The Scott Ruscoe Column: Klopp, Mark Hughes and why are football statues so bad?

Reporter:

Barrie White

Prior to Liverpool’s stunning 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday, it hadn’t been a good week for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

He can be quite aggressive on the touchline but I don’t know if he has to reign it is. He’s an emotional guy but you can see over the last few years that he’s enthusiastic, he’s touchy-feely with his players  – hugging them all the time – and that's the sort of person he is.

It's a little frustrating for them at the minute because they’re so far behind the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City and then you look at the result against Everton in the Derby.

They had nearly 70 per cent of the possession and only came away with a point because of a penalty decision – they have a right to feel hard done by. That led into the West Brom game on Wednesday night when Klopp named his strongest team.

They drew 0-0 at home and you should be winning those games, even if you want to challenge for the top four, never mind the title. There’s a bit of frustration for him and even from the supporters too.

With his ‘football people’ comment, I don’t know. he’s talking about taking Mo Salah off with 20 minutes to go which was precautionary because of a tight hamstring.

It couldn’t have been too bad because he’s back in the side against West Brom so whether he has hamstring trouble, only he and Klopp know. The German can talk about formations etc all he wants, but he got the team selection wrong against Everton.

In hindsight, despite what his experts tell him, he should have picked his best side for the Derby, get the points and then assess from there before the West Brom game.

Everton at home is winnable and all of the fans want to win the Derby. Liverpool aren’t going to win the league so win against Everton – that’s what fans want most and you forgive a draw at home to West Brom if you’ve won against Everton.

But they didn’t and they’ve dropped four points with teams around them picking up points, meaning they’re pulling away from them. I’m frustrated as a Liverpool fan because, while rotating is fine, they’re not picking up points where they should be.

Manchester City can make changes and not suffer but Liverpool need to be picking these points up at home and when they’re not, people will be asking questions.

But the brilliant win at Bournemouth is a step towards that now.

Mark Hughes is a man under pressure.

Stoke City lost again at the weekend to a resurgent West Ham and I listened to their defeat in mid-week too. Hughes takes over at a club and has a great few months – he’s that manager where someone has been sacked; it’s not like a top manager has been replaced.

Usually he joins a club fighting off relegation because someone hasn't done a good enough job. There’s progression under him for the first six to 12 months and then there’s real optimism with his signings.

All of a sudden they drop off; whether that’s to do with him or his backroom staff, his coaching methods or him getting too comfortable, I don't know.

Do the players stop their intense running or working for each other? There’s lots of things when he takes over a club that get to a peak and level off, but they never progress again. They level out and drop off.

Only he knows why but Stoke have dropped off. I watched a couple of games and they were good, especially against Manchester United where they attacked on the front foot.

But they lack consistency and they’re around the bottom now, struggling. If he wins a couple, which is a tough task, then it keeps the wolves from the door but he’s on borrowed time.

Is sacking a case of careful of what you wish for? You see with a lot of managers that they don'[t always keep their foot on the gas and improve them.

They either do so well with a club that others fancy taking them, so they step up a level but then end up dropping down a level. It's only the ones who fight off relegation are successful in keeping jobs.

Even someone like Brendan Rodgers might struggle to get a Premier League job but then again he hasn’t dropped down because he’s managing Celtic and he’s also a cut above the likes of Alan Pardew and Roy Hodgson.

But there is a trend there of the managerial merry-go-round.

Did you the see the unveiling of the Diego Maradona statue? It was brilliant, and not in a good way.

Why can’t people get football statues right? I saw one for Lionel Messi where they had to cut it up. Ronaldo’s looked like Niall Quinn on a bad day and the Maradona one looks like Aunt Bessie, who is 85 years of age.

It looks nothing like him; if you’re going to do anything for a legend, make sure you do it properly. Whoever passed that quality control off needed sacking too. It’s not as if they're doing a painting where you can re-adjust it.

That statue was a final copy and it does make you chuckle. Maradona is someone I hold in the greatest esteem but when it was unveiled, even he must have thought ‘what is that?’

Yes it’s a chuckle and yes it’s light-hearted but you wouldn’t want that to be your statue.

I saw someone on Twitter had superimposed the statues over their faces, which was hilarious. Out of the two, at least Ronaldo’s looks a little bit like him.

Maradona’s doesn’t – not even in the slightest. Ronaldo’s is distorted and looked like he’d had a few beers but still looks like him. Maradona’s is the worst.

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

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