Mark: Hello and welcome to the Football 356
show brought to you by world Sportsbook competition, it’s been a tough week for Liverpool so
no surprise to see them featured on the show, I won’t giveaway which category it is, it’s
losers. In winners we talk glowingly about Wolves, mailbox this week focuses on Jordan
Henderson and a big weekend we look ahead to the game between Man United and permanent
holders of the Carabao Cup Man City. Oh, and also, you’ll be pleased to know that old
Graeme Souness has been upset by Paul Pogba yet again. So, something for everyone. Picking
through it all this week we’ve got comedian and Liverpool fan Alfie Brown and editor and
chief of football 365 Sarah Winterburn, enjoy the show.
Hello and welcome to the football 365 show my guests today are Alfie Brown and Sarah
Winterburn if you enjoy the show don’t forget to like and subscribe and crucially press
the little bell icon you’ve got on your screen in front of you, it means that when
we do a new video you’ll get notified. Now in a break from tradition today we’re starting
with losers, not winners its losers and why is it losers Sarah and who are they?
Sarah: Struggling with the concept of moving it around but I’m going with it I’m trying
to go with it. Mark: You’ll get there
Sarah: Well, what happened to Liverpool on Tuesday night allied to what happened to them
on Saturday, it gives us no choice really but to talk Liverpool.
Mark: Well it sounds mad to call them losers, but it has been the toughest week for them
for a while. Alfie: They’ve been the most winningest
losers, what a brilliant and impossibly good football side to announce as the week’s
losers. Mark: Yes they haven’t lost as league game
since I was a small boy and yet somehow they’re still in this category but I do think they
should be in this category because it has been a tough one, we can’t just heap praise
on them week after week. So, Sarah talk us through it, what’s worse for a start, the
loss of the invincibles attempt against Watford, which was reasonably humbling I imagine? Or
is it going out of the FA Cup, a tournament that they could realistically have won and
naming a weaker side? Sarah: I think if you asked Jurgen Klopp he
would say the Watford game hurt more, I think the performance was worse and the result was
a far greater shock and as much as they want to talk about it’s not about being invincible,
its not about records, there is no way that didn’t hurt. There’s no way in that dressing
room they didn’t think they were going to go unbeaten; I think they thought it was a
done deal to be honest. Mark: I think we all did though didn’t we?
Sarah: Kind of and you sort of for their sake hoped it almost did happen in this kind of
game, the worst thing to happen would be to happen against a big side who could crow about
it, I think. I don’t think Jurgen Klopp really cares about the FA Cup to really care
about Tuesday night but what I think he misjudged was that after Saturday he really could have
done with a win in that game, I think he should have altered things. Two weeks ago he might
have said the FA Cup is not that important to us but I thin at that point you’ve lost
two out of three, you know you prevent three out of four because
then people ridiculously make them losers on silly TV programmes on YouTube. But he
could have prevented that I think by naming a stronger side.
Mark: Let’s bring Alfie in, Alfie you’re a resident Liverpool fan, we’ve had the
pragmatic side of things there let’s get your view.
Alfie: The Watford result for me seemed to be a freak occurrence I think also its quite
hard famously and historically to win 19 football games in a row in the league, so it sort of
makes sense that around that time period you would lose one just by the sheer law of averages.
It’s difficult to maintain the way that you play every week and also if you’re getting
used to winning Liverpool have this way f playing where they are so incredibly patient,
there’s such incredibly trust in the way that they play moving the ball forward looking
for an opening and if there isn’t an opening moving it backwards and starting again. But
there was almost like they were doing that in their sleep against Watford, such a sense
of routine about it and dominating possession that when they got the ball forward they went
ah there’s nothing obvious to do whereas interestingly against Chelsea we created chances.
The first 15 minutes of the game was just mad chaos, and anything could happen, goals
affect game and in terms of the side that we picked I don’t understand Adrian being
in goal. Mark: Well what’s your argument, what are
you upset by? Alfie: Well I just would have liked to have
seen the best goalkeeper in the world play in a competition that you’d like to win.
I understand why Curtis Jones and Neco Williams would play, because they deserve it.
Sarah: I think what’s happened with the domestic cup competitions over the last two
or three seasons is that it’s just accepted that the first-choice goalkeeper doesn’t
play in those game, every single big club plays exactly that way. We saw Claudio Bravo
play for Man City, you see Sergio Romero play for Man United, this is what happens, and
I think that just part of being the second-choice goalkeeper now. It’s not about resting Allison,
Allison doesn’t need a rest, it’s about saying to Adrian we trust you this is your
job and to take him out of that probably would have created a problem there and Jurgen Klopp’s
trying to be fair or whatever by saying domestic cups is Adrian’s job.
Alfie: When I was thinking about it I tried very hard for the possibility that Jurgen
Klopp may know more about football than me but maybe that’s the price you pay if you
want to have a squad that all loves each other and there’s a harmonious feeling that you
want to be able to create these incredible winning streaks and unbeaten runs and amass
more points than anyone has ever got in the history of anything.
Sarah: You’re not there yet remember. Alfie: I know but it could happen, we’ve
won one less game so far this season at the beginning of March than Barcelona 2009’s
whole league campaign. Mark: It’s impressive but this is all happening
and its important to point out that you don’t have Jordan Henderson, speaking of which it’s
time for mailbox. Right mailbox this week I imagine it’s a Liverpool fan, oh it is
yeah. This is called end of the line it comes from Sam who is a Liverpool fan. It Says:”
Liverpool are showing why Henderson might actually win player of the season. Incredible
drop in standard when he’s not playing.” Sarah: Yes, but massively too simplistic.
Jordan Henderson has missed five or six premier league games before this week and Liverpool
have won every one of them, he was also part of a Liverpool
team that produce arguably the worst performance of the season against Napoli and also in Madrid
last week. This Liverpool side has looked like a machine at times but then at other
times they have looked like a bit of a stuttering machine really. You know anyone that’s had
an old car if it’s just ab out working there’s a point where it won’t work. There’s been
a lot of games this season where Liverpool have just done enough, just had that little
bit more. Mark: but in the FA Cup game on Tuesday it
seems that Chelsea had done some work on Liverpool’s fullbacks, is that something that you’re
worried about going forward, has there been a blueprint set now of how to play against
Liverpool? Alfie: Well I think in terms of missing Henderson
we also missed Fabinho even though he’s on the pitch I think he’s probably missing
himself more than anyone because being so imperious last season he’s just not been
there and the defence is affected by that. It’s a very hard job to be in Liverpool’s
midfield and if you’ve got Curtis Jones who is very good on the ball but is slightly
straying out of possession and Adam Lallana who is doing the boring stuff very well but
they were both trying to cover the space that Curtis Jones wasn’t occupying. If you’re
trying to protect a castle from attack you’ve got the cannons which are the front three,
the walls which is the defence, the people passing the cannon ball’s to the cannons
that’s the midfield and as soon as they go then the walls get destroyed and no cannons
are firing. I thought of that on the train here do you like it. I though Neco Williams
played well, he didn’t get the protection from the midfield from that ball over the
top that they kept on playing and Andy Robertson looks a bit tired. But no, I’m not worried
about it because they’re the best full backs in the world.
Mark: My overall thought on this if you care, is that this is a fantastic generational Liverpool
side and they might end with just one trophy this season.
Sarah: I think it’s going to be bizarrely anti-climactic. I think the problem is that
if you win something so early in the season and it’s been done since early January and
there hasn’t been a moment where that’s it we’ve done it and there isn’t going
to be a moment like that and its going to be a little bit bizarre because they had the
dream of the treble that goes, the dream of the Invincibles that goes. It’s amazing
for Liverpool fans that they’ve ended a 30 year wait for as title presumably but for
the rest of us it sort of quietens that is this the greatest team in history stuff, well
no. Mark: We mentioned Liverpool’s treble there,
they have won a treble before, a plastic one famously in 2001 I believe. There is a podcast
all about that on our sister podcast the broken metatarsal of which Alfie you are a guest
on that show I believe that goes out on March the 19th so definitely check that out. But
for now, that concludes this week’s losers and mailbox. If you want to get in touch with
the show don’t forget you can always contact us at [email protected] and now it
is time for winners and the winners this week I think we’re going to go for Wolves. A
very impressive win away at Spurs, a team that when you think they can’t surprise
you again they go and do just that. Alfie, what have you made of Wolves this season and
what did you think of them this week? Alfie: They’re a really exciting and cool
team to watch, they remind me of Conte’s Chelsea, they’ve got a really exciting defence
to say, I really like saying Dendonker and Willy Boly that’s really fun.
Mark: Try it at home now, Willy Boly. Sarah: I presume that’s why they got rid
of Ryan Bennet, no fun. Alfie: Yes, very very boring, that’s a children
TV presenters name, incredibly depressing. Jiminez looks like a full-sized hulk. The
Brazilian one not the green one and I think they’re a really exciting
team and I thin Adam Traore has taken the place of Michail Antonio as my favourite player
of all time. Mark: What is their ceiling as a side, Sarah
where do you see this team going, can they keep this nucleus of teams together? The likes
of Neves, Moutinho, the whole front three. Sarah: I think they can keep that team together
and I think there’s a collective will about Wolves at the moment they’re sort of 20%
along in a journey and I think there is a feeling that they will all stick together
for that. I don’t see any suggestion at all that Raul Jiminez is saying that I want
to play somewhere else or Ruben Neves. Maybe they’re saying it really quietly so I can’t
hear them but there isn’t a sense of that. You know other teams when they sort of push
against that top ceiling you get the impression don’t you that they’re kind of looking
around and thinking where do I go now, but I think that wolves project is really interesting
in itself and I think Alfie Bizarrely made a very good point that they
do look like Conte’s Chelsea because they’re quite happy not to have the ball which is
kind of counter intuitive to other football managers. They’re happy to not have the
ball, they’re happy to counter very quickly, great players in the centre of midfield, the
signing of Joao Moutinho is possibly one of the greatest bargain singings, phenomenal.
Who knew that he would be operating at the same pace and standard that he was five years
ago absolutely fantastic. Mark: It gave me hope that transfer that football
isn’t completely dead just yet and it’s not just about insane transfer, there is still
some shrewd business being operated. Sarah: They do have lots of money, it’s
not a fairy-tale let’s face it, but we are looking at a situation where can they get
in the Champions League. Maybe a step too far but they’re gonna be right in there,
they’re no worse than Man United certainly and they’re certainly more cohesive than
most of the teams around them. They’re operating sort of at the higher level of what they can
do whereas Man United, spurs, they’re all struggling.
Mark: A quick note on another team that could be in the winner’s category this week is
Arsenal as they’ve retained the title of being the only premier league team to remain
undefeated. Alfie: The loserist winners.
Mark: Without playing in the league they have got to be the winners of the week, I think.
Alfie: They lost twice to Middlesbrough that season, drew 12 times.
Mark: That concludes this week’s winner. It’s now time for worst take of the week
and this week it’s our old friend Graeme Souness who would you believe has got some
kind of vendetta against Paul Pogba. Sarah: Astonishing isn’t it?
Mark: I couldn’t believe it I thought those two got on great. This time his quote is this,
he says:” Maybe Man United should be looking at the medical staff at Everton, they got
Gomez back in a fraction of the time that seemed to be a far worse injury. I see Paul
Pogba dancing at a wedding, I see him shooting hoops and just the Cynic in me suggest that
he doesn’t want to be at Man United. Now this is a very long running feud with Souness,
it’s very on way. Sarah: I’m not sure a feud is the right
word. Mark: It’s just shouting into the void isn’t
it? Sarah: I mean he didn’t mention his hair
which is at least a mercy. Mark: Do you think there’s something odd
about this given that Pogba isn’t even playing? Given that Souness is talking about Andre
Gomez injury of which he has no knowledge, no idea, is this just a very strange thing,
is this his midlife crisis? Alfie: He comes across as a mad Brexit grandmas
it seems like a problem with fame or celebrity or the way in which the world works or some
mind of jealousy about not playing anymore or wanting to denigrate the way the games
played now because obviously he’d like to be playing and he wants to be involved, a
kind of jealousy. Without trying to psycho analyse Graeme Souness because he doesn’t
shoot hoops or dance at weddings, he sits there and scowls and eats lamb.
Mark: When United signed Pogba they are essentially a huge international company buying another
brand and when you buy Pogba you know what you’re signing up for. You know that he’s
gonna be on Instagram and that’s why you sign him. It’s why you’ve got the Pogba
emoji and stuff. Alfie: And that’s exactly what Souness hates.
Mark: I don’t see why he’s so upset by it especially now he’s been there a few
years now he knows the deal now he knows what the score is essentially with him as a player
and as a personality. Sarah: He would punch you in the face if you
mentioned the word brand in connection with football.
Mark: but that’s his brand Alfie: He misses his moustache as well doesn’t
he, I’ve never seen a man more built for a moustache in my life, it’s such a big
space above his lip and below his nose it’s just a space for a moustache, put a moustache
there mate. Maybe the Souness of the day when Souness has his Moustache was like “All
this time combing his moustache”. That was a fashion choice that he made to have a moustache.
Mark: Good so we agree then that that is the worst take of the week?
Alfie: I think you having Arsenal as the winners was probably the worst take of the week.
Mark: tune in next week when you’ll see that.
It’s now time for big weekend and this weekend huge game, United vs City and it feels like
it might actually be competitive this time around. Does it or have I just got that wrong
Sarah? Sarah: I think Man United are in their best
form of the season so It should be competitive yes, they’re probably on a similar level
right now aren’t they, Bruno Fernandes has probably pulled them up into the same level.
Mark: They’re not on the same level are they.
Sarah: I know I’m just trying to make it sound interesting.
Mark: I think you’re right Man United are better than they’ve been all season.
Sarah: Bruno Fernandez has made a massive difference not just in terms of creativity
on the pitch but also in terms of his attitude, he seems to get it. They went and drew at
Everton and he comes over and goes well we should be mad at that. Usually they’re talking
about hard earned draws and it’s a difficult place to go and it’s a point away and he
said oh no we should be mad. Mark: Alfie how do you see it going?
Alfie: United look so much better since Bruno Fernandez has come in, he looks great. I’m
not sure they’ve quite worked out how to play, Martial and him both seem to want to
occupy the left, whilst sort of nominally wanting to play through the centre, I’m
not sure how it’s going to work but I think they’ll sort it out in time. But, the fact
that Man United look so much better at the moment and the fact that City oscillate wildly
between dominant performances and just not showing up. Given both of those two things
together I think that City are absolutely going to Drub United.
Mark: But do they care, do they care about the league at the minute, why would they care?
They’re not gonna win it, they’re not gonna get champions league football if the
ban goes through, so shouldn’t they focus on everything else?
Sarah: There’s a massive difference between losing the league by 15 points and losing
the league by 28 points, there is a matter of pride at stake isn’t there and obviously
with Liverpool being massive losers of the week then they will not want it to be over
within three weeks will they, they’ll want to push it as far as they possibly can. Although
city will have an eye on the Madrid game, so you’d think that all their eggs can’t
go in one basket. Mark: And pep tends to tinker quite a lot
doesn’t he. He tinkers when it’s a big game that he’s worried about, but I think
he’ll play a very straight forward side that we’ve all seen and that we all understand
because he doesn’t count this game as being one of those big ones.
Sarah: I think what you were saying before about Man City oscillating wildly they absolutely
do, I still believe that the best of Man City is better than the best of Liverpool but they
just don’t do it often enough and we may well see that because the pressure is off
because of the league, they’re playing Man United they’re full of themselves at the
moment. They think we’ve sorted this we’ve nailed this, city could just come along and
be like yeah right. Mark: That is it for big weekend this week
and is actually it for the show this week. Thank you to Alfie and Sarah for being here
today, if you enjoyed the show don’t forget you can like and subscribe and crucially press
that little bell button. This has been Football 365 brought to you by World Sportsbook Competition
until next time, goodbye.