Solskjaer would’ve got the same from Chelsea as Tuchel…

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Solskjaer would’ve got the same from Chelsea as Tuchel…

Keep your mails coming to…


Lucky Liverpool and lovely Alisson
Frankly the way 2021 has gone we never deserved Champions League football. This game was a reminder of how horrendous we have been against the bottom six. The win is absolutely magical and ridiculous but it only papers over the cracks of how poor we looked today and how poor we looked the entire time that Jota was injured earlier in the season.

The truth is that we should’ve lost. West Brom had a perfectly good goal disallowed. Mané and Firmino were broadly awful for most of the afternoon. The number of times they passed the ball straight to defenders when we were on the edge of the box was infuriating. Klopp has made poor decisions all season and his failure to remove those two when they added absolutely zero value is part of the reason our season is over. Shaq was not great today from midfield but surely Origi deserves to start on Wednesday.

Trent and Thiago were excellent today but Alisson is basically now the most handsome man in all of Liverpool. Maybe the world.
Minty, LFC


…Absolutely did not deserve a win from that game but made up for Allison he’s had a horrible year and I hope this small thing provides him some relief.
Mark C, Hemel


…Yeah it’s cool and all winning the premier league using False 9s, but just watch Klopp do it next year with his new False 1.


…Goalie goal! Goalie GOAL!! GOALIE GOAL!!!

So happy for Alisson. Extremely hard done by for WBA, VAR absolutely screwed them.
Dan, Plastic LFC


When Allison went up for that corner I said out loud: “Why is he going up? A point might be enough if Leicester beat Chelsea.” Never been so happy to be proven wrong.

What a goal and what a moment. Surely the most significant goal by a goalkeeper since Jimmy Glass (there must be a top 5 or top 10 here F365. Please make it happen).

The mixture of disbelief and joy on everyone’s faces was heartwarming and it was one of those moments that reminds you of what football can be. That it followed another such moment on Saturday made this a pretty great weekend.
Mike, LFC, London



…It’s like from one of those superhero movies. All the side characters engaging in duels of their own. From the fog steps forward the protagonist, calm and with eye of steel on only one thing. The mayhem around him fades out of focus, the movement blur existing solely for contrast.

It was quite clear the delivery from Trent was meant to be for Naldini. But Alisson was having none of it. There was a reason he made that big save earlier. His interview afterwards was heartwrenching, the unlikely hero who with one glance of the head purged all that is heavy and troubling with the world, and brought light to us all, even if it is just for a day.

You can’t script this.
weech, Singapore


…So after that game surely Alisson has to top the winners list?

If not you are very naughty boys and girls.

Yes we got lucky but after that header I don’t care.
Al (apparently screaming out loud in joy can cause you wife to panic that you’ve hurt yourself. Anyone got a spare couch for tonight?)


…I know Schmeichel played a blinder in the cup final but I though Alisson scoring made him a shoo-in for Garth’s team of the week. I don’t know what’s real anymore.
Stu, Southampton


What an end to a football game. Delighted for Alisson after the year he has had. His post match interview was incredible.
Emotive, raw and honest. Anyone who has gone through grief knows the pain he is still in.

Thiago put in an exhibition. Top 4 will still be very very tough but still in the discussion and 20 points taken from the last 24 available is phenomenal going. Included very tough games away v Arsenal,Wolves Leeds and Man United.

Also,if anyone is wondering if Wijnaldum is staying or going at the end of the season, watch his reaction to that goal. The 9 other players sprint to Alisson, Carragher in commentary goes mad, the bench went mad,I went mad, friends who were non Liverpool fans messaged saying how incredible it was…and Wiljnaldum doesn’t even celebrate. Hardly acknowledges a goal has been scored. And it wasn’t just any goal. His own keeper scored(getting Wijnaldum out of jail as he missed a sitter himself).

First goal by a keeper in the PL from a set piece in 17 years. First ever goal by a Liverpool keeper in 129 years. And it was a last second winner. Not even a clenched fist. No emotion at all. Barca are welcome to him. Good riddance.
Ferg, Cork


Tuchel isn’t all that
Tuchel is by no means a bad manager. I actually think he has had a fairly impressive career so far, seems likeable enough, and is worthy of the Chelsea job. However, I take issue with the narrative that he is some tactical messiah who has been doing absolute bits at Chelsea. In this mailbox and in the wider media, he has been built up as the man who has saved Chelsea, revolutionised tactics, and will challenge Pep for decades to come.

On the contrary, I believe he is simply a decent manager with an incredible squad at his disposal, who has got them performing to their expected level. If anything, Tuchel has benefited enormously from just how terribly Lampard managed Chelsea. They have comfortably the second best squad in the league after City. There is talent and depth in every area. N’Golo Kante would be the first name on the team sheet at almost any team in the world. He’s phenomenal. £50m+ players regularly frequent the bench. You could make three front threes using different players that are Champions League pedigree. Tuchel has come in and first reminded this exceptional group of players how to defend, and is now working on coaxing goals and confidence out of a billion dollars worth of assorted attackers. This should be the bare minimum expected at Chelsea. While progression to a Champions League final is always impressive, Atletico, Porto and Real are all fading forces. Beating City’s B team means nothing. Biggest game of their season so far finished with Tuchel moaning about VAR instead of lifting the FA cup.

As a thought exercise, consider where Chelsea would be had they appointed another manager after shooting bambi. Guardiola would have made a phenomenal side of them. Mount to Foden comparisons would actually be justified. Chelsea would likely start the Cl final as favourites against City. Klopp could have done a job too. He would be blessed with much greater depth and less tired players than at Liverpool. Heavy metal football would be back en vogue. Chelsea wouldn’t have just controlled games, they would be dominating them. Even Ole could have gotten similar results out of Chelsea. The defending might still have been terrible, but I reckon he could get a lot more out of Werner, and have him fed on the break by quick young attackers who he would have playing for the love of football again. Big Sam might still have put 5 on Chelsea, but they would have hit back with 6. Brendan, Poch, Bielsa, Nagelsmann, Conte pt. II etc… could all have got Chelsea near the top of England again and gone on a good run in Europe this season. So let’s wait to see if Tuchel can achieve something truly special before rushing to praise him.
Lachlan, Victoria Beavers, Wellington NZ


16 FA Cup final Conclusions: Chelsea 0-1 Leicester


Big club Brendan
Brendan Rodgers is currently employed by a Football Club that has won the league title relatively recently, certainly when compared Man Utd, Arsenal and especially Tottenham.

He has just won the FA Cup and is in contention to secure Champions League football next season. It makes me laugh to see people now asking the question whether his success at Leicester means he is now entitled to apply for a job at a “bigger” club.

I’ve seen it framed by many that they’d be satisfied if Daniel Levy “decides” to make Brendan Rogers his new manager.

To suggest Brendan Rodgers needs to move to an alleged “Big Club” is an entitled, dismissive and frankly disgustingly arrogant attitude. Particularly when the “top top proper” club in question seems to be Tottenham. Or even Arsenal.

My local side, Waterford FC, last won the Irish league title in 1973. To apply Spurs logic, that places us in the upper echelons of Irish football with the best managers available constantly linked to us. It is over a decade more recent that Spurs last title. Does this illustrate how ridiculous Tottenham fans sound to the rest of us? Losing one Champions League final does not make you a huge club.

Rodgers can stay at Leicester and build on what he has or he can try to rebuild from scratch at two mediocre sides who are hamstrung by poor ownership and leadership? Problems acknowledged by both sets of fans.

You can discuss revenue and compare global fanbase and stadia until the cows come home but in footballing terms, trophies won and the sheer popularity of the owner amongst the football community, notable given the current opinions being shared about club owners, there aren’t many clubs “bigger” than the one plying their trade in the King Power Stadium right now.

Unless Man City or Chelsea come calling, I fail to see how a switch to any other club qualifies an upwardly mobile move for Rodgers.

Consequently, the football media need to rethink their Big Six narrative in the context of which clubs constitute the “Big Six”.
The sands have shifted. Tottenham never deserved their place to begin with, they’ve won nothing of note literally for decades, and how long can Arsenal remain in mid table mediocrity before their claim is weakened beyond repair?
Eoin (He can come to Waterford if he wants) Ireland


…Here’s a click-baiting prophecy: Brendan Rodgers will not be joining Spurs (at least not for next season). Anyone suggesting that he would naturally drop everything to move to North London “if David Levy pulls the trigger” might still be operating under the cynical misconception that “money gets what money wants”. Not always, say Leicester City Football Club (along with more than a few protesters around Old Trafford, and elsewhere). By winning their first FA Cup- after reaching five finals, and five years after winning the Premier League- the Foxes are single-handedly keeping alive The Dream of Football Glory for all of football fandom.

Despite being dismissed as one-hit wonders, Leicester City can continue to build on their achievements, strengthen their squad and improve their performances and results in coming seasons, thanks to an impressive team under impressive leadership. In stark contrast, Spurs are the Premier League’s poison chalice (or is a chalice too similar to a trophy for that metaphor to come anywhere near the club!?). Corrupted by an air of blind corporate entitlement, Tottenham seem doomed to keep floundering until they start operating a little less like a company and a lot more like a club. They might have the world’s fanciest football stadium, but is there any indication of an inspired collective vision anywhere at the club? Or, at least, any hint of team spirit within the squad? It’s difficult to imagine the way forward for Tottenham Hotspur, even now in their fleeter-footed post-Mourinho bounce. If their fearless leader, Cap’n Kane himself, says he wants out because he’d like to win something- anything – before he turns 30, it belies a significant lack of belief and cohesion among a disheartened and apathetic Spurs squad (whether Harry actually manages to find the exit this summer is another matter).

To help bring his team captain back around, not to mention reform and reinvigorate the team, Levy would be lucky to find himself a new Poch or maybe their own version of Brendan Rodgers to help them navigate the Europa (Conference?) League a few months from now.
Ebrahim (how many more sub-European mid-table finishes before we can safely remove Arsenal from the “Big Six”….or is it just the money?) , MUFC, Seattle


…CanuckLFC must be canutts based on his contribution that Brendan Rodgers should switch from Leicester to Spurs. One club actually wins things, the other just participates. We do have precedence of course, Moyes from Everton to Man U, Rodgers himself from Swansea to Liverpool. I could argue those were moves from a lower club to more prestigious, more accomplished clubs and so it made sense. My argument is, moving from Leicester to Spurs is at best a lateral move and probably a downgrade. Leicester have accomplished more in the last 5 years than Tottenham have since 1990. Apart from the amazing stadium, what else? It’s not a big spender club. They had a great manager who ensured they finished top 4 but the manager had a dodgy view on the importance of winning cups or championships. The game today probably represents a more likely scenario, Nuno Espirito Santo to Spurs. The man is working with 3 players and finishing mid table, I can only imagine what he would do with the Spurs squad.

If I’m Brendan Rodgers, I’d be gunning for a top job, Man U will never happen, but Man City if Pep becomes tired of the apathy and decides to challenge himself. The Chelsea one is open every 2 years, the Liverpool one could open up soon as well . Barca, Madrid, Juventus, Bayern , Dortmund, PSG are also clubs that very quickly change managers. Why move from dream winners like Leicester to a team whose aim is participating? This then begs the question, what are Spurs really? Man City, Chelsea football domination. Man U clearly expect the same but are poorly managed, Arsenal go for it despite the financial losses. What do Tottenham do? It’s a tall task, but atleast Leicester have tried and summounted the mountains.
Dave (At least try once in a while), Somewhere


4th Place better than winning The FA Cup huh ?

Ask Leicester City.

Ask the fans ….

Ask Jamie Vardy ….
Adam Halliday, Never seen us win it (Villa) , Saigon


Congratulations to Leicester, it’s nice to see someone other than a big 6 team have some success.

My gripe is with Chelsea, they didn’t really have any attempts on goal which required saving until after they fell behind from that wonder strike, and even after that it was only a couple of efforts which required super saves, other than that they offered no threat at all for the whole 90 minutes. For a team that is pushing for top four, is in the Champions League Final and who has spent huge amounts on players during the off season, they were a huge let down.
Gary, Western Australia


Congratulations to Leicester City – another chapter in this club’s amazing era. Hopefully Brendan Rodgers and Jonny Evans, who have both been underestimated and overlooked (that’s your lot when you come from Northern Ireland, unfortunately) start getting the praise they deserve. Kasper Schmeichel put in a great performance (not quite Bert Trautmann!) but I don’t think Foxes fans will care. Jamie Vardy is having a party and he’s won more than Harry Kane. I didn’t realise that Wes Morgan was still at the club, so that’s a great way for him to go out, if he does end up leaving at the end of the season. Tielemans’s goal was one of the great FA Cup Final goals. Any defeat for a big six club is a victory for football. It’s good to see a club like Leicester winning the league and now the FA Cup, whilst so-called “bigger” clubs (Everton, Aston Villa, Spurs, Newcastle) haven’t won a bean in years/decades.


Is there any criteria in what makes the “big 6”? Is there any promotion/relegation from it? If not there should be & Leicester should be way ahead in it than Spurs.
Marcel g, LFC.

Pogba’s problem
I’m writing in response to 365s Pogba article. The problem for utd is Pogba plays where Bruno plays. Utd had Pogba, where having a nightmare getting him on the pitch so they bought Bruno because he couldn’t be trusted to play. Now Ollie has found some middle ground with Pogba but now has Bruno so shoehorns Pogba in where he can. It’s a myth that Pogba is a holding midfielder, yes he’s big and strong but he’s not explosive. The big man can shift but it takes him a while to get up to speed and he doesn’t have the agility to close down a triangle of players bouncing from player to player like say a kante. He never has had these attributes but that doesn’t make him a bad player just played out of position. People can argue about playing holder for France and winning a World Cup. Ask yourself this, how painstakingly slow is international football? Pogba is in the prem where it is all about quick transitions when you win the ball back. With Pogba as holder he’s always going to get found out. He’s just simply not that player. In slower leagues and international football yes but not the prem. Ole recognises this hence why we see him on the left due to Brunos occupation of the 10. I personally think Pogba talent wise is better than Bruno but Bruno’s performances means he’s a locked in starter. In my humble opinion once they knew Bruno was legit (last summer) that was the time to sell Pogba and invest in a defensive midfielder. He would of fetched utd a decent fee. Now he’s either going for free or at a watered down price and for what in the short term? A crack at the ropey league title? I think utd get to that final without pogba anyway. So unless ole finds a football manager type formation where he plays two 10s or drops Bruno, he isn’t going to get the best out of Pogba.


F365 Says: Go all in on Pogba and a partner, or pack him off

Arsenal’s trajectory
A few days ago, Dreadlock commented on your “Three Arsenal Players have done enough – Redknapp” article with the following: “Arsenal fans are not shy about abusing and booing their players if things aren’t going well. That could be a tough environment for a young player to develop their potential.” This comment reminded me of a few incidents over the years in which Arsenal fans had jeered and booed their own players, like Xhaka, Mustafi and, long before them, Emmanuel Eboue.

As a point of conjecture, I wonder if that sort of ongoing negative treatment by the fans hasn’t contributed to Arsenal’s slow and steady decline over the past 25 years:

For each of the nine seasons from 96/97 until 04/05, Arsenal either won the league (three times) or were runners-up (six times*). That was top form.
For the following 10 seasons – from 05/06 to 14/15 – Arsenal has come in either at third place (four times) or, rather infamously, at fourth place (six times); certainly a dip, but still qualifying for the Champions League every year.
After (encouragingly?) finishing second to Leicester in 2015/16, Arsenal’s subsequent five seasons (16/17 until now) have seen them respectively finish fifth, sixth, fifth, eighth and, at the time of writing, ninth in the table with two games left to play. This is more of a slide down into- how do you say?- mid-table obscurity.
[* Arsenal were tied on points with second place in 96/97, and were technically third on goal difference]

After years of being harangued by their fans for being a “fourth-place” hanger-on team, maybe the ongoing culture of abuse by Arsenal fans is at least partially to blame? Or is it the manager? Or- sod it- maybe they’re just complete and utter sh!te no matter what the fans do, or who’s appointed “head coach” this year.
Ebrahim (still rather endearing how Arteta wants ’em to play like City), MUFC, Seattle


Spirit of the law
I had a bit of an odd introduction to football growing up – my dad was a referee. So he didn’t support one side or the other, but was vociferous in backing his fellow professionals. And there were two home truths: ‘the spirit of the law’ and ‘in the eyes of the referee’. The latter emphasising that decisions in football are not hard and fast but based on the interpretation of the professionals charged with refereeing the match.

On the former, rules are there to prevent certain actions and encourage other ones. They are enforced by a referee who is human and applies them as he or she sees fit. For example, we don’t want players in football using their hands to play the sport. So we introduce a rule forbidding it. The action we’re trying to avoid is deliberate use of a banned body part to take part in the game – so controlling it, blocking shots or – crazy of course – scoring a goal.

Similarly, in order to prevent teams leaving a player next to the goal and changing the whole shape of the sport, the offside rule was created.

In both of these cases, there is a very clear action trying to be avoided. And yet, through a combination of ineptitude and catastrophically missing the point, we arrive where we are today. Using high-FPS cameras and geometry to delay the gratification we all crave in the sport we love. To coaches able to focus media attention on a split-second deflection onto a certain limb, only really visible in slow motion.

We’re all missing the point, because the brilliant folk implementing VAR have forgotten that all rules in football are there for a reason, and the referee’s interpretation of these rules should be paramount. An offside shouldn’t be that close – that’s not why the rule is there. A handball shouldn’t be debatable if it spins off some other limb and the player had no way of knowing. That’s not why those actions are banned.

It’s hard but we need to trust referees to be able to determine if the spirit of the game is being broken in these actions. It’s art not science. And where we are today is ridiculous and a perversion of the spirit of the laws.
Ryan, Bermuda


Dele’s do
Big fan of Dele Alli finally bringing Henrik Larsson’s iconic dreadlocks out of retirement 2 decades after they were shorn.

Henrik cutting his off for a crew cut signalled beginning of an ascent from briefly great player in Scotland to Celtic GOAT and eventual Barca legend – hopefully Dele’s shift from crew cut to dreads leads to him finally fulfilling his talent.
Calum, Scotland


Frank expectations
Not saying he’s useless or anything, but Frank Lampard has so far provided little evidence that he’s capable of successfully managing a Premier League squad (with “successfully” somewhat arbitrarily defined for the purposes of this argument as “finishing in the top half of the table”), let alone half a squad.
Ebrahim (wondering what would happen if they’d toss the Crystal Palace car keys to Stevie G next year, just for a laugh…), MUFC, Seattle

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Redknapp slams Mourinho over ‘armchair’ player at Spurs

The 25-year-old was frozen out under … The post Redknapp slams Mourinho over ‘armchair’ player at Spurs appeared first on Football365.

Redknapp slams Mourinho over ‘armchair’ player at Spurs

Jamie Redknapp has called out Jose Mourinho for “falling out with” his players too often after Spurs attacker Dele Alli shone in their 2-0 win over Wolves on Sunday.

Alli has had a difficult season, having been frozen out under previous manager Mourinho and coming close to a January exit.

But Tottenham interim boss Mason, a former team-mate of Alli, has restored him to the starting line-up and it paid dividends as he put in his best performance of the season in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate.


He was not involved in the goals, scored by Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, but, even if it did come too late to force his way into the Euro 2020 squad, it was a display of old from the 25-year-old.

Graeme Souness, who was in the Sky Sports studio with Redknapp, thinks the Spurs star has “dropped into an armchair” recently but Redknapp partly puts the blame at Mourinho’s door.

Redknapp said: “Jose seems to want to fall out with a lot of his players but he [Dele Alli] is a quality player.

“He averages nearly one in three [goals] every game. If you can’t get him into the team – and we’ve seen this with Gareth Bale since Jose’s gone. This is a manager who has won everything. You can’t keep falling out with your players.

“The reason is he likes to look at everyone else rather than himself. It’s a fact, one in three he gets and why would you not want to utilise that?”

Souness replied: “I’m not doubting his qualities, I’d love him to sit here and answer our questions.

“I think from the outside looking in it’s a classic case of too much too soon, too much stardom too soon and too much of everything too soon and he’s dropped into an armchair.

“Please God, for him and Tottenham’s sake he gets back to what he was three years ago.”

Redknapp added: “I don’t disagree with that, I’m a big fan but he can do more and he should look at this season and think ‘where can I go from here’ because he’s too good a player not to be in the squad.

“I know that Jose will fall out with his players but he’s also got to look at himself.

“He’s got tremendous ability but he’s got to come back next season and, no disrespect, ram it down the likes of Graeme’s throat and say ‘I can do this’ because his numbers are too good.

“One in three from an attacking midfield player; I think it is probably Frank Lampard and [Steven] Gerrard who have got better than that.”

Souness finished by saying: “There is a player trapped in that body. Show us. Prove us all wrong.”


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