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Hello and welcome to The Stand with Amy Dunfee.
The stand is proudly supported by Tasco at Tasco, our exclusive house for over 65 family carers and extremely medically vulnerable customers are every weekday, Monday to Friday, up to nine AM. Health care and emergency services have priority access at all other times now more than ever. Every little helps now. The word sensational is overused when describing sports events, soccer, Gaelic golf or anything else. And hyperbole is a feature of the sports pages, and none of us are free of that charge.
However, we've just seen a weekend of football, and particularly yesterday, which was sensational. And that's not hyperbole. And Liverpool, the champions were beaten seven two away to Aston Villa, who's just survived relegation by a point last year, and Manchester United were beaten six one at home by Spurs having taken the lead. And that was really an extraordinary result and an extraordinary performance. And we're joined now by John Giles to think about these games, to discuss what happened.
And, of course, we'll talk about Leeds, John, who drew Manchester City on Saturday and gave a really good account of themselves.
But John, for Liverpool, the champions with so many outstanding players and a couple of great players, Van Dyke being one of them to lose seven to to Aston Villa is unbelievable. And what did you sort of make of it? And I start by asking you this question. You played in a great team at Leeds Champions. Did you ever have a day where you went out and got a right hiden like Liverpool got? Because I think I think every every team has a nightmare that we all go out.
We won't be focused, particularly when you're on top of the world and we get we get whipped. Yeah.
Yeah, it could happen. And it's it happened to us at Leeds when we were coming on to our best. We played in a match at Arsenal on a Saturday. And we want we want to win, I think, against Arsenal. And we were playing West Ham, I think it was in the league cup. But we had a full team out on the Monday night. Seven nil.
Oh, I remember that. Yeah. Yeah. The Tour de France, where some were easy pickings, weren't they.
Well, they were OK at home, you know, it always did well, but not that well. But with seven nil on the night. Right. It just happened to Obama's plan for a good team. Yes. But there were no win in anything. But it happened a lot to us. And one of the great things, what did he say? And B, what do you think happened on that night to your team?
Well, don't don't went mad, as you would expect. And it looked like it was a Monday. So we had to choose the weather to get ready for the match. And so we picked it up again straight away. It was in many ways, obviously, we went off as well as we should have been. And but I played so well on the night. It was just one of those days can happen. Yeah. And that was it.
You know, it was like we had the whole team out. So it can't happen on Saturday. But in Liverpool, obviously, at first of all, was very, very good. Yes. And they have signed a couple of players erm and they got a new goalkeeper, Martino's. They got partly on loan. Yeah. We got cash right back. That only from Forest. And this lad who is a real winner I think. Ollie Watkins.
Yeah. I just got a hat trick that wasn't a fluke. And by him, you know, he's a really, really good lad and a really good player. And he hit the crossbar in the second half as well. Could have had four.
And he was through. He was through. And he could have scored five points on the day. So we had a really, really good player. So I think Phillip has improved definitely. I don't see him struggling against relegation this year. Jack really is a very good player and was good again, that from Liverpool's point of view, I think what they did was they went off as well as they could have been and they played us. We've spoken about it a few times and the highlights and what most fella played well.
And Liverpool. Nuts. Well, they actually control the midfield to get out the back for yeah, which I haven't seen actually I didn't see any other teams do that Liverpool last year. So we are playing the hard line and the team is doing what they're doing. Then it's going to be exposed. And it was exposed badly on the weekend.
Yeah, there's no doubt about that. And I'm in fact one only. Watkins was interviewed after the match. He referred to the fact that they had worked on it during the week and they exploited it brilliantly. Now, one of the justifications for a high line, John, is to compress the space that your opponents have back for pushes up midfield, pushes up, puts pressure on the ball and your front man are in this manner. Money was missing yesterday and somebody suggested last night in the Post match that money being such an ego pressure of the ball.
It might account, not my book, but Salomone for me now, they all are part of it. It's it's a whole team effort that's really generated and controlled from the back. But it only works. And this is the key, I thought when I looked at matchday last night. It only works when the midfield players are putting pressure on your opponent in midfield. In other words, there's pressure on the ball. So even if they get they break through, they can't deliver the pass the killer pass that again in this, Jack really is very important.
And this is how he played a part in a lot of chances. And so the midfield for Liverpool, I would put my finger on them and it was Fabinho Katar and one of and they didn't get tight. The Villa Midfield players had all the time in the world to pick that killer pass that kills the Highline.
Yeah, well, that I don't agree with you entirely, OK, because they have a high line anyway. Midfield like you call it, there's nothing stopping you from pressin payment and no, not the opposition without the back for being too high. Yeah. Yeah, we don't have it. They don't have to do that. Can still press you know if that doesn't stop them from pressin. No. Jamie McIntyre.
Jamie McIntyre made the point afterwards and he was one of the best defenders of his generation of players. He said, I've never agreed with the high line. I don't agree with it. Now you should go with your runner. And that's really what you believe. Yeah, it's what I believe as well. But it's deemed now to be old fashioned Bayern Munich to play in a high line and and and Liverpool, of course, playing with a high line.
So it's it's in vogue.
Yeah. Well, that doesn't make it right. No. I mean, you know, just because it's new, there's lots of things happening in the game, in my opinion. That's not right. Like midfield players looking backwards. The past about was a backwards instead of turning on the ball. But certainly the highlight in my day and your day was there. And it was called the offside trap. Exactly. And it was fatally offside, but that was never worked on a big day on a long basis anyway.
You know, like, you know, I played a very good team, as you know, at least defended. Well, we never played offside. No, you know what I mean? We obviously we cut teams offside if they were if they were overdoing it. But we never played play to play offs. And there's no I don't think it justifies itself at all. I agree totally with Jamie. Kind of. Yeah. That you can still press the ball.
I mean, one the forwards. It's the forward to midfield players, the press, the ball. Yeah, right. So the back for like get into a position if and when they lose the ball anyway. Yeah. You don't have to be up. I actually want the line start for the teams. I do. That is when the opposition do get the ball right. Yeah. That's the time that they should be defended. Yeah. Instead of playing the high line.
That's enough cidrap you take a chance on it. Yeah. And did it very well, particularly through jacarandas as you say, that they had players actually who did it very, very cleverly and got through. But if you look at the goals yesterday you were talking about Goma's in Atlanta up one of the goals. Yeah. There was no need for them. No. You know, there's no need for the other three to step out at that particular stage now.
It's no need for it. It's an employer's that they have, particularly Liverpool. Do it all quick, throw players. There's nobody going to catch them on the run. Yeah.
And I mean, we should say that perhaps Guardiola, the most celebrated coach of this age and introduced it to Manchester City and English football, and they've been successful with it now and. One of the things I would say is the great art of defending was perfected, I think, by Italians and still is in many ways, there's absolutely zero way they'd play a high line. And the best defense on one of them in our time watching the Premier League, John, would have been the Chelsea defense with John Kerry at the heart of it and the cavalier John Kerry and being key players and Terry control that.
They defended ridiculously deep by these standards. And they had to because John Terry couldn't run. He was a great, great defender, but he couldn't run. So we had to be done.
Now, it was it wasn't quick. And he read it well, brilliantly, but it wasn't a policy by Chelsea to run out. Oh, no line is running out. Yeah. And hoping that when they played the ball that the opposition would be offside. Yeah. That's a wing and a prayer that I know a lot of times. I work for Liverpool. Liverpool didn't concede many goals last year because they had such good players and they weren't under that much pressure.
And the midfield players, as you said, were doing the stuff they're very, very good at. They didn't concede many goals with a conceded a few days out from the footy and they got away with it a few times. They got away with it.
They got away with it against Arsenal in the last home game, John, when it was two on Lacazette got one on one with Alison. Yes. And Alex came out, he stood tall and he saved a day. Do your own thing, of course, about the high line, as you do if you have a goalkeeper like Addison in Manchester City or Alison, both of whom are very comfortable with the ball at their feet, but also they do they are alert.
And if a ball is played through, they sometimes get out of that goal and intercepted before the forward can get to it. But I think then that points that you're making and I agree with you is you don't need to do it. And if you do it to an extreme extent and the opposition know what you're doing and prepare during the week, it makes you very vulnerable.
It can and it can be very, very vulnerable. And now, again, when I was at least, we played a team to play the offside. We knew before the week and we say before, especially at a diagonal ball. Yes, right. We used to say, look, the forwards, when we get on the ball in the midfield, don't worry about getting through, you just get out. Yeah. And I'm one of the few players who would go from a position.
Yeah. So what would happen is it saves a lightsaber, Bremner and every great. Well as you would know when Billy was on the ball and the clock Michon's would get out and you just go, yeah. Because he's come from a diagonal position. Yeah. And it was simple. Yeah. But it can't be simple. But the thing is, with Liverpool, you see last year when they were pressing under the pressure particularly well, it's very seldom that the opposition.
Yes. Had the ball clearly enough and on the road enough to do that. I mean, I don't know the word catch, but there was a few times last year I cut out and a few times I didn't score. And you say Alison's a very good goalkeeper, but you don't want to be dependent on your goalkeeper now to be stopping somebody going through on their own. Yeah, they just want to know you don't need it. No, that's the thing.
I make all the fun. I mean, they don't need to go home, which can run and taken on. The two fullbacks can run. Yeah. So it's not necessary right now. And we should. And you did when you began talking about this massive pay tribute to Aston Villa. And and they were really well prepared and they have signed some good players, Watkins' being one of them. And they also assigned a lad who played really well last night at the back concer very, very good player.
Yeah. And they have Mings from last year, who was a very good player as well. And Jack Grealish, you've always liked Grealish. He's a player we could have signed or we tried to in the Keane O'Neill era. We didn't get him, but he's a very, very good player and he made a big contribution to the way they played yesterday.
Yeah, he's very talented them. And again, I think he signed a long term contract now officially. But Munu or any other top clubs. I would I would I would try to sign them. Yeah, I think he's got an offer to better the team play and it'd be even better. But he was very, very good. But you'd have to say on the match last night that, you know, everything did go fellas way. And I think there were three goals that were deflected.
So you can have a night like that, like really can have a night where we're going to have a night like that. But but it's not like it's not ideal, obviously, from Liverpool, you have to learn from it. You have to get back and think, I think love is worth it, because now the lads have gone on an international trip and you know, it's not. Time to work with them before the next match, they could get injured and all the all the various things, that money doesn't really worry about this particular stage, because ideally, when you get a defeat like that, what you want to do as a manager, in my opinion, is to get back into the into training as you possibly can.
Yeah, right. What was what was what was gone wrong? Yeah. Now he's got it. He's got to stay at home and wonder what. How did that go wrong. But anyway, that's that's that's that's football and it is awardee. But I think that they will pick up from it. But I think Phil will really voted by a point last year, I think. And I think there will be at least mid table this year. I think they've improved a lot and they've got a few players in the world to fill it up that were there last year.
And I think they definitely took Liverpool by surprise. Yeah.
And Cup pointed out he'll have two days with them before the Derby match against Everton, and that matches at twelve thirty on a Saturday. So it's it's going to be a big, big game now. They've got to govern themselves up and respond. Just a word on Velas coach, Dean Smith. He was up Bramford. He did a great job, John. There I used to watch the championship games. He created a pass in team. He believes in the footballing way of doing things and in terms of preparing for Liverpool.
And he would have been the coach. And this is where coaches and action on the training ground during the week, talking to the players, going through and the way they have to operate this thing of at times neuron's getting in behind this high line and that and causing damage. And he did a really good job in his preparation for last night. And what was very impressive after the game when he was interviewed, totally levelheaded, no punch in the air, no jumping up and down, no gloating and now saying we were devastated the other night, very, very composed and modest.
And I would say if they didn't stay up by a point, which they did, he'd probably been sacked. So that's it's a it's a nice story to take out of that game last night. He is a really good coach.
Yeah, he's a good lad. Erm and you know, as you say, he's a modest lad and and what's good about as you say, he's planning on that. Yeah. Obviously I think the most important thing about a manager is, is having about first of all to have the authority to pick the players you want and then picking the right players. Yeah. I mean he hasn't spent much money even as we know, but he obviously knows a player.
Yeah. You know, yeah. And then when they got him in then they can work on them. You know what I think is appropriate and because I think he's proven himself there, I think they were, they were, they were they had their director football. And because as long as he went down on the on the sheet as the manager, I think you had coach. Yeah. Yeah. But I think they trust him to to to get the players in that he wants.
And obviously once he gets those players in. Yeah. Then he can work on them because if you don't get the players in you want and are not upset, you're not going to be able to, you can work as you like on them. They're not going to be what you want. But he's done a terrific job and he's been a good lad. He's been a modest lad. You didn't they didn't brag about it because we've seen it in the past.
I mean, I've seen managers. They know he had a few shocks that leads the managers to be gone gone nuts. You know, we've watched them last week and they were they didn't do this right. And we worked on it and we did this and we did the other pat themselves on the back. Yeah, not like that at all. Just get on with the job in our next match is a different matter altogether. And they could be on the on the end of a hiding themselves.
So, yeah, there's nothing to be guarded about in football now and now John.
Manchester United and Spurs, historically Spurs have a shocking record at Old Trafford. And in a famous remark, Alex Ferguson, when they were preparing for a match against Spurs and someone expressed a worry, said, look, it's only Spurs. And someone actually on social media last night put up this thing. It's only Spurs. Well, it was only Spurs yesterday, John. That is Manchester United Club is in a bad position. And they've had Ed Woodward as chief executive since 2013, which is seven years now.
And and the club. Unbelievably are in the Champions League, they finished third. I thought Sosa wasn't the right man for the job than when they finished third and did well in the Cubs last year, but said he twice at the end of the season in important games, I thought maybe is the man. And now looking at him, I just feel that he hasn't got the authority and they haven't opened the checkbook and he's been hung out to dry.
I know Roy Keane had always been very supportive of him and Paul scolds who are people who tell it as it is as they see it. But Keane said last week he's in the last chance saloon and he's been put there by the club, really, hasn't he?
Yeah, he's he's well, I never the moment, to be honest, no doubt. I think they needed a hard they needed a young Ferguson. Yeah. I thought content was the man to do it. Yeah. Frankly, I think he's a very, very nice lad. Yeah. But I don't think he has the authority standing. I don't think he's in charge of the buying and selling. For example, I just don't think he's in charge and like it like yesterday was, I think yesterday was a bigger disaster for Manchester United than Liverpool had.
Yeah. Another day for Liverpool and they're obviously but United like they should have been, should be making progress at this particular stage. He had a good run last year when they came in. But again, like they bought Fernandez. Yeah. You know, I don't think he's in charge of that. They're talking about getting Cavani now. Yeah, it was exactly it did. And he's been a great player, but he's right. Yeah. You know, for Manchester United.
And I don't think sars-cov-2 is in charge of that now. And obviously the players, the longer that the club would know. Yeah, it doesn't have to be that hard. I mean, I'd say I've never seen a display by Manchester United when Ferguson was there, even in these early days when he wasn't doing particularly well, it scared the life out of the players. Yeah. You know, and like, I can't see Chelsea are doing that.
I think if it's going OK, it's going OK. But what the way they played yesterday and the lack of discipline in the team. Yeah. Again, probably being involved in that. Yeah. Short. Yeah.
And taken the fella down Maguire on a player they paid 75 million for after Van Dyke had gone to Liverpool and proved himself Maguire. I'd like Maguire last. I thought he was a good player and but for a few months now and he has not been playing well and he's not really been showing the kind of leadership you'd expect. And yesterday I thought he had a very, very poor game. Well, he did.
So did every one of them. And I think that that incident he was in in the summer. Yeah, yeah. Definitely, too. I think what I think is a very, very good player. Yeah. But I think this is a and he definitely hasn't played in recent times, but neither have any of them. I mean, yesterday it was a shambles. Yeah, it was. It just a total shambles. And it shouldn't mean probably given the penalty away.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
And also he was culpable for a surgery on goal, the pass from Holberg in midfield. He went inside him. He was jogging around, not paying attention. I think he really is a disgrace, isn't he?
Shouldn't be there. No. Then again, if you go back to the time, could you imagine Ferguson living with no nasty way he got rid of it just wouldn't happen. I don't think SS has the authority there to say I don't want this fella. Yeah. You know, because there's a commercial interest isn't Raymond and the general shorts and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. So what what would what would be involved. I got the impression is what would that involved in getting the players in and get the players or whatever.
And it's 90 percent of what a manager should be doing. Yes. You know, it shows you how Cavani for example. No, I don't see it. No, I just can't see it. I can't see him being in charge of the situation. And the players over time will know that. I'll tell you, particularly the likes of the advantage of him.
One player I think he does want, he's expressed the desire to get this young guy, Jaiden Sanzio from Dortmund and the other. They wanted Earling Holland, I think Alan's son, who's an outstanding player, but he shares an agent Halland with Pogba and the agent is fighting with Manchester United. And the agent has claimed publicly that he stopped. Highland go into United because he was fighting with the club, that's not a good situation to find yourself in Highlander's world class.
I think that time may prove that. But as you say, if a soldier has no real input into the decisions that have been made about who's coming into the club, he's gone out there, not just are on a slippery slope, aren't they?
Oh, definitely. I mean I mean, everybody expects Manchester United to be up there to be challenged. Liverpool. That's what they expect. His supporters and the club is such a huge club. That's not the case now are a million miles behind Liverpool. Yeah. And they expect to be winning. And again, to transfer our policy, I mean, you've got Fernandes's. A midfield is a very good player. Sandbaggers Vanderveldt. Yeah, Vanderbank. You know, he seems to be a similar type of player development.
And it's it's obviously it's all seem to be forwards at the by and it's not a balance. No plan to me of what they want to bring in. And I don't think that s got has any say in it at all. I really don't. And I feel sorry for them in that respect is important. But I don't think he has the authority there that that. So don't forget the big years payment for 20 odd years wasn't a fraction. Yeah.
There's no doubt he was in charge of the situation. Yeah. And have had a problem and it wasn't he got rid of problem when he was a young fella because he was being too cheeky or whatever, whatever it was.
Well, the chief executive, John, the chief executive and chief executive in the Ferguson area was David Gill. He was a very smart guy. He was very close to Ferguson. They were very close. They did the business together. And you could be sure that David Gill saw his role as chief executive facilitating Ferguson to get what he felt he needed. So he got a list from Ferguson. He'd try to make that happen. And there's no sense at all.
Then Alec going to also is drawing up a list of Zanda like those three guys there.
He's not he's not he's not in charge. There's definitely that was that was the big thing at Manchester United. And Ferguson moved it. Yeah. After a couple of years, he got to go on as we know what killed was his man. I think of it. He said, I want to I'll try and get him for. Yeah. And he was genuinely so he left it to them. There's no doubt that for a good 20 years he was in charge of the situation.
Yes. Up at ninety percent of the job in management of that is having the the authority and the power to bring in the players you want and get rid of the players that you don't want. Yeah, I that is I don't think it's anywhere near a situation at Old Trafford. No. It's going to get the stick for the time.
You know, he's the front man and I noticed on social media last night and that's Marcus Rashford put up an apology on his own Twitter account. He's a good kid. You know, he's led this campaign to get the government to look after poor kids, make sure they get their lunches and all of that. He's a good young man with the right instincts and a very good player. But he apologized and he said, I'm I just know the farmers have felt the need to apologise to the fans.
So and you'd have to say for players brought in like Maguire AM and who are, you know, Manchester lads like Marcus Rashford, it's really, really tough. You put on a red shirt, you're playing for Manchester United, which is something you did, John. The stakes are higher than playing for anyone else. And the expectations are higher, aren't they?
Definitely, yeah. I mean, it's a huge club, obviously one of the biggest clubs in the world. I mean, and it's the fans expect. Yeah. And there's a way to do it. And it's the old fashioned way. Get the manager in that you want and support him as a defense. And I think Chelsea came in. I don't be having to go with him because it seems and flat. And I think he was willing to take the job under any circumstances.
Yes, to be honest. Yeah, I think frags and would have demanded I think my mum would have been content. Yes. To bring in because is the players at that Chelsea didn't like, I mean they only want the league and the seasons because he didn't like his training methods. Yeah, they're tough. That's what he's right. You don't make them tough. Yeah. Get on with it and you're in charge. I can see Chelsea. I'll be in that type of ad.
And then if you've got Woodward and who is in charge of the brain and so on are the incoming and outgoing, then you have a recipe for disaster. And I think that's what that's what's happening now. And you don't have a. Yes, you have the likes of Puglia doing what he wants to do and certain players doing what they want to do, and that doesn't work. It just doesn't work.
OK, Leeds United Front. Yeah. Yeah. They took two points off Manchester City and they have a legendary coach, Marcelo Bielsa. And Argentine Pep Guardiola has said he's the greatest coach in the world and many others have testified to his achievements on the institutions in Argentina are huge.
Now he's got leads into the Premier League and they were really that really exciting. He throws bodies forward and he gets his players very fit. And they gave Manchester City a run for their money, which is quite something, isn't it?
Yeah, yeah. It's I think that's what they're going to be like. And I think that's why we saw him go to Liverpool. Yeah. What do what they do every week, home or away. Yeah. So he's not going to go. He's not going to be defensive. I think there's going to be exciting matches for them. I think, I think they won't be consistent. Aymond Yeah. I think they'll win matches that you think they're never going to win and they lose as much as you think.
They're never going to lose. But they'll be good to watch, that's for sure. There'll be no sitting back and ten players behind the ball and all that. No, I think that's really you put the pressure on them as high up the pitch they can like city started well again and it looked like they were going to get well on top. But let's look at it still carried by by the by the end of the game, you know, they were on top.
So I think it's going to be typical Leeds. And I think what happened was city would be it's going to be typical city. Yeah, they were. They're very poor John now. Yeah. Yeah. They've gone in. Yeah. And from for from winning, winning teams. Well they just yeah.
I mean they haven't really been very adroit in the transfer market and they can't replace Aguero who's still injured and, but is also cracking on and no replacement for David Silva, for example, who was such a wonderful player for them. So the picture looks bleak for the moment.
Firstly, they have I mean, we talked about it the other day when electric company Acquaro, David Sylvia Browne and Sylvia Browne years. But I mean, this is a lot to replace. And yeah, like I think what I find with that has a certain philosophy and it needs the players. You know, its philosophy is not going to change. And he hasn't got the players. Right.
Just a final thought. John Leeds scored three goals downfield and they were, you know, just off from the championship and Aston Villa, who just avoided going into the championship by one point, scored seven against Liverpool. That's 10 goals. Liverpool need to have a look at themselves, don't they?
Oh, yeah, definitely. I'm having to look at yourself. This never ending. You're never you're never satisfied to be fed up. I don't think I don't think he's complacent in any way. Yeah, but that's football, you know. You know, you do brilliantly because you're doing certain things and you only have to to to come back a little bit on what you're doing and. Yeah. To happen. What's happened to Liverpool. Yes. Well, we know they can do it.
I'd be surprised if Trump doesn't get a grip on it and they go to go on from there. I think every so often you probably need something like that. Yeah. To get your back to where you should be because it's not easy week in, week out, much in March to have the attitude that Liverpool had last year. I thought they would take it off straight away. But it's not it's not unusual for it to happen. You've got a couple of kicks up the backside.
Yeah. And you get back to where you should be. And I think that what happened with Liverpool.
OK, John, great to talk to you again after talking to you all day yesterday. Thanks very much for joining us on the stand.
That's John Giles. Great pleasure and a great coach indeed. And a hard man to play for. Uh, he could cut your dad a look. Thanks to John. Thanks to all of you for listening. And, of course, a big thanks to Tasco, our sponsors. That's all we have time for now. We'll talk to you soon. The stand is proudly supported by Tesco at Tesco, our exclusive ours for over 65 family carers and extremely medically vulnerable customers are every weekday, Monday to Friday, up to nine a.m. Health care and emergency services have priority access at all other times.
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