We don't stop for Christmas, you know. If there's anything you want to add on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Don't Go, Adnan...
Slight, technically gifted, two-footed dribbler, can play on either flank, likes to cut in and shoot, can cross well when he fancies it, and slight suspicion of diving.
Don't leave me for Madrid, Adnan.
Sherwood: Just A Young Harry
Oh the delicious irony of it all. Play Adebayor they said, no he said, well you and your skype meetings can f**k off then, we'll find someone who will...and they did and he scored. Twice.
The fat cats of the Spurs boardroom must be rubbing their hands in glee. Told you so. Leeds boardroom in the 'Damned Utd' anyone?Spiteful...horrible....hateful place. Sitting there all smug with their bone china tea-cups. I've done a bit of hospitality at The Emirates and I tell you what Levy - never mind your Spurs blazer, you want to get yourself a bit of that. Slick, that's what it is. But we've been talking about this for a while now, haven't we Daniel?
Andre was stubborn and inflexible so he had to go. So we get Tim and his over-the-lane patter. Your piece on him was excellent - he's a younger Harry. You wouldn't bet against the feel good-ish factor getting Spurs through the next couple against West Brom and Stoke. Adebayor in a few dream teams even. But then come Man U and Arsenal away. And I'm not sure the tracksuit, 4-4-2 and rhetoric will get you through those. But this week, good luck and merry Christmas Timbo.
Just as the leaves falling from the trees and the days getting shorter signifies the onset of winter,Emanuel Adebayor scoring goals and being good signifies the onset of a transfer window!
Not Convinced By Spurs
The Spurs win seemed more related to how awful Gazzaniga is and less to how good they necessarily were. Any keeper that faces three shots on target and concedes thrice should be a bit embarrassed. I might be wrong on this but has Southampton's dip in form happened since Boruc has been injured?
Spurs are still so easy to break behind, as Southampton proved with their second goal. It seemed later in the game Spurs dropped deeper and forced Southampton to play from wide which they did awfully.
Just how brainless is Kyle Walker? The camera sometimes focuses in on him and it seems that his face reveals he's not entirely sure where he is, how he got his kit in or what he's supposed to do.
Is this similar to the Adebayor's first-season boost? Normally he plays well for one season but perhaps he does something similar for a new manager?
Liverpool: Just This Season's Spurs
Liverpool have had a great run of form but don't have the quality to sustain a title challenge over the course of a season. They're basically this season's Tottenham.
They may be top now, but in two games' time they will be fifth with Man United two points behind. They'll finish the season fifth, Real Madrid will buy Suarez for 70 million and we'll all live happily ever after.
Eamon Ryan, Limerick, MUFC
Don't Attack City, Mr Brendan
Graham Simons asked of Wenger a few days ago that he not attack Chelsea because inevitably it will cause Arsenal to lose. Along the same vein of things, I'm begging Brendan Rodgers to not attack Man City.
PLEASE PLEASE do not attack them. I'm not even asking you to go against your normal instincts, just do what you did against Southampton: start four centre-backs. Add in two full-backs, play Lucas and Allen as deep as you can, tell Henderson to run around p***ing off Manchester's midfield and if Suarez gets the ball, tell him to do it all himself. With nine men behind the ball we MIGHT be able to keep them out and with Suarez in the form he's in we MIGHT be able to score a goal, put it together and the slimmest chance of a victory is still a possibility. Please do not go to the Etihad and try to out-football them, Arsenal showed you how well that works a week ago.
Consider it your Christmas present to me.
Pucker Up, Hendo
I f***ing love Jordan Henderson. If I ever meet him I'm going to kiss him on the mouth.
Praising Henderson And Rodgers
As everyone knows, Liverpool are currently in a rich vein of form and, quite correctly, the majority of the praise is being heaped upon the head of Luis Suarez. He has been in quite unbelievable form since he returned from his last ban and must surely be in the top three players in the world at the moment.
However, there are two other people who I think are not getting enough recognition for their contribution to this current run. Jordan Henderson has been much maligned since being signed on a rather inflated fee but must deserve enormous credit for his attitude when under pressure from both press and Liverpool fans. And his form this season has been unexpectedly excellent. Virtually every game he has been man of the match but is getting outshone by Suarez's ridiculously good performances.
There can never be a like for like replacement for Steven Gerrard but Jordan is looking like the man to step up and make the loss of Steven (which must surely be in the next 18 months or so) less noticeable.
And on to the other man deserving recognition. Brendan Rodgers. Yes, he can be irritating in interviews, yes he talks a bit too much about things that don't concern us Liverpool fans, but he is learning fast. The football he has us playing is a pleasure to watch (Hull away excepted). I understand Spurs fans, Arsenal fans etc arguing on here with Liverpool fans about what constitutes a 'big club' but Rodgers has taken on a job at a club with enormous fan expectation, not just in Liverpool, not just in England, but around the world and is currently performing at a level that most of us right-minded fans didn't dare hope for for at least another 12 months and another injection of transfer cash from our wonderfully behind the scenes owners (I'm looking at you Mr Tan). Rodgers is hugely adept at changing tactics throughout the game, not just at half time or with ten minutes to go, the team's shape evolves constantly depending on the state of the game in a way it never did under Rafa or Houllier. It doesn't always work but I genuinely believe Rodgers is the man to take us forward and on to challenging for the league again on a regular basis.
Still think City will bum us on Boxing Day though.
Mark Jones, LFC, Liverpool
...Matt Stanger is dead right about Jordan Henderson's massive improvement. Who would've thought he'd become such an important impetus to the attack? I for one never considered him as anything more than an energy player, a potentially useful sitting midfielder. But the second half against Cardiff showed just how far he has progressed creatively (if there was any doubt after last week's performance).
After the break Brendan swapped Henderson into Joe Allen's deeper position and the difference going forward was evident. Henderson's relentless movement, inexhaustible running, and, yes, vision, were simply not replicated by Allen. I half-suspect that Brendan made this move knowingly, as a subtle letting-up on the accelerator in aid of his friend Malkay McKay. If so, I don't have a problem with it incidentally. The second half was a bit of a disappointment after the opening period, but a bit of a fillip for a good chap when he's subject to the sort of ownership he has to suffer seems only fair. Hopefully Tan won't be able to find anyone desperate enough to take the job and in his shame and discouragement will be forced to sell the club to someone less witless.
As for Liverpool's supporting cast I think it is clear there needs to be an upgrade on Joe Allen in midfield (ideally a sitting linkman and an attacker) and at centre-half. Skrtl is always willing but limited, and Agger is good on the ball but lacks defensive awareness and occasionally, courage. If one wanted to be really greedy after already receiving the news of Suarez's new contract as a Christmas present, then another centre-forward would be nice. That is if Aspas isn't going to be given another chance to prove himself.
Canuck LFC (Love the fact Brendan credited Kenny with Henderson's signing. He's growing on me too)
No Vowels, No Penalties
Martin Skrtrl genuinely gives away about four penalties per game with all his shirt pulling and climbing in the area. Yet I can't remember any of them being given, ever. He's not the only one of does it (Ivanovic is also a bad culprit), but he is by far the worst, and it's about time that referees starting picking up on it and punishing it.
Ben, London, CFC
Why Malky Should Resign
As Cardiff City's eccentric owner became the latest modern-day mogul to make his club the laughing stock of the country, every man and his dog was quick to jump to Malky Mackay's defence and insist the manager should not bow to the pressure by resigning. Clearly Mackay has done a good job, but those calling for him to take on the war against out-of-touch chairmen do so based on a romanticism that the Scot cannot afford to adopt.
In the real world, Mackay needs to look after himself. He needs to look after his career beyond next summer.
Imagine if you will, the situation awaiting him should he still be in the role during next summer's transfer window. How can he possibly expect to agree on transfer targets with an owner that clearly wants rid of him?
While he has of course been a success in his current position, the absurd demands of Vincent Tan has made his position unworkable. The desire to screw Tan over must be great, as is the desire to continue the fine job he has done with his Cardiff team. But his cards are clearly marked, much like a mafia hit, he has no idea when it will happen, but he knows it's coming.
If he leaves now, his reputation will be sky high and any number of Premier League teams (WBA) would snap him up. Don't hate the player Malky, hate the game.
Z Stack, Ireland
I've just spent a very frustrating drive home from the Swansea/Everton game listening to 606 (luckily my radio wouldn't let me switch to SHOUTsport). The reason for my frustration is Vincent Tan. As a Swansea fan I have very mixed views on Crazy Vince.
As a Swansea fan, I find the events at our rivals rather amusing. Cardiff have finally followed us into the Premier League but in order to do so they had to sell their identity. They risked becoming laughing stocks to reach the promised land. A decision spurred on surely by our own meteoric rise above them. A club that has spent the best part of a decade borrowing money to throw at ridiculous wages and transfer fees trying to get up, and they finally do so with their pants around their ankles and Uncle Vincent taking their innocence. Yes, there were those opposed to his changes, but they all pretty much accepted that it was worth the changes if they finally got where they wanted to be. Until a couple of weeks ago most Cardiff fans were totally in love with their billionaire owner. Ex-player and BBC Wales rent-a-gob Jason Perry reckoned Swansea fans would bite the hand off any billionaire that showed up wanting to invest in us. Neil Kinnock was claiming Tan was a great friend to the city of Cardiff. Kinnock is now reticent, Perry unusually silent.
The football fan in me finds the sack/resign situation to leave a nasty taste in the mouth. That Malky should be put in the situation he's in is disgraceful, and he's conducted himself with complete dignity. The situation with Moody and his 'replacement' is also thoroughly embarrassing.
What I find hugely annoying though is the moral outrage around Tan's running of the club and the changes he's made to the 'history'. This is a professional game. Clubs are businesses, and Tan is the owner of Cardiff City. When he joined the club they were hideously in debt and he said he was prepared to cover those debts. But things had to change. As a business they had to improve, changes had to be made. Like any business that needed perking up, he rebranded. He changed the uniform. He changed the logo. In his own words the fans are 'customers', and if he loses some 'customers' along the way then there'll be others to take their place. How many Cardiff fans have voted with their feet? Attendances seem fine. And yet some reckon he shouldn't be allowed to do so. If he hadn't been allowed to, he wouldn't have invested. If he hadn't invested there is the real danger that Cardiff wouldn't even exist now. Some moron on 606 reckoned that the fit and proper test should extend to making sure that owners don't want to change anything about the identity of the club. Wright took it a stage further and seemed to imply that *all* foreign owners were crooks on the level of Thaksin Sinawatra, something that Cates worked very hard to get him to stop saying. Of course football clubs are emotive subjects because we are 'fans', we don't want to be seen as the consumers we are. But if Tan thinks changing the badge will help his business improve, then its his prerogative. If the Hull owner really thinks renaming the club 'Hull Tigers' will increase his revenues then that's his decision.
As a club, we were lucky that after nearly going to the wall, we were taken over by local businessmen intent on running the club in a sustainable manner. If that meant playing in League Two for the rest of our existence then so be it. Our transition to the Premier League has not been easy at times as we've found it difficult to *think* like a Premier League club. But for clubs like Cardiff and Hull, they have no choice. Debts were too big, stakes were too high. A rich owner was the only real option, and in that case you have to accept their 'vision'. That may not be what we want as fans, but that's the modern game. There'll be far more of this in the coming years, and this hand-wringing, 'won't somebody think of the children' attitude is naive beyond belief.
James (cracking strike from Barkley but jeez the guy hits the floor easily for a big lad) SCFC
Know Your Place? Why Should We?
I've always felt that a large factor in the enjoyment of sports is not knowing what's going to happen. It is the only true type of reality show, since you really don't know what the outcome will be. Without uncertainty, without competition, I really don't see that there's much point.
Time and again I read comments which indicate that some teams should know their place, should not hold aspirations above their station. They are not 'big' teams, and they shouldn't think that they can compete with teams that are.
I'm not sure that I completely understand what is expected of these teams. If you are supposed to accept your position as a mid-table team, how exactly are you supposed to achieve this aim? Is the expectation that these teams should let the 'big' teams beat them whenever they play? Are they supposed to not try hard to ensure that they win some games, but not too many? I would have thought that was match fixing, and the last time I checked most people were opposed to that. Maybe the expectation is that they should avoid having too many good players. They shouldn't go into the market for a really great player, they should let the 'big' teams buy all of them. If they should happen to develop a great player through their youth system, they should sell him at the earliest opportunity.
I have trouble with the idea that competition is a bad thing. While many are viewing the current season as being on of the most exciting in some time, others apparently feel that some teams are out of order.
If you want to ensure that the most popular always wins you should just stick to X Factor or The Voice. If you are a sports fan then I think you should view competition as a good thing, rather than suggesting that only a select few should be allowed to compete. If you're a Scottish football fan did you enjoy it while Rangers won the title for nine years in a row? Maybe if you're a Rangers fan you thought it was great. Personally I just find it boring.
The questions of financial fair play, and how smaller market teams can be competitive is a discussion for another day. In the meantime, how about we not criticize clubs for trying to compete, since competition is the only reason the league exists.
Andrew (just a mid-table writer), Canada