It really is very easy to be a football manager these days. After all, there is a famous game that makes you into one. In fact, to take that ‘logic’ one step further, all you have to do is watch international tournaments and then make the necessary corrections on what should have happened during the club season. Well. That’s exactly what is happening with certain Liverpool stars who are shining bright at Euro 2020. Gini Wijnaldum, anyone? Xherdan Shaqiri? After all, both have been named in UEFA’s Fantasy Team of the Group Stage. The clue is in the title. That’s it. That’s exactly it. “Fantasy.”
Wijnldum’s three goals at Euro 2020 make Liverpool fans quietly seethe
Why is it that the Dutchman, that ex-Liverpool player now, always makes goal-scoring look so easy for his national side? Different roles, son. Different strokes. PSG have got themselves a good man, a great midfielder and that is all there is to it, apart from a sense of regret that the Reds do not yet have a ready-made replacement for such an experienced player. The idea that rewriting history (and Wijnaldum’s role) would have made Liverpool even better is tiresome.
Shaqiri always shows up for Switzerland
Shaqiri’s powerhouse performance against Turkey was eyecatching. For a start, the Swiss could easily have bagged himself four goals rather than two. Shaqiri has a habit of playing a starring role for his country in major tournaments and this was no exception. He produced a trademark curler into the top corner and finished off a sweeping move with an expert finish despite the bobble of the ball. This was Big Shaq unleashed at full throttle in a must-win game. When he sits down with his agent after the tournament, there may still be a place at the table for him under Jurgen Klopp.. He does stuff. When he plays, he assists. Let’s not pretend that he was being held back. Injuries have stopped him at Anfield. Klopp didn’t. Well, apart from that curious substitution against Southampton….
Everything is always different with hindsight. We have time to rewrite the rules. We see an international tournament and, suddenly, the same characters that are judged week in week out at Premier League level have the nerve and tenacity to shine for their countries. The sheer cheek of it! Must be that Jurgen Klopp got it completely wrong.
Klopp: football isn’t Playstation
Klopp once lost his cool with the clamour to play his cards differently after a 0-0 draw with Everton in 2019: “An extra attacker just to go wild? You think it’s like PlayStation; bring on an extra attacker and football changes? It’s not like that. We are offensive enough. Football doesn’t work like that. We don’t lose our nerve. “ He knows. Let him get on with it.”