Free Friday: Plato Quotes, No Panic Buying and England’s Exit

Free Friday: Plato Quotes, No Panic Buying and England’s Exit
July 13, 2018 Daniel Rhodes
In Free, Free Friday


This week’s posts selected by Chris Rowland and Daniel Rhodes.

The idea of this round-up is to give you all some idea of the range of debate on the site. If you’d like to be part of our troll-free community, there’s a ‘Subscribe’ tab at the very bottom of the page. 

1 – Stevenson1988 had this to say about goalkeeping errors being judged more harshly than others’:

As an ex keeper myself, I get annoyed that there is one point that is always overlooked when discussing mistakes: how can it be that a striker missing a clear goalscoring opportunity is somehow deemed less culpable than a keeper making a mistake that leads to a goal. They both cost the team a goal, the timing of which can either be crucial or irrelevant depending on the circumstances, yet the striker gets away with the usual platitudes about at least being in the position to score etc. The keeper on the other hand gets crucified and there are demands for him to be replaced immediately. How many easy chances did Salah miss last season – especially early on – in amongst all the goals? Did Klopp demote him and decide he was a crap purchase – if he did I must have missed it. I was a pissed off as anyone about the circumstances of the CL final defeat, but let’s be honest, the whole team struggled after Salah went off. Thuggery and gamesmanship, not football, won that night; but I think Karius has earned the right to be given a shot at redemption by his performances over the previous few months, since becoming the undisputed number one.

2 – Abhijit with another view of the Loris Karius debate:

There is another aspect to this LK debate. I think there was a series of tweets by David Preece or it may even have been an article where he highlighted how Karius was actually very important in reducing the number of shots on target faced by us. From what I remember he said that this was most evident in LK’s ability to read a ball and the defensive situation to then come off his line either to block the shot, reduce the angle to a near impossibility and at times even clear the ball when doing this outside the D. In fact I think Beez has also done some stats on that or he may have been just quoting David Preece. Plus there is the added factor where Karius gets us moving much faster than most GKs would and with the pace in our attack this is vital for our style of play.

The relevance here being is there any other GK out there (apart from Allisson) who can do this better than LK or even to the same level. Obviously the conclusion from JK and his coaching and scouting staff is that there is no upgrade available for this style of play which means that we are not going for any other target. And for what its worth Allisson would have to be Kahn, Neuer and De Gea rolled into one to be worth 70 million. As far as Oblak is concerned I came across a thread by Mo Chatra (I think) where he gives reasons why we are not going in for him. Basically it would be financial stupidity of the highest order. The buyout clause is 88 million but can only be bought out by the player himself and it has to be paid upfront. According to him the buying club pays the player’s price to the selling club over 3 installments, which means for 88 million we could buy talent worth 264 million or effectively pay that much for one GK and have an impact on our ability to pay for at least another three years. I personally think that we would have to win the PL and the CL to offset that kind of financial commitment. And that, for even an extreme optimist like me, is difficult to envision. Also even that might not be enough.

3 – Not every football site has a quote by Plato on it, like this from Schmav:

I think the following quote is a good ideal for all, especially fractious, interactions:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle – Plato

4 – Ding on that goalkeeper issue again:

If reports are to be believed, I think that one thing that should be clarified is that Klopp was already looking for a new keeper before the Champions’ League final. Alisson has been on our radar for a long time and some reports have suggested that we tried moving for him in the January window but were rebuffed by Roma.

Personally, I believe this to be the case – i.e. that Alisson had been scouted for a while – since that is how we like to operate. For example, the story about Keita’s transfer is that he had been scouted as early as 2016, but Red Bull had always intended to move him from Salzburg to their affiliate Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

What I’m saying is that the proposed move for Alisson this summer probably isn’t some snap decision that came about as a result of Karius’ CL final miscues. In all likelihood, Klopp still fancies getting Alisson in despite the current impasse with Roma. That won’t really be affected by Karius’ showing so far in preseason.

It’s a bit like how Klopp publicly backed his centre-backs (“name me five centre-backs better than Lovren”) after we failed to get van Dijk last summer, only for Liverpool to continue their pursuit and eventually land him. I think the same thing is happening here – if he can’t get an upgrade, then he’ll make do with Karius until he can replace him.

5 – Divilmint on England:

England will no doubt get plaudits in the aftermath of this competition but honestly other than giving the nation something to cling to for an extra fortnight actual progress was limited. Scoring three goals in open play (one of which was a random ricochet) is not cause for celebration. Nor is playing two decent teams and losing to them both. The problems still need to be addressed and they are largely unchanged since 2010.

Q. Why when in possession is everyone standing still in the final 3rd?

A. Because they’re bloody knackered from a long season in a physically intense league that doesn’t have a break.

Q. Why do we move the ball so slowly in the final 3rd?

A. You’re a Liverpool fan. Obviously it looks slow to you! Although my sister in law watches two football games every four years and has just text me lamenting how slow England were, so there must be something in it! It’s also because we don’t have a system we play to. How many have heard the talk of England DNA? What in the name of God does that mean? Can anyone actually recognise this England DNA? It certainly doesn’t manifest itself in any style of play. The last I saw any England DNA it was pouring out of a bandage on Terry Butcher’s head. It seems to me we neither pick players to suit the tactics or the tactics to suit the players and get caught in a tactical no man’s land.

Q. Would Fat Sam have done it better?

A. Waistcoat no. Tactics no.

Q. Should Vardy (if fit) have started ahead of Kane?

A. Yes. Every time. Three blisteringly rapid front men allows you to play a system that imho trumps two blistering pace merchants and a dead eyed, but pace limited striker. If the early departure of CR7 and Messi show anything it’s that, with very rare exception, teams and systems win tournaments. Individuals don’t. Either set up the team to support Kane’s strengths and pray he delivers or use the squad to support the squad’s strengths. Klopp, Mourinho, et al (even Tony fucking Pulis) have demonstrated for years now how systems are more important than players in achieving results.

Q. Is the EPL well suited to preparing players for international tournament football?

A. Not even remotely. International tournament football reminds me of 90’s Italian football. It’s more about the prevention of errors that the creation of chances.

Q. Should I stop saying “we” because I’m Northern Irish and not English

A. Definitely. But I wanted you guys to go all the way, I really did. Honestly this was he first time ever I genuinely cared whether a team other than LFC or my NI home town team won. Forget home nation rivalry I really wanted you guys to win the whole bloody tournament and am sorry you didn’t. Honestly. But please don’t get carried away. You played two decent teams and lost to them both. You are so much easier to wish well when you recognise your limitations and have a go regardless. I’ve never seen so many Paddies, Jocks and Taffs supporting England. The humility you demonstrated in getting to where you got was central to that. Although to be fair I don’t think it’s fair you have appropriated another continent’s animal as your emblem. Let the African countries have the lion back and you pick your most ferocious English animal. Three badgers on a shirt it is then 😉

Seriously though on behalf of the neutrals who became less neutral as the tournament pressed on a big thank you to the England team and staff for bringing some hugely enjoyable showers into our summer footballing drought. Football will eventually be coming home but not until number 19 is enjoying its bus ride through Liverpool City Centre. Until then thanks for the ride.

6 – Tony again on England, and the lack of creativity:

“We weren`t robbed.”

That was just an honest assessment made by my Cousin after the game. I agreed. In fact, throughout the match, and especially prior to extra time, discussions within my family had repeatedly centred upon England`s woeful lack of creativity upfront. It was a warning sign, in retrospect, appropriately heeded. I see from many Posts, on TTT, that many had shared this viewpoint.

Yes, the lack of attacking creativity in open play, was far from the usual standard of a team worthy of a place in a World Cup semi-final. My personal frustration with both Alli and Kane increased throughout this game. I know it is easy to have a pop at players who feature for prominent rivals; but, honestly, neither player looked even arsed to give a performance reflecting the size of the occasion.

In particular, what was wrong with Kane? Hardly a goal threat at all. Now, I accept that this is an emotional assessment, and I have not seen any official statistics, but I did make a few observations here. I can not recollect that his positioning was effective at any time. I also think that he hardly made much contact with the ball. (Probably, someone will have the stat now, that shows he had the most touches of all England players. 🙂 )

Also, what was the problem with him in the air? There seemed to be a few instances of route one football, with Pickford lobbing it up to Harry’s bonce. Except Harry’s bonce did not seem to connect with the ball even once. If the tactic was borrowing from the old Wimbledon team, then Kane was no Justin Fashanu. Oh, I know he has got all them goals and all; but, in this game, he looked far from a Golden Boot elect.

Generally, I think some of the back players made more of an impression in this tournament then the forwards. Their price tags may have risen somewhat, especially that of Pickford. But Alli and Kane may have more or less evened out their market value; and, quite possibly, Spurs fans may relax about either being poached by bigger teams on the continent.

Anyhow, there goes my lunch hour. TTT is, of course, designed to punctuate the irrelevant task of earning a living. England had a great journey but the ticket prices came with generous, lucky, discounts in all. Not a criticism, but honest appraisal is much needed realism. It takes the head out of the clouds and keeps the feet firmly on the ground.

Now. When does the proper football season start? 🙂

Articles published on The Tomkims Times this week:

Sunday July 8th:

Karius and Henderson, Choking and Bouncing,by Paul Tomkins.

Tuesday July 10th:

In Search Of A Fekir Alternative – Part 1, by Daniel Rhodes.