So, *I* know who Matt Ladson is – we even dined together at a fairly swish Soho restaurant in our Metro days – but MFW readers don’t. So, a few words on your Liverpool™ background and who you write for?
Matt: And what a wonderful dinner it was! My background? Boyhood Red who started a school project back in 2001, before most clubs even had official websites and long before the likes of YouTube and Facebook existed… that has since become my full-time job in recent years and I edit This Is Anfield. I also write for FourFourTwo online.
Has been some summer for Liverpool fans I should imagine. Back down to Earth yet, or still cock-a-hoop? Am assuming you were in Madrid? (guess it mattered not one jot that it was a stinker of a game).
I was indeed in Madrid. I think my mind still is! I could not care less how attractive the game itself was! Winning is all that matters in a final and we massively needed – and deserved – that. For a group of players to do what Liverpool did last season; 97 points, beat Barcelona 4-0, knockout Bayern Munich, only lose one league game – and not to win a trophy, would have been massively disheartening!
Would you have sacrificed the Champions League win if it meant pipping Man City to the PL title?
In a word, yes.
Jurgen has not been as active in the summer window as anyone expected. Is this through choice, or not being able to yet land his main targets? Presumably, the Coutinho ship has now sailed? I’m guessing you were expecting more than the arrival of Sepp van den Berg
Yes, I was expecting more. A versatile attacker who can primarily play backup to Mane is what most fans would have wanted. Or somebody who can play on the right, with the option then to go 4231 with Salah as No.9. But that hasn’t arrived… yet!
The hope/rationale is perhaps that the club are working on a big signing for next summer. A big, big name.
It’s obviously a really well-drilled unit that Jurgen has put together, no question, but does it bother you that you rely so heavily on the front-three and your two outstanding full-backs. That central midfield lacks a bit of creativity, doesn’t it?
Our playmakers are our full-backs in this system. But the worry is that teams will nullify that and then yes we are massively short of creativity (and goals) from the middle. Oxlade-Chamberlain could theoretically fix this, but it’s strange that Klopp all-but signed a No.10 in Nabil Fekir a year ago but hasn’t since shown interest in such a goalscoring, attacking midfielder.
Am guessing the official line is the club will aim to win all four competitions this season, but the Premier League must be the Holy Grail now, right? For a massive club like yours, 30 years without a league title is a bloody long time. Can you finish above Man City? They look phenomenal don’t they ?
The second half of the Community Shield offered a lot of optimism that we could beat City to it this season. But for that to happen it needs Liverpool to again be very lucky with no major injuries to key men – in part due to the small squad Klopp prefers to have – and for City to start to become less consistent.
The only hope is that City have an ageing squad and Guardiola really needs to win the Champions League so that could be a distraction. Perhaps whoever goes further in Europe finishes second again.
Onto Friday night, how do you expect Jurgen to line them up? I know Mo Salah played in the Community Shield but he must need managing carefully since his exertions in the Africa Cup of Nations. Would be madness to risk both him and Sadio Mane, wouldn’t it?
I can’t see Mane starting, but it wouldn’t a complete surprise as he’s very good with fitness and has only had two weeks off anyway. I’d expect the lineup to be the same as the Community Shield lineup.
We accept we’re the merest of faint blips on your radar, but how much do you know about Norwich City and our Championship win last season? We’re quietly hoping we may surprise a few, although for that to start on Friday may be a bit of a stretch. Hoping you’re not expecting a guard of honour though.
To see Norwich promoted, and to win the league, was a major surprise – the last I heard fans wanted Farke out! I’m glad to see the club showed patience and were rewarded, especially with what seems like a good group of players and a focus on playing the right way and using youth.
Go on then.., to finish off, tell us how many you think you’re going to win by…
Ha. I’ll go with 2-0. Please!
Cheers for your time mate. Enjoy. Well, sort of…