It’s a late blog today as I had a lie on this morning. I have today off work, so it meant I didn’t have to get up two hours earlier than normal to write something which was nice. I love writing the blog every morning, but it’s extra nice today that I don’t have to go to work afterwards. I then had a couple of things to do, so now here we are.
We’ll start Friday off with Diego Costa’s move from Chelsea back to Atletico Madrid. Chelsea accepted a bid of around £50m for the Brazilian, who joined the club in 2014 for around £33m. He will now go back to Atletico once he passes his medical and agrees personal terms. I’d be shocked if either of those were an issue, because he was so adamant about his desire to return to Spain. I think he actually had people feeling a bit sorry for him, but the majority of people will be really happy that he’s gone. He’s one of those players that everyone hates unless he’s playing for your team, and I think even some Chelsea fans will be happy to see the back of him. He is a really good player that brings a lot to the team, but he is an unbelievable cunt. Sorry if you don’t agree Chelsea fans, but he really is. He’ll move off in January, and it might not take long before we see him again as I’m sure he’ll be in Atletico’s Champions League squad after the group stages. They could easily get an English side, so we could see him up to his old tricks. He could calm down a bit at Atletico and not act like he did at Chelsea (no, I doubt it too). Anyway, best of luck to him back in Spain.
Romelu Lukaku has come out about the controversial chant that has been sang about him, and didn’t condemn the fans singing it, but said it would be best to not sing it again. He told Man United’s Twitter page: “Great backing since I joined #MUFC. Fans have meant well with their songs but let’s move on together. #RespectEachOther”. It’s a smart move from him to be honest, he would have seen the controversy around it and decide to speak up. He didn’t slate anyone or anything like that, so everyone can move on from it now I think. I do think it’s been blown up a bit, but I suppose that’s the world we live in now and we have to get on with it. It was just a bit of fun at the end of the day, but it’s going to have to stop or the headlines will be back again.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a dismal display during the week for Liverpool against Leicester, but Jurgen Klopp has backed him to turn things around. The Liverpool boss said:
The criticism came quite quick. He had a few good situations and a few unlucky situations, but this was his first start.
He didn’t have the best game of his life so in the world of football at the moment you get criticised for that, but I am not in doubt. He did really well in some moments but he is still trying to adapt to our style of play.
Liverpool travel to Leicester again tomorrow for a Premier League game, and Dejan Lovren is doubtful due to a back problem, while Joel Matip will have a late fitness test. Klopp admitted that Liverpool need to deal with set pieces better, saying:
We sometimes put too much into trying to clear the first ball and are not ready for the second.
We have too many players too close together for the first ball so when it comes back we don’t have a good formation. We have to keep working at it but I must admit I would rather have a team that can play football but struggles to defend set pieces than the other way around.
The way people are talking it sounds like we are the worst team in the country, at the bottom of the table with nil points, but in fact we have eight, and we are still fluent and creative in attack even if we are not scoring as many goals.
Obviously we have some problems, but as long as we are staying in games and showing what we are good at the situation is not quite as serious as is being suggested.
Liverpool haven’t had it their way at Leicester recently, with Klopp losing each time he travelled to Leicester. He said:
I don’t believe in bad places to go. If you lose somewhere it becomes more likely that you will win at some point. It’s all about performing. You shouldn’t think too much about it, things can always change. Dortmund won at Hamburg this week. When I was there we never won one time. They had a bad record but obviously it changed. That’s how it is.
Then, speaking about Liverpool’s recent form, he said:
We could have won our last four games but we didn’t. Could have means we were really close. I still don’t think any team in the world loves playing against us at the moment, and I would say Burnley were lucky to take a point last weekend if their game-plan involved scoring from a set piece then conceding 35 shots on target or whatever. We know we have to improve, we know we have to keep improving, but obviously it is very difficult to be number one in England even though Liverpool have not been number one for the last 25 years.
In the end it is always like this: we win a game and everyone is happy, we fail to win and everyone comes out with reasons why we will never win again. I think football is like that everywhere, but here [Merseyside] perhaps a little more. Especially when the Manchester teams are flying, as they are at the moment, but I cannot change that. What I can do is try to cool the situation down and keep working on the things we do well.
Klopp is under a lot of pressure at the moment, with some Liverpool fans calling for him to get sacked. I don’t think it’s so bad that it warrants a new manager, but their fans wanted them to challenge for the title this season. They need a really good run of wins to get themselves back up there, but I don’t think that will happen until they solve their problems at the back. It’s all well and good saying that they can outscore anyone, but when an organised defence turns up it’s a struggle for them. They are conceding far too many goals at the moment and need to sort it out.
That’s about it for now, I’ll be here throughout the day with more news and all the rest, and there will be previews to tomorrow’s game in the morning. I hope you have a good Friday. Let the weekend begin!