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‘How did Walcott not opt to leave the Emirates in the same way Gibbs and AOC did?’
Thom, (You can leave a couple out, should you choose) Newport
Dear F365 (particularly Mr Storey) & Fellow Mailboxers,
I’ve just read the Top 10 players who shouldn’t have stayed put, and (spoiler alert) sitting proudly atop the list is Theo Walcott.
At the end of a delightfully ascerbic CV, Mr Storey asks how Walcott didn’t think it would be a good idea to move (like Ox and Gibbs did). I’d like to have a pop at answering.
Theo hasn’t left Arsenal because Theo still thinks he’s the second coming of Henry, which he is if you take away the goals and will to be better and to win. Throughout his career Theo has shown a great deal of over-confidence but not a lot of self-reflection or awareness. Champagne celebrations for beer achievements. So while two other under-performers have left, Theo marches on to the imagined applause of his Clayton’s success.
For Theo to leave would be for Theo to admit failure, and that’s something Theo’s not shown much appetite for in his career. For all the recent talk of what defines ambition or lack thereof, this is a very neat example of a complete lack of ambition. Gibbs making the move from Arsenal to WBA showed far more ambition than Theo did in choosing to stay and not play regardless of where either side finishes at the end of the season.
Dr Oyvind, Earth
I congratulated Sarah because I hate Man United more than I hate Huddersfield.
Dale (Toilets in his pants) Leeds
Spurs would cope without Dele
Interesting read from Matt, LA, and his friend’s professional pragmatism. As a Spurs fan i don’t share his doom and gloom, at least about the players. MoPo is the key to everything.
Poch has created a system with flexibility that removes dependency on single key players. We’ve coped more than admirably with the near year long absence of Rose. His injury and Walker’s departure has forced a change of style enabled by the excellent Sanchez and rise of Trippier and Davie, different players to Walker and Rose, but excellent in their own ways.
The miraculous renaissance of Sissoko, arrival of Aurier and emergence of Davies are testament to Poch’s pulling power, coaching ability and commitment to team over individuals. Consequently, i don’t fear the departure of Dele. Dembele’s previously unbearable absence has hardly been felt.
And while Matt thinks MoPo’s departure is inevitable, i don’t think it is, given his free reign and healthy relationship he enjoys with Levy. He’s unlikely to find similar conditions elsewhere. For all the talk of Simeone going, he’s still at Atleti – I can see Poch enjoying similar longevity at Spurs. As long as that’s the case, we’ll survive the departure of utility man Dier and even Dele and I’m sure find more than adequate replacements (just don’t sell Eriksen or Kane).
Dan James (Anyone else not relax until we scored 4 this weekend…old habits as a Spurs fan…)
So Matt from LA knows a guy who met a guy who apparently said all the spurs players accept they are going to leave in the next year. Well that’s settled then, we can all stop wasting time wandering how good this Spurs team can be. The problem is, I know a guy who met a guy who said spurs actually pay more competitively than often assumed owing to large incentivisation programs, and even Danny Rose said he thinks Harry Kane wanted to stay a long time.
Matt also says history suggests spurs will struggle to hang onto poch, but in fact the last time spurs had a manager poached was… never. I’m not saying it can’t or won’t happen, but history certainly doesn’t suggest it will. He also ignores that the one player who has left under poch was allowed to leave after falling out with the manager, so clearly shouldn’t be used as evidence of a trend. The truth is no one knows whether spurs will hang onto poch or their best players, so the best thing to do is shut up, enjoy watching them now and wait and see.
The stadium is key
I know the discussion on Kane and money has drawn to an end, but surely with regards to Spurs retaining players as a whole the defining matter will be how quickly they establish themselves within their new stadium. Whilst Levy is shrewd with the money available at Spurs, surely he operates on a model of money going out is dependent on money coming in, and on that basis one of his biggest imminent bargaining tool in retaining the players is the new stadium, and the money that will be generated once it has been opened and is fully operational. At that point there then is the money available to pay better wages for the players, and probably more importantly the funds made available to the manager to buy those players goes up. Certainly in the short term as a fillip.
Of course money is not the only driving force and eventually after the opening of the new stadium should Spurs not be realistically competing for trophies, or competing in the biggest competitions, then the likelihood is that the players as well as the manager will naturally be tempted elsewhere. Usually this is by the behemoth clubs in the current elite that do regularly compete, and when they don’t, sooth the pain of failure by reversing dumper trucks of cash up to the front doors of the players who play for them. But, and it’s a big but I cannot lie, if players and manager are earning more in a spanky new stadium, winning things and genuinely feel part of the team as they do now, there is less to tempt them away.
So not to focus on Kane, but to use him as an example, I expect him to stick around until he’s at least seen what the new stadium is like and how the atmosphere works for the team. Same applies for the current players there, especially if they get gradual improvements on current contracts. If they then make that next step and start winning the shiny things, that’s the second box ticked and I’m sure their wages will follow suit. Next stop, European domination. Simple this chairman lark.
Chris ITFC, Liverpool
THIS IS NOT ABOUT HARRY KANE
Going to try and move the conversation on a bit from Harry Kane, even though as a Spurs fan I have plenty of thoughts on the matter. I actually find it quite amusing the number of fans of other clubs who feel the need to tell us how much they enjoy watching Spurs, and how much they hope our team could stay together, but unfortunately my mate definitely has some inside information that they will all be off in the summer. Well thanks, but please take your concern and kindly f*ck off.
Spurs fans are not deluded, we know there is a possibility some players will leave but why do people assume everything is going to go so pear shaped if the worst does happen and a couple do depart next summer? We are not going to plug the gaps with 16 year old youth team players and a bandaged up Ledley King. First, Levy has always shown a willingness to reinvest money from player sales. If we make 100-200m in sales next summer we will get some damn good players in through the door. The prospect of working with an excellent manager, and an excellent group of players, for a club that is becoming established Champions League players, makes us one of the most desirable destinations in club football for up and coming players.
This isn’t like when Bale left and we had to convince players of the appeal of Europa League Thursdays and playing alongside Michael Dawson. On the whole, Poch has a pretty decent hit rate when it comes to transfer successes, and I think most fans would back him to find good replacements. Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and Monaco, amongst others have shown it’s possible to stay competitive even when forced to sell your best players by being proactive in the transfer market and identifying good replacements to rebuild the squad (as opposed to Arsenal who always seemed to do the bare minimum to get by when faced with key player sales and new stadium based austerity measures).
Second, the depth of the squad has already been proven. The players who have been most heavily linked with moves (Rose and Dier) are arguably not even in our best eleven right now. Kane would be a heavy loss to swallow (and my biased instinct is that he’ll stay for at least a couple of years yet) but other than him there is no single player that cannot be adequately covered from the squad we already have. It was only two days ago that we destroyed Liverpool despite missing Rose, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Wanyama and Lamela. People even seem to conveniently forget how bloody good we were in Kane’s absence last season.
Finally, and it’s a less important point but a valid one nonetheless, is that our youth system is really bearing fruit. We’ve seen a new player break through almost every year. Last year it was Winks, this year it’s Walker Peters. Anyone who has seen any U19 games (well played BT sport for showing U19 games before the corresponding Champions league fixture) may well think that Marcus Edwards will be next. It would be naïve to think that these players can plug any gaps left by departed first team players but they put pressure on the first team, plus it fosters a spirit of continuity and long term thinking.
Spurs fans are buzzing at the moment and the possibility that a couple of players might be tempted by a massive pay day elsewhere is not going to dampen our optimism!
The power of deduction
Re: Matt, LA. It’s Robbie Keane isn’t it?
In response to Joe, EFC, yesterday:
He says the more he reads about Tuchel, the more “on the fence” he is. This implies that Tuchel is a viable option. I’ll admit, I’m a Liverpool fan, but I was surprised when Klopp came to Liverpool, ourselves perennial stragglers, from his position of relative bargaining power after leaving Dortmund. To suggest that Tuchel would actively leave Dortmund to move to Everton, who are even worse than us, seems a stretch.
Dortmund are top of the Bundesliga. They are listed as a much, much richer club. Surely regularly Champions League money & Bundesliga money, in a sold out 80,000 seat stadium, is turning over more than mid table finishes, in a 39,000 seater stadium with no European football. The last time Everton won something was 1995. The back end of the last century.
It seems like an extension of the PFM mindset to think that someone who’s doing incredibly well with Dortmund would want to move to Everton. Everton are nowhere near the standing of Dortmund in the modern game. Plus men holding babies, trying to punch goal keepers etc.
(MC – Who wants to tell him?)
Ronald needed more time
Last summer I wrote a letter to you criticising Everton for sacking Martinez and predicting that Koeman would struggle and would get sacked before Christmas if Lukaku left.
Well, my prediction came right a year late.
I always thought it was odd that Everton fans and the pundits were so vociferously against Martinez yet so optimistic about Koeman. Koeman’s record before taking over at Everton was mixed, to say the least. He won trophies in Holland, but also got sacked at Valencia and PSV. He did well at Southampton, but not spectacularly well. And how much of that success was down to the previous good work which had been done by Nigel Adkins anyway?
In the end I thought Koeman should have been given more time. He had to play five of last year’s top six clubs in the first nine games, so why not wait to see if he could turn it around?
However, I’m old enough to remember him getting away with fouling David Platt and pretty much costing us a place at the World Cup all those years ago. So my sympathy for him personally is very, very limited. Good riddance to him.
Give it Dychey
My heart sank when Koeman was sacked. Not for him (still not over his cheeky tug on Platt/retaken free kick combo) but now Giggs will be thrown in our face about two different jobs.
His stance when it comes to management is the epitome of why people think Man Utd are entitled and arrogant. He’s hardly the most charismatic man about, which is usually is enough to get PFMs a few results before they get found out. He may know the league but know nothing about that end of the league. Quite frankly, even as a player, he had no idea what was needed to stay up. He’s rarely had to ‘dig in’ at any point in his career.
Give Dyche a crack at the Everton job, have someone with 20 years management experience and success abroad come in at Leicester just to see Paul Merson’s head explode and let Giggs go back to his Sol Campbell tribute act.
I saw Phil Neville trending on twitter and wondered whether 28 England players had simultaneously been injured.
Don’t ever stop putting him on that ladder 😉
The kids are alright
For reasons that are obvious, there has been nearly zero coverage of the ongoing U-17 World Cup in the British press. Despite the fact that the boys are doing exceptionally well and have made it to the semi-finals against Brazil, with a 100% win record. They even managed to win a penalty shoot-out (take that! you seniors!) on the way.
There is some serious talent in this team and especially Phil Foden and Rhian Brewster have been tearing opposition defences apart. I personally always root for England at tournaments as my national football team never qualifies and will continue to be rubbish because the authorities don’t give a s**t about anything not named Cricket. Here’s hoping the young Lions go all the way and win it!
So show them some love and support them tomorrow! Best part is they play in my city so I could be seeing them live!
A real best XI of 2017
Rich AFC is bang on – what is the point of a yearly award if it’s not going to be based on the previous year?! My take…
GK – Gigi Buffon – Ok, I’ll get them this one. Buffon was pretty damn good for Juve, rolling back the years as the team reached the CL final and won the league with ease.
RB – Dani Cavajal – While Dani Alves was brilliant for Juve in their CL campaign, I think Carvajal had a better season. He faced a lot of adversity with injury but bounced back and was always Madrid’s first choice right back. Every time I watched him, he looked very assured.
LB – Marcos Alonso – Who didn’t raise eyebrows when Chelsea signed this guy? He ended up becoming a huge part of Conte’s title winning squad, chipping in with some important goals too. He had a fantastic, unexpected year. Benjamin Mendy, who was elite, just misses out.
CB – Sergio Ramos – 10 goals from defence and the first Madrid captain to lift a league and Euro double since the 50s. He was very good last season.
CB – David Luiz – Similar to Alonso, this man raised eyebrows upon his return to the Bridge. What followed was a campaign which proved his growth as a player, no errors leading to goals (a surprise) and a league title. His form has slightly dipped this season, but based on the last year? Solid.
CM – N’Golo Kante – Third and final Chelsea player in my lineup, but the signing from Leicester was crucial to them winning the title and was rewarded with Prem Player of the Year accolades. Outstanding year, for the second one in a row.
CM – Luca Modric – Just a supreme player and another key cog in all of Madrid’s good. He was awesome, he is awesome, and very little more needs to be said.
CM – Bernardo Silva – Almost went for Alli here but Silva edges him for me. I followed a lot of Monaco’s CL campaign last season and he was just class. I fully expect him to repeat the brilliance of his namesake in City’s midfield for years to come.
RW – Leo Messi – Ok, you can’t just not pick him because you’re trying to be edgy. 54 goals in 52 games last season, 15 in 14 already this and nabbed a crucial hat trick to send Argentina to the World Cup. Still the GOAT, for me.
LW – Cristiano Ronaldo – Not quite as impressive a goal record as the man above but winning Euro 2016, La Liga and the Champions League, a competition he just thrives in, has to be considered. Probably the second GOAT, for me.
ST – Harry Kane – Urgh. The (now) four season wonder not only scores goals, but he’s actually becoming a handy footballer too. What I mean is, his all round play has really improved of late, and as we all know, his record is moving into the territory only the two above really consistently reach. When he and Poch move in a joint deal to Madrid, he might grow on me.
Finally, a word on Neymar. A decent year, I’d say. But a relatively modest (13 in 30) league goal record for a global superstar is pretty average to me compared to someone like Kane. I truly think he’s in the FIFA XI because he moved for big money, which is pathetic really. Alexis Sanchez had a far better goal record (in a harder league) than Neymar did, and who’d have him over Kane in their FIFA XI? None, that’s how many.
Joe, AFC (Did the Kane comments make it obvious?), East Sussex
I am frankly a nobody to tell you what to do and what not to. But, here is the harsh reality that fans like me face today. Your headlines have become far more click baity. The problem with that die hard fans like me still click all the pages and read all the content (still super content).
But, its harder for me to tell everyone i know how awesome F365 is. Why? Because people see the headlines and see it to be no different to anything else on the internet. And, they end up judging me on my standards.
So here is a suggestion (unsolicited), please stick to your smart and at times, smartass headlines. We love that and even if you put boring headlines, we would still read them all.
Just avoid the “Juve takes pot shot at Conte” when nothing like that is truly happening.
Will continue to love F365 as always regardless of what you do. You give me too much joy in a day so thank you for everything you do.
Haha! I have to laugh, and remind F365 of this, since they are very, very good at doing this to others in Mediawatch…
Remember when F365 thought this about Ronald….
‘it takes a rare and excellent manager to find a way to solve problems of his own making’, and Koeman did exactly that time and again at Southampton. While others floundered or simply preached “more work on the training ground”, he looked for solutions and found solutions in changed formations, fringe players, more direct tactics”
But wait, what’s this that I read today on F365?
“We shall save the evisceration for the eventual sacking, but needless to say Bilic is suffering from the same issue as Ronald Koeman at Everton: he isn’t a very good coach and those chickens are coming home to roost”
Not to mention, the lambasting of Koeman for… changing formations a lot this season, using a lot of players..? But not last year, when it worked.
Manc in SA (You have to love sport, and even the “slowest” changes of opinion about someone’s worth within it)