Q: Taking your Liverpool hat off for a moment- would you back Liverpool for a top 4 finish and why?
I don’t think Liverpool will get top four.
Liverpool have two games left and they need to win both of them. A trip to West Ham these days isn’t as intense as it used to be (at Upton Park) but its never an easy place to go. They showed what they can do against Spurs (another ball playing team similar to Liverpool, although much better at it!).
West Ham are also a big, strong side which is the complete opposite to Liverpool with Matip being the exception. Our strongest defender is currently on loan at Palace and so I expect at least one set piece goal from them…Antonio header! – although I think he’s injured…hmm.
All West Ham have to do to get a result against us is to sit back and stop us creating anything which, with Sturridge and Lallana on the bench, was so easy for Southampton at the weekend.
Playing Lucas, Emre and Wijnaldum, all slow, defensive minded players, at home against Southampton was a ridiculous decision by Klopp. Especially in what really was a must win game for us. Origi doesn’t make half the runs Sturridge does which means every time Coutinho had the ball he had no one to aim for and we resorted to sideways passes over and over again.
Therefore, we were very easy to defend against. Sturridge and Coutinho have a great understanding, Coutinho knows where Sturridge is going to run to. You just have to go back to 2013/14 or 2014/15 to see that.
Then you have Middlesbrough at home, a team already relegated so you just know they’ll get a result at Anfield to restore some pride. I expect another bore draw with only one team going for it!
The maximum points Liverpool can get is 76, Man City 78, Arsenal 75 & Man Utd 74– providing they win all their remaining games. So even though it looks good for Liverpool, I just don’t see it happening.
When was the last time we had a convincing win? Maybe the 3-1 win over Everton back at the beginning of April. Other than that any points we’ve picked up have been a result of scrappy 1-0 wins or draws.
Will the top 4 even be worth it if we continue to perform as we have been since January?– on current form we’d struggle to even qualify. Like I have said previously, I don’t think the promise of Champions League football is as much of an incentive to join a club as it used to be.
Players these days unfortunately tend to be motivated more by money. Look at United and Chelsea, they were not in the Champions League but were still able to buy sign top players such as Pogba, Zlatan, Di Maria etc.
The thing about Liverpool is that we are never going to splash out the wages needed to attract these top players, even if we do get into the Champions League. Its just not in our business model.
Q: What did you make of Gary Neville’s comments on MNF around the need for Liverpool to refine plan A?
I agreed with Neville and actually said the same thing last year when we lost to Bournemouth. Our strongest starting 11 is pretty good and can beat anyone on their day, we have shown this on numerous occasions this season.
But take just one player out and it’s a completely different equation. He took off Mane in that game and we conceded three goals. We had a plan B in Benteke, who’s since been sold to Palace…
Teams sussed out Klopp’s tactics straight away – its simple, pack the defence and we can’t get through. All this pressing etc. doesn’t always work so you need other options and various different ways of playing. This was evident when he almost got Dortmund relegated in his last season there, people simply worked him out.
Q: Ideally, this summer, who remains/goes/comes in?
For me I’d get rid of Mignolet straight away. He’s done ok recently but his distribution and presence in the box is some of the worst I’ve seen. I like Pickford and Butland but they’re both quite inexperienced. Obviously you’ve got the superstars in Oblak and Donnarumma but we wont go for them. Klopp’s already said that he’s happy with his two goal keepers. Great.
- We clearly need a left back. He’s done well but we can’t have another season of Milner at left back and he clearly doesn’t rate Moreno. I cant think of any targets off the top of my head but I wish we still had John Arne Rise!
- He should bring back Sakho and have him partner Joel Matip. I rate Clyne so RB is fine, plus we have Trent Alexandar-Arnold who I think will be superb in a few years (Ben Woodburn and Ojo look like players too!)
- In an Attacking sense we are fine until we get an injury. Coutinho, Mane, Firmino and Lallana are all class. I would also keep and actually play Sturridge! Bar Harry Kane, hes the best English Finisher for me. – he did more in 5 minutes on Sunday than Origi has for 5 games
- We do need another centre forward though; Lacazette or Aubameyang would obviously be welcomed! – both are runners and would fit the system well in my opinion.
- The dream for me would be Griezmann – I love watching him play but it’ll never happen. We never buy the finished article/superstar player. Torres, Suarez, Alonso and Mascherano were not world class when we signed them. Im still not sold on Klopp. I don’t think he’s done anywhere near enough to earn the media and fan plaudits he receives.
- He failed to strengthen the side in January despite us being top of the league at that point.
- He knew Mane was going AFCON and opted not to replace him despite knowing how important he is to our team. It’s not like he picked up a sudden injury, we knew we were losing him for two months.
- Klopp waits too long to make changes. The one thing I admire about Mourinho is that when it’s not working, he changes it. Jose makes a lot of changes at half time, never leaves it too late like Klopp.
Q: Palace fans are raving about Sakho- was that a mistake? Is the keeper/defence as vulnerable as popular belief?
He let Sakho go out on loan despite us having an awful defence all season. Up until his injury he’s been immense for Palace and the clean sheets he helped them get will probably end up keeping them in the league.
He needs to swallow his pride and bring him back because he’s our best defender by a mile. So what if he showed up late for training a few times, it doesn’t matter in my opinion.
You play your best players. Fergie played Cantona after he Karate kicked a Palace fan and we played Suarez after he bit Ivanovic! – both much more serious offences than being late for training!
Q: Coutinho- just how good is he? Is it only consistency that separates him from the league’s best?
Coutinho is class. At 24 years of age his best years and consistency are still ahead of him. He can change the game in a second either with an outrageous goal or a killer pass/assist.
He’s one of the few players that the crowd stand up to every time he’s on the ball because you know he can produce something magical. In terms of the league’s best, you have to compare him to players that play in his position, so you’re looking at Hazard (who himself can be argued to be inconsistent. He had a whole season where he was poor), Ozil – goes missing a lot in big games, Mane – who has had a better season than Coutinho, Sanchez – for me plays further forward so its tough to compare.
Hazard is the better player though.
What are your thoughts on Dan’s views? Tweet us @sofasportsnews_