Keep those mails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Spurs are neither underdogs nor contenders: They are competitive
The question was asked whether Spurs are contenders or underdogs. I would argue neither. For the first time in most of our living memories Spuds have become competitive. That’s it. That’s all.
They’ve started to build something in the squad and on the ground which should help move them forward but at the moment they’ve moved out of the underdog world but aren’t yet to be considered title challengers, a couple of years of challenging and winning things (irrespective of what your manager says it is important regardless of the level of importance) and a more complete squad and they’ll be there. Just for argument’s sake I include Arsenal and Liverpool in this competitive category. I think that’s a fair and reasonable assessment right?
Unfortunately now for Spurs, having joined a more relevant table, media attention also increases and you become subjected to the lurching press coverage and public opinion instead of everyone just looking at the bigger picture we have to make bold statements based on the last 90 mins.
We live in a world where the idiots are currently being given a lot of air time as we seem to more concerned with being outraged at something rather than just speaking sense in the first place. The sensible lot stop talking for fear of being shouted at and the shouters can’t stop because any air time is good air time right?
Experience vs expertise
Great article by Jonny Nic on experience and why it isn’t always a good thing. It’s something that I deal with on a regular basis, working in education. We talk frequently about experienced teachers and when applying for a leadership post, one of the most commonly asked questions is about experience.
However, any good head teacher will tell you that experience is very often no indicator of ability. I’ve seen teachers at the beginning of their careers deliver better lessons than those who have been teaching over ten years. I’ve also worked for a very experienced head teacher who was absolutely useless. She had a wealth of experience but the problem was it was experience of doing the wrong thing.
In the school I work in now, we talk about expertise over experience. Longevity of service is not what we need, we need teachers or leaders with expertise in the field, i.e. knowledge, skills and up to date on the most recent educational research and innovations.
Football is no different. Managers like Marco Silva have comparatively less experience than someone like David Moyes but their expertise differs wildly. Sit them both down and ask them to explain the merits of 3-5-2 vs 4-4-2 vs 4-3-3 and I know who would be able to give the more analytical thoughtful answer.
The managerial merry-go-round brigade have a wealth of experience between them but it’s basically 20 years experience of doing the same thing and never changing or innovating. If you’re never adapting what you do, it doesn’t matter if you have 5 years experience or 50, you’re not going to be any better for it.
Mike, LFC, Dubai
Sturridge to West Ham in January
Crystal ball time…January transfer predictions.
With news that Sturridge could be on his way out of Liverpool, and that display from West Ham yesterday, am I the only one who sees a match made in heaven? Failed at big club(s) striker seeks failed at big club manager for final chance to prove doubters on all sides wrong – Surely right?
I can see the press conference now… “I see this as my chance to showcase my talents with a manager who I feel is taking this great club in the right direction,” remarks Daniel. The two other signings, Paddy McNair and Ronny Johnsen, both just grin.
Anyone else got any January transfer predictions?
And he’ll go to the World Cup if he plays
In response to Matt Pitt – Sturridge is a cert to go to the World Cup if he can put together a decent run of games because in the only 2.5 seasons of his career where he was both a regular starter in league games and fully fit he posted these stats: for Chelsea in 11/12 (30 games) he scored 11 and assisted 4 as a RW. For Liverpool in 12/13 (after January only, 14 games) he scored 10 and assisted 5, and in 13/14 (29 games) he scored 22 and assisted 9, playing as a CF for both seasons.
He’s massively injury prone, and has missed tonnes of games. When he has been fit enough to play since 13/14 he’s either not been properly fit and/or playing in a frankly sh*t team (post-Suarez pre-Klopp Liverpool), or not been given anything other than cameo appearances (Klopp’s Liverpool). That’s because despite his OK assist record he is a pure finisher far more than a combined creator/finisher, and there’s no room for that in Klopp’s team, not really.
To sum it up – he’s very far from a ‘bit average’ when he can actually get on the pitch while feeling good and playing in a system that supports him as a striker. Except for Harry Kane, he’s far better than any other English striker (Rashord is a wide forward, Sterling is a winger/wide forward, Welbeck is the same as Sturridge except without the goals and assists) when he’s in form.
Therefore, it follows logically that if he can put together a run of form and prove he is fit enough and firing, he’s going to Russia as the backup to Harry Kane, who is the obvious starter.
That list of possible West Brom managers
It’s funny when, after all the hullabaloo around not appointing British managers, an opening turns up and we see the list of contenders who are all British with a sense of underwhelm-ment. Pardew, Pearson and O’Neill. They have to be having a bit of a laugh in the WBA boardroom.
They canned Pulis for losing but more so for being boring. But none of the mooted successors tore up the league with attractive football. Pardew does for a short while, then fades. Leicester were much more attractive and successful after Pearson left and O’Neill’s Ireland were masters of the international borefest.
Players, managers, management and pundits all seem to look up their own ar*e when it comes to talking sense, with no concern for fans. Yes, fans deserve more when paying the high cost to watch a game live today. So to hear Beattie talking about having a nice glass of wine with Pulis and Pep swooning over such a great (extremely well-paid) guy, while the fans suffer through shear drudge is mind blowingly insensitive. (Only beaten by players who tweet pictures of their latest super-car after putting in a dreadful performance.) Meanwhile, fans who paid too much to stand in the rain to watch pure sh*te, week in, week out are ignored.
There are plenty of decent managers, British or otherwise that could do a better job at WBA and a lot of young English talent that would enhance this team, rather than the middle of the road, never going to be quite good enough players. WBA rank 14th in minutes English players have played with Arsenal, City and Chelsea below them who can blow real money on overseas talent.
Then there is the media lauding certain teams for being ‘well run.’ Swansea, WBA and Southampton after often called out for having great succession plans, knowing what they are looking for, the team being bigger than the manager. Seems that lasts for a few seasons but quickly falls apart.
I am not a WBA supporter but feel for their fans. They don’t deserve this. Sorry lads. Rant over.
Some fair rules to live by
I’ve avoided f365 since the Nawf Landan derby because I can’t stand all the triumphalism, moaning and bitching based on one match, one decision, one massive extrapolation… I finally thought it might be okay to start reading again this morning and wondered whether it was safe to head to the mailbox.
Seriously, what the feck is wrong with football fans? Here’s a few things they might like to keep in mind:
1) Anyone writing anything you don’t like about your team ≠ they support your rivals. They just write things without seeing through your team-logo tinted spectacles.
2) Similarly, anyone predicting your team would lose before a match ≠ they hate your team and they’re morons. And does not require you to abuse them triumphantly for their “error” if your team wins. Journalists have to write predictions. Sometimes — as the world of, say, betting can occasionally show — they can predict things incorrectly. Get over it.
3) Also, one article you saw about a football team you apparently hate, which predicted a win (and they lost, haha) ≠ the opinion, hopes or dreams of every supporter of the club you hate.
So yeah, I stopped reading the mailbox. Spurs lost a match; they’ll lose others. That’s kind of how football works, for most clubs and most supporters. I’ve supported Spurs for too long to think they’ll win every game (and I used to go when winning any game was a bonus, and the utter dreariness of it all made the rest of life seem massively up-beat). I genuinely think they’ll lose to Dortmund tonight, because that’s what they do.
I’ll probably come back in about a week.
Wilson “too old for this” Beuys
…Tottenham fans are really accusing F365 of being pro-Arsenal and anti-Tottenham? Goodness me – please check a few of the other recent stories! Try the extraordinarily positive reaction to Tottenham beating Real Madrid, or the “Tottenham have the best starting 11 in the league” story from last year, perhaps, on the Spurs side.
For Arsenal – I mean seriously, virtually every story on Arsenal for the last few years have been wildly negative. And in both cases – fully justified, as the general progression of the two sides has been positive and negative respectively (though the reaction exaggerates the difference).
Every neutral commenting on the game has said that Arsenal played a blinder and Tottenham were below their usual standard, with Arsenal worthy winners. The game’s interest in the broader understanding of the season and the last few is that Tottenham now look out of the title race and increasingly unlikely to improve on the last few seasons, whilst Arsenal bucked their trend of decline with an excellent display. And that’s exactly what 16 Conclusions says.
Here’s a hint – football stories and especially reaction is written for the winners. After one side beats another, the reaction will generally have nice things to say about the winner and bad things to say about the loser. Which is hardly a big surprise. My advice? If you’re really going to be that unhappy about seeing negative press, don’t read the press after your team loses. Spurs play lots of games, and win most of them, so you won’t have to wait long.
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, London
So Pascal Gross has now either scored or assisted eight of Brighton’s thirteen goals this season. Bargain signing of the season you say. Signing of the season I say. Grossly underrated by the “experts” at the start of the season. I wonder if Paul Merson knows who he is yet.
Danny, (biased), Brighton