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Giroud Was Never Good Enough
Graham Simons, still banging that drum? Giroud won’t “come good”. He isn’t a kid learning his trade, he’s 28, bags of experience and has 1 PL goal in over 1,000 minutes. 4 CL goals in 2 years.
I’m all up for blaming Wenger, but to claim Giroud being dropped for clown Walcott has “affected him” is laughable. If he can’t deal with an irrelevance like Theo as “competition” then he’s brittle and should go apply for a role in Eastenders as a crybaby instead. Face facts, it isn’t “faith” Giroud needs, it’s superior football ability. He was never good enough.
Stewie Griffin (Forgot about Welbeck. Lord there’s some dross)
Beginning Of The End For Rodgers
Whether Jurgen Klopp’s comments are directed a Liverpool is debatable. What is not debatable is the massive amount of pressure Brendan Rodgers is under at Liverpool. Often out spoken former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson’s comments in the Echo, which labeled Rodgers Liverpool a “poor mans Arsenal”, is damning. It’s never good when former players start coming out against you.
In the immediate wake of Liverpool’s thrashing to West Ham I had the “it’s just one game” attitude. Given two weeks to sit on that same result and it feels like it’s the beginning of the end for Rodgers.
United are there for the picking. I don’t know if there will be a better opportunity for Liverpool to get maximum points from Old Trafford than this weekend. Saturday’s evening kickoff is a must not lose game for Rodgers. A draw will only delay the inevitable, while a loss (especially a substantial one similar to West Ham) may see Rodgers out the door by Monday.
After an awful record against the top sides last time Rodgers needs to show he can get the best of direct rivals for a top 4 spot. Brendan has been backed and spent the money on his players. Saturday needs to be the day Rodgers and his players hit their straps.
Brian (Saturday can’t come soon enough) LFC
A City Fan’s Perspective
Here’s a City’s fan perspective on the club’s popularity.
We are unique among the big foreign-owned clubs in having an owner that needs to be liked. Other owners (the Liverpool lot spring to mind) would like be respected and are prepared to act quite humbly at times. Others are happy to be feared. The Glazers obviously don’t give a flying **** as long as they get their money. The fact that the last sentence is so completely uncontroversial tells its own story.
Sheikh Mansour and his advisors, however, want popularity – why they want it is a matter for another day, and maybe at times they are almost too eager – and have both the money and the inclination to do it “the right way”.
There are loads of examples of this from the reverence given to City’s amazing -if not always success-filled – history through to giving visiting supporters great facilities (without putting them in the top tier over a corner flag) and relatively low ticket prices in the new South Stand and remembering the 96 with real class when we played at Anfield in April 2014.
The cherry on the cake is the respect through gritted teeth that City have earned from United fans for the WSL team whose popularity is now taking off. Every Red I know is bitterly disappointed that for the sake of a fairly small investment, Manchester is undeniably blue when it comes to womens’ football. What is a Salford Red whose daughter wants to see as a women’s game to do? The choice is City or Liverpool. A rare example of getting it right both morally and commercially.
Who Will Succeed Man City?
Luca James in yesterday afternoon’s Mailbox encouraged Manchester City fans to enjoy this while it lasts, because eventually they will be overrun with plastics and glory-hunters. He also points out how they’ve taken over as top dog from Chelsea, who usurped Manchester United, who knocked Liverpool off their f***ing perch.
While their success is not entirely down to money, since the Premier League started the team able to spend the most money has eventually found themselves top of the pile, until someone with more money comes along and can pay more for transfer fees and wages. I suppose my question is who’s going to be next?
In all of the cases above, there had been signs of teams willing to spend big – Manchester United signed Roy Keane for what I believe was a British transfer record before Premier League money had properly had an effect; Chelsea had acquired high-cost European talent prior to Roman Abramovich taking them over; Manchester City allowed Sven to spend eye-watering amounts of money on decent players, few of whom made too much of an impact in the Sheikh Mansour era.
It’s hard to see where the next superpower is going to come from, largely because so much of the money is held at the top of the pyramid that the interests of those teams are very well-protected. This is one of football’s worst lose-lose situations, for neutrals: either the Premier League goes stale because it comes down to the same few teams every year, or someone breaks the hegemony the only way they can, which is by spending even more obscene and scarcely sustainable amounts of money.
Not sure what the answer is. Ours is a sport totally enthralled to wealth. I suppose all we can naively hope for is that whoever spends the money does so to sign players who, through their abilities or personalities, are at least entertaining.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven, CPFC the Glaziers, Notts
Thoughts On Scotland
As usual, Scotland manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with a spirited performance against the world champions following on from an abject defeat against Georgia that showed none of character we displayed last night.
I’ve lived most of my adult life with Scotland being awful, knowing when we enter a qualifying campaign that we’ll be eliminated halfway through. This time it felt different though – we had assembled a decent enough squad, most players had international experience and the manager seemed to be the right man to lead the squad.
Then, in two games where even one point would make a massive difference to our chances of making the playoffs, we contrive to lose both, with the glorious failure us Scot’s have become accustomed to. We were never going to outplay the Germans, who showed why they are world champions, but we missed the chance to exploit what little weaknesses they have.
As Liverpool fans will tell you Emre Can is not a right back and choosing not to play Anya from the start, against their weakest link was a poor choice.
Steven Fletcher (9 league goals in the last 2 years) is not the man to lead the line. I’m not saying Griffiths, Chris Martin or Johnny Russell are better players but at least they are scoring.
The worst of it is we still have a chance of making the playoffs. A very slim chance that hinges on other teams doing us a favour. It’s the hope that kills you.
Danny (I’m going to France anyways) Scotland
In response to The King, (Depay and Martial to carry United?), India
Chelsea and Fulham. There is nothing I would like more than for us to destroy Chelsea at the Cottage.
However, I feel like Chelsea fans couldn’t care less about the Fulham games anymore (when we were in the Prem).
It’s always tough when they don’t reciprocate…
Jack, London FFC
English Footballers Abroad
I doubt I’m the first to have done this, but I really wanted to follow up on my own email from http://www.football365.com/mailbox/9977069/Wenger-Is-Turning-Gooners-Off-Arsenal…
I was half hoping someone might reply and further the debate or perhaps come up with a concrete reason why our English footballers don’t move abroad or if they do; why don’t they stay there. As an odd coincidence this week I have heard two footballers get interviewed where they touched on the subject but the interviewers didn’t follow it through.
I was listening to ShoutSport on Sunday specifically ‘The Warm Up with Max Rushden’ (don’t judge me, I just really like Barry Glendenning’s voice) and they had Craig Hignett on the phone in a segment where they ask questions to decide how nice a footballer is. Turns out Craig is quite nice if you were wondering. They started out by questioning him about his career which Max Rushden professionally did by simply opening his Wikipedia page. Turns out Hignett played for Apollon Limassol in Cyrpus and it was ‘brilliant’ and he ‘absolutely loved it’ and ‘wished I’d have done it sooner’ in which they went the season unbeaten, won the league and qualified for the Champions League. Unfortunately neither Rushden or Glendenning bothered to ask why he didn’t stay more than one season and decided to move to Spennymoor United and then Hartlepool instead.
On Sunday I found myself watching Goals on Sunday whilst slumped on the sofa hungover (is there any other way to watch this programme?) they had Joe Cole and Alex McLeish as guests. The conversation swiftly turned towards the time Alex McLeish wanted to sign Cole when he was manager at Aston Villa but Cole had already promised the Lille Chairman he would sign for them. Joe reflected on the time he spent at Lille again it was ‘brilliant’ and again ‘wished I’d done it sooner’ he’d even seemingly learnt some of the language too. Frustratingly again neither Shepherd or Kamara pressed him on why he didn’t stay longer than one season or look to move there again when other clubs sold him.
Today you’ve got Theo Walcott hypocritically telling younger players to drop down leagues to get game time. Why can’t they move abroad Theo? Why won’t anyone move abroad and just bloody stay there?
Mike (I’m aware it’s not this simple) Lincoln
The Next Next Next Next…
Saha, who was once touted as the next Thierry Henry, is now predicting that Martial will be the next Thierry Henry.
Is that the first time that the next someone has predicted someone else to be the someone they themselves were not good enough to be?
I think I just confused myself, but I think you know what I mean.
Adonis (bored) Stevenson, AFC
Peak Brendan From Van Gaal
After seeing all the LVG trophy lists in yesterday evening’s mailbox, I had a good read through his Wikipedia and spotted another area where he outdid Brendan Rodgers.
From 2001, when he was managing The Netherlands in a crucial qualifying game vs Ireland to send them into the World Cup: “When the sides met in Dublin, Van Gaal boasted before the match that his squad was so much more talented, even the Irish fans would want them to qualify”
Obviously they lost, and spent the summer at home.
Delivering Peak Brendan back when Brendan Rodgers was managing schoolboy teams.
John (and that was the last time Ireland beat a good team), LFC
City Are Favourites But…
Replying to Andy D.
I did say that Sarah was bang on about City being the favourites to win the title. I might have stepped on your toes making you miss that point out?
Sagna was never popular for his defensive prowess.
Smalling was from the lower leagues till Fulham picked him up. Game time was at a premium when Rio and Vidic around.
I’m not saying United’s defence is better but Sarah’s point about none of United’s centre backs would make it into City’s is in accurate. City retained their core/spine and got them on the same page again which what sets them apart so far this season.
As an Arsenal fan I was grateful for your dismantling of Eurosport’s assessment of Theo Walcott’s abilities, specifically his use of his right foot when he’d be better placed on his left. I’d like to reinforce your point with the following if I may;