We all bloody love midweek football. Mail us your thoughts to email@example.com
This is how it feels…
For the record this is how all other fans used to feel when you did it. Lap it up. Suck it in. And f*****’ suffer. Your nearest and dearest rivals are doing what you once did best. Only better.
Banjo, Prague (MCFC)
I’m struggling to think of any player that’s hit the ground running as fast as Salah. We all knew he had pace to burn but he’s also as strong as an ox (not The Ox) and, crucially, he’s learned how to finish; those early season accusations of profligacy seem a long time ago. I hate to get giddy but he looks Liverpool’s best player since peak Suarez, and he’s posting the numbers to match. Long may it continue.
Quick gripe – “he got the ball” is fast becoming the most annoying phrase in football punditry. Exhibit A is Robbie Savage claiming Hart’s challenge on Calvert-Lewin shouldn’t be a penalty due to the miniscule touch he got on the ball. Hart didn’t do enough to win the ball so DCL was still in possession when Hart followed through and caught him, therefore definitely a foul. I blame Arsenal fans for this as it all started with a Koscielny challenge about five years ago and they wouldn’t shut up about it.
Finally is there any non-Utd (or Southampton) fan who didn’t celebrate Sterling’s latest injury-time winner? It’s great to see a commitment to open, attacking football being rewarded and only the most bitter could begrudge them the inevitable league title. Oh hi Paul Murphy.
JG LFC (Arsenal continue their quiet resurgence; quick, someone tip them for the title so they implode again)
Right on cue…
You call it the sign of champions, I call it being Spawny B*stards
Paul Murphy, Manchester (waiting with baited breath for the jizz tsunami)
Why are pretending this title race is not over?
It is very likely that Jose will park the bus at Arsenal this Saturday. Meaning they will either lose or ‘win’ a precious away point like they did at Liverpool.
This would mean one point gained but two points lost on Pep’s City, who play West Ham on Sunday.. a team even a 40-year-old can score hat-tricks against.
This would place United on 33 points – A whopping 10(!) behind league leaders City.
Now bear with me as I labour to this point…This is the same 10-point margin with which PSG leads Ligue Un.
Mailbox, answer me this…as it is generally agreed that PSG will walk to the title.
Yet, when discussing City’s current form there’s this;
A ‘Titles are handed out in May’
B ‘It’s only September/October/November’
C ‘Wait till KBD or Silva gets injured’
Stijn (It’s bloody December tomorrow) Amsterdam
Enjoying the Liverpool ride…
Ok, that wasn’t exactly dull.
The ball didn’t go all the way out, so the first goal was fair enough. However, it was an absolute stonewall sending off later on. Keeper goes off, 1-1 – different game. If I was a Stoke fan, I’d be pretty cheesed about that one.
Salah is a bloody God, it must be horrible defending against him. All the pace in the world and with his confidence sky high, his finishing just gets better.
That Stoke miss though…how do you get that many chances in one move and still not score?
Love us or hate us and most neutrals don’t seem particularly keen (slight understatement), you have to admit we’re part of a hell of a lot of entertaining games.
We’ll win sod all playing this way, but I’ve made my peace with that now. Let’s just enjoy the ride.
…Mo Salah is the best player in the league and I think I love him.
What a great lad.
Kris, LFC, Wirral
It’s all happening…
Raheem Sterling is strong, he’s skilful and now he’s turning up and delivering in the big moments. The boy is coming so good.
Did Pep really tell Redmond what a good player he is? That was the weirdest looking post match conversation ever. The fact he shook his hand makes you think he was saying something respectful but his body language looked so animated and aggressive.
Mo Salah is even better in 20 minutes against tired legs than he is for 90. This is frightening. He also rescued my fantasy football which tells you what a lovely lad he is.
Where did that Everton show up from?! The Rooney half way goal was so sweet, I love the fact he volleyed it instead of hitting the floated ball which Joe Hart might’ve recovered to save.
The Midweek: Bitesize
Here’s my take on the Mid-Week football, in bite sized chunks.
* Ashley Young may not be the future for Manchester United, but I am really enjoying his Indian summer. He should be an example for players who may be unhappy with their lot as they cannot get in to the first team in their preferred position, or at all.
* Tony Martial is the real deal.
* Pat on the back for Nathan Redmond for not chinning Pep Guardiola last night. Imagine if that was Jose Mourihno or Antonio Conte doing that and not Saint Pep of The Casual Clothes. The outrage would be the highest ever recorded on Opta. Boiling.
* Was genuinely pleased to see Wayne Rooney get a hat-trick last night. For it to be at the expense of West Ham made me delighted. The fact that Joe Hart was in goal made me ecstatic.
* Raheem Sterling is becoming quite the game changer.
* Will Arsene Wenger finally realise that playing all your best players results in good things happening. Talk of their demise has been greatly exaggerated.
* Are Spurs on the slide? All the teams above them winning, and they have one point from two winnable games.
* Burnley. Nosebleed! What next for Dyche?
* Bournemouth seem screwed. Has Eddie Howe run out of ideas? Is he next?
* Or is Paul Clement?
* Or David Moyes?!
* We may not have a title race, but we certainly have a top five in the league all telling a great story, and playing some great football.
* Mid-Week football under lights is great.
Rooney’s goal: Not all that
Now I know that I’m being a total killjoy, but I’m just not THAT impressed by Wayne Rooney’s goal last night. The moment it went in my WhatsApp lit up and I can see it is the headline on a number of websites this morning.
Now don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful goal and showed amazing speed of thought, technique and vision…but in my book it’s not even the best goal this week. I’ll wager that replays will be forced down my throat over the coming days, it will probably be referenced for years to come, and it’s a cert to win goal of the season.
Thanks for listening.
Jamie (Charlie Adam and David Batty can score goals like that too y’know) LCFC
Let’s talk about Joe Hart…
I have just watched the highlights of the Everton v West Ham game and was struck by the appalling performance of Joe Hart in the West Ham goal.
First, Hart gives away a needless penalty by bolting off his line and mistiming his tackle. Then, in the process of saving the resulting penalty, he palms the ball into the path of the onrushing Wayne Rooney.
Next, Hart dithers in moving across his line and was in the wrong position before attempting to save Rooney’s second. I am not suggesting he should have saved it, but Hart did not move quickly enough across his goal before diving to make the save.
Finally, Hart repeats one of his favourite tricks again, haring off his line for reasons only he will know before ceding possession to Rooney to float home his third goal of the night from inside his own half. Credit must go to Rooney for a fine finish, however Hart deserves far more criticism than he receives for his continued appalling performances.
I used to be a big fan of Joe Hart but have witnessed a steady decline in his performance level over the past few years that now looks irreversible. It is peculiar that throughout his career, Hart has avoided much of the censure that other goalkeepers would receive for the same performances because he “fronts up” in TV interviews after his shambolic performances. Hart’s courage to face the cameras after poor performances should be praised, but it should not result in him being immune to due criticism.
It is outrageous that a goalkeeper who is so woefully out of form retains the England no. 1 jersey when there are younger and far more capable talents waiting in the wings. Perhaps Hart could even learn a thing or two from such talents. Like Jordan Pickford, who showed how to save a penalty in the same game. That is by palming the ball left or right of the goal; not into the path of an onrushing striker.
Wayne Rooney will steal the headlines with a timely hat-trick but he has Joe Hart to thank for gifting him at least two of his three goals. Likewise, perhaps Hart owes Rooney a thank you for stealing the attention away from yet another dismal performance.
James Hammond (long time reader; first time Mailboxer)
The West Ham Way
A wise man once said that the three keys to a healthy relationship are attention, affection and appreciation. A mantra we can bring into all our relationships you would agree? Let me tell you about a relationship in our life.
We haven’t had much luck with relationships one could say. Our previous two relationships could be described as quite tumultuous in the worst sense of the word. We endured a relationship with a man who, looking to do some renovations, asked us to pay a quite significant amount for the ‘right’ to pay for our relationship… He offered us what he called a ‘bond’ which gave us a right to pay for what we could already pay for. Needless to say, we didn’t accept that.
We eventually coped some sense and moved onto our next relationship and we were still searching for love. We thought we’d found our man, an exciting Icelandic sugar daddy who promised us the world and delivered at the start. Then the financial crash happened and it all went sour. We ended up with a broke billionaire who wanted to take a break from us. Our relationship failed yet again.
Third time is charm they said. How could our next relationship get any worse?
In 2010, you came along and self-proclaimed that you were saving us. You proclaimed you were one of us, even though that wasn’t true. Davids Sullivan and Gold, along with their henchwoman Karen Brady. You proclaimed that you were our ‘saviours’ and we would have become extinct if they didn’t arrive.
Some of us believed you, some were sceptical but most thought things couldn’t be much worse than our previous relationships.
Funnily enough, we are slow to learn our lesson and we remained hesitant to walk away from our relationship. Like most relationships, especially when it’s unrequited love, there is usually a break-point however. When was ours?
Was it when you cut off the season tickets of the legends of our club for cost savings?
Was it when you sacked long standing employees of our club for cost saving purposes yet pay some of our players over £100k a week?
Was it when you tried to renege on an agreed Season Ticket offer with your most loyal fans?
Was it when you have essentially disowned our heritage and not invested and almost abandoned our academy?
Was it when you didn’t invest in our training facilities in your whole ownership era?
Was it when you sold our home without us having a say?
Was it when you sold our soul for corporate greed?
Was it when you moved us to an Athletics stadium, not a football stadium?
Was it when you promised us Champions League football in five years?
Was it when you promised us the next level if we moved ground? By next level, did you mean Championship?
Was it when you promised us world-class players but signed Jonathan Calleri and Gokhan Tore instead?
Was it when you sold our best player, Dimitri Payet and replaced him with Robert Snodgrass?
Was it when you attempted an obvious gentrification of our loyal support base?
Was it when you hired nightclub bouncers and cage fighters to moonlight as stewards so you could forcibly eject season ticket holders that wanted to stand?
Was it when you said you’d help clear our debts but those debt levels remain the same seven years later but have been replaced with your money.
Was it when you started charging us 7% interest on that money you put into the club? Yes, that is 7% interest they are charging the club. 7% per annum on £100 million.
Was it when you introduced a premium phone line for buying tickets, a phone line belonging to a company you owned?
Was it when you made a donation to the Conservative party on the club’s behalf? With the knowledge that our CEO, Karen Brady, is member of said party and received a life peer from that party around the same time?
Was it when you allowed your teenage son to manage our social media output and criticise managers/players in public?
Was it when you organised club plants on fans websites and forums to defend your actions?
Was it when you wanted to play football manager and buy the players you wanted, as opposed to the players the manager wanted?
Was it when you always took the free, cheap and loan option in regards to the above?
Was it when you threatened to sue another club’s owner when he called you up for the liar and shyster you are?
Was it when you constantly undermined all our managers?
Was it when you attempted to discredit and undermine one of the only remaining good things about this club, a decent and honest man, Slaven Bilic?
Was it when you once again took the cheap and easy option, and rewarded failure, by appointing David Moyes?
Was it the constant lies and trying to take us for fools?
Or was it simply a combination of all the above and much, much more?
You know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. You’ve both simultaneously managed to kill our club and our support. When apathy replaces anger, it can be a depressing realisation that this relationship has no future.
Time to leave. And time to leave now.