Has Pep Guardiola underachieved as Bayern Munich coach? Also: betting against your own team, Schweinsteiger, and Brendan teaching yoga in Bali…
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I have an issue. I feel like putting a bet on Everton to beat Liverpool on Sunday, which as a Liverpool fan is odd territory.
However, we are crap, and Everton are not. Betting on Liverpool is a silly thing to do, because we won’t win. I might as well burn the stake and save time. Also, if we do miraculously win, I won’t care about the money. It won’t make the victory any sweeter. However if we lose but I walk away with more money in my pocket, I can focus on that rather than the loss, and also Rodgers will probably get fired, or at least move a few steps closer to the door. That scenario doesn’t sound so bad – except I know, based on the opinions of the people in my office, that gambling against your team (for whatever reason) is not on at all.
Anyone got any advice? I feel like I’m trapped in the Moral Maze at the moment. Anyone regularly bet against their team, or got any stories of times you did?
Matt (dirty all over) LFC
Oh Paul, London, this is really starting to annoy me.
Arsenal matched Suarez’ release clause. In his contract. Legally Liverpool could do nothing if Suarez wanted to go. Do you not think that if he had even the slightest desire to join Arsenal he and his agent wouldn’t have kicked up a huge stink, dragging it through whatever court if necessary?
The simple truth is it would have been a sideways step and he was happy to spend another year at Liverpool and wait for Real or Barca to come calling rather than join Arsenal.
Ben, WHUFC, Guildford
Dear Mr Veneers. I’m sure somewhere in Bali a yoga retreat, chock-full of d*ckheads is missing it’s motivational guru and life-coach. You’ll be able to flash those porcelain teeth and they’ll lap up your bon mots ‘cos they’re full of it themselves. Please do the noble thing and f*ck right off! Every time he does that stupid clapping thing I wish I could put his head between my hands and clap some sense into him.
The Bitters are going to give us a hiding this weekend. It might end up being a mercy killing and this mongrel can be put to sleep. Thanks for the highs of the season before last Brent, but you really are a charlatan of the highest order. Be off with you now.
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
Our learned friend
Because the Liverpool vs FC Sion game wasn’t on mainstream TV last night, and I was unfortunate enough to have paid to be there, I thought I’d send in my “7 things I learnt”:
- Jordan Ibe is a right winger not a left back, his positioning and lack of communication with Gomez left us horribly exposed and resulted in the Sion goal. That said, he was dreadful in the 2nd half when switched to right wing back – utterly devoid of confidence. Personally think we should have kept Markovic and sent Ibe out on loan again this season.
- Lallana looks 10 times better in real life than on tv, I hope he gets a run in the side now that Firmino is out for a few weeks.
- Danny Ings offers an intensity upfront that we haven’t seen since Suarez left. His work rate and aggression in closing down opposition defenders makes a real difference and there was a notable drop in tempo when he was subbed off.
- Watching Kolo Toure attempt an overhead kick is a wonderful thing. He managed to hit the crossbar with his effort as well.
- FC Sion’s centre back Leo Lacroix looked immense, composed and commanding. Such a contrast to any Liverpool defender, we could really do with a no nonsense clogger (a la Carragher) to shore us up – when is Ron Vlaar fit and available to sign on a free???
- Mignolet’s unwillingness to catch a ball spreads a lack of confidence throughout the team, he’s looked shakey for over 2 years now. GK has got to be the focus area for January recruitment, Brendan doesn’t seem to believe Bogdan (“the ginger buffon”) is good enough for a run as 1st choice keeper.
- Joe Allen is incredibly handsome with a beard.
PS. I haven’t read any newspapers this morning, but if none of them go with the headline ‘Sion Kop’ then they’ve missed a cracking pun.
Mike H, Leeds
Old Firm in the PL
First-time contributor, long-time lurker. Watching Celtic last night and how well we played for 70-odd minutes against a team with the talent of Fernabache. it got me thinking about what Dermott Desmond has been saying in the papers again this week about Celtic and Rangers joining the EPL, is there a good reason for them not to be included? I will go one further, clubs like Hibs, Hearts and Aberdeen would add something to the English structure, these three clubs have massive support that given the right chance could thrive. They are all traditionally bigger clubs than the likes of Swansea and Cardiff, so I see no reason these clubs couldn’t do similar and at lease cement their place at Championship level with the Glasgow 2 bringing massive crowds to the EPL.
Why not parachute Celtic and Rangers in make a 22-team EPL with each club playing one home and away game abroad like the NFL do? Go on EPL fans get behind it, on the plus side Arsenal might have another challenger for their 4th place trophy!
Surprised the mailbox has kept sort of quiet on this (mind you, us City fans rarely write in), but for those of you who are unaware, I’m talking about the Gladbach vs City match on Wednesday night.
In the 64th minute with Gladbach one up, Demichelis heads the ball into the net, which is booted out by Korb. The City players en masse appealed for the goal – the ref saw it, that useless Harry Potter wand waver saw it, yet it wasn’t given (it was about two ball lengths over the line).
In the ensuing melee, in the 65th minute the ball came out to Otamendi who then blasted it in, ricocheting off Christensen – this time there was no dispute, and City were level.
Yesterday, however, UEFA came out with a statement that said because the ref saw the Demi ‘goal’, that was the one to be used and not the Otamendi goal, that was but now wasn’t, and that Demi’s goal would be moved to the 65th minute as well.
Excuse me, but what?
What on God’s green Earth are they talking about? If the ref saw it, why didn’t he give it? Why did he allow play to continue and allow Otamendi’s goal? Both he and UEFA have royally screwed up and are now back-tracking to cover their own arses. Has anything like this ever happened before? What would have been done if Otamendi had not scored? Would UEFA have given us the goal? I think we all know the answer to that one, and it would have led to more accusations of anti-bias towards Manchester City.
It is equally shocking and comedic that they continue to make things up as they go along. Mind you, at least we won – thanks Serg, you beautiful b*****d.
Nothing to lose
With all the worries and concerns from the #WengerIn crowd about what will happen when he steps down or forced out,
I tell you what’s the worst that will happen. The worst that will happen is that nothing will change.
Will we struggle for a top-four finish every year? No change there.
Will we fail to beat any of the top teams in the league and Europe. No change there.
Will we fail to beat Chelsea at any meaningful game? No change there.
Will we fail to buy the very best players and be inadequate in the transfer market? No change there.
Will Theo Walcott be our best striker? No change there.
Will we regularly lose and drop points in the most shocking and embarrassing situations? No change there.
Will we capitulate and crack under any sort of pressure? No change there.
Will the new manager look clueless, stubborn a and naive? NO CHANGE THERE.
That is the worst that can happen.
Tobi Gooney Boy London
Be careful what you wish for
I do enjoy the “get rid of Wenger and get Guardiola” brigade out there. Firstly, I must admit that I’ve been a Wenger apologist for many a year (although this got sorely tested on Tuesday).
It’s nice to dream but they are called dreams for a reason. I dream of making love to Kate Upton on a regular basis, it’s good to dream. The reality is however, I’ve got a great and loving wife at home who (sometimes) cooks and cleans and generally makes me feel like king of my castle. I can dream about replacing her with Kate Upton but think about the practicalities. I’m sure she’s high maintenance, probably won’t wash a dish, pick up a pair of my crusty jocks that missed the laundry basket or bring me a beer while braaing (BBQ-ing to you English folk) a side of cow. She’ll spend all my money, leave and I’ll be yearning for the days of my loving caring wife. Hell, I bet Kate Upton doesn’t even go on top!!
My very convoluted point is that it’s nice to dream and you can have some quality alone time with those but think through the ramifications and practicality of those dreams!
Wishing everyone a great weekend.
Hans, (Irish Gooner in Cape Town)
I see Ospina has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or while Cech has not. See? Arsene KNOWS.
Stewie Griffin (Martial our latest virtual signing)
Their also-rans > our also-rans
Interesting (but rubbish) line from Craig in yesterday’s mailbox:
‘The so called ‘lesser’ teams in the Premier League would beat their Spanish or German counterparts most of the time.’
The top four English teams are being beaten in the Champions League.
The next few English teams are being beaten in the Europa League.
These teams are not necessarily Spanish or German – Monaco/Porto/Olympiakos/Fiorentina/Dynamo Kyiv are some of the clubs to have defeated English teams in Europe over the past two seasons.
There is no evidence to suggest that ‘lesser’ PL teams will beat counterparts on the continent.
Blind to Branislav
Just watched the press conference as it happened.
Mourinho has confirmed that Ivanovic is the best right-back at the club and pretty much suggested he’ll play again tomorrow.
Are the two of them having an affair? Has big Branislav caught Jose doing something he shouldn’t have been doing?
The world can see that he is a real weakness in a creaking team that lacks confidence, yet he continues to play 90mins every few days. There are articles, stats and opinion everywhere all pointing to the same thing. The only person who can’t see it, or is hiding from it is Jose Mourinho.
It’s scandalous. Borderline neglect.
Following on from Guy S’s mail, whoever said those things about Schweinsteiger in the beginning is an idiot.
Some players, like Pedro, people cite their CV and everything they won. No-one really speaks of their performances on the pitch because obviously they are good but they don’t stand out as special. He played his part but Barca’s success is down to Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and the style of play that’s been ingrained in them. Schweinsteiger stands out as being an integral part of Germany and Bayern’s success. He’s won a lot and he played a big part in winning. 14 million for a player like that would be a steal, especially today when 14 million gets you a Sunderland standard of player. The fact he was six million is just sodding ridiculous, basically a free transfer for United’s budget.
United needed a player like him.
Our success from 06-2013 was down to having the old heads like Giggs, Scholes, Ferdinand etc in the changing room to be leaders. Herrera spoke of De Gea saying there used to be a hierarchy at United when those lot were there. Schweinsteiger and Carrick play those roles now, ideally we’d have one or two more in their 30s who have been there and done it. RVP should have stayed for another year or two, especially as we are so light up front.
Then you see Schweinsteiger on the pitch and he’s just absolute class. He still has the energy and mobility to get around, is a 100% winner who lifts the team and runs the show. It was always a brilliant signing from every way you look at it, and one United needed badly.
Silvio (Rooney has been this bad since 2009 it’s just that he used to get more of those knee goals) Dante
I can’t get no sleep
I normally wait until the morning if I have anything to send in to the mailbox. I thought Thursday’s entry at 9.30 was early but todays at 6.47? I’m impressed.
I will have to up my game..
While I’m here, anybody excited for Sundays match? Both teams have exciting forward lines and defences are a bit susceptible. Could be a stormer.
Rob A (Martial must be licking his lips at the prospect of playing vs Mert) AFC
Thanks. Thanks a lot. All I needed to calm my nerves for Sunday was for you to say ‘I fancy Liverpool to stop the rot’, or something similar.
We’re going to get stuffed now aren’t we?
Aidan, EFC, Redditch