‘Salah was like Aspas in 2014 – now he can be a world beater’

Date published: Thursday 22nd June 2017 12:00

Jurgen Klopp’s style of play, Newcastle’s management structure, Alex Sandro and player’s development in other countries are also discussed.

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Young kids not playing enough football is the problem

I was visiting Spain recently, everywhere I went there were kids playing football. Even in the centre of a busy town, on a baking hot day, there was a paved pitch with 20+ kids having a game.

In England I rarely see kids just playing, sure there are organised teams and games but I think too many English kids would rather play Fifa. and our kids just don’t develop the skills, or a lot less than in Spain do.

In South America I am told it’s the same with kids playing football everywhere, and very few can afford Xbox etc.



I went through it for years, my son even said to me a few years ago it was lucky Lionel Messi didn’t grow up in England as he may never have made it.

My son finished top scorer every season for his school team / Saturday team and that was playing mostly on the left, as although right footed he was the only one that could use both feet, even taking corners with each foot depending on what side of the field and what corner they wanted.

This was before it was highlighted that a few Premier league foreign stars do this.



British youth development is a very sad topic with loyalist supporters including many on these forums continually making excuses for their clubs not playing or harnessing them.

I am saying that local youngsters can also make it but they have to be given some decent game time, not a few minutes late in the game as subs or in lesser competitions.

We have the talent- but it’s just not being utilised because most of the top manager/coaches are nearly all from the mainland or South America


Football songs were better when there was terracing!

Dennis Bergkamp: Not thinking about management role yet

Read an entertaining article the other day, where Gooners in the media wrote about their favourite Arsenal chants. No surprise that many of the chants listed went back to the days of terracing, when there seemed to be a new song almost every week, every first team player had one and there was a lot more thought and wit that went into them.

That said, my personal favourite was “we’ve got Dennis Bergkamp”. No humour and it didn’t even have a tune, just a very simple statement of fact to the rest of the football world – and it was a lot of fun reminding them, especially after he’d just made a mockery of an oppositions defence.

Another favourite was Petit’s “he’s blond, he’s quick, he’s named after a p***o flick, Emmanuel! Emmanuel!”, but I think most of my faves involved taking the p**s out of our success-challenged neighbours from up the Seven Sisters – and there were a lot of those.

How about you guys? Favourite all time Arsenal chant? It’s hard to pick, isn’t it?

Al the Gooner

Salah can be a world beater

Mohamed Salah can turn into a world beater here. He has made excellent progress in the last couple of years. I was not convinced by him in 2014, reminded me a bit too much of Iago Aspas but right now he is miles ahead of him.

He should walk into our first team, with Coutinho dropping deeper. One more attacking player signed and we might just get to that 100 goals in the league milestone.


As I pointed out several weeks ago when Liverpool were first linked with Salah and reservations were first expressed, Salah was only at Chelsea for one calendar year and had Hazard and Willian ahead of him in the pecking order.

Jose Mourinho is notorious for not giving youngsters much of a chance (Lukaku and De Bruyne) so Salah didn’t get many chances to impress. He also hadn’t developed as much physically and although he’s still slight he is much more muscular now.

I deliberately kept an eye on him when we failed to land him. He left Chelsea in the January and went on loan to Fiorentina where he scored 9 goals in half a season. Then went on a years loan to Roma where he scored 15 before joining them properly and scored 19 last season.

In 2 and a half seasons in Italy he scored 42 goals. That’s pretty good for a winger. I can’t wait to see him and Mane terrorising defences with their direct running.


Arsenal’s youth policy is no worse than other clubs’.

I’m not one to stick up for Wenger generally but his record with youth players is no worse than any other big club. I was just reading about some Chelsea kid who, at 22, is only just making it into the first team and yet has the second highest number of caps for the England U21s.

What’s so frustrating about our manager (well, one of the things, anyway) is that there never seems to be any rhyme or reason as to who gets a chance and who doesn’t, or who he persists with and who he doesn’t.

Ahmad, it’s funny how Wenger is so generous when it comes to his own wages, isn’t it? You’d think someone with his principles would insist to the board that he was only paid his worth (about £30k a year, I reckon).

Al the Gooner


Sandro is good – but we need  to improve the right hand side!


I’ve stated many times that I believe deals are done and we are waiting for the official start of the transfer season before making any announcements

My understanding is that Alex Sandro plays on the left – correct..? I have no idea if he is any better than Marcos Alonso or not but I have to admit that I thought Alonso was one of our most consistent players last season.

If we wanted to strengthen our attacking wing backs then the weak link is Moses. Not sure if there is a thought to try and give Azpilicueta a go at the right wing back role and let him and Moses fight it out, which would save money.

It seems a viable option to me but Azpilicueta must get more crosses into the box for me but obviously no doubting his understanding of the defensive duties required.

Bakayoko seems to have been on the cards for a while now and while I like Matic he is still not of the calibre of a few seasons ago so if he left for Man United (as rumoured) then at least we recoup some of the cost for Bakayoko.

With regard to July 1st, if I am right then only a few days to go so waiting with baited breath!


Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alex Sandro deals look like they are rolling forwards ? Juventus say they don’t want to lose Sandro but wont stand in his way if he wants to go and allegedly he has agreed terms with Chelsea?

Significant transfer fee for a wing back but he’s reckoned to be one of the best by some pretty good judges and he is at the top of Conte’s shopping list. Getting closer to July 1st and bort’s Nike prediction.

nine nine nine

Milner isn’t good enough, we need to get someone younger in

James Milner: Adapting to new left-back role

It seems the plan is to get a young left back with potential of taking over from James Milner in a few seasons…

Either way, I think whoever comes in will unseat Milner who, truth be told, is simply adequate. We need someone who can really make our opponents midfielders and defenders unsettled all game.

That Celtic kid (Kieran Tierney) or even Ben Chilwell at Leicester would do. I think Jurgen Klopp is going big for a central defender to partner Matip ( after Salah).


I’d still like to bring in a left back this summer. The problem wasn’t addressed last season, Milner is great and he’s a leader so I’d be happy with him as a back up left back.

I’d be slightly concerned if we just brought in a young left back. Looks like we are getting Salah, a quality wide player with a goal threat and bags of pace. We now need a striker that is going to bang in 20-30 goals a season.

I would love us to sign Antoine Griezmann but it won’t happen. It’s obvious Klopp wants to bring in a centre back. We may go in for Van Dijk again.

The 5th position is defensive midfielder. Someone like Fabinho would be great but he will probably go Juve.

Lee Simpson

Former Dortmund players don’t want to work with Klopp again

Jurgen Klopp: Celebrates win over Everton

Aubameyang won the AFCON golden boot this year and in the course of the interview he was asked whether he fancied playing in the Premier League. He replied that many saw him playing in PL but this is not his first choice.

Aubameyang starred under Thomas Tuchel when he was re-positioned into the main striker role and not under Klopp, where he played on the wings.

Also, I think that many ex players of Klopp (from the Borussia Dortmund era) do not want to play under him again – Gotze, Mkhitaryan, Perisic, Gundogan.

For Julian Draxler, I do not think it was entirely about the wages but also Klopp’s style of play (gegenpressing), which is something that Emery does not do at PSG and at PSG the players are the boss not the coach anyway.

Klopp wants players who are committed 100% to the team and he’s the boss, not the players. I hope we don’t sign Lucas Moura – he will be expensive but will not be an upgrade on what we have. Ousmane Demebele is Barca proned.

Young players to star in France this season :

1. Allan St maximimin (Monaco) or any other team where he’ll be loaned.
2. Adama Diakaby (Rennes)
3. Yves Bissouma (Lille) – Bielsa will bring the best out of him
4. Ismailla Saar (Metz) – fellow countryman of Mane and played in the same team as him in Senegal and France


Will Rafa get more power now Graham Carr has left?

Graham Carr has resigned, we wish him well. Does this mean more power has been granted to Rafa? At Chelsea, there’s definitely a surplus of centre backs.

I’d take Kurt Zouma or Nathan Ake on a season long loan with a permanent deal agreed upon without hesitation. How in the world a player like David Luiz is the main defensive cog of Chelsea’s 3 men at the back defence will always have me puzzled.

But quite frankly, we need more someone like Ryan Shawcross, Mamadou Sakho or Wes Morgan, than someone like Florian Lejeune or Kurt Zouma. I am quite happy with the axis of Clark/Lascelles, with Mbemba as cover who will take over from Clark.


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