Fans debate whether more changes need to be made in football, while Liverpool regret missed chances and Newcastle celebrate Rafa’s return.
Have your say on the Europa League final and the laws of football. Get involved here.
Liverpool still reflecting on missed chance
Play manager for a second (we all excel at that!) and let me know what line-up you would have started with now knowing the actual outcome of the game. For me:
Back four: Clyne, Lovren, Toure, Moreno.
Double Six: Lucas, Can.
Attacking Mids: Milner, Coutinho, Origi.
Notes: Don’t think Smith would have made too much difference as opposed to Moreno. Smith’s inexperience may have also cost us. Would have liked to have seen Lucas’ experience there in the holding mid role alongside Can. Milner and Origi would have added additional full back protection and also put more pressure on their full-backs (one of Sevilla’s biggest weaknesses). If the attacking mids weren’t cutting it then bring on Lallana and Firmino. Henderson could have replaced Lucas/Can and Benteke for Sturridge.
Final score 2-1 to Liverpool. Hindsight is ace isn’t it!
This is what can happen when you put all your chips on one number; cup finals can be funny things, we should know from the good & bad ones we’ve had. I did think we needed to get the game won as quickly as possible, so perhaps Origi & Sturridge would have given us a better cutting edge – but then Origi had only just come back from injury.
Should we have targeted top 4 or the Europa League? Each had their positives, the chance to get a trophy and bring that winning feeling back or a top 4 place which probably would have given us a better chance?
To be honest, I can live without the CL next year – I think it can make you think you’re better than you are and distract you from the league. We ain’t ready for it – and Klopp now has a free unobstructed path to rebuild. That may make the path slightly longer, but it would be short term pain for long term gain (though if FSG pursued their “young player development” ideology in any case, it wouldn’t have mattered as much).
We’ve really (once again) have had to be delivered a tuition the hard way and in the way where we’re left heartbroken.
We dropped a good 10 points from winning positions in the league, and I really hope Jurgen Klopp has solemnly brought this out into the open in the dressing room because it is fundamental and we were only 45 minutes away from glory.
We manage ourselves to undo an incredible amount of hard work, determination, belief and hope from the triumph over Dortmund in the return leg.
Of course, it doesn’t help too when there’s some kind of a ‘curse’ or a spell inflicted on us ala Sakho’s skandal, and after that euphoric and emotional win over Man City in the title race at Anfield 2 seasons ago, we lose Henderson when we needed him to get us over the finishing line.
We’ve got to learn to simply find a way in being ruthless; we’ve not had this for 25 years. We need to kill teams off and need to be able to grind out results and be able to hold on to our lead when in a winning position.
We probably shouldn’t continue to beat ourselves up on this a week down the track, but as the question’s been asked…
I’d have found a way to keep Toure out of the starting XI – which essentially means playing Lucas or Skrtel there. The first goal was 80% down to him – Moreno was weak to get nutmegged initially, but we were still in perfect shape to resist any threat. Then Kolo, for no explicable reason, had a brainstorm and just totally opened up the only channel that the ball could be put through for Gameiro to get on the end of it. He didn’t even have the excuse of seeing a white shirt that he thought it best to cover.
That goal (after 17 seconds or whatever) was the absolute mental killer to us which we never recovered from. Avoided that and things may have turned out very differently.
See there are some new laws being introduced, some sensible, some a bit bizarre. I like the one about the ref being able to send players off before the game even starts. I guess that’s for the likes of Fellaini. I mean, you know he’s going to do it. Why wait?
The most stupid law that needs changing is the one where a defender can step inside the 18 yard box to receive the ball from a goal kick and have it retaken if he feels that the opposition player might put him under pressure. If a defender does that it should be an indirect free kick, instead of a retaken goal kick.
How about changing ‘shielding a ball to win a corner/goal-kick/throw-in’ to what it actually is, which is obstruction?
How can you get sent off before the game? Can’t even imagine a realistic scenrio on how that might happen? I hate pink football boots and players wearing the gloves but is that really a red-card offence?
Toon rejoices as Rafa returns
So Rafa has signed a new three year deal!
Hopefully this is a good omen about our future and is the turning point from a pretty disappointing five years. Hopefully Townsend will stay (but not likely it seems) and would be another massive boost for us.
Well done Ashley for doing what was necessary and getting Rafa signed.
What do you guys think about player signings and departures now?
With Rafa here to stay you would expect that targets would be willing to listen to offers even though we are in the championship. A very interesting three months it will be that is for certain!
How about we try looking ahead and not so much in the past?
What has happened has happened and I kind of feel that the intent of both the club for getting Benitez and from Benitez to actually believing in our club and staying through the bad times ahead says a lot.
He has a vision that we can be absolutely certain of and some how does Ashley believe it. Else this deal would never ever have happened. We have some senior players I really dont care much about, but I get excited over some of our younger players like Armstrong, Aarons, Mbemba, Mbabu, Lascelles, Darlow, Perez, Saivet etc..