Keep your mails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Starting tomorrow, there’s Premier League football in 9 out of the next 10 days. If that’s not exciting, I don’t know what is.
Sasank (Man United v Aston Villa will surely dampen the excitement)
Everton fans should treat Martinez like a hero
I am amazed that many Everton fans want Roberto Martinez to be sacked. One knucklehead has gone so far to state he wants Martinez sacked even if he wins the FA Cup this year.
Everton’s Premier League home form is often cited as a reason to sack Martinez. So, it’s only acceptable to the fans if Everton’s wins come at home, away doesn’t count? Everton have also won four cup ties at home this season, presumably these don’t count either?
And anyway, winning trophies is what it’s all about isn’t it? Every fan wants their team to win trophies and Martinez has the ability to do that, so why get rid of him? And it’s not like Everton are duing terribly in the league either, they are comfortably safe on 41 points. Martinez also has Everton playing attractive football, what the hell’s the problem? They could be doing better, of course, and there are clearly issues to be addressed over the summer, but that’s not a reason to sack a manager.
A safe mid-table finish a a good run in the cup should be more than enough for Martinez to keep his job. And if he wins it, Everton fans should treat him like a hero. Be very careful what you wish for, you fickle lot, you could do a lot worse than Martinez (just ask Villa fans, if you don’t believe me).
Love for Rafa
If Rafa rescues Newcastle from relegation it would really be a miracle.
Looking at the final games for Sunderland and Norwich it’s plausible that both pick up no more points this season. If that’s true then Newcastle could be saved just by winning against Villa, although I think a win against Palace is also possible as that lot seem to be on the beach already.
This could be the first season to my knowledge where 18th is relegated on goal difference which would be pretty crazy. Looking at the defensive performance of Newcastle today, they looked like a resolute Rafa team; so compact and hard to break down. Swansea had a lot of shots but only one was on target and they had a lot of possession but it was mainly on the edge of the box and around the wings. Given Swansea are the shortest team in the league they aren’t likely to be too threatening from crosses so this is a good way to handle them.
I think this is going to be a tight relegation scrap and I think it’ll come down to the strength of the defence as opposed to whoever can score the most. On that basis Rafa surely has the edge to keep them up.
Basically, I love Rafa.
Defoe > Giroud
I normally don’t really enjoy stats but I stumbled across something that caught my attention this evening.
For those who claim to believe that, other than Karim Benzema or Lewandowski, Olivier Giroud is the best Arsenal can do, consider this…
Jermain Defoe has scored 13 Premier League goals this season. Giroud has 11. That alone doesn’t make for much of an argument. But Defoe has done it in 23 less shots (46 to OG’s 69) – and that’s not just shots on target, where Defore’s 65% is better than Giroud’s 52%. The only redeeming facts for Olivier Giroud are that he’s played 212 less minutes – equivalent to 2.35 matches – and has 4 assists to Defoe’s 1.
But Defoe’s been in a dysfunctional Sunderland team who have apparently spent most of the season trying to get relegated.
It was easy to write Defoe off when he moved to Canada, and I don’t think the criticism then was unwarranted. But for all the criticism he’s seen this season (again, in may cases rightly so), there are only 6 players above him in the scoring charts – Kane, Vardy, Lukaku, Aguero, Mahrez and Ighalo. Giroud is 8th. The top 6 have been widely lauded for their for this season whereas I’ve heard far less about Defoe
This isn’t intended as a ‘Giroud is rubbish and shouldn’t be in the Premier League’ mail – but simply to make a point. In a team like Arsenal, surrounded by players like Ozil and Sanchez, it’s not inconceivable that a striker like Defoe – quick, a good finisher and with good movement – could have scored closer to 20 goals. Ironically, that’s exaclty the player Theo Walcott thinks he is.
I don’t think for one minute that Arsenal should have signed Defoe. But Arsene’s argument for not buying a striker is that the only players who would improve his team are the £40-60m star buys. Surely, Defoe’s case, as well as players like Mahrez and Vardy, shows that the players are there if you look for them?
The Leicester way
It has been a headscratcher of a season but anyone thinking it is somehow a miraculous campaign from Leicester are wrong. The fact is it’s been done many times, recently, exactly the same.
Premier League commandment number 1 says
thou shalt not win the league without massive signings.
And in a biblical bombshell, there’s as much truth in it as there is in ‘ thou shalt not covet they neighbours wife’
Of course thy shall
For the answer to the foxes conundrumic paradox we need to delve into our Rothmans, then when we have finished we need to go to the internet and search ” MUFC squad 2012-13”, then hit enter, choose images and there, can you see it?
Johnny Evans, that Brazilian twinset, Phil ‘Phil’ Jones, ANDERSON FFS, Ashley f***ing Young. They won the league!!!
There’s an oft ignored sign at MCFC shiny new training metropolis.
Hard work beats talent when talents doesn’t work hard, I’m looking at you Yaya!
Ok the last bit I added but it is true unlike every other meme.
SAF got them working to a system, teams were beaten before they donned their prematch gel on the bus to OT.
He had the refs third guessing every decision, he had even mastered time itself so much so it is actually named after him, I fully expect it to appear in the next Stephen ‘Stevie’ Hawking book.
Look what happened when a normal manager took over with that shower!
The point is that you can win the league with hard work, a bit of talent and a bit of GETTING EVERY DECISION from the refs. No mystery.
Master Stephen ‘loffers’ Loughnan
Premier League centre-halves
The standard of the centre backs in the league is nothing short of awful, in a matter of years we’ve gone from Terry and Carvalho, Ferdinand and Vidic all being arguably world class defenders who were plying their trade in our league, to the best centre back in the league being an Atletico Madrid reject. No disrespect to Alderweireld but in basic terms that’s what he is. However, he is still in a league of his own compared to his fellow premier league centre backs, he is the only centre back in the league who even comes close to being a complete defender.
As shown today, Gary Cahill is just simply a bad defender. Meanwhile Chris Smalling is very good at purely defending but his distribution leaves a lot to be desired, Gerald Pique he ain’t. Sakho and Koscielny on the other hand are both very good at distribution and on their day are brilliant defenders, but more often than not it isn’t their day. Sakho’s performances in the 2 legs against Dortmund show this, one leg he was simply unstoppable, the next he was far and away the worst player on the pitch and was at fault for all 3 goals Dortmund scored. Then you have the likes of Vertonghen, Huth and Van Dijk who are by all means good defenders but none light a candle to Alderweireld. La Liga have :Pique, Mascherano, Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Godin, Laporte and Giminez. 8 centre backs who all would walk into any defence in England. Serie A has Bonnuci, Chiellini, Barzagli, Romagnoli and Miranda. And that’s only 2 leagues! The fact that so many centre backs would walk into any team in the country sums up how bad our standard of centre backs is. And people wonder how the likes of Vardy are scoring so many goals…
Matt, Arsenal fan
Players are often said to be ‘playing for a move’. Berahino, has, apparently been ‘playing for a move’ for close to two years now. He thought that move was a move to Spurs. However the move he has been playing for is a move to Newcastle, it appears.
Has there ever been a more obvious to happen AND more obvious to be a total disaster move than that?
Newcastle upon Tyne
Clubs summed up by sponsors
I enjoyed the mail from Jeremy (Mansion Group, also Mansion Group, Bet 365) Aves, regarding classic shirt sponsors. Whilst I think he is onto something regarding it being down to short term sponsors these days, I also reckon it is to do with the era you got into football. This crossed my mind when he linked ‘Crown Paints’ to Liverpool, when my immediate thought was ‘Carlsberg’. (On that note I’ve always thought they were the perfect sponsor for Liverpool; claiming to be “the best in the world”, despite lots of actual evidence pointing to the contrary. Although at least Carlsberg had a shred of self-awareness by prefacing the sentiment with ‘probably’).
Anyway, when I think of clubs being represented by a sponsor this is what springs to mind:
Spurs – Holsten
Man Utd – Sharp
Liverpool – Carlsberg
Arsenal – JVC
Man City – Brother
Southampton – Can’t remember. Neil Shipperley.
Newcastle – Brown Ale
Everton – NEC
Chelsea – Coors (but also Amiga/Commadore. Interestingly after 1995 only 7 people cared about Commodore, which is exactly the same number of people who cared about Chelsea prior to 1995)
Leicester – probably Walkers, but hard to tell because Izzy Muzzet’s XXXXL shirt is filling the whole of my 12″ nowhere-near-HD TV screen.
Coventry – Peugot
You can probably deduce that I was aged 7 to 16 during the 1990s.
Dan G, (other lagers and TV manufacturers are available) THFC
As a non-canary supporter and having only seen the highlights against Sunderland on MOTD, I have a few questions re Alex Neil. This may come across as very irish centric.
*How come Nathan Redmond and Robbie Brady never seem start together? Thy play in different positions and are Norwich’s two most talented players as far as I can see.
*I know from watching Ireland how important a player Wes Hoolahan can be. I read recently that he’d been in pretty poor form for Norwich but again I wouldn’t have seen enough to judge. All I know is how vital he is for a poor Irish team as an out ball who can control immediately and pass or draw a free. I know again there’s a theory he can’t play 2 matches in a row but he seems to occupy the bench more often than not now.
Can any Norwich fan provide some sound reasoning for this or is Alex Neil just worryingly cautious?
Commentary on Norwich v Sunderland:
“Most of these players were relegated with Norwich 2 years ago, and most of the others have experienced a similar fate elsewhere… They know about a relegation scrap alright!”
Surely only experience of avoiding relegation is a good thing? Am baffled by this.
J Mac (bloody love the Norwich kit this season) LDN
Jesus, maybe Abramovich does actually care, this season has aged him more than John Terry by the looks of it.