‘Suck it’, say Everton fans. Toffees are going for Europe next season

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Everton fans celebrate after securing Premier League survival. Credit: PA Images
Everton fans celebrate after securing Premier League survival. Credit: PA Images

Everton fans react to Frank Lampard keeping them in the Premier League: Also: mails on pitch invasions, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the final day…

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com

 

Safety sorted. Europe next
Dear all at Football365,

Everton are not going down. I’m sure the sadness felt there will pass soon. Ye practically salivated over the prospect of us being relegated and frankly it was nasty.

All that despite Rafa trying to get us relegated.

Onwards and upwards, we will be back in top 5-7 next season.
Steve Limerick Ireland

 

…Too much to say so I won’t. I’m numb.
TX Bill EFC

 

…Absolutely never in doubt.

I can’t feel my knees.
Aidan, EFC, Athens (pass the ouzo, quick!)

 

…Well John Nicholson can stick Frank in his pipe and smoke it.
Ted Maul.

 

…Please publish the Frank Lampard hatchet job you had ready to go at half time…
Adam, Midlands

 

Firefighter Frank
When Everton started to become slightly less rubbish a couple of weeks ago, I read a short article on the website of a bookmaker stating that Frank Lampard had envisioned himself becoming the next Pep Guardiola, but he was having greater success by imitating the style of Jose Mourinho.

The game last night put paid to any comparisons with ‘The Special One’. No Mourinho team has ever been so chaotic, at either end of the pitch.

However, it got me thinking, is Frank Lampard in fact the new Joe F*cking Kinnear?

The Toffees’ survival wasn’t as the result astute tactics, nor was it built on defensive solidity. Instead, the catalyst was ‘PASHUN’! The siege mentality instilled in that Everton side by Lampard is reminiscent of the: “Us against the world” approach favoured by Kinnear.

Admittedly, Lampard is yet to call anyone a c*nt is a press conference, but he is in the infancy of his managerial career, give him time.

It might not be the career trajectory Lampard was hoping for, but it is the perfect moment to carve out a niche as a firefighter. Big Sam appears to have hung up his chewing gum and earpiece, Roy is 138-years-old. The ‘Survival Specialist’ is becoming a dying breed. Of course, the first team that sees the threat of relegation looming next season will appoint Sean Dyche, but who else is there on the escapologist market?

This may be the greatest Lampardian Transition of all; from ambitious young coach, to relegation battler.
John MacDonald, Glasgow

 

Dele delight
As a Spurs fan I was happy to see Dele playing well last night and enjoying his football

Because of his image, he’s often criticised for all manner of things. There is an undercurrent of racism in some areas of the press but I don’t genuinely think there is with supporters, they just buy into narratives and it snowballs from there

When he turned up at Everton training for the first time he arrived in a Bentley Continental and was chastised for being ‘flash’. Days later he clearly decides to tone it down after the comments he’a introduced to the crowd and is accused of ‘dressing like he’s homeless’. It has the air of the Raheem’s about ir

It was so good last night to put all the circus to one side and see him playing well, contributing and helping turn the game around for his team. He was such a man exciting talent when he broke onto the Premier League scene. I think he’s been distracted by things away from football, but, I’ve never bought into this narrative that he’s ‘lazy’ because I’ve watched him with my own eyes. He runs his nuts off. He just lost a spark.

The downhill spiral started as early as the Russia World Cup. Southgate ran him into the ground and played him injured. He was in and out of the team in Pochettino’s last full season and struggled badly with his fitness. Then Mourinho came in and publicly ruined him, in front of his teammates, in front of the cameras and on the Amazon documentary. I genuinely feel a combination of factors caused him to fall out of love with the game

I have never seen movement like him in the English modern game. He had that ability to glide into positions without detection. He scored goals in big games despite everyone saying he didn’t have the temperament for it.

I hope this is the start of the comeback for him. He has bags of talent and just needs to get his head back in the game and to enjoy his football again and he’ll fly.
Ross THFC

 

Keep off the grass
These pitch invasions have to stop.

Seeing the video of what is apparently Patrick Viera shows that players and managers need to be protected. Move past the ‘kick’. See people surround him, fists in his face. Where were the stewards and police?

Billy Sharp was attacked on Tuesday night. Assaulted. Jack Grealish a few years back. Assaulted.

This is getting worse and is it really going to take someone being stabbed or trampled to death before the FA actually act. Because that’s where this is going.

FA need to put regulations in place now which will be enforced. A fixed penalty and a ban for 20 games or something for every fan who goes on the pitch should be mandatory at a minimum. Scaling up to games behind closed doors and points being docked for repeat offences over a few seasons.
Paul

 

…Everton and its fans are an embarrassment. For a club that prides itself on how “big” it is and how long it has remained in the top-flight, a pitch invasion (yes, a pitch invasion!) for not getting relegated despite having the 8th highest wage bill in the league is beyond ridiculous. Even if one were to look past that as passion and emotions running high, goading the opposite manager, one Patrick Vieira, who has conclusively proven that he is more erudite, more well-spoken, and clearly a much better manager than Frank Lampard is disgusting. Yes, this Patrick Vieira whose team has a much smaller wage bill and who man for man has the worse players compared to Everton. What Vieira could do with this Everton club one can only imagine. And then to have the temerity to look shocked when the opposition manager who you and your lot are goading on the pitch (where you have no right to be in the first place) retaliates, that is downright low. Now I am not advocating fighting fire with fire but which person in that situation could resist lashing out that those moronic fans. This blame in this situation 100% lies with Everton and those fans (obviously not all of them, but that subset) and not with Patrick Vieira.

As always, a portion of the media and television pundits will position this as Vieira attacking a fan. The implicit racism in this (along with how different it would be if it was Lampard instead) just makes me sad.

Super Patrick Vieira, as the Palace fans know better than the rest of us, will come out stronger for this. He has been a revelation this season and has been appropriately recognized as one of the 4 outstanding managers in the league. He certainly has my vote. As for Frank Lampard, the silver lining in all this is that he will remain Everton’s manager next season where the real pressure will start, and he will show once (and for all hopefully) that he is simply just not that good.
Rohit, Abu Dhabi

 

…Is it time for much harsher punishments for full scale pitch invasions? This week we’ve seen an idiot jailed for head butting Billy Sharp and also there was an incident last night with some idiot goading Vieira, who finally snapped and aimed a kick at him.
I don’t know what the current punishment is for clubs, probably a small fine, but the FA need to be looking at matches behind closed doors, huge fines or potential points deductions. And before any Everton fans jump on that I’m not a Leeds, Burnley or Liverpool fan suggesting you take points deductions to ensure you’re relegated.
It is impossible for the number of stewards and police to stop thousands of fans streaming on to the pitch so the deterrent needs to be something that is felt by those fans. Behind closed doors games and points deductions would do it and would ensure the safety of players and staff.
Rich, AFC
PS: Looking forward to the ‘celebration police’ taking Everton to task and the media hailing the job Lampard did taking his side deep in to a relegation scrap before finally cleaning up his own mess – just

 

 

Alternatives to penalties
For a fun action-packed extra time make all players from each team, except one, play in a pair of flips flops. Said chosen player gets to wear a pair of trainers (can’t have studs and flip flops after all). Guaranteed fouls, fun and goals galore (for the chosen one/s).

Cheers
Matt C (socks are optional)

 

…It’s always interesting reading ideas for alternatives to penalties, but to my mind the solution already exists – albeit in a different sport. In Ice hockey, they have a shoot out but the ‘shooter’ starts at the half way line & dribbles in to try to score 1 on 1.

Goals would be less likely than with normal penalties, & would be much more skill based – thus encouraging teams to leave attacking players on the pitch.

Plus with Alisson’s one-one-one superpowers, Liverpool would likely win every shootout we enter, which would be a bonus…
Will Graham

 

Stick with shoot-outs
Seems plenty of people are against penalty shootouts and are coming up with ever increasingly complex ways of deciding the games without using the penalty shootout to settle them.

For me, there really isn’t a better way. Penalties are part of the game and are a test of nerve when the pressure is on in a shootout. All the ideas about playing with reduced numbers, or goalkeepers that can’t use their hands which result in a penalty if they do are just a bit mad. If that happened, guess what, the game would still be decided on a penalty kick most likely.

The silver and golden goals were used, and I personally thought they were great ideas and should be looked at again as an additional way of settling a game. They may not have worked quite as intended to stimulate attacking play in extra time, but was better than nothing.

The players are usually shattered by extra time, and as Andy (MUFC) says usually results in a shootout a lot of the time when the teams play out extra time. I wouldn’t go as far as Andy though and remove extra time, maybe just reduce it to 15 mins.

Ultimately, I personally see a shootout as the fairest way, and it adds a layer of intrigue and jeopardy at the end of a long game and both teams really can’t complain if the game has to be settled this way.

Regards
Kevin

 

…I think the solution would be quite simple if penalties were to be replaced – remove a player from each team at 90 minutes and continue doing so every five minutes of extra time. A win could be allowed at either 105 minutes or 120 minutes. Then, if the game is a tie after 30 minutes of additional play, the same process could continue until a golden goal is scored.

At least tournaments will be won by actual goals rather than the current scenario whereby an individual’s failure to score becomes the most-memorable moment. Equally, the tactical decisions to remove particular players would be incredibly intriguing.
AC in Milan

 

I propose to start all football matches with a pre-match penalty shootout which determines a clear winner.

Thereafter, the match can begin. If a clear winner emerges within regular time, the pre-match penalty results are squashed. If the match is a draw (2-2 for example), at the end of regular time (90+ extra time), the pre-match penalty results are considered and homologated as the final score. With this model you achieve the following:
1) the penalty shooter doesn’t feel the weight of 90+ minutes and stress before taking a spot-kick.
2) There’s no psychological advantage for the team which scores an equaliser in the last minute before penalties.
3) The team which potentially lost the penalty shootout (before the match) plays to win outright and avoid recourse to pre-match penalty results.
4) No need for specific substitutions (like Tim Krull) just for spot-kicks.
AA

 

…I’m not sure how to kick this off online but i would like to start a petition for the FA to read and consider.

I simply don’t like Cup Finals being decided on penalties, we want goals, that’s why we watch football.

And that’s not to say there’s no mileage watching a really well played clean sheet with a 0-0 draw…but a cup final shouldn’t be decided by two individuals taking penalties when a team has spent a whole season perfecting their game reaching the final, the pinnacle of their season and in this instance the FA Cup the highest accolade in club and player football.

What’s the answer?

I don’t know, but I would rather wait for a golden goal than watch a penalty shoot out.

My solution:
If the two teams playing the final match reach a score draw at the end of 90 minutes (full-time) then extra time is played and the result is still a score draw the match should be awarded to the first team that scored. This is the team that created the first goal; they entertained the crowd. This would fuel the passions of the opposing side to try and create more chances; come from behind and make a spectacle of the match.

And what happens if it’s 0-0 after full-time and extra time? Well I think the answer here is quite simple. We have not been entertained !

Both teams should be awarded a runners up medal as they have failed to create a goal; failed to excite the crowd; and failed to win the final. In this case the cup is retained by the previous years’ winner…..! a bit like the Ryder Cup and the Ashes, there’s a precedent here….

I have consulted a small focus group who are all in agreement that this is far, far more preferable than the penalty shoot out.

Thank you for your attentions’ and keep up the good work.

Yours most humbly.
Andrew

Aaron Ramsey sees his penalty saved by Kevin Trapp as Rangers lose to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final. Credit: PA Images
Aaron Ramsey sees his penalty saved by Kevin Trapp as Rangers lose to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final. Credit: PA Images


Two balls are better than one
Reading the various suggestions to replace a penalty shoot out I felt compelled to write. My two brothers and I had exactly this debate sometime in the 1990s, almost certainly after one of England’s exits at the late stages of a major competition when the level of perceived injustice was running high. We came up with three scenarios, of which the first was essentially that previously described by a contributor to the mailbox; remove players at defined intervals. Nice. But let me offer two more in the spirit of trying to guarantee high drama, and a swift (and inarguably earned) conclusion:

1. Remove the goalkeepers entirely. Strategize concerning how many, if any, players to leave on the goal line to leap, headfirst, at any incoming shots. Do we really doubt that we’d get a goal fairly swiftly, from open play?

2. Full disclosure: this is my preferred option. Kick off with two balls simultaneously. While this poses some challenges from a TV coverage, and indeed commentary, perspective imagine the glorious chaos (and commentary) if opposing sides attacked at the same time. Better yet, picture wingers of the same team bursting forward on both flanks simultaneously, raining crosses into the box. I might pity the referee, or rather referees, having to keep on eye on all this but the spectacle, surely, would be worth it. First goal wins, and we’d get one fast.

I am happy to front the campaign needed to make option 2 a reality.
Darren

 

Rehash a FIFA favourite
I suggest that the size of the goal must be increased, which will result in more goals for both teams.
I would rather see scores of 6-5, 7-4, 8-7 than have a penalty shout-out.

Top goal keepers are now huge men, and with the well organized defending backs, it’s difficult to score, but supporters want to see goals. Make goal scoring more easy with wider and higher goal posts.

Regards,
Hans

 

Trent and a team game
So Calum claims to be a data ‘analyst’ in the tired TAA saga, but does no analysis. Spouting data or individual facts is not analysis. Putting them into context is analysis.

TAA is part of a back 5 that has kept 21 clean sheets and only conceded 25 goals in the league this year. I am sure if you tracked the data for the defenders that have played the most minutes for Liverpool in defence they would not be topping any of the individual stats per 90 mentioned. Would have been more interesting to compare with City’s players too, who have also kept 21 clean sheets and only conceded 24 goals.

Both teams keep a high line, Liverpool exceptionally high. Both teams use one or more full backs as part of the attacking strategy. Both teams have a high percentage of possession per game, meaning their defenders do less ‘traditional’ defending.

This debate started when AWB went to United and many United fans claimed he was a better ‘defender’ than TAA and should be in the England team ahead of him. This year United, have conceded 56 goals and only kept 8 clean sheets. To put into perspective Burnley have kept 9 clean sheets and conceded 50. So not much to shout about the United defence this year – so would have thought this whole TAA debate might have subsided.

Defending and attacking is such a team game today. Liverpools high line compresses the field which allows their press to turnover possession in their opponents half. Liverpool ‘tackle’ more upfront. The number of times a Liverpool defender has to tackle is significantly fewer as a result of their possession, high line and forward pressing. They also catch their opponents offside significantly more than any other team. By mid February Liverpool had caught opponents offside 101 times, City, the next nearest, 61 times, and it drops off from their. You could say Liverpool defend from the front, although not strictly true, their game strategy has the effect of preventing opponents getting too many decent attacking opportunities. Liverpool can caught occasionally and you will see their prime objective is to shepherd the opponent away from a goal scoring opening while the rest of the team tracks back. Not to rush into a desperate tackle.

Some of the poorer pundits (less analysis focussed) kept harping on about Liverpools high line early in the season but are saying it less so now as the stats that count – goals against and clean sheets – stay low. It allows Trent and Robertson to go forward yet have midfielders able to cover effectively if needed. It does take a certain amount of bravery but it is a tactic that Klopp decided would give them an edge, so they train with it and use it well.

I can see the desire a United fan would have to knock a Liverpool player as not being very good. But clearly TAA is doing very well within the construct of the team created by Klopp. Liverpool is about managing the individual skill levels inside a structure that may require them to play differently than they might otherwise do and do elsewhere. It’s also why we see some players who thrived at Liverpool not do so well elsewhere.

At the end of the day, I am sure TAA, as the youngest player to win the set of League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and World Club Cup is not worried about opposition fans throwing out these stats to say he is actually a very sh*t footballer. I think we all know he isn’t. And really, the only one he needs to convince is Klopp.
Paul McDevitt

 

…On the subject of “luck” it would be fair to say that almost all teams get a share of luck. How and when that luck falls and how significant it is, is another story.

When talking about luck I’m always reminded of a quote by Roberto Baggio who after hitting both posts and the crossbar while playing for fiorentina was asked how he felt about being so unlucky he replied “lucky? if I hit the post it’s because I didn’t aim in the goal.”

On the subject of penalties being a lottery that’s just absurd. If that were true then we would see different winners quite often and players would randomly miss and score an equal amount. But we all know there are some who (almost) never miss and some teams who win them far more than others. Penalties is a skill like any other. The biggest hinderence to their execution is how well an individual handles pressure. As we’ve seen recently Liverpool handle that pretty well. Whereas England don’t. There’s nothing wrong with having penalties decide a game because it’s still based around skill and mentality.

Finally a response to the data analyst who picked apart my mail, true I’m not a data analyst so I may have made mistakes but I didn’t start with the belief Trent is a good defender. I genuinely did just wanna know if he was as bad as everyone says, which even you stated he’s not. Just slightly below average according to your analysis. Curiously you mentioned that his stats are being propped up by playing in a good defense but then neglected to realise that he is part of that good defense, they don’t prop him up, they all work together as a unit.

To put it into far easier terms though – if Trent was available for free how many teams would turn him down? Just city I think (personally I think cancelo is a better all round defender so id take him). Pretty sure every other team in the league would happily swap their current right back for trent.

So he can’t be that bad can he?
Lee

 

Final day thoughts
2 days until the title is decided. Here are some thoughts:

1. The narrative is so strong with this one that the narrative klaxon may implode. Gerrard wins Liverpool the title! HONK. Coutinho wins Liverpool the title! HONK. Ings wins Liverpool the title! HONK. Or, alternatively, Gerrard costs Liverpool the title (not sure how that happens, but someone will say it). HONK. Grealish defeats old club to win the title! HONK. So much narrative, so little time. In all probability though, City just win 3-0, Grealish doesn’t score, and headline writers get very sad.

2. So what are Liverpool’s chances? Well, not good. If they do it, they will do something that has never been done since football was invented in 1992. No team in the Premier League era has ever gone from 2nd to 1st on the last day of the season. United came close, but then AGUEROOOO, and we know how that ended.

3. In fact, only once has the team in first place has failed to win, with the title still on the line. That was Blackburn in 1995 who lost 2-1 to Liverpool. Thankfully for them (and everyone inside Anfield) United failed to beat West Ham, so Rovers still won the title.

4. Of course, it has happened in the before times, before the Premier League. Most recently, and most famously, when Arsenal won 2-0 at Anfield to win the title in 1989. So it’s not unheard of, but it happens very rarely.

5. Things also don’t look good when you look at form. Villa have struggled to keep clean sheets of late. The last time they played a team with a decent strike force they shipped 4. Against the top 7 in England this year they’ve only picked up 4 points and that was against Man United, which doesn’t really count.

6. City on the other hand have been steamrollering teams. In their last 8 league games they’ve scored at least 2 goals. They’ve scored 21 in the last 5. They’ve only dropped points once against a team outside the top 7 since January. Ominous.

7. But, football has a way of making you believe. One of the reasons AGUEROOOO was so good was the way it sounds. The ‘o’ at the end is lovely. Anyone playing on Sunday with an ‘o’ in their name? COUTINHOOOOOO has a nice ring to it. A man can dream.

8. After the Spurs draw I wrote a tounge in cheek email, predicting results for the end of the season. I wrote: ‘City have a comfortable 3-0 win against Newcastle…Liverpool respond with a tight 2-1 win over Villa, with City then winning 3-1 at Wolves…City fall to a shock 2-0 defeat at West Ham. Liverpool capatalise on that slip up, winning 1-0 at Southampton.

You’ll notice that for City, I got every result correct, (if you subtract 2 of the goals that City scored for each game). With that in mind, I predict: Man City 0-3 Aston Villa.

9. I mean not really. That’s very much a joke. In all likelihood, City win 3-0 or 4-0. Or, just to be annoying, concede early, then win 4-1. There is absolutely no logical reason why City should drop points. And yet. football is a game where logic can fly out the window. Maybe more than any other sport, the impossible, the unpredictable and the wonderful can happen. It’s why, despite all the reasons above, there is hope. And without being too sappy, hope is a beautiful thing.

10. The thing about hope in the face of impossible odds is that, while very occasionally you are rewarded, the majority of the time you are not. City will probably win, and if they do that is well deserved. I won’t be deflated or upset. I’ll just reflect back on what a wonderful season this has been, and what a joy it is to watch this squad of players compete. And I’ll get to look forward to next weekend, when the cycle of hope begins again.
Mike, LFC, London

 

…Obviously, the last thing that we need is yet another mail about the prospect of Villa and their manager doing Liverpool a “favour” (not a favour, just doing the job that they are paid enormously to do), so here it is.

In 2018, Crystal Palace were a bang average, middle table team who went to the Etihad, were completely dominated (City had 78.3% possession and had 19 shots to Palace’s 3), yet came away with a 2-3 win (helped greatly by a worldie from Andros Townsend). In 2021 Palace were still a bang average, middle table team and went to the Etihad, and helped by Laporte getting sent off just before half time, won 0-2, despite again being behind in every other metric, even though they had a man advantage for half the game.

No-one would have thought that they had a chance in either game, just as no-one thinks Villa have a chance on Sunday.

Villa will probably lose on Sunday, and will probably get tonked in the process, but they might not. And this little chink of intrigue is an integral part of the sporting experience, and if you don’t understand that, then I am not sure what you are doing here, reading this.

Sunday has anti-climax written all over it, because regardless of how much you might hate Liverpool, surely you want it to be exciting? If there is a possibility that either team could be crowned champions with ten minutes to go, then surely we’re all happy with that? I realise that this happiness might be short lived, depending on what transpires in those ten minutes, but surely we all want it to go to the wire?
Mat (Just one account on here. Is that weird?)

 

Dare to dream
In response to Chris, who I believe posted the same thing in the comments of the previous mail bag verbatim. I don’t think many Liverpool supporters in their minds are thinking that it is likely Aston Villa get a result at City, but damn man, sometimes football and being a supporter needs to be a game of the heart. No shame in having some hope for the next few days until as you logically suggest City got 2-0 up and home and it’s done. it is all supposed to be fun right? Something to drag us up from the daily grind.

I buy the occasional lottery ticket when the jackpot gets up high enough. I know full well there is a very good chance I’m not going to win anything, but small purchase gives you that little bit of time before the draw to think ‘what if?’ Where would I buy my cottage, how cool would it be to retire from my job, what insane super car am I going to buy?

No different here. There is plenty of time for cold hard logic once the dust settles on Sunday for now, it’s a cool place to be in FIFA/Football Manager ‘What If’ land.

Heck, Wolves have played us well so even if City do slip up there’s still a job for a tired club with one eye on the Champions League final to do.
Mark LFC (Don’t tell me not to dream lol)

 

Perfect scenarios
So a quick question to the Liverpool, Man city, Arsenal Tottenham, Burnley and Leeds united fans…..

If given an opportunity to script the final match day outcome/events in such a way that favours your team while sending you into elation.. what will your script look like??

As a Liverpool fan who can only hope for the Quadruple (let’s be honest it’s city’s title to lose) the Liverpool boys at villa may try spring up a surprise, but ultimately they are more likelier to fall short, As city is miles better… so if wishes were horses, here is my script;

Wolves started like a house on fire against Liverpool like they have been contracted by the Oil money… While Liverpool are still trying to find a rhythm at about 30 minutes…anfield got tensed and by extension got deflated on fans seeing the pop up notifications on their phones, Mahrez just dispatched a second of 2 quick fire goals scored by city, it’s now City 2-0 Villa…

The atmosphere from the stand infiltrates the pitch and seem to affect the Red men on the anfield turf and they somehow fall behind to a wolves rapid counter attack brilliantly dispatched by Neto, just on the cusp of halftime in the 44th minutes..

So We have it HT result

Liverpool 0 – 1 Wolves
Mancity 2 – 0 Aston Villa

At least Liverpool fans around the globe(including this scripter) can be forgiven for begrudgingly congratulating ManCity for scooping away with another final day EPL title….. only for this scripter to remember he’s in charge of the final day events…

And so, Second Half begins.

Liverpool still couldn’t get in their groove (obviously City’s HT result squashes any little hope they harbour plus they themselves are currently trailing)..

54′ wolves were awarded a controversial penalty, which on replay shouldn’t have been given, but VAR somehow didn’t check and up stepped Moutinho who somehow contrive to hit the upright…. And that moment just seem to jostle the men in red back alive (they stop feeling sorry for themselves and step up to at least give the fans a beffiting ending to the final home league match)

62′ Sadio equalises via a deflected shot 1-1 (but scoreline somehow still city 2-0 villa)

69′ totally against the run of play, McGinn pulls one back for villa 2-1 (still Liverpool 1-1 Wolves)

73′ Wolves inexplicably pull clear with a set piece goal scored by Conor Coady – also against the run of play Liverpool 1-2 Wolves

..loud jubilation from the home fans at the Etihad without a goal scored on the ground signal their upward trajectory to the players
This somehow lures city players into some form of security… Still city 2-1 villa (the Liverpool boys at villa are really giving it their all)

81′ Konate heads home from a Robertson delivery to level up the score 2-2 (still 2-1 at the Etihad)

89′ Diaz put Liverpool ahead with a fine Solo goal assisted by Thiago

90+1′
90+2′
90+3′
90+4′ full time at anfield Liverpool 3-2 Wolves. The title race is run and second was all they could get.. they thought…..

Liverpool is not expecting the title as city are really clunging to their lead at 90+5′

90+5′ there was a Var check on a possible penalty (Rodri handled the ball) for Villa which wasn’t spotted by the referee…

After a lengthy check the ref had to go confirm by himself on the screen…(at this point Anfield was still filled up by both set of fans and players awaiting the final result of the unbelievable chaos unfolding at the Etihad) The referee pointed to the spot.

90+7′ PENALTY to Villa

(Honestly, i can’t imagine the scenes at Anfield at this point

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)

90+8′ Up step Coutinho a former Liverpool prodigy, shouldering the hope of millions of reds fans….
a kick away from handing Gerrard a redemption….
a kick away from rebuilding burnt bridge with the anfield faithful…..
Just a kick away from handing Liverpool the title…

90+8′ Coutinho overcame pressure and BEDLAM ensues…. the Quadruple is still on.

Only if wishes were horses

Shanana/Alagbedeeko, Lagos Nigeria

 

Be nice to each other

I write this as we are about to see three penultimate matches before the season ends.

Also, I am a City fan.

There has been too much whataboutery in the MB this season, with spending, net spending, bias (perceived or otherwise), VAR, et al, so let’s be nice to each other for a change.

This is my take on every team thus far:

City: Not bad at all, but not as good as we know we can be.
LFC: My God they have been brilliant!
CFC: I do get that it has been difficult but they just about deserve to be where they are.
THFC: See below.
AFC: See above.
MUFC: Sorry, but it’s been a f*cking sh*t season for you lot. And that’s being kind.
WHUFC: What a season!
WFC: what happened? You were doing so well!
LCFC: Same old, same old, I guess.
BFC: Wow! Brilliant.
BFC: See above.
NUFC: We knew you would be fine, but Howe has been brilliant.
CPFC: Viera may not be the best, but he ain’t bad, is he?
AVFC: Steve has done OK. Let’s see what he can do next season.
SFC: Not great, but you’re safe. That and Liverpool haven’t raided you again (yet).
EFC: I thought about this long and hard, and I genuinely could not come up with a good thing to say.
LUFC: Should have gotten rid of Bielsa earlier; at least you got there eventually.
BFC: You’ve been a mainstay, and that’s great, but maybe you need to change things up a bit?
WFC: I don’t know, I really don’t.
NCFC: At least you keep getting the money, so umm … yay?

So, I have tried to be kind to everyone, I probably failed here and there, but I wasn’t nasty, I didn’t try to find excuses about my team, so now over to you before Sunday.
Mike D.

 

Facts checked
In response to Mike, LFC, London, who obviously had a great time in Dubai, I would like to thank him for pointing out that I didn’t get all my facts right. First of all, I should of course have written Abu Dhabi, not UAE, as the 7 emirates do indeed have different laws. Some do still have Sharia law sometimes being applied in parallel or in lieu of the more formal laws, but that’s another story.

Abu Dhabi does indeed not, as also pointed out by Mike, serve the death penalty for homosexuality. According to Article 80 of their penal code, this is only punishable with prison up to 14 years (10 years in Dubai, by the way). That should be great news for young Jake Daniels – I’m sure he’ll be relieved. I can also add that there’s a long list of foreigners being imprisoned and subsequently being deported for homosexual behaviour in all 7 emirates, but no beheadings, so all good…

I guess with Mike having cleared up this important point, we can all go back to cheering for Man City again, safe in the knowledge that their owners are in fact great people, who would not wish to harm Jake (apart from sticking him in jail for a large portion of his life, of course). As you were.

P.S. I also enjoyed my 2 years living in Dubai (The Lakes, out by Emirates Hills, since you asked, Mike). We were pretty sickened by the way the workers from West Asia were treated though, so we decided to leave again before my 3 year contract was up, but again, that’s a story for another day.
Tom K

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