History UsefulNotes / BritishFootyTeams

15th Aug '17 3:32:17 AM deadbotuliza
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** AKA "The Clarets" from their claret and blue kit. One of the 12 founder members of The Football League. Notable for a pretty large fall from grace in the 70s and 80s, going from top-flight football to narrowly surviving relegation from the Football League. Promoted to the Premiership for the 2009/10 season after winning the Championship play-offs, but dropped back to the Championship the next season. Stayed there until finishing second in 201314, earning a place in the Prem once again. They went straight back down but rebounded again after an unbeaten second half of the season, and survived the 2016-17 season in the PL due to formidable home form, in a season in which they also became notable for the story of star striker Andre Gray, who turned from a homophobic nutcase playing in amateur football who never had a dad and survived a gang stabbing, to a PL hat-trick scorer and a boyfriend of a LittleMix member. In a hyperbole, famous Burnley supporter Alistair Campbell, a key figure in Tony Blair's period as Prime Minister, described Burnley being in the PL as even greater than the landslide he helped Blair to. Historically, they are fierce rivals of Blackburn Rovers due to sheer proximity (8 miles down the road).

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** AKA "The Clarets" from their claret and blue kit. One of the 12 founder members of The Football League. Notable for a pretty large fall from grace in the 70s and 80s, going from top-flight football to narrowly surviving relegation from the Football League. Promoted to the Premiership for the 2009/10 season after winning the Championship play-offs, but dropped back to the Championship the next season. Stayed there until finishing second in 201314, earning a place in the Prem once again. They went straight back down but rebounded again after an unbeaten second half of the season, and survived the 2016-17 season in the PL due to formidable home form, in a season in which they also became notable for the story of star striker Andre Gray, who turned from a homophobic nutcase playing in amateur football who never had a dad and survived a gang stabbing, to a PL hat-trick scorer and a boyfriend of a LittleMix member. Gray joined Watford for a ludicrous £20 million, in spite of having only scored 9 PL goals, admittedly for a side which took the fewest shots in the league that were not relegated. In a amother hyperbole, famous Burnley supporter Alistair Campbell, a key figure in Tony Blair's period as Prime Minister, described Burnley being in the PL as even greater than the landslide he helped Blair to. Historically, they are fierce rivals of Blackburn Rovers due to sheer proximity (8 miles down the road).
19th Jul '17 2:51:36 PM DarkPhoenix94
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** Famous for, when they're playing well, [[AttackAttackAttack fast, skilful and downright mesmerising attacking football which makes up for an often dubious defence,]] spearheaded by lightning fast strikers who usually do phenomenally well, then get snapped up by Real Madrid, Barcelona or Chelsea (and frequently suffer a collapse in form thereafter. Michael Owen and Fernando Torres have certainly never quite been the same. [[KarmaHoudini Luis]] [[TokenEvilTeamMate Suarez]], on the other hand, seems to be doing just fine). It's generally best summed up by the popular Kop chant created during the 2013/14 season called 'Poetry in Motion'. When they're not playing well... well, since the defence is still dubious, the results are generally a little embarrassing. Internationally very popular, with hundreds of millions of fans worldwide. Their rivalry with Manchester United is so intense it's pretty much hatred.
** Infamous (like Arsenal) for [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut fizzling out]] dramatically; they made a decent challenge for the title in 2008/09, but hit a stumbling block around November the following season. They had to rely on Chelsea, Tottenham, and ''Portsmouth'' to get into Europe by the skin of their teeth. Then they did it again in 2013/14 under Brendan Rodgers, when they very nearly won it with an entire season of stylish attacking football, tearing almost of all of their rivals to shreds in one CurbstompBattle after another, only fizzling out in the last couple of matches due to a mixture of exhaustion, nerves and a very unfortunate slip by Steven Gerrard. After that, their confidence collapsed. Their 2014/15 got off to a decent start, and in the middle of the season, they went on a thirteen game undefeated streak, before stalling against rivals United and Arsenal. After that, they went out of the FA Cup in the semi-finals to Aston Villa and they limped to a 6th place finish after an absolutely dire final game of the season, also the final game of [[TheCaptain Steven Gerrard's]] Liverpool career, when they were thrashed 6-1 by Stoke. This was their worst defeat since ''1963''.
*** Following a somewhat limp start to the 2015/16 season [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness that led to boos from the Kop,]] Rodgers was sacked after a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby, being replaced by charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, famous for ''gegenpressing'' style of 'heavy metal football' having broken Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, before taking them to the Champions League final. Since the clubs are FriendlyFandoms, [[OneHundredPercentAdorationRating this was considered a match made in heaven]]. Klopp's Liverpool have since been cast as 'Europe's Entertainers', combining the front foot defensive style of the ''gegenpress'' that involves attacking players hunting down the ball in packs, either winning it back high up the pitch or forcing errors with an attack led by a freely interchanging floating front three of dynamic wing forward [[LightningBruiser Sadio Mane,]] talismanic [[PintSizedPowerHouse pocket-sized playmaker Philippe Coutinho]] and hard-working creative striker [[TheLancer Roberto Firmino]] (recently convicted of drink driving, leading to variations on a classic chant from Liverpool fans: [[DrunkenMaster 'Roberto Firmino... he scores when he's drunk']]). And when [[WeakButSkilled Adam Lallana]] [[TheLoad (formerly deemed to be a waste of space)]] is in midfield, he's given license to use his extensive technical talents to knit play between midfield and attack, making it a front four. This style, along with the reinvention of captain Jordan Henderson as a deep lying 'number 6', using his energy and passing skill to dictate play and break up opposition attacks, when properly executed, is very, very hard to stop, and any team that has tried to play open football against Klopp's Liverpool has been torn to shreds - notably, they've only lost once to any of the top six teams since Klopp took charge. Particular highlights include in 2015/16 victories over domestic rivals and in Europe: notably, Borussia Dortmund (4-3, from 3-1 down) and Villareal (3-0). In 2016/17, champions Leicester (4-1), Hull (5-1), Watford (6-1), Arsenal (4-3), Chelsea (2-1), Stoke (4-1), Crystal Palace (4-2), Tottenham (2-1 - in the League Cup) - all in the first half of the season, led to the belief that Liverpool were serious title contenders, before they stumbled at Christmas.
*** While they entered 2017 still in striking distance, teams found that piling the entire team behind the ball, letting Liverpool have all the possession and no room before hitting them on the break was an effective strategy, targeting their flimsy defence. Combined with the loss of key players Joel Matip and Sadio Mane to international duty (or international legal limbo in Matip's case) and injury, as well as Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson, also to injury, and a pile up of matches leading to six games in a month (including, at the start of January, two games in less than 48 hours) on top of a busy Christmas, their form collapsed, with a number of humiliating defeats. This left them outside the top 4 at the start of March - though the rest of the top 6 has bunched up so much that only four points separate 2nd and 6th. However, a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham, who hadn't lost in 11 matches, seemed to have brought the magic back. Then they lost 3-1 to relegation threatened and managerless Leicester, and then, less than a week after that, beat Arsenal by the same scoreline. At the time of writing, they seem to be limping over the line to Champions League qualification, helped by the fallibility of rivals and by grinding out results over weaker teams - notably, beating Watford 1-0, a dour game being livened up by a spectacular overhead kick from Emre Can.
*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward, they have what could kindly be called 'defensive issues', especially when Lucas is also in defence. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembles a slapstick comedy routine. Lucas is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for his absolute devotion to the club and able to put in superb performances, he's also short, not that mobile after an ACL injury several years ago, and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves, then loaned to Crystal Palace, for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner. Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, capable of playing across the midfield. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional, he's well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation via the Boring James Milner Twitter account. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy a replacement, waiting for the right player to become available. This has led to an unbalanced defence. New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley in the second game of the season. While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the league, and Mignolet has since upped his game in response, it's still their AchillesHeel.
** Pursuant to the above, Liverpool are known for bringing their A-Game in Europe, even (especially) when technically speaking they are completely outclassed, thriving on ridiculous odds and underdog status. This is a club that tends to regard a three goal deficit against a technically superior team as a ''challenge.'' The 2005 Champions League final (3-0 down 54 minutes in, level at 3-3 6 minutes later) and the 2016 Quarter Final Second Leg against Borussia Dortmund (3-1 down at 60 minutes, 4-3 up at 92 minutes) demonstrate this perfectly. And these are just two of the more recent examples. As a result, they're sometimes known as Europe's Comeback Kings (after the Dortmund match #[=ComeBackKings=] was trending on Twitter). They're also not shy of handing out thrashings, either, crushing Real Madrid 4-0 at Anfield in 2009 and having in 2007 responded to a 1-0 first leg defeat by Turkish team Besiktas by breaking the Champions League's goal scoring record, obliterating them ''8-0.'' In short, Liverpool are not a team you want chasing a game in Europe, nor is 'Fortress Anfield' a place you particularly want to go.

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** Famous for, when they're playing well, [[AttackAttackAttack fast, skilful and downright mesmerising attacking football which makes up for an often dubious defence,]] spearheaded by lightning fast strikers who usually do phenomenally well, then get snapped up by Real Madrid, Barcelona or Chelsea (and frequently suffer a collapse in form thereafter. Michael Owen and Fernando Torres have certainly were never quite been the same. [[KarmaHoudini Luis]] [[TokenEvilTeamMate Suarez]], on the other hand, seems to be doing just fine). It's generally best summed up by the popular Kop chant created during the 2013/14 season called 'Poetry in Motion'. When they're not playing well... well, since the defence is still dubious, the results are generally a little embarrassing. Internationally very popular, with hundreds of millions of fans worldwide. Their rivalry with Manchester United is so intense it's pretty much hatred.
** Infamous (like Arsenal) for [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut fizzling out]] dramatically; they made a decent challenge for the title in 2008/09, but hit a stumbling block around November the following season. They had to rely on Chelsea, Tottenham, and ''Portsmouth'' to get into Europe by the skin of their teeth. Then they did it again in 2013/14 under Brendan Rodgers, when they very nearly won it with an entire season of stylish attacking football, tearing almost of all of their rivals to shreds in unleashing one CurbstompBattle after another, only fizzling out in the last couple of matches due thanks to a mixture of exhaustion, nerves and a very unfortunate slip by [[TheCaptain Steven Gerrard. After that, their confidence collapsed. Gerrard.]] Their 2014/15 got off to a decent start, and in the middle of the season, they went on a thirteen game undefeated streak, before stalling against rivals United and Arsenal. After that, they went out of the FA Cup in the semi-finals to Aston Villa and Ultimately, they limped to a 6th place finish after an absolutely dire final game of the season, also the final game of [[TheCaptain Steven Gerrard's]] Gerrard's Liverpool career, when they were thrashed 6-1 by Stoke. This was their worst defeat since ''1963''.
*** Following a somewhat limp start to the 2015/16 season [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness that led to boos from the Kop,]] Rodgers was sacked after a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby, being replaced by charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, famous for ''gegenpressing'' style of 'heavy metal football' having broken football', who broke Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, before taking then took them to the Champions League final. Since the The clubs are being FriendlyFandoms, [[OneHundredPercentAdorationRating this was considered a match made in heaven]]. Klopp's Liverpool have since been cast as 'Europe's Entertainers', combining the front foot defensive style defence of the ''gegenpress'' that involves attacking (attacking players hunting hunt down the ball in packs, either winning it back high up the pitch or forcing errors errors) with an attack led by a freely interchanging floating front three of dynamic wing forward [[LightningBruiser Sadio Mane,]] talismanic [[PintSizedPowerHouse pocket-sized playmaker Philippe Coutinho]] and hard-working creative striker [[TheLancer Roberto Firmino]] (recently convicted of drink driving, leading to variations on a classic chant from Liverpool fans: [[DrunkenMaster 'Roberto Firmino... he scores when he's drunk']]).Firmino]]. And when [[WeakButSkilled Adam Lallana]] [[TheLoad (formerly deemed to be a waste of space)]] is in midfield, he's given license to use his extensive technical talents to knit play between midfield and attack, making it a front four. This style, along with the reinvention of captain Jordan Henderson as a deep lying 'number 6', using his energy and passing skill to dictate play and break up opposition attacks, when properly executed, is very, very hard to stop, and any team that has tried to play open football against Klopp's Liverpool has been torn to shreds - notably, they've only lost once to any of the top six teams since Klopp took charge. Particular highlights include in 2015/16 victories over domestic rivals and in Europe: notably, Borussia Dortmund (4-3, from 3-1 down) and Villareal (3-0). In 2016/17, champions Leicester (4-1), Hull (5-1), Watford (6-1), Arsenal (4-3), Chelsea (2-1), Stoke (4-1), Crystal Palace (4-2), Tottenham (2-1 - in the League Cup) - all in the first half of the season, similar form led to the belief that Liverpool were serious title contenders, before they stumbled at Christmas.
*** While
Christmas - while they entered 2017 still in striking distance, teams found that piling the entire team behind the ball, letting Liverpool have all the possession and no room playing rope-a-dope before hitting them on the break was an effective strategy, worked very nicely, targeting their flimsy defence. Combined with a small squad, the loss of key players Joel Matip and Sadio Mane to international duty (or international legal limbo in Joel Matip's case) and injury, as well as Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson, also to injury, and a pile up of matches leading to six games in a month (including, at the start of January, (including two games in less than 48 hours) on top of after a busy Christmas, their form collapsed, with a number of humiliating defeats. collapsed. This left them outside the top 4 at the start of March - though the rest of the top 6 has bunched up so much that at this point, only four points separate separated 2nd and 6th. However, a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham, who hadn't lost in 11 matches, seemed to have brought the magic back. Then Ultimately, they lost 3-1 to relegation threatened and managerless Leicester, and then, less than a week after that, beat Arsenal by the same scoreline. At the time of writing, they seem to be limping limped over the line to Champions League qualification, helped by the fallibility of rivals Arsenal and Manchester United and by grinding out results over weaker teams - notably, beating Watford 1-0, a dour game being livened up by a spectacular overhead kick from Emre Can.
*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward, they have what could kindly be called 'defensive issues', especially when Lucas is also in defence.issues'. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembles a slapstick comedy routine. To take one example, Lucas Leiva was frequently called upon as an auxiliary centre-back. Lucas is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for his absolute devotion to the club through 10 years of service, receiving nothing but good wishes when he moved to Lazio in July 2017, and able to put in capable of superb performances, he's not a centre back. He's also short, not that mobile after an ACL injury several years ago, and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves, then loaned to Crystal Palace, for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and is currently held by James Milner. Milner is a right sided flexible midfielder by trade, capable of playing across the midfield. trade. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional, he's also well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation via the Boring James Milner Twitter account. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and until Summer 2017, Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy a replacement, waiting for the right player to become available. This has In any case, this led to an unbalanced defence. a threadbare defence between 2015 and 2017. New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley in the second game of the season. worse. While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the league, and Mignolet has since upped his game in response, response and hit the form of his career, and Liverpool have spent a large portion of Summer 2017 pursuing defensive targets, like Hull left back Andrew Robertson (successfully) and Southampton centre back Virgil Van Dijk [[EpicFail (less successfully)]], it's still their AchillesHeel.
** Pursuant to the above, Liverpool are also known for bringing their A-Game in Europe, even (especially) where they have a rich history, especially when technically speaking they are completely outclassed, outclassed on paper, thriving on ridiculous odds and underdog status. This is a club that tends to regard a three goal deficit against a technically superior team as a ''challenge.'' The 2005 Champions League final (3-0 down 54 minutes in, level at 3-3 6 minutes later) on 60 minutes) and the 2016 Europa League Quarter Final Second Leg against Borussia Dortmund (3-1 down at 60 minutes, 4-3 up at 92 minutes) demonstrate this perfectly. And these are just two of the more recent examples. As a result, they're sometimes known as Europe's Comeback Kings (after the Dortmund match #[=ComeBackKings=] was trending on Twitter). actually trending). They're also not shy of handing out thrashings, either, crushing Real Madrid 4-0 at Anfield thrashings either; in 2009 and having in 2007 2007, they responded to a 1-0 first leg defeat by Turkish team Besiktas by breaking the Champions League's goal scoring record, obliterating them ''8-0.'' ''8-0,'' and crushed Real Madrid 4-0 at Anfield in 2009. In short, Liverpool are not a team you want chasing a game in Europe, nor is 'Fortress Anfield' a place you particularly want to go.



** Liverpool's fans, colloquially known as 'the Kop' or 'Kopites', after the Kop End, which itself is named after the hill on which the Battle of Spion Kop was fought in 1906, are some of the most famous in the footballing world and certainly among the most vocal, giving Anfield a reputation as one of the most atmospheric stadiums on the planet, famed for 'the Anfield Roar' - which, following the expansion of the Main Stand, taking the capacity from 45,000 to 54,000 (with a further expansion to 59,000 in vague planning stages), has only got that much louder. No matter how well or badly the club is doing, the sight and sound of the Kop in full voice is truly breathtaking. This makes Anfield an intimidating place to go, and when on a particularly strong streak, it's referred to as 'Fortress Anfield'. They're also a fairly cosmopolitan bunch, with, like Manchester United, a global fanbase estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. The club takes advantage of this with its summer tours to the US, Australia and South East Asia. More local support is drawn from Wales, Ireland and Scotland, with a long tradition of club legends from those countries, such as all time top scorer Ian Rush (Welsh) and defenders Mark Lawrenson (Irish) and Alan Hansen (Scottish). There's also a certain fondness for Liverpool in Germany, partly because of Liverpool's new manager Jurgen Klopp being widely beloved by fans of his former team, Borussia Dortmund. More puzzlingly, there's a [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff massive fan base in Norway.]] No one is quite sure why, though cheap plane and ferry tickets to Liverpool probably have something to do with it. One other possible explanation is the prominence of the usually under-represented Norwegians in Liverpool sides down the years, such as fan favourite John Arne Riise, Champions League winner with Liverpool, famous for having a left foot that regularly did passable impersonations of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Mjolnir.]] [[note]] Once when he took a free kick against Manchester United in an FA Cup tie in 2006, Alan 'Smudge' Smith, the unfortunate player standing in the way [[UpToEleven ended up out for eight months with his leg broken and his ankle dislocated.]] Poor old Smudge was never quite the same again.[[/note]] Matchgoers in particular are pathologically loyal to the club; it takes ''a lot'' to make them stop singing for any length of time and if they have done so, [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness it's a very bad sign.]] If they have started booing and you are the manager, you are likely to be fired soon afterwards.
** Merseyside derbies are sell-outs and pretty scrappy matches - they have more red cards than any other fixture in the league - and, often, surprisingly high scoring, since both teams desperately want to win. The balance of power is currently weighted towards the red half of Merseyside, with Everton having failed to register a win at Anfield in the 21st century and consistently getting turned over by Liverpool, sometimes in very embarrassing fashion, even when they're the more fancied team. [[note]] In the second derby of the 2015/16 season, Liverpool wound up 4-0 up, despite losing their in-form striker to injury, and to add insult to injury, promptly spent the last 20 minutes, nearly a quarter of the game, camped outside the Everton box, trying to get famously non-prolific (at that point, despite being a first team regular, he hadn't scored in ''six years'') midfielder and [[EnsembleDarkhorse cult hero]] Lucas Leiva to score. This was a tactic so ridiculous that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was caught on camera laughing his head off. [[/note]] When they do, the result is usually UnsportsmanlikeGloating. Although in times of need both sets of fans can and do become very close, with supporters of both teams often being found in the same family, after Hillsborough there was a chain of scarves [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming connecting Anfield and Goodison Park.]] This is something helped by the fact that, more often than not, supporters of both teams can be found in the same family, and, in essence, the rivalry's more like a family feud - and accordingly, can vary between its current status of mutual hatred and, as in the 80's, being known as 'the Friendly Derby', with one notable FA Cup final featuring both sets of fans mixing freely and singing, 'Merseyside, Merseyside' and, predictably, 'Are You Watching Manchester?' While relations have not so much cooled but frozen, it is notable that to this day, it is the only major derby that does not enforce fan segregation.
*** Liverpool-United derbies, however, are much more combustible affairs, with vile chants about the Hillsborough Disaster aimed at Liverpool fans, some of whom have been known to reply with chants about the Munich Air Disaster.

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** Liverpool's fans, colloquially known as 'the Kop' or 'Kopites', after the Kop End, which itself is named after the hill on which the Battle of Spion Kop was fought in 1906, are some of the most famous in the footballing world and certainly among the most vocal, giving Anfield a reputation as one of the most atmospheric stadiums on the planet, famed for 'the Anfield Roar' - which, following the expansion of the Main Stand, taking the capacity from 45,000 to 54,000 (with a further expansion to 59,000 in vague planning stages), 54,000, has only got that much louder. No matter how well or badly the club is doing, the sight and sound of the Kop in full voice is truly breathtaking. This makes Anfield an intimidating place to go, and when on a particularly strong streak, it's referred to as 'Fortress Anfield'. They're Fans are also a fairly cosmopolitan bunch, with, like Manchester United, with a global fanbase estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. The club takes advantage of this with its summer tours to the US, Australia and South East Asia. More local support is drawn from North Wales, Ireland and Scotland, with a long tradition of club legends from those countries, such as all time top scorer Ian Rush (Welsh) and defenders Mark Lawrenson (Irish) and Alan Hansen (Scottish). There's also a certain fondness for Liverpool fondness in Germany, partly because of Liverpool's new manager Jurgen Klopp being widely beloved by fans of his former team, Borussia Dortmund. More puzzlingly, there's a [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff massive fan base in Norway.]] No one is quite sure why, though cheap plane and ferry tickets to Liverpool probably have something to do with it. One other possible explanation possibility is the relative prominence of the usually under-represented Norwegians in Liverpool sides down the years, such as fan favourite John Arne Riise, Champions League winner with Liverpool, famous for having a left foot that regularly did passable impersonations of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Mjolnir.]] [[note]] Once when Once, he took a free kick against Manchester United in an FA Cup tie in 2006, 2006. Alan 'Smudge' Smith, Smith was the unfortunate player standing in the way way. He [[UpToEleven ended up out for eight months with his leg broken and his ankle dislocated.]] Poor Unsurprisingly, poor old Smudge was never quite the same again.[[/note]] Matchgoers in particular are pathologically loyal to the club; it takes ''a lot'' to make them stop singing for any length of time and if they have done so, [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness it's a very bad sign.]] If they have started booing and you are the manager, you are likely to be fired soon afterwards.
** Merseyside derbies are sell-outs and pretty scrappy matches - they have more red cards than any other fixture in the league - and, often, surprisingly high scoring, since both teams desperately want to win. The balance of power is currently weighted towards the red half of Merseyside, with Everton having failed to register a win at Anfield in the 21st century and consistently getting turned over by Liverpool, sometimes in very embarrassing fashion, even when they're the more fancied team. [[note]] In the second derby of the 2015/16 season, Liverpool wound up 4-0 up, despite losing their in-form striker to injury, [[{{Troll}} and to add insult to injury, promptly spent the last 20 minutes, nearly a quarter of the game, camped outside the Everton box, trying to get famously non-prolific (at that point, despite being a first team regular, he hadn't scored in ''six years'') midfielder and years'')]] [[EnsembleDarkhorse cult hero]] [[{{Troll}} Lucas Leiva to score. score.]] This was a tactic so ridiculous that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was caught on camera laughing his head off. [[/note]] When they do, the result is usually UnsportsmanlikeGloating. Although in times of need both sets of fans can and do become very close, with supporters of both teams often being found in the same family, after Hillsborough there was a chain of scarves [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming connecting Anfield and Goodison Park.]] This is something helped by the fact that, more often than not, supporters of both teams can be found in the same family, and, in essence, the rivalry's more like a family feud - and accordingly, can vary between its current status of mutual hatred and, as in the 80's, being known as 'the Friendly Derby', with one notable FA Cup final featuring both sets of fans mixing freely and singing, 'Merseyside, Merseyside' and, predictably, 'Are You Watching Manchester?' While relations have not so much cooled but frozen, it is notable that to this day, it is the only major derby that does not enforce fan segregation.
segregation. Oh, and following a particularly nasty newspaper column in ''The Sun'' by Kelvin MacKenzie (yes, the man who was behind ''that'' headline) aimed at Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, Everton followed Liverpool in banning the paper and its journalists from their grounds.
*** Liverpool-United derbies, however, are much more combustible affairs, with vile chants about the Hillsborough Disaster aimed at Liverpool fans, some of whom have been known to reply with chants about the Munich Air Disaster.Disaster, despite routine pleas in the pre-match programs ''not'' to bring the subjects up.



** Liverpool, however, tend to get their own back whenever City come to Anfield (most recent result: 1-0). To this day, it is the only stadium which City haven't won at in the Premier League following the Abu Dhabi takeover, and they haven't won there at all since 2003. And this status as chief pain in the neck isn't always restricted to Anfield visits, as Liverpool demonstrated when [[CurbstompBattle they turned over City 4-1 at the Etihad]] earlier in the 2015/16 season.

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** Liverpool, however, tend to get their own back whenever City come to Anfield (most recent result: 1-0). To this day, it is the only stadium which City haven't won at in the Premier League following the Abu Dhabi takeover, and they haven't won there at all since 2003. And this status as chief pain in the neck isn't always restricted to Anfield visits, as Liverpool demonstrated when [[CurbstompBattle they turned over City 4-1 at the Etihad]] earlier in the 2015/16 season. On the other hand, when the two met in the 2016 League Cup final, it was City who had the last laugh.



** Spurs are notorious for their Chairman, Daniel Levy, being one of the toughest negotiators in football. His ruthlessness has seen Tottenham Hotspur pick up some classy bargains (Van Der Vaart for £8 million from Real Madrid), recoup losses on expensive flops (Darrent Bent sold for the exact amount he was bought for) and sell players for some obscene amounts. (Gareth Bale being sold for a World Record Transfer fee of £86 million).

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** Spurs are notorious for their Chairman, Daniel Levy, being one of the toughest negotiators in football. His ruthlessness has seen Tottenham Hotspur pick up some classy bargains (Van Der Vaart for £8 million from Real Madrid), recoup losses on expensive flops (Darrent Bent sold for the exact amount he was bought for) and sell players for some obscene amounts. amounts (Gareth Bale being sold for a then World Record Transfer fee of £86 million).



** The 2016-17 season was seeming nondescript. Spurs didn't lose any of their first 12 games, but suffered too many draws, and made little impact in the Champions League, in which they played home games at Wembley, losing 2 of them to crash out. However, they than won 19 of their final 23 games in style, including a run of 9 wins on the trot cumulating in a derby win over Arsenal that ensured that Spurs placed above their neighbours, who had still 5 games to play (all of which they won), for the first time since 1995, ending their ultimate bottle. However, they lost to West Ham to hand the title to Chelsea. This was followed by a win over Man U in the final game before White Hart Lane was bulldozed to the ground to be replaced by a new arena that is literally next to it. They than won their final 2 games, both away from home, with a staggering 13 goals across the two games, 7 from Harry Kane, who got 4 of them against old club Leicester in the first of the 2 games - more than he scored in the 13 games he played for Leicester in 2013!
** It should be noted to the casual observer that the fans' self applied nickname - "Yid Army" is causing (as of 2015) some controversy. The Tottenham area of London was known for its Jewish population. Anti-Semitic chants would be directed at their fans by opposition supporters (including references to Gas Chambers). Referring themselves as the 'Yid Army' was seen as a way to [[NWordPrivileges support the Jewish minority]]. However among some in the Jewish community, this is seen now to be belittling, Jewish comedian David Baddiel being particularly outspoken on TV about this.

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** The 2016-17 season was seeming seemingly nondescript. Spurs didn't lose any of their first 12 games, but suffered too many draws, and made little impact in the Champions League, in which they played home games at Wembley, losing 2 of them to crash out. However, they than won 19 of their final 23 games in style, including a run of 9 wins on the trot cumulating in a derby win over Arsenal that ensured that Spurs placed above their neighbours, who had still 5 games to play (all of which they won), for the first time since 1995, ending their ultimate bottle. However, they lost to West Ham to hand the title to Chelsea. This was followed by a win over Man U in the final game before White Hart Lane was bulldozed to the ground to be replaced by a new arena that is literally right next to it. They than then won their final 2 games, both away from home, with a staggering 13 goals across the two games, 7 from Harry Kane, who got 4 of them against old club Leicester in the first of the 2 games - more than he scored in the 13 games he played for Leicester in 2013!
** It should be noted to the casual observer that the fans' self applied nickname - "Yid Army" is causing (as of 2015) 2017) some controversy. The Tottenham area of London was known for its Jewish population. Anti-Semitic population and anti-Semitic chants would be directed at their fans by opposition supporters (including references to Gas Chambers). Referring to themselves as the 'Yid Army' was seen by fans as a way to [[NWordPrivileges support the Jewish minority]]. However among some in the Jewish community, this is seen now to be belittling, Jewish comedian David Baddiel being particularly outspoken on TV about this.
11th Jun '17 1:41:46 PM nombretomado
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** Won the [[FIFAWorldCup World Cup]] in 1966, still their only major trophy to date. Traditionally play home games in white shirts and navy shorts, with their away kit usually red shirts and white shorts, the colours in which they won in 1966. Grey has also been known on one infamous occasion. Despite the 50 years that have passed since their one and only triumph, great things are still expected every time (albeit somewhat half-heartedly nowadays). Despite frequently producing any number of internationally admired world class players, including the so-called 'Golden Generation' of the noughties, featuring Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Terry, Ferdinand, Seaman and Owen, among others, some of the best players on the planet (though Owen was, after about 2004, frequently injured) and having the best league on the planet, they never get anywhere. This is down to a puzzling inability for the team to play together (the Gerrard-Lampard dichotomy baffled many a manager), exhaustion after the gruelling domestic season and a somewhat proverbial problem with penalty shoot-outs, being eliminated in the '90, '98 and 2006 World Cups and Euro '96, 2004 and 2012 on penalties, meant that this star studded team never got anywhere. In 2014 they reached an all new low, failing to even get out of the Group Stage. Sadly, no-one was particularly surprised. The fact that their number one goalkeeper for much of this period was nicknamed 'Calamity James' didn't exactly help.

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** Won the [[FIFAWorldCup World Cup]] UsefulNotes/TheWorldCup in 1966, still their only major trophy to date. Traditionally play home games in white shirts and navy shorts, with their away kit usually red shirts and white shorts, the colours in which they won in 1966. Grey has also been known on one infamous occasion. Despite the 50 years that have passed since their one and only triumph, great things are still expected every time (albeit somewhat half-heartedly nowadays). Despite frequently producing any number of internationally admired world class players, including the so-called 'Golden Generation' of the noughties, featuring Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Terry, Ferdinand, Seaman and Owen, among others, some of the best players on the planet (though Owen was, after about 2004, frequently injured) and having the best league on the planet, they never get anywhere. This is down to a puzzling inability for the team to play together (the Gerrard-Lampard dichotomy baffled many a manager), exhaustion after the gruelling domestic season and a somewhat proverbial problem with penalty shoot-outs, being eliminated in the '90, '98 and 2006 World Cups and Euro '96, 2004 and 2012 on penalties, meant that this star studded team never got anywhere. In 2014 they reached an all new low, failing to even get out of the Group Stage. Sadly, no-one was particularly surprised. The fact that their number one goalkeeper for much of this period was nicknamed 'Calamity James' didn't exactly help.
6th Jun '17 1:37:15 AM deadbotuliza
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**However, things fell apart disastrously, after a shock home loss to lowly Watford at the end of January 2017, having made several strong comebacks or late winners up to that point. Arsenal lost 4 away games on the trot in the League, and crashed out horrifically badly to Bayern Munich in the usual Last 16 stage of the Champions League (in both legs, Arsenal were doing well until they lost Laurent Koscielny at the start of the 2nd half, who was injured at 1-1 in the first leg in Munich, and wrongly sent off for conceding a soft penalty in the home leg, with Arsenal leading 1-0 on the night - they lost both by the same 5-1 score-line). This would have a detrimental effect league-wise. They won 7 of their final 8 league games, but the sole exception, a North London Derby loss, meant that Arsenal would finish below Spurs for the first time since the 1994-95 season with 5 games still to play. They won them all with flair that was displayed little during the late winter-early spring, but others' results meant that they missed out on the CL for the first time since 1997, and finished outside the top 4 for the first time under Wenger's management, despite earning more points than for their second place the previous season! However, they carried on the momentum from their season end into the FA Cup final when they earned an [[UnderdogsNeverLose shock win]] to stop Chelsea earning the double!).



** Were considered TheArtifact of the Premier League. Everton and Aston Villa were founding members of the Football League, and neither have been relegated from the Premier League in its current iteration. However, while Everton still consistently challenge for European football, since Martin O'Neill's departure Villa are usually lower mid-table and battling relegation. As of 2015/16, they lost that battle, spending the entire season rooted to the bottom of the table.

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** Were considered TheArtifact of the Premier League. Everton and Aston Villa were founding members of the Football League, and neither have been relegated from the Premier League in its current iteration. However, while Everton still consistently challenge for European football, since Martin O'Neill's departure Villa are usually lower mid-table and battling relegation. As of 2015/16, they lost that battle, spending the entire season rooted to the bottom of the table. They didn't display enough consistency to look like rebounding immediately, stuck in the middle of the Championship table with no real likelihood of placing in the top 6.



** After early issues, including a 2-1 defeat at home to a Liverpool side in imperious form, new manager Antonio Conte has rearranged his team into a smooth running match winning machine, setting them on a run of form that has taken them past stumbling early season leaders Liverpool and Arsenal, putting them - at the time of writing - six points clear at the top of the table.

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** After early issues, including a 2-1 defeat at home to a Liverpool side in imperious form, new manager Antonio Conte has rearranged his team into a smooth running match winning machine, setting them on a run of form that has taken them past stumbling early season leaders Liverpool and Arsenal, putting them - at Arsenal. They went on to win 13 games on the time of writing - six points clear at trot, and sealed the top league title with 2 matches to spare. However, they celebrated too hard - despite netting 9 goals in their final 2 league games, they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup final, in spite of the table.Gunners' run of Champions league qualifications ending the previous week.



** 2016/17 got off to a rocky start with new manager Ronald Koeman but once the kinks were ironed in (largely starting in 2017), Everton have once again become a serious threat, handing out CurbStompBattle after CurbStompBattle and are, as of writing, all but guranteed a place in Europe and still threatening the top four positions.

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** 2016/17 got off to a rocky start with new manager Ronald Koeman but once the kinks were ironed in (largely starting in 2017), Everton have once again become a serious threat, handing out CurbStompBattle after CurbStompBattle and are, CurbStompBattle, particularly at home, as of writing, all but guranteed they placed 7th (with a place in long time to spare), qualifying for Europe and still threatening the top four positions.again.



** Another impressive thing to note is that while normal service has resumed in the Premier League, they are making waves in the Champions League, comfortably winning their group and set to play against Sevilla in Spring 2017 in the Last 16.

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** Another impressive thing to note is that while normal service has resumed in the Premier League, they are making made waves in the Champions League, comfortably winning their group group, to make the last 16 against Sevilla. They were unlucky to lose 2-1 in the first leg, but it turned out to be the final straw for their title winning boss Claudio Ranieri, with the side falling towards the relegation zone in the league after losing 5 on the trot. To say that sacking was unpopular was an understatement, yet caretaker Craig Shakespeare won his first 4 league games, and set to play won the return leg against Sevilla in Spring 2017 to progress to the last 8 of the Champions League, and be English football's sole remaining representative in the Last 16.competition, where they only lost to Atletico through a penalty for a foul clearly outside the box.



** Liverpool, however, tend to get their own back whenever City come to Anfield (most recent result: 3-0). To this day, it is the only stadium which City haven't won at in the Premier League following the Abu Dhabi takeover, and they haven't won there at all since 2003. And this status as chief pain in the neck isn't always restricted to Anfield visits, as Liverpool demonstrated when [[CurbstompBattle they turned over City 4-1 at the Etihad]] earlier in the 2015/16 season.

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** Liverpool, however, tend to get their own back whenever City come to Anfield (most recent result: 3-0).1-0). To this day, it is the only stadium which City haven't won at in the Premier League following the Abu Dhabi takeover, and they haven't won there at all since 2003. And this status as chief pain in the neck isn't always restricted to Anfield visits, as Liverpool demonstrated when [[CurbstompBattle they turned over City 4-1 at the Etihad]] earlier in the 2015/16 season.



*** 2014/15 got off to a bumpy start, with [[OldMaster Louis Van Gaal]] taking the helm. The first half of the season was marked by the injury-plagued squad scraping wins and draws by the skin of their teeth, while Van Gaal tested out different formations and played some players out of position. In April, they found their form, holding onto fourth place on the table (by the skin of their teeth) and managing to defeat Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa with something of the style they were once known for under Ferguson. Many United fans remained unconvinced, particularly due to the protracted transfer saga involving star Goalkeeper David De Gea, the last minute purchase of the 19 year old unknown Anthony Martial for ''£36 million'', making him the most expensive teenager in footballing history and a fairly toothless start to the 2015/16 season. This proved to be justified, and United limped to a 5th place finish, losing out on 4th place by goal difference - and, to rub salt in the wound, to arch-rivals Manchester City. Van Gaal was consequently fired and replaced with Jose 'The Special One' Mourinho, who promptly bought highly rated Juventus (and former United youth player) Paul Pogba for a world record £89 million, among others. However, his start has been less than stellar, with United sitting in 6th on 18 points after 11 games, while arch-rivals Liverpool, on 26 points, and City, on 24, battle it out for the top spot.

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*** 2014/15 got off to a bumpy start, with [[OldMaster Louis Van Gaal]] taking the helm. The first half of the season was marked by the injury-plagued squad scraping wins and draws by the skin of their teeth, while Van Gaal tested out different formations and played some players out of position. In April, they found their form, holding onto fourth place on the table (by the skin of their teeth) and managing to defeat Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa with something of the style they were once known for under Ferguson. Many United fans remained unconvinced, particularly due to the protracted transfer saga involving star Goalkeeper David De Gea, the last minute purchase of the 19 year old unknown Anthony Martial for ''£36 million'', making him the most expensive teenager in footballing history and a fairly toothless start to the 2015/16 season. This proved to be justified, and United limped to a 5th place finish, losing out on 4th place by goal difference - and, to rub salt in the wound, to arch-rivals Manchester City. Van Gaal was consequently fired and replaced with Jose 'The Special One' Mourinho, who promptly bought highly rated Juventus (and former United youth player) Paul Pogba for a world record £89 million, among others. However, his start has been less than stellar, with United sitting in 6th on 18 points after 11 games, while arch-rivals Liverpool, on 26 points, had a strange season - they went through 25 games unbeaten, but, during this run, were held at home by Burnley, Arsenal, West Ham, Hull, West Brom and City, on 24, battle it out for Swansea (as well as Liverpool and Everton), with 15 draws throughout the season, meaning they never seriously threatened the top spot. 4 - however, they won the League Cup and than the Europa League, beating Ajax in the final of the latter, just two days after the terror atrocity against Ariana Grande fans in Manchester, making it a particularly poignant victory, with [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Manchester City fans supporting Man U's triumph, and the two rivals donating to the emergency fund together]]. The win over Ajax got Man U into the 2017-18 Champions League, making Arsenal the sole top 6 side to miss out on it.



**The 2016-17 season was seeming nondescript. Spurs didn't lose any of their first 12 games, but suffered too many draws, and made little impact in the Champions League, in which they played home games at Wembley, losing 2 of them to crash out. However, they than won 19 of their final 23 games in style, including a run of 9 wins on the trot cumulating in a derby win over Arsenal that ensured that Spurs placed above their neighbours, who had still 5 games to play (all of which they won), for the first time since 1995, ending their ultimate bottle. However, they lost to West Ham to hand the title to Chelsea. This was followed by a win over Man U in the final game before White Hart Lane was bulldozed to the ground to be replaced by a new arena that is literally next to it. They than won their final 2 games, both away from home, with a staggering 13 goals across the two games, 7 from Harry Kane, who got 4 of them against old club Leicester in the first of the 2 games - more than he scored in the 13 games he played for Leicester in 2013!



** AKA "The Clarets" from their claret and blue kit. One of the 12 founder members of The Football League. Notable for a pretty large fall from grace in the 70s and 80s, going from top-flight football to narrowly surviving relegation from the Football League. Promoted to the Premiership for the 2009/10 season after winning the Championship play-offs, but dropped back to the Championship the next season. Stayed there until finishing second in 201314, earning a place in the Prem once again. Historically, they are fierce rivals of Blackburn Rovers due to sheer proximity (8 miles down the road).

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** AKA "The Clarets" from their claret and blue kit. One of the 12 founder members of The Football League. Notable for a pretty large fall from grace in the 70s and 80s, going from top-flight football to narrowly surviving relegation from the Football League. Promoted to the Premiership for the 2009/10 season after winning the Championship play-offs, but dropped back to the Championship the next season. Stayed there until finishing second in 201314, earning a place in the Prem once again. They went straight back down but rebounded again after an unbeaten second half of the season, and survived the 2016-17 season in the PL due to formidable home form, in a season in which they also became notable for the story of star striker Andre Gray, who turned from a homophobic nutcase playing in amateur football who never had a dad and survived a gang stabbing, to a PL hat-trick scorer and a boyfriend of a LittleMix member. In a hyperbole, famous Burnley supporter Alistair Campbell, a key figure in Tony Blair's period as Prime Minister, described Burnley being in the PL as even greater than the landslide he helped Blair to. Historically, they are fierce rivals of Blackburn Rovers due to sheer proximity (8 miles down the road).



** Playing wise, they are - or were - considered a dark horse team and incredibly strong at home. In the 08/09 season their manager quit seemingly over the notably miserly transfer policy. Despite a valiant effort by former player Alan Shearer, who managed them for the last eight games of the season, they were relegated on the last day. Under new management (although not new owners), they are now back in the top flight and lurking in the bottom half of the table, much to the displeasure of the fans.

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** Playing wise, they are - or were - considered a dark horse team and incredibly strong at home. In the 08/09 season their manager quit seemingly over the notably miserly transfer policy. Despite a valiant effort by former player Alan Shearer, who managed them for the last eight games of the season, they were relegated on the last day. Under new management (although not new owners), they are now back in the top flight and lurking in the bottom half of the table, much to the displeasure of the fans. They spent another 2nd division season, but again went straight back up, though with more home defeats.



** Nicknamed "Pompey". Had a strong spell in the early post-war years, winning the league in 1949 and 1950. They faded away until the mid-2000s, when they reached the Premier League, quickly establishing themselves before winning the FA Cup in 2008, qualifying for Europe for the first time. Severe financial problems set in the following year, however, and Portsmouth ultimately ended up sliding down the divisions until they reached League Two in 2013-14.

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** Nicknamed "Pompey". Had a strong spell in the early post-war years, winning the league in 1949 and 1950. They faded away until the mid-2000s, when they reached the Premier League, quickly establishing themselves before winning the FA Cup in 2008, qualifying for Europe for the first time. Severe financial problems set in the following year, however, and Portsmouth ultimately ended up sliding down the divisions until they reached League Two in 2013-14. It spent 4 seasons there before rebounding



** AKA "The Black Cats". Known for being a "yo-yo team", meaning they tend to keep getting promoted and relegated, being too good for one division and not quite good enough for the next. Play in red and white vertical stripes. Proudest moment was winning the FA Cup as underdogs against the then-powerhouse Leeds in 1973, although they have won the league pre-war. Fierce rivals with nearby Newcastle. Narrowly stayed in the top flight last season, while their rivals went down. Currently clinging onto the Premier League by the tips of their fingers.

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** AKA "The Black Cats". Known for being a "yo-yo team", meaning they tend to keep getting promoted and relegated, being too good for one division and not quite good enough for the next. Play in red and white vertical stripes. Proudest moment was winning the FA Cup as underdogs against the then-powerhouse Leeds in 1973, although they have won the league pre-war. Fierce rivals with nearby Newcastle. Narrowly stayed in the top flight last season, in 2015-16, while their rivals went down. Currently clinging onto the Premier League by the tips of down, but their fingers.luck would run out, as Sam Allardyce left for his ill-fated England job, David Moyes assembled a team made up mostly of players he worked with at Everton and Manchester United that were past their best or unable to fulfil their potential, and they were relegated easily, with a month to spare.



** "West Brom" or "The Baggies" are currently a mid-table Premiership side. A former great, they last won a major trophy (the FA Cup for the fifth time) in 1968 and then spent 1986 to 2002 out of the top flight. Were one of the twelve founding members of the football league (along with several other Midlands clubs, including arch-rivals Wolves) but have only won the league once, in 1920. Like Sunderland, they have a reputation as somewhat of a "yo-yo team" - in the nine seasons from 2001-02 to 2008-09, seven resulted in either promotion or relegation, the other two being a defeat in the play-off final and a survival so improbable it was dubbed "The Great Escape". They play in navy and white stripes, although unusually have no shirt sponsor. Statistically have the most intelligent fans... [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1984648.stm no, seriously]]. Among said fans, they happen to have Music/EricClapton.

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** "West Brom" or "The Baggies" are currently a mid-table Premiership side. A former great, they last won a major trophy (the FA Cup for the fifth time) in 1968 and then spent 1986 to 2002 out of the top flight. Were one of the twelve founding members of the football league (along with several other Midlands clubs, including arch-rivals Wolves) but have only won the league once, in 1920. Like Sunderland, they have a reputation as somewhat of a "yo-yo team" - in the nine seasons from 2001-02 to 2008-09, seven resulted in either promotion or relegation, the other two being a defeat in the play-off final and a survival so improbable it was dubbed "The Great Escape". They play in navy and white stripes, although unusually have no shirt sponsor.stripes. Statistically have the most intelligent fans... [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1984648.stm no, seriously]]. Among said fans, they happen to have Music/EricClapton.
9th May '17 4:00:43 PM DarkPhoenix94
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*** Following a somewhat limp start to the 2015/16 season [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness that led to boos from the Kop,]] Rodgers was sacked after a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby, being replaced by charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, famous for ''gegenpressing'' style of 'heavy metal football' having broken Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, before taking them to the Champions League final. Since the clubs are FriendlyFandoms, [[OneHundredPercentAdorationRating this was considered a match made in heaven]]. Klopp's Liverpool have since been cast as 'Europe's Entertainers', combining the front foot defensive style of the ''gegenpress'' that involves attacking players hunting down the ball in packs, either winning it back high up the pitch or forcing errorsm with an attack led by a freely interchanging floating front three of dynamic wing forward [[LightningBruiser Sadio Mane,]] talismanic [[PintSizedPowerHouse pocket-sized playmaker Philippe Coutinho]] and hard-working creative striker [[TheLancer Roberto Firmino]] (recently convicted of drink driving, leading to variations on a classic chant from Liverpool fans: [[DrunkenMaster 'Roberto Firmino... he scores when he's drunk']]). And when [[WeakButSkilled Adam Lallana]] [[TheLoad (formerly deemed to be a waste of space)]] is in midfield, he's given license to use his extensive technical talents to knit play between midfield and attack, making it a front four. This style, along with the reinvention of captain Jordan Henderson as a deep lying 'number 6', using his energy and passing skill to dictate play and break up opposition attacks, when properly executed, is very, very hard to stop, and any team that has tried to play open football against Klopp's Liverpool has been torn to shreds - notably, they've only lost once to any of the top six teams since Klopp took charge. Particular highlights include in 2015/16 victories over domestic rivals and in Europe: notably, Borussia Dortmund (4-3, from 3-1 down) and Villareal (3-0). In 2016/17, champions Leicester (4-1), Hull (5-1), Watford (6-1), Arsenal (4-3), Chelsea (2-1), Stoke (4-1), Crystal Palace (4-2), Tottenham (2-1 - in the League Cup) - all in the first half of the season, led to the belief that Liverpool were serious title contenders, before they stumbled at Christmas.
*** While they entered 2017 still in striking distance, technically weaker teams found that piling the entire team behind the ball, letting Liverpool have all the possession and no room before hitting them on the break was an effective strategy, targeting their flimsy defence. Combined with the loss of key players Joel Matip and Sadio Mane to international duty (or international legal limbo in Matip's case), Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson to injury, and a pile up of matches leading to six games in a month (including, at the start of January, two games in less than 48 hours) on top of a busy Christmas, their form collapsed, with a number of humiliating defeats. This left them outside the top 4 at the start of March - though the rest of the top 6 has bunched up so much that only four points separate 2nd and 6th. However, a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham, who hadn't lost in 11 matches, seemed to have brought the magic back. Then they lost 3-1 to relegation threatened and managerless Leicester, and then, less than a week after that, beat Arsenal by the same scoreline.
*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward, they have what could kindly be called 'defensive issues', especially when Lucas is also in defence. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembles a slapstick comedy routine. Lucas is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for his absolute devotion to the club on and off the pitch and capable of putting in superb performances, he's also short, not that mobile and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner. Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, though capable of playing across the midfield. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional, he's well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation via the Boring James Milner Twitter account. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy a replacement, waiting for the right player to become available. This has led to New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley. While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the league, and Mignolet has since upped his game in response, it's still their Achilles Heel.
** Pursuant to the above, Liverpool are known for bringing their A-Game in Europe, even (especially) when technically speaking they are completely outclassed, thriving on ridiculous odds and underdog status. This is a club that tends to regard a three goal deficit against a technically superior team as a ''challenge.'' The 2005 Champions League final (3-0 down 54 minutes in, level at 3-3 6 minutes later) and the 2016 Quarter Final Second Leg against Borussia Dortmund (3-1 down at 60 minutes, 4-3 up at 92 minutes) demonstrate this perfectly. And these are just two of the more recent examples. As a result, they're sometimes known as Europe's Comeback Kings (as in, after the Dortmund match, #[=ComeBackKings=] was trending on Twitter). They're also not shy of handing out thrashings, either, crushing Real Madrid 4-0 at Anfield in 2009 and having in 2007 responded to a 1-0 first leg defeat by Turkish team Besiktas by breaking the Champions League's goal scoring record, obliterating them ''8-0.'' In short, Liverpool are not a team you want chasing a game in Europe, nor is 'Fortress Anfield' a place you particularly want to go.

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*** Following a somewhat limp start to the 2015/16 season [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness that led to boos from the Kop,]] Rodgers was sacked after a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby, being replaced by charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, famous for ''gegenpressing'' style of 'heavy metal football' having broken Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, before taking them to the Champions League final. Since the clubs are FriendlyFandoms, [[OneHundredPercentAdorationRating this was considered a match made in heaven]]. Klopp's Liverpool have since been cast as 'Europe's Entertainers', combining the front foot defensive style of the ''gegenpress'' that involves attacking players hunting down the ball in packs, either winning it back high up the pitch or forcing errorsm errors with an attack led by a freely interchanging floating front three of dynamic wing forward [[LightningBruiser Sadio Mane,]] talismanic [[PintSizedPowerHouse pocket-sized playmaker Philippe Coutinho]] and hard-working creative striker [[TheLancer Roberto Firmino]] (recently convicted of drink driving, leading to variations on a classic chant from Liverpool fans: [[DrunkenMaster 'Roberto Firmino... he scores when he's drunk']]). And when [[WeakButSkilled Adam Lallana]] [[TheLoad (formerly deemed to be a waste of space)]] is in midfield, he's given license to use his extensive technical talents to knit play between midfield and attack, making it a front four. This style, along with the reinvention of captain Jordan Henderson as a deep lying 'number 6', using his energy and passing skill to dictate play and break up opposition attacks, when properly executed, is very, very hard to stop, and any team that has tried to play open football against Klopp's Liverpool has been torn to shreds - notably, they've only lost once to any of the top six teams since Klopp took charge. Particular highlights include in 2015/16 victories over domestic rivals and in Europe: notably, Borussia Dortmund (4-3, from 3-1 down) and Villareal (3-0). In 2016/17, champions Leicester (4-1), Hull (5-1), Watford (6-1), Arsenal (4-3), Chelsea (2-1), Stoke (4-1), Crystal Palace (4-2), Tottenham (2-1 - in the League Cup) - all in the first half of the season, led to the belief that Liverpool were serious title contenders, before they stumbled at Christmas.
*** While they entered 2017 still in striking distance, technically weaker teams found that piling the entire team behind the ball, letting Liverpool have all the possession and no room before hitting them on the break was an effective strategy, targeting their flimsy defence. Combined with the loss of key players Joel Matip and Sadio Mane to international duty (or international legal limbo in Matip's case), case) and injury, as well as Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson Henderson, also to injury, and a pile up of matches leading to six games in a month (including, at the start of January, two games in less than 48 hours) on top of a busy Christmas, their form collapsed, with a number of humiliating defeats. This left them outside the top 4 at the start of March - though the rest of the top 6 has bunched up so much that only four points separate 2nd and 6th. However, a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham, who hadn't lost in 11 matches, seemed to have brought the magic back. Then they lost 3-1 to relegation threatened and managerless Leicester, and then, less than a week after that, beat Arsenal by the same scoreline.
scoreline. At the time of writing, they seem to be limping over the line to Champions League qualification, helped by the fallibility of rivals and by grinding out results over weaker teams - notably, beating Watford 1-0, a dour game being livened up by a spectacular overhead kick from Emre Can.
*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward, they have what could kindly be called 'defensive issues', especially when Lucas is also in defence. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembles a slapstick comedy routine. Lucas is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for his absolute devotion to the club on and off the pitch and capable of putting able to put in superb performances, he's also short, not that mobile after an ACL injury several years ago, and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves reserves, then loaned to Crystal Palace, for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner. Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, though capable of playing across the midfield. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional, he's well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation via the Boring James Milner Twitter account. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy a replacement, waiting for the right player to become available. This has led to an unbalanced defence. New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley. Burnley in the second game of the season. While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the league, and Mignolet has since upped his game in response, it's still their Achilles Heel.
AchillesHeel.
** Pursuant to the above, Liverpool are known for bringing their A-Game in Europe, even (especially) when technically speaking they are completely outclassed, thriving on ridiculous odds and underdog status. This is a club that tends to regard a three goal deficit against a technically superior team as a ''challenge.'' The 2005 Champions League final (3-0 down 54 minutes in, level at 3-3 6 minutes later) and the 2016 Quarter Final Second Leg against Borussia Dortmund (3-1 down at 60 minutes, 4-3 up at 92 minutes) demonstrate this perfectly. And these are just two of the more recent examples. As a result, they're sometimes known as Europe's Comeback Kings (as in, after (after the Dortmund match, match #[=ComeBackKings=] was trending on Twitter). They're also not shy of handing out thrashings, either, crushing Real Madrid 4-0 at Anfield in 2009 and having in 2007 responded to a 1-0 first leg defeat by Turkish team Besiktas by breaking the Champions League's goal scoring record, obliterating them ''8-0.'' In short, Liverpool are not a team you want chasing a game in Europe, nor is 'Fortress Anfield' a place you particularly want to go.



** Liverpool's fans, colloquially known as 'the Kop' or 'Kopites', after the Kop End, which itself is named after the hill on which the Battle of Spion Kop was fought in 1906, are some of the most famous in the footballing world and certainly among the most vocal, giving Anfield a reputation as one of the most atmospheric stadiums on the planet, famed for 'the Anfield Roar' - which, following the expansion of the Main Stand, taking the capacity from 45,000 to 54,000 (with a further expansion to 59,000 in vague planning stages), has only got that much louder. No matter how well or badly the club is doing, the sight and sound of the Kop in full voice is truly breathtaking. This makes Anfield an intimidating place to go, and when on a particularly strong streak, it's referred to as 'Fortress Anfield'. They're also a fairly cosmopolitan bunch, with, like Manchester United, a global fanbase estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. The club takes advantage of this with its summer tours to the US, Australia and South East Asia. More local support is drawn from Wales, Ireland and Scotland, with a long tradition of club legends from those countries, such as all time top scorer Ian Rush (Welsh) and defenders Mark Lawrenson (Irish) and Alan Hansen (Scottish). There's also a certain fondness for Liverpool in Germany, partly because of Liverpool's new manager Jurgen Klopp being widely beloved by fans of his former team, Borussia Dortmund. More puzzlingly, there's a [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff massive fan base in Norway.]] No one is quite sure why, though cheap plane and ferry tickets to Liverpool probably have something to do with it. One other possible explanation is the prominence of the usually under-represented Norwegians in Liverpool sides down the years, such as fan favourite John Arne Riise, Champions League winner with Liverpool, famous for having a left foot that regularly did passable impersonations of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Mjolnir.]] Once when he took a free kick against Manchester United in 2006, Alan Smith, the unfortunate player standing in the way [[UpToEleven ended up out for eight months with his leg broken in two separate places.]] He was never quite the same again. Matchgoers in particular are pathologically loyal to the club; it takes ''a lot'' to make them stop singing for any length of time and if they have done so, [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness it's a very bad sign.]] If they have started booing and you are the manager, you are likely to be fired soon afterwards. Recently, they demonstrated their displeasure at a proposed ticket price hike to £77 and did so by leaving in the 77th minute of Liverpool's match with Sunderland. Liverpool, who had been winning 2-0, drew 2-2. The owners hurriedly backed down.

to:

** Liverpool's fans, colloquially known as 'the Kop' or 'Kopites', after the Kop End, which itself is named after the hill on which the Battle of Spion Kop was fought in 1906, are some of the most famous in the footballing world and certainly among the most vocal, giving Anfield a reputation as one of the most atmospheric stadiums on the planet, famed for 'the Anfield Roar' - which, following the expansion of the Main Stand, taking the capacity from 45,000 to 54,000 (with a further expansion to 59,000 in vague planning stages), has only got that much louder. No matter how well or badly the club is doing, the sight and sound of the Kop in full voice is truly breathtaking. This makes Anfield an intimidating place to go, and when on a particularly strong streak, it's referred to as 'Fortress Anfield'. They're also a fairly cosmopolitan bunch, with, like Manchester United, a global fanbase estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. The club takes advantage of this with its summer tours to the US, Australia and South East Asia. More local support is drawn from Wales, Ireland and Scotland, with a long tradition of club legends from those countries, such as all time top scorer Ian Rush (Welsh) and defenders Mark Lawrenson (Irish) and Alan Hansen (Scottish). There's also a certain fondness for Liverpool in Germany, partly because of Liverpool's new manager Jurgen Klopp being widely beloved by fans of his former team, Borussia Dortmund. More puzzlingly, there's a [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff massive fan base in Norway.]] No one is quite sure why, though cheap plane and ferry tickets to Liverpool probably have something to do with it. One other possible explanation is the prominence of the usually under-represented Norwegians in Liverpool sides down the years, such as fan favourite John Arne Riise, Champions League winner with Liverpool, famous for having a left foot that regularly did passable impersonations of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Mjolnir.]] [[note]] Once when he took a free kick against Manchester United in an FA Cup tie in 2006, Alan 'Smudge' Smith, the unfortunate player standing in the way [[UpToEleven ended up out for eight months with his leg broken in two separate places.and his ankle dislocated.]] He Poor old Smudge was never quite the same again. again.[[/note]] Matchgoers in particular are pathologically loyal to the club; it takes ''a lot'' to make them stop singing for any length of time and if they have done so, [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness it's a very bad sign.]] If they have started booing and you are the manager, you are likely to be fired soon afterwards. Recently, they demonstrated their displeasure at a proposed ticket price hike to £77 and did so by leaving in the 77th minute of Liverpool's match with Sunderland. Liverpool, who had been winning 2-0, drew 2-2. The owners hurriedly backed down.


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10th Apr '17 11:50:42 AM DarkPhoenix94
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*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward, they havewhat could kindly be called 'defensive issues', especially when Lucas is also in defence. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembles a slapstick comedy routine. Lucas is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for his absolute devotion to the club on and off the pitch and capable of putting in superb performances, he's also short, not that mobile and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner. Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, though capable of playing across the midfield. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional, he's well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation via the Boring James Milner Twitter account. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy a replacement, waiting for the right player to become available. This has led to New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley. While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the league, and Mignolet has since upped his game in response, it's still their Achilles Heel.

to:

*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward, they havewhat have what could kindly be called 'defensive issues', especially when Lucas is also in defence. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembles a slapstick comedy routine. Lucas is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for his absolute devotion to the club on and off the pitch and capable of putting in superb performances, he's also short, not that mobile and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner. Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, though capable of playing across the midfield. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional, he's well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation via the Boring James Milner Twitter account. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy a replacement, waiting for the right player to become available. This has led to New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley. While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the league, and Mignolet has since upped his game in response, it's still their Achilles Heel.



** Merseyside derbies are sell-outs and pretty scrappy matches - they have more red cards than any other games - and, often, surprisingly high scoring, since both teams desperately want to win. When they do, the result is usually UnsportsmanlikeGloating. Although in times of need both sets of fans can and do become very close, with supporters of both teams often being found in the same family, after Hillsborough there was a chain of scarves [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming connecting Anfield and Goodison Park.]] This is something helped by the fact that, more often than not, supporters of both teams can be found in the same family, and, in essence, the rivalry's more like a family feud - and accordingly, can vary between its current status of mutual hatred and, as in the 80's, being known as 'the Friendly Derby', with one notable FA Cup final featuring both sets of fans mixing freely and singing, 'Merseyside, Merseyside' and, predictably, 'Are You Watching Manchester?' While relations have not so much cooled but frozen, it is notable that to this day, it is the only major derby that does not enforce fan segregation.

to:

** Merseyside derbies are sell-outs and pretty scrappy matches - they have more red cards than any other games fixture in the league - and, often, surprisingly high scoring, since both teams desperately want to win. The balance of power is currently weighted towards the red half of Merseyside, with Everton having failed to register a win at Anfield in the 21st century and consistently getting turned over by Liverpool, sometimes in very embarrassing fashion, even when they're the more fancied team. [[note]] In the second derby of the 2015/16 season, Liverpool wound up 4-0 up, despite losing their in-form striker to injury, and to add insult to injury, promptly spent the last 20 minutes, nearly a quarter of the game, camped outside the Everton box, trying to get famously non-prolific (at that point, despite being a first team regular, he hadn't scored in ''six years'') midfielder and [[EnsembleDarkhorse cult hero]] Lucas Leiva to score. This was a tactic so ridiculous that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was caught on camera laughing his head off. [[/note]] When they do, the result is usually UnsportsmanlikeGloating. Although in times of need both sets of fans can and do become very close, with supporters of both teams often being found in the same family, after Hillsborough there was a chain of scarves [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming connecting Anfield and Goodison Park.]] This is something helped by the fact that, more often than not, supporters of both teams can be found in the same family, and, in essence, the rivalry's more like a family feud - and accordingly, can vary between its current status of mutual hatred and, as in the 80's, being known as 'the Friendly Derby', with one notable FA Cup final featuring both sets of fans mixing freely and singing, 'Merseyside, Merseyside' and, predictably, 'Are You Watching Manchester?' While relations have not so much cooled but frozen, it is notable that to this day, it is the only major derby that does not enforce fan segregation.



** A fun fact for those interested in the business of football (and sport more generally): Liverpool FC is presently the property of Fenway Sports Ventures. Yes, that's Fenway as in Fenway Park. In UsefulNotes/{{Boston}}. With the [[UsefulNotes/{{Baseball}} Red]] [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Sox]]. Same owners - who are incidentally, ticket price incident aside, actually quite popular thanks to the stadium expansion, investment in the transfer market, visible involvement with the club and securing the services of Jurgen Klopp, with whom the fanbase has an ongoing love affair.

to:

** A fun fact for those interested in the business of football (and sport more generally): Liverpool FC is presently the property of Fenway Sports Ventures. Yes, that's Fenway as in Fenway Park. In UsefulNotes/{{Boston}}. With the [[UsefulNotes/{{Baseball}} Red]] [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Sox]]. Same owners - who are incidentally, ticket price incident aside, actually quite popular thanks to the stadium expansion, investment in the transfer market, visible involvement with the club and securing the services of Jurgen Klopp, with whom the fanbase has an ongoing passionate love affair.
23rd Mar '17 6:13:04 AM CortexHenchman
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** 2016/17 got off to a rocky start with new manager Ronald Koeman but once the kinks were ironed in (largely starting in 2017), Everton have once again become a serious threat, handing out CurbStompBattle after CurbStompBattle and are, as of writing, all but guranteed a place in Europe and still threatening the top four positions.
4th Mar '17 12:32:43 PM DarkPhoenix94
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*** Following a somewhat limp start to the 2015/16 season [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness that led to boos from the Kop,]] Rodgers was sacked after a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby, being replaced by charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, famous for ''gegenpressing'' style of 'heavy metal football' having broken Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, before taking them to the Champions League final. Since the clubs are FriendlyFandoms, sharing an anthem and a philosophy, [[OneHundredPercentAdorationRating this was considered a match made in heaven]] and met with naked envy by nearly everyone else. Klopp's Liverpool have since been cast as 'Europe's Entertainers', combining an attack led by a freely interchanging floating front three of dynamic wing forward [[LightningBruiser Sadio Mane,]] talismanic [[PintSizedPowerHouse pocket-sized playmaker Philippe Coutinho]] and hard-working creative striker [[TheLancer Roberto Firmino]] (recently convicted of drink driving, leading to variations on a classic chant: [[DrunkenMaster 'Roberto Firmino... he scores when he's drunk']] from Liverpool fans). And when [[WeakButSkilled Adam Lallana]] is in midfield, it becomes a front four, with a front foot defensive style that involves attacking players hunting down the ball in packs, either winning it back high up the pitch or forcing errors. This style, along with the reinvention of captain Jordan Henderson as a deep lying 'number 6', using his energy and passing skill to dictate play and break up opposition attacks and of Adam Lallana (formerly deemed to be a waste of space) as a kind of free-roaming 'false 9', given license to use his extensive technical talents to knit play between midfield and attack. When properly executed, this style is very, very hard to stop, and any team that has tried to play open football against Klopp's Liverpool has been torn to shreds - notably, they've only lost once to any of the top six teams since Klopp took charge. Particular highlights include in 2015/16 victories over then champions Chelsea (3-1), Manchester City (2-1 and 3-0), Manchester United (2-0, 3-1 on aggregate), Borussia Dortmund (4-3, from 3-1 down), Everton (4-0) and Villareal (3-0), among others. In 2016/17, champions Leicester (4-1), Hull (5-1), Watford (6-1), Arsenal (4-3), Chelsea (2-1), Stoke (4-1), Crystal Palace (4-2), Tottenham (2-1 - in the League Cup). All of this, in the first half of the season, led to the belief that Liverpool were serious title contenders, before they stumbled at Christmas.
*** While they entered 2017 still in striking distance, six points behind Chelsea and three clear of 3rd placed Arsenal, they stumbled further, technically weaker teams having found that piling the entire team behind the ball, letting Liverpool have all the possession and no room, before hitting them on the break was an effective strategy, targeting their flimsy defence. Combined with the loss of key players Joel Matip and Sadio Mane to international duty (or international legal limbo in Matip's case), Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson to injury, and a pile up of matches leading to six games in a month (including, at the start of January, two games in less than 48 hours) on top of a busy Christmas, their form collapsed. This included and resulted in humiliating league defeats to Bournemouth (4-3), Swansea (3-2), Hull (2-0) and in the FA Cup to Wolves (2-1) and both legs of the League Cup Semi-Final to Southampton (both 1-0), as well as drawing winnable matches: West Ham (2-2), Sunderland (2-2), Southampton (0-0), Manchester United (1-1). This left them on the brink of the top 4 at the start of February, 10 points behind Chelsea (perhaps 13 by February 12th) - though the rest of the top 6 has bunched up so much that only two points separate 2nd and 6th. However, a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham, who hadn't lost in 11 matches, in which they seemed to have got their mojo back, as well as a much lighter schedule going forward (one match on the 27th February, only three matches in March) suggests that odds of a late season charge for the Top 4 are good.
*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward, question marks hang over the defence: auxiliary centre-back Lucas Leiva is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for absolute devotion to the club on and off the pitch and capable of putting in superb performances, he's also short, not that mobile and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner. Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, though capable of playing on both wings and central midfield. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional, he's well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy a left back, waiting for the right player to become available. This has led to what could kindly be called 'defensive issues'. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembled a slapstick comedy routine. New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley. While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the league, and Mignolet has since upped his game in response, it's still their Achilles Heel.

to:

*** Following a somewhat limp start to the 2015/16 season [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness that led to boos from the Kop,]] Rodgers was sacked after a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby, being replaced by charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, famous for ''gegenpressing'' style of 'heavy metal football' having broken Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, before taking them to the Champions League final. Since the clubs are FriendlyFandoms, sharing an anthem and a philosophy, [[OneHundredPercentAdorationRating this was considered a match made in heaven]] and met with naked envy by nearly everyone else. heaven]]. Klopp's Liverpool have since been cast as 'Europe's Entertainers', combining the front foot defensive style of the ''gegenpress'' that involves attacking players hunting down the ball in packs, either winning it back high up the pitch or forcing errorsm with an attack led by a freely interchanging floating front three of dynamic wing forward [[LightningBruiser Sadio Mane,]] talismanic [[PintSizedPowerHouse pocket-sized playmaker Philippe Coutinho]] and hard-working creative striker [[TheLancer Roberto Firmino]] (recently convicted of drink driving, leading to variations on a classic chant: chant from Liverpool fans: [[DrunkenMaster 'Roberto Firmino... he scores when he's drunk']] from Liverpool fans). drunk']]). And when [[WeakButSkilled Adam Lallana]] [[TheLoad (formerly deemed to be a waste of space)]] is in midfield, he's given license to use his extensive technical talents to knit play between midfield and attack, making it becomes a front four, with a front foot defensive style that involves attacking players hunting down the ball in packs, either winning it back high up the pitch or forcing errors. four. This style, along with the reinvention of captain Jordan Henderson as a deep lying 'number 6', using his energy and passing skill to dictate play and break up opposition attacks and of Adam Lallana (formerly deemed to be a waste of space) as a kind of free-roaming 'false 9', given license to use his extensive technical talents to knit play between midfield and attack. When attacks, when properly executed, this style is very, very hard to stop, and any team that has tried to play open football against Klopp's Liverpool has been torn to shreds - notably, they've only lost once to any of the top six teams since Klopp took charge. Particular highlights include in 2015/16 victories over then champions Chelsea (3-1), Manchester City (2-1 domestic rivals and 3-0), Manchester United (2-0, 3-1 on aggregate), in Europe: notably, Borussia Dortmund (4-3, from 3-1 down), Everton (4-0) down) and Villareal (3-0), among others. (3-0). In 2016/17, champions Leicester (4-1), Hull (5-1), Watford (6-1), Arsenal (4-3), Chelsea (2-1), Stoke (4-1), Crystal Palace (4-2), Tottenham (2-1 - in the League Cup). All of this, Cup) - all in the first half of the season, led to the belief that Liverpool were serious title contenders, before they stumbled at Christmas.
*** While they entered 2017 still in striking distance, six points behind Chelsea and three clear of 3rd placed Arsenal, they stumbled further, technically weaker teams having found that piling the entire team behind the ball, letting Liverpool have all the possession and no room, room before hitting them on the break was an effective strategy, targeting their flimsy defence. Combined with the loss of key players Joel Matip and Sadio Mane to international duty (or international legal limbo in Matip's case), Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson to injury, and a pile up of matches leading to six games in a month (including, at the start of January, two games in less than 48 hours) on top of a busy Christmas, their form collapsed. This included and resulted in collapsed, with a number of humiliating league defeats to Bournemouth (4-3), Swansea (3-2), Hull (2-0) and in the FA Cup to Wolves (2-1) and both legs of the League Cup Semi-Final to Southampton (both 1-0), as well as drawing winnable matches: West Ham (2-2), Sunderland (2-2), Southampton (0-0), Manchester United (1-1). defeats. This left them on the brink of outside the top 4 at the start of February, 10 points behind Chelsea (perhaps 13 by February 12th) March - though the rest of the top 6 has bunched up so much that only two four points separate 2nd and 6th. However, a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham, who hadn't lost in 11 matches, in which they seemed to have got their mojo back, as well as a much lighter schedule going forward (one match on brought the 27th February, only three matches in March) suggests that odds of magic back. Then they lost 3-1 to relegation threatened and managerless Leicester, and then, less than a late season charge for week after that, beat Arsenal by the Top 4 are good.
same scoreline.
*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward, question marks hang over the defence: auxiliary centre-back they havewhat could kindly be called 'defensive issues', especially when Lucas Leiva is also in defence. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembles a slapstick comedy routine. Lucas is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for his absolute devotion to the club on and off the pitch and capable of putting in superb performances, he's also short, not that mobile and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner. Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, though capable of playing on both wings and central across the midfield. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional, he's well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation. MemeticMutation via the Boring James Milner Twitter account. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy a left back, replacement, waiting for the right player to become available. This has led to what could kindly be called 'defensive issues'. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembled a slapstick comedy routine. to New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley. While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the league, and Mignolet has since upped his game in response, it's still their Achilles Heel.
18th Feb '17 3:06:59 PM skteosk
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Added DiffLines:

* Norwich City
** Known as "The Canaries", playing in yellow and green. Founded in 1902, founder members of the Third Division in 1920. Played at current home of Carrow Road since 1935. Have only spent one season outside the top two tiers since 1960 but the only major competition they've won is the League Cup (the third highest honour in English football), in 1962 (when none of the big teams entered) and 1985 (when they were relegated and so were the beaten finalists). The club had the misfortune to have their most successful period in the late 80s and early 90s when English clubs were banned from European competition (any article on Norwich in Europe inevitably includes a list of the seasons they ''should'' have qualified), but did manage a single season in the UEFA Cup in 1993/94, where they had the satisfaction of knocking out German giants [[UsefulNotes/EuroFooty Bayern Munich]] (who had bemused everyone by dubbing [[UsefulNotes/EastAnglia Norwich]] a small village of mustard farmers). The club's anthem, "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPVn9eLOkF0 On the Ball City]]", is considered the oldest football anthem still in use. Have a fierce local rivalry with Ipswich Town from the neighbouring county. The fact that Norwich's local rivals are 45 miles away gives an indication of how isolated the city is.
** Entered popular culture by playing a supporting role in the film ''Film/MikeBassettEnglandManager'', although the scenes set in Norwich were filmed nowhere near the city, to the locals' annoyance. Have a surprisingly high number of celebrity board members: Majority shareholder since 1996 is [[CookingShow Delia Smith]] and Creator/StephenFry was a director for a time (he was very visible in the celebrations after Norwich's 2015 Wembley play-off win). And since 2015, the club's chairman is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Balls Ed Balls]]. If American tropers don't realise how weird that is, imagine the running mate of the defeated presidential candidate quitting politics to run his home town's minor league baseball team.
11th Feb '17 4:14:23 PM DarkPhoenix94
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** At the same time, ''[[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers The Sun]]'', with its infamous headline 'The Truth', smeared Liverpool fans by claiming that they attacked police officers, as well as that they urinated on and stole from the dead, all in order to deflect blame from the South Yorkshire Police, in collusion with the Government as part of a cover-up (slurs, incidentally, which were disproved and dismissed by the Taylor Report and over 150 witness statements were later proved to have been altered to show the police in a better light). To this day, you quite literally cannot give away a copy of ''The Sun'' in the city of Liverpool, despite numerous grovelling apologies of dubious sincerity. After decades of campaigning by groups such as 'Justice for the 96' and latterly by local Labour MP and then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, who brought a new prominence to the cause by raising it in Parliament after being heckled with cries of 'Justice for the 96' when giving a speech at the 20th Anniversary of the Disaster, triggering the Second Hillsborough Inquiry. This exonerated the fans in 2012 and changed their official cause of death to 'unlawfully killed' after concluding that 'up to 41' might have survived had the emergency services coordinated better. Afterwards, campaigning groups and Burnham pushed for further inquests into just who was responsible, forcing the resignation of a number of senior police figures. His campaigning earned him cheers at the 25th Anniversary of the Disaster, and a speech in Parliament in April 2016 which included a vicious excoriation of the involved Police departments and others responsible drew thunderous applause in defiance of Parliamentary convention.

to:

** At the same time, ''[[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers The Sun]]'', with its infamous headline 'The Truth', smeared Liverpool fans by claiming that they attacked police officers, as well as that they urinated on and stole from the dead, all in order to deflect blame from the South Yorkshire Police, in collusion with the Government as part of a cover-up (slurs, incidentally, which were disproved and dismissed by the Taylor Report and over 150 witness statements were later proved to have been altered to show the police in a better light). To this day, you quite literally cannot give away a copy of ''The Sun'' in the city of Liverpool, despite numerous grovelling apologies of dubious sincerity. As of February 2017, the club has outright banned ''The Sun'' and its reporters from Anfield, the Melwood training ground and club press conferences.
**
After decades of campaigning by groups such as 'Justice for the 96' and latterly by local Labour MP and then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, who brought a new prominence to the cause by raising it the matter in Parliament after being heckled with cries of 'Justice for the 96' when giving a speech at the 20th Anniversary of the Disaster, Disaster and triggering the Second Hillsborough Inquiry. This exonerated the fans in 2012 and changed their official cause of death to 'unlawfully killed' after concluding that 'up to 41' might have survived had the emergency services coordinated better. Afterwards, campaigning groups and Burnham pushed for further inquests into just who was responsible, forcing the resignation of a number of senior police figures. His campaigning earned him cheers at the 25th Anniversary of the Disaster, and a speech in Parliament in April 2016 which included a vicious excoriation of the involved Police departments and others responsible drew thunderous applause applause, in defiance of Parliamentary convention.



*** Following a somewhat limp start to the 2015/16 season [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness that led to boos from the Kop,]] Rodgers was sacked after a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby. His replacement was charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, famous for full throttle ''gegenpressing'' football and for breaking Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, winning it back to back, then taking them to the Champions League final. Since the clubs are FriendlyFandoms, sharing an anthem and a philosophy, [[OneHundredPercentAdorationRating this was considered a match made in heaven]] and met with naked envy by nearly everyone else. Results seemed to bear this out as Liverpool [[CurbstompBattle thrashed Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and Manchester City 4-1 at the Etihad]]. They reached the League Cup Final, but lost on penalties to Manchester City. [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge They immediately got revenge,]] [[CurbstompBattle crushing City 3-0]] at Anfield before edging out [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter bogey team]] Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park, despite going 1-0 down and having a player sent off. Then they took on hated rivals Manchester United in a Last 16 Europa League tie, the first European encounter between the two teams, kicked them up and down Anfield in a 2-0 win, drew 1-1 away to competition favourites Borussia Dortmund, then pulled off a breathtaking 4-3 comeback win at home, scoring three goals in half an hour, before finally coming back from a 1-0 first leg defeat to Villareal to crush them 3-0. This run of form revived dreams of taking the Champions League place given to the winner of the Europa League, but they lost to Sevilla, losing 3-1, having failed to translate first half dominance into enough goals to put the game to bed.
*** As of 2016/17, question marks hung over the left back position previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner [[note]] Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, though has proved capable of playing on both wings and in the centre of midfield in the past. He is also considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional.[[/note]], which Klopp steadfastly refused to buy someone to fill. New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley. However, results have ultimately vindicated the decision, helped by the success of dynamic wing forward Sadio Mane, who immediately formed a dazzling partnership with Brazil stars Roberto Firmino and Philippe Countinho, ably supported by the reinvented Adam Lallana, a WeakButSkilled player who has since added some substance to his style. Among those results was a 4-3 opening day win away to Arsenal, a respectable draw against Tottenham (who didn't lose a league match until December), a 4-1 demolition of champions Leicester in the first match at the expanded Anfield, a 5-1 thrashing of Hull, a draw against Manchester United in which despite a de facto eight man defence, United were only saved by the heroics of goalkeeper [[TheAce David de Gea]] has left a sense of cautious optimism, with betting firms putting them down as second favourites to win the title - 7 points from encounters with the previous season's top three is no mean feat, nor is a comfortable 2-1 win away to Chelsea. That, along with a 6-1 destruction of Watford put Liverpool top for the first time in 2 years. The international break led to a loss of momentum as did a bad injury to the talismanic Coutinho, drawing 0-0 to Southampton, losing 4-3 to Bournemouth after being 3-1 up with 15 minutes to go slowed them up a bit then drawing 2-2 to West Ham, letting Chelsea go six points clear, but since then they've kept up their unlikely title challenge by responding to every Chelsea win with their own, with victories over Middlesbrough (3-0) and Stoke (4-1) as well as hard fought 1-0 wins over Everton (injury time winner by Mane) and Manchester City (holding on to a 1-0 lead for 82 minutes despite City getting the bulk of the possession), ensuring they enter 2017 still six points behind Chelsea and three clear of 3rd placed Arsenal.
*** This run of form all but dissipated in 2017 when they only got one win in ''ten matches'' (Against Plymouth Argyle of all teams), having not won in the league since the aforementioned City game on New Years Eve, were beaten in the EFL Cup by Southampton, hampered by an incredible string of bad luck and excellent goalkeeping from Southampton keeper Fraser Forster, kicked out of the FA Cup by Wolves 3 days later, and then suffering back to back failure in a draw against league leaders Chelsea and a defeat against Hull, leaving them on the brink of the top 4 at the start of February.

to:

*** Following a somewhat limp start to the 2015/16 season [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness that led to boos from the Kop,]] Rodgers was sacked after a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby. His replacement was derby, being replaced by charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, famous for full throttle ''gegenpressing'' football and for breaking style of 'heavy metal football' having broken Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, winning it back to back, then before taking them to the Champions League final. Since the clubs are FriendlyFandoms, sharing an anthem and a philosophy, [[OneHundredPercentAdorationRating this was considered a match made in heaven]] and met with naked envy by nearly everyone else. Results seemed to bear this out as Klopp's Liverpool [[CurbstompBattle thrashed have since been cast as 'Europe's Entertainers', combining an attack led by a freely interchanging floating front three of dynamic wing forward [[LightningBruiser Sadio Mane,]] talismanic [[PintSizedPowerHouse pocket-sized playmaker Philippe Coutinho]] and hard-working creative striker [[TheLancer Roberto Firmino]] (recently convicted of drink driving, leading to variations on a classic chant: [[DrunkenMaster 'Roberto Firmino... he scores when he's drunk']] from Liverpool fans). And when [[WeakButSkilled Adam Lallana]] is in midfield, it becomes a front four, with a front foot defensive style that involves attacking players hunting down the ball in packs, either winning it back high up the pitch or forcing errors. This style, along with the reinvention of captain Jordan Henderson as a deep lying 'number 6', using his energy and passing skill to dictate play and break up opposition attacks and of Adam Lallana (formerly deemed to be a waste of space) as a kind of free-roaming 'false 9', given license to use his extensive technical talents to knit play between midfield and attack. When properly executed, this style is very, very hard to stop, and any team that has tried to play open football against Klopp's Liverpool has been torn to shreds - notably, they've only lost once to any of the top six teams since Klopp took charge. Particular highlights include in 2015/16 victories over then champions Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and (3-1), Manchester City 4-1 at the Etihad]]. They reached the League Cup Final, but lost on penalties to Manchester City. [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge They immediately got revenge,]] [[CurbstompBattle crushing City 3-0]] at Anfield before edging out [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter bogey team]] Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park, despite going 1-0 down (2-1 and having a player sent off. Then they took on hated rivals 3-0), Manchester United in a Last 16 Europa League tie, the first European encounter between the two teams, kicked them up and down Anfield in a 2-0 win, drew 1-1 away to competition favourites (2-0, 3-1 on aggregate), Borussia Dortmund, then pulled off a breathtaking 4-3 comeback win at home, scoring three goals in half an hour, before finally coming back Dortmund (4-3, from a 1-0 first leg defeat to 3-1 down), Everton (4-0) and Villareal to crush them 3-0. This run of form revived dreams of taking (3-0), among others. In 2016/17, champions Leicester (4-1), Hull (5-1), Watford (6-1), Arsenal (4-3), Chelsea (2-1), Stoke (4-1), Crystal Palace (4-2), Tottenham (2-1 - in the Champions League place given to Cup). All of this, in the winner of the Europa League, but they lost to Sevilla, losing 3-1, having failed to translate first half dominance into enough goals to put of the game season, led to bed.
the belief that Liverpool were serious title contenders, before they stumbled at Christmas.
*** As While they entered 2017 still in striking distance, six points behind Chelsea and three clear of 2016/17, 3rd placed Arsenal, they stumbled further, technically weaker teams having found that piling the entire team behind the ball, letting Liverpool have all the possession and no room, before hitting them on the break was an effective strategy, targeting their flimsy defence. Combined with the loss of key players Joel Matip and Sadio Mane to international duty (or international legal limbo in Matip's case), Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson to injury, and a pile up of matches leading to six games in a month (including, at the start of January, two games in less than 48 hours) on top of a busy Christmas, their form collapsed. This included and resulted in humiliating league defeats to Bournemouth (4-3), Swansea (3-2), Hull (2-0) and in the FA Cup to Wolves (2-1) and both legs of the League Cup Semi-Final to Southampton (both 1-0), as well as drawing winnable matches: West Ham (2-2), Sunderland (2-2), Southampton (0-0), Manchester United (1-1). This left them on the brink of the top 4 at the start of February, 10 points behind Chelsea (perhaps 13 by February 12th) - though the rest of the top 6 has bunched up so much that only two points separate 2nd and 6th. However, a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham, who hadn't lost in 11 matches, in which they seemed to have got their mojo back, as well as a much lighter schedule going forward (one match on the 27th February, only three matches in March) suggests that odds of a late season charge for the Top 4 are good.
*** While Klopp's side are deadly going forward,
question marks hung hang over the defence: auxiliary centre-back Lucas Leiva is a central midfielder by trade. While widely beloved by fans for absolute devotion to the club on and off the pitch and capable of putting in superb performances, he's also short, not that mobile and a yellow card waiting to happen. Preferred centre backs Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been inconsistent and/or injured. Or in the case of [[ConfusionFu the unconventional yet effective]] Mamadou Sakho, exiled to the reserves for disciplinary reasons. The left back position was previously inhabited by the talented but inconsistent Alberto Moreno and currently held by James Milner [[note]] Milner. Milner is a right sided midfielder by trade, though has proved capable of playing on both wings and in the centre of midfield in the past. He is also considered central midfield. Considered to be the definition of a competent, reliable, hard working and uncomplaining professional.[[/note]], which professional, he's well-liked - and the subject of MemeticMutation. However, he is not a left back, he's turning 31 and Klopp has steadfastly refused to buy someone a left back, waiting for the right player to fill.become available. This has led to what could kindly be called 'defensive issues'. Or, less kindly, a defence that on occasion closely resembled a slapstick comedy routine. New goalkeeper Loris Karius immediately breaking his hand only made matters worse, as shown in a dire 2-0 defeat to Burnley. However, results have ultimately vindicated While Karius has put in some decent performances since his recovery, adjusting to the decision, helped by the success of dynamic wing forward Sadio Mane, who immediately formed a dazzling partnership with Brazil stars Roberto Firmino league, and Philippe Countinho, ably supported by the reinvented Adam Lallana, a WeakButSkilled player who Mignolet has since added some substance to upped his style. Among those results was a 4-3 opening day win away to Arsenal, a respectable draw against Tottenham (who didn't lose a league match until December), a 4-1 demolition of champions Leicester game in the first match at the expanded Anfield, a 5-1 thrashing of Hull, a draw against Manchester United in which despite a de facto eight man defence, United were only saved by the heroics of goalkeeper [[TheAce David de Gea]] has left a sense of cautious optimism, with betting firms putting them down as second favourites to win the title - 7 points from encounters with the previous season's top three is no mean feat, nor is a comfortable 2-1 win away to Chelsea. That, along with a 6-1 destruction of Watford put Liverpool top for the first time in 2 years. The international break led to a loss of momentum as did a bad injury to the talismanic Coutinho, drawing 0-0 to Southampton, losing 4-3 to Bournemouth after being 3-1 up with 15 minutes to go slowed them up a bit then drawing 2-2 to West Ham, letting Chelsea go six points clear, but since then they've kept up response, it's still their unlikely title challenge by responding to every Chelsea win with their own, with victories over Middlesbrough (3-0) and Stoke (4-1) as well as hard fought 1-0 wins over Everton (injury time winner by Mane) and Manchester City (holding on to a 1-0 lead for 82 minutes despite City getting the bulk of the possession), ensuring they enter 2017 still six points behind Chelsea and three clear of 3rd placed Arsenal.
*** This run of form all but dissipated in 2017 when they only got one win in ''ten matches'' (Against Plymouth Argyle of all teams), having not won in the league since the aforementioned City game on New Years Eve, were beaten in the EFL Cup by Southampton, hampered by an incredible string of bad luck and excellent goalkeeping from Southampton keeper Fraser Forster, kicked out of the FA Cup by Wolves 3 days later, and then suffering back to back failure in a draw against league leaders Chelsea and a defeat against Hull, leaving them on the brink of the top 4 at the start of February.
Achilles Heel.
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