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19 Apr 2021 11:00:01
I can understand the reaction to the proposed super league. For me, the worst part is the non-competitive aspect; the big clubs locking themselves in as members of an elite group with protected status regardless of how they perform on the pitch. How Tottenham get a seat at the table, or even Arsenal, is beyond me. Even Chelsea and City lack the European pedigree of the other proposed member clubs.

Anyway, my main point is that I find the outrage from certain quarters to be a bit unpalatable and hypocritical. Ex footballers or people in football media are almost unanimously up in arms, conveniently ignoring the fact that it's the never ending money making machine of elite football that they have milked for themselves for so long, whether as players who earned mega bucks or pundits, journalists or reporters whose own career trajectories are directly linked to the growth of football.

Putting aside the non-competitive aspect and focussing just on the money, which seems to be what is upsetting everybody, is this not just the next step and the continuation of what we've seen in football for decades. Ok, the numbers are so much bigger now but money in football has always increased. Every time you thought it had reached the ceiling, it subsequently increased again.

The first £100 a week footballer. The first £1000 a week footballer. The first £1 million transfer fee. The loss of free-to-air tv football available to the masses, formation of the Premier League, evolution of the European Cup to become the Champions League, the influx of billionaire owners with questionable backgrounds, players earning a million £ a month, naming rights, the ever-increasing record transfer fee (remember when we were all staggered that Newcastle paid £15 for Shearer), ticket prices, charging £15 ppv during the C.V..

It's always been about the money. The sums of money have always increased. Whenever it looks like it might plateau, someone will find a way to make more. As the man on the street, I think it's fair that we can have an opinion on that but I don't think it's a surprise or shock.

RR

1.) 19 Apr 2021 11:24:13
These players worked hard to become the best in the world. If the clubs worked hard to earn the right to play in the ESL then I doubt there would be so much cry. That is the core problem which you also rightly pointed out. 12 clubs being there year after year without any merit.


2.) 19 Apr 2021 11:39:16
I think you're reasoning can apply to any club RR mate. Why do we think we're so bloody special? We've only been back in Europe a few years. AC Milan haven't done anything for years. Man Utd have been in and out of the champions league and look like a spent force. It's nothing to do with reputation it's how much money these clubs have and how much they stand to make. Pure and simple. You look at the history of a club like Ajax, Porto, Benfica. Even our own Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest. If it was purely stature and history they would be invited too. But it's another case of the rich get richer.


3.) 19 Apr 2021 12:40:43
That’s fair, Bledd85. If football was only based on history and “pedigree”, then Sunderland has won more English league titles than Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham. You're right - it's all about the money and the money that can be made from it.

Why are we so special, you ask? Well I think we actually tick the box whether you look at the money angle (still one of the most globally supported clubs) or the history/ pedigree angle. Only Real and Milan have won the European Cup more times than Liverpool. We won it as recently as two years ago, and were in another final the year before that. Sure, as you say, we had a few years where we didn't qualify but then you only have to go back to 2005 for the last time we won it before that. We have won the European Cup in the 70s, 80s, 00s and 10s.

Perhaps if this discussion had been taking place in 2010, then you could have made the case that Liverpool weren't currently one of Europe's elite clubs, but whichever way you address it, Liverpool is a "special" club if the context of the discussion is European football.

Totally take your point regarding Ajax and some of the others.


4.) 19 Apr 2021 12:53:40
The worst part of a Super League for me would be potentially having to play Atletico once/ twice every season. Really can't stand the way they go about things.


 

 

12 Apr 2021 14:55:41
As I understand it based on questions asked in this forum and the answers from ED02, there would be a route into the Champions League for us if we finished fifth whilst Utd won the Europa (assuming they finish in the top four) or City or Chelsea won the Champions League (assuming they finish in the top four) .

With qualification for the Champions League being so important, it got me thinking about what I would find palatable in terms of success of our rivals if it meant we qualified for the Champions League when we otherwise wouldn't have done. I know this is going to have some of you screaming abuse at me, but I actually think I would rather Utd win the Europa League than City or Chelsea winning the Champions League.

Yes, we'd have to put up with all the chat from Utd fans about how we couldn't get into the Champions League on our own and had to rely on Utd to do it for us, etc, etc, but to me, the European Cup is such a pinnacle of club football, such a prestigious trophy, and a competition where out success sets us apart from every other club in the country, that I don't want our big rivals to win it. On the other hand, the Europa league is still a decent competition to win, and obviously gives the winner a route into the Champions League, but it is the second string European trophy by such a big distance that our fiercest rivals winning that is an easier pill to swallow for me than one of our other big rivals winning the biggest prize in club football. Plus as long as City fail to win the Champions League, that is a massive gap that will really hurt them. And I hate Chelsea and don't want them to win a second Champions League. For a club like Utd, who expect to be in the knock out stages of the Champions League every year, winning the Europa League is another trophy of course, but it's a competition they'd rather not even be playing in, if you see what I mean.

All of that said, there's no guarantee we'll even make it to 5th place of course. The top four battle is hotting up nicely. Leicester seem to have got dragged into it now, which means there could actually be third and fourth to play for, where previously it looked like just fourth place.

RR

1.) 12 Apr 2021 15:39:31
We can only have 4 teams in the Champions League, not sure how finishing fifth gets you in. Have I missed something?

I think you’ll make top 4, Leicester are wobbling and West Ham are massively over achieving right now,

{Ed002's Note - Fifth team - not fifth place. If the CL winners are in the top four the additional place will go the 11th ranked country. If EL and CL winners are English and not in top four, the fourth drops to the Europa League as the maximum number of Englsih sides is five.}


2.) 12 Apr 2021 20:28:28
Whilst I understand what you're saying I just don't have it in me to wish our rivals win even if it is to benefit ourselves.

And I just cannot bring myself to hope Utd win a trophy at all and simply cannot comprehend the logic in that at all tbh, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that, even Tony would get that lol.


3.) 12 Apr 2021 21:05:56
Man U winning the Europa league to get us in the champions league is a price worth paying. The Europa means very little seville won it 3 in a row. If we miss out on top 4 it will cost us £60m and we just simply can’t afford it.


 

 

12 Apr 2021 11:43:35
The Trent/ England debate is getting quite emotive, which is understandable but I think I would rather that Trent himself, his team mates and his manager just keep their heads down and let his performances do the talking.

Having been left out of the England squad with the explanation from Southgate that it was based on form, Trent then turned in a vintage performance against Arsenal and then Klopp was quite outspoken about it, and Milner was tweeting. Then Trent goes and has a bit of a shocker against Real Madrid. Then he comes up with a cracking winning goal against Villa and after the match is tweeting "Are You Not Entertained? ", which if you are familiar with where the quote comes from was, I think, a message in Southgate's direction. I would rather see him and his team mates just let his performances on the field, and nothing else, do the talking.

On the subject itself, I guess I kind of see where Southgate is coming from. If you ask the question who has been the best right-back in Europe for the last two or three years, I think it's difficult to reach a conclusion other than Trent. However, you can't get away from the fact that a lot of that is down to the fact he was in a team that were sensational, dominated possession, attacked constantly and were set up in such a way that the full backs were at least as much about attacking as defending and were key parts of the attacking game plan. If you put Trent into the Burnley team, he wouldn't appear to be half as good. Sure, the quality on the ball and his passing would still shine through, but he'd be spending 70% of the time defending in his own third, rather than attacking in the opposition third so the strongest parts of his game would be nullified. It's completely different.

So if Southgate is a more cautious, defence minded manager - which we know he is - then I guess it's not so much of a surprise, and let's not forget that despite being sensational for Liverpool for three years, Trent hasn't actually come close at any point to making the England right back position his own, which is also telling about how Southgate views it. That said, it's not as if Walker or Trippier are outstanding full backs either, in my opinion.

Where I would criticise Southgate is in his lack of flexibility and open-mindedness. It looks like he will play two holding midfielders and more defence minded full backs regardless of who the opposition is. Fair enough if you're playing France, Brazil or Belgium and you want to be solid first and foremost. But up against the minnows, why would you not go with one holding midfield and then two attacking midfielders and both full backs bombing on and playing more like wingers. That's where Trent comes into his own.

RR

1.) 12 Apr 2021 13:25:49
I hope Trent doesn’t go and gets back to his best next season.


2.) 12 Apr 2021 14:48:09
I suppose some of it could also boil down to how much Kane the captain has Southgate’s ear. Kane is a world class goal scorer and you can bet he would prefer Trent in the euros side playing crosses into him over a RB that is considered better defensively.


3.) 12 Apr 2021 19:01:41
If it spurs Trent on to play even better for us to get in the England squad then I'm all for it.
Players need competition.


4.) 12 Apr 2021 19:54:30
RR, it is interesting you bring this topic up cos I just watched an LFC related podcast about this very issue and they touched on it. One of the guys said that Southgate lacks the actual coaching acumen to get Trent in the team even if he wanted to and I agree. Southgate is not flexible cos you need to b innovative and intelligent enuff to be flexible.

Really, Southgate wants to play Stones and Maguire who are dreadful CB’s who cannot defend one on one so they need a Walker or Trippier in there at RB to babysit them to stop them from getting exposed. So why would he play Trent if he is going to play a defensive system to begin with? That is what I think Southgate was trying to say BUT cos he wants to b mates with the media, he put it out there as a pop at Trent cos IMO, he knew the media would run with it so that way if he does not take him, the narrative is already there.

IMO, England under Southgate, don’t deserve a player like Trent who is an absolute baller and the fact that a top coach like Klopp saw his quality and literally created a position and system for him in the team and Southgate simply cannot accommodate him in his team, tells you all you need to know about his ability as a coach. As for the tweet? Not arsed. It’s football banter.


 

 

07 Apr 2021 09:16:15
This will sound a bit knee-jerk so I'll explain it. Last night was, I think, one of the worst performances I can remember from us in the last three years. Ok, we came back a bit in the second half but a football match is 90 minutes long.

Let me explain. I'm not talking about the innumerable mis-placed passes, many of which went to the opposition, some of which didn't even stay on the pitch. I'm not talking about the individual errors, including the really obvious ones (Trent), and the less glaring ones (Alisson for the final goal) . I'm not talking about Mane constantly running into situations with the ball and getting dispossessed.

What really got me agitated last night was the way we just stood around looking at the play. I couldn't believe it. It was so bad. It's unforgiveable at that level of football, at any level of professional football. It is so unlike Liverpool that I actually questioned at one point whether Klopp had ordered the team to do it (which obviously he wouldn't have done) . Time after time after time, a Liverpool player had the ball and not one single player moved off the ball, showed for a pass or put in the effort to run into a space. As a result, we ended up knocking more aimless long balls and channel balls or balls into touch. I can't recall seeing such a poor example of effort to find space when in possession from a Liverpool team, or any top flight team. You could pick out anybody, with the possible exception of Fabinho and Salah, who is always looking to receive the ball. Worst offender was probably Wijnaldum. I'm not suggesting anybody would want to spend their time watching any of the match again but in the first half if you watched Wijnaldum, he kept getting the ball, giving it square or back and then, quite literally, just standing there watching. It was like watching village football where players just don't move off the ball and show for passes because they're not fit enough and by the time they've chased down to win back possession and then given a pass, they need to stand for ten seconds to get their breath back.

That really got to me last night. Mistakes happen, loss of form happens but are our players really so burnt out now that they haven't got the energy to do the basics of running off the ball to find space?

RR

1.) 07 Apr 2021 09:22:06
RR, brilliant post. I fully agree with everything you have said. Did we show them too much respect? I have no idea whatsoever. We are lucky we are just within a chance in the tie itself cos another day, that tie is over in the first half alone. Klopp wet the bed as well in his team selection as I have no idea what Naby was doing there. Thiago would have started cos he was in good form BUT I do not know what Klopp and the team saw that warranted Naby's start esp. since we know he is woeful off the ball and out of possession. I don't know, man. Baffling, indeed.


2.) 07 Apr 2021 09:33:42
RR you will probably find mate that we were just as bad against, Brighton, Southampton, Burnley, Newcastle, West Brom and Fulham. Its just they are very poor going forward so they never punished us. We played the same agaisnt Villa, Everton, Leicester and City and they all punished us. We can say it was last nights performance but if we are honest last night was not a one off for this season or since we came out of the first lockdown.


3.) 07 Apr 2021 09:40:21
It's a real low point for the team. Not because we lost. A 3-1 loss away in the Champions League isn't even that bad of a result. We've seen many teams come back from far worse deficits. The reason why it is so low is because 3-1 flattered us. If we'd lost 6-0 it would've been a fairer reflection of how the game panned out.

Alisson, Phillips and Kabak were positionally at sea multiple times. Trent and Robbo looked caught in two minds whether to sit back to defend or try and take Vinicius and Asensio back with them. They both ended up doing neither effectively. Fabinho was basically playing in a 1 man midfield until Thiago came on. Keita and Wijnaldum were so bad I wouldn't be able to look them in the eye if i were Klopp. Mane looked like Bambi on ice. Jota looked like Bambi on ketamine. Salah looked like someone trying too hard to do everything alone because nobody else showed up.

Salah, Thiago and Fabinho are the only players who can come away with any shred of dignity to be honest.


4.) 07 Apr 2021 09:58:23
I maybe need to watch the game again because my impression was that Gini wasn’t that bad. He showed good energy. Poor overall granted, but not the prime culprit everyone has pointed out?
Fabinho got completely marked out of the match as an offensive out ball from the defence, and swamped or bypassed as the defensive shield.
As said, Keita just can’t play the up and down intense role of a 3, he wants to be an AM. Thiago was an improvement on him but him and Fabinho together are not mobile and Madrid were still able to move around them.
Madrid did not really press the two Liverpool CBs, they let them have the ball, knowing their distribution skill is limited.
The two CBs, Phillips especially, were shown up for what they are, the 4th and 5th choices effectively.
I could go on, but there’s little point. We were outclassed. But there’s another game and another chance, surely can’t be that bad again.


5.) 07 Apr 2021 10:02:55
I can't live with the 3rd goal we conceded of throw in. That cannot happen, just cannot. Just shows where we are at. Its the most basic thing don't let the player turn on a throw in and yet whole defense was 2 yards off benzema. Its basic considering we have a coach for throw ins, such a showing by players is not acceptable. It shows lack of Application and basic understanding of game. At 2-1 we were doing allright could have another and a night to forget could have been better. But not to be.
Klopp can't change much with this bunch. It will be better next season when key players are back.
We won't be turing this around at anfield considering our form there so its going to be a very rough season. 60 points 6th or 7th and no CL next season.
Then euros and players won't again get a preseason and C.V. is still there but hopefully players recover and have a better next season.
Also keita out.


6.) 07 Apr 2021 10:04:40
MK pretty much just echoed my post that wasn’t posted for some reason.

Phillips and Kabak were poor positionally and really highlighted the need for another top class CB. I would keep Phillips as 4th choice as at least he puts his body on the line and is good in the air. Kabak I would get well rid, just not good enough defensively to be relied on to win anything.

Robbo and Trent were shocking. Robbo especially just running around like a headless chicken getting caught way out of position exposing the CBs even more than needed. I will be happy if Trent doesn’t go to the Euros, people forget he is still young. Think he could do with a break this summer.

Mane had a stinker. He’s been bad all year but we really needed him to step up yesterday and he should have given the lad at RB for real nightmares given he’s a winger naturally. Mane really looks like he’s lost a yard this season and his end product is shocking. Start of this season I would have said to sell Salah and keep Mane but now I would defs get rid of Mane. At least Salah gives 100% - Mane was walking around so often last night and was more focused on trying to sulk and feeling hard done by than playing football.


7.) 07 Apr 2021 10:07:08
Salah, Thiago Fabs shred of dignity no chance. No one deserves any credit at all. Am sure on the third goal Modric walked passed at least one of these players. Salah gave the ball way nearly everyone he got it. Madrid cut us open at will we never got close to their midfield how can 2 or our midfield get any credit?


8.) 07 Apr 2021 10:09:50
It was a truly terrible performance. The points that baffled me are. Why we are starting so slowly! When we start slow we seem to be stuck at that pace.
What has happened to Mane. He has gone from world class to diving at ever chance. Yes we know he’s had long C.V. but he doesn’t what to beat anyone with pace he just runs at them and falls over.

The worse one would be keita why oh why did he start infront of Thiago, Jones, ox. The bloke is not cut out for our team end of and this is one of klopps big mistakes at Liverpool. Just when we need the champions league the most he fields keita and the tie is probably over.


9.) 07 Apr 2021 10:30:34
The lack of legs, effort and quality was hard to take.
I'm not surprised though because I've not been swayed by beating Wolves and Arsenal.
I can't see us finishing top four or winning the CL so we need the season to end to freshen up what we've got and improve on some of what we've got.


10.) 07 Apr 2021 10:39:23
It was all just too slow and tepid. Salah was the only player in red, playing with any urgency. Everyone else was taking 3 or 4 touches. Nearly everyone was going sideways and backwards, which invited Real Madrid onto us, and then the quality to play out of their press was just lacking. Every player without exception was guilty of sloppy passes in the build up phase.

What hurt most was seeing how hardly anybody seemed prepared to run at a makeshift Madrid defence and commit players. You don't break down a deep defence by going side to side in slow motion, waiting for a positional error. You need to fizz passes into the feet of people around the edge of the box. Test Salah, Jota and Mane to keep it in tight spaces. Force them to try something. Or if not, carry the ball yourself and try and draw people out of position to close you down. If you are going to move it sideways, do it with 1 or 2 touches and zip it across in one 20 yard pass so the defence has no time to shift, not with four 5 yard passes. There was no ingenuity shown last night.

Almost as bad though, was the lack of runs in behind. Gini needs to be breaking forward more. Jota needed to put them on the back foot. Mane needed to make some of those excellent diagonal runs across the defence. Fabinho and Thiago have the quality to pick people out but not if they're stood next to a player 4 inches taller than them with their arm in the air.

There is a real lack of confidence in this team right now. A few sloppy moments in the first 5 minutes seemed to create a nervousness through our whole team, and they crumbled. The mentality monsters of last season seem like a very distant memory right now.

All of that aside though, how do we excuse the lack of effort? Salah was the only player pressing last night. I felt sorry for him. You even heard him shout "go on Sadio" several times, but Mane looked like he was only pressing half heartedly at times. Jota was so lackadaisical you couldn't accuse him of playing with half a heart. Keita and Wijnaldum though, i mean what can you say anymore about those two this season? I genuinely don't think either deserves to play for the club again. Last night was the straw that broke the camels back for me. Both their attitudes stink.

I don't know where Klopp starts with dissecting that for the second leg. The only real good news is, that Salah burying our only scrappy chance of the night means we're somehow still in the tie.


11.) 07 Apr 2021 10:46:21
That worries me the most the confidence is shot. As you say a bad opening 5 minutes and we crumbled, mentality mouses.


12.) 07 Apr 2021 10:58:23
MK, I agree with most of what you say BUT I do not think it was due to a lack of confidence thing for some. For others like Sadio? Yes, definitely. Gini and Keita were simply poor, end of. I don't know if the occasion was too big for Jota cos that hunger he shows to run at people was simply not there. Now in the press, it was a shambles all across the board.

The worst thing was that even the simple passes were being made either to the opposition or were under/ over hit which to me is a complete lack of focus and attention to detail, not a lack of confidence, IMO. We were never in control of that game at any point cos we could not keep the ball even when we had it. I don't know where we go from here regarding the 2nd leg. Maybe with time, things will be come clearer.


13.) 07 Apr 2021 15:33:55
I was stunned with their 3rd goal, our players just stood there watching as the ball was passed around them.
It was at that moment that I realised we are getting nothing from this season and before this I was convinced that we would at least get 4th.
The lack of effort, desire and ambition scared me. At this time I don't think that Jurgen can turn these players around, this season or next. The spirit is gone.


14.) 07 Apr 2021 15:33:55
I was stunned with their 3rd goal, our players just stood there watching as the ball was passed around them.
It was at that moment that I realised we are getting nothing from this season and before this I was convinced that we would at least get 4th.
The lack of effort, desire and ambition scared me. At this time I don't think that Jurgen can turn these players around, this season or next. The spirit is gone.


15.) 07 Apr 2021 16:06:32
If anyone thinks a summer break is going to suddenly make things better, think again. Euros, the Olympics, Man City, Man United and Chelsea going on another spending frenzy and AFCON, next season is going to be just as hard.


16.) 08 Apr 2021 00:15:08
People knocking kabak, yet they forget he is still very young, only 21 years old, and still has a lot to learn. Also why are people talking as if they didn’t know that our defence is out weak point and that Real Madrid wouldn’t target two young and inexperienced centre backs with their world class forwards? It was always going to be a mismatch. If you are going to start talking about getting rid of players then you might as well get rid of most of the squad because they have been plop since returning to play after the first lockdown. Remember, Trent has had a shocker all season and he has not defensive awareness against Real Madrid but I don’t see anyone saying he should be got rid of. I’ve been critical of certain players this season but you cannot single out certain players to be gotten rid of, when most of the team sucks at the moment!


 

 

22 Mar 2021 09:07:01
I've got this great Mercedes for sale if anyone is interested. I'm a bit weird with my cars - I always give them a name. This one is called Joel.

It's in brilliant condition, not a mark on the bodywork, really classy looking car. Only one thing to keep in mind. The engine is shot to pieces. Barely starts - maybe one time in every ten attempts if you're lucky. And when you do get it started, don't expect it to complete the journey. It simply won't get you to your destination.

It's a really great car though. I'm really attached to it and we've been through some great times together. Some real happy memories.

I'm sure someone would love to buy it. Obviously I'm expecting top price for it, even though it doesn't start and is completely unreliable. I need to get the full £40k for it so I can go out and buy a brand new replacement that works properly.

But it's great car - I'm sure there will be loads of people willing to part with their money to buy it despite the fact that I'm getting rid of it because it doesn't work.

RR

{Ed077's Note - is it a collector's item? :-)}


1.) 22 Mar 2021 16:32:55
Ma tip would be to steer clear of this.


2.) 23 Mar 2021 13:46:56
Lower the price, invite some tyre kickers, throw in a German goalkeeper for free I’m sure there’ll be a few takers. A poor injury record never stopped clubs from spending money on Demba Ba.


 

 

 

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25 Mar 2021 15:38:51
And despite all of that, 6Times, he still has 19 goals so far this season, will probably finish with mid 20s goals and is on track to win the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid this season.

You are using the example or benchmark of scoring 20 goals a season to lead to your conclusion that he is only fit for the knackers yard, when he needs one more goal this season to literally be a 20 goals a season striker this season (having also done the same in eight of the previous nine seasons) . Clearly, at this stage of his career, he's not one for the future but it's ridiculous to say a player with his current and recent record this season is washed up and only fit for the knackers yard.

But, just to say it again, I personally wouldn't want him back at Liverpool, we took some reputational and credibility damage last time he was here, and I expect that there is no substance to this rumour anyway, but I don't see how he can be described as past it, over the hill, washed up or similar when he's already scored 19 league goals this season, is second top scorer in La Liga and top scorer for the team who are top of the league.

RR

 

 

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25 Mar 2021 13:31:08
Completely get why people wouldn’t want Suarez back at the club. Plenty of reasons; take your pick.

But don’t confuse that with the quality of the footballer. Anybody describing him as washed up and past it probably needs to take a closer look at La Liga. Suarez, despite being 34, despite having had some injury problems, despite being slower than he was, has 19 league goals this season with ten matches still to play. He is second only behind Messi this season, and has spearheaded Atletico Madrid to the top of the table. I read an article about him which, whilst acknowledging that he didn’t have the pace or mobility of a few years ago, talked about how he still dictates matches, still puts the fear of god into opponents and, most tangibly, still scores goals. It described one particular goal where, because there was no crowd noise, Suarez could be heard almost verbally commanding and orchestrating a goal through each phase of the move.

The fact that he is still doing all that despite his age and despite some injury problems tells you exactly how good a player we’re talking about. I can’t recall seeing many other players like him. He was a force of nature for us. Very talented yes, right up there, but it was the combination of that ability with his ferocious desire, effort, commitment and work rate that made him what he was. Check out a YouTube highlights package from when we beat Tottenham 5-0 in December 2013. Suarez was sensational but what I always remember was how he celebrated when Jon Flanagan scored that belter. Suarez rolled around on the floor celebrating with Flanagan, face beaming in ecstasy. No ego, no wanting to score all the goals himself, just desperate to play and win. An absolutely brilliant player at his peak. One of the very best we’ve ever had. And now, even at 34 and some way off his peak, still better than most.

A player of that profile could be a decent option. I don’t think there is any suggestion that it would be as a replacement for Salah, Mane or anybody else, but as a back up option who could regularly come off the bench or step in to play when other strikers were injured, it would be a great option for a year or two. Look at what Ibrahimovich did at Utd at a similar stage of his career. Downside would be potentially getting in the way of someone like Elliott coming through.

Anyway, I personally wouldn’t want to see Suarez back at Liverpool. Despite all the great things he did on the pitch, he let us down too badly and I don’t want anybody anywhere near our club who uses any form of racist language. But I do think it’s strange to call him washed up, past it or similar given what he’s been doing this season.

RR

 

 

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19 Mar 2021 09:07:38
Genuine question: what club in their right mind is going to pay a transfer fee, or any significant level of salary, for Matip right now? We would be looking for someone willing to buy him before he's played a match in his return after his latest long-term injury, and willing to ignore that he has barely been able to put two consecutive matches together for the last two years, and has had multiple long term injuries and shorter term niggles.

Nothing against Matip, I really like him as a player and think he's a very good centre-half when he's free of injury but I don't understand why anybody would factor him into the consideration when talking about player sales and raising funds for new signings. Sadly I think it's one of those cases where he stays with us for the remainder of his contract and we take the view that if we ever get a long period where he's free of injuries, it's a bonus. And if he does ever get over the injury problems, we probably wouldn't want to sell him anyway because he'd be one of our best defenders.

RR

 

 

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23 Nov 2020 12:31:08
I agree with The Juicer. I think Wijnaldum is a player who could continue at almost the same level well into his mid-thirties. He doesn't have any history of serious injuries, as far as I'm aware, clearly takes good care of himself physically and is a very versatile and adaptable player who can fulfil various roles in midfield.

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31 May 2018 09:25:15
Assuming we have the money to spend, I think we need to forget about the fact it's a goalkeeper and that it would be way over the current record fee for a goalkeeper. It's simple - if our big problem was scoring goals and a top striker became available for £70m and we signed him and he scored the goals that made a difference, won matches that would otherwise have been drawn or lost and, therefore, gave us more points and better chances of winning trophies, we'd all be happy with that. So I don't see it as being any different with a keeper.

If we sign a keeper who makes saves that most other keepers don't make as well as making fewer errors that lead to goals, then we'll have more points, win more matches and have a better chance of winning trophies. Look at de Gea. The points he saves and earns for United probably outweigh the points won by Lukaku at the other end of the pitch. If we had de Gea at our club this last season, we'd probably have finished two places higher in the league and might have won the European Cup. So if there is a keeper available who can make that level of difference, and we've got the money, I'd be happy for us to pay whatever it takes.

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21 Apr 2021 15:40:59
I'm not sure that there is a legitimate route to any tangible punishment or penalties - i. e. points deductions or financial. Did the proposal to join a breakaway European Super League breach any rules, regulations or laws? If not, then I don't see how it can be punishable. Indeed, if the Super League had gone ahead and then the FA, UEFA and other federations had tried to expel clubs and players from competitions, they might have found that they didn't have legal grounds for doing so.

What might be more likely is an intensifying of the "them and us" sentiment between these six clubs and the rest of the Premier League clubs. I'm not sure whether that would manifest itself in anything that would feel like punishment or discomfort for the "Big Six" but, for example, a future vote on five substitutions or something similar might see the other fourteen clubs make a stronger stand against the "Big Six". Ultimately though, I think the Premier League and it's constituent clubs find themselves in a position whereby if they do anything that significantly impacts or weakens the likes of Liverpool, Utd and City, then the impact might trickle down to all of them.

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19 Apr 2021 12:40:43
That’s fair, Bledd85. If football was only based on history and “pedigree”, then Sunderland has won more English league titles than Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham. You're right - it's all about the money and the money that can be made from it.

Why are we so special, you ask? Well I think we actually tick the box whether you look at the money angle (still one of the most globally supported clubs) or the history/ pedigree angle. Only Real and Milan have won the European Cup more times than Liverpool. We won it as recently as two years ago, and were in another final the year before that. Sure, as you say, we had a few years where we didn't qualify but then you only have to go back to 2005 for the last time we won it before that. We have won the European Cup in the 70s, 80s, 00s and 10s.

Perhaps if this discussion had been taking place in 2010, then you could have made the case that Liverpool weren't currently one of Europe's elite clubs, but whichever way you address it, Liverpool is a "special" club if the context of the discussion is European football.

Totally take your point regarding Ajax and some of the others.

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13 Apr 2021 11:26:18
Some really good points being made here.

JK23 - I see your point about VAR only being applied at the top level of the sport but that is normal with any application of video refereeing or similar in sport. In cricket, for example, not even the top level of domestic professional cricket (the County Championship) has the Decision Review System, but international cricket does. Same in rugby, tennis. I don't see that alone as a reason not to have it.

The point about "clear and obvious" is an interesting one. I guess you can apply that to some decisions like fouls or red-card reviews but ultimately there is always going to be an element of subjectivity about whether something is clear and obvious. At what point does something go from marginal to clear and obvious. You could put some guiding principles in place, but it will still be subjective and I think video checks or referrals in sport only work really well when the subjectivity can be removed or minimised - i. e. on clear line decisions (nobody every argues about a video check for whether the ball crossed the line or not, because it's an exact and completely scientific verdict, where nothing is left to personal opinion or interpretation) .

Captain or manager referrals work very well in cricket. I don't know how well it work in football. A captain's referral would be there to ask for a video review of something that the on-field referee had missed or got wrong. I don't think that this is the problem that needs fixing because most things, arguably too many things, do get reviewed. It's the decision that then comes out of the review which is where the system seems to be struggling.

With offsides, which is where most of the contention is coming from, they have tried to make it an exact science by use of the lines that are drawn across the graphic. That does take away the human interpretation, so I think with the offside decisions it's actually the system and rules that it's based on, rather than the human being looking at the VAR screen, that is causing the problem. On that basis, it should be easier to fix, but they need to come up with a set of rules or criteria for what constitutes offside. At the moment, I don't think they've got it right, which is why incidents like Jota on Saturday and Mane against Everton earlier this season (and countless others for other teams throughout the season) are ruled offside. Personally I think the position of the feet would be a good place to start. i. e if any part of the defenders foot is behind the furthest forward part of the attackers foot, then it's onside. By making it about other body parts or going by the leading arm or shoulder if a player is leaning forward, they're actually potentially penalising a player just for being tall. e. g. if Peter Crouch and Michael Owen stood with their feet in exactly the same position looking to make an attacking run and were both leaning forward at the same angle, Crouch could be ruled offside whilst Owen would be ruled onside despite being stood in exactly the same position. I think foot position is where it could end up.

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19 Mar 2021 09:12:42
I'm not saying that this would be my first choice selection if everybody was fully fit but I'd be very interested to see what level Phillips would get to if he had a run of matches playing alongside a fully fit and in form van Dijk, with the Fabinho/ Henderson midfield in front of him.

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07 Mar 2021 20:00:07
Good info, Slaphead. Like you, I do like to look at stats and history. If nothing else, your summary should remind us of the many barren years we endured and perhaps refocus our appreciation for what we’ve experienced in the last couple of years.

That said, I think the comparison falters a little when you consider that we started the season as Champions, led from the front early on and were top at Christmas (very easy to forget that) . We had most of the best players in their positions in the league and, by many people’s estimations, the best manager in the world. In all of those previous years, we were either in complete decline or trying to re-establish ourselves so there were limited expectations. I think that’s why we’re all so frustrated and bemused this season.

RR