Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Gabriel’s goal : Klopp’s departure

Morning all.

It’s still very quiet from an Arsenal perspective. The only snippets are that Gabriel has been credited with the second goal in the 5-0 win over Crystal Palace plus an iffy transfer rumour. With regards the former, the Premier League explain:

Under the protocols for the Premier League Goal Accreditation Panel, when there is doubt over the identification of the scorer, it is reviewed by a three-person panel at the Premier League Match Centre.   They determined that Gabriel’s header was not going in until it struck Henderson, thus accrediting it as an own goal by the Palace ‘keeper.

However, Arsenal appealed against the decision and, as per the Premier League’s protocol for goal appeals, the incident was considered by a further panel of three football experts, the Premier League’s Goal Accreditation Appeals Panel.

This panel have determined that the goal should be credited to Gabriel.

I didn’t even realise you could appeal, so there you go. That brings his goal tally in the Premier League to 3, the same as his fellow Brazilian Gabriel Jesus. Who I really love as a player, but if this doesn’t highlight the fact he needs to get his shooting boots on in the league, nothing does.

There’s more Cedric to Turkey talk, with Galatasaray now reportedly interested in him as a replacement for Sacha Boey who is heading for Bayern Munich. As ever with stories that emanate from the Turkish press I will believe it when I see it. And even then I’ll make sure it’s not some kind of deep-fake. And I’ll also check that we haven’t crossed into an alternative universe. After that, I’ll probably believe it. Maybe.

The big story in football this morning is, of course, Jurgen Klopp’s announcement that he’ll be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. To say that’s a bit of a shocker is an understatement, but in truth I think it’s relatively easy to understand. He said:

I am – how can I say it? – running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I knew it already for longer that I will have to announce it at one point, but I am absolutely fine now. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.

My managerial skills are based on energy and emotion and that takes all of you and needs all of you. I am who I am and where I am because of how I am, with all the good and bad things, and if I can not do it any more then stop it. It was not my idea when I signed a new contract. I was 100% convinced in this moment that we would go until 2026. I judged it wrong. I underestimated because I thought my energy level was endless and now it is not.

To me that explains pretty much everything. He’s 56, he’s basically won it all, and I think it must be utterly exhausting to try and compete with a club like Man City year after year after year. The elephant in the room here is that everyone understands what City are and how they have been built. With technical and executive expertise, with managerial brilliance, with incredible on-field talent, and with a gigantic asterisk over how they have put it all together. 115 asterisks, even.

Imagine how it must sap your energy to produce a season where you lose just a single game, earn 97 points, and still miss out on the title. Without Klopp’s Liverpool, the Premier League would have been a competitive wasteland for years – at least in terms of the title. City would have walked to the title without any real competition, and even with that they have won five of the last six.

If we all look at Man City through the prism of their financial dominance and understand it to be, potentially, the most egregious case of industrial-sized cheating in modern football (and that comes with some competition, let’s not forget), how does it feel to try and compete with that time and time again? It has to be completely draining to feel as if the playing field is not level. It’s hard enough as it is.

Think about how we felt last season when we were overtaken? Some of that was down to us, of course, but if it felt inevitable it was in no small part because of what we have become accustomed to. This is what Man City do. We are inured to it.

So, I think I understand if he’s decided to walk away and just live life for a bit. A more cynical view, and there is always that side of it, would be that he has built one of the best sides in Premier League history, and its stars are aging out. Mo Salah will be 32 this summer, Virgil van Dijk will turn 33, and those generational players who have been the foundation of Liverpool’s consistency and brilliance, are very, very hard to replace.

I have to say, I like Jurgen Klopp. Can he be annoying? Of course, like every opposition manager he has moments that are profoundly irritating, but I think fundamentally he’s a decent guy and I have connected with the way he has spoken about issues in the game of football, and society in general. Am I glad he’s leaving Liverpool? From a purely selfish perspective, absolutely. He has done an incredible job there, and even though I rate Xabi Alonso very highly (I think he’ll be the man to take over as the Basque-ification of the Premier League continues), it’s inevitable there will be a little bit of tumult there. When any manager of his stature departs a club, think Wenger and Ferguson, there’s always some re-calibration needed, and that might be something we can take advantage of.

Between now and the end of the season though, Liverpool will have this emotional energy in their back-pockets, and it could be very powerful for them. Sometimes when a manager announces he’s leaving, it has a detrimental effect on a team, in this case I think it will be the exact opposite – and let’s not forget who we’re playing next weekend!

Right, I’ll leave it there for this morning, have a good Saturday folks.

Related articles

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast