A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...
If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OK, Sherwood probably had to go but it makes you wonder if it's worth stepping up into the manager's role sometimes.
He had a good job at Spurs before AVB was binned and then he does Levy a favour and gets the boot out of the club.
Oh well, he can manage West Brom now I suppose.
...So the media think Tim '59%' Sherwood was treated unfairly but AVB 54% deserved to go....oh and Harry (49%) worked miracles.
This teaches us two valuable lessons;
1. The only thing that matters is what you end up with at the end of the season, and not a win %. Sherwood had opportunities to challenge for 4 trophies. We ended up nowhere in all of them. I hope Tim/the media dont think ramming the 59% stat down my throat will make me forget a large number of the performances under his tenure - Man City, Arsenal (in the Cup, the league game was bearable), West Ham (twice), Liverpool, Benfica and Chelsea were anything other than completely woeful. I dont think Sherwood did an awful, just not a particularly good one either.
2. PL chairmen dont love Englishman quite as much as the media do.
Long time Spurs fan here with a couple of thoughts. I wasn't happy when AVB was discarded and have been screaming for Tim to go since he came in but now he's gone... I dunno. Maybe we've missed a trick. He's done well in fairness.
If it wasn't for his antics and his gibberish i think he'd still be there. He's an inexperienced manager and really didn't get a chance to coach the team to play the way he wanted. He would've had that chance this summer and maybe calmed himself the f*** down on the touchline. That been said, look at Pardew !
He's been hard to support, easy to knock but still delivered a decent return with a team not of his own building. I thought i'd be delighted but am actually deflated.
Players Want Out Of United
Rio was a great servant at his height of abilities, but injuries and a reduction in pace led to him being exposed as his career went on. Still, thanks for the memories
Now on the topic of salary - Gary Neville thinks it's a cliff with players leaving but how many of these guys for the first time in their recent careers (or 24 years in some cases) are facing:
1) No European football - win bonus, appearance bonus, goal bonus etc
2) No 2013/14 Cups, League win bonuses full stop this year and I'd question if 2014/15 looks to have better prospects....
3) Face a % cut in their weekly (huge) salaries to reflect no European football - do clubs have similar clauses to relegation clauses for lack of European nights?
I love a conspiracy theory so for me it's money walks.
Digidep - MUFC
Defending Martinez (At Length)...
I'm sure you're going to get a lot of these on John Daniels' ridiculous mail this morning. Saying Spurs lost their best player last year and stating "I'm pretty sure the bookies will have them as favourites to finish above Everton next year." I'm pretty sure that Everton also lost their best player from the last season - on transfer Deadline Day, and Martinez didn't spend £100 million buying some of the best talent in Europe, but yeah, Everton were definitely in a better position than Spurs at the start of September, and I would also be pretty sure that Spurs were favourites to finish above Everton this season as well.
John says that there is "no way" that United won't be in the top 4 next year, I presume that you had some inside knowledge that the Moyesiah would take the previous seasons Champions to 7th, gifting Martinez 5th place.
"Everton finished seven points off fourth place, which isn't much of an improvement on the last year under Moyes" - Everton got 63 points in 2012/13 under Moyes, if they had got the same number of points this season that would have been good enough to finish 8th.
I'm sure that the fact that Martinez had 5 more victories than last season, scored 6 more goals and conceded one less was missed in your research. Moyes never won away at any of the "big 4" - Martinez did the double over Man United, beat Chelsea at Goodison and annihilated Arsenal. You're right though, results haven't really improved.
Your xenophobic assumption to Everton playing tiki-taka football purely because of Roberto's nationality and the fact you like his clothes is well wide of the mark. Everton have played attractive, fast paced attacking football all season, exploiting teams on the counter attack. According to whoscored.com their possession % has been 55.6% this year, just 0.2% behind Liverpool, another team renowned for their use of a target man I'm sure you'll agree, up from 52.9% last season.
Their pass success % is up from the 11th best in the league at 79.4% to the leagues 6th best at 83.7%, this season an average of 431 short passes per game, up from 369 last year - but perhaps the most poignant stat to rubbish your argument that the style of football hasn't changed is that last season under Moyes Everton won the fourth most Aerial Duels in the league with an average of 18.9 per game, worth noting that Martinez's Wigan won the least last season at 10.3 per game, because this season it is again Martinez's Everton who won the LEAST number of Aerial duels per game at 14.2. Either Martinez has got his teams keeping the ball on the ground or Lukaku isn't as good of a target man as you thought.
I could go on all day about how he gave Barkley and Stones more of a chance than Moyes ever would and now one is now Brazil bound and the other is on the standby list, his excellent signings, winning the FA Cup with Wigan and keeping them in the league for as long as he did despite little to no investment, his speech at the Hillsborough memorial, how he coped with the side losing its key player to the former manager, hopw he is a man who always comes across as smart and incredibly knowledgeable in interviews, how he encourages attractive football and is an all-round good guy, but I think John summed it up best on the 'love-in' and high opinion of Martinez "it is really hard to conclude that it's not at least in part because Martinez is foreign".
...Or Attacking Him
John Daniels, thank you so much for saying exactly what I have been thinking for so long.
Martinez is a decent manager, sure, but he has been massively overhyped. The editor felt it necessary to point out that he accrued 9 points more than Moyes did last season, but then 5 of those came because United were objectively so much worse than last year.
Remember all that fuss that was made about how Moyes' Everton had never won away at the big clubs? The statistic was, of course, thrown around a lot after the late victory at Old Trafford but it hasn't been mentioned much after Everton picked up just 2 points in total from the remaining 7 away matches against teams that finished in the top 9.
And finally, as a scientist, I am perhaps more aware than most about confirmation bias, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a more obvious example in football than the discussion of Moyes' and Martinez' styles of play.
And Defending Our Johnny
Mikey D, you seem to have completely missed the point of what Johnny Nic was saying. It is probably to do with tribal loyalty that you think that the article was an attack on Man City rather than the current state of the game in general.
I particularly love how everything you bring up is 'well this lot are a little bit worse than us', or selective about the good bit ignoring the other part the very definition of lazy journalism, I get it your whole letter is a clever ironic joke.
If not and you seriously think that, lets have a look:
'City's overall spend throughout the Premier League era compares favourably with other clubs who have won the league.' well done, you were mid table at best for large parts of it and you weren't going to match the big teams spending when you were in the Third Division (rebrand all you want it's the 3rd Div) now were you?
The regeneration of an area of Manchester is not some benevolent act of giving to the people, it will allow them to make money somehow, like when a pop act appears on Children in Need and just so happen to have a new single/album/affront to music out.
'It has also gone unnoticed by the media that last season, the club subsidised tickets for away matches on numerous occasions, often providing 50% of the ticket price.' This was probably paid for by that fund that every club got from the premier league to encourage away fan travel, because they have realised it is declining after years of getting shaken down by the clubs.
I also bet West Brom fans would argue the point about ticket prices after being grabbed by their ankles, turned upside down and having all the money shaken out of their pockets. This from a club whose own fans criticised Arsenal's prices not that long ago.
'Why does it matter if the source is someone giving the club money rather than gaining it through exploiting a fanbase?' Where are they getting the money from? If you don't think that matters then there really is no hope.
The reason for inflation is often because of an increase of money in the market, in a wider sense because more has been created but in football because of increases in income like TV deals or owners deciding to drop an extra £1,000,000,000.00 into the market because they feel like it. This pushes up prices for everyone else so the only way to make the finances work is by either having your own billionaire drop a fortune in, getting an official diesel engine provider(Jesus wept) or charging more for tickets, a pie or a pint at the ground. That is why football is so expensive these days.
After a difficult and sometimes painful season, it was so uplifting to be at White Hart Lane for Ledley King's testimonial last night.
I had expected a turnout of maybe 20,000 but in the end the entire ground was full, including the away end. Perhaps it's symptomatic of Tottenham Hotspur that the only empty seats were in the directors' box, but we'll gloss over that for now.
It was a wonderful occasion. The fans were excellent throughout, cheering Ledley to the rafters. There were also warm welcomes for beloved former greats such as Ginola (who has been on the pies), Sheringham (still got that extra yard in his head) and Anderton (can hit a ball 50 yards onto a sixpence).
There was a great humour around the occasion too, such as the moment when referee Howard Webb briefly started playing for the Ledley King XI, only to be scythed down in a two-footed challenge from Lewis Holtby, who Webb then shoved dramatically to the floor. All fun and larks.
And after the fun, the emotion. Ledley, never the world's most articulate player, gave a typically modest speech and was struggling to keep it together by the end, his tears mingling with the North London rain.
There will be cynics who'd say that Ledley wouldn't have been a one club man without his injury woes. I'm not so sure. As the new addition to the quotes plastered around the stadium reads, with Ledley's typical brevity:-
'This is my club, my one and only club.'
You will be loved forever at the Lane, Ledley. Instead of focusing on what you 'might have been', i'll always remember what you were. The best natural defender of your generation, a consummate captain and a boyhood hero.
Rob Davies, THFC
A New Stat
Dear John Daniels, I know it's hard to be a Man Utd fan but please don't base your view of Everton on us beating you home and away, and the frankly weird 'average pass length' stat you quote.
'Average pass length'?
Have a lovely summer,