodríguez Real Madrid 192,00 25,42 194,12 Kolumbien 46 17 Thiago Bayern München 191,19 25,67 192,43 Spanien, Brasilien 172 18 Martin Hinteregger FC Augsburg 190,77 24,25 196,92 Österreich 24 19 Neymar FC Barcelona 190,51 24,83 194,61 Brasilien 47 20 Víctor Valdés Middlesbrough FC 190,20 34,92 199,67 Spanien 31 21 Toby Alderweireld Tottenham Hotspur 189,54 27,75 193,07 Belgien 13 22 Jérôme Boateng Bayern München 189,53 28,25 193,97 Deutschland 52 23 Mats Hummels Bayern München 188,09 28,00 192,04 Deutschland 18 24 Holger Badstuber Bayern München 186,01 27,75 189,48 Deutschland 175 25 Kevin Kampl Bayer Leverkusen 184,73 26,17 185,02 Slowenien, Deutschland 29 26 Gianluigi Buffon Juventus 184,24 38,83 184,61 Italien 102 27 Bartra Borussia Dortmund 184,10 25,92 184,51 Spanien 246 28 Dani Carvajal Real Madrid 183,88 24,92 187,74 Spanien 221 29 Koke Atletico Madrid 183,69 24,92 187,52 Spanien 198 30 Ángel Di María Paris Saint-Germain 183,49 28,83 188,87 Argentinien 40 31 Eden Hazard Chelsea FC 183,46 25,92 183,80 Belgien 41 32 Iker Casillas FC Porto 183,16 35,50 191,28 Spanien 55 33 Yaroslav Rakitskiy Shakhtar Donetsk 182,95 27,33 185,63 Ukraine 54 34 Gregory van der Wiel Fenerbahce 182,88 28,83 188,32 Niederlande, Curaçao 44 35 Henrikh Mkhitaryan Manchester United 182,71 27,83 186,47 Armenien 35 36 Alex Teixeira Jiangsu Sainty 182,54 26,92 184,36 Brasilien 264 37 Luis Suárez FC Barcelona 182,02 29,83 189,19 Uruguay 59 38 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 181,92 31,83 200,52 Portugal 17 39 Siem de Jong PSV Eindhoven 181,08 27,83 184,80 Niederlande 75 40 İlkay Gündoğan Manchester City 180,64 26,08 180,86 Deutschland 150 41 Xherdan Shaqiri Stoke City 180,58 25,17 183,56 Schweiz 284 42 Arturo Vidal Bayern München 180,57 29,50 187,19 Chile 23 43 Petr Čech Arsenal FC 180,11 34,50 189,85 Tschechien 32 44 Luuk de Jong PSV Eindhoven 179,64 26,25 180,18 Niederlande 130 45 Jeremain Lens Fenerbahce 179,12 29,00 184,88 Niederlande, Suriname 43 46 André Ramalho 1. FSV Mainz 05 178,82 24,83 183,03 Brasilien 259 47 Bastian Schweinsteiger Manchester United 178,74 32,33 199,90 Deutschland 25 48 Isco Real Madrid 178,35 24,58 183,17 Spanien 302 49 Marcel Schmelzer Borussia Dortmund 178,22 28,83 183,71 Deutschland 100 50 Stefan Ilsanker RB Leipzig 178,13 27,58 181,24 Österreich 12
  12. Cij

    Goalimpact - LFC Scouting

    That isn't quite how to read it Strontium. GI shows the relative benefit over the alternative; so the numbers show that Mignolet was significantly better than the alternatives (Brad Jones / Danny Ward) but his development has under-performed what was expected of him. He should have reached 166 but only managed 144 at his peak. He is basically a CL quality keeper but not an elite one. Sakho and Henderson were two of our best performers and have reached their potential. They are both CL level footballers which strikes me as correct. Pity about the drugs and messing from Mamadou but there you go. There is a reason why Klopp has kept Lucas and this is perhaps explained by these figures. He is not our best player but has a positive impact when he plays and is therefore reliable. That particular chart omits Lovren - who is rated slightly worse than Sakho - and Coutinho.
  13. Cij

    Goalimpact - LFC Scouting

    This was the GI Rankings of our squad in January 2016. Despite being based on an equation, it strikes me as a pretty accurate assessment. We only had 8 players with a GI Rank above 130, which definitely wasn't sufficient for CL qualification. Benteke is a slightly above average Premier League footballer at best and was never worth £32.5m. Caulker was not of Premier League standard, making him a pointless signing. Joe Allen was Champions League level, as was illustrated by his performance for Wales in the Summer. However, his injury record made him a bit of liability and not worth persevering with. Ibe was just about Premier League level and there was virtually no prospect of him mirroring Sterling's development. Firmino has actually bucked the trend this season and performed above expectations so his GI has been adjusted accordingly this season - he is now of CL standard. The surprising one for me was Clyne. I always rated him as a more than decent PL full back but perhaps I overvalue his contribution based on some of the shit we have had to endure over the years!
  14. Cij

    Goalimpact - LFC Scouting

    I agree and hope an algorithm like this is simply used to identify players worth a further look by scouts or to rule out targets which are 'overvalued' by the management team / scouts (it could have eliminated Benteke and Carroll as potential signings for example) as part of a multi-stage process.
  15. Cij

    Goalimpact - LFC Scouting

    Just my own views Woolster. When you check the players in which the usual reliable sources have confirmed we hold an interest, they all have a high GI rating. I can't state as a fact LFC use Goalimpact specifically but there is too much of a correlation for the club not to be employing a very similar algorithm. It is definitely much closer to the truth than the simplistic term 'Moneyball'. Your point on Swansea makes sense as Llorente and Narsingh are both signings who chime with this sort of approach.