Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp chats with referee Paul Tierney.

Jurgen Klopp should be banned for months. The safety of grassroots refs depends on it…

One former ref makes a very important point in the Mailbox about Klopp and others at elite level normalising abusive behaviour. Also: plenty on Arsenal, soft spots and Joe Gomez.

Get your mails in to


This has to stop
I enjoyed the match at Anfield and thought Liverpool were well worth their win – never really felt that Man City had a sustained period of control. Some good performances on both sides but the outstanding performance of the day was the referee in my opinion. He let the game flow (without any silly tackles getting out of control) and got the major calls right.

My main point however is the appalling behaviour of Jurgen Klopp, all mad-eyed and spittle flecked fully ranting in someone’s face about a completely inconsequential decision that was called wrong. Shock horror, officials do make mistakes….but so do players. I can only imagine what Klopp did to Jota when he missed a clear header on goal or Nunez when he opted to shoot instead of play Salah in for a clear goal. But in reality, he’s a hypocrite….he won’t blame his players (nor would any manager in the PL when they can instead have a go at an assistant referee).

I was a qualified referee for many years and was eventually assaulted by a player who was subsequently banned for 5 years. Klopp’s behaviour normalises this attitude towards officials and I have no doubt that had yesterday’s incident occurred on a local park pitch without cameras and thousands of spectators it would have likely been physical.

I have no axe to grind with Liverpool specifically and there are other managers who also behave irresponsibly (see Guardiola during the VAR check yesterday), but if the FA is at all serious about halting the terrible rise in serious assaults on grass roots officials, the ban should be measured in months not days.
Name Witheld


What is violent conduct? 
The Gabriel and Bamford debacle was pretty pathetic from both sides but I don’t understand how Gabriel’s red card gets rescinded. The penalty should be overuled because it is a free out first but surely violent conduct – which is what the red would be deemed for – stands whether or not you’ve been fouled first?

I guess it’s just this week’s referee campaigns against/for (delete whichever you feel suits your agenda) Arsenal.


…I’m a bit surprised by the lack of mention but the overturned red card in the Arsenal game was a glaring issue demonstrating, (to me at least) that even with VAR, incompetent referees still don’t know what they’re doing.

I assumed the red card was for the violet conduct of Gabriel kicking out at Bamford. Just because Bamford made the first foul it doesn’t invalidate Gabriel’s action. If the whistle went and then someone punched a player in the face it’s still a red card regardless of the action beforehand.

Find it odd that nobody seemed to be phased or fussed by this. It’s like the VAR that failed to spot the red card Pickford should’ve had when he nailed Van Dijk.
Minty, LFC


Title race obtuseness 
I’m sorry but I find myself quite unreasonably annoyed at the flippancy in both Mediawatch and W&L today, regarding the importance of Liverpool’s win to the title race. Let’s stop being so giddy and/or willfully obtuse and acknowledge:

1. We are literally only 10 games into the Premier League season, between a quarter and a third has been played. Arsenal have made a fantastic start, but I can’t even begin to reel off the number of times F365 has gotten giddily ahead of itself about teams’ early season form over the ~17 years I’ve read this website. It has happened with Hull City, it has happened with Aston Villa, it has happened with Tottenham (oh so many times), it has happened with Leicester City (ditto), I can go on and on and on. Every damn time a team has a good start, without fail, people seem to giddily extrapolate where the good start will lead, rather than considering whether a regression to the mean is incoming.

2. Manchester City are a ruthlessly effective team with an actual robot striker, as has been noted by The Guardian’s David Squires and by F365 itself, who seems poised to absolutely decimate goalscoring records.

3. Since Leicester won it in that odd season, the points total to win the Premier League recently has been: 93, 86, 99, 98, 100, 93. This is why Arsenal’s excellent start to the season is nothing to hang hats on, in terms of a title challenge. It’s just a good foundation to build on. (This is not to say Arsenal fans shouldn’t be utterly delighted with their season – they should be. Their start has been so excellent that even “regressing to the mean” looks like it will land them in the top 4 comfortably. But there is a difference between being happy with how the season is going vs. believing in a title challenge competing against Haaland’s Manchester City).

So no, W&L, City losing is not “just the icing on the cake”. And no, Mediawatch, Arsenal hasn’t really done all that much yet to prevent a Manchester City procession. Bottom line: the key matches and moments that will define the title race this season will happen in Manchester City’s matches, not Arsenal’s, not Liverpool’s, not anybody else’s.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva, Switzerland


Read more: Premier League winners and losers: Arsenal’s champion week and Guardiola’s Anfield complex


…As an Arsenal fan I’ve just started breathing again after watching us somehow win against Leeds. Wins like these (the ones you don’t deserve) are necessary on the road to achieving something.

One Mr. Wenger used to say the league table means nothing in the first 10 games. I agree. Which means I also think the table means something now – a look up top and the big boys are settling in nicely. Here’s my take

Arsenal – they are for real, I’m enjoying the ride
City – aren’t invincible
Spurs – I agree with past mailbox from Arsenal fans…there is something there and they will be top 3
Chelsea – 4 wins on the trot and a potential dark horse as Mr. Potter unifies a very good squad. Will win something this year.
United – Feel this year will have too many bumps to be a real threat (Hint; get a process and trust it)
Newcastle – In a couple of windows all those draws might become wins. But not there yet
Brighton – Have slipped from 4 to 7 and I’d be surprised if they end up top 10
Liverpool – Have too much to make up to the top (you can’t win the title in the first 10 games but you can lose it). They will be fine and I can see them top 2 team on a post World Cup table

I’m enjoying the season and wonder with the World Cup why didn’t we go all South American style and have 2 seasons: Aperture and Clausura? (I kid)
Steve (Gooner) Australia


Calm down, calm down
I don’t know if it speaks more to the desperation with England’s defensive ranks, or modern football’s insatiable appetite for hot takes, but can everyone (less aimed at the one mail about it in the morning mailbox and more at Garth Crooks, supposed expert) calm down on immediately putting Joe Gomez in the England team.

He had a good half at right-back against Rangers, and an excellent game against City, but those are outliers amongst a couple of years of injury and mediocrity. He wouldn’t be in the team if Matip or Konate were fully fit. I hope this form continues, considering he looked absolutely mustard about 2-3 years ago. Long run, fitness permitting, I can see him being an England regular. However, the last of his 11 caps (genuinely surprised it’s that many) was in 2020. If you’re going to make a knee-jerk personnel change this close to the World Cup, Seria A-winning Tomori would absolutely like a word.

Also, Klopp can both have a point about the standard of decision-making from the officials and also be completely out of order with his histrionics. Incoming touchline ban will be totally justified, although I’d be interested to see if Guardiola faces any punishment for openly questioning the integrity of the referee team. I’m of the opinion that our laws are an ass, our top-level referee stock is mediocre, and VAR is applied virtually at random, but I don’t think anyone is doing all that deliberately.
Pierre, LFC, Bristol

Soft spots
Ever have an irrational soft spot for a player you can’t explain?

Yeah, I’ve had that with Kepa.

I always felt sorry for the lad. He had the “world record” fee dumped on his head, and other struggles moving to England.

Yeah some of them were self-inflicted mind. The refusal to be substituted, and the Liverpool FA cup final come to mind. But I always felt for him.

Thats why, I have to admit, I was very, very pleased with the recent game. He showed everything that Chelsea wanted from him. Some fantastic saves (The triple save has to be one of the saves of the season so far), and he looked assured with the ball at his feet, which is something Potter seems keen on.

Plus, this all comes at a time when Mendy, once formidable, was starting to underperform (compared to his excellent previous seasons).

Ill be quite happy if Kepa comes to the fore. No reason. Just like the chap.
DaraghJohn (Glad to see Wycombe beat the Posh. And MKDons in Relegation.)



Numbers game
I refuse to believe that the “decision for average speedy wide forward” statistic that Lee cites exists.

How does one qualify to be included? Is Grealish speedy enough to be counted? Gets fouled alot, but i never saw him as a speed demon… On the old football manager out of 20 rating, are we talking a 15 to count? Has someone come up with a method of judging the players who often play as wide forward but also play up front? So many variables… Sterling played at Wingback this weekend, does that game get ignored for calculating this, definitely real, statistic?

Also, I think its completely unfair to just do a straight comparison. No two speedy players are equally speedy. So we need to come up with a weighted formula. The faster the player is, the more they empirically must be fouled per minute, so we need to factor in just how speedy they are – probably how wide they tend to play too.

What are the stats for slow narrow forwards please?

But sure, its a real stat that points to bias…
Andy (MUFC)

#Jurgen #Klopp #banned #months #safety #grassroots #refs #depends #it..

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