That's the difference between him and someone like Cristiano Ronaldo - his body just isn't right. We have mails on him, Sparky, Brendan Rodgers and the Europa Lge...
Nice one UEFA, but not far enough. We have some ideas to make the Europa League better as well as more views on Wayne Rooney, Vermaelen in midfield and...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Adkins' sacking is most certainly ludicrous, but a non-Saints fan in my office just came out with an overreaction that made me LOL, ROFL and LMAO. On hearing the news, Marcus shook his head in disbelief and muttered "Football has lost its soul".
[_] Harsh and ill-advised
[X] Death of football as we know it
Scott (Joining Robby DM in the lil' dugout in the sky), London
Are Southampton owned by a Portsmouth fan with a sick sense of humour?
An open letter to all Southampton fans,
You are right to feel angry. The sacking of a great manager, a manager who turned around the fortunes of your club should not have happened. Southampton have been somewhat of a second team for me for years now so I too was left puzzled as to why Adkins was sacked.
However, please do not pull a Chelsea. On Monday, sing a song for Adkins, but greet your new manager as one of your own. Get behind your team. Do not create a hostile atmosphere in which your players feel uncomfortable playing in. Your club, at the moment, is teetering on the brink of relegation. However, it is my belief that the southampton squad has enough quality to survive. Make sure it is not the discontent of the fans that proves to be the straw that breaks the camels back.
Adkins you extremely unfortunate man.
Cian M Dublin
A Boycott Coming?
Bad decisions can be made by anyone. It could be a fan-owned club or a billionaire, bad decisions can and will be made at football clubs. However, this decision by our Chairman Nicola Cortese to sack Nigel Adkins stinks to high heaven.
We were not nailed on to stay up under Adkins but our odds had risen significantly with this run of 2 defeats in 12. To not even give Adkins the chance to say goodbye to a fan-base who whatever was going to happen this season greatly appreciated his efforts in turning our club around, highlights the lack of business ethics of Cortese and quite frankly the Liebherr estate who saved us from extinction.
Without that takeover Southampton FC would no longer exist in this format and Markus Liebherr, who led the takeover only to sadly die shortly after, will forever be thanked by Saints fan. I, however, refuse to watch Southampton become a Chelsea-lite with constant sackings and little to no respect for the fans.
Goodbye for now Saints.
...I won't claim to have fully formed any thoughts on this yet, but it's safe to say I'm pretty angry at Nicola Cortese this afternoon - Nigel Adkins has done a fantastic job at Saints, we're playing the best football we have for years, and are back in the Premier League after two successive promotions. So, thanks Nigel, I can only apologise for the way the club's treated you, and judging by the reaction on the forums I think the vast majority of our fans feel the same way.
Andrew (One Nigel Adkins!), SFC, London
...There've been plenty of seemingly harsh sacking in the past couple of years (Chris Hughton at Newcastle jumps out), but I think Nigel Adkins' dismissal is possible the single harshest and ungrateful I can remember.
Southampton had a bit of a rocky start, as you would expect any club on the back of a double promotion, but things seem to have been going rather swimmingly lately, with the club out of the relegation zone and in the ascendency. Perhaps there's always been a suspicion of Adkins being found out one day because he was 'only the physio' at Scunthorpe, only a few years ago, but he did a good job with them when he was handed the managers' reigns and then obviously could have done little better at Southampton in winning both League One and the Championship. I believe F365 published an article earlier in the season about how Adkins might be a victim of his own success and how if the club had missed out on promotion last season and he'd had them in the playoff hunt this year then it'd be very unlikely he be under much pressure at all.
What makes this especially shocking is the timing. When they were struggling, particularly in defence, it might've been understandable, as it could be argued that the skill-set required by a manager to keep a comparatively weaker team in the Premiership are different to those required to get a comparatively stronger team promoted from the lower leagues. However, Adkins should have been congratulated for identifying the problems, alleviating them and getting results, but it's only now that he's been given the boot.
I certainly don't want to wish ill of the club or their supporters, but I can see this move backfiring spectacularly for the board and I hope Nigel Adkins gets back on his feet soon after being unfairly swept off of them
Nick Hamblin (wouldn't at all have minded him at Bristol City if this'd happened a week ago), Bristol
On Wasted Talent
Niall, LUFC's mail on Michael Johnson / wasted talent made me think of a passage in 'But Beautiful' about Chet Baker - jazz trumpeter of immense talent who got addicted to heroin and died after falling out of a window. (Aside: if anyone likes jazz or indeed music of any kind and hasn't read this book...you should read this book):
"He was talented and real talent ensures it is not wasted, insists on its own capacity to flourish. Only the talentless waste their talent - but there is also a special kind of talent that promises more than it can ever fulfil: those are the terms it comes with."
Which is probably a better description of Andrei Arshavin than Michael Johnson, but still...
Matt H, Battersea Arsenal
More Wasted Talent
Kerlon must surely be the greatest unfulfilled talent of recent years. C.2005, Kerlon was the most exciting young player in world football: small, technical, exceptional dribbler, scored goals, passed well, and hit a nasty free-kick. Excelled at under 17 level for Brazil, was was intensively scouted by the usual tranche of European heavyweights.
Invented, and used to genuine effect in professional games, the seal dribble, whereby he flicked the ball onto his head, and ran at pace towards the goal, forcing defenders either to let him pass, or foul him. Messi, for all his skill, technique and goals, has never ran past a defence at pace balancing the ball on his forehead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYlqql38XkY
Like Johnson, the immediate catalyst for his failure to progress was a succession of injuries at inopportune moments, which limited his development, and plainly sapped his confidence. He moved to Chievo at 19, and was injured in his fourth game. Was loaned out ad infinatum by Inter, and lost all confidence.
Is now playing Fujieda MYFC in Japan. Although I'd still prefer him to Ashley Young.
In response to Niall LUFC and his rather nice email about Michael Johnson. There have been several moments over recent years that have made me sad for these normally hateful individuals we like to call footballers. These include Fabrice Muamba, Darren Fletcher (even though I'm a Gooner I'm still a human) and Eduardo's horrific leg break.
The person I always had really high hopes was Dean Ashton, or as the media would irritatingly call the 'next Shearer'. I loved the way he played and could see him being a perfect foil for Rooney with England and would have loved him at Arsenal being a strong centre forward with a great eye for goal. He didn't have amazing flair but he had great passion and he seemed invincible to me. He always looked as if he would score a goal by getting into the right positions. I always kept an eye out in the sports pages for news of his injury nightmare abating, but alas it never did. The injuries he kept incurring must have been soul destroying for him and no wonder he retired early.
Jaz Gooner (Literally had a wet dream last night about Cavani joining the Arsenal. Damn you Wenger you big tease...)
...Unfulfilled potential? You could make a whole England team of them.
GK. Richard Wright. Supposed to be the successor to David Seaman for club and country, eventually became a third choice keeper.
RB. Micah Richards. He will never be our Lilliam Thuram will he?
CB. David Weater. Wasn't he talked about as a future England captain?
CB. Curtis Davies. Got his big move and found it was above his station.
LB. Matt Taylor. A few belters didn't make him a world beater.
CM. David Bentley. Nothing need be said.
CM. Michael Johnson. With such a derth of midfield talent he could have been a contender.
CM. Kieron Dyer. Went from being a world beater 'when he gets fit' to a punchline.
AM. Jermaine Pennant. Could actually be the definition of 'wasted potential'. Turns out running fast doesn't translate to success.
FW. Francis Jeffers. An unremarkable career is an understatement.
FW. Carlton Cole. Seemed like he'd always be even better 'next season' but it never came
Chris Kirkland, Michael Dawson, David Dunn, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Gabby Agbonlahor, Lee Bowyer.
...In response to Niall, LUFC
Paul Lake, a massive talent, terrible injuries.
Rob Preston, MCFC
The conduct of Doncaster Rovers' chairman in offering the little fella who applied for the vacant manager's post an interview reminded me not all football clubs are the money grabbing businesses we think they are.
About a decade ago I helped organise a work charity event to support the Make a wish foundation. I contacted five football clubs for donations of prizes which could be raffled off.
Only three of the five clubs we contacted bothered to send a reply. West Ham were the first with a signed picture of the entire first team, then came by beloved Arsenal with a signed team pennant - remember 10 years ago Arsenal could boast Bobby Pires, Paddy Vieira and Terry Henry in their ranks so this was quite a prize.
The third reply came for Spurs who informed us in headed note paper that they wouldn't be sending us anything.
Make of that what you will...
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
...In response to Dawson, SCFC in Chicago, I can still recall the late, great Sir Matt Busby going above and beyond the call of duty and cemeting my loyalties as a Man U fan.
It was about 25 years ago and I were a wee nipper, knee-high to a grasshopper and all that, and my uncle had taken me to Old Trafford during the day, just to see the stadium as he was a United fan and season-ticket holder and to encourage me to support the team he loved. I was newly into football and had no particular allegience yet. After a quick nose around the club shop (not yet a Megastore), we came across Sir Matt in the car park. Not only did he take the time to speak courteously to my uncle, he also made arrangements with ground staff for one of the gates to be opened so I could see inside the stadium and stand on the Stretford End, and arranged free entry for me to the museum.
I may have been 8, but I still remember the gesture and effort, which even then impressed me - even more so after we then had a look around the Man U museum and I found out just exactly who it was who had gone out of their way for a fan and his young nephew!
Classy guy, but makes you wonder if many in today's business-oriented football environment would take the time,
Steve (I also got a letter back from Sir Alex when I wrote to him asking for a Jesper Olsen autograph a year or so later, alongside a signed Olsen picture... Nashers and barnet on that bloke, but I loved him!), Colchester, but with a reason to be a long-distance United fan.
...In response to Dawson, SCFC in Chicago. Last Christmas, Secret Santa time had rolled around at work and having only worked there a few weeks, I had absolutely no idea who my the person I got was. The only thing I had to go on was that he was a lifelong Stevenage fan, home and away type of fan.
I had a little look over the website and found an e-mail for a woman that had something to do with the club shop and just thought I'd ask if they had any signed stuff available (I don't know why as £10 was a maximum spend). To my surprise, she e-mailed me back saying something along the lines of "Sorry, we don't have anything like that for sale, but if you buy a ball or shirt and send me an e-mail back with your order number I'll see what I can do".
I bought a ball, and sent her the e-mail. Few days later, I've got a Stevenage ball signed by all of the first team players. Guy was absolutely made up with it and gave it to his little boy who loves it. Sometimes you only have to ask.
I got a bottle of sh*t red wine so now I'm a cynical bastard when it comes to Secret Santa.
It is Paulo Ferreira's birthday.