One Mailboxer may have spent lunch in the pub in suggesting Van Persie could go back to Arsenal. Also, some Premier League meh-ing and a fine Acewatch suggestion...
Roy Hodgson is asked the perfect question, Mr Grumpypants is back, Jamie Redknapp hates making comparisons. Plus Ace-watch, you lucky things...
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Starting With A Tale Of Goodwill
As it's Friday, I thought I'd share a tale of goodwill from a club.
I'm an English teacher in a school in Southampton; we have a link with a school in an area of South Africa called Sefoloko. Every two years, we send a delegation of students over to experience life in an African school and they return the favour in the off years. Obviously, financing these trips is a struggle, so our pupils undertake a selection of fundraisers in order to raise the cash to fund themselves and their African counterparts.
Each year they write to a number of companies and football teams for sponsorship/items they can auction etc. This year, only Liverpool Football Club responded and sent them twenty four tracksuits to take over and distribute. Our delegation attempted to give these to certain pupils through the week's visit, and a few pictures show the African pupils proudly displaying their Warrior kits (no gloryholes, luckily). Unfortunately. The teachers then asked the students to remove them and 'put them in a pile' so I hope they stayed with the kids!
In a world where finances rule (and I appreciate this was only a drop in the ocean), it's nice to hear of a gesture because teams do things like this all the time but it often slips under the radar. This wasn't published on the Liverpool website or anything; we only found out during our briefing this morning.
Happy weekend, everyone!
Stu, Southampton (divided loyalties this weekend!)
Tonight I tuned into ITV4 to watch possibly the biggest game in my clubs history, okay fair enough, we've had a few of those in the last couple of years but go with me on this one, 5:30 PM sharp coverage starts for the 6PM kick off and what do I get ... a 10 minute feature on Andros flappin' Townsend. Wait a minute. Is he one of ours? Theirs? No?? Not involved in the fixture in any way? Oh, right, it's like that is it?
Well, maybe we'll fare better in the studio. After all, we ARE playing Valencia. It does promise to be a better game than Spurs vs Tromso, I wonder who they've got in to talk about the Swans today. Is it Big John Hartson? Not great but always nice to see him on the telly to be fair. Maybe it's Chris Coleman, not a bad shout. Oh my, maybe they'll wheel out John Toshack, controversial! No. We get Gus Poyet & Gordon Strachan. Yeah ... cheers lads.
My vitriol is soothed my Michael Laudrup and his dulcet tones. Furthermore, we romp (yes we did a romp!!) to a historic 3-0 win at the Mestalla!! Did you see that free kick?? I'm walking on sunshine, whoooaaaa!!! My grumbles forgotten, I head home, catch the end of the Spurs match and log onto F365 to see the reaction to my teams performance. What do I see? WHAT do I see? "SPURS STROLL TO EASY EUROPA VICTORY" ... I mean, just come the f**k on! Throw us a bone here please!
We did good, right? We entertained you, right? We even brought on Jonjo! You like him!!! So why headline a routine victory for Spurs, where the result was never in doubt, over a genuinely great night for Swansea City Football Club and it's supporters? Other than that, keep up the good work.
Tim James - SCFC
Even More Handsome
Swanseas magnificent 3-0 win away to Valencia last night is the football equivalent of beer goggles. Michael Laudrup instantly became more handsome at the final whistle.
What's The Obsession With Crossing?
If you read the analysis by former 'English' players turned analysts on Chelsea's game (and Man city's season last year) who is not Gary Neville, one thing seems a constant - there is no width in the team. Everyone is packed in the middle and the number of crosses is the least by Chelsea (this season).
Pray might I ask, what is the obsession with crossing among some of these English analysts?. Of all these chaps only Neville picks the right analysis. When Neville spoke about lack of width, he was specifically at overload in the centre and lack of movement by others around the width of the pitch. He even was right on when he said Ivanovic had all the width when someone else could've used it better.
However, take a look at others (do I need to mention names?). The moment Neville spoke of width, all of them hold on to it, forgetting a context and just say, Chelsea do not play with width and no crossing. I am perplexed at the lack of understanding of "width" by these commentators. Fabio capello once said you start crossing the ball when you lose imagination on the pitch. People need to remember that though Fergie's united dwelled on crossing, the idea was simple, get the ball out wide and pick out calculated early crosses (high and low) against merely booting the ball from wide. The two Jamie's (somehow I dislike them both) seem to believe that crossing = booting the ball from wide areas. Unfortunately Chelsea's playing style does not require crossing the ball.
Also continentally across Europe, blind crossing is not the approach of attacking play.
Aravind, CFC, (a fan of Neville the analyst), Chennai
Could someone help me out please?
The hoodoo dictating you should never go back appears now to have struck down none other than Jose Mourinho.
Can anyone think of a top flight manager who has returned to his previous club for a second stint and proved successful?
At the moment I have compiled the following list all of whom were a bit rubbish:
Mike Walker (Norwich)
Kevin Keegan (Newcastle)
Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)
Howard Kendall (Everton)
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Lucky To Have Jose
I know it's fashionable to kick a person when he is down and that's what is happening here. He's arrogant , full of himself and many more things but no doubt he's one of the best in this world for managing any football club and I will not exchange him for any other manager.
There are people like Hiddnik , Carlo , Cappelo who are in same league as Jose and they are much better than Jose for image of your football club but for footballing reasons Jose is not less than any of them.
We might be down right now but see you in few months time when most of you will be regretting that we have Jose .
What Player Defines Their Team?
What player really sums up their team? Not in a sense that Gerrard represents Liverpool, but what players shares the most characteristics with his team?
Arsenal - Walcott. F365 asked whether Walcott has progressed to the Gunners level or whether they have declined to his? As ever the truth is somewhere in the middle; Walcott is undoubtedly talented, and capable of mixing it with the best on occasion. But, he also obviously has his flaws, is too one dimensional (pace for Walcott, tippy tappy passes for Arsenal) to ever be right at the top. Also seems to be a form player / team; would anyone be surprised if Arsenal suddenly didn't win for 4 games?
Spurs - Eriksen. Been promising big things for a few years but has been unable to make the final step. This season Erikson has moved to a major league / Spurs have signed some very good players, but nobody is really sure how it will work out. Likely to be entertaining but probably fall slightly short (much like Erikson) of achieving this seasons aims. Young and full of promise though, seems to be a club / player who need a strong couple of seasons to justify the continued hype?
UTD - Rooney. A really divisive figure; is he world class or a fat scouser who the media inexplicably rate? Same with UTD, are they now just a collection of ordinary players that Sir Alex has left, or are they still top dogs? Most reasoned people acknowledge that there is undoubted talent in there, but does it get out often enough? Jon Nicholson said Rooney seems to have less 4 or 9's these days, and has added a bit of consistency; any club that regularly fields Valencia and Young isn't going to be overly exciting to watch. Then again Rooney and RvP up front is pretty tasty. So, much like Rooney, UTD can be a 4 or a 9 for entertainment
City - Joe Hart. Was quite well liked when they burst on the scene since he seemed to have real potential and fan were glad to have another team that could compete in the league. A few years down the line and people now moan about the money City have, and laugh at Hart for being a bit shit, but fret when he is playing for England. Seems good enough to play in the Premier League, but can he / they cut it at the elite level?
Chelsea - Terry; complete spud - nowhere near as good as they think they are, gobby, basically all the bad words you can think of. Also much more frail of late, which is funny for most people
Jack (Eddie Murphy is making music again, although for some inexplicable reason he doesn't want to go back to his 80's Rick James inspired heyday) Manchester
Well, This Just Won't Work
I have a simple and effective way of solving the problem of playing the world cup in the winter, the lack of time the international managers get with their players and the club v country problem all in one. Simple make the international team purely out of players that are out of contract. There were loads of players released this summer of various ages that would no doubt love to play for England or their respective countries as a show peice for their talent, the international managers could have the players round for training every day, the clubs would not mind as they didnt want them and the international matches could take place at the same time as the domestic leagues. Of course it would be interesting to see if the superstars gave up their contracts to play for their country (doubt it) but then that is only the same as the players picking up a knock the week before an international when they or their club dont fancy the trip.
Michael (The clubs have more fans and more money so why do people say the world cup is the top competition give me the Champions league any day ofver the world cup) Piggott
He Only Liked Their Early Stuff
Reading Ed, Weymouth's suggestion that Real Betis, amongst others, would be a better choice for the footballing hipster 13/14 pleased me no end, sat as I am resplendent in my Betis shirt bought on a trip to Seville in 2006. It's even earned me a couple of beers from the odd Betis fan whose path I happen to cross.
I now feel a bit of a dick, for making this public online. It's nothing more than someone commenting on youtube below a music video, that 'i heard this aaaages ago i'm soooo cool'.
But it's true.
Man Complaining About The Use Of The Word Hipster Uses The Word Hipster Three Times In One Line
Is there any way you could try and stop people going on about f*cking hipsters? Hipster is such a hipster word.
Further to, and in direct contradiction to me previous mail, would Swansea be a German hipster's choice of football viewing?
A West Wing Reference Inside A Mail About A West Wing Reference. Nice
One West Wing reference - as provided by Stu, Chiswick - yesterday, can be seen as good form, but the hidden second (his last line, courtesy Delores Landingham) can only be seen as genius.
To anyone who hasn't seen The West Wing - watch it. Watch it now. All of it. Or I'll put snakes in your car. You're never gonna know where they are. Or if you've got em all. Gonna lay eggs right in your glovebox.
So please watch it, I only have so many snakes.
Hulk = Hulk
...Footballers as superheroes: Ashley Young = Spiderman. Shoots a [censored]
...Surely Jonjo Shelvey is Gambit.
You're never quite sure who's side he's on.