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BigFatCoward

Football, a Sterling effort, but Virgil got Dijk'd.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mark Antony said:

Fabinho and Matip were the two best Liverpool players over the two legs imo. Did a great job on Messi yesterday. 

Yeah, Matip was great.

I thought Fabinho was really fantastic over the two legs, he got caught out a few times by Messi but that's going to happen sometimes. To be asked to push up as high as he was to facilitate the amount of pressing Liverpool were doing and dictate the tempo in possession and then try and get back to cover Lionel Messi in quite a bit of space was fantastic. It took him a while to get into the side and since then he's been good but this was the world class holding midfielder we were told we were getting.

It'll be interesting to see how Barca respond to this. They're in a bit of a weird position in that their own excellence has kind of normalised winning the league so not winning the Champions League makes the season a failure. This result was a bit of a disaster but they're still probably, at worst, the 3rd best side in the world. Before this I thought they would just tinker around the edges a bit with their squad over the summer but now do they try to make dramatic changes? Is it even feasible for them to do that?

Edited by ljkeane

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I love that youse lot have just beaten Barcelona 4-0 to mount one of the greatest comebacks in the history of football and make the CL final and less than 24 hours later you've already contrived a way to piss and moan and and shit on Klopp's team selections and roast the players. Can't you at least wait till the weekend and you've found out if you've lost the league or not?

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37 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

 

It'll be interesting to see how Barca respond to this. They're in a bit of a weird position in that their own excellence has kind of normalised winning the league so not winning the Champions League makes the season a failure. This result was a bit of a disaster but they're still probably, at worst, the 3rd best side in the world. Before this I thought they would just tinker around the edges a bit with their squad over the summer but now do they try to make dramatic changes? Is it even feasible for them to do that?

Well they'll be looking for a new manager, so if I was a Liverpool fan i'd be concerned. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

Well they'll be looking for a new manager, so if I was a Liverpool fan i'd be concerned. 

I'm not too worried with Klopp. He basically could have gone to any team he wanted, other than City who had already decided on Guardiola, after he left Dortmund. I think he likes the idea of committing to a long term project. On top of that Barcelona aren't really set up well to play in the Klopp way because of the limitations of fitting their game around Messi having to conserve his energy for the key moments, that's why they've moved away from their own high pressing game. 

ETA: I could see them deciding Mane's the solution to their problems and deciding to try and prize him away though. Which would be annoying. The amount of money Liverpool managed to gouge out of them for Coutinho might dissuade them though.

Edited by ljkeane

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21 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

ETA: I could see them deciding Mane's the solution to their problems and deciding to try and prize him away though. Which would be annoying. The amount of money Liverpool managed to gouge out of them for Coutinho might dissuade them though.

I read that Liverpool have agreed an £89m premium with Barcelona for any future players Barcelona try to sign from Liverpool. Apparently it was agreed during the Coutinho deal. Mane would be worth at least £100m in today's market, so Barca would have to add another £89m onto it to get Liverpool to sell him. Apparently Zidane is a big fan of Mane's, though.

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Liverpool should bite Barca's (or Madrid's) hand off for any bid in the region of £100mil for Mane I reckon. It's a bit of a gamble but thing is that sort of forward/wide forward are probably Klopp's signature player in terms of finding and developing them, and it's arguably the type of player there's the most potential talent in the pool right now (although granted a lot of the names have been snapped up by the big clubs alread)- he's definitely replaceable for a lot less than that, and even if it takes the new guy a little while to get up to quite the standard of Mane at his best, Liverpool aren't that dependent on him.

Like, watch Klopp replace Mane with Depay and turn him into an even better player.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Jordan La Cabra said:

I read that Liverpool have agreed an £89m premium with Barcelona for any future players Barcelona try to sign from Liverpool. Apparently it was agreed during the Coutinho deal. Mane would be worth at least £100m in today's market, so Barca would have to add another £89m onto it to get Liverpool to sell him. Apparently Zidane is a big fan of Mane's, though.

Yeah, I don't know how enforceable that actually is though.

I've heard Zidane's a fan of Mane too but Real need quite a lot of different things and I'm not sure Mane offers enough to them for the amount of money he'd cost. Hazard's probably more obtainable and while he's a bit less of a goal threat there's a lot more creativity from him. Considering they probably need to get some expensive midfielders, defenders and maybe a striker too I'm not sure they'll go for both of them. Who knows though?:dunno:

Barcelona had a bit of a disaster last night but they've still had a good season overall. I could see them looking at it and thinking if they replace Busquets with a more dynamic midfielder (ETA: which they've already done with De Jong) and get a forward who's a bit more of threat in behind the defence when they're pushing up like Liverpool did in both games, presumably on the left wing, they'll be fine.  

 

Edited by ljkeane

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£100m for Mane sounds a little on the cheap side, given that people are talking about way more than that for Sancho on the back of one good season.

Anyway, haven't Barcelona already committed to spending most of their money on Ajax's best boys? I'd say replacing Suarez in the middle is probably more urgent than replacing Dembele/Coutinho on their left.

(And I expect Coutinho to rediscover his previous form sooner rather than later if they stick with him.)

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4 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

£100m for Mane sounds a little on the cheap side, given that people are talking about way more than that for Sancho on the back of one good season. 


Sancho is a 19 year old Englishman, there's a massive long-term-plan and marketing component in that pricetag.
Especially when you consider that as good as Mane is this is also his best season by a way in terms of consistency, at least for the goalscoring.

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Posted (edited)

Barca have already made moves for long term replacements. De Jong for Busquets and it looks like they will land De Ligt as well who will be Pique's replacement. The two positions in most urgent need is CF and LB. They've got no good alternatives for Suarez and Alba. Suarez especially has been played into the ground this season. 

Valverde has done well domestically but Barca have suffered several big defeats away from home in Europe under him and his brand of football isn't really 'the Barca way'. I think Barca need to get back to the football they were known for - high pressing possession based game. The only manager I can think of playing the Cruyff style football and who would be gettable as well is Ten Hag. 

Edited by Consigliere

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7 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Kudos. Impresive result, impresive game. Best of luck against Spurs (yes, my pick for tonight).

I'd love for Ajax to go through but I also have a sneaking suspicion that Spurs will get the job done. I doubt Pochettino will fuck up again by going with a back three. It's bad to say but Vertonghen's injury in the 1st leg did him a favour as Spurs were much better able to play out from the back after switching to a back 4 - Pochettino's in game management isn't the best so I doubt he would have made that change if Vertonghen hadn't got injured.

Son's return should be massive as well. With Llorente the only thing he was good for was getting his head to the ball - he can't run in behind, couldn't hold up the ball and couldn't link up play - so Spurs were limited to just hoofing the ball into the box.

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3 hours ago, polishgenius said:

 you've already contrived a way to piss and moan and and shit on Klopp's team selections and roast the players. 

Yikes where is this even happening. All I did was stand by thinking Klopp made some iffy choices in the first leg. You sound bitter for some reason. 

1 hour ago, Consigliere said:

The only manager I can think of playing the Cruyff style football and who would be gettable as well is Ten Hag. 

Yeah I imagine Barca will be in for him but I see Bayern linked with him all the time as well. Hope Ajax hold on to him for another year. 

2 hours ago, Soylent Brown said:

£100m for Mane sounds a little on the cheap side

Can’t see Madrid spending what we would want for Mane if they are gonna drop 100+ on Hazard who plays the same position. 

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Real are still heavily linked to Frankfurt's Jovic with ~60m € as the rumored fee.

They are also rumoredly desperately trying to offload Bale somewhere. And as it now looks very unlikely that Bayern will pull the trigger on the transfer clause, James is also returning to Madrid, whom Zidane does not hold in particularly high regard.

Anyway, they need (at least imho) a cf way more than a winger.

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A bit late to the party, but still. Man, was that an entertaining match last night or what? Definitely one of the classics.

The impression I got from Barca is that they are not used to being on the back foot, especially after such a significant lead from the first leg. They didn't seem to think for a moment that Liverpool will take the fight to them, that they might need to defend and counter attack or anything like that. And by the time Gini scored his goals in quick succession they were in pure shock. If you have the time, go back to the footage of Barca's players after Liverpool's third goal. All kept their heads down, their body language was just sad. Not a single one of them tried to encourage the others or try to snap them out of it. Messi seemed as confused and lethargic as the rest of them at that point. Sure, they tried to score a late goal and sure I was dreading they'd succeed at it, but they didn't really pose that much of a threat, did they?

 

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12 minutes ago, baxus said:

A bit late to the party, but still. Man, was that an entertaining match last night or what? Definitely one of the classics.

The impression I got from Barca is that they are not used to being on the back foot, especially after such a significant lead from the first leg. They didn't seem to think for a moment that Liverpool will take the fight to them, that they might need to defend and counter attack or anything like that. And by the time Gini scored his goals in quick succession they were in pure shock. If you have the time, go back to the footage of Barca's players after Liverpool's third goal. All kept their heads down, their body language was just sad. Not a single one of them tried to encourage the others or try to snap them out of it. Messi seemed as confused and lethargic as the rest of them at that point. Sure, they tried to score a late goal and sure I was dreading they'd succeed at it, but they didn't really pose that much of a threat, did they?

 

Jordi Alba especially looked quite shocked by the pressing. I know Barca are far from the Tiki Taka side they used to be so you'd think they'd be less bothered about not being able to pass the ball around slowly. It seemed a good opportunity to go direct, but it never seemed to come off, mainly because the pool back 2 were so dominant.

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2 hours ago, Mark Antony said:

Yikes where is this even happening. All I did was stand by thinking Klopp made some iffy choices in the first leg. You sound bitter for some reason. 



Tbh I didn't even notice your post. I was referring to Soylent, Corvinus, and Erzulie's little convo (admittedly Erzulie's the only one of you lot who seems able to take positives from arguably the greatest season you've had in your lifetimes).

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11 minutes ago, polishgenius said:



Tbh I didn't even notice your post. I was referring to Soylent, Corvinus, and Erzulie's little convo (admittedly Erzulie's the only one of you lot who seems able to take positives from arguably the greatest season you've had in your lifetimes).

Hey, what did I do now? I only criticized Shaqiri. And I seldom comment here, anyway.

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I've been critical of Matip, whose passes and clearances are too often wayward for my liking, but he has stepped it up massively in the past few months and was outstanding last night. He's really good at stepping out and intercepting balls before they get to the opposing forward, and last night he got a couple of crucial tackles in as well, if I remember correctly. He's well ahead of Lovren in the pecking order now, I think.

Apart from Shaqiri in the first half, that was an unbelievable team effort.

The belief Klopp has instilled in this squad, to do that without Salah and Firmino, without Keita and Ox, with Robertson going off injured at half time, against a Barca team which not only has the greatest player of our generation (if not all time), but also featured two of our best players in the last 6-7 years, one of whom was substituted before the hour mark, and the other was held true to his word of not celebrating at Anfield.

And Divock Origi - the man looks clumsy at times, and he's certainly not a complete forward, but he's got an eye and a nose for goal, and there's only so many goals that can be written off as luck. 

I was also incredibly impressed with how few chances we restricted Barca to after the 4-0. Some vital tackles and interceptions in the last 10 + 5.

The final is not a foregone conclusion, though. We're a very different beast away from Anfield, and both Spurs and Ajax would represent a dangerous challenge in their own way. 

 

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Presuming to speak for the both of us, I don't think the problem Polish and I have is with criticising players, tactics or team selections. It's the fact that during one of the greatest seasons in the club's history, every time I check out this football thread, it's just almost all negative stuff. You'd think Klopp was Roy Hodgson leading us to 14th place in the league and we were getting knocked out by Ludogorets in CL qualifiers.

It used to be Firmino who was useless, and then it was Gini, then Origi. Every time Mané or Salah had a game where they didn't get a goal, they were fucking awful and should be benched, and Klopp was blind for not seeing how shit they were etc.

The point isn't that Gini or Origi are the best players in the world. But when there's *so many* positives to talk about, from the meanest defence in the league to finding a way to unlock parked buses week after week to reaching the second CL final in a row, about how Salah turned out to be more than a one-season wonder, about Mané picking up the slack when Salah went through a dry spell, how Robertson and Trent are amongst the highest assisters in the PL, about how Fabinho only took a few games to become the best DM in the league, how Klopp has proven more adaptable than his critics claimed, going from heavy metal to grindcore (great analogy, I know), about how we have more goals from both set pieces and subs than anyone else in the league, how we're back to being perennial European contenders again, but all I read about is how slow, useless and shit Milner is this season.

Everyone's entitled to their opinions, and is free to air them publicly, but then they've got to be able to handle people disagreeing with their outlook as well. 

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