West Bromwich Albions

West Brom – teamtalk.com 20 Nov 22:08

Ref Review: And the referee at Old Trafford said no penalty?

It was bad decision after bad decision on matchday 12 of the Premier League and Arsene Wenger was not moaning this weekend.


Refereeing decisions are regularly the source of debate among fans, pundits, players and managers so this season a five-strong TEAMtalk panel will be passing judgement on every red card (or avoidance of one), every penalty and any other major incident every matchday.

We’ll also decide on a weekly basis which side can consider themselves lucky and which was the easiest decision for a match official to make.


Arsenal first goal against Tottenham

It seems you can’t keep Mike Dean out of the headlines. A frenetic north London derby and the venerable old whistler had a mare in the first half. That was never a free-kick against Davinson Sanchez in a million years in the build up to Arsenal’s first goal. And to add insult to injury (if you are a Spurs fan) Shkodran Mustafi was offside before putting Arsenal in front. Desperately poor decision from Dean, and a raging Mauricio Pochettinho said afterwards: “It is not one mistake, it was two. It was a foul and it was offside. It was very clear.”

Arsene Wenger was moaning last week after the defeat at Man City; he will not be moaning this week. Maybe decisions do even themselves out?

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Vincent Kompany yellow card v Leicester City

After getting a couple of favourable calls against Arsenal they got another one on Saturday. There was a a massive call after just three minutes at the King Power and Kompany was very, very fortunate not to get a red card. Jamie Vardy was blatantly hacked down when through on goal after a cynical lunge by the City skipper. “Off, Off, Off” screamed the home fans but the big Belgian somehow only ended up with a yellow. The only possible mitigation for the referee was the fact John Stones covering Kompany may have saved him from a red. Mighty contentious however and the general consensus afterwards was Kompany should have been dismissed.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Bournemouth first goal v Huddersfield

The Terriers were ultimately well beaten by the Cherries but they have a case that Bournemouth’s opening goal should not have stood. Callum Wilson climbed well to nod home from Jordan Ibe’s cross but in the build up Charlie Daniels almost cut Florent Haderjgonaj in two after a wild lunge. Ref Lee Probert was well placed but bizarrely declined to call the foul. It was a shocking challenge and you could tell by Daniels’ body language he was as stunned as anyone not to be carded for it.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Simon Francis red card v Huddersfield

The big Bournemouth skipper, lucky not to be dismissed against Newcastle before the international break, could not really grumble about his red card on Saturday after picking up two cautions. Francis protested to Probert after the second yellow but they were both blatant cautions and he had to go.

Verdict: Correct decision


Everton penalty v Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson was raging after Everton were awarded a controversial penalty at Selhurst Park, insisting Oumar Niasse’s tumble in the box was a “dive”. Ref Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot insisting Scott Dann had blocked off Niasse’s run as he made his way into the area. To be fair to Hodgson and Palace the exaggerated tumble was straight out of the WWE and it was a pretty scandalous decision on reflection.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Manchester United penalty appeal v Newcastle United

In the end the Red Devils ran out easy winners but if they hadn’t claimed all three points Romelu Lukaku’s first-half penalty appeal would have been the main talking point at Old Trafford. With the score at 1-1 Lukaku nearly had his shirt pulled over his head by a Ciaran Clark  but the referee was unmoved. Replays confirmed it was definitely a foul.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Pedro Obiang yellow card v Watford

Obiang had a torrid afternoon against the Hornets and was hooked early by new boss David Moyes, but not before collecting a yellow card for raking his studs down the back of Will Hughes’ Achilles. A genuinely naughty challenge from the Spaniard and a yellow all day long.

Verdict: Correct decision


Andy Carroll ‘elbow’ v Watford

Just six seconds into his Premier League debut and Marvin Zeegelaar was flattened by a flailing Carroll elbow as the big Geordie went up to win a header by the touchline. The Dutchman was left with a bloodied nose but Carroll didn’t even get a talking to from the ref. On another day he might have walked as it was a reckless and dangerous challenge.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Leicester City

The Foxes knew they were up against it when in-form City rolled into town but they will argue they should have been playing against 10 men after Kompany’s foul on Vardy. The Leicester striker was through on goal and the rules dictate that Kompany should have been heading for an early bath. He didn’t, and Pep Guardiola’s men went to on record a rather routine 2-0 victory.


Stonewall decision of the week

Simon Francis red card

Francis – who bloodied the eye of Wayne Rooney with a stray elbow earlier in the season -has been walking a disciplinary tightrope for a while now but saw red on the stroke of half-time at the weekend after picking up two yellows in quick succession for fouls on Huddersfield’s lively Rajiv van La Parra. Even Cherries boss Eddie Howe said afterwards he felt the referee “ended up making the right call”.


The post Ref Review: And the referee at Old Trafford said no penalty… appeared first on teamtalk.com.

ESPN FC - West Bromwich Albion News 20 Nov 21:45

West Brom look to Nigel Pearson, Alan Pardew to replace Tony Pulis - sources

With the news emerging that Tony Pulls has parted ways with West Brom, Alison Bender and Stewart Robson discuss what his next move will be. Nigel Pearson and Alan Pardew head West Bromwich Albion's shortlist to replace the sacked Tony Pulis, sources have told ESPN FC, with the club determined to hire a manager with a proven record of staving off relegation. Pulis, who has never been relegated from the Premier League, was sacked on Monday after fans turned on the Welshman during Saturday's 4-0 defeat against Chelsea at The Hawthorns. With a combination of poor results and supporter unrest, the club's owners chose to dismiss Pulis in...

West Brom – teamtalk.com 20 Nov 21:33

Euro Paper Talk: Man Utd, Spurs eye Bilbao kid; Chelsea in ?70m bid

Tottenham and Manchester United are considering an approach for a young Athletic Bilbao attacker, while Chelsea have tabled a €70m bid for a top Italy star, according to Monday’s European papers.



Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United are among the clubs being credited with an interest in Athletic Bilbao star Gorka Guruzeta.

The 21-year-old has taken Spanish football by storm with his impressive skills and a number of clubs are looking to secure the signing of the player, who will be out of contract come the end of the season.

Bilbao played against Manchester United Under-23s at Leigh Sports Village last week and a number of clubs had scouts in attendance as they consider a move for the player.

Of those, it’s reported by Sport that both United and Spurs have both explored the possibility of signing the player.

Goruzeta would be entitled to move on a free, although any club who signs him would have to pay a developmental fee due to his age.

The player can operate across the frontline, either as a central striker or as a winger.



Barcelona star Lionel Messi has reportedly advised Barcelona to move for Chelsea favourite Eden Hazard amid claims Real Madrid are no longer keen on the Belgian.

The former Lille man has long been linked with a move to the Bernabeu, but it’s suggested Real Madrid are ready to switch their attention to Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah after the Egyptian enjoyed a prolific start to life at Anfield.

And Messi hopes Real Madrid’s reported decision to abandon their interest in Hazard will open the door to Barcelona, who still have money to spend from Neymar’s world-record sale to PSG in the summer.

According to Don Balon, Messi has told the club that Chelsea star Hazard would perfectly compliment their strikeforce and would be better suited to playing alongside himself and Luis Suarez than Philippe Coutinho, in a slightly deeper role, would.


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Chelsea would battle hard to keep Hazard, but with the star Belgian often admitting Spanish football is a lure for him, they might find it hard to retain his services should Barcelona make a concrete move for his services.

Meanwhile, Don Balon claim Manchester City could make a move for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez after Messi objected to the Algerian joining Barcelona.



Chelsea have tabled a €70m (£62.3m) bid for Torino striker Andrea Belotti (El Gol)

Chelsea have been fresh hope of a January deal for Alex Sandro after the Brazilian’s new contract talks with Juventus stalled (Calciomercato)

Real Madrid are back in the market for Manchester United keeper David De Gea with a €70m offer in the pipeline (El Larguero, Cadena Ser)

Ernesto Valverde will use Nelson Semedo as an emergency centre-half alongside Samuel Umtiti after Gerard Pique picked up a fifth booking of the season. It’s claimed the Barcelona boss does not trust reported Liverpool target Javier Mascherano, with a January return to Anfield drawing closer (Don Balon)

Real Madrid target Harry Kane has said his goal is to play for Tottenham for his entire career (Bild)

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been promised funds to sign three major superstars next summer and in an effort to keep him from PSG’s clutches (Sport)

Mourinho is also set for a January raid on Chelsea for winger Willian (Calciomercato)

Manchester United have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann amid fresh claims Barcelona have pulled out (Don Balon)

However, it’s also claimed Real Madrid are hatching a plan to sell Gareth Bale for £133m and use the cash to trigger Griezmann’s £90m release clause (Don Balon)

Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva admits he is in regular contact with Philippe Coutinho and says he hopes his compatriot will “work with us” (Telefoot)

Vincenzo Montella’s status as AC Milan’s manager is, once again, in peril (Corriere dello Sport)

Former Spurs striker Mido claims Real Madrid are already on the trail of Mohamed Salah

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has reportedly had enough of being blamed for his club’s problems in front of goal this season and has pointed the finger elsewhere

Javier Pastore’s agent has said the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is interested in a move to Inter Milan (Calciomercato)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appears to be Italy’s red-hot favourite to take over as national team coach, with their FA’s president describing him as “fire” (Gazetta dello Sport)

The post Euro Paper Talk: Man Utd, Spurs eye Bilbao kid; Chelsea in €70m bid appeared first on teamtalk.com.

West Brom – teamtalk.com 20 Nov 20:54

West Brom target experience after giving Pulis the push

West Brom want an experienced Premier League manager to replace the sacked Tony Pulis, reports suggest.

The Baggies axed Pulis on Monday after just two wins in his last 21 league games following Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Press Association Sport understands Albion ideally want a new manager with top-flight experience and are keen to appoint as soon as they can .

But the Baggies recognise the process of appointing Pulis’ successor may not be easy and are also prepared to take their time if necessary to get the right man.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill is not a contender for the job but ex-England boss Sam Allardyce has been already heavily linked.

Owner Guochuan Lai watched the Chelsea defeat after flying over from China for a pre-arranged trip.

Lai, who bought the club last year, has flown back to China and will be aided by chairman John Williams during the manager search.

The owner trusts former Blackburn chairman Williams and will not be swayed by a big name.

Assistant head coach Gary Megson, who was manager between 2000 and 2004 and returned to the club in the summer, has been put in caretaker charge.

Albion are just a point and a place above the relegation zone after an 11-game winless run in all competitions ahead of Saturday’s trip to Tottenham.

Chairman Williams told the club’s official website: “These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club.

“We are in a results business and, over the back end of last season and this season to date, ours have been very disappointing.

“We would like to place on record our appreciation of Tony’s contribution and hard work during a period of transition for the club which included a change of ownership. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Pulis succeeded Alan Irvine when the Baggies were a point above the relegation zone in January 2015, eventually leading them to 13th.

They finished 14th in 2015-16 and came 10th last season but failed to win any of their final nine matches.

Pulis defended his record at West Brom before losing to Chelsea and he also received support from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola after his dismissal.

“A big hug for Tony, as for (Slaven) Bilic,” Guardiola said.

“Everybody knows, when we don’t have results, managers here win the Premier League and months later they will be sacked. We have to accept that and work with that situation.

“I am a little bit disappointed because I have a great relationship with Tony Pulis. Every time we went against West Brom he was an amazing man, so gentle. Always we drink a good red wine and hopefully we can do it again in the future.”

Pulis also released a statement via the League Managers Association in which he said his Baggies record stood up to scrutiny.

“Over the last three seasons we have achieved a great deal and I am proud to have managed West Bromwich Albion,” he said.

“I would like to thank the two owners, Jeremy Peace and Mr Lai, the Board and fans for their support during my time at West Brom. Jeremy Peace and Mr Lai have played an important role in the off-field success and given the team a platform to build from.

“My remit was to develop the squad and ensure we delivered results which would in turn improve the club’s financial position. We have achieved this year on year and I am pleased to have played a part in the club’s growth.

“Our final league position in the last three seasons has represented the accomplishment of our targets as a club; sustaining our status in the Premier League and delivering stability, throughout the club’s transition of ownership.”

The post West Brom target experience after giving Pulis the push appeared first on teamtalk.com.

West Brom – teamtalk.com 20 Nov 17:15

Monday Verdict: Ozil plays for himself; Ronaldo gone at the game

We question the motivation behind Mesut Ozil’s outstanding display against Tottenham, discuss Cristiano Ronaldo’s continued struggles and Zlatan’s unbelievable arrogance – all in this week’s Monday Verdict….


Mesut Ozil was simply outstanding in the north London derby win over Tottenham on Saturday but the question has to be asked – just who was that performance for?

To say the German has been poor this season would be a massive understatement so where did a display like that come from and if he really is that good then why can he not turn it on more often?

That’s three questions, so here’s answer.

Sorry Gunners fans but he was not displaying his footballing genius or an ability to close down that he has hidden for the past four years for you, it was almost certainly for Jose Mourinho at Man Utd or Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona.

Ozil’s contract situation is common knowledge to all, along with the admiration that Mourinho has for the gifted playmaker, but just how can a player be so bad one week and so good the next – it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The 29-year-old was literally everywhere at The Emirates in a high-profile game that Arsenal’s bitter rivals were being heavily backed to win. What better occasion for Ozil to remind everyone that he is still an amazing footballer – when he can be bothered that is.

Ozil’s next contract will more than likely be his last big pay day, unless he fancies a trip to China in his mid-30s, so at some point he had to make people sit up and take notice and an injury-hit Spurs were his perfect fodder.

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It does make you wonder just how Arsenal fans who savoured every minute of their first league win over Tottenham in three years were actually lulled into actually believing Ozil’s Lazarus-type performance.

He probably did enough in one game to be able to take a breather until the festive programme, so watch out Crystal Palace on December 28 you may just find yourselves up against the real Mesut Ozil again.




Cristiano Ronaldo endured another frustrating evening as Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid shared a rare goalless draw in the first derby at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The match represented the seventh time in eight La Liga games this season that Ronaldo has failed to score as Real’s early season struggles continue.

Ronaldo made headlines in the week when defender Sergio Ramos defended the strength of Real’s squad as his team-mate had appeared to suggest after the Champions League defeat to Tottenham that it had been weakened by the summer departures of Alvaro Morata, Danilo, Fabio Coentrao, Pepe and James Rodriguez.

Manager Zinedine Zidane had played down talk of a rift between his two senior players, and apart from venting his frustration when a Toni Kroos cross went straight out of play, there was no sign of animosity between Ronaldo and his team-mates.

But just how well did Ronaldo play on Saturday night, let’s take a look…

Talk of the former Manchester United star waning has largely centred on whether he has lost a yard of pace. In his only footrace of the evening, Ronaldo was comfortably beaten to the ball by Atletico defender Juanfran when played through in the first half.

Having only scored once this season in LaLiga, it proved to be another frustrating evening in front of goal for the 32-year-old.

He did force two routine saves from Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak from free-kicks, but dragged a second-half effort wide of the target and spurned the best chance of the match late on.

Having hesitated eight yards out, Hernandez Lucas was able to block Ronaldo’s effort when a first-time shot would have taken the defender out of the equation.

A performance that will do little to end talk about Ronaldo’s lack of form – the Ballon D’or winner cut a peripheral figure for much of the contest against a well-drilled Atletico defence.

The fact that both his pace and killer instinct in front of goal let him down will have done little for the Portugal star’s confidence.


This probably applies to millions but sometimes, just sometimes you really should think before you tweet, but guess what some people just don’t care that what they may say might cause some offence.

Take Zlatan Ibrahimovic for example. A phenomenal talent who has had a remarkable career, while his comeback from a serious knee injury at 36 years of age has to be thoroughly applauded. But why is he so bloody arrogant?

Not long after his Swedish countrymen booked their place at a first World Cup finals in 12 years with an incredible play-off win over Italy, Zlatan appeared to take some of the glory for himself – despite retiring from international duty after Euro 2016.

He posted the following tweet replacing the S in Sweden for a Z, which immediately sparked rumours that he was looking to come out of retirement for one last swansong in Russia and automatically took some of the gloss off what the Swedish national team had achieved.

We are Zweden pic.twitter.com/rDXzRImev4

— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 13, 2017

There is absolutely no doubt that he was out of order – you only have to look at what Sweden coach Janne Andersson said when he was asked about a potential return for Zlatan in the aftermath of an history victory. Let’s remember they had just denied Italy a place at a World Cup finals for the first time since 1958!

Andersson said: “We have a team that has [accomplished a triumph] during these qualifications. For crying out loud, talk about the players who did this.”

You really can’t blame him from being angry.


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Of course there is probably no doubt that Sweden will be a better team with Zlatan leading the line – he did score 62 goals in 116 appearances after all – but try telling that to the forward players who replaced him during qualifying, while he was earning a fortune strutting his admittedly brilliant stuff at Old Trafford or recuperating from that nasty injury.

Zlatan has since been quoted that he has no intention of boarding a plan to Moscow – unless he has a media job lined up – but the damage was done but a selfish act that was ill-considered and arrogant beyond belief, but hey that’s Zlatan!



If David Moyes hadn’t done “due diligence” when he took the Sunderland job, it would be interesting to know his thoughts after witnessing those first 90 minutes as West Ham manager.

The Hammers travelled to Watford with the circumstances looking fairly favourable for them to at least secure a positive result; the cliched ‘new manager syndrome’ coupled with Watford’s poor run of form made it an interesting litmus test for the side rooted in the bottom three.

With just two wins all season, Moyes has clearly inherited a squad low on confidence. That was plain to see in the first half as Watford started on the front foot, constantly being allowed to find overlapping runners and wreak havoc down the flanks. When Will Hughes sweetly struck the hosts in front inside 10 minutes, few could begrudge them a lead.


Cheikou Kouyate had two really good chances to draw the visitors level; but when your lucks out, it’s out. If Moyes’ face was grimacing at those misses, goodness knows what his expression was when Richarlison was found in yards of space before being allowed a free run at the full-back before slotting one past Joe Hart.

Chants of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” could be heard from the away end at one point during the match, and this is a fanbase which appears to be turning very quickly on the men at the top.

While Moyes racked up his 500th game as a Premier League manager, Marco Silva amassed his 251st game as a manager in any game. One must be impressed at how Silva set his side up to take advantage of a side that is looking for a way to a) score goals and b) keep them out.

Silva once again failed to rule out a move to Everton in his post-match comments, but you have to question why he would even consider it. A bigger club yes, but he is putting his stamp upon the Hertfordshire side, and his stock is constantly rising. His counterpart however is struggling to keep his reputation afloat.

The post Monday Verdict: Ozil plays for himself; Ronaldo gone at the game appeared first on teamtalk.com.

ESPN FC - West Bromwich Albion News 20 Nov 14:41

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill keen on West Brom job - sources

With the news emerging that Tony Pulls has parted ways with West Brom, Alison Bender and Stewart Robson discuss what his next move will be. Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill is interested in the vacant manager's job at West Bromwich Albion and is on the club's list of potential options, sources have told ESPN FC. West Brom are beginning their search for a new manager following Monday's sacking of Pulis, who spent just less than three years in charge at The Hawthorns. The Baggies have picked up just two wins in 21 Premier League games and Saturday's 4-0 home defeat to Chelsea has left them just one point above the relegation zone. The...

West Brom – teamtalk.com 20 Nov 14:21

?We will definitely go down now,? moans West Brom fan

Is Mo Salah better than Lionel Messi “at this point in time”, West Brom fans want a German boss and is David de Gea the only Man Utd player who would get in a Manchester XI? All in our forum…

Join in the debate here…


Megson left holding the reins

At last! The only bad news today is that Megson has been left holding the reins. Hopefully not for too long. Right now I don’t give a damn who comes in but if it were me I would be on my way to Aberdeen to bring down McInnes.

Membership renewed this morning and tickets for next home match being obtained. Yippee!



Michael O’Neill the man?

Michael O'Neill: Fancies a crack at Foxes job

Agree with the good news, Pulis gone, and bad news, Megson covering, so don’t expect any change is style for Saturday as we have got progressively worse since Megson re-joined. As a replacement I would look at Michael O’Neil, had good success with Norn Iron and seems to get the best out of players. COYB



Let’s go German…

Definitely a case of good news/bad news but I don’t fancy any of the managers mentioned so far. The standard of football in the Scottish Prem outside of Glasgow is no better than a middle table Championship at best and McInnes wasn’t very good at managing one of those.

If you’ve ever watched highlights of those games you’d realise just how poor the majority are. As for O’Neil he did well because he had the team fighting for him and N Ireland’s pride. It’s one thing to do it in three or four matches a year and another to do it on a weekly basis.

Koeman has been mentioned but we need someone who can get the best out of our ageing squad. I fancy one of the young Bundesliga bosses such as Nagelsman, Hasenhuttl or Tuchel but I doubt if they’d be interested and I think Tuchel is favourite to replace Wenger!

Northwich Baggie

You’ve got what you wanted

Lets have it real none of you wanted pulis in the first place he was on a hiding to nothing imagine if i came into your work or wrote on the internet how bad you all were at your job constantly but the funny thing is how many of you even have the qualifications or expertise to make a judgement on pulis nothing a big fat zero,we will defifintely go down now,and i personally blame all of you.



Man City v Man Utd combined XI

What would yours be? Will get stick for putting shaw in, but fully fit I really rate him, just that our manager is a prick.

Had to choose between MAtic and Fernandinho.

——————-De Gea——————-



De Bruyne——–Silva———-Martial




Not Martial over Sane

I wouldn’t select Martial ahead of Sane. Sane better player than Martial. He is not consistent enough. Where as Sane is consistent. Sterling is also better than him. Also Shaw is nowhere near that team. Mendy is more superior. I would pick Bailey rather than Jones. Jones flatters to decieve. Instead of Martial i would pick the flat track bully ( Lukaku). 4-4-2). Or sane if we play 4-3-3.



De Gea the only Man Utd player…

De Gea is the only player who would definitely get into the City team. Pogba and Matic are maybes.

A better combined eleven question would be City-Chelsea (Courtois, Azpiliquetta, Kante, Hazard all clearly, and numerous other maybes).



Ozil led, others followed 

It can’t be a coincidence that the handful of times that Ozil has put in a performance like that, the rest of the team step up. He was outstanding and runaway MotM – he even outshone Sanchez, who was also superb and while Lacazette should have been a bit more ruthless with the couple of chances he had, the rest of his game was excellent.

Like everyone, I just want to enjoy a solid, comfortable win over the upstarts and won’t dwell too much on why we can’t play that every week, except to say that we’d be up there with City right now if we did, because that’s what this team is capable of when they all turn up.

Al The Gooner


Wenger got his tactics right

What a fantastic performance. Wenger got his tactics spot on and thats our best performance this season.would not dispute ozil being MOTM,but i thought lacazette was my pick.this guy is improving all the time and he’s going to be right up there with the rest in my opinion.his movement and taking defenders where they don’t want to go is the best i’ve seen since rvp.

another player i’ve got a lot of time for is mustafi.he’s got the physical attributes to be a very good defender and he’s scored a few from set pieaces too.working on the defence can only make him better.defensively we were fantastic and to say there’s a power shift in north london is pathetic.for that tohappen the spuds must win trophies and finish above us for at least the next 5 seasons.untill that happens there’s no such thing. fantastic performance from 1-11.



Sturridge wants out at Liverpool

There’ll be no shortage of takers. On the surface, the stats of Salah are showing him up.

Sturridge: 12 appearances, 3 goals
Salah: 18 appearances, 14 goals.

However, the caveat as regards the above is that Sturridge has only started 4 games in those 12 appearances whereas Salah has started in 17 of those 18 appearances. Also in terms of mins per goal or assist, Salah is at 84 and Sturridge at 86, so really, it’s perhaps not quite as bad as it looks when you look deeper into things.

I still think a lot of the whole question mark over him is that Klopp has always seen him as a luxury type of player – somebody to use in certain games where he could have an impact.



Salah better than Messi?

I am wondering whether Mo Salah is better than Lionel Messi at this point in time – not over their whole careers, of course.

Personally I think Salah is better, mainly because he is playing in a much tougher league, but also because of the following facts:

1. No Liverpool player has scored more goals than Salah (9) in his first 12 Premier League games.

2. Salah by mid-November has scored the same number of as our top scorer Coutinho scored in the whole of last season (14)

3. Salah is currently the top scorer in the Premiership, even though he’s not a striker

4. Messi may be at his peak (or even just past it) but Salah is far from his peak yet and still has numerous aspects of his game he must improve on

I just hope Salah can remain injury-free and keep improving on his game. And why would Coutinho want to move to Barca, when we have an equivalent superstar at Liverpool?



Asnwer is no: Messi is either one of the best 5 players of all time but in my opinion, for what it’s worth, he’s the best.

Salah has been unbelievable for us so far but to put the two in the same bracket, on any level is just wrong, even if trying to compare their current form. It’s a comparison that shouldn’t be made.

You could pick any top player the world has ever see and compare them to an average player who is in the best form of their lives and the reality is that it could make an average player look better. It’s just not right!



Have to agree, you cant compare Salah’s purple patch to Messi. Yes, Salah could be a great player but until he continues to do this season after season (something Vardy couldn’t do) then its way too early to put Sala and Messi in the same sentence. Don’t get me wrong Salah as it’s also an insult to talk of Vardy and Salah in the same sentence too.

I really like what I’m seeing about Salah. For so long I have been jealous of other teams and their ‘intelligent’ forwards. Now WE have an intelligent forward who will jump on any concentration lapses of opposition defenders. Salah is already the most intelligent forward we have. His movement is head and shoulders above other players, sometimes too good.

As a compromise, I see Salah more like Robben more so than Messi. Messi’s dribbling is exceptional whereas Robben was always a player who used his electric speed and tenacity to get past people. In fact, the more I see Salah I think Munich made a mistake not going for him to replace the ageing Robben.



United team v Basel

Really hope Jose plays a rotated squad for this game with Pogba,Matic,Martial,Lukaku,and Valencia/Young to be rested! We can afford to even lose/draw this game,we have more or less won the group,so rest players!

Smalling,Shaw,Blind,Darmian,Herrera,Mikhi,Lingard,Carrick,Mata,Ibra should all start.



No chance of Shaw starting

I reckon I’ve got as much chance of starting as Luke Shaw, I’ll pack my boots just in case. I’d be looking to get Pogba some minutes on the pitch, he’s been out for ages…another seventy minutes or so will do him the world of good. Ibrahimovic and Rojo too. It’s important to start building up a head of steam now and I’d be reluctant to tinker too much although he’ll definitely have more defensive minded players on the pitch than against the Geordies.

We should be able to pick a strong enough side to get a result and take us through without risking too much but Basle is a tricky place to go and get a result. They’re a noisy bunch and they fire up the players in that tight little stadium.

Wonderfuel Gas


Play kids v CSKA

I’d rather win this game and see the youngsters out to play CSKA when we know there’s nothing to play for. A relatively strong team against Basel and then doesn’t matter who goes out against CSKA.

Basel will be a different prospect in Switzerland so even if some of the younger players play, I’d expect a good mix of strong established players with young players. Plus, the CSKA match is in OT so would be an easier atmosphere for some of the more inexperienced players to be in.


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