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A Manchester United fan who wishes they had Conte
This will be brief…
I love Antonio Conte.
I’m a Manchester United fan. I wish we had him instead of Mourinho.
Also, please don’t sell Daley Blind Jose, he really is a dote.
Chelsea vs West Ham conclusions
1. Bilic’s side look like they aren’t ready for the season yet. They laboured and Carroll struggled upfront. Too many grafters in midfield obviously to counter the Chelsea pressure but the earlier Payet is fit to start the better for them.
2. Chelsea started in a solid way, keeping WestHam at bay and fashioning decent half-chances. WestHam weren’t troubled until Antonio’s impressive brain fart.
3. Talking of Antonio, he deserved the ruthless substitution which spelt the end of his game. He has been praised often, solid, dependable player but too much confidence in his own abilities was his undoing last night. He sure will have learnt.
4. I thought Eden Hazard was very brilliant. He took the game to WestHam, drove forward at every opportunity and looked the likeliest source of a breakthrough. That it came via a penalty doesn’t matter, dude ran his socks off and he was class all night.
5. What kind of conundrum is Costa? Clearly should have been sent off before his glory moment but his strike was brilliant.
6. Conte should take a lot of credit for the win. Forget the theatrics by the sidelines, this is a manager who has shown tactical nous to compete in this league. Took of two tiring wingers, brought on fresh legs to run the flanks and introduced a second striker to play a flat 4-4-2. Reaped instant dividends, very, very impressive.
7. In all, an entertaining game. Typical premier league game for WestHam to be pants and then fashion an equaliser out of nothing. Chelsea showed depth, not needing Cesc to win. With no European obligations, they remain strong favourites for the title,no?
bdotm (Arsenal to win it anyways)
Two important Monday night thoughts
Firstly, having regularly read here about the issues that they had with Allardyce and his style of play, I wonder what West Ham fans made of the incessant hoofing of the ball in the general direction of Andy Carroll, or often to no one in particular.
Secondly, and I stress that this is my main point, watching Antonio Conte in his pre-match interview, I realised that I was witnessing what can only be described as the dictionary definition of sultry.
Conor (we’re in for a great season), Drogheda
Welcome back to the glorious bastard
West Ham were poor but how does Costa stay on the pitch after the late tackle on Adrian?! Course it had to be him that scored the winner…
Ally ‘Happy the season started Hammer’ Reid
Really annoyed by goalkeepers diving the wrong way
Biggest gripe about football used to be when teams encroached on free kicks. Used to hate the act itself and the fact that the refs continually ignored it. That’s thankfully been dealt with so I can moan about something different for a change.
Goalkeepers. More specifically goalkeepers and penalties. How many times have we seen a keeper dive limply out the way of a penalty kick? That’s pretty much the opposite of what they’re supposed to be doing. I’ve long held the belief that keepers should only move after the kick is taken. This would eliminate the guesswork it’s been reduced to.
‘Less time to react ‘ some may claim but the keepers aren’t reacting,they’re guessing and that simply shouldn’t be. Waiting would result in the following two things :
1) It takes away the kick down the middle. Pressure penalty? Late in the game? It’s going straight down the middle.The players know it,the fans know it but the keepers seem oblivious. No matter how many times it happens to them.It would mean takers would have to aim for the corners to score. Or hit really really hard.Either way there’s more chance of them missing.
2) It’s puts even more pressure on the taker.The free smash down the centre isn’t going to work. The keeper isn’t going to move early so he can roll it calmly in the other side.
Keepers nowadays seem all to happy to shrug their shoulders and just guess. Sometimes it works ala Theo’s this weekend but more likely the keeper is just gonna throw himself the wrong way before the taker even kicks it. Keepers need to take more responsibility here. Have to be beaten by the taker not hand it to him.
Kante seemed to manage, Arsene
No conclusions but lots of questions regarding Arsenal; the laissez faire approach seems to permeate all levels. The board’s inaction, Wenger’s inaction, the physio team, etc. etc. How could they go into Sunday’s game so ill prepared? What is actually going on behind the scenes? Chaos, indifference, genuine belief, delusion, hippy pipes?
The point has probably been made, but to illustrate/reiterate; Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny both played Euro final on Jul 10 and are unavailable Aug 14. Dimitri Payet played in the same final and was available if needed, which he was, so he played 23mins on Aug 15. You think the extra day is what separated him from the Arsenal lot?
Doesn’t explain Mesut Özil though, he last played in Euro semi’s on Jul 7 and was unavailable Aug 14. N’Golo Kanté; perhaps more heavily involved in earlier Euro games but also last played 30mins in the semis on Jul 7. He manages to scrap himself off the couch to join Chelsea’s pre-season tour (available but unused on Jul 30 and plays 39mins on Aug 3, 2016) and plays 90mins on Aug 15.
RC (and I’m not even an Arsenal fan
…Kante seemed to do ok considering he has only been with the squad for 9 days and ‘not physically prepared’
It’s almost as if Mr Wenger comments were complete hogwash.
Jamie (Costa is going to be a nightmare with those ‘shouting at the Ref’ yellow cards), Reading
Leaving F365 forever, because one writer isn’t entirely convinced by Xhaka
I’m afraid the day has finally come whereby I must end my daily routine of perusing your once great website. The simple reality is the quality of writing and opinion has become remedial. It has deteriorated into agenda driven score settling by a handful of limited journalists.
Storey’s got it in for Arsenal new boy Xhaka. The most expensive central midfielder in the history of the game. Really Danny boy? You must’ve slept or initiated a self-induced coma for the last month because I do believe a central midfielder called Paul moved clubs for significantly higher than Mr Xhaka.
(MC – And you must have slept or initiated a self-induced coma while reading that line: ‘third most expensive central midfielder in the history of the game’).
As regards his disciplinary record, the very same writer who regularly bemoans the soft centred nature of Arsenal is miffed by the manager addressing that very problem. With the sh*t-show that was yesterday it seems ridiculous to call out a player coming on as a sub for his full debut into an ill-prepared team (thank you Arsene) losing at home to a direct rival. I’m quite happy that he came on and clattered a few people.
(MC – Which is fine, your opinion. But the disciplinary point isn’t taken just from yesterday, more from his last three years. Also, ‘soft-centred’ is answered by breaking up play effectively, not just by fouling. Also also, it’s a f**king opinion. Like arseholes, we’ve all got one. Some turn out wrong, including plenty of mine. Opinions, I mean. Not my arsehole.)
He’d a 96% pass completion too so it proves that Storey simply chose one stat to shape his narrative while leaving out an arguably more important stat thus fooling the misinformed reader.
(MC – My point wasn’t on his passing, though. And if I am guilty of what you accuse, then so are you?)
Maybe that’s your MO, creating content for the mis or ill-informed masses. Unfortunately I suspect the masses, and by masses I mean two village drunks, to be as or more knowledgeable about football than many of your lot.
Thanks for the memories.
(MC – Adieu. Just a shame you won’t be reading this)
Arsenal’s problem is the lack of player turnover (it’s a point Winty made here)
In my view, a lot of Arsenal’s problems arise from the fact that they don’t turnover enough players. Time and again at top clubs, we see young players coming through the academy with high potential but they are deemed not good enough for the ambition of the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, etc and so are sold to smaller clubs, to free up funds for better players to be brought in. Examples include Nick Powell, Tom Cleverley, Jack Rodwell, Jonjo Shelvey – and I could name more.
Liverpool have sold Jordon Ibe and Brad Smith this summer, who are both bright players with potentially big futures. However, it was clear that neither of these players are good enough at this time to be kept by the club, and were sold to be replaced by better players. Arsenal are the only ‘big’ club in England who don’t do this.
There are countless examples of players at Arsenal who simply should not be there anymore, the likes of Walcott, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, even Wilshere. Instead of moving these players on and replacing them with better ones, Arsenal cling to these players’ fading potential in the hopes that one day Gibbs will develop into the ‘new Ashley Cole’ and such. For me, this stems from Wengers outdated philosophy of trying to find – as one mailboxer yesterday put it – the ‘perfect player’ for the club. Arsenal simply do not turnover enough players and this is what has lead to the stagnant league seasons their fans have endured over the last few years.
Yes, it could be argued that selling players with good potential can backfire, Pogba and Lukaku the two obvious examples. However, nothing guarantees that those two would have become the players they are if they had stayed at United and Chelsea. If Lukaku ends up at Chelsea again, with Pogba already back at United, then both clubs will be better off for it, in my opinion. Sometimes, gambles have to be taken in order to achieve short term success (both United and Chelsea won league titles after selling Pogba and Lukaku), and this is what Wenger has to learn – to be willing to give up on players like Walcott and Gibbs and send them on their way, or else Arsenal fans can look forward to the same monotony for the next few years.
Kingsley Coman to Manchester City makes all the sense
I know we all want to talk about the Prem at the moment but the transfer window is still open and I’ve got a suggestion for one of those “yeah, makes sense” transfers.
Granted it can’t happen til next summer, but why doesn’t Pep match Comans agreed fee with Bayern on the expiration of his loan and bring him to City? He’s as good as Sterling (some would say better) therefore would be good value at the discussed £20-30m agreed fee, and would also give space for a £50m release clause to create some profit down the line.
Ditching Bayern would give Coman the chance to be one of the most successful players of all time. At the ripe old age of 20 (21 upon loan expiration) Coman has won Ligue 1 twice (granted he played one and two games, but it’s listed in his honours), Serie A, and the Bundesliga, along with the domestic cup, and supercup in each of these countries.
Moving to City to be with the manager who made him into the player he is would give him a chance to make it a quadruple treble by winning the premier league, FA cup and community shield in a fourth country. City are likely to be up and around the top over the coming years and Coman would fancy his chances under Guardiola. If he could bag all three within say, 4 years, he’d get his move to Barça/Real with a chance to make history as the first player to win the treble in all 5 of Europe’s top leagues.
This is a player who is already 60% of his way through that amazing feat (though legitimacy of his French titles would be challenged) at 20 years old, with a potential 7 major international tournaments to try his hand at as well, with France, who lost the final of his first international tournament.
This is a player who could realistically win 10 major domestic leagues and cups, international tournaments and probably the champions league at some point too. He already has the ability for it (runner up 2015 golden boy award, runner up Euro 2016 young player of the tournament), narrowly missing out on both the Euros and Champions league already.
What he’s achieved in his short career (67 league games) is astounding, although he is lucky to have been a part of the clear best team in each country.
KC (or he’ll be in China next year)
Up the Villa
I was shocked, appalled, distraught, etc etc etc to see no mention of the biggest story of the weekend on your website.
Forget the never ending Wenger story. Forget the never to be dropped Rooney. Try to forget, if you can, Gary Lineker’s pants. There was a minor miracle as Aston Villa won their competitive first game in six months. Contrary to sage opinion, no pigs flew and hell is still toasty warm by all accounts.
I look forward to several follow up articles from you predicting the imminent rise back to glory of the biggest club in Europe.
Paul (Atkinson, your glory will never fade…) Herts, AVFC
Gerald is a good bloke
Just read someone’s mail about not ditching the traditional winners and losers, and I can’t tell you how happy i am it has returned.
The joy of waking up looking forward to it on Mondays