In Memoriam Football Weekly

To cries of WHAT? NO! around the globe, James Richardson has left The Guardian Football Weekly. The end of an era. A sad day. Football weekly was simply the best. As Richard Whittall put it so well:

When I finally capitulated and gave the Guardian podcast a listen, I remember feeling as if I’d stumbled on the sort of conversation I’d always wanted to have about football… Hosted by Italophile pun-spinner James Richardson and side-kicked by Irish buzz-kill Barry Glendenning, featuring a rotating cast of international scribes like Rafa Honigstein and Fernando Duarte, the show regarded football both as a matter of life and death and a mere trifle, in other words, as it is. And, contrary to my expectations, everyone was as funny as hell—I would be often caught sniggering like a schoolboy while listening to the pod on the streetcar in my Toronto neighbourhood.

Barry Glendenning on Losing as Entertainment

The latest Guardian Fottball Weekly lacks Jimbo, but Jimbo’s foil, Barry (“buzz-kill“) Glendenning had one of his best lines. Sachin Nkrani was talking about how miserable it must be for Sunderland fans to be always losing, and asks Barry if it wouldn’t actually be preferable to be relegated, and spend next season actually winning some games in the Championship:

Nakrani: If you keep losing every week… it must be bloody miserable

Glendenning: It is kind of entertaining, to be honest.

Classic Barry— the football fan who enjoys seeing his own team lose.

Poor Old Iago Aspas

And no matter who you are, you’ll almost always have a poor spell; Barcelona even had one near the end of last season’s title hunt, when they suddenly couldn’t do anything right. They totally lost the plot for a few games. That’s Messi, Suarez, Iniesta, Neymar, et al. Real Madrid recently broke a club record by going 40 games unbeaten, and then won only one of their next five games, losing twice. Iago Aspas put them to the sword. Liverpool’s current bad run is longer than Barcelona or Real Madrid experienced, but they are obviously much better teams. (Paul Tomkins; emphasis in original)

4-4-2

Liverpool’s 4-3-3 hasn’t been working so well in the absence of Sadio Mané— especially against defensive teams. It would be interesting to see them try a 4-4-2. They could play Moreno and Clyne as wingers: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Moreno, Can, Henderson, Clyne; Sturridge, Origi. Then Lallana, Firmino, and Coutinho could be used as impact subs (LOL).