We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...
The debate over the importance of pre-season continues, including a league table from last season for stats fans. Plus travelling to watch your team and Blackpool...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spurs' Consistency Is An Achievement
It all seems pretty doom and gloom for Spurs fans in the mailbox recently. Whilst Chris, (I prefer Lennon on the left) THFC is right in sizing up the magnitude of the upheaval that Spurs were forced into undertaking this summer, as well as their failure to do so particularly well, in reality I'd suggest Spurs are actually about where they should be. After the same number of games last season (29) Spurs totalled 54 points, which isn't exactly a long-shot from the 53 they've pulled in so far this season and equals the 54 they took in 2011/12. Obviously the form of the teams above them puts a spin on what actually has been one of Spurs' standard seasons but I'd even go as far as suggesting that 6 points off Arsenal at this stage isn't an awful place to be in.
As Matt Stanger rightly suggests in Winners and Losers; should Spurs better Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Sunday and Arsenal lose at Stamford Bridge the following week, Spurs could find themselves level on points with Arsenal. If recent years are anything to go by Spurs haven't done particularly well consolidating comfortable leads in 4th, so why not give playing catch up a shot, putting pressure on Arsenal instead of the other way round?
Could Spurs' consistency even be seen as an achievement? It is of my opinion that Spurs' squad, (and spending 100m on new players means a lot less when losing the league's best player), is not good enough for a top four spot and when competing with clubs the size (especially considering the resources some have) of Arsenal, Chelsea, City, United and Liverpool, consistently placing 5th is no mean feat. Maybe they should just go for the Europa League rather than complaining about their players tiring. To me, after perhaps Arsenal, Spurs are one of the most consistent clubs in the country despite their summer and despite consistent managerial change. 'The more things change, the more they stay the same' embodies the Tottenham we've seen since the 8th placed team of 2008/9 and I think Spurs fans should begin to accept that they aren't all that bad...
George (I'm supposed to be an Arsenal fan) Sadler
No-one seems to be able tell us Gooners what the hell is going on with Niklas Bendtner.
He wasn't in the squad on Saturday despite being a full international and way more of suitable replacement for Giroud than Sanogo and it doesn't look as though he's in the squad for tonight's game either even though Yaya's injured again.
I don't know what Bendtner's done to warrant this treatment but the fact is we pay him £52k a week not to play for us at the moment - we are not a charity. He is a better player than Sanogo and he needs to be scoring to secure a deal elsewhere.
If scores the goals to give a decent account of ourselves in Munich, retain a champions league place for next season and win the cup - couldn't we just shake hands with him and wish him well?
I personally want silverware finally this season and I don't care who I have to cheer to get it.
Graham Simons, Gooner, (Give me £10k a week and a squad number and I'll even turn up for games to sit in the stand), Norf London
I'm not one of those "men's rights" people, but I hope no one disagrees that a lot of these painful stories are basically domestic violence. Just because it's woman-on-man violence doesn't make it OK to laugh at. We would be rightly horrified if tomorrow's "Non-football story of the day" was "Man breaks wife's arm" or something like that (though sadly, newspapers wouldn't deem something like that worth publishing, because it happens too often). But somehow, when it involves someone's member getting chopped off, it's like catnip to Mediawatch.
Yes, I see an angle where, since Mediawatch is dedicated to criticizing the media, these stories are actually commentary on how woman-on-man domestic violence is considered news, but the far more common man-on-woman violence is not. But given the overall humourous and sarcastic tone of the rest of Mediawatch, neither type of story seems appropriate.
By all means, if you find a story where a guy was separated from his family jewels in an accident involving a forklift and a fifth of vodka, put it up and we will laugh at his stupidity.
Oh and saying "The guy deserved it for
Jayraj (I would prefer to write in about football, honestly), MUFC
We're Not Being Held Responsible If...
Thanks to being exposed to multiple, multiple tales of genital mutilation over the last couple of years of reading your site, I had a weird experience at the weekend. My girlfriend, when in bed Sunday morning, told me that if I ever hurt her she would cut off my penis and eat it for dinner.
I am now legitimately terrified that this will happen.Thanks a bunch,
Jim, Living in Fear, Vancouver
I firmly believe that women around the world are cutting off their partners' sexual organs with the hope of featuring on the Football 365 website. With that in mind, I have blocked the site on my wife's laptop.
PS. I'm now sleeping with a titanium chastity belt too.
While thinking today about how smug some Arsenal fans would be if they managed the unlikely and went through against Bayern tomorrow (I feel the word 'treble' would enter Gooner parlance), my mind drifted to Arjen Robben's smug little face. Robben is undoubtedly a very good player who has had a pretty illustrious career.
He has played in a World Cup final, has several league titles from some of Europe's toughest leagues and has scored the winning goal in a Champions League final, as well as playing for great clubs and commanding substantial transfer fees. He has great pace and dribbling ability, and has scored great goals and important goals.
And yet...for all his obvious qualities, I would never have liked to see him come to my club - Liverpool. Not that we are too good for him or anything, in fact he probably would have seen moving to Liverpool as a backward step in his career; or even that he wouldn't have improved us because he obviously would.
It's just that I don't like him, for no good reason. I would actually be devastated if we somehow signed him and I don't think I'd ever warm to him. No matter what good things he did for the club, there would still be a bit gnawing away at me saying "I'd still prefer Babel." I hope that sufficiently illustrates what a serious unreasonable aversion I have. Ryan Flippin' Babel.
Does anybody else have players that they would hate to see at their clubs, but for no good reason?
Seán, LFC, Limerick
Aaron Hunt. An Honest Diver
Thankfully, there are not too many apologists for diving, but the ones there are adopt the infuriating argument "He probably cannot even tell if he got the touch."
For them and just the apologists in general, I present Aaron Hunt.
This proves that not only is he a stand-up guy but that all footballers KNOW when they are cheating or not.
Ahad (Can you even imagine the BPL divers (we know who they are) doing the same even if they are 2-0 up?)
I Am Manchego Cheese
I don't really have an opinion on Andi Thomas, but Manchego is by no means "the worst cheese in the world".
A good Manchego is the Porsche 911 of cheese. It's a solid introduction to performance cheeses without the heinous pricing or the excessive torque issues the ultra high end cheeses (I'm talking horse, moose, donkey milk).
The widely available Manchego offers a release from the doldrums of Cheddar, Monterrey and Mozzarella or, god forbid, the plastic horrors of American. Nobody is expecting concept-car dynamism of a Casu Marzu (made of maggots) or the Tesla-like elusiveness of cheese made from a woman's bosom, but Manchego offers a fast ride and sharp turns for a very decent price.
Sid (Blue cheese is the pretentious equivalent to a Prius) LFC
Beauty And Beat XI - But Pearce??
Doing a touch of procrastinating, as you do, and Wikipedia took me to the Beauty and the Beast page - don't ask - (Linda Hamilton's 80's version, of course) and it got me thinking about how great it would to see a match made up of beauties and beasts !
who would win ? The beasts have some real quality up front, with no nonsense 'old fashioned' defenders but, the beauties have guile, skill and a massive goal threat, plus they look good.
Beast XI - Ogrizovic, Neville G, Keown, Bruce, Pearce, Kuyt, Bullard, Chadwick, Beardsley, Zola, Tevez (subs: Carson, Crouch, Dowie, Hinchcliffe, David Hopkin, Burley, Jeffers, Stone)
Beauty XI - Cudicini, G. Johnson, Gullit, Vidic, Azpileceuta, Ljungberg Alonso, Fabregas, Beckham, Ginola, Henry, (subs: James, Owen, Arteta, Krancjar, Santa Cruz, Giroud, Speed)
Neil (Rob Perlman played the Beast, I genuinely didn't know that !) Surrey