JURGEN KLOPP’S NO GOOD
We’ve all been skirting around it for ages, because we adore his hipster specs, his wild antics in the technical area and the crazy way he says ‘BOOM!’ now and again. Plus, everyone loves a German who speaks better English than an actual Englishman such as, let’s say, Lee Clark.
But the sad fact is that Klopp has had two years at Anfield now and they’re just going round and round in circles. Literally, in the case of his centre backs. What should have been a comfortable win at Newcastle yesterday became another afternoon of frustration as napping defenders allowed Joselu to score a comedy equaliser.
That’s one win in the last seven matches for Klopp. That’s not good enough. If Klopp wasn’t Herr Charisma and was a wobbly old owl such as, let’s say, Roy Hodgson, they’d be calling for his head at Anfield by now. For sure.
DYCHE. THAT’S WHO LIVERPOOL NEED.
He’s sorted out Burnley’s away day hoodoo and the win at Everton has put them sixth. But look at what he’s created at Turf Moor – a tightly-knit team that’s punching above its weight, devoid of ‘stars’ but with just the right blend of organisation, steel and enough flair to carve out a string of chances.
The 24-pass goal yesterday was a joy to watch, a pass-and-move masterclass. The make up of Dyche’s Burnley reminds me of that unstoppable Liverpool side of three decades ago.
Maybe the Reds need to go back to basics…
RONALD KOEMAN COULD BE GONE SOON
His allies point to a rough run of early season fixtures but the two home matches in the past four days should both have been eminently winnable. And yet here we are. The Dutchman is cutting a bemused figure on the touchline and with Carlo Ancelotti and Thomas Tuchel both currently signing on, rebooting Everton’s season with a new boss wouldn’t be a hard decision to make.
RAFA’S A LEDGE
Mixed emotions galore at St. James’ Park yesterday. A minute’s applause for late chairman Freddy Shepherd was augmented by Rafa Benitez’s invitation to Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall – a lovely touch. It shouldn’t be hard for more football managers to be as aware of a bigger picture as Benitez clearly is.
GERARD PIQUE HAS A SHORT MEMORY
After his side’s behind-closed-doors win over Las Palmas yesterday, the Barcelona defender described the match as ‘my worst experience as a professional’.
Well I once saw him play for Manchester United Reserves in a goalless draw with Sunderland Reserves at Eppleton Colliery Welfare’s ground on a Monday night.
Freezing cold rain lashed down throughout and I can’t see how it could possibly have been any worse yesterday. Mind you, they did decent chips at Eppleton, so maybe that swung it for him.
MAROUANE FELLAINI SEEMS TO BE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE
I offer no explanation. We just have to accept it.
— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) September 30, 2017
FABIAN DELPH IS JUST BEHIND HIM
Again, no explanation. This is why we love football so much – it never stops surprising us.
DELI ALLI’S DIVE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUNISHED MORE
3-0 ahead at Huddersfield and yet Alli STILL felt the need to gently throw himself to the floor in the penalty area, picking up a soft booking into the process.
Referee Neil Swarbrick should have administered some stronger justice – the booking should have been accompanied by gales of laughter from him, along with lashings of encouragement for the home fans to join in too. Never mind post-match diving panels – mid-match hoots of derision are what’s needed.
LEICESTER CITY AND BOURNEMOUTH BOTH STINK
It’s only a few months since Craig Shakespeare and Eddie Howe were both very much the flavour of the month with their respective clubs’ fans.
Now though? If they were playing in your back garden you’d shut the curtains. And then set fire to the curtains. And then refuse to piss on them.
MANCHESTER CITY ARE STREETS AHEAD OF CHELSEA
There must have been some uncomfortable squirming in the home sections of Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening as City turned up and promptly ripped apart a side that had outplayed Atletico Madrid a few days earlier.
The league already looks like a two-horse Mancunian race and Antonio Conte’s mojo looks to be missing in action. He’ll be gone by next summer at the latest, and if he’s got any sense he’ll jump before the inevitable Abramovich pushing.