Degsy is tipping Spurs to pile more pressure on Nigel Pearson with a 3-0 win at Leicester on Boxing Day. He also predicts easy wins for United and Arsenal...
One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Divock Origi = Connor Sammon
I'm sure that I'm not alone in the mailbox in questioning the wisdom of the recent transfer of Divock Origi to Liverpool. However the discussions I've seen so far seem to have been fairly subjective - as such I'm going to turn to our old friend statistics to help bring some objectivity to the debate.
As we all know, Origi spent last season at Lille in the French Ligue 1, playing 35 games and scoring 6 goals. According to http://comparetheleagues.com/european-league-stats/second-divisions/ , Ligue 1 is statistically very similar to the UK Championship, across a whole range of criteria (the number of goals per game, number of 0-0 draws, split of home wins vs away wins, average player ages, etc.) As such one could say that Origi has essentially proven that he can score at a rate of a goal every 6 games in a side that would be competitive in the Championship. Based on that, the only silver lining I can see from the 10m price tag is that it makes Ross McCormack look like a bargain. To really stretch this comparison to breaking point, last season Lille finished third in Ligue 1, while Derby finished third in the Champo with Conor Sammon (signed for £1.2m) scoring at a similar rate to Origi.
Subjectively however, I do have eyes and watch football - and although I (also) only saw him at the World Cup, I thought Origi looked bright and lively (even being the only player to attempt anything resembling football in the worst match of all time, Belgium v Russia.) As such I am looking forward to some healthy rebuttals of this dry statistical review, preferably with interactive pie charts.
Terry Hall, Switzerland
Swearing Is Outlawed, But Ignored
Good points from Kiwi Colin. However his example of a player possibly being penalised for swearing at the ref, is a bit of a red herring.
There is already a provision in the rules for this;
Law 12: Fouls & Misconduct, under Sending Off Offences: 'Using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures'
As any Sunday League player can tell you (I certainly can) even saying "Oh FFS ref" which isn't actually abusive language AT the ref per se, will get you red carded. 100% guaranteed
So when a player, let's pick one at random, ooh, I dunno, say Wayne Rooney, can quite clearly be seen to shout "F*** off ref!" AT the ref, the law quite categorically states he should be sent off.
No ifs, no buts. It's such a clear cut and black and white rule that even SAF in his pomp couldn't argue against it (except perhaps as a Glaswegian he could argue an F-bomb isn't foul language at all).
The problem? There is obviously a earnings/fame threshold beyond which this rule no longer applies to a player. It would help immeasurably if the FA would let us know where it is. 5K a week? Inside back cover feature in the Sun? As a shlubb of player who had to PAY 10 quid a week subs, obviously I got what I deserved.
So as with most things in public life, rather than hand-wringing over 'what can be done', we could try enforcing the clear rules we actually have and see where that gets us to and THEN start fretting. (see also "Consistency: Pleas for...")
All it would take is for the Ref's governing body to say to all the teams "You see that rule we've had for ages? This season were actually enforcing that now, so tell your players there's zero tolerance on this. See you on the pitch in a few weeks" Then no manager could back their players for the inevitable couple of reds we see in the first few weeks before it dies out completely after a fortnight.
However, I won't be holding my breath, or even swearing under it, for that to happen.
Dom S, Kent
League-Owned Clubs Doesn't Work
Quick point regarding the discussion on league-owned clubs from Tony (Melbourne City), there was a glaring contradiction in his mail. Firstly, as I understand, a league owned club would be solely for the benefit of the players, more specifically the British players to benefit the home nations, so it should have nothing to do with finances really. Secondly the league owns the club so the club is not run by a company whose sole purpose is to make a profit, which is what every single club does, make no mistake. By stabilising the club and thus making them more attractive to potential buyers the league would effectively be doing just that, in fact they would effectively be doing all the dirty work, and if they did it 'not for profit' they'd be effectively taken for mugs.
The chance for a club to be run purely for the benefit of football and all that is good and honest and decent about the national game has sailed my friends, it's now as mythical as Unicorns, Leprechauns and Eskimos. Moralising over the continuing demise of clubs all over the country is pointless. They are businesses now not clubs, prone to the same pitfalls that face every business, which was nicely pointed out by our vexillologically challenged Luton fan Jim Bags in his post pub quiz missive.
Chad and Romania have the same flag you know. Not just a pretty face me.
Chris ITFC, Liverpool
Grudging Respect To Chelsea
If Lukaku goes to Everton for the £25million being touted, you have to hand it to whomever is looking after the Chelsea transfer business. They put absolutely nothing into his career development in reality, the same goes for Courtois, De Bruyne, and they are now reaping maximum benefit from this.
On the one hand it completely and utterly stinks, on the other it's business and part of the grubby side of football. I'd like to see something along the lines of loanee clubs getting recompense if a player is subsequently sold had a high price, as they have done the work that Chelsea just are not arsed doing.
At least the likes of Everton and Southampton, even when they get their players from elsewhere, attempt to train them up and get them into their first team. Chelsea is buy relatively high, let someone else do the work and pay the wage, and sell even higher.
Brendan Rodgers - "You can attract a higher calibre of player when you play in the champions league"
Players bought so far (courtesy of F365)
Rickie Lambert (£4m, Southampton)
Adam Lallana (£25m, Southampton)
Emre Can (£10m, Bayer Leverkusen)
Lazar Markovic (£20m, Benfica)
Dejan Lovren (£20m, Southampton)
Divock Origi (£10m, Lille).
Goodness knows who they would have signed if they finished 5th
I just wanted to end the bring back standing areas debate.
I went to the Imtech Arena in Hamburg on Saturday and I'm still knackered now on Wednesday. I have looked at all the possibilities and it has come down to that it must be the standing for two games in a row.
You should all have to suffer this before wading in on the debate... It was definitely not because of two nights on the Reeperbahn and all the Duckstien that was drunk combined with my age. Nope.
Seyi, LFC... Doesn't get much stranger than Cork City's crest which is an elderly couple having a picnic under a tree with a peacock looking on from behind a nearby hedge.
Hence their nickname. The Curious Peacocks.
Strange place, Cork.
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach.
Sharing Your Tedious Anecdotes
Yesterday evening, I was leaving work and happened to spot the one and only Stevie G walking down the street.
Apparently, Liverpool are staying in a hotel across the street from my office while they are here in NYC, so I took the opportunity to wish him luck for the season ahead. He thanked me, and kept walking next to me. I then told him that as much luck as I wish him, it doesn't matter because Chelsea are winning the league this year.
He chuckled, and he said to me "Isn't Lamps around here, why don't you go talk to him." He then ran across the street into the safety of his hotel before I could come up with a response.
Education To Perform
Many thanks to the mailbox for teaching me something new today. Enjoyed the story of "Romulus and Remus"