The mails are drying up. Come on guys, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to fill the gap between now and Eric Dier and Jake Livermore taking on Germany…
On buying an old Portuguese car/bus
I had this colleague at work about 13-14 years back. He came in to the office one day with a swanky new car imported from Portugal. It was all the rage that year, having swept the top European award the year before and I knew everyone else in the office were looking on enviously.
And rightfully so. The car was amazing, sturdy and yet accelerated with frightening speed. I still remember that fateful day when we met at the traffic lights and his car beat my Scottish model by a good three car lengths to the next junction.
But as time went by, my colleague got bored and decided to get rid and so he sold it off to an Italian in exchange for an Israeli make (bad choice there).
Well, I’ve been keeping tabs on that car for the last few years and decided to acquire it in 2015 (my Scottish car got too old and my subsequent purchases were shoddy to say the least) from the same colleague who had bought it back from a Spaniard a couple years ago.
But, ever since I got it, something seems a bit off. It’s still a solid and sturdy drive mind you, but it just doesn’t seem to perform to its usual high standards anymore. It doesn’t accelerate as quickly as before and occasionally, it malfunctions altogether (it stalled last Sunday when I met my colleague with his new Italian car. Rich bastard).
To be fair, it is a whole lot better than my previous cars from Holland and Scotland, but I do feel like it’s performing below expectations, even after adding a new Serbian engine and a turbo from Belgium.
It’s been alright so far. But I really do wish that it could go back to the good old swashbuckling days of 2003/04.
MK (it’s more of a bus now than a car to be fair)
In support of our support of Brendan
I honestly never thought I’d be writing this, but I don’t think Rodgers gets anywhere near the credit he deserves. Granted, he chats a lot of s***, but which manager doesn’t? He was 90 mins away from winning the league, which is mental looking back on it and doesn’t get enough credit for it. That Liverpool team had no right to do as well as they did. Klopp’s Lpool aren’t a particular improvement at all, bearing in mind Klopp has had the luxury of Rodgers’ signings having time to settle; who are their best players right now: Firmino, Can, Coutinho, Mane and Salah – three of the five being Rodgers’ signings.
He got the best out of Suarez, Sterling, Sturridge, Coutinho and Henderson, which now we can see in hindsight isn’t actually that easy. He had them playing football at a ludicrous level. That 3-0 win at OT was probably the best Lpool performance I’ve ever seen alongside the 4-0 vs Real Madrid, this from a United fan. I think it’s become pretty fashionable to troll him, whereas in reality I think time has been very kind to the job he did there, not even mentioning the great job he did at Swansea. I think the CL with Celtic is a good gauge of the quality of that team, and again I think it’s fair to say their performances in the last couple of years have been well above what this team would otherwise be producing. How Eddie Howe’s stock could be higher than Rodgers in anyone’s eyes I’ll never know.
He absolutely has his flaws and blindspots as most managers do, but generally I think he’s a really good manager. Shouldn’t even be getting compared to the Moyesiah. At. All. *Cold Shivers*
LD (SAF please don’t judge me)
England need Brendan
As a Liverpool fan, I still hold Brendan Rodgers in very high esteem despite his unfortunate exit a few years ago. He got Liverpool playing the most exciting football I’ve ever seen in my 29 years and whilst Rafa brought home the Chanmpion’s League I’ve never quite looked forward to watching Liverpool as much as *that* season.
I’m delighted that Rodgers has bounced back at Celtic. But I don’t think he’ll be back in the PL anytime soon. This is a man who has a huge portrait of his own face in his living room. He won’t stop a Celtic until he is worshipped as a Demi-God, given the keys to the City and has a stand named after him.
This may be controversial, but the job I want him to go for post-Celtic? England. I think his man management and tactical abilities are well schooled, and I think he would foster a positive, attack-minded and crucially, a ruthless mentality at St. George’s Park.
His transfer record is abysmal, but guess what – you can’t buy anyone as England manager. You work with what you have, and we all saw how well he got Sturridge, Sterling and even John Flanagan playing.
I think everyone can see Southgate won’t be a long0term appointment for England (our WC performance is paramount to his tenure) so is it too far of a stretch of the imagination to see Brendan and his envelopes in the England camp.
I for one, would love to see it.
Lee (at least he’d give England some ‘character’), LFC
Changing Arsenal expectations is pointless
Arseblog has written and spoken about Arsenal fans needing to recalibrate their expectations for this season in order to obtain some enjoyment of it. For instance, if we ignore Man City, we are only four points off the top and even closer to the Champions League places. So, if we as fans decide that the top four is a trophy, and so do the players, then we will have something to play for and get behind as the season goes on.
This is what Arsenal fans did during the austerity years. We watched our young, cheaply assembled side over perform while paying off a stadium (Spurs anyone?). I for one loved those years – there was a strong narrative and a cause we could get behind. And hope. This is because we were ‘building’ and things would improve once money was freed up. That didn’t happen. We have spent more money but have gotten (comparatively) worse.
The point of the above is that recalibration of expectations, such as top four being the goal so that next year we can spend more money and attract better players to replace those leaving, is predicated on having faith that if we did achieve top four then we would buy good players, address our weaknesses, learn to defend, and therefore improve. There is no faith in the fanbase (sorry to speak for all) that this is the case. Coming in the top four will lead us to buying okay replacements for those leaving (or finding internal solutions – look at the Arsenal.com website for how much they are hyping Nelson), not improving in other areas (because all we will be doing is replace Ozil and Sanchez), so no new keeper, back-up right back or quality centre mid (even though Ramsey will be leaving on a free in 18 months). Basically, until Kroenke sells and Arsenal have a new manager (note the ‘and’) nothing will change which makes recalibration pointless – there is no hope (other than the cups – which are fun) in the short or medium term.
Fur, AFC, Dar es Salaam
Dyche prison is locked from the inside
I want to offer an alternative to the article on Dyche being ‘stuck’ at Burnley.
Daniel Storey’s article argues that Dyche is stuck at Burnley, unable to get his chance at a club with a better budget.
Similarly, in the mailbox Tj – Lagos makes a correct statement when he points out that in another league this wouldn’t be the case, and Dyche would have gotten a chance at one of the better clubs. Like how Conte got his shot at Juventus after overachieving with Siena.
Of course the answer to Dyche’s problem is obvious…..just move to a league that will give him a shot.
There’s nothing stopping Dyche from trying his hand at a more competitive club in France, Italy, Holland, Portugal (I accept La Liga and the Bundesliga clubs aren’t likely to hire mid-table Prem coaches).
Dyche may not want to do this for family reasons and/or because EPL wages are better. That’s fine, nothing wrong with that decision.
But he isn’t stuck, if he wants to go prove himself at a club with chances of winning trophies….he can do it any time he feels like it. Just not in the EPL. But if he were to win something in another league (entirely possible given how much of an overachiever he is), I’m sure he’d get serious consideration for an ambitious EPL club next time they are in the market for a manager.
I think Dyche is a brilliant manager and will do well wherever he goes (or stays). But if he is trapped in the EPL mid-table, his prison is locked from the inside.
Hugo (NUFC) Adelaide
Who calls themselves a ‘good manager’?
‘It’s good for West Ham, they are getting a good manager’.
Irrespective of the fact that, no, they really really aren’t, who says that about themselves?
Somehow I think he’s trying to convince himself, because God knows no one else believes it. Except the West Ham board. Inexplicably.
But Roy Hodgson keeps getting employed as well, despite a spectacular body of evidence that he’s total bobbins, so what do I know?
James, Liverpool (Those British managers eh? Never get a chance)
The problem with British managers
I think I’ve worked out what the problem is with British managers, they are just not cool enough!
Looking around Europe you’ll find managers like Zidane, Unai Emery, Eusebio Di Francesco, Allegri, Mourinho, Pep, Marcelino García Toral. These are cool guys wearing designer suits, guys with some swagger who would look just as at home in a Jaguar advert as they do in the dugout. These are the guys who are going to be touted for the top jobs when they come. Compare this to our British counterparts David Moyes, Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson etc and you see the problem.
So there we have it, it’s as simple as this. until Britain can conjure up a manager who can wear a fitted suit and sell a jag of course there never going to get a top job!
DanIel (and no, not Brendan Rodgers)
On those great footballing ideas that never happened
Penalties to be replaced with one-on-ones – an attacker starts 30 yards from goal with the ball, a defender on the half-way line. Whistle goes – play. The defender shouldn’t catch the attacker unless they dawdle ridiculously. Can’t remember when this idea was kicking around, early 00s I think. Much more exciting, and genuine skill. Not saying there’s no skill in taking a pen, but there’s a lot more in having the beat a keeper one-on-one. And ‘shoot-outs’ in drawn cup ties would be amazing. It’s also a much fairer approximation of the kind of chance the attacking team were initially denied. Very seldom are pens given for a player being fouled after placing the ball 12 yards out and taking a run up.
…Micki Attridge raises some valid points, some of which I’d agree with. Wimbledon to Dublin and the British Cup could well be worthwhile additions to the fixture lists.
However, regarding rule changes I’d love to see a change to the throw-in.
As things stand I reckon a team who cedes possession by kicking the ball out have at least a 40% chance of regaining the ball from a throw-in. No team seems capable of guaranteeing themselves meaningful possession from one. Most throw-ins involve 10-15 players scrapping in a small area in a manner that adds nothing to the game.
If a player could launch a ball thirty or forty yards, javelin-like, there would be less kicking to touch, even under pressure; the game would open up a lot; there’d be more goalmouth scrambles and generally more action.
Rory Johnston, GUFC, Galway