‘Klopp has been proved right getting rid of Ibe at Liverpool’

Date published: Tuesday 10th January 2017 7:30

Liverpool fans feel Jurgen Klopp was right to get sell Jordon Ibe this summer, Arsenal fans consider if Mesut Ozil should be sacrificed to get rid of Arsene Wenger and Man Utd’s impressive recent form might not be quite as good as it seems.

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Plenty riding on Liverpool’s trip to Man Utd

I know Liverpool have the small matter of a semi final first leg tie before then, but I can’t help but concentrate on Sunday’s game. A win, unlikely though it may seem, would finally stop any talk of United actually winning the league. Their current run of form has encouraged them to believe they are still in with a shout, albeit a long shot. So they will really be up for the game knowing that they need a win, if anything more than we do.

Hopefully that will create some gaps that we can exploit, though with Mourinho that does sound unlikely. I just feel the absence of Mane could be crucial for us. I would take a draw now. Living and working in Manchester as I do, I have a lot riding on this game!

Hightown hope

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Getting the win is more important for Man Utd than it is for us – that’s all part of the luxury of them being the team that’s trying to catch up.

History says that I’d be totally mad to not snatch a draw out of the football gods hands but I would refuse it. I’m not supremely confident about this fixture but if I am going to go around saying “we can beat any team in the world on even just a fairly decent day” then we’re goign to have to be able to win this kind of match. If we are going to be champions, we’ll have to get 3 points at times like these.

Beating Utd won’t ease our anxiety, after that it’ll be the Chelsea game and further on it’ll be something else as things develop. I’m ok with all of it.

Missing Mane is going to be absolutely huge and Hightown, I’m right with you in thinking ahead of the cup game (semi final and all). I am not always a league only guy, quite the opposite TBH but this season it’s the my main focus. The League Cup can be a nice platform, a good Wednesday fixture after that FA Cup training match and against Premiership opposition but I’m 80% on Sunday already.

Utd’s form has been amazing of late, I had totally written them off and even though they sit 10 points back I think they might need to be beaten one more time to be ruled out. We have players coming back from injuries, hopefully Coutinho and Matip will be in good shape by the time Sunday comes around. Jose won’t have the option of parking a bus, he’ll have to outplay us in some regard. I guess if we’re to hope for anything it would be a lack of silliness. That worries me more than any of Utds players or their stadium, manager etc.



Huge huge game. Our main weapon this season has been our attacking threat & pace, it’s had a significasnt psychological effect on the opposition and hence as mentioned above, we’ll certainly miss Mané – his turn of pace gave us another dimension.

As seen from the City game, we can sit back a bit more, but we have to ensure we create the chances & take them. Nothing less than an average player rating of 8 will do on Sunday.

Whereas Mourinho’s teams could have a bad day but still pull something out the bag. Heart says win, head says another draw.



Batshuayi can still make it at Chelsea….

Michy Batshuayi: Scored twice at Stamford Bridge

I do think Batshuyai has the talent to succeed at Chelsea, so lending him to Swansea to get PL games under his belt, whilst taking Llorent off them makes sense. Not sure if the latter would be a loan or purchase – preferably a loan, so I guess we would have to make it financially worthwhile to Swansea to get them to play ball. Mind you, they are not a club that will often have the chance to field a top emerging talent like Batshuyai.



….but Llorente is a good option for Conte

Fernando Llorents: Unaware of Chelsea interest

Still think that Llorente is a good option even if he is cup tied

He is used to playing under Conte and so knows the formation already and is a decent enough striker who has played more games in the EPL than Michy and has scored in a struggling team so overall I would say a decent improvement to the squad regardless if on loan or bought

The FAC could pose a problem as we progress but that is something we will have to face and we can do what we did effectively against Bournemouth if we want to rest Costa. KTBFFH


United’s run is great – but all they’ve done is beaten teams they should be beating

United’s matches on the winning run:

Away vs Zorya Luhansk 2-0
Home vs Tottenham 1-0
Away vs Crystal Palace 2-1
Away vs West Brom 2-0
Home vs Sunderland 3-1
Home vs Middlesborough 2-1
Away vs West Ham 2-0
Home vs Reading 4-0

Most of those matches should be expected from any team in and around the Top 6, the only decently impressive result is 2-0 vs West Ham when we played most of the match with a man extra.

There is nothing special about the current run in my opinion – if we can keep the run going till after Stoke away and then, if at all possible, on past Leceister away then it will truly be a top run. Till then though I won’t believe that we will *truly* have turned the corner in the post-Fergie era.

Sympathy for the Devils


Expanded World Cup slammed by TEAMtalk readers

Gianni Infantino: Succeeded the disgraced Sepp Blatter

What a joke!! That is all I can really say to this!

So, we’re now going to have 16 mini-leagues of 3, before going to a last 32 knock-out stage. What a joke. Now we’re going to have teams playing for draws form the get go, the majority of the last games in the mini-leagues are all going to be played at half-pace as everybody will know what result will suit them, and the impact of “11 men” behind the ball on the knock-out stages as I’m sure many of the “smaller” teams are going to go for penalties…

I can only assume they have lined up a mega-deals with Prozac, Horlicks and Tempur Mattresses…

FIFA: Out with the old and in with the older…




So in a group of 3 the top 2 go through? So you win your first game and you’re through (bar the shouting) so can basically rest your star players until the next round?

It also lets too many lesser teams in to the competition, although teams like Wales and N.Ireland held their own in the expanded Euros.



I think it is now becoming unfair to exclude all the other countries from participating.

Why not just scrap the whole qualification process and have a two year long FIFA World Cup extravaganza including all 209 countries in an epic league. That should ensure all those greedy b******* can line their pockets for two years out of every 4.



Leeds avoid FA Cup banana skin – but Phillips needs coaching

Alex Mowatt: Celebrates his goal for Leeds

This was a “Banana skin” match which Leeds have made a habit of slipping on. That match against Colchester United and a certain Ray Crawford springs to mind although as I have said in the recent past the romance and thrill of the FA Cup has been sold off to the highest bidder and is dying a death before our eyes. All we can see is teams putting our reserve teams out for games which seem to pass through without any interest or coverage.

I listened to the game in which Cambridge United were all over us in the first half. We put out a team reflecting eight changes and seemingly did not pay sufficient respect to the opposition playing like it was enough for us to turn up and take the spoils. Anyhow it looks as if they ran out of steam and we prevailed – just. I wonder at what cost?

It looks as if the referee was card happy in the first half (not so in the second half) and three of our players got booked including Jansson who has a habit of collecting yellow cards routinely and now will be banned for 2 games. He will be missing from the televised games against Derby at home and Barnsley away. Young Phillips needs to learn how to curb his aggression or he is another that will accrue suspensions throughout a season. These players are no good to us unavailable and on the side-lines. I had no idea that Grimes was on the pitch for the whole game and Cooper was his usual hapless self.

OK so we are through to the next round and either team we face will bring back the memories. There was a goalkeeper called Dickie Guy in in the Wimbledon goal who was determined to keep us out. I can’t remember if it went to more than one replay. Also Sutton United on a cold winter’s day and Allan Clarke got 4 of the 6 goals in what turned out to be a cake walk. Even with all that said I can’t say I am that excited about the prospect.

As regards the Derby match maybe Berardi can play alongside Bartley. Perhaps Vieira does not have the stature / height to play in that position?



Phillips reminds me of Alan Smith before Terry Venables did the only good thing he did for us and teach Smith how to turn aggression into determination. Smith used to be reckless but then Venables taught him how to chase down every ball, make his presence felt and tackle hard but fair which made him an incredible player. Probably one of the reasons he ended up more in midfield towards the end, his presence was similar to David Batty and he was needed in the middle rather up front.

If Monk can channel all that aggression in Phillips and make him no push over in the middle of the field then there might be hope for Phillips yet.

A LUFC for Life


Take a look at City’s new No 33

Looks accomplished with either foot ? – I can’t wait to see him in action



Liverpool and Klopp proved right to get rid of Ibe?

Yannick Bolasie: Watched by Jordon Ibe

I had big hopes for this kid but he really seems to have lost his way. Looks like Klopp was right to get rid.



I had high hopes for him too…looked a beast at 17! Remember when he came back from the derby loan, he played the Merseyside derby and just looked on fire!! Not sure what happened…remember being very excited at him spending extra time at Melwood with king kenny over a summer to work on his shooting.

To me though, Ibe certainly appeared a confidence player (as many players, especially forwards, tend to be). I’m not sure that being touted as an immediate replacement (and improvement on sterling), a big money move with the pressure that brings, followed by not making the team in the premiership and being robbed at gunpoint in the past few months would have done much for his confidence. Not sure that what Howe had to say would be much help either, but I didn’t watch the game and have no idea how “disappointing” Ibe has been this season or in that particular match.



Should Arsenal sacrifice Ozil to get rid of Wenger?

I’m surprised this hasn’t come up before now but I’m interested to know how people feel about the comments from Ozil recently? The general gist of it seems to be, he is waiting to see what happens with Wenger before he decides to sign a new deal. This is the quote from his interview;

“I want to be clear on what Wenger is doing,”…..
“I feel very, very happy at Arsenal and have shown the club that I am prepared to extend my contract,”
“The club knows that I am, above all, here because of Arsene Wenger – who signed me and whose trust I have,” added Ozil.
“The club also knows that I just want to be clear on what the manager will do.

So I suppose one of the big questions here is….would fans be willing to sacrifice Ozil if it meant Wenger not staying on past his current contract? I will admit I’m not Mesut’s biggest fan and hand on heart, I would rather see him go if it meant bringing in a new manager and a new fresh approach. I know a lot of people would disagree but I just feel this kind of statement and loyalty from certain players could be a big influence. It could keep a man in a job who is taking us nowhere fast. Yes, it would be a set back to lose a player of Ozil’s ability but at the same time, do we want to sign ourselves up to another 2-3 years of Arsene? Interested to see how people feel about this…..


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