If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
On Spurs' Wobble
So all the way back from the lane I'm trying to keep a handle on my rage - telling myself how good AVB has been for the club, how I won't be that fickle Spurs fan, how the boo'ing at the start of the season was ridiculous and the tabloid 'borderline Asperger's' press reports were a bullying witch hunt.
I was doing alright until I read what he said about Lennon - "He has been struggling a lot with injuries. We risked him the other day against Inter Milan and he is on the brink of rupturing his muscle so we have decided to take him out of this game." FFS - what do you think the club's fans want Andre - it's to be in the Champions League. Bale has been getting all the press but Lennon's form has been...well...worthy of an England cap.
Yes, we'd love to have a day out in Amsterdam but by far the most important thing is finishing fourth. And if that means playing a full second string with Huddlestone, Holtby and Carroll across the middle in Milan so your first choices are fresh for sunday, and going out, so be it.
You wrote a great article about spurs tettering between triumph and disaster last week - being able to know how and when to rotate the squad was always going to be critical. At the moment Mourinho Lite doesn't look like he quite knows how to play it.
Andrew, Woodford Green
....Hmmm. So, Spurs throw away a win versus an average Liverpool and then contrive to lose at home versus Fulham.
I have never been so relieved to hear that there is now an international break.
I am rather hoping that the arousing sight of....
a) Second place
b) Champions League football
c) AVB finishing above Chelsea
d) Beating Arsenal
...hasn't caused this young, athletic, newcomer to have shot his load prematurely. Taking some time to recall the names of the england squad is usually a reliable method for keeping excitement in check.
Colin (Come in Carlton!) Williams. THFC.
....I wrote at the end of January to congratulate Daniel Levy on yet another successful transfer window which saw us spend a whole 1.5 million quid on Lewis Holtby.
What was clear yet again was we had failed to sign a prolific striker nor cover for our wingers especially as someone sanctioned sending out our winger back up townsend and falque on loan.
Levy is generally lauded for his 'astute financial management' of the club since ENIC bought it in 2001.In 12 years we have won 1 league cup, lost a league cup final, qualified for the CL once, got to the quarters and finished 5th 3 times.
Is the above something to pay tribute to in the age of FFP or as supporters can we challenge ENIC and ask them when will the new ground be built and when will meaningful investment be made to the squad?
Finally, AVB is not beyond reproach his ego has prioritised the Europa league over CL qualification none more exemplified by bringing on Lennon as sub on Wednesday when he should have been preparing for a vital game in the league after his hamstring injury sustained in a game in that same meaningless European competition. He also seems to think Holtby, Sigurdsson and Dempsey have sufficient pace and guile to play on the wings - they don't.
David Harris, Sydney
A Pithier Reaction
I've just had a brilliant new idea about how we can improve football in this country which is in no way related to the team that I support.
How about from now on teams only play each other once a season and the League is nicely wrapped up just before Christmas?
Stephen, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (For the bloke who can't work what THFC means)
More Advice For Rodgers
Can someone please explain to me what Joe Allen is for? It was a ridiculous decision to start him ahead of Lucas/Henderson in Saturday's game. The season is now officially over (as if it wasn't already), and it could have been a different game if Rodgers took his blinkers off. Allen was rightly dropped for Henderson some time ago, and results and performances improved. He's done nothing to win his place back, and he's thrown back in. Pathetic management from Rodgers and the manager must take full blame for this defeat.
It seems like another rebuilding process is in order this summer. The likes of Skrtel, who's performance level isn't even worth mentioning an longer, Coates, Allen, Borini, as well as Andy Carroll should all be shipped out this summer to anyone who's stupid enough to pay actual money for them. That will leave a few holes, but they wouldn't be missed even if they weren't replaced. They are redundant parts of a promising, yet fragile, squad.
My advice to Rodgers would be to put faith in Henderson for the central attacking midfield berth, and find an adequate replacement/backup for Lucas. Anyone with an arsehole basically - Diame, Tiote.........these types of players (I'm sure the FM/FIFA fanboys can come up with some other suggestions). We are far too easy to score against. Even the Wigan pummelling papered over some massive cracks. While Wigan were woeful, they still carved out a lot of chances. This seems to have been ignored by Rodgers who clearly thought he could send whoever he wanted out to steamroll Southampton. This result was on the cards, and the manager has demonstrated his naivety yet again.
Rodgers out, obvs.
Daniel (Was there a child on the bench for Liverpool on Saturday?) Benvenuto
I must say, I'm feeling depressed with football. Firstly, Liverpool were terrible against Southampton (more on that shortly). The main reason I'm depressed though is the realisation that a lot of Liverpool fans are idiotic cretins who couldn't tell their arse from their elbow. To make matters even worse there are two types of these fools. The foolish optimists who believe every win signals our return to the big time; and the knee jerk reactionists who believe every defeat signals the end off days. Please, for the sake of your own sanity and my blood pressure, get a grip. The squad is slowly improving but is some way off a top four spot, lets give it a little time to recover from 3+ years of mismanagement. Every defeat does not mean Rodgers is a bad manager, every bad performance doesn't mean the players are useless. A bit of perspective and reign in your expectations, you'll have more fun.
On to the game. Southampton fully deserved their win, they pressured us excellently and looked dangerous, Liverpool struggled to string three passes together and no player came out with much credit. My main concern is an issue Rodgers doesn't seem to have noticed and seems fairly obvious; against top teams or teams which press high, the attacking quartet of Downing, Sturridge, Suarez and Coutinho leaves us overrun in midfield. Against teams which stick 11 men behind the ball, it works a treat as the midfield duo have time to find the passes and space, but against both Spurs and Saints, our midfield were outplayed and we struggled to get a grip of the game. In both games someone like Henderson would have given us the extra body to exert some control and build. Why he has been dropped despite starting to show form is beyond me and suggest misjudgement from Rodgers.
Anyway, onwards we go, not much to play for now but strong finish and we can learn more about the team. But please Liverpool fans, engage your brain and relax, for yourselves if not for anyone else.
Greek Mythology, David Brent And Liverpool
One of the most famous of myths from Ancient Greece was the story of Sisyphus who was banished from the world of the living and thrown into the underworld. As a special punishment for his hubris in proclaiming himself wiser than Zeus, Sisyphus was doomed to an eternity pushing a rock up a hill. But Zeus had cast a spell that would ensure that the rock would always roll back to the bottom, thus ensuring that he'd never reach the peak.
This weekend's loss to Southampton filled me with a Sisyphean frustration as I watched the boulder once again roll again back down the hill. I knew we were in trouble all week when quotes containing words like "Champions' League" and "Europe" were thrown around carelessly.
I'm far too cynical to call for people at the club and supporters to stop talking nonsense before we've actually won anything but I find it especially disconcerting that our manager keeps putting his foot in his mouth just as things are looking up. Every time he speaks up about gunning for second or making a push for the Champions League (slaps forehead) the squad takes the pitch and drops a massive steaming coil right in front of their support and broadcast around the world on live television.
I'll state for the record that I'm still willing to give him some time and the benefit of the doubt for, if nothing else, I don't have a choice in the matter, but he's got to stop writing checks his squad can't cash. He's a young manager but he needs to start developing some self-awareness and FSG might want to help him out with a PR consultant or just a big burley bouncer who can drag him out of the press room once he morphs into David Brent-mode.
On another note, I have to agree with others questioning the wisdom of playing Joe Allen when he's apparently carrying an injury. Talking continuously of the surgery he needs smacks of making an excuse for a player whose form has taken a nosedive and, quite frankly, I'm sick of seeing him out there. He needs to get fixed up if that's what he needs so he can recover for next year and we can find out what we have.
I am, however, more hopeful for future signings because the scouting department was not fully operational at the time BR was hired (until September, actually). I'm not going to get into what it says about operations at the club that the scouting department wasn't properly staffed until after the close of the summer transfer window, but we should be able to cast a wider net and make more informed purchases in the future.... Ehhh, hopefully ...
Ian, LFC ( Joey Barton would look good chained to a boulder for all eternity ) Hartford, CT USA
Blind Defence From Martinez
I'm raging about today's game. Not because we lost. Not because we lost to a blatant handball in the last minute. Because of the worst tackle I've seen in a while.
Watching it in real time, and hearing the scream, I knew it was a bad tackle. And it only gets worse and worse every time. But I suppose anyone can make a bad challenge, perhaps not to that level, but in a split second the wrong choice can be made.
You know if you've done it. Deliberately or not, you know. McManaman showed no concern for poor Haidara, and even had the temerity to complain about the subsequent handball that belatedly stopped play. All this guff from Martinez about ''not that type of player'' and ''I'm sure he'll be in contact with him'' is disgraceful. He tried to defend him despite saying he hadn't seen a replay. I await his thoughts once he has seen one.
As for trying to defend it on the basis it was his full debut, and he was ''enthusiastic'' - embarassing.
I'd like to see McManaman banned for the same amount of time that Haidara is out injured for. But more likely a 3/4 game ban. I hope at the very least he misses any chance to play at Wembley. His actions could easily rob a young man of his career, and there should be consequences.
I hope Haidara makes a full and speedy recovery
Worse Than Pushing The Ref?
It's not that somehow the linesman saw it and did nothing or that he will receive no reprimand and probably get the cup final. It's not that if the ref had taken one look at Haidara's knee he could have counted the stud marks. It's not that John Carver will probably receive the same length ban as McManaman. It's not that even if the FA throw the Encyclopaedia Britannica at him he will be back playing long before Haidara. It's not that Martinez commented how 'he got the ball first' started defending his player and influencing the FA panel before even seeing the 'tackle', sadly that's to be expected these days. It's that this is just the latest in a catalogue of coward's tackles that will continue to happen because nobody will do anything that is the most galling.
To describe it as reckless or unnecessary would be underselling it. It was a cowardly act which was only going to end in injury for the other player. These studs up over the ball tackles are a blight on the game and need dealing with. McManaman will probably receive 3 matches. For comparison Di Canio was banned for 11 matches for pushing the referee, whose worst injury was bruised pride at falling so comically.
As for the 'He isn't that type of player' defence, the jails are full of people who weren't that type of person until they did it. McManaman has lamed a player with a horrific tackle so he is that type of player.
Ron French NUFC
Forget the Red card for one moment, was that the worst tackle in Premier League history not to be given as a free kick?
John "Trying to get 4 mails published in a row" Wainwright, NUFC
We Can't All Win Trophies
So, David Moyes is consistently talked about as a quality manager and his name is always dropped when talking about a successor to Alex Ferguson - he's very highly rated and deservedly so. I'm an Arsenal fan so I'm used to banging the drum supporting managers who consistently get results despite working within a budget (saves me banging my head against a wall) and Moyes has done a fantastic job at Everton given the financial constraints on the club.
Despite this, I'm suddenly seeing the argument that he doesn't deserve a crack at a "bigger" club because in 11 years at Everton he hasn't won a trophy. Whisper it quietly, but quite a lot of very good managers may go through their careers winning diddly squat. In the years Moyes has been in charge of the club, the trophies which were available for Everton have been 12 Premier League trophies, 12 FA Cups, 12 League Cups, 1 Champions League and 3 UEFA Cups/Europa League. And you can discount 1 each of the domestic trophies given Everton were out of contention when Moyes took over in 2002.
In that time, we've had 4 different Premier League winners, 6 different FA Cup winners and 7 League Cup winners. The Champions League was won by Barcelona that year and there were three different winners of the UEFA Cup, none of whom were English. Apparently, there are 758 clubs competing for the FA Cup, if you take in to account the plethora of qualifying rounds. Should we discount all 757 managers who don't win the thing in any given year?
Moyes has done a brilliant job at Everton. I would love to see a competitive league where we had 10 clubs challenging for the Premier League each year but there is a definite ceiling for a club like Everton, in the current landscape, and Moyes has helped take the club to that. I might be labouring the point a little bit, but there is a very small number of clubs who are likely to win a trophy. David Moyes has proven himself to be a very good manager, doesn't he deserve a chance to join one of those clubs?
Chris (First time I've even remotely researched for an e-mail in - Cheers, Wikipedia) Bullock, London
A Monday Poser...
After watching Jan Mucha play only his second league game for Everton in nearly 3 years (and subsequently toying with the idea of putting him in my fantasy football team), I realised how many clubs this season have had to call on their second and even third choice keepers for league games.
This weekend alone must have been some sort of a record - we had Mucha, Fabianski made it into the Arsenal XI ahead of Sczezchzczccnzy, Joel Robles pushed Al Habsi to the bench, Newcastle again fielded Rob Elliot, Norwich played two backup keepers after Mark Bunn was sent off and Lee Camp came on, Brad Jones for Liverpool, Stuart Taylor for Reading... Jesus this is longer than I thought it'd be.
Looking at the rest of the season, I think the only clubs not to have used more than one keeper are West Ham (Sam & Jussi: A Love Story), Man City (probably not for much longer), Stoke and Sunderland... whilst a handful have used three.
To cut to the chase - have there been more goalkeepers on display this season than any other in the history of the Premier League and, separately, does the same apply to this weekend's matches?