The return of Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo's partnership should have provided City with a huge boost on Wednesday. Instead, their title hopes are left in tatters...
Liverpool v Chelsea will be billed as the title decider but nine days later the Reds face Crystal Palace. They're undergoing a Pulis revolution, as Roberto Martinez will tell you...
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Anybody else suspect that any one of Kleberson (34), Eric Djemba-Djemba (32), and Liam Miller (32) would be a better player in United's midfield than Fellaini?
Spurs = QPR
There are so many similarities between QPR last year and Spurs this it is amazing.
1) A large cash injection
2) Tons of players bought on reputation and given eye-watering contracts
3) Manager struggling to integrate all the new signings
4) Fans and board turn on manager due to bad results
5) Manager gets sacked
6) Harry Redknapp becomes manager and promises to win the league
7) Spurs get relegated
Oh, sorry did I get carried away?
JazGooner (neighbourhood watch)
Something About Suits
All this talk of Spurs having a positive net spend really does my brain in.
The fact is, however you dress it up, they have spent £100 million, on dross. Yes, they did get a whole portion of that back when they sold Bale, but the fact is, they spent £100 million, and should be getting a lot more for their money.
Allow, me to give you an example if you will..
I walk into a suit shop on Saville Row, and spend £2000 on a new suit. I then sell an old more expensive suit for £2200. I have still had to spend that £2000, and it should look and perform like a £2000 suit, much better than a £150 suit from M&S, but ultimately, I have a positive net spend.
Now say this suit started falling apart and not worth the money I had paid for it. According to the logic of Spurs fan's because I sold my old suit, and recouped the outlay I made in purchasing the new one, the £2000 suit is somehow excused from being crap and that I should give it some time to become what I was charged for.
Might have got a bit side tracked here, but the fact is, Spurs were definitely seen coming and are paying the price for it now, with some pretty poor performances.
I'd be interested to know if the Spurs fans think it will all come good, or do they secretly know it will continue in this vein and they will be lucky to scrape a Europa spot.
Hey, Don't Be Annoyed
I was annoyed last night at the Hawthornes, I was annoyed on the way home, and I'm still annoyed now, so I'm hoping you'll publish this so that my rant can be aired and so I can see there is anybody out there that agrees with me on a few things.
Firstly, I should point out that it wasn't the result that annoyed me. Whilst throwing away a 2 goal lead is obviously not ideal, our 2 goals came from Villa being poor at the back and Villa's came from us sitting back for too long. Jonas Olson has been on the decline for a few seasons now and the man gives me kittens, rabid, scratchy kittens whenever he's on the ball near our area. That along with the fact Goran Popov not only spits like a camel but also has the touch of one made for nervous viewing. After Shane put us 2 up, Sessegnon missed a few sitters and from there we let Villa back into the game, and fair play to them for pulling it back.
Anyway, as I said, the score didn't annoy me, but football in general is now what annoys me. We were going into this game unbeaten in our last 5 meetings with Villa, above them (only on goal difference admittedly) in the league and with a better run of form, and yet all around me was negative attitudes of "wouldn't surprise me if they did us over". What is the point in going to watch your team every week if you're just going to be a pessimist about it constantly? The only responses I got from people I asked were "well we're West Brom it's what we do". Pathetic if you ask me.
Also, are most football fans absolute f*****g children? I don't mean to come across as patronising but I think if you're at the ground you support your team, whether they be ahead or behind. Now Villa were a noisy bunch until the first goal went in, then went completely silent until their first goal went in. At this point, the Baggies fans shut up promptly and we then had to listen to the Villa fans telling us we had sh*t support. I don't know what hurt me more, the fact that this was such clear hypocrisy, or the fact that whenever away fans sing about this I can't help but agree.
FINALLY, we have a team that are pretty good with the ball at their feet (Mulumbu, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Morrison, Long etc.) yet all we do every week is hoof the ball long for 4ft 2" Shane to chase around until he's knackered. Pointless. And why Mulumbu never gets a look in for African player of the year I don't know. Outstanding with the ball at his feet and in the tackle week in week out, yet bench warmer Victor Moses is shortlisted?
Anyway, anybody else slowly but surely just getting annoyed with football? Maybe I'd just had a bad day.
All Part Of The Plan
An interesting point made by Henry M. Wouldn't it be delicious if Lukaku's goals helped Everton to continue to take points of Chelsea's rivals to the extent that they eventually finish above Chelsea ? It's a long shot but please let it be so.
Tables Are Turning
According to 'Brad, THFC', though things may appear dire, relative to corresponding fixtures last season Spurs are actually 3 points better off. In contrast, with their bright start Arsenal are actually 3 points worse off than last season in corresponding fixtures. Yes, that's actually a 6 point swing towards Spurs!
But we're only a third of the way through the season; extrapolating, there's going to be an almighty 18 point swing towards Spurs come May. Taking into account Arsenal's one point edge last season, all signs point to Spurs finishing 17 points above them.
Damn I wish I was a Spurs fan right now.
Remembering Bill Foulkes
Could I just pay tribute to Bill Foulkes, who has sadly died aged 81. My Dad watched Man United throughout the late 50s and 60s, and of all the true legends at the club in that time, it was Foulkes he always talked about. Bill was a true man of the people, doing his full day shift in a colliery before heading to football training in the evening. He was quiet, unassuming, yet as Bobby Charlton said, he was as "tough as teak", and having escaped the plane crash in Munich, he went back to the burning wreckage to look for survivors. Two weeks later he was back playing for United- defiantly standing up for the club he loved. We loved him back- and our thoughts are with his family at this time.
Why Do West Ham Fans Boo Lampard?
As a Chelsea fan I was quite happy with the weekends result. It's also always very enjoyable seeing Frankie Lampard score goals. However the reason for the email was to ask a question to the mailbox. Although there are usually some pretty out there opinions you do usually get some good football thoughts too. So my question which is directed to all/any West Ham fans.
Why do you dislike Frank Lampard so much? Now this is genuine question, from digging around and listening to various people in the media all I can ascertain is that,
1- you didn't like him when he played for you because he wasn't good enough and only got in the team with his dad and uncle being the manager and assistant?
2 - Another thought is that you didn't like the fact he left to join Chelsea? But then this doesn't really make sense as Joey Cole always got a great welcome back.
So come on West Ham fans enlighten me as really am interested to know. Or is it simply the pantomime villian?
Paul - CFC
Erm, your list of golden oldies didn't have Gary Mac on it? Instead of retiring at 35 he joined a new club, won three trophies in two years - scoring in two finals, and MotM in one - and is credited with being the managers "most inspirational signing." As a side note, Ryan Giggs is now half a decade older than Gary was when he joined Liverpool. Looks like being a veggie and doing yoga pays off.
...I'm sure you're going to get a mass flood of these. But surely a Mr R. Giggs of Manchester be on this list.
Since turning 30 the man has;
5 Premier League titles,
1 FA Cup Medal,
3 League Cup medals,
1 European Cup medal (along with 2 more runners up medals)
And 1 FIFA Club World Cup Medal
Add to that 2 Appearences in the PFA Team of the year, a PFA Players' Player of the Year award and was included in the PFA Team of the Century.
Just to add to that, he's 40 next week and still going..........well just about. Hell even I've taken up Yoga because of him.
Happy Birthday Giggsy
John (I was 10 when Giggs made his debut, I retired from Sunday League at 33 and the old bugger has still outlasted me!) Goy
It's a moment I thought would never arise but I have to disagree with Johnny Nic on his opinion of the "horror tackle" on Suarez. While it's true that modern football often dramatizes it's talking points beyond reason, that tackle by Mirallas was genuinely a horror tackle.
Suarez had picked up a knock on his right knee before the challenge something that hasn't been noted in the numerous match reports and press releases around the issue. Everyone and their mothers could see the guy was struggling, with the commentator echoing the fear that struck every Liverpool supporter at the thought of Suarez being injured.
Then Mirallas comes in with a ridiculous tackle, eyes miles away from the ball, and hits the same knee that Suarez was limping on. Personally I love a "let 'em know you're there" hard challenge, but when that happened I honestly thought Suarez was done for.
So as a singular incident the tackle was a extremely bad tackle, but given the context of the situation it definitely qualifies as a horror tackle. Luckily Suarez is built like a pit bull terrier... with rabies.
Sid, LFC (How do you make 2 different players bleed and stay on the pitch?)
Thoughts On A Wee Trip To Barcelona
Ok a little later after the weekend but I only got back from a two night visit to Barcelona last night. Having been to a fair few grounds in the UK, this was our first trip abroad to watch football. Barcelona inevitably trounced Granada 4 v 0, although sadly none of bets came in as I was hoping for something more like a cricket score to really profit from my miserly 50p bets. I guess the plan in this letter (in the hope it does get published) is to form a few conclusions from our trip - 16 conclusions if you will, but probably a lot less of them. So here goes...
1. Nou Camp is truly massive. Yes an obvious one, I would imagine anyone suffering from a fear of heights would have found it really tough. I haven't googled it, but the top of the open stadium is on a par with the nearby tower blocks (50 metres up??); when you take to your seat high up in the stand then the men on the pitch below seem like little dots. We could just make out the shirt numbers but we were nowhere close enough to make out the faces. Also, being so high up, there was no protection from the wind whatsoever. I'd rather optimistically worn shorts when we flew out, which was fine during the early afternoon, but at the end of the game, I was literally shivering.
2. The games are truly family friendly.
3. It would have been easy to just turn up and buy tickets (purely dependent on the quality of the opposition I imagine). The attendance was around 71,500 compared to a maximum of 100,000.
4. Surprising how many people of all different countries were in attendance. Just some of the people I walked past, sat near etc included an elderly retired American couple, a young German couple and a gang of British lads.
5. Of all the irritating people you inevitably hear at a football game, the most irritating people were the Brits. Yes mate, your friend "Hammill" was sat no more than 50 yards away, but why would you keep trying to grab his attention by repeatedly shouting his name during the whole game? Luckily the two chaps moved - presumably closer to Hammill.
6. The food of choice at the Nou Camp? Popcorn. And nuts. Lots of it. The nearest chap, sat for the whole 90 minutes shelling nuts. By the end of the game (this is no exaggeration) there was an outline of where his feet had been and all around him was a sea of nut shells about 2 inches deep.
7. Well Granada had their moments, but were largely pinned to their own half. Their number 9 & 10 caught the eye but they had no chance really.
8. Iniesta absolutely drove the game. He had the ball most of the time.
9. Even though Iniesta had the ball pretty much continuously, Barce lacked guile and penetration at times. The final ball was not great.
10. Neymar had a stinker.
11. The referee was horrendous. Would blow the whistle at everything. Barce had the ball in the back of the net at one stage, but the referee brought play back to award them a free kick instead.
12. Football is their religion, Nou Camp is their temple and Messi is their God. Much of the museum is dedicated to the little man. I observed to my friend that there was nothing on Figo (one reference on a wall to those that have won the Balon D'Or in Barce colours). Remembering back to the Pig's head incident, I am wondering whether the museum may have once been geared towards Figo. If any readers ever went to the museum circa 1999, can anyone confirm? If Messi ever did leave Barcelona, they would have to virtually rebuild their museum.
13. Messi's feet are tiny. His football boots in the museum are no bigger than a child's.
14. As the players walk down the tunnel and out onto the pitch there is church as you proceed down the steps. This is where the opposition go prior to the game I expect.
15. Would definitely do this type of thing again - awesome weekend. Although not my first visit to Barcelona, it's my first foreign weekend dedicated to football. I would love to do the Barce weekend again, but with so many fab teams across Europe, am thinking maybe Bayern Munich next year. Anyone else regularly do this type of thing - any good suggestions?
Thanks for listening.