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Just leaving this here
At exactly this time last season, Falcao had scored 3 league goals for United in 7 starts. The media said he was finished.
This season Rooney has 3 league goals in 15 starts. The media claim he’s not getting the service.
As one half of the greatest ever footballing television duo once said – it’s a funny old game.
Johnno- Canada. Mate, chill out. Or chillax as I’ve heard people in Canada say. We are top of the league and 6 points ahead of the team you are fawning over. We can’t be that bad.
At least wait till we Arsenal it up before having a hissy fit.
In the past Arsenal have had plenty of teams that have gone to places like Everton, played really well, had loads of possession and failed to win. None of those teams ever won the league.
No team will ever play great all season. To win the league you need to make sure you get 3 points in all the games you dominate and then make sure you get something from the games where you are not on form. See Chelsea last season as a perfect example of this.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
Johnno from Canada,
Call yourself a gooner? Hang your head in shame!
That is all.
Dan the illiterate monkey (Gooner)
Firstly, “a cartoon bulldog carved out of corned beef” is an absolutely hilarious description. Secondly, Johnny’s point about Sam Allardyce’s sheer narrow-mindedness when it comes to the (perceived) lack of British managers is absolutely spot on. The sad thing is, there are plenty of managers out there with a similar chip on their shoulder, because their bitter sense of injustice gives them a ready-made excuse to not address their own shortcomings properly. It’s a bit like when you watch MotD and a team is given a corner that should have been a goal kick; you know a goal is coming because of sod’s law, and because teams (and managers) can blame an official, rather than facing up to their own inability to clear the ball from a set piece.
The other main difference between the traditional English gaffer and the foreign manager is the length of time they expect to spend in a job. The general perception of continental European managers – I’m thinking mainly of Italy here, but it applies to other countries too, is that if they are appointed on a three-year contract, they expect to do the job for three years and then move on somewhere else. The English gaffer, on the other hand, still seems to look at any job he is given as one for life unless he decides otherwise. He may have a three-year contract, but no sooner has he got his feet under the desk but he’s angling for an extension.
I would like to see English managers at the highest echelons of the English game, but I want to see them there on merit – because their coaching methods, tactical awareness and man-management skills are proven to be among the best in the world – thus rendering their nationality an irrelevance. At the moment, however, this is a long way from being the case, unless several things change, including but not limited to:
*drastically reduce the cost of coaching courses, in line with those in other major footballing nations
*subsidise the costs of hiring football pitches from councils, so more teams can afford to play, and more parents can afford to let their children play
*encourage all professional footballers to undertake training courses while still playing, thus improving their understanding of the game as well as earning themselves a qualification for a possible future career.
Doesn’t seem like rocket science, so I’ve probably been very naïve. If nothing else, it’s something different to mull over instead of SEO-tastic spurious transfer nonsense.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven
First, let me say I applaud F365 for regularly criticising the more xenophobic statements we hear in football so often. It’s a global game, we’re all human, having the best league in the world means being open to foreign talent, and we should all just get along etc etc.
But still, facts are facts, and John Nicholson was extremely selective with them in his column on opportunities for British managers, responding to Sam Allardyce’s special pleading.
John said, repeatedly, that only 18 out of 92 managerial posts in the English league are filled by foreigners. True (even though I think the citizens of the sovereign nation of Ireland might object to being lumped in with the Brits). But that’s not really what Allardyce was complaining about, as John well knows. He was talking about the big jobs in English football, the ones managers like him aspire to.
If we’re talking statistics, how about these? Look at the permanent managerial appointments made by the 6 big clubs in English football right now (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City, Spurs). In the past decade, they have made 20 permanent managerial appointments between them. 3 of them have been English (15%), 4 have been Scottish, Welsh, or Northern Irish (20%), and 13 have been foreign (65%).
Of the three English appointments made, two were very short-lived. Roy Hodgson got half a season at Liverpool, and Tim Sherwood got half a season at Spurs. Only Harry Redknapp was given a decent stint, getting four years at Spurs.
As a fan, I’m looking for my club to make the best appointment possible regardless of nationality. But that doesn’t mean we have to be wilfully ignorant of the fact that English/British managers have a very difficult time getting elite jobs in their own country, owing to the fact they are working in a very globalised league. That has a direct knock-on effect on the size of the talent pool available to the national side (to the extent we care).
Yes, it’s up to the managers themselves to prove themselves, going overseas if necessary, but throwing cherry-picked irrelevant stats at them isn’t helping. The correct way to respond to Allardyce and any like him isn’t “you’re wrong,” because he’s not. It’s “you might be right but tough luck – deal with it.”
Lukaku to Liverpool
Despite Klopp’s obvious reluctance to buy players, if any at all in the January transfer window, I believe he should go all out for Lukaku.
Klopp should ride this wave of initial admiration while he is still able too. His standing of a coach, I believe at present is higher than Liverpool’s current reputation. The pull of working with him will attract a higher calibre of player. He certainly won’t need Gerrard to send some texts.
Benteke plus 20-30 million for Lukaku. The bigger, better Belgian. If Everton think about it, it is the best possible deal. If they don’t get champions league this year I fancy a few big clubs to go in for him. It would be very tough to hold on to him for another year, even with his evident admiration for RM.
Least they would get a ‘good’ striker and some money in the bank. If they just sold him outright then they’d have to take a chance on an unproven striker and/or massively pay over the odds because selling clubs will know they got 50m+ burning a hole in their pocket.
Now I understand people (Evertonians) will cry is it even a step up, or much of one. Yes, Liverpool have been underperforming as of late but they have much more financial muscle than Everton. This might be a fundamental and just one reason, but the future is brighter with Liverpool. Even in the currrent tv money climate – money (big money) talks!
Liverpool stole a march on everyone when they appointed Klopp. Other clubs were circulating on him; as they surely will be with Lukaku come the summer. Top 4 place would be a very achievable aim with 2 of the top 3 strikers in the premiership, if Sturridge plays of course.
Brett (All roads lead to Romelu)
Ian Hugo made the suggestion that in the case of persistent fouling on one particular player the referee makes the decision to book the next player to do it.
I think it is a good idea, and even though I hate making the comparison (football will never take ideas from other sports), rugby does have a similar rule. If the referee feels one team is persistently fouling he will warn the captain that the next player will be yellow carded (and so sin-binned).
I don’t think it would work in football though. When a player gets a yellow card for persistent fouling commentators and managers concentrate on the last foul committed. How often do we hear “That’s not a yellow card offence.” It might not be, but when added to the three previous fouls it is. Can you imagine the uproar if a player ended up getting sent off, or suspended, because of a yellow card he picked up in such a scenario as described by Ian? It wouldn’t be worth the hassle the refs would get, unfortunately.
A further question that should be asked is why have the flair players become so delicate? Football has never been so well regulated. Players can get away with very little now. Maradona, Best, Pele, etc, couldn’t go through a game without someone trying to take their legs off. They took the view that the best way to deal with this was to dance around the player kicking them, put the ball in the net, and give them a cheeky grin on the way back to their own half. Compared to now when players are congratulated for winning a freekick.
Referring to Ian Hugo’s letter this morning regarding the ‘persistent’ fouling of Hazard and how he had to go off injured against Palace yesterday. If Ian had bothered to watch the match he would have seen that Hazard was not fouled…a goal kick was given and Hazard injured himself as he fell over. This occurred after only 16 minutes of the first half so not sure where the persistent fouling incurred? In fact in the whole first half Palace committed 4 fouls and Chelsea 9 so perhaps he should look closer to home in future!
I agree with Ian Hugo on Hazard. If only the likes of Mikel and his nasty way of tackling were properly punished. Hazard plays with a few players who tackle badly, and in some instances dirtily (Costa). He injured himself diving a couple of weeks ago, as did Ashley Young. But yes, I agree with the sentiment, but it has to go both ways. Mikel should have been sent off yesterday early on. Different game completely. Hazard’s injuries lately are muscular and as not necessarily down to being fouled.
Pete F, Eire
More on Spurs
Just a quick line in reply to Toby Sprigings as his argument is a bit disingenuous as what he described (‘asleep at the wheel’ etc.) was not the criticism i remember, maybe in the papers, but not from actual supporters?
No-one I know was calling for a “huge spend”, if anything it was who we were getting rid of i was keen on. (alas, not Townshend, but hey-ho). BUT we (as in Danny and Pocho) we’re after an out-and-out striker. They said they were. They had funds allocated to it. They pursued a specific target. Offers were made. Kisses were blown. Now, Levy ballsed the Berahino saga up, plain as, painting us into a corner where a key area was left wanting. So, whilst there are no-nothing gobshites around, (and i don’t think thats exactly a modern thing), I don’t think that’s right to say most Spurs fans were looking for some massive overhaul/influx, but I do think they can criticise missing out on key piece because your chairman appears to treated the whole thing like the last five minutes of supermarket sweep. As a result, we’re playing our only specialised striker 80+ minutes nearly every game, and he looks knackered, thats sounds like riding your luck to me.
That’s the grumbling i remember, and it’s not an unreasonable one. (plus no-one criticised MP)
And that criticism will resurface if Jan comes and goes with the same problem. One thing is for sure, if we’re promised “momentum signings” to keep us competing on multiple fronts and a Saha/Nelsen style combo rock up again while Kane’s shins explode at exactly 12 am Feb 1st, The Lane might get demolished way ahead of schedule!
Dom, “I need to get fit in the new year, you could offer me a run out up front”, London
Villa. Are. Doomed
I would like to talk about Aston Villa. Now we all know Villa are doomed but what I want to talk about is future of Villa. Now from watching and reading about football for years what I have concluded that for any relegated team to bounce back immediately into Premier League, you need either of following things or a combination of these:
* A good core of players who have under-performed and are a notch above Championship (Newcastle and West Ham)
* Has a wealthy owner willing to fund the promotion (QPR)
* Core of in demand players who can be sold to fund the promotion bid (I don’t remember an example but it seems legit)
Now problem with Villa is even though on paper they do have a decent squad I don’t think they are Championship promotion material. Lerner is not going to fund their promotion bid and most damning of all none of their players have resell value, seriously which one of their players would be in demand come summer, Grealish at a stretch. So in short I think Villa are doomed to be in Championship purgatory for a long time.
He was already top
So after that backheel, where will F365 put him on the Euro ladder? Top ten?
You know you want to.
Stu (world class my a*se), London
My favourite gossip of the year so far: Fellaini off to Milan.
Soumalya (praying to the shooting stars that it happens) MUFC
Taking the Mikel
The award for most unlikely headline to grace any football media outlet, ever, goes to “Obi Mikel, Starter, Leader, Role Model”
Next up: “Lucas Leiva reaches 30 goals this season and becomes bookies favourite for the Golden Boot”
Alex (World’s gone maaad mate) Jegede
Klopp’s three words
I have been guessing at Klopp’s 3 words.
I thought they might be something obvious, like; ‘Not good enough’ or ‘What the f**k?’.
However, watching Benteke’s 1 on 1s back (all 4 of them missed over the xmas break), I would hazard a guess that the 3 words were simply; Benteke you c**t
Do you think that will work Olivier?
You’re a sh*thouse, Harry
Spurs have 36 points this season. If you took away all of the goals that Harry Kane has scored, including his own goal against Swansea, they would have 37.
Ivan, LFC, St Albans.
Could you please stop publishing e-mails that begin “So,…” Terrible grammar and terribly infuriating.
Mark Jones(first day back at work today, could you guess?), LFC, Liverpool