Still basking in victory. The Frankfurt match report was always going to be a tricky assignment !! Much to love as many have stated. Much to fear as many have stated. So I’ve come to a conclusion about Dick, based on the following evidence:
1) Overall inability to defend as a team.
2) None of Xhaka, Toreira or Guendouzi playing a responsible role as a defensive lynchpin.
3) Two second half goals conceded against Watford, bringing off Ceballos and leaving Ozil and Pepe on.
4) 1-0 up away in Europe against an at least decent team. Bring off Smith Rowe (who at least tracks back somewhat) and put Pepe on (who doesn’t really defend – period). Bring off Willock and put Ceballos on (possible like for like but JW gave us a ball winning presence which was important last night).
5) We won the above game 3-0.
So my conclusion is, Dick just isn’t interested in defending. He thinks we can outscore everyone. His solution to winning games we’re ahead in is to go further ahead. Conventional wisdom says keep it tight, secure the win. Not Dick. He wants more goals. His signings have been very attacking – even Luiz as a CB. He’s decided we can’t build a good enough defence to win games consistently so he’s just gonna build a better attack. Which he’s doing. He’s in his second year with an option for a third. Most people think if he gets us into the CL, he’ll get a 3rd year. But… there are lots of others who think he’s just not the man for the job. So Dick is coming out swinging. He doesn’t just want to scrape into the CL, he wants to catch City, finish 2nd, win all the Cups. Then he’ll get his extension.
I’m kinda tongue in cheek here but this is a great opportunity for Emery. We are a big club. They said he couldn’t cut it at PSG. He’s not waiting for slow and steady. He wants results now. It’s the only explanation I can come up with. Why doesn’t Xhaka sit in? Yet Emery plays him every game? Because he’s doing what the manager wants – getting forward. Screw defending – lets score goals.
And you know what, if I just accept it and go with the flow, it might be a fun ride. There will be ups and downs but it’s not going to be dull !!!
And lastly, for anyone that thinks that’s a stupid idea (on his part – mine’s just a theory !!!)? Remember a certain Mr Klopp and his two seasons at Liverpool before Van Dijk ???