15 Nov 2014

Downing Mk 2? 'Desperate' £26m star reveals the 'big reason' why he signed for LFC.

Three months into the season, and the jury is still very much out on £26m summer signing Adam Lallana. After his excellent performances last season for Southampton, Lallana and Liverpool seemed like a match made in heaven, but it hasn't yet turned out that way, and based on his recent comments, it sounds like the midfielder is struggling with the mental requirements of playing for a massive club like LFC.

Speaking to Sky Sports this week, Lallana revealed his principal reason for joining Liverpool. He told reporters:

“The big reason why I jumped at the opportunity to join Liverpool was because I knew they were in the Champions League. Playing at places like the Bernabeu. It’s incredible to be on the same pitch as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema".

That's all well and good, but to thrive in such games, players need mental strength, and it sounds to me like Lallana is not yet mentally prepared for the challenge of playing for LFC. Here is a selection of his recent quotes:

* “Just being at Liverpool, the expectation is there at a bigger club, so you are expected to play better more consistently".

* "It is a big difference coming from Southampton. It is something I’m learning to deal with"

* "I always knew it was going to be difficult settling in, especially with the injury. Playing for a new club the size of Liverpool and having Champions League football - you need to be tough mentally".

* "I was so desperate to do well, maybe trying a bit too hard to impress, not doing things that I'd normally do, thinking about things maybe a bit too much".

* "You can't always expect to be at your best straight away".

Reading between the lines, these comments are (IMO) worrying. The likes of Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres, and Xabi Alonso never said things like this; they just went on the field and did the business, with 100% belief in their own ability. Maybe it's just me, but Lallana's hand-wringing comments sound very similar to the kind of things Stewart Downing used to say, and it took him forever to start making a contribution.

So far, Lallana has one goal/no assists in twelve appearances, and even taking into account his recent injury, that is a pitiful return for an attacking player entering the prime of his career. He should've weighed in with at least a couple of assists by now, and the fact that he hasn't is (IMO) a major cause for concern.

Lallana claims that you 'can't always be at your best straight away', but that is precisely what happens with many mentally tough, top-class players: they immediately hit the ground running immediately. Again, Suarez is a perfect example of this, as is Daniel Sturridge, two players who clearly thrive on the pressure of delivering the goods.

All new players need time to 'settle in', but it shouldn't be used as a crutch to excuse under-performances. Lallana is not a teenager; he's 26, with experience of the Premier League, and LFC fans have the right to expect a lot more than he's delivering.

In his first season, Downing failed to provide a single assist all year. Let's hope history is not repeating itself...

Author:



88 comments:

  1. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:27 am, November 15, 2014

    Please do not insult lallana by comparing him to downing
    lallana already has a goal and was our best player vs everton , and middlesbrough i dont think the wingers such as sterling,coutinho and lallana
    should not be judged statistically because they have had no striker with any movement to feed

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  2. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:31 am, November 15, 2014

    " he should have weighed in with a couple of assists "




    Jamie why don't you account for the fact there is no one to put the ball in the net have you seen balotelli ever make a decent run




    your lack of silence to balotelli is there for all of us to see
    you were an anti suarez for 3 years now , now that you got your wish you cannot attack his replacement as your judgement would come under question, similar to when you wanted rafa benitez out and roy hodgson in

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  3. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:36 am, November 15, 2014

    The lack of strikers is a massive concern
    this is my three step plan on how we can score plenty of goals:


    1) sign doumbia in January
    2) get origi back in at the summer
    3) sign jackson martinez as our marquee summer signing


    forget midfielders unless its schniederlin and id we sign a center back should be only winston reid on a free , goalkeeper begovic


    so
    ..............................................sturridge/martinez
    sterling.....................................coutinho...........lallana...........origi/doumbia
    ....................................................can/schniederlin
    moreno..............................lovren .....................reid................manquillo
    ........................................................begovic

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  4. He has never been anti-Suarez. What are you taking about? He always praised his performances on the pitch but highlighted his off field shenanigans including on the pitch bad behaviour.

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  5. It's safe to say Downing is performing much better than Lallana. I take on board the injury and new club. The problem is much deeper than one player. The team are not playing as a team.

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  6. Downing mark 2 you been tooting on the crack pipe

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  7. Jaimie I often think you make valid points but are just a little too harsh and this is one of those times. Lallana was desperately unlucky to get the injury when he did and then had to come back into a team that was struggling with both injuries and form and try to hit the ground running with huge expectation and a hefty price tag to add to the pressure.
    He may not have set the heather alight yet but he's not been rubbish either. He's put in a few solid performances and he's another player I feel will benefit hugely from the return of Sturridge

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  8. The most worrying comment, by far, is the first. It is far from being "all well and good." You can't afford to believe it's some kind of honour or privilege to be sharing a pitch with your opponents. If you're playing for Liverpool you're en elite player. If you don't believe you're as as good as or better than the opposition you shouldn't be on the pitch.

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  9. You can be the best looking dude in the club (like me), but if you don't feel entitled to that worldie, you're no chance. It's the same with football. Reading in-between the lines, Lallana doesn't feel entitled to play for Liverpool. You can be the flashiest player in the world, but you'll still struggle if you don't feel entitled.

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  10. You said it yourself - i think it is just you

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  11. He was 100% anti - Suarez.

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  12. the reason he doesn't have any assists is because he doesn't have strikers with the required ability, or even playing style.
    oh, and FYI, luis suarez had 11 goals in 31 league games in his first full season with Liverpool. Hardly "hitting the ground running"

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  13. and in case anyone doesn't get it, yes, I am excluding sturridge from "our strikers that don't have the ability or playing style required" because hes been injured most of this season

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  14. part of lallanas problem is having a manger who is clueless ot a tactical level on how to utilize his abilities...its no use owning a gun if you dont know how to load it

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  15. oooh I like the look of that, there would be a good bench to.

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  16. Actually Suarez is not a perfect example of player hitting the ground running - his goals & assists in the initial months were not at all similar to his remarkable scoring record of last season...

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  17. Just by the things Lallana tries when he is on the field he has shoto have ten times Downibg's bottle. He has hardly had a fun of games.

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  18. I agree with the point if not the extremity of it. I am really annoyed that Lallana and Lambert haven't played much together. Balo hasn't been doing enough and we lack cohesion. At least those two know how to play and close down together.

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  19. Terry McDermotts perm1:56 pm, November 15, 2014

    I still rate him. But I dont get Brenden on this one. He went after him full throttle and kept upping the offers till he got his man. And then when he gets him doesn't seem to have a plan for him. So he's not always even starting when he's fit. Very strange when its at a club that wants value for money.

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  20. Suarez wasn't an immediate hit, he didn't have a great conversion rate in his first six months. He was good, but he certainly improved out of sight in subsequent years. Plenty of other players have also taken time to adjust. In fact Lallana had an average first season in the PL before breaking out in his second year. I don't think there are hard and fast rules about these things and some players will go through periods of not performing. Making far reaching predictions is premature.


    I'm not worried about Lallana, he's just a symptom of an overall lack of confidence and form at the club. It's hard to say what's happening at training but I suspect that he, like plenty of other players, are feeling the pressure of having new roles and new responsibilities. Rodgers is pushing these guys and he's set the team up to fail in the short term by allowing there to be so many changes in the squad. Right now he's making it clear that of course it will take time for new players to settle, but did he say these same things during the summer? Did he warn the fans of this as the season was starting? If he thinks the club is suffering from high expectations then he should have tried to manage those and perhaps be honest about where might have happened.


    Lallana is a quality player. You can see it in his effort over 90 minutes, his skill on the ball, his eye for goal and ability to turn past defenders. He does things that few other players can do and it's just a question of getting that consistently. For sure, he's suffering mentally but that doesn't mean we write him off and assume it won't change. True mental strength means going through tough times and coming out the other side a better player, a better person. If Lallana can find his form over the next couple of months and then run through the new year as well as he was playing for Southampton then it will be a sign that he's truly a class act.

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  21. Why do you say he doesn't have a plan for him?

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  22. If Balos injury turns out to be worse and Sturridge is played as a lone striker then no matter how good or bad Lallana is will make no difference.

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  23. im assuming because he doesnt play him, and thats with sturridge out as well

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  24. lallana needs to play furthest forward in a 3 man midfield because hes no winger ,ideally id like to play him with can and hendo ....the problem he has is Gerrard always plays regardless of form so a midfield spot goes automatically ,hendo derserves his spot , allen is a rodgers favourite and tino and sterling have both expressed a desire to play that position so in a nutshell its hard to see a definite rout into the team

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  25. You would expect Lallana to be playing more than often especially when he was our most expensive signing this season. It is becoming clearer that we did not need a player like Lallana and the fact that he is not a regular just shows how Rodgers is making himself look more and more out of his depth this season

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  26. Muscle injury for Balo. Probably not that serious.

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  27. Terry McDermotts perm3:04 pm, November 15, 2014

    As the others are saying, he's not picking him often even when fit. I would expect a £25 Mill player to get into the team without hesitation. I cant believe he was bought to sit on the bench and he hasnt had enough chances to say he didnt take his chance.

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  28. Especially all that mad pursuing of lallana in summer by BR.......The funny thing was BR bought on Allen for Couts when we needed a goal against Chelski......says how much of a clue BR has at the moment

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  29. no matter how you sugar coat it if you include sako, rodgers has spent about 100m on players and the team has gone backwards .The vultures are circling and there are a lot of reports that if Rodgers doent get into the last 16 hes out the door.I like the guy but what this season has shown me is he isnt a big club manager as he can neither handle a large squad or budget and he is to in awe of big name players,i cant see him turning it around and think fsg will sack him over the new year.

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  30. Forget top 16(in CL) I just hope we finish top 10 in PL

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  31. with no fit strikers and a defence that has more holes that a polo factory thats a hard sell

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  32. haha and also Balo is injured just when I wanted to see him and Studge play in 4D2 and now BR will play Studge as a lone striker

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  33. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:18 pm, November 15, 2014

    defense is worse bcos of strikers
    you are not scared of pushing further up field if balotelli si playing he aint going for but SAS woukd

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  34. Rodgers has the demenure of a guy who has done it all in football but the reality is at the top level he has done nothing ....when managers blame results on luck and refs decisions its time for a change ...great teams and mangers make there own luck and dont leave it to chance .......TAXI FOR RODGERS

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  35. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:20 pm, November 15, 2014

    its a blessing in disguise
    .............................sturridge
    lallana......................coutinho................borini
    ..........................can.....gerrard


    with sterling rotating with borini and lallana
    henderson rotating with coutinho


    hopefully we can play this attack till january then doumbia comes or martinez

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  36. sturridge could well come back and go on a run and score a hat full ...but by the same token he could breakdown after 20mins and be out 3 months

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  37. Yup..... I think the biggest problem is BR persisting with Gerrad as a DM when every Adam and You know that Gerrad is not a DM and never will be.....cannt see BR turn around things

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  38. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:24 pm, November 15, 2014

    i dont like adams
    they are all childish and weird

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  39. Bro even when we had SAS we conceded half a century of goals.........All these problems with LFC right now are bigger than some people think it is and BR as our manager its going to get worse unless he does something abt it

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  40. We have to buy a Top Striker in Jan it is a absolute must

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  41. but we dont have sas and balo is injured ...

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  42. i cant see it not after the outlay this summer

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  43. What I dont understand is BR not playing guys like Lambert and Lallana more I mean why buy them if your not gonna play them?

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  44. crack the code lives in a fantasy world where liverpool have all the best players in the world without any viable way of how we acquired them....

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  45. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:29 pm, November 15, 2014

    look teams play when facing SAS
    ......................................opposition...gk
    ....................................... oppoistion defence


    .......................................SaS

    ........................................opisition midfield

    .....................................our midfield
    .........................................our defence
    .........................................their strikers
    .....................................our gk


    teams tactics vs balotelli


    .....................................o goalkeepr


    ........................................balotelli


    ................................opposition defence


    .................................our midfield


    ...................................opposition midfiled


    ...............................oppostion strikers our defnce

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,mignolet

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  46. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:31 pm, November 15, 2014

    what outlay 30m net?

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  47. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:31 pm, November 15, 2014

    even hicks and gillet sometimes gave 30m net

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  48. Or as bane would say ...perhaps hes wondering why you would shoot a man then throw him from a plane ...same analogy different situation a

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  49. Forget about net spent they are not running a cash and carry they will look at what he has spent on players

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  50. Defence is worse because of our strikers? What rubbish.


    Rodgers asks Balotelli to run around like a headless chicken and has nothing to do with our inept defenders.

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  51. Persisting with the likes of Johnson and Skrtel/Lovren as your CB pair when clearly it is a disaster is the biggest issue. We have played with two holding midfielders for 95% of the season...

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  52. some people will go to extraordinary lengths to absolve Lovren Gerrard skirtal and mingo of any blame .....

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  53. All good managers like Mourinho or Rafa or Simeone always build team from the back but BR doesnt have a clue abt defense I mean who would pay 18m for Sakho and 20m for Lovren

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  54. If I was goalkeeper i would refuse to play behind Johsnon, Skrtel and Lovren.

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  55. Johnson is the worst of them.....he should be at QPR

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  56. but the two holding midfielders are not holding midfielders.....Mr HOLLYWOOD ball and hendo isnt what i would call a holding pair like masha and alonso

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  57. Why blame Sakho when he is not the problem.

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  58. I am not blaming him but Iam not convinced whenever he has played

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  59. Not the point I am making.


    Show me another top club that will RIGHT NOW have Johnson, Skrtel and Lovren in their back four.


    I think not.

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  60. i dont think nav is blamimg sako hes seems to be pointing out that we over payed for a player who Rodgers doesn't seem to fancy

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  61. If I remember correctly Sakho had a year or less in remaining in his contract(at PSG ) and yet we ended up paying 18m...... typical LFC transfers

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  62. PSG's youngest ever captain and first choice for France.


    Sakho has been nothing but a scapegoat. He would be better off leaving and being first choice for another team.

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  63. I think the problem is BR is asking too much from defenders he wants them to defend, help build our attack, be calm with possession........but in the end all I see is a meaningless traingular passing between Migs, lovren and Skrtel

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  64. Sorry, but Lovren and Skrtel are pitiful at set pieces. They are experienced defenders and should not have to be taught the basics of defending.


    The biggest mistake Rodgers/transfer committee has made is the failure to bring in a defender who can take our defence by the scruff of the neck.


    you would think Skrtel being the longest at the club and having loads of experience would have stepped up and showed his authority. Sktrtel needs to go.

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  65. Agger, Sakho, Kolo, Lovren, Skrtwl are all good defenders and all of them have looked bad under BR......I really think the problem is with BR and not our defenders all these defenders would have been world beaters under a manager like Mourinho

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  66. If Mourinho really wanted Skrtel then he would have been at Chelsea etc. Sorry but I just do not share the same opinion about skrtel as others.


    Agger should have stayed and Skrtel should have been sent on his way.

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  67. Iam not Skrtel is Mourinhos standard.......but all our defenders in general all of them have looked really bad under BR

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  68. Barcelona wanted Agger. Ask them if they want Skrtel and they will be laughing at you...

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  69. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:17 pm, November 15, 2014

    Nothing wrong with skrtel,lovren ,sakho ,toure and agger




    it is rodgers utilization of them
    look at palce before and after pulis




    Rodgers needs to take the blame


    he made 5 very good defenders look awful


    but rodgers with decent strikers is a supreme attacking coach


    i think what we need is a defensive coach and board of director


    pulis in charge of defence
    rodgers in charge of strikers
    and rick parry in charge of transfers

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  70. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:18 pm, November 15, 2014

    city wanted skrtel
    btw barca also signed injured a million times vermaeelan

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  71. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:21 pm, November 15, 2014

    aggers problem is simmilar to sturridge great player
    but if you want to build for the future you have to build without them in your main plans as you cannot rely on them

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  72. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:26 pm, November 15, 2014

    Roy hodgson is using a diamond today


    ...................................rooney..............welbeck
    .............................................sterling
    ................................lallana............................henderson
    ..............................................wilshere




    lets see if he can use our players better then brendan


    we could set up
    ........................................balotelli.................borini
    .......................................................sterling
    ....................................lallana,.,...........................henderson
    .......................................................allen


    but lets see if roy can make it work

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  73. Hardly plays and plays in the wrong position.

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  74. Even great managers who have won everything blame things on refs and luck.

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  75. Logan showing that 90%of statistics are made up on the spot. We have played with two in front of the back four plenty of times though. Just the wrong two.

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  76. Adam Lallana will grow into a Liverpool player instead of having the immediate impact many expected, because of his Premier League experience.
    I'm not overly concerned about Lallana not having right the character to turn into a important player for us.He's in England's plans too, which also comes with high expectation levels.That should help fine tune his mentality.He just needs time to fully integrate.The talent is there.
    I think he was one of the better signings Liverpool made.Although i would've liked Fabregas instead.I was disappointed we didn't even try to challenge Chelsea for him.
    Adam Lallana was a little overpriced, but we know British players usually come with a extortionate tax add on.
    I like his technical qualities.The goal he scored against West Brom was fantastic.It looked simple, but not many in our squad are capable of orchestrating that move and finishing it off.
    His production will improve.

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  77. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, and I have better things to do than waste my time refuting your tenuous points.

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  78. England are pressing better than Liverpool this season. Is the idea on loan to Hodgepodge?

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  79. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:51 pm, November 15, 2014

    you say attack the argument not the person
    you are not saying how my views are tenous

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  80. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:54 pm, November 15, 2014

    with our players in the midfield

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  81. Get a grip. Saying a person's view is 'tenuous' is not attacking the person, it is questioning the veracity of the person's view. In this case, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

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  82. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:57 pm, November 15, 2014

    sorry if you got offended
    i am a fan of this site


    obviously i don't always agree with you

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  83. I'm not offended; I just disagree with your inaccurate paraphrasing of my views, especially since you probably weren't even reading the site during the Benitez era.

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  84. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:02 pm, November 15, 2014

    But do you agree you wanted suarez out?

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  85. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:07 pm, November 15, 2014

    Anyway forget it
    i will stop referencing you

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  86. any other club would have picked him up for about 8 -12m

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  87. As much as I loved Agger he has even admitted that he is unable to cope with physical pressure of playing in a top league.


    I mean he is injured now as we speak.

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