Sorry Pogba, but it's time for you to leave
I saw that in Chinatown last week.
It was an uncle at People’s Park Complex going on and on about the government and how it has failed the people, screaming at no one and everyone all at once.
We saw it again at Anfield last night: Pep with that same madness in his eyes as he gesticulated with two fingers shooting up into the Merseyside sky.
The Manchester City boss was livid about being denied two handball penalties as his team fell 3-1 to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the Premier League’s top of the table clash. But even in his madness – or perhaps because of it – Pep spoke simple truths.
“We lost because they scored three goals and we scored one,” he said after the game.
Duh. Thanks, Captain Obvious.
But as Pep continued – like several rants from seemingly loony individuals in Chinatown – truth rang true.
He asserted that City showed why they were back to back champions, and he was right - they certainly bossed Liverpool around with swagger and panache when the game started.
Unfortunately for Pep, that lasted all of six minutes.
Because once Fabinho opened the scoring for the Reds with a thunderbolt, and Mo Salah doubled their lead to put the home team 2-0 up after just 13 minutes, there was only ever going to be one winner.
Liverpool are ruthless. And as Pep moved to explain, stubbornly consistent.
“You can’t deny how good they are, the way they play, create chances, and the personality to play (like that) all the time,” he said. And again he is right.
Liverpool’s 34 points are twice as many as any team outside the top four in the league. And this is just 12 games into the season. They’ve already beaten Leicester City, Chelsea, Tottenham – that still counts for something, I think, even though Spurs are closer to the relegation zone than the top four – and Arsenal.
Speaking of Arsenal, their fans are now getting antsy because Liverpool look like they could go on to match the Gunners’ record of going an entire league season without tasting defeat. Arsenal were the first team to manage that feat in England in 115 years when they did it in 2003, and to wrench even that from them would be cruel – they’ve got Xhaka, Ozil and Emery to deal with, don’t they?
“Anfield is the most difficult stadium in the world now,” declared Pep. And the statistics back Pep’s assertion about Anfield - the last time Liverpool were beaten at home in the league or Europe, was in April 2017.
A fortress at home, talent combined with desire, and an ability to score even with backs against the wall. There you have it folks, Pep’s concession speech. Ivan called it way back in September and few believed him then, but maybe more would believe our gold-maned oracle now, even if he isn’t shouting it out in the middle of a bar.
Pep said there are still seven months of football left to play, but watch his eyes – and his defeated shoulders – as he says those words.
I’d personally like to hear an angry rant from a Man City fan, because you can be sure Mike Riley and his VAR folks are going to get an earful, but we still haven’t managed to track down any of the five Man City fans in Singapore.
But maybe we should just leave these tirades packed with wholesome truthful goodness to Pep. Even before the Anfield loss, he did say – magically without even saying Sadio Mane’s name – that the forward was a diver.
And he wasn’t wrong, was he? Mane did dive, to head the ball and score Liverpool’s third goal on a night that will be remembered for Pep’s two raised fingers, and Liverpool putting one hand on the Premier League trophy.