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Why is Lingard still playing?
Everything said about Jesse Lingard in the last mailbox was spot on. Why is he a guaranteed starter in every game despite doing basically nothing at all but run around aimlessly? Yet every time Memphis or Januzaj has a bad game they get shunned for the foreseeable future. I’d even rather have Valencia playing on the right, and if you really have to play Mata on the right at least let Herrera play as a number 10 instead of Lingard.
I wanted him to be good. It would have been nice to call him ‘LinGod’ or ‘Lionel Jesse’ (Stolen from twitter) but he really contributes nothing to the team. Also, he’s 23, he was given his chance this season and he couldn’t make the most of it. Sell him now before he has one good game and gets awarded with a new five-year contract worth 120 000 pounds a week.
Working hard doesn’t mean much when you can’t cross, beat a player, tackle or shoot.
Gaaavie, Cape Town
Title favourites for next season?
I was looking at the current Premier League title odds, as the still bizarre sight of Leicester as huge odds-on title favourites never fails to tickle me. It got me thinking about next season. I know this season is far from over and it might be too early to look ahead but I began to think about who would be the bookies favourites at the start of next season. Obviously this hugely depends on signings but just for fun, here’s my current thoughts.
Leicester: Assuming they go on to win the league, they will surely be the least fancied champions of all time to retain their crown. They may well surprise us again, but they won’t be favourites.
Arsenal: No one is going to make them favourites are they? Wenger will probably buy a couple of kids and they will fight for fourth (until the end of time).
Man City: My guess is that they would be favourites with the bookies but I’m not so sure. But it’s a huge ask for a manager who has never managed in England to take a team from fourth to first. They’re current squad is old and they will have a lot of new players to settle in. Pep has never taken on a team that’s been in this position. Not saying he can’t but there are no guarantees.
Liverpool: Klopp may be improving the team, but top four would be a success. No one is making Liverpool favourites (apart from the usual minority of the “Next year it’s ours” brigade)
Chelsea: They won’t have Champions League football to distract them but will this be a hindrance in making new signings? Also a new manager and it seems very unlikely they’d win the league next year from where they are now.
Man United: If they keep Ashley Young up front they’ve got a chance. Not really. With Van Gala as boss no one is making them favourites. With Mourinho, and some new signings, then you never know.
Tottenham: They’re a young team with no reason to sell anyone. They know how to play together. With Champions League football they should be able to strengthen. Their top striker is fictional. They’ve made their push this year and could definitely go all the way next year.
Blimey. I think I just made Spurs title favourites.
Mike, LFC, Dubai
(We were interested enough to take a look: Man City favourites by some distance, followed by Arsenal and Chelsea at 4s or 5s, then Man United, Tottenham and Liverpool. You can get 40/1 on Leicester – Ed)
On Dembele and clinging on to Spurs hope
Agree with the accolades in the mailbox recently for Mousa Dembele. Is it me, or is it like watching a Pro Evolution player in the 2004 edition where someone passes to him and the ball sticks to his feet whilst he runs circles around everyone?
Also, everyone is saying Leicester just need to win three games now out of five to win the title. Is that easy? Saying they need to get nine points sounds a lot harder I reckon. You only get one point for a draw remember. And goal difference could be worth a point as well.
Jonathan, Gold Coast Spurs
Why ‘support’ Leicester?
One of my biggest pet hates is fans who announce their second teams or want blah to win if their own team doesn’t. Why do this? I suffer enough emotion supporting my own team why would I want to invest additional emotion on another team.
Mainly my point stems from the current Leicester love fest. Will you get any joy watching Leicester ultimately win the league? I certainly won’t. It still only serve to remind me that my team has dropped further down the table.
And another thing have you asked any long-suffering Leicester fans whether they gave be a flying f@ck that you have bestowed this team with the honour of being your second team? Why on earth would they want some voyeur fan basking in the reflective glory of their team winning the league.
Support your own team!
H, (starting to enjoy Thursday football)
Why we shouldn’t laugh at Charlie Wyett
I want to preface this by saying that I love Mediawatch and find when it’s done right its high and mighty snark makes it legitimately funny and one of the finest columns around. That said, I have to take issue with it inviting us to laugh at Charlie Wyett for predicting Leicester would be relegated this season.
(To be fair, it’s more that he was such a d*** about it – Ed)
The whole reason it’s so special is that no-one expected it. They were largely god awful last year, lost the man widely regarded to be their best player in Esteban Cambiasso and hired a journeyman manager who had bounced around jobs for a decade after he was sacked following a loss to the Faroe Islands. The entire reason the word fairytale is being thrown around, racial indiscretions are being overlooked and bookies are paying out at 5000/1 is because nigh on everyone expected Leicester to get relegated.
And unfortunately for you chaps, you guys all went on the record as having predicted it. Before the season five out of six Football365 writers had Leicester in their three to go down (congrats Winty) and a further three named Ranieri in their predictions for the first manager to be sacked (Ian Watson called him a ‘goner’ and John Nicholson used the word ‘disaster’).
Further commendation to Sarah Winterburn for being the only person not to name Wayne Rooney in their prediction for Golden Boot winner – christ.
In defence of Fat Sam
I feel the need to defend Fat Sam against some of the criticisms directed at him by Mr Nicholson, and maybe give a theory as to why his record has slumped.
In 2004/5 Bolton missed out on the Champions League on goal difference. In the two following seasons we finished 8th and 7th. Not quite Leicester, but impressive for a club of Bolton’s size, and probably qualifies Allardyce more than most to comment on what it is like to challenge the traditional big clubs. Whatever you may think of him as a person, his record, although not spectacular, is pretty good, especially at Bolton.
Mr Nicholson refers to Allardyce as putting ‘Nolan on a vibrating plate’. This is a comedic and flippant reference to Fat Sam’s obsession with sports science, and here is why I think things have gone wrong. At Bolton, he was one of the first clubs in England to take prozone and other scientific measures of performance seriously. Soon however, other clubs replicated the system and it meant Allardyce lost the edge. What gave us the advantage, and him kudos as a manager, was removed. Everyone had it.
Since then his record has been solid if unspectacular. His record at Newcastle and West Ham was OK. He ‘hasn’t made Sunderland worse’. So overall, average. He may not be the best manager in the UK, but he isn’t the worst. He has been innovative and successful in the past, and deserves respect for that, although not quite as much as he may think. To paint him as some blowhard imposter is a bit unfair. He may be a bit of an opinionated self-publicist sometimes but do we really want bland personality-free managers? Be careful what you wish for…
Dave C, Bwfc
Origi > Martial? Oh shush
Long-time reader, first-time writer, etc.
I’ve never felt compelled to write in before as usually other people contribute thoughts that are similar to my own and it saves me the time and effort.
However, the Liverpool fans claiming Origi is a superior player to Martial based on goals scored has left me baffled as none of my fellow Manchester United fans have provided a rebuttal. I must be missing something, or maybe I’m just terrible at maths.
Anyway, according to my calculations:
Origi has a total of 8 goals (4 in EPL, 1 in Europa League & 3 in the League Cup). Comparatively, Martial has 13 goals (8 in EPL, 2 in Champions League, 1 in Europa, 1 in FA Cup & 1 in League Cup), all the while playing in a massively risk-averse team.
So, am I missing something or is this just another example of Scouse Maths?
Kaz (plastic fan from abroad), Melbourne, AUS
Really not a Skrtel fan
I can’t let Osric the Brave get away with his statement in the last mailbox that ‘the centre back pairing of Skrtel and Toure defied all odds and avoided any calamities’. Balls. It was that talentless personification of sh*thousery and thuggery Skrtel who brought Shaqiri down outside the area and gave away the free kick. It was he who allowed Bojan to float unmarked into the middle of the area and score, and of course it was he who can be seen screaming at the rest of the defense for failing to cover up for his own inadequacies as Mignolet turns around to fish the ball out of the back of the net.
At this point the game is tied 1-1 and it’s all down to that seething streak of bile. If Liverpool were up against team that could play defense, then he’s single-handedly cost the team two points.
He’s long on nastiness, short on talent and really difficult to look at. I think Klopp puts him out there just to remind himself what a liability he is. The record of yellows, reds and suspensions speaks for itself. As does the sum total of one Russian league title in 2007 and one League Cup medal in 2012. Quite the bejeweled career.
Steve (I really don’t like him), Los Angeles
When anyone mentions Troy Deeney, does anyone else shout ‘Utini!’ like a Jawa in Star Wars?
No? just me, then.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London