The folk bizarrely pushing the idea that coaching isn’t an effective tool for progress had to cancel all future opinions going live in public.
Liverpool crushed the MIGHTY Barcelona in a 4-0 drubbing for the ages.
Yes, Shaqiri, Wijnaldum, Origi, and Henderson all featured and starred in an absolute masterclass at Anfield, showing that a strong vision, a defined footballing philosophy, and good old fashioned coaching can trump individual talent… even when that talent is Lionel Messi.
As Tr7 said perfectly the comments, ‘It was heavy metal football that rattled Barca, not the quality of players Liverpool has.’ They still delivered without their best players. An incredible achievement, even if it does make me pig sick… our biggest mistake of the last ten years was passing on Klopp and Pep.
… really doesn’t rub when you see Jordan Henderson as a regular in their side. Origi proving pivotal at the highest level. Low budget signings like Robertson game changing all season. Trent Arnold breaking through from the youth team and playing like a superstar. They lost Salah and still manage to compete. Arsenal lose Ramsey and the whole thing falls apart. Unai picked up a squad in better shape than Klopp, spent more money in his first transfer window than the German did in 2 years and managed to make things worse.
There’s no real way to compare the two managers. As I pointed out yesterday, Klopp finished a lowly 8th in his first season, but he also picked up a dreck squad that was deflated and 10th. He had no preseason to work with, and in his final 13 games, his team scored 31 goals. His coaching had him finish stronger than he started, you could see what he was doing on the pitch, not in hopeful translated text on Marca.
Their stadium was absolutely rocking. You know why? Because the football courses through the veins. It’s electric. The energy on the pitch translates to the stands. If you think that has been standard at Liverpool over the last ten years, you have never met a season ticket holder there.
I am jealous of what they have, Klopp has been a sensation. He was my original managerial crush way back when, I had my doubts about his rebirth at Liverpool, oh how wrong I was. Elite of the elite. Can you believe we let him sit without a job while Wenger paraded deal after new deal?
Just read these words Klopp had after the game.
“It was overwhelming … I actually … I said to the boys before the game that it’s impossible, but because it’s you we have a chance. I have watched in my life so many football games, but to play the best team in the world … look, winning is already difficult, but to win with a clean sheet … It’s 10.10pm and the children are probably in bed so I’m sorry about the language but can I say these boys are fucking talented giants. It’s all about the players.”
Employing an inspiring coach that knows how to develop players is so important. If you don’t have that, why persist? Charisma, passion, energy… that’s what makes a club rock. But again, I can’t hammer home how utterly bat shit it is to excuse this season because our players aren’t coachable. Think about that statement and how weak it is.
Pep Guardiola, the chequebook manager everyone slates, took a journeyman central midfielder called Fabian Delph and turned him into a regular left-back in a team that will go down as one of the all times greats in Premier League history. World class managers make average players great. They make collections of them work as a unit. They organise, inspire and equip them with the tools they need to succeed.
How about we talk about a really shite team, like, say, Southampton? They were in a mess before they played us at Christmas. Ralph Hassenhutl, an interest of Le Grove a few years ago came in and reshaped them. Ryan Bertrand had this to say on what he’s done.
“The manager has came in and has given us an identity,”
“He has given us a clear style of play and leaves no stone unturned.
“It is a real pleasure to go on the field like that and not have people questioning each other.”
“If you asked 100 people what Southampton’s style of play was, you would get similar answers,” he added.
“It would be that we are a high pressing team, very competitive and play good football.
“That may have been adrift before.”
If you asked 100 people about Arsenal’s identity, what would you get?
“Catch Kola on the overlap’
We are still there a year on.
Better players give you better results, no doubt, but whether it’s the highest level or the lowest, the clearer the vision, the better the outcome. Look at Mourinho over the years, his Champions League win with Inter Milan was genius. That squad was a ragtag bunch of pros that he turned into a formidable unit. Look at how Jardim toppled the mighty PSG. Look at what Ajax are doing, win or lose tonight.
Arsenal has conceded 52 goals so far this season. Some flag that Holding and Bellerin would have made things better… reality is, we were on for conceding 50+ goals with them in the side. Poor organisation is always going to leave you exposed regardless of who is playing. The game is far too competitive now to be able to get away with good players simply bailing you out. Everyone is of a high technical standard now, you will be destroyed if you aren’t organised and that’s exactly what’s been going on.
Sam Allardyce has always known this. He goes into clubs on fire, organises them and makes them competitive. He takes shite defences, with shite defenders and he makes them better. That’s good coaching even if the football causes an eye infection.
Anyway, time to move on. I think we all know where I stand on our bland on toast manager.
Tonight, we are ALL Ajax fans. Finally, something we can agree on.
However, I do fear that Spurs power will be a big problem for them and we’ll have to suffer a Champions League final where we want neither side to win.
I’m just going to be thinking about Vermaelen, Bergkamp, Kanu and Overmars all day today… then I’m going to pray to the footballing gods.
Spurs making a final would be too much.
If they lose this evening… that’ll be the 20th game of the season. They’ll have limped into top 4. They won’t have won a trophy, AGAIN.
How funny would that be?
See you in the comments. x