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It’s the day after the night before and there are, of course, plenty of Liverpool laments and a smattering of glee from their rivals. If you make it to the end there is also a very correct email about something far, far more important than a mere Champions League final.
Mails on that key issue and literally anything else always welcomed on firstname.lastname@example.org…
From a performance perspective the season has ended as something of a damp squib. Pretty much all the football played in May was a bit stodgy but ultimately I think it’s inevitable when you’ve got 60 games in your legs. Today was no different and we looked poor to a man. Did any player on the pitch on either team produce an 8 out of 10 performance? Only Courtois to be honest. Everyone else looked ordinary at best. That wasn’t a Champions League final quality game. It looked more like Southampton versus Burnley.
The arguably most disappointing thing is that in three finals we haven’t scored a single goal. That is obviously a reflection on some very good defences that we faced up to and maybe it goes back to too many games in those legs but it’s still a shame. Against Real Madrid I felt we were the better team in every respect except for the one that actually counts.
A season with two trophies is pretty good when you look back but it’s a shame to have gone a season, played every game possible and be left with the two pots at the end that were probably the lowest priority. I’d happily give up both that we have for either one that we missed out on this season.
The only positive is that we know what Klopp does with disappointment. We know how he curls it up and lights it on fire and gives it back to this team. Let’s hope next season has fewer of the what ifs and a similar amount of wonder. These lads are capable of it.
Lastly. F**k off UEFA. How dare you totally f**k it up and then try to blame our fans. You’re an absolute disgrace. Happy to fleece the fans but can’t be bothered to actually try and organise a final properly. Funny how this issue has literally never happened on FA Cup Final day but obviously it’s our fans to blame.
So near, and yet…
As a Liverpool fan I am absolutely gutted by the last couple of weeks. After winning two trophies it’s not all bad, a better season than every other club in the premier league bar Manchester City as I’ll always rate winning the title as the pinnacle in England.
Last night’s game was a series of near misses and a few outstanding saves by Courtois. Well played Madrid. Executed their game plan perfectly and was a masterclass in defending and one counter attack paid off. Well two actually as I felt Benzema goal should have stood.
To think a great, legend of a manager in Carlo was at Everton not so long ago.
For us, I enjoyed our season. Flew so close to the sun and fell short. This is football at the highest level. Rival fans may knock us. As is their right after fellow Liverpool fans getting giddy the last few weeks. Most of these fans though would have sold their soul at the start of the season to have a season like ours (some in the comments section already have it seems!).
A little apprehensive about a long summer now. Players like Mane and Salah’s futures up in the air. Time will tell but personally, I know this squad will try again next season and hopefully we shake off the disappointment.
Talking of disappointment, I really am not sure what caused last night’s delay in the game starting and the actions of the French police. Why do Liverpool fans put themselves in these situations? Rumours of fake tickets and fans trying to get in the stadium are very disturbing. Sure, if you don’t have a ticket, go enjoy Paris and find a bar to sample the atmosphere. Have we learnt nothing from the tragedies like Hillsborough or Hysel that are in our history. Liverpool fans should know better.
Klopp got it wrong
Just don’t know how to feel about that.
As I arrived at my dad’s, cider in hand I was panicking, nobody takes Real without a pinch of salt, and to be fair the delay helped.
First half, Liverpool had it, Diaz driving forward, Mane with a couple of good efforts, Salah…trying. I sat there not confident, but as if I as watching a pre-season friendly, just knowing a goal would come. I said to my father we needed to run at the defense, it would come unstuck.
Second half, we moved for 5 minutes and I thought this is it. Salah found something, but Courtois had more. Then Diaz went, and that something went. It wasn’t a bad performance but it wasn’t good, it was… pre-season.
Truth is in my eyes, Klopp got it wrong. For myself and I have no knowledge, Diaz stays on, Salah doesn’t start. Minamino does. Purely on the fact that he’s had a good cup season and scored a few.
Trent is not a poor defender. So those that say as much have to appreciate the ball goes through 3 defenders and he’s not quite right and bang, goal.
It all just felt a bit late 2000’s of a performance. But the truth is we have won 2 cups, whilst no other club in England has. Would I have taken the Prem over the two we won? Definitely. But those two are two more. Whether it be city, utd, real or the harlem globetrotters, two cups is a good outcome. Jurgen, tonight wasn’t heavy metal, it was a bit more indie…give the boys a rest and well done Liverpool, looking forward to the next album!
Second place is first loser
A bitterly disappointing end to the season, losing to an average Madrid side. What could have been a season for the ages ends up being no more than a decent season, in my view.
At the level we are currently operating at, seasons are defined by the two main competitions, the league and the Champions League. Runner up in both is not enough. We have an exceptional ream and a ‘once in a couple of generations’ manager and it feels like 1 league title and 1 champions league- so far – doesn’t represent a deserved return for the football we’ve played over the last few years.
We’ll contend again next year. And while I’d look to add more creativity in midfield and maybe a backup right back: and whether Mo and Sadio sign up again, or give us one more year and leave on a free (suspect this will happen for at least one and possibly both), or get sold on, I have complete faith in Klopp and the rest to make the right decisions to keep us competitive.
It’s been an enjoyable season, despite the way it ended for us. A lot of memories and glorious moments, and isn’t that why we watch football in the first place?
And f**k the shambles of organisation that led to the kick off being delayed, and tear gas being used outside. The job of whoever is hosting the final is to have enough gates open to safely and comfortably get all fans into the stadium well before kick off. This is on UEFA and the stadium authorities. If there is any attempt to blame fans it should be treated with extreme scepticism.
Kieran, LFC, Dublin
End of an era?
Kyiv felt like the beginning of something for Liverpool. Paris feels like the end of an era.
2021/22 season feels like this was and will have been maximum Liverpool. The squad is now starting to age and we probably had the strongest squad they will ever have had.
As Manchester City sign Haaland while Liverpool look like they will lose Mane to Bayern Munich.
In many ways this feels a little like the end of Klopp’s Dortmund side that lost the Champions League final to Bayern Munich in 2012. That was peak Dortmund and it never really recovered as they lost players.
Just as Bayern strengthened in 2012/13 with the arrival of Guardiola, they also started to systematically strengthen at the expense of Dortmund
It feels a little similar as Manchester City strengthen with the purchase of Haaland while Liverpool weaken with the loss of Mane and perhaps Salah.
Manchester City will likely win the league easily next season and I would be very surprised if Liverpool can beat the 90 point level again under Klopp.
But we have to thank this Liverpool team for keeping the Premier League competitive over the last 4 years. It is now likely to be easy League wins for City for the next few years. And that is going to make football very boring.
As a neutral I really didn’t mind who won tonight’s game, I appreciate both teams style of play and love and respect both managers.
But this email is to appreciate Real Madrid and the special success they have enjoyed over the last decade. The players Modric, Kroos, Benzema, Marcelo and Bale all now coming to the end of what is a truly mind boggling era – Other than 5 clubs (one of them Real) 5 Champions league trophies is more than all the other clubs in Europe have achieved in their history but these players have the medals in their cabinet. It’s a sad time to see these greats’ careers at Real coming to an end.
For all the talk about the power of the premier league (much of it very similar to the English exceptionalism shown regarding Brexit) Spain and Real have demonstrated yet again that they are truly the kings of modern-day European football – Head and shoulders above everyone else. All of this whilst having lower net spend over the last decade than English footballing titans such as Crystal Palace and Brighton and this proves that throwing silly money about is not the only route to success. Real still have an allure and winning mentality than no club in England can dream of coming close to.
I raise my glass to Liverpool and their amazing season, they came so close to making history. But tonight is Madrid’s night and I celebrate the end of some very special players careers at Real whilst being truly excited about some of the youngsters coming through. Financial prudence won tonight which was good for football and good for all of us!
Robert – Marbella
A few weeks ago I took the brave step of emailing your fine website to point out how lucky Liverpool have been in recent years. Some of their fans got kinda stroppy with me.
Since my email Liverpool have scraped the FA Cup on penalties, bottled the league when the pressure was on, and put in a shambolic display in the Champions League final to lose to the worst Madrid team in years (even getting a lucky referee decision along the way).
I guess I was right all along. Their luck finally ran out.
…Can I be the first to tell Rob, Dorset to f**k off given his inevitable mail that Liverpool lost because they ran out of luck.
All hail Ancelotti
Without a doubt Ancelotti was the best manager in the Champions league this season. Fantastic tactical manager with inspired substitutions throughout the knockout stages. He got his tactics spot on for the final. 5 finals in the CL and won 4. Amazing.
Liverpool 2022 = Arsenal 1993
In 1993 Arsenal won the domestic cup double and finished one point behind Manchester City in the League.
In 2022 Liverpool won the domestic cup double and finished one point behind Manchester City in the League.
Hopefully Liverpool can progress from here and win a European trophy next season to emulate that vintage Arsenal side.
Eoin (don’t bite, just accept Liverpool had a great season and won 50% of the trophies available) Ireland
Street smarts or dumb luck?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise after so long that the final scoreline determines the analysis of 90 minutes but it is still odd what I heard on BT and read in the papers today. Liverpool weren’t that good last night but still comfortably dominated Real Madrid. Wolves carried more threat last week.
The reason Real won was because they scored with their one clear chance and their keeper had a great game. It wasn’t because they were clever or streetwise. Streetwise performances don’t involve letting the opposition get 9 shots on target and an xG of 2.35.
The Real defenders and midfielders did not play well. If they had it wouldn’t have been possible for Courtois to be the stand out player on the pitch. He bailed them out.
They won and deserve to enjoy it but let’s not pretend that performance was part of a masterplan.
Real Madrid have won the last 8 Champions League finals they’ve reached. It’s now 14 times they’ve won the big one. They have lost just 3 Champions League finals. There can be doubt that this really is their competition.
Benzema’s touch and poise is something else. He’s been unstoppable this year. Courtois was imperious. This Madrid side are of course talented and capable of playing some excellent football, but what’s most impressive is how gritty they are. They find a way. They are never beaten.
And Ancelotti now stands alone as a manger with 4 – the man who won La Decima and started this incredible European resurgence that, after a 12 year barren spell, has seen Real win 5 of the last 9 finals.
Impressive is a hell of an understatement.
Disclaimer: if I have any of these stats wrong, sorry. I’ve had a pint or five (might be six, can’t quite remember)
Jack, 27, London (hello again to the mailbox and the fine folk of F365!)
Mails that begin “Three finals, no goals”
Three finals, no goals. A triumph for the “Mentality Monsters”.
…Three finals, no goals.
One League title in 32 years.
Greatest side ever? They’re nothing but a good cup side. Not the best side in Europe, not the best side in England, not even the best side in the North West of England.
As an Arsenal fan it sickens me to write this – but are Spurs currently the happiest fans in the land?
City – Title nice but expected, but fear they are becoming serial CL bottlers
Liverpool – Only other team to win anything, but didn’t win what they wanted
Chelsea – Fear a future of not being juiced up by someone’s billions
Tottenham – Happiest in the Land. Ecstatic as a new (ultimately false) dawn approaches
Arsenal – As much as we progressed and there are positives, we blew it
Man Utd – HAHA
(I’ll stop here as it seems par to the course to only talk about the top six)
Steve (GOONER) Australia
The real quiz
Arsenal’s season came to a frustrating end. In the end our inconsistency on the pitch ruined hopes of Champions League football.
However, one thing associated with Arsenal that has been incredibly consistent for a while now is how mint our Adidas kits have been since 19/20. One iconic shirt after another. Having seen our new slick collared home shirt for 22/23 and having viewed leaked images of our away and third kit, I now firmly believe adidas’ run of kits from 19/20 – present is the greatest consecutive set of kits for one club ever. I ask fellow readers, which other club/manufacturer can compete?
Ps. We deserved such amazing designs considering the all-time awful kits Puma created for us prior to Adidas.
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