Mails: Fellaini, Scholes, Ince: F*** off

Date published: Friday 18th March 2016 11:05

Paul Scholes Football365

Got something to say? Mail theeditor@football365.com.

 

How?
IS LOUIS VAN GAAL STILL THE MANAGER OF MANCHESTER UNITED!!!
Michael

 

Incompetency
There are many out there who call out United fans as being self entitled. It’s the same lot who Said West Ham should have been satisfied with Big Sam and the Gooners with Arsene Wenger. That is just plain dumb, that. Success or resources , the greater it gets the higher your expectations tend to be.It applies to all walks of life except it seems the holier than thou money spinning football industry.

With the money being spent and the players moved on, almost two seasons into LVG’s tenure just exposes the sheer incompetency of the man. Yes, part of it has been the sheer incompetency of the board but he did spend the best part of 250 million. 16 conclusions made the point that only three of the first XI last night were his signings. Incompetency.

CM – Carrick and Fellaini. Klopp. Gegenpresing. Counterattack. Self-Explanatory. Yet Scheniderlin was stuck on the bench. Schweini came on to play left back.

Flair -Depay, Di Maria, Januzaj, Andreas Pereira. Any inch of creativity is instantly distrusted by LVG. Moved on or left to rot.

CB- Bind. He is a tidy passer and a useful squad player. Capable to playing in multiple positions. Adequate as cover for Schneiderlin in the CDM position. But he plays every single game at CB. And in every single game , just look at the amount of time Smalling or Rojo have to step across the defend high balls. The lack of height and strength means he is bullied every time he is left one on one. There are only so many times you can depend on positioning. Especially playing at CB, where you are expected to display at least competent levels of physicality playing in the Premier League.

Mentality – For all the his talk about philosophy and total football, it is first and foremost a don’t lose mentality for LVG. His teams rarely play with the handbrakes off and he rarely ever tries something different.

Take Bayern vs Juve at the Allianz Arena. With Bayern 2-0 down , Pep took off Alonso and sent on Coman. He was then left with one central midfielder in the form of Vidal.Pep even mentioned in his presser that the last 20 minutes were more down do emotion and a gung-ho approach instead of anything tactically enlightening. LVG sent on two full backs and a holding midfielder. Given that Varela had a torrid time, which was not a suprise given his showing in Anfield, that one substitution made sense. When Rojo went off, he could have easily played Blind at LB and move Carrick into CB. Schweini could have came on and played midfield and still left with one more sub for Depay to come on. While we are here, where were the game changers on the bench. Januzaj, Perreira????

So, safety-first mentality, no creativity, no inspiration, no motivation. The list goes on.

He is leaving in the summer with head bowed down. This is a failure.
Jeenavesan

 

Van Gaal is a WUM
When needing 3 goals to win last night, Van Gaal’s 3 substitution decisions were straight swaps, both full backs and a holding midfielder. The howls of indignation from the united fans in the pub I was in at each substitution (especially the last 2), which I expect were replicated elsewhere, lead me to realise something!

I’ve come to the conclusion that Louis Van Gaal is footballs greatest troll, it’s foremost WUM. On a mission to wind up Manchester United fans the world over!

And for that I, and the game of football itself, can only be thankful!

I love you Louis Van Gaal! I love you!

Regards,
Tim, (EFC)

 

Liverpool should sell Sturridge
We need to talk about Daniel.

There were far too many occasions last night when Sturridge could have grabbed an assist or played a key pass. Instead he chose to go for glory. His free kick showed just how good his technique is and his tracking back was tireless. However without a strike partner he looks too intent on personal glory to play in his supporting cast. It’s as if he sees the lone striker position as the starring role in a talent show.

Assuming he stays fit he could command a good sell on fee. Depending on Liverpool’s seasons ending he could be seen as best used as a bargaining chip. It’s sad to say as his talent is beyond doubt but with Klopps ability to attract players and Liverpools recent form (that’s far from assured) there is a good chance of a strong finish leading to a chance to upgrade on Sturridge.
Martin Jackson

 

Reds have balls
What has to be said about Liverpool under Klopp is that they’ve grow a huge set of balls. Under Rodgers if we conceded the game was always over, we had no chance of coming back. And yet the same set of players now have serious fight. What I loved most about today was that we played badly, just like against Man City in the cup final, and yet both times we managed to claw our way back into the game.

That Coutinho goal was wonderful though. You knew the moment he turned his pace and went on the inside of Varela that Utd were in trouble but I was half expecting De Gea to bail them out again. The chip was so naughty and unexpected that I reacted and started celebrating about 7 seconds after the ball was in the net. Surely De Gea won’t stick around for another season of this? If he does leave then I literally can’t imagine what would happen to this team, no matter the manager.

I am not really sold on Clyne and have moaned at length about how poor he is in the attacking third and today he looked very uncomfortable. I hope he isn’t made to look the same against Southampton on Sunday.

Talking about old Southampton boys, it was sad to see the old (read: useless) Lallana back again tonight. Weak on the ball, created little…sub optimal.

Is LVG’s hair line receding or does he just have the biggest forehead in the world? He’s tall as well so if anything the TV doesn’t give full credit to how large it might be.

Please don’t draw Dortmund next round.
Minty, LFC

 

More Liverpool thoughts
First of all, I have to say, I’m an Irish Liverpool fan on St. Patrick’s day. Hopefully what follows is semi-coherent.

*I was more nervous about this match than the first. Perhaps because of the risk that all my swagger last week would be thrown back in my face, or perhaps because us Liverpool fans have become all too familiar with failure in recent years.

Failure, though, is not something Klopp seems to trade in. It is so refreshing to see a manager that clearly loves the game and equally loves the competition. For all his charm and charisma, he is fearsome in his pursuit of the plan. He does not accept good football, it must also be disciplined.

It’s rubbing off on the Liverpool players and they are beginning to look organised in both attack and defence. Failure was not an option in this game. Klopp sent them out to defend well, score a goal and qualify. They did.

*Liverpool’s defence would not have withstood that first half pressure six months ago. It was by no means perfect but it is miles ahead of what was being offered before. Not just in the positional sense and game management but in mental fortitude.

This was no walk in the park for a much maligned defence. Nonetheless, they largely withstood the pressure in the first half, allowing the attack to focus on the counter.

Sakho was particularly impressive and seemed intent on turning any sort of defensive situation into attack as quickly as possible. It gives you the jitters but it so often puts Liverpool on the front foot against the run of play.

*The downside to Liverpool’s defence was Clyne. He has probably looked the most accomplished defender for large parts of the season but really struggled tonight.

In fact, in the first half, he is the only Liverpool player that seemed to look overwhelmed by the occasion. Maybe even underwhelmed – he was short of the pace. Hopefully it was a blip rather than a habit.

For 44 minutes, though, it did seem enough to tip the tie in United’s favour and just shows the importance of a team effort. One weak link and United looked like they could conceivably progress against the odds.

*For me, that point is what really separates Liverpool and Utd at the minute. Teamwork.

Liverpool look like a team that is fully behind a game plan and, in large, capable of executing it. They’re not the most talented of Liverpool teams (and certainly have their off days) but everyone knows their role: when they should press, when they should attack and when they should sit back.

United, on the other hand, seem incapable of defending their own weaknesses.

*Finally (and sorry for taking so long to get here), does anyone else get the impression that Sturridge hates Klopp? He rarely covers himself with grace when he gets substituted but he seems particularly annoyed about his limited playing time of late, despite starting a lot of games.

He has always been a slightly selfish player, even for strikers’ standards, but it seems to me like he is clashing with Klopp’s strictly selfless approach to the game.
Sam (I didn’t even mention Can’s box-to-box performance or that cheeky Coutinho dink), Belfast

 

More United thoughts
After another night of football that’s just not good enough for United, I’ve concluded many things;

1) Performance overall wasn’t bad tonight, but last weeks efforts meant we were always chasing the game and really needed to keep a clean sheet.

2) Varela had played well until tonight, but he was at fault for coutinho’s goal and I hope that doesn’t result in him losing too much confidence or being dropped indefinitely.

3) Fellaini. Despite the fact he wasn’t as awful as usual, he was still all elbows and failed to get both of his clear cut chances on target, as well as heading one straight at the keeper. Remind me again why he continues to start over schniederlin?

4) When chasing 3 goals in the second half and you have 3 subs to make, how did Van Gaal possibly think that changing the two full backs and bringing on a slow German veteran who’s lost his legs was going lead to united scoring the goals required?

5) Champions league next season is but a distant dream and with big big derby game on Sunday against City, and even a win there leaves us with away games at Spurs and West Ham and Leicester at home, we’ve got no chance. Bottom half finish is more likely than a top 4 finish.

6) Although I desperately want Van Gaal out, I can’t say I can see a good replacement for him. As you’ve already eluded to this week Giggs is not the man, and don’t even mention José. Although anything is better than this. Anything.
Felix (Viva la Pardèw!)

 

Last 10 minutes of the game and united final sub of the game is to bring on a DMC for a DMC. That DMC then appears to play alongside the CB.

Now the other CM he is playing alongside is playing up front as lanky target. Problem is this lanky target when receiving the ball takes the bal 3 giant lanky strides in the wrong direction, and then passes the ball backwards to the player who original pings it forward….counter productive? Yes.

With this happening it also leaves a giant gap in the middle of the pitch. Playing against any team this is a bad idea but Liverpool press in that area and up. There’s a reason they bring on fresh strikers, because their other attacking players work so damn hard up there. None of this makes any tactical sense.

LVG has less points then Moyes and is being dumped out of Europa while Moyes was at the QF of the CL. Moyes was sacked for being shit and LVG is even shitter. This is not done to the players commitment because they were playing with the best with the tactics they have.

LVG needs to go and needs to go now! This season is a write off. Let giggs take over and plan his future, they are going to trust him eventually why not now to learn and build on? LVG has less points then Moyes and is being dumped out of Europa while Moyes was at the QF of the CL. Moyes was sacked for being shit and LVG is even shitter.

Also what a goal by coutinho,I have a feeling him and De Gea will be best friends next season at their new club!
Stoky-Boy (MUFC) – how does Depay not come on, only attacking player on the bench!

 

Many conclusions
Well, that was as predictable as it was pathetic. Everything about that United performance was utter garbage – there are literally no positives to be taken from either the performance or the result. I must have been watching a different game to the BT pundits and commentators because I certainly didn’t see a “better performance” – though I will concede that it couldn’t get much worse than last week’s. What about that performance was supposed to be better?

1) The match was lost as soon as our starting 11 was named. Fellaini once again lumped in midfield, Rashford seemingly undroppable (more on him later), Carrick inexplicably keeping either Schweinsteiger or Schneiderlin out of the team – we were doomed before we’d started.

2) The insipid tactics van Gaal insists on employing every single match, regardless of opponents, also undermined any chance of success. Sterile domination of possession with very few genuine chances created – due to both personnel and their deployment – made an already difficult job that much harder still.

3) If it wasn’t over with the first leg defeat and failure to get an away goal, it was as soon as Coutinho danced his way through with a bit of individual brilliance. If we’d taken a 1-0 lead in at half time we might have had a chance. Scoring 3 goals over 90 minutes was going to be nearly impossible; needing to score 3 in 45 is just taking the p*ss.

4) The substitutions again are absolutely abysmal. Almost every change van Gaal ever makes is like-for-like, so rarely do we see him try anything different; his ridiculous belief that the tactics (which clearly aren’t working) are the right ones is crippling any chance of the team making any progress whatsoever.

5) The fact that he saw fit to replace his full-backs in search of a goal is bad enough, but to replace them with the surely not match-ready Valencia – who wasn’t even playing well before his injury – and Darmian at left-back is at once both unbelievable and totally predictable.

6) Can we please name and shame all these idiots who keep insisting that Fellaini has been playing well? He surrenders possession any time he’s faced with an opponents, fails to trouble the ‘keeper with even the easiest of chances and seems hell bent on getting himself sent off in every game. Why the shuddering f*ck is this guy still a permanent fixture in our team?

7) The penalty was a soft one, but that just about makes up for the one Liverpool got in the first leg. It’s telling that the penalty was worth 50% of our shots on target in the first half. Further evidence, as if it was necessary, that these tactics just aren’t working.

8) I like Marcus Rashford – he looks to have a lot of potential – but is there any reason why he’s playing almost all of every game at the moment? Putting him into these incredibly high-pressure games and expecting him to somehow recapture the magic of his first two appearances is both naive and destructive to his confidence; every match that goes by where he’s continually marginalised by having to spend his time defending is going to slowly break this kid. We’re not exactly flush with options but he should have been taken out of the firing line 2 or 3 games ago.

9) Sakho was imperious in defence. Granted, he wasn’t exactly coming up against world-beaters, but everything that came at him was repelled with consummate ease. What a turnaround under Klopp he’s had.

10) Mignolet didn’t even have chance to drop a clanger – he must wish that he could play United every week.

This version of United is more of a disaster than the Moyes version. Be careful what you wish for eh? The daft thing is, it’s been given every chance to succeed. Copious amounts of money has been spent and lots of time (read: far too much) has been afforded to the manager to implement his philosophy. It does beg the question whether Moyes would ultimately have turned things around if he’d been afforded the same luxuries. Don’t get me wrong, his sacking was still the right call, but Van Gaal’s should have already come under far worse circumstances.

I didn’t personally hear any of the chanting from the fans (I can only tolerate BT Sport coverage on mute) but if the United fans were indeed doing that again then it’s absolutely shameful. There are just no words to describe how reprehensible that behaviour truly is. It makes me embarrassed to be a United fan.
Ted, Manchester

 

Pretty sure everyone will send in observations, including me.

Lets get straight to Fellani. The dirty elbow machine. It is getting beyond a joke. His ball winning and composure were actually impressive but his petulance could have once again earned a sending off. He doesn’t look good enough for Utds ambitions.

Praise must go to Lovren for his recent form but last night Sakho stole the show. An imperious display. Never looked in trouble, always composed.

Quite the opposite for Clyne. He has been solid throughout the campaign. Always dependable but last night looked a tired shadow of his usual self. I expect to see Flannigan and Moreno (if recovered) at the weekend. A truly poor show from a usually consistent player.

Can was, once again, excellent. Hard to believe he is still so young. A mature defensive display. Henderson is still spluttering. He did little wrong but little to convince us he is back to his best. Once again Joe Allen looked more than capable of replacing him. With Can playing so well, Grujic set to join and Sakho leading from the back it’ll be a surprise if Henderson remains the Liverpool captain next season.

Poor Milner, ever the utility player. Did a job.

Rashford and Martial looked dangerous and industrious. Van Gaals choice to pop Mata out wide made little sense with such willing runners ahead f him he’s surely have been at home in the middle of the park.

I’m sure Schweinsteiger and Schnielderlin should be Utds first choice midfield pairing with Mata playing ahead of them. Maybe they are too similar or maybe LVG feels he has to “innovate” and surprise opponents every game.

Klopps Liverpool are taking shape. It would take a very unlikely run of form and luck to win the EL or manage top 4. The summer spending spree should be an indication on whether Liverpool can now attract the players needed to push on a level.
Martin (De Gea – wow) Jackson

 

* I said it last week but it’s worth repeating – De Gea is brilliant. That said I’m not sure what he was doing for the goal, he seemed to go down too quickly. United rely on him too much. He can’t do everything, every week. He’s only human.

* Take nothing from the little magician though. Despite the defensive errors that helped him get in the box it was a delightful run and goal.

* Fellaini threw three elbows in two matches and he received a solitary yellow card. Disgraceful from the Belgian and also the officials.

* Sturridge didn’t do enough for me. Yes he hit the post but he was wasteful and selfish. Origi held the ball better and ran the channels more.

* Moreno injured, Clyne had a bit of a mare and Milner struggled positionally. The decision to leave Flanno out of the squad may bite Klopp on the arse at some point.

* We were good at Anfield and pretty decent at Old Trafford but if we play like that against any of the remaining teams we will most definitely not be in the next round. United were poor but still could have scored four with more composure.
Carl (it’ll be bloody Dortmund won’t it) the Welsh

 

Scholes and Ince: Sort it out
As United fan this season has been depressing. Defensive crises, scratch your eyes out style of play, boring manager, no points and to top it all off we’ve gone out of Europe to our #1 enemy.

But, bizarrely, the thing that has really depressed me is the absolute dross that we get served up by pundits and journos alike about how to sort United out. I’ve just had to put up with Paul Scholes moaning for the umpteenth time about how crap United are, with his lips firmly attached to Michael Carrick’s asshole.

I fully understand Scholes’ frustration. We’re boring and sometimes you could question the desire of the players. But he offers absolutely no ideas to improve the situation other than “get Michael Carrick on to play the ball forward” and “balls”. Fantastic insight Paul, allow me to retort.

Despite his fantastic passing average, what exactly has Carrick done for United this year? Goals? No but he never was prolific. Lots of assists? No zero assists. In fairness he’s played a lot at centre back and has been injured quite a bit. But in the last ten games he’s played, United have won 3. He started in defeats to Sunderland, Midtjylland and West Brom and gave away the second goal against Liverpool at Anfield. Over the whole season it’s a slightly better 13 wins in 30 appearances. So Carrick is quite clearly not the answer. Scholes insistence on clamouring for his inclusion in the side (in which he’s already playing I might add) would not happen if Carrick was a) foreign and b) had not played with Scholes before. Scholes is also always moaning about the lack of pace in the side and Carrick is the slowest player by a country a mile.

Balls is not something I ever really thought would be a commonly used word in punditry. I actually thought we had started to move away from that sort of macho rubbish. It’s one thing to say United lack spirit but to say that this lack of spirit (along with an imaginary lack of Michael Carrick) is causing our demise is another entirely. The reason we’re gash is because the manager is not getting right and tactically we’re a shambles. The lack of spirit in the side is likely a result of the dire performances and dour man that is leading them, not to mention having to put up with Paul Scholes miserable punditry after every game. Yes spirit will win us a few games but we got hammered by Liverpool last week because their tactics were spot on and we had a centre forward on the right wing, a central midfielder at centre back and a tree in in the middle of the park, not because we didn’t have any balls. Michael Carrick also played in the second half. He was terrible.

Why is the term “balls” even used in the modern day anyway? Like “man-up” it’s a relic of the old man’s game of football, not the International sport played by most humans (and some trees). Presumably the women’s game must be utterly rubbish because they don’t have the requisite number of testes on show (not literally on show) and brave ladies must be men because they’ve got balls? Another reason for Paul Scholes to go away and think of something more insightful to say.

And on the subject of Pauls, we were treated to Paul Ince telling us that “none of these players know what it means to play for Manchester United or Liverpool”. Yeh thanks for that Paul. You knew so well what it meant to play for United that you f!&@ed off to Inter than went to Liverpool. I was eleven and had your name on my shirt you utter bastard. Again, your insight is truly valued. And it’s “ask” not “arks” you prat.

To avoid this rant becoming a parody of its target I should say something constructive. I’d write something interesting myself about why United aren’t playing very well (clue: it’s not because they’re lacking “balls”) but those mails have been littering the mailbox almost as much as those about Arsenal’s customary end of season capitulation and misplacing of mental strength. So I will give Paul Scholes some words of encouragement: Paul you are my favourite United player and the best English player in the last 45 years. Please stop moaning and give us some sound tactical things that United can change to improve. Please do some research before and after games instead of going to your former team mates as examples of excellence. Please stop mentioning “balls” on air. Stop mentioning how much has been spent. Stop mentioning the players that have left (Pogba left because you came out of retirement (partly). Cheers.) In fact, if you could stop commentating for a few games that would be great. Thanks Paul X
Ashley (Paul Ince, I must arks you to fxxk off) Metcalfe

 

Those substitutions
When logical explanations have been exhausted, we are left to speculate.

The answer as to why, when you need 3 goals, Van Gaal would make those substitutions, has become clear to me. Having proved himself as a football manager over the years, Van Gaal is now working as a performance artist. His current Manchester United team, is in fact a statement on the society we live in today. A western world obsessed with image, with style over substance, with form over function and with the fight rather than the argument.

When he has finally converted Rashford to a functional right back, his work will be complete.

One can only assume that Ed Woodard is not a big fan of Joseph Beuys, and hasn’t spotted what is happening, which is why Van Gaal is still in a job.
Jeremy Aves

 

The Fellaini years
A friend and I were hoping last night that we will look back on these years and laugh (preferably while walking out of a pub into the May sunshine, having just won the title).

We’ll laugh about the days when a gangly Weeble made entirely of elbows and hair played in holding midfield, and see him as the totem of a dark time for the club – a bit like Eric Djemba Djemba.

But for now, I have just one question (and the answer is not “Manchester City”): why (oh Lord, why) start Fellaini yesterday, when by my count (of WhoScored’s excellent stats) in Fellaini’s last ten games against Premier League opposition we W2, D3, L5 – yet with Schneiderlin but not Fellaini it’s W5, D4, L1… (Schneiderlin also started one of the two Fellaini wins).
Chris (in fact, why start him ever?), Manc

 

A couple of brief points from a Liverpool fan’s perspective:

1. Fellaini was Man of the Match, no question.
2. Fellaini is a ****
3. Fellaini is a violent ****
4. Fellaini really does not belong in a Manchester Utd team.

At least Van Gaal managed to finish his crossword!

Regards,
Cowlick.

 

It’s getting silly. How can be keep getting away with it? I’ve never seen a player get away with assault so regularly, it’s a weekly occurrence. Surely it needs to be clamped down on. A yellow card for taking your top off after scoring a goal, the same punishment for slamming your elbow into the side of someone’s head. It’s ridiculous.
Andy Sime. Spurs

 

No mention in 16 Conclusions that Man Utd should have finished the game with 10 men, again.

Seriously, how many times does Fellaini have to assault Liverpool players before he gets a ban?
Paul M, LFC

 

LvG’s continued selection of Fellaini is the tallest and hairiest managerial suicide note in history.
Chris MUFC

 

Wenger you gonna learn?
The argument in favour of Arsene Wenger these days (at least from the non-Arsenal fans) seems to be “be grateful given the stability and relative success he has brought to the club over a sustained period, and through a period of enforced austerity”.

I am no Arsenal fan, but I have a problem with this argument. The argument (Wenger provides stability therefore be grateful Arsenal fans) seems to be predicated on the notion that Wenger’s strength (providing stability and relative success at a club level) is intrinsically tied to his failure (performance at the top, top level).

Sure, his navigation through the waters of financial constraints has been admirable. His consistent top four finishes are too. He attracts exciting young talent (regardless of your opinion of them today, players like Ramsey, Walcott, The Ox, etc. were sought after talent when Wenger snapped them up. The “Wenger develops young talent” myth might actually be the issue at hand in these players not fulfilling their potential).

I digress. My argument is that his skills (whatever you believe them to be) do not necessitate his shortcomings. For an example, we could say that Jose Mourinho’s skills are:
* winning matches at all costs
* instilling a winning, chip-on-you-shoulder, mentality
* taking the media pressure off his players
* dependence on older players)

These strong points have associated negative consequences; correspondingly:
* parking the bus, and boring defensive football
* cheating, diving, time-wasting, general c*ntiness
* alienating players
* small, aging squads.

This is not to say that for a coach to provide Jose’s list of strong points, it necessitates the list of shortcomings. I am saying Mourinho’s style results in the causation. A same argument can be made for the management styles of Guardiola, LVG, Pards, etc.

This brings me back to my qualm with the Wenger argument. Wenger’s management strengths do not necessitate his management shortcomings. whatever you perceive his shortcomings to be, I cannot see a world where this is a negative consequence of his strongs points. His strong points of providing club stability, management on a budget, consistent top four finishes, attracting young talent, attacking and exciting football, do not require players who lack a winning mentality, or who dribble out of defence (looking at you Ox – how many times can one man make the same mistake (he says in a mail about Arsenal)).

Wenger is a top class manager, and a stalwart of the game. His shortcoming (in my humble opinion) is his continuing faith in players who have shown, repeatedly, to underperform, to lack mental strength and a winning mentality, and his refusal to focus on a defensive strategy that is effective in today’s (EPL and CL) football. This is not a symptom of austerity and, more importantly, club stability. This is a separate failure. One that can be fixed without sacrificing his strengths. And this is the reason Arsenal fans have a right to be incensed; the faliures/shortcomings/oversights are not symptoms of the success.

He isn’t going to change at this point. I get the feeling that any Arsenal cup victory these days is in spite of him rather than because of him. The narrative of their season is even present in individual matches. Arsenal fans are brought to the brink of climax by some quality football, only to be let down when Wenger decides to pull out his Coq out, and treat us all to a sweaty, ineffective Flamini. This is not a symptom of club stablity or austerity. This is abstract art.

I used to be a big Wenger fan, but success at the highest level requires one to be better than the competition – I do not think Wenger has been for a long time.
Kendall (am I too late for the Arsenal mailbox?), far, far away

 

The 7/10 XI
Look, its Friday. Thus I have come out with a list of 7/10 kind of footballers for 2015/2016 season, or in other word James Milner and the gang. Common traits include full of running, giving their all without having too much of a quality themselves. The kind of player that would give the exact same performance be it at home against Villa, away at Allianz Arena, or during a wet night at Stoke. Here it goes;

GK: Frazer Forster
A lot of candidates, but he brings stability back to stuttering Southampton backline, albeit not spectacularly. Honestly it could have been anyone other than De Gea, Cech and Courtoius and Romero. (Romero is too shite)

RB: Cesar Azpilicueta
Notice the difference between early the season when Chelsea is shite and now? Nothing you say? Its because Azpi is playing exactly the same way and giving all his 7/10.

CB: Chris Smalling
Some said the reason Utd were formidable team back then was because they were full of 7/10 players for back up (eg Wes Brown). Smalling was once an understudy to Ferdinand, but a 7/10 CB cant, and never will impress like a 10/10.

CB: Laurent Koscielny
Some said he is the greatest ever CB currently in the league, but often the lack of concentration shown, numerous of times makes 7/10 sounds generous. Quite a good player on his day.

LB: Aaron Cresswell
In between Alan Hutton and Hector Bellerin, stands Mr. Cresswell.

Mid: Aaron Ramsey
The player with the ability to produce the spectacular together with the abjectacular. Makes up the quality deficiency by running and tackling. A box to litter box kind of player. Arsenal very own James Milner.

Mid: Morgan Schneiderlin
Tidy and neat, breaks play with minimal fuss. He wont improve a lot of title challenging team that much, but he wont improve any teams below that that much either.

Mid: Willian
It is cruel to label Mr Willian a 7/10 kind of player when he provide such inspiration during the hard times, but he is what he is. He will never reach such heights like Hazard back then, but definitely wont be toilet like Pedro.

Mid: James Milner
Despite been absolute **** lately, he is the reason this 7/10 list was created. He is usually as good as he is, either against Villa or Man Utd. Any guess on his jersey number at Liverpool?

Mid: Danny Drinkwater
Ngolo Kante, Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez might earn the plaudits for being 10/10, but in between them exists a guy who run his socks of for the team too, and he is not too shabby himself. Some said he benefitted from the system, on his own he is just a 4/10, but no footballer won a match on his own.

Forward: Danny Welbeck
A James Milner in forward position.

Regarding the league position, i believe this team might finish somewhere 5th or 6th. But hey they could sneak up to to 3rd in a season crazy like this.
Syfq Amr, a bias Gooner

 

Bertrand vs Cresswell
There is a certain bias that comes with supporting ones club and the belief that your players, on form, should be worthy of International recognition. I can therefore understand Troys frustration and agree that both Creswell & Noble can feel highly aggrieved not to have made Woy’s latest squad.

However the knock off comment “Don’t see what Bertrand has offered over Cresswell” irked me. At least expand on this point.

Bertrand since signing has arguably been our most consistent performer along with Jose Fonte in a team that has been competing for European places for the past two seasons. A few notable mentions:

He was part of defence that conceded 33 goals last season. It was second best in the league & only 1 less than the Champions Chelsea. West Ham conceded 47.

Made PFA Premiership Team of the Year 2014-15.

He’s part of a side that’s currently conceded 3 fewer goals than West Ham. (30 v 33)

Bertrand v (Cresswell) 2015/16:
Apps: 26 (37)
Tackles per Game: 1 (1)
Interceptions per Game: 2 (2)
Clearances per Game: 2.8 (2.6)
Assists: 2 (3)

He’s been involved in the last number of England Squads with 5 of 7 International Caps came during 2015. Most recently starting the Spain game and coming on as a sub against France in November.

So surely the question is:

What exactly does Cresswell offer over Bertrand?

I sympathise with your grievances; but don’t take it out on someone fully deserving of his call up.

As for Gibbs, let’s not go there…
Nick, Saints FC (Cue Lallana pulling Bertrands pants down on Sunday)

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