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Old 10-09-21, 05:41 PM   #41
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Not correct

Brazil didn't report them because they released him for the Olympics when they didn't have to.
He’s referring to the Man City players.
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Old 10-09-21, 06:15 PM   #42
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Do we know if the City players cleared to play or are they just ignoring the rule? The cynic in me suspects the reason if the former of the two options and others have not had the same concession given.
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Old 10-09-21, 06:20 PM   #43
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Do we know if the City players cleared to play or are they just ignoring the rule? The cynic in me suspects the reason if the former of the two options and others have not had the same concession given.
City are in the same position as us.

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Old 10-09-21, 07:16 PM   #44
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Cheers. So the earlier tweet claiming they are clear to play was just the typical wannabe ITK goon!
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Old 10-09-21, 10:46 PM   #45
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No one should be travelling to red list countries for any reason, especially a game of football. And just because they are some sort of elite athlete is no excuse.
For fifa to think football can trump governments and pandemics just shows how up their own arse they are!
100%
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Old 10-09-21, 10:52 PM   #46
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No one should be travelling to red list countries for any reason, especially a game of football. And just because they are some sort of elite athlete is no excuse.
For fifa to think football can trump governments and pandemics just shows how up their own arse they are!
You're not wrong
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Old 10-09-21, 11:17 PM   #47
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Ali and Fab can play

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Old 10-09-21, 11:20 PM   #48
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Old 10-09-21, 11:33 PM   #49
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Still cunts
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Old 11-09-21, 12:03 AM   #50
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Still cunts
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Old 11-09-21, 03:24 AM   #51
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Still cunts
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Old 11-09-21, 05:48 AM   #52
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Old 11-09-21, 11:29 AM   #53
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Old 11-09-21, 11:40 AM   #54
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Good article. I remember this game very well. Viduke seems like a refreshingly sound and normal bloke.

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Mark Viduka scored four for a classic Leeds win over Liverpool 21 years ago...
  • Mark Viduka has stayed out of the spotlight since his retirement back in 2009
  • The Australian striker scored 269 goals during his career as a footballer
  • The 45-year-old now runs a coffee shop north of Croatian capital Zagreb
  • Viduka once scored four goals in a thrilling victory for Leeds against Liverpool

PUBLISHED: 22:02, 10 September 2021 | UPDATED: 22:40, 10 September 2021

Drive north out of the Croatian capital Zagreb, where the roads are steep and winding, the forestry thick and population ever thinning, and just beyond the striking, blue-roofed church of St.Mirko, hidden in the hills, is a coffee shop.

Tracking down the owner has been difficult, primarily because he does not want to be found. But for those who knew him when he made headlines in the Premier League, this hilltop retreat is exactly the sort of sanctuary in which you’d one day hoped to find Mark Viduka, the scorer of 269 goals during a career that took in Celtic, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Newcastle. He never did court the limelight. This is his first newspaper interview since retiring in 2009. For while Viduka loved the game, he loathed the politics and falsity. ‘All the b****ks’ he calls it.

But there was, he believes, a misconception about him. It is true. Many expect to meet a brooding, intense, distant soul. In reality, he is, as I put it to him, ‘a laid-back, unassuming, Aussie bloke’. ‘Exactly,’ says the 45-year-old, espresso in hand, Zagreb in the distance over his shoulder. ‘Why is that misunderstood about me? I still feel it today. The amount of people I meet who say, “You’re not what I expected”. I often wonder, “Why?”. ‘I wasn’t obsessed with fame, at all. I didn’t like it. I still don’t. I wasn’t obsessed with money, that came as a by-product.

‘You’ve seen what football is like, a lot of a**e-lickers and climbers, dishonest people who try to shaft you. But I always tried to stay true to myself. ‘Maybe that’s why there is this negative perception, because I didn’t conform. I was born and raised in Australia but my parents were Croatian. I have that Aussie tolerance but I also have my Croatian side, I’ll stand my ground if I believe in something. It’s about being honest with yourself. ‘A lot of players suck up to fans, coaches, journalists, and everyone loves them. But what sort of people are they when you remove all the b******t? Are they good people or just playing the game?’

Our conversation detours to Joey Barton, his ex-Newcastle team-mate. Viduka, for the record, sees the good in him.But there was an incident at Anfield in 2009 that captures Viduka’s principles. Barton had been sent off for a lunge on Xabi Alonso, later admitting he was exacting revenge. Newcastle lost 3-0 and, in the dressing-room, Barton and manager Alan Shearer clashed. Barton said, ’You’re a s*** manger with s*** tactics’. Only one Newcastle player intervened.

Joey Barton shouted at Alan Shearer after he got sent off during a 3-0 defeat by Liverpool ‘I thought Joey was in the wrong, way in the wrong. He got sent off for no reason and Alan had a go at him. Joey went back and, that’s Joey, he kept going. ‘I said to him, “Joey, shut the f*** up and sit down, take it”. He was out of order, and he knew it. So he sat down.’ Viduka’s existence now is far removed from such tension. His only cause to play peacemaker is between his three teenage sons.

So why here? Why not his native Melbourne? Or Middlesbrough? He smiles.

‘I left Australia to sign for Croatia Zagreb aged 19 and fell in love with the lifestyle. And we’d always wanted to run a cafe, for fun really, one where everyone was welcome. So here we are. ‘Listen, my missus does all the work, I just sit here and drink coffee!’ Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic is among the regulars at Non Plus Ultra, meaning No Higher Point. ‘A good guy,’ says Viduka. ‘You know what else we have? The manager of UB40 runs a local brewery. We’ve got his beer, it’s lovely, try it.’ Absolutely. Cheers! Life is good here. But that tranquility was shattered, quite literally, on a Sunday morning in March of last year, when an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 hit Zagreb. Remarkably, only one person died. ‘It was as if someone picked up the house and shook it,’ says Viduka. ‘The scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. We were lucky it happened at 6.20am and during lockdown, because no one was on the streets. I dread to think how much worse it could have been. ‘We ran outside, in our pyjamas, and it started snowing. We had to sit in the car for hours, terrified of aftershocks. You realise how weak we are compared to nature.’

An army veteran from the Croatian War of Independence shuffles into the cafe. Viduka says hello. When he first arrived here in 1995, it was during the final months of the conflict. Franjo Tudjman - president of the country and Croatia Zagreb - had persuaded him to sign.


He can smile about one or two memories of that period now, but the horror of the hostility remains, especially as extended family were killed. ‘My mates would take the p*** during training when the fighter aircrafts were above and I was jumping out of my skin. I was a kid, it was scary. ‘I was walking towards the city one morning and the air-raid siren sounded. In thirty seconds, everyone disappeared. Even the tram driver jumped out and ran somewhere. ‘It was just me in the middle of the street, no idea what to do. I just started legging it back to my hotel and ran to my room on the 16th floor!’

Come 1998, Viduka was escaping Zagreb for different reasons, caught in the vicious crossfire of domestic politics given his association with Tudjman. He signed for Celtic but, infamously, fled to Melbourne just days after arriving in Glasgow. ‘A lot of people labelled me, and maybe that’s where the perception comes from. But I went through hell here in Zagreb. I told Celtic, “I’m mentally f*****. I need a break. I don’t want to come and hide and take the money”. I was honest with myself and with them. But it backfires.’

Viduka returned a couple of months later.

‘I worked my a**e off at Celtic. The club was in turmoil but I was top scorer and player of the year. I really left my heart there. I refuse to accept it when someone says otherwise.’

And so to Leeds for £6million in 2000. For a man who wilfully shuns the spotlight, Viduka was about to take centre stage. Drinks poured, terrace seats assembled, let the show begin. Thanks to YouTube and a laptop, we are back in November of 2000. It is Leeds versus Liverpool at Elland Road.

First, Viduka has something to say. ‘It was the early Saturday kick-off so we stayed in a hotel. It was also Bonfire Night. So it’s 1am and my phone starts ringing, it’s my missus. “I’m scared, the dog is barking”. ‘I tell her, “Don’t worry, it’s probably just from the fireworks”. Then she rings at 3am. “The dog is still barking”. I’m seriously p***ed off now. “If I have a shocker tomorrow, I’m gonna f***ing kill you!”. So yeah, I never thought it would end up the way it did.’

We press play. Sami Hyypia heads Liverpool in front and Christian Ziege doubles the lead. Viduka doesn’t say a word as the ball then runs to him in the penalty area and he wedges the most glorious chip over Sander Westerveld. We press pause. Well? ‘It feels like it isn’t me. It’s weird.’

Finally, he elaborates. ‘You know what happens, you practice so many times, it’s instinct. There is no thought process, really. It’s everything you’ve spent your life working towards. If you were to stop and think about it, you would never try a chip like that.’ Play. Gary Kelly breaks down the right and crosses to the near post, where Viduka flashes a header into the top corner.

‘Rewind that,’ he says. The screen freezes with Viduka airborne on the angle of the six-yard area. ‘From that position, it’s so difficult.’ He whips his hand across his forehead, simulating the ball glancing off it. ‘That’s the only way to score from there. It could go anywhere. That day, it was perfect.’ Vladimir Smicer makes it 3-2 Liverpool on the hour. Then, Olivier Dacourt plays Viduka in on goal. Cue Martin Tyler: ‘Mark Viduka… still Viduka… still! Brilliant!’ A customer in the cafe looks over, but Viduka is lost in another world. ‘I probably should have hit it straight away, I complicated it.’ It must be said, there are more ill-fated complications than a Cruyff turn and nutmegging Jamie Carragher on the goal-line.

So how did that feel, a first Premier League hat-trick? ‘I was bloody over the moon. But you have to go for the win. That’s the type of team we were. We didn’t know how to sit back and be happy with a point.’ Two minutes later and Viduka is clear after Dacourt skews a shot into his path. Westerveld rushes to meet him but, again, Viduka dinks beyond him. He is mobbed by white shirts.

‘It’s scary how similar it is to the first goal. In football, your first touch is everything. When I was a kid at AIS (Australian Institute of Sport), I turned my bed against my wall and played one touch above it, all different angles. I would do it for hours, the guy next to me never slept!

‘So you see that first touch, that’s the reason. I got the ball out of my feet and then… it’s pure instinct, again.’ The goal, we realise, was offside. ‘Yeah, I’d be off celebrating today and it would be called back, wouldn’t it?’

Leeds won 4-3 and Viduka was thrust in front of the TV cameras, waving to his mother who was watching on her birthday in Melbourne. But here is an admission. ‘I didn’t play that well. Some bad touches, poor hold-up play, that stays in your mind. I had four shots that day, scored four goals. How often does that happen?’ Viduka was top scorer in each of his four seasons at Leeds. But there is regret at how it ended - relegation following a fire sale of their best players.

‘We didn’t have a clue of the financial problems, but then the likes of Woody (Jonathan Woodgate) were sold. It was a disaster. I was sent off in my last game, and that was frustration. ‘The team wasn’t being run how it should be. After David O’Leary was sacked (in 2002), we lost that aura. There wasn’t the same discipline. ‘It wasn’t just Peter Reid (manager who Viduka fell out with), the whole club became lawless. If you have a squad worth millions, like ours, get a good coach. Someone who knows what he’s doing. Look at Marcelo Bielsa now. He has proved what a coach can achieve.’

Three seasons at Boro - and a UEFA Cup final - were followed by two injury-hit years at Newcastle. Under Shearer - ‘a good bloke, honest, I liked him’ - the Magpies were relegated. Viduka, at 33, retired. ‘Roy Hodgson wanted me at Fulham. We met in the Chelsea Harbour Hotel. “You’re gonna be my No.9, bring players in”. ‘I said, “Roy, I would love to be that guy for you, mate. But I can’t do it”. In my head I was there, on the end of the cross. In reality, I was a split-second late. I thought, “If I keep playing, I’m gonna look like a f***ing idiot”. I had to be honest with myself, and Roy. I didn’t want people to remember me as someone sticking around just for the money.’

Do you miss playing? ‘No. Everyone has their time. I’ve had mine. I’m fine with that. I enjoy the peace. I’m happy to be anonymous now.’ Viduka has found the perfect spot in that regard. Coffee cups and craft ales cleared, we roll down the hill towards Zagreb in Viduka’s 4x4. ‘There’s Luka Modric’s house. He bought it off Zvonimir Boban.’ Quick question: is it true Modric is your cousin? ‘No, everyone says that. He’s related to my cousins through marriage. But we’re friends. A nice guy.’ Another: is it true your sister was in Neighbours? ‘Now that is true. Just a few episodes.’

That’s brilliant. We love Neighbours in England. ‘Don’t worry, as a kid I was obsessed with it too.’ Next: so what do you do with your spare time now? ‘Other than drink coffee? I play the guitar. My son, Oliver, is a drummer in a band. When one of his mates can’t make it, I jump in. We use our basement. The neighbours aren’t very happy about it! Me and the boys love Arctic Monkeys. The lyrics, man, genius.’

We pull up and Viduka scrolls through his phone. ‘I’ve got a video of me and my boy playing. Hold on, let me watch it first, I don’t know if it’s any good!’ There it is, Fake Tales of San Francisco, chord perfect. He shows me another of his son during his first live gig. Viduka was recording, the camera bopping to the beat of their Franz Ferdinand cover. And that, you feel, is where this former superstar is happiest - a proud dad lost among a crowd.
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Old 11-09-21, 12:20 PM   #55
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Good article. I remember this game very well. Viduke seems like a refreshingly sound and normal bloke.

Fupp Viduka and Leeds. I was at that game and got a bottle of piss to the head for my troubles.


That been said it hardly smelled any worse that the rest of that shithole city.

There are few teams I take more pleasure in seeing lose than Leeds and I hope we go there and spank them on Sunday. Dirty fupping mongrels.
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Old 11-09-21, 12:35 PM   #56
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Fupp Viduka and Leeds. I was at that game and got a bottle of piss to the head for my troubles.

That been said it hardly smelled any worse that the rest of that shithole city.

There are few teams I take more pleasure in seeing lose than Leeds and I hope we go there and spank them on Sunday. Dirty fupping mongrels.
Yeah, it’s not really a pro Leeds article.

Just some back story on Viduka, hadn’t appreciated it would be so ‘triggering’

I had a few good nights out in Leeds when I werra lad. Had a mate who went to Uni there.
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Old 11-09-21, 01:10 PM   #57
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Yeah, it’s not really a pro Leeds article.

Just some back story on Viduka, hadn’t appreciated it would be so ‘triggering’

I had a few good nights out in Leeds when I werra lad. Had a mate who went to Uni there.



You want to see triggering. Go sing "Marching on Together" in front of me and stand back
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Old 11-09-21, 01:18 PM   #58
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Rafinha hat-trick?
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Old 11-09-21, 02:51 PM   #59
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Fupp Viduka and Leeds
fairly sure apart from Father Ted I've never heard the word fupp actually used and I know a lot of Irish people
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Old 11-09-21, 03:00 PM   #60
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fairly sure apart from Father Ted I've never heard the word fupp actually used and I know a lot of Irish people


That would be an ecumenical matter.


You just don't know the right Irish people
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Old 11-09-21, 09:10 PM   #61
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That was a good read & being an Aussie myself I’d wondered what became of him post football.
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Old 12-09-21, 02:29 AM   #62
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I still remember the Duke tearing it up in the NSL playing for Melbourne Croatia ( Melbourne Knights by then I think). League’s top scorer at 19 years of age. He was a phenomenal talent and a key member of Australia’s golden age along with Kewell, Cahill, Schwazer etc. Never let it get to his head though. Solid fella.
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Old 12-09-21, 09:52 AM   #63
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I still remember the Duke tearing it up in the NSL playing for Melbourne Croatia ( Melbourne Knights by then I think). League’s top scorer at 19 years of age. He was a phenomenal talent and a key member of Australia’s golden age along with Kewell, Cahill, Schwazer etc. Never let it get to his head though. Solid fella.
Yeah he was a sensational player & so mature even at 19 years old. Never looked out of his depth wherever he played.
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Old 12-09-21, 11:37 AM   #64
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This is the type of game we need to win if we're to keep up with Chelsea, City and Utd.
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Old 12-09-21, 12:58 PM   #65
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Going to be an interesting game tactically.

Do we try to match their pressing like we tried to do last season at Elland road or do we try something like what the red mancs did against them a couple weeks back and turn it into a shoot out banking on our better frontline to outscore them.


One thing Leeds do have is a lot of running and energy in the centre so we either try to match and then overpower them in there, or try to play around them. Either way it wil be a busy day for whatever players we pick in the middle.

Fabinho is a must you have to think, but then which two from Henderson, Thiago and Keita. And that is without Klopp throwing in a curveball like maybe starting Milner or Elliot.
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Old 12-09-21, 01:30 PM   #66
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Going to be an interesting game tactically.

Do we try to match their pressing like we tried to do last season at Elland road or do we try something like what the red mancs did against them a couple weeks back and turn it into a shoot out banking on our better frontline to outscore them.


One thing Leeds do have is a lot of running and energy in the centre so we either try to match and then overpower them in there, or try to play around them. Either way it wil be a busy day for whatever players we pick in the middle.

Fabinho is a must you have to think, but then which two from Henderson, Thiago and Keita. And that is without Klopp throwing in a curveball like maybe starting Milner or Elliot.
Thought Man Utd pressed them really well in the first (?) game of the season. Stopped Leeds from playing.
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Old 12-09-21, 01:39 PM   #67
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Thought Man Utd pressed them really well in the first (?) game of the season. Stopped Leeds from playing.
United went long a good bit too and just bypassed the middle
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Old 12-09-21, 02:17 PM   #68
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United went long a good bit too and just bypassed the middle
Pretty much how we approached Chelsea first half.
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Old 12-09-21, 03:30 PM   #69
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Old 12-09-21, 03:31 PM   #70
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That were absolute diabolical
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Old 12-09-21, 03:33 PM   #71
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Leaked teams starting to appear online again - who’s the new Danny Ward…….. I suspect Nat

Legendary depth on the bench for the front line ffs - game 4 and we have no forward dub - where is Divock?

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Old 12-09-21, 03:37 PM   #72
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I reckon it's Harvey. Tells his da, then it spreads
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Old 12-09-21, 03:39 PM   #73
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That bench is shocking. Not a single attacker. How the fuck have we let this happen? Konate up front if anyone gets injured.
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Old 12-09-21, 03:40 PM   #74
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Ahhh....but the Ox is a false nine now icymi.
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Old 12-09-21, 03:45 PM   #75
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Yep that bench is strong for the defence and midfield but attacking options....ouch. Just pray that there's no injuries to the front 3 until Bobby and Origi are available
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Old 12-09-21, 03:54 PM   #76
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I reckon it's Harvey. Tells his da, then it spreads
Was apparently Kelleher and his brother were the culprits last season. Which is why Big Kev disappeared from the squad last season.

Danny Ward was obviously sold after being discovered. Mad how someone else always seems to step forward, even though they’re clearly going to get bombed out when they’re caught.
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Old 12-09-21, 03:58 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by ~LFCHistory~ View Post
Yep that bench is strong for the defence and midfield but attacking options....ouch. Just pray that there's no injuries to the front 3 until Bobby and Origi are available
Origi shouldn't be anywhere near the squad. It's criminal to leave ourselves this short. Goals win games. That bench, 4 games in has nothing to change anything. No quick winger, no skilful player that might beat anyone, no finisher that might snatch a winner, not even an old fashioned target man to occasionally offer something different. Centre back cover, midfield cover. Zero goals.

We're still capable of winning today, just feels we're deliberately making it hard for ourselves. Like by doing it this way, it'll be more special than spending money.

All that aside, should be an entertaining game today. I like that 11.
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Old 12-09-21, 04:00 PM   #78
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That bench is shocking. Not a single attacker. How the fuck have we let this happen? Konate up front if anyone gets injured.

Firmino and Minamino are injured.
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Old 12-09-21, 04:03 PM   #79
~LFCHistory~
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Originally Posted by BobTheCharmer View Post
Origi shouldn't be anywhere near the squad. It's criminal to leave ourselves this short. Goals win games. That bench, 4 games in has nothing to change anything. No quick winger, no skilful player that might beat anyone, no finisher that might snatch a winner, not even an old fashioned target man to occasionally offer something different. Centre back cover, midfield cover. Zero goals.

We're still capable of winning today, just feels we're deliberately making it hard for ourselves. Like by doing it this way, it'll be more special than spending money.

All that aside, should be an entertaining game today. I like that 11.
I like that 11 too and agree that ideally Origi shouldn't be anywhere near the squad but under the circumstances we need to have at least 1 attacking option on the bench, suppose at a stretch you could put Ox on the right wing.
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Old 12-09-21, 04:13 PM   #80
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Jones and Elliot can both play in the wide positions if we needed to change things.
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