Degsy's is back in sparkling form after his sister's A Levels results. He fancies Chelsea at odds against and Aaron Ramsey to keep his goalscoring touch...
He's the gravelly-voiced one, a manager that seems to remain calm and maintains an admirable amount of self-awareness in his job. He is Sean Dyche...
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Spurs A Small Step Up
So...Poch is off. My thoughts from a Saints perspective...
1) Spurs are only a minor step up. There are only a few of their players I'd take over the existing Saints squad. I'd understand more if it was for a CL team. He would have done better to get Saints into Europe (feasible) and go to a big club next season.
2) He introduced a cerebral philosophy to the club which all players bought into. Attacking with geggenpressing. His replacement must be of a similar way of coaching. Murat Yakin would be ideal although I realise that CL clubs will probably have first dibs on him. Cortese always spoke about 'The Southampton Way'. If this is it then the good work must be continued even if the board see it as another man's vision.
3) Poch's key attribute was his ability to keep the team in place. Shaw is great money for a teenager, take it. I would say keep Lallana at all costs but I can understand that at 26 it is now or probably never for a CL club. After that we need to fight to keep Lovren, Schneiderlein, J-Rod, Clyne etc. the only way they can go is for extortionate fees. We don't need the money and they are under long term contracts (which works both ways...if they broke their leg and took 2 years to get form back they would still get paid).
4) Poch wasn't the messiah. The right coach at the right time - yes, but not the only one who can bring success. His record in the transfer market was iffy. Lovren was an excellent signing but Wanyama still has much to prove and Osvaldo...well, a violent disaster is an appropriate term.
5) If we get Tim Sherwood I will cry. It would be like the idiot kids who used to phone Saturday morning swapshop trying to trade a Chopper for a Space Hoppper.
6) Chin up...4 players in the U19 England squad. Plenty more talent on the way.
Is Pochettino The Right Man?
So Spurs seem to be on the verge of appointing a manager who had a 32 % win rate at Espanyol and has had one season of reasonable success at Southampton, taking them to eighth (but nothing more than Hughes used to do at Blackburn and indeed did at Stoke this season).
Whilst achieving this brilliant eighth place he brought in Pablo/ Dani Osvaldo for 15 million as well as Victor Wanyama for around 12, so he was hardly working on a shoestring budget.
I'm not saying that Pochettino is not a good manager, it's clear that he is tactically astute. I am just struggling to believe that they would want to (again) bring in a manager who has never brought a club Champions League football nor managed in aforementioned competition and task him with getting them into it.
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before
Albert T, Cape Town AFC
What If Spurs Had Been Patient?
After a truly fantastic weekend of football, which saw plenty of late drama, the only words that came to my mind was what if...
What if Bobby Zamora didn't smash in that late winner, what if Atletico had put someone on the far post, but most importantly what if Spurs has kept their best talent at the club.
It was no doubt a difficult weekend for Rams fans and Atletico fans alike but to watch three former Tottenham employees raise silverware must have been a bitter pill to swallow for Spurs fans.
Say what you want about the man, but Henry James Redknapp is a born winner. He proved his credentials once again by leading QPR back into the premier league. That is quite an accomplishment for a man who can barely write. You can say what you want about money but we all know if doesn't guarantee success, but Redknapp track record shows that where ever he goes he achieves his goals.
The moral dilemma, which clubs find themselves in when a player wants a move is one that has been thrown into spotlight recently. Is it right for a club to deny a player a move to a club like Real Madrid when the offer comes along? Some would argue that to deny a player the chance to play at such a historic club is wrong, but if a player is under contract at a club they should be obligated to fulfill their agreement.
Watching Luka Modric pull the strings in midfield and Bale scoring the crucial goal that sealed La Decima for Real offered a glimpse of what could have been for Tottenham Hotspurs had they had more conviction. It also begs to question when will Tottenham see their rewards from their "partnership" for Real.
Brian (How fantastic was Angel Di Maria) LFC
Welbeck to Everton. With Lukaku probably gone, it's a natural fit, and then we'll see what he can do. I'd back him for 15 goals at least.
PeterG, Pennsylvania, USA
Ramos: Not A Deity
A deity - a frickin deity?!?!
Granted he came up with a goal the other night and came up with two against Bayern. However let's stop bandwagon right there - hes good don't get me wrong but I can think of plenty of better defenders when they were 28 and in their prime (Ferdinand, Campbell, Cannavaro, Stam, Hierro, Vidic, Puyol, Silva, Kompany and of course Maldini).
I watched the game and it was the Ramos I've always seen. He has some great attributes (fast, strong, combative etc) and along with Bale was probably one of the most athletically gifted players on the pitch. However despite that I can't help but think he doesn't exude the authority or composure that great defenders do, positionally he's sometimes suspect and when Real were chasing the game he gave the ball away because he rushed. Had Diego Costa remained on the pitch it would've been interesting.
I'd put Ramos in the same category of someone like Ayala or Hyppia but not someone like Cannavaro or Stam. Just because he plays for a great club doesn't make him a great defender.
Ibrahim (Maldini - now that's a proper defender) Ali Khalid
...I hope I'm not alone on this. I think I scanned Dave, Dublin's mail on Sergio Ramos about three times but alas there was no sarcasm. "When you are looking around for heroes and men to rely on, look no further than big Sergio". Sergio Ramos 19 red cards in his Real career, 19. That would make even Mick Hucknall blush. The most sent off player in the club's history. He can be relied upon for something alright.
Damien (I'll keep holding on) Quill
Not A Simeone Fan
I could not have said it better myself in describing my own feelings around Diego Simeone - this is the guy who worked hard at getting our boy Beckham sent off (yes I may be opening that old chestnut) but the guy was a bully then as a player and is not some kind of second coming as a coach either. His team went around the park at the CL final like they were a parks team from years gone by (glimpses of their ability were outshone by the thugishness).
I for one am happy for the Real bandwagon to get to La Decima, not just for Ancelotti, but because we do not have to listen to quite as much circle jerking praise for someone who will be back in the ranks next season, and that depends on how much of a touchline ban he gets for the ridiculous remonstrations at the end of the CL final.
Paul - (England go out on penalties again in the quarter finals)
No To Extra Subs
Nope, don't agree with an extra extra time sub, what is another 30 minutes? Why not just play for the draw after the 90 and then throw on a fresh pair of legs to win the game, instead of being tactical about your subs, if you want to throw on a new player in extra time, you have to gamble on being able to holdout if not win at the end of 90 minutes, throw on 3 bodies before it is up and you might get the victory, but if your opponent makes only 1 or 2 subs, with 1 left over for extra, that is the risk for going for glory.
If a game in the world cup goes into extra time and Italy make 3 subs before 90, against, Spain, who have only made 1 sub, it will be intriguing seeing how both sides do when surely 2 new guys will come onto the pitch, making Spain favourites for the rest of the tie. They wouldn't ever change the rule anyway, so that's that.
Can anybody explain why teams resort to playing long balls in the last 5 minutes if they're losing? If you think that maximises your chances of scoring, why waste your time doing something else for the other 85 minutes?
Obviously it makes sense to have a plan B, but generally switching to that plan is a calculated decision based on the flow of the game, rather than just sticking your centre back up front and playing Hail Mary.
This has always confused me and watching the league 2 play-off final today reminded me, so any suggestions?