Keep those thoughts coming to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alli can be England’s hero and villain
In response to Shehzad Ghias’ mail this morning, the player that won’t necessarily be ruined this summer but will at least be built up only to be admonished is Dele Alli. He’ll score a couple of goals in the group stages, get a bit of a silly booking in the last 16 as we scrape through, then he’ll score an early goal in the quarters before being sent off for lashing out 5 minutes after an equaliser in the second half as we bow out to glorious failure again to Italy. But I would be very happy to be proved wrong.
On another note – nice of Man United to make a reactive statement straight after Mourinho’s appointment by handing Rashford and Borthwick-Jackson new contracts. Their idea of responding to accusations of Mourinho’s dislike of youth I imagine.
Speaking about Mourinho and youth…
Honest question to the mailbox (as I can’t be bothered to spend hours researching this)
Which young players has Jose Mourinho held back/not played/hated due to age but then once he has left the club, gone on to prove him wrong and become a first team regular?
Thanks in advance.
Five Premier League virgins we’re excited about
Rewind to the 2011. The Father and I watching the mighty O’s losing 2-1 at home to Oldham Athletic (standard) when an unknown youth was ushered on the pitch with 13 minutes to play.Moses Odubajo played what was a short cameo that day when my often pessimistic Dad said “this boy is crap, what are we bringing him on for”. I replied… “I think he seems quite good!” He played maybe a handful of games that season, and did so as mostly a sub in that campaign. I remember asking why we weren’t playing this kid!A game the following season against a then Premier League team Hull City in the cup, Moses tore them a new one! He was immense. I predicted that Bruce would make a bid as soon as that game was finished and he would play in the Premier League soon enough.He moved on to Championship side Brentford after Orient lost in the League 1 playoff final (he scored an absolute beaut from Right WB that game). £1m the fee that Barry Hearn stole before selling his beloved Orient to some Italian maniac Billionaires.1 season later he finally moved to Hull, which was inevitable, and now he gets the chance to show the country what he’s made of in the PL and he’s still only 22!I’d like to wish the boy good luck but he won’t need it. Mark my words 365, you’ll be talking about Odubajo quite a bit over the coming seasons!
Moses has risen.
Can fast players become good managers?
Sorry Matthew, Belfast
I kind of see your point – but even so….Johan Cruyff?
Rob, Bristol Gooner
…Quick players who were/are decent managers:
– Johann Cruyff;
– Kenny Dalglish;
– Frank Rijkaard;
– Jupp Heynckes;
– Michael Laudrup; and
– Ruud Gullit (at a stretch?)
That’s all I got.
Roll on Euro 16 or a major signing.
Garey Vance, MUFC
…The great player making a terrible manager is an old cliche in football. And one that I think will disappear in this generation because the great players are going to be so disgustingly rich that they won’t need the income or hassle of managing. But that is another point. The mail about Gerrard touched on something that I have long considered the basis of the ‘Great player/s**t manager’ issue. And that is an instinctive style of play.
Let’s take two great but different midfielders, Gerrard and God (Pirlo). Gerrard was a rampaging, all action, grab the game by the scruff of the neck kind of player. Proper Roy of the Rovers stuff. He would take on any mantle going and try and win games on his own. It was exhilarating when it worked and infuriating when it didn’t. He was a great midfielder who will cover every blade of grass who seems to run purely on instinct.
Pirlo is a master conductor, he can control the game doing laps of the centre circle, seemingly able to slow down time or control people with his mind, seems to know what is happening and what is going to happen on every blade of grass before unleashing a pass that can only be described as pure filth. He is a great midfielder who is less of an instinct player, his actions seem more considered, debated, mulled over a glass of exquisite red wine.
Basically, the point I am trying to make is that I would predict that a player more in the Pirlo mold than the Gerrard mold would make a better manager because they are managing games when they play them, whereas the Gerrard mold is impacting games. Discuss
Kev (After football, I see Pirlo running a vineyard/bookshop hybrid)
Actually, Wilshere > Drinkwater
Toby (Champions of England) Mitchell – Before I start I will point out that I am an Arsenal fan so may be slightly biased on this point but I don’t think the decision on whether Wilshere goes to the Euros really depends on whether he’s had a better season that Drinkwater.
Drinkwater has had an excellent season but I think he falls into the same bracket of player as Dier, Henderson, Delph and Milner. All good in their own position but we probably don’t need 5 of them on the plane. So he is probably competing against the more defensive players who are no less important but different to Wilshere.
Wilshere as everyone knows has been injured all season and is probably not going to be match fit for the Euros. But, he does have a bit of something different about him and is a creative player who can go past people. At some stage in the Euros we are likely to be behind and looking to the bench for someone who can make a difference. If Wilshere isn’t fit enough to start games he’s probably a better option than the players mentioned above to come on and create a chance or change the game.
Love him or hate him, and I can certainly see why he winds people up, he is a player who can do things different on a pitch to the English standard of running a lot looking knackered.
He’s played some good games for England in the past so he’s proven at this level without being the world class player all England fans are looking for…
Personally I would be taking all the creative players we can because with our back 4 we are going to need some goals!!
We now pronounce you husband and wife
Saw only a passing mention of it in the mailbox this morning, so if you’ve not seen it, have a look for footage of Paul Pogba’s cross for Giroud’s goal vs Cameroon last night.
If you don’t want to get married to it straight away, I suggest watching it another couple of times. It won’t take long.
Up the Dons
Just wanted to write to say a massive congrats/well done to (AFC) Wimbledon on getting promoted yesterday, and hope the fairy-tale continues for them.
My brother is an (AFC) Wimbledon fan and me a Palace fan, and we’re only separated by a year, I’ll never forget the empty/sad feeling we both had about the plight of the former Wimbledon. We used to go to a decent amount of games together and lived round the corner from Selhurst Park. I can’t imagine how it must have felt for the real fans watching this happen and how the FA conspired to let this happen, but the heart and courage it took for all those fans to unite and start from the bottom shows that the spirit of the old Wimbledon is still present.
It was a nice to see the good guys win(sorry Argyle fans) and hopefully they can push on and establish themselves in league 1 and get the stadium issue sorted.
I went to the first ever ‘Dons Derby’ and that was pretty intense, so will be a surreal feeling to watch them battle as equals, which I’m sure seemed a pipe dream 10 years ago.
Kish(takes a brave man to release Akinfenwa)
Even more bloody penalties
In regards to a fairer way to end a game rather than penalty shootouts, I am a massive fan of the Ice Hockey idea.
Five ‘penalties’ where the player must start at the half way line and beat the keeper one-on-one.
This is different because it requires a lot more skill than a burly centre back just blasting it hard down the middle and hoping for the best. It also means the keepers role is more than just a hopeful dive to either side.
…My old dad used to play ice hockey and he always thought the shootout set up for that sport would work well in football.
Barney (less Pizza Hut ads for England players, please!), Copenhagen