Our readers are torn over whether Liverpool should sell Daniel Sturridge in January, while Antony Martial’s return to form and Arsene Wenger’s naivety are also debated.
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Martial’s return to form and an explanation to his slow start
Back in the summer when Anthony Martial had his no.9 shirt taken away from him in order to satisfy the incoming Swedish ego, I pointed out that this was indeed a huge issue and that in my experience shirt numbers are very very important to players because they are a sign of how they are valued in the squad.
Critically, to take a shirt away from a player sends a very clear message that he isn’t as important as another squad member. If you’ve never had the no.9 then no biggie, but to have it taken away is a huge negative.
Fast forward to today and we have a player who clearly isn’t in the right frame of mind and isn’t enjoying himself. Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that the shirt issue is central to Martial’s current form and importance to Mourinho, but I’d say it was a very clear early indicator to him back in the summer that he’d be behind Ibrahimovic come what may, and that he absolutely realised same at the time.
Imho morale and mental strength is what makes potentially great players actually great players. Jose has done a cracking job of stomping Anthony Martial into the dust as far as I can see.
The consensus from most United fans here back in the summer was that I was overstating the issue and that it didn’t really matter. What’s your take now chaps?
I agree with you Ash… I thought the situation was hilarious in the summer, Martial had been trying to make a brand for himself with the nr9 shirt. Only to have the Swedish primadonna snatch it away from him, a move away to PSG would not surprise me. Neither would a move back to United for about 150 million in a couple of seasons…
Naivety at its worst from Wenger
In the only competition we seem to have had a real chance of winning this season, it seems like wenger has mucked that up as well.
I don’t criticise him for every single game, but today if there’s anyone to it’s him.
I’ll start withmakes no sense for me to play your third choice keeper when there are two ready keepers I said this isn’t an academy for kids where they get ample chances,clearly we don’t mean real criticism though for all three keepers is their a team that prefers to play a highline, it’s utterly ridiculous the keeper isn’t more further have to take that risk.
Our defence? Carl Jenkinsonreplacement niles idiotic because it seems he has sent him on to Holding!!! An utterly useless never make it at the club, because this era of giving young players chances is as limited as it can be if you really want to succeed.
Our midfield? I’m so sick and tired of watching a partnership of two defensive minded midfielders?That is so negative fromvision!No sense of coordination. Sideways boring passing? I can’t believe I’m saying this but we actually miss to mention Ramsey who I usually defend had his worst game in a long time.
Then why did he drop Ox????? Our only hope who seemed to be in goodperez?? Another £17m down the drain definitely.Because he might not be a bad player but he certainly isn’t what we player worthy of praise is Alex Iwobi.
One more thing, and I keep repeating this.Arsenal have no passion, no aggression and not enough in them to do what itare the qualities fans usually like to see most in the team.
All in all naivety at it’s worst fromwe’ll have to see his obsessed rival lift a trophy over him yet again at Man utd!!!
What should Liverpool do with Sturridge?
I definitely agree with those who say getting rid of Sturridge in the middle of this season would be a terrible decision. Coutinho injured, mane off to AFCON, origi is pretty brittle too (how many injuries has he had since joining us?)…Sturridge is a lethal finisher and has previously and will continue to play well in our first team. Been unlucky to not score this season. Been unlucky with injuries, been unlucky with people (fans and media) jumping on his back at every opportunity.
I agree that people like Shanksy ranting about him just blunts their argument completely – of course Sturridge doesn’t want to be injured! He wants to be in the team, scoring goals (and most likely taking the glory, writing his name into history books…).
I can see an argument for signing a “replacement” in Jan, who is given time to settle in…then possibly offloading Sturridge in summer because yes, it does seem Sturridge hasn’t found a way to completely fit into klopps playing style and tactics. With that being said, I’d rather we didn’t sell him as I rate him as one of the best around. I also think Sturridge has tried to adapt his game, he just gets criticised when he does track back for “dropping too deep”. He is an intelligent player, who I’ve seen make many clever anticipated interceptions etc in the past, so it’s not like he is just waiting for people to pass it to him so he can pop it in the net…
I actually feel some people out there are just out to get him. I really do. Probs the same fans who after 1 bad performance are ready to jump on the backs of Hendo and Lucas. Players like Anelka bad a bad reputation – I wish we bought him instead of diouf all those years ago!
Selling someone of Studge’s quality in January would be crazy without an immediate replacement. He won’t want to bench-warm, but he is currently in Benteke’s position last season ie/ struggling to get in to the starting line up when fit. I can see him going in the summer unless he can find his way in with Coutinho’s injury perhaps seeing Firmino switch position. Lets see…
I’m not one for criticizing injury prone players but like I stated when Sturridge was given his bumper contract after the 2014 season that it was the wrong thing to do. As he is injury prone and putting all our faith in a man that breaks down repeatedly is never the way to go. Having said that I am not going to complain about his efforts, he does what he can do but the fact of the matter is that he is not as fit as he was in 2014 and he probably never will be. Maybe for a season or two but never over a prolonged period of time.
Liverpool v Man Utd in the League Cup final, then?
United v Liverpool would be a great final for the neutrals.
United played some really good football tonight and scored some lovely goals.
Too many have rushed to write United off far too soon imo the title might be beyond them given how far they are behind all of the front runners but a CL place at least is still achievable as is a domestic Cup/the Europa League.
Liverpool and Utd would be a horrible final mate. Jose would use every trick in the book to win which is fine. He wouldn’t have the balls to attack us. He would wait for us to make a mistake. Score a goal and defend. It be dreadful for the neutral. We have to get by a very good Southampton team first.
Talk of a Liverpool v Utd final is premature in the extreme. We will have to be right on top of our game without Coutinho to get past Southampton and there. IF it is a Liverpool Utd final I agree with Sean. Jose Pulis will turn it into the most pointless 90/120 minutes in your life.
January transfer window desperation
It’s now December and it’s only a matter time until the funny farm kicks in.
Favourite rumours so far are Glen Johnson to Barca, Victor Moses to Barca, 29 yr old Luiz Suarez to Jose for 120m.
Getting relegated has never been so costly so the likes of Palace and Sunderland might be very busy.
And now I’ve just read that Jose is going to bid £180m for Neymar, so that’s 300m for Neymar + Suarez lol
Chelsea confident going into Man City clash
If ever I had to choose the time to face City, it can’t be more perfect time than this weekend. I know we have our biggest game of the season in our hands. but if you look at the confidence of our players and the way we have been playing, and the team spirit that Antonio Conte has installed since he was appointed. I couldn’t be more confident. anything other than a defeat is a welcome result.
City isn’t setting the world alight as they were earlier in the campaign. but if you carefully look at their squad, they have match winners in Aguero, Debruyne, Toure, Silva, Sterling. we can’t under estimate them. the players that are likely to decide this game are, Aguero, Costa, Silva, Hazard, Debruyne and Moses.
Man City were always going to be fighting for the title with the talent they have and now the new manager. I would argue that they have not been at their best in the league and yet they sit just 1 point behind us. I think that they focused on qualifying for the CL as their main concern to date but they now have 2 clear months to reassert themselves in the league and possibly try to take a lead with them before the CL starts again…?
I would argue that we were unknown contenders in that coming off a very poor season no one was sure how we would respond to Conte. We started OK but then lost 2 big games on the trot. Would we then fall away..? No. Conte changes formation and we are now the form team of the league with everyone watching us
Pitting the 2 teams together is always going to lead to an interesting game. I would say that City should be slight favourites as they have the home advantage but we have all seen over the years that when it comes to the big games (like derbies) form often goes out of the window and comes down to confidence and taking the chances
I am still of the opinion that so long as we start off strongly and not like we did against Spurs then we are certainly in with a shout. We have the form players and the confidence is flowing and I think all associated with Chelsea know that if we could come away with a result what a big statement this would be
Whatever happens this should be a massive game and if we did win how important would that gap between us and City turn out to be …? KTBFFH
Mixed reaction to Southgate’s England appointment
I actually believe he is the best choice that is available and I think he will do well…. but not greatly well.
Hope he does well, but cant get excited at the prospect of him being England manager – but lets hope I am wrong. I give it three games before the tabloids and social media are complaining about his “lack of passion”.
Not sure who else the national side could get in. Let’s give him a chance before judging him. The Germans thought appointing Joachim Lowe was underwhelming as well because he was fairly unknown and look how that turned out….