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Poor De Boer
Looking at all the articles about De Boer sacking today, it seems clear that the guy has been hung out to dry.
They signed a clause where he couldn’t open his mouth on the fiasco as part of his pay off. While Crystal Palace have used that to their advantage by airing their reasons in public. All in all, it is bad enough that they fired him in 77 days. It is worse that they are making him the fall guy
Good luck, De Boer. You deserve it for all that you have had to endure.
The Mane/Ederson incident has demonstrated one thing with regards to the game – technology will not work. Pundits have seen replay after replay of the incident and are still split whether it was a red card or not.
Unlike other sports – tennis/rugby/cricket – where in the large majority of cases the decision is clear-cut, football has a significant amount of doubt – did the player go down before being touched, was it ball to hand/hand to ball, was Mane’s tackle reckless or not? I was at the Chelsea game where there a very good shout at a handball against Harry Maguire, whilst Vardy also went down before Courtois touched him, both incidents of which could have gone either way, no matter how replays you see. We should stop the whole need + push for technology, just accept sometimes the referee will make mistakes or interpret an incident differently, and just allow the refs to get on with their decisions. Too many decisions are open to interpretation, and technology will slow the whole game up.
Freddie Mills CFC (Conte for the Champions League, Premier League double – Drinkwater to lead England to a World Cup win in Russia)
First off, I know it is far from my place to tell people how to spend their hard earned money etc. So on that note *dons tin helmet*….
I received my copy of Daniel Storey’s Portrait of an Icon in the post today. I have enjoyed the series immensely on F365 and look forward to reading it again.
But that was the point that struck me a couple of weeks ago prior to placing the order. I, like many of you I am sure, have frequented this site almost daily for the last decade. Indeed it is the only thing to look forward to on some work days. And if you add up all of those hours of entertainment provided to me, I have paid a total sum of diddly squat. Zilch. Nada.
Therefore, if you have not already, please please consider how much enjoyment you have received from F365 over the years for free. And if you think that you have got a good deal – give something back and order the book. Hell, its even for a good footballing related cause and not to line the pockets of any of our favourite authors. You might not agree with all of the sentiments in the book, you may even outright dislike it, but ask yourself if you feel like you owe F365 anything for those years of entertainment.
And then buy the book. ‘Cos karma can be a bitch.
Matt (Sorry – that got more serious than I meant it there. But the book cos it’s the right thing to do!) Saints
Gary tells us he is confused. But it’s really not that difficult to understand. A player can play a high ball with his head or chest. If he decides to use his foot then it is the players responsibility to ensure that there is no one in the immediate vicinity whose safety would be endangered. Obviously, if there is no one around, then noone’s safety was endangered. That’s pretty simple to understand.
When I’m refereeing, I try to make decisions based upon actions..but believe it or not, we are all human. It’s almost impossible to ignore the consequences. As an example, I officiated an u16s match which had become quite heated with one team losing quite heavily and resorting to very aggressive play. There was a foul tackle by this team on a defender and my immediate reaction was ‘caution’ as I saw the foul. However, it was immediately obvious that the shinpad had been snapped in two and the leg was badly broken and poking out through the sock. Clearly, this tackle was “endangering the safety of an opponent”…because of the outcome. I dismissed the player.
If you haven’t seen the pictures of Ederson’s face, then look them up. He has eight stitches in his face – which, by definition means that the challenge endangered the safety of an opponent. Two of the stitches are inches from his left eye and it’s not difficult to imagine that the consequences could have been extreme.
Gary’s attempt to equate this with a ‘keeper jumping for a ball underlines the problem referees face every week. Gary wants clarity – Ok. If you kick an opponent in the face and they require stitches, you will be dismissed. Is that clear enough for you? I’m not a supporter of either team – just an referee frustrated by attempts to justify an incredibly dangerous challenge that came close to blinding someone.
Champions League is back
So we’re back in the big time are we!? I would say it feels great to be back but I enjoyed the Europa League immensely and was disappointed that Moreno’s ‘performance’ (plus team fatigue to be fair) cost us the EL at the final hurdle. I most certainly am not one of those Liverpool fans who think it’s Mickey Mouse now that United won it last year. I would point out that our route to the final was considerably less kind but them’s the breaks…
What I would really ask is that whatever happens we don’t throw in the towel as Mr Veneers did or prioritise the European Cup over League form as (I personally felt) Rafa did. That’s not intended to annoy the great many Rafa-acolytes but I often wondered whether or not that elusive number19 would have been delivered if he halted his tendency to rest key players in advance of another heavyweight mid-week match up… Not necessarily ensuring a defeat but IIRC a boring 0-0 home league game would often ensue!?
But it was ‘Oustandings’ conduct in ’14 that still rankles. We are not Arsenal FC, simply there to make up the numbers in Europe. We are Liverpool FC, erstwhile slayers of Europe’s elite. We do not put out a 2nd team at the Bernabeu even if we are 3pts from 3 and they just gave us a shellacking in the previous round. Remember the ensuing shitstorm? That the stiffs gave an excellent account of themselves does not change that you predominantly play your best players and reward those that got you there in the first place. I wonder if that cooked his goose for a certain section of the playing staff and a certain section of our fanbase. It certainly did for me.
I would take a top4 and a decent showing in Europe. Some more famous Anfield nights along the way wouldn’t hurt either. I appreciate every clubs fans are biased and wear whatever tint of specs but it just feels correct that we are back and, at least dining, at the top table. There’s just something about Liverpool and Europe that makes sense. I mean you could effortlessly reel off about 10 famous nights for us whereas with Arsenal (and sorry to keep picking on little Arsenal) you’ve basically got Barcelona toying with them like a cat with a mouse in ’06 and Nayim’s lob. That’s about it…?
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
…Really absurdly excited. It’s only Basel (and there’s definitely an article in the regularity with which United get theoretically easy European groups), but touch wood the Moyes and van Gaal years are over.
Pray for JT
I’m not sure he’ll need a yoga instructor but more a grief counsellor having seen that Traore clip in the big midweek section….
Stu, London (brackets are the garnish to distract from a substandard main course)
Given your recent prompting for more football views and less top 4 arguing and moaning, I thought I’d chip in with some conclusions from the WHU v Huddersfield game:
- We love Bilic. Rumour was he’d be gone if we lost. The players gave it 100% and the fans were in the best voice I’ve heard at the London Stadium. The D!ldo Brothers (they shown just own it, it’s awesome) need to be very careful. The fans know that Slav has his limitations, and some/many even think we should make the change now (esp if Rafa is available). But, everyone respects him and many love him and no one wants to see him humiliated. Given our Charimen’s tendency to only deal in a humiliating fashion, this might not end well.
- Big Andy Carroll is unplayable when he’s fit. Heard Slav after the game say “we hope he’ll now be fit for the whole season”. I admit I hadn’t even considered the possibility and just the thought of that had me tremendously excited for a few minutes contemplating where we’d be if we kept him on the pitch with Chicharito. Then I remembered he is made of glass.
- Kouyate is one of the most underrated players in the PL. Long, rangy, strong, deceptively quick, tackles well, gets into forward areas. He’d a complete midfielder. Without him we are half the team.
- I have no idea how Antonio is (a) not starting for England, every game, and (b) not the subject of intense transfer speculation from the bigger boys. If (b) is the result of (a) then I have no problem if he never gets a cap. He is consistently our best player. Lightening quick, great skill, good finishing, tracks back, great in the air. Priceless.
- The London Stadium is home. Obviously it was a rough first season, it was always going to be after UP. The entire western press having it in for us as a result of our gigantic financial windfall (get over it already) didn’t help. But we have a world class stadium, with double our old capacity, which we are filling, and which yesterday sounded very loud indeed. Reason for optimism.
- When Lanzini and Arnautovic come back I think we have a very strong first 11. Good enough on paper for top 8 at least. The trouble is that we don’t play on paper and I still have doubts as to Slav’s ability to organise the defence. Another season in 11th beckons but there is reason for optimism.
More on Johnny Nic
This morning Jon, Joburg was bemoaning the, well, moaning in the F365 Mailbox and the MC responded with the reasonable comment that you can only publish what you receive. There were also a couple of mails criticising John Nicholson for his piece about Sparky the Playground Bully. As you may be aware, I am an ardent fan of F365 and the Mailbox in particular, so here I am rushing to your defence (not that you need it but here you go anyway).
Firstly, the negativity expressed in the mailbox by the fans of whichever team fails most miserably. As a Gooner, I am aware that my team features most often in this regard but honestly, I love reading the mailbox when it’s fans of any club. In fact, I probably enjoy it more when it’s Liverpool fans wailing as they teeter on the edge of their perches or Crystal Palace fans waving farewell to another manager. That’s because (a) it means Arsenal have not Arsenalised the weekend and (b) it is entertaining. Apart from the sporadic halfwit (I assume you publish them to give us an insight into the wealth of dross I am sure you receive) most of the emails are from passionate, informed fans who want to express their views. I always believed that is what the Mailbox is for and as the MC rightly points out, nobody is forced to read it.
Secondly, Johnny Nic. I do not always agree with him. His world view is very different from mine. But that’s part of the reason I enjoy reading his columns. In case the whole “Fake News” and “Alt Truth” thing has passed you by, one of the reasons we are where we are in the world today, is that people have stopped being exposed to any view that differs from their own. People only read news that comes from sources that believe what they believe and tell them what they want to hear. The idea of embracing debate, accepting difference and the whole “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” approach, is becoming increasingly rare. If that’s fine with you then I suggest you spend more time on Twitter and Facebook and give F365 a miss.
Carolyn, (hoping we take it seriously) South London Gooner.
…Patrick (THFC) – you’re entitled to your view but you’ve already contradicted yourself in your letter.
You say John Nich’s pieces get him in there with the PC crowd and yet “we” only want to read about football and only football. This implies there is a divide in this website’s readership reflective of wider society in that some may enjoy John Nich’s ramblings and some may not.
The point is you should use “I” and not “we” when claiming people don’t want to read about the wider issues connected with football as there are some football fans that see the game as an intrinsic part of England’s culture and can’t separate all of those societal aspects from the game itself.
Neither side is right and John Nich is entitled to his opinion. I could spend all my time being angry at the nonsense Katie Hopkin writes but instead I ignore her and don’t give her the gratification of yet an outraged click on her hate filled bile – I suggest you do the same with John Nich’s pieces from now on.
And for the final time – opinion is not news. If you want to disagree with the way a news story has been presented then fine – sometimes jounros omit certain details or add seemingly irrelevant information to suit the political bias of their readers – disagreeing with an opinion piece on the other hand is plain stupid.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
…I woke up this morning and read mails where furious fans of the site ask you, the writers and editors of the site, why there aren’t as many clever mails this week as the week before. Here’s an idea. If you want better content in the mailbox how about YOU, the reader, provide it. Start a debate about something interesting, reminisce about some great football experience and encourage others to do the same or make your own “Little weekend” post. But whatever you do, don’t blame the poor content of the mailbox on the staff of F365. It’s called “The mailbox”…. not “The editors blog”
…Having very recently had a rather harsh critique of a Johnny Nic piece published, I thought it best to let others have a go at his most recent piece despite my misgivings about it. Sadly, both Peter Krakow and Patrick THFC missed the point – in particular the latter, who trotted out the “stick to sports” plea that is the refrain of relatively privileged people who don’t want what are other people’s problems creeping into their consciousness via sport. At least Peter Krakow challenged the notion that Mark Hughes’ behaviour was reminiscent of a bully’s with some evidence (if you can call anecdotes evidence) to the contrary.
The real problem with the Jonny Nic piece was that it dwelt far too much on his neurotic fear of handshakes and went into far too much detail on a tedious anecdote, before getting to the important stuff. I too find the importance placed on a token gesture of sportsmanship, often at the end of 90 minutes of win-at-any-cost, baffling.
For the record, the first thing that popped into my mind when reading the piece was the famous start to the GZA verse – “too many songs, weak rhymes that’s mad long /
Make it brief son, half short and twice strong.”
Nii (betraying my age through knowledge of Wu-tang lyrics) Gooner
…I wouldn’t normally bother, since you are all big boys and girls, and perfectly capable of defending yourselves…but the use of ‘we’ in Patrick’s mail bothered me. I don’t recall electing him official F365 readers spokesperson, and he’ll not get my vote next time. ‘We want to read about football and football only’. Not me, unelected representative, not me. Did you watch Mega Manic Mad Mad Alliterative Monday last night? It was bloody awful. The last thing I want is 2,000 words on that gorm vacuum. Give me a column on why David Wagner’s brogues will cure football of homophobia every time.
You may not agree with, or like, what John Nicholson writes, but to suggest that it has no place on a football website is a bit odd. Probably better to leave that to the experienced Editor. For what it’s worth, I sometimes disagree with the opinion pieces on here, but it is possible to enjoy reading a well written opinion piece without needing it to confirm your own view. I’m a big fan of Mark Hughes, mostly due to his (odd) handshaking obsession and old lady hair. Still enjoyed the column on Monday though.
Love and Hugs,
Positive news from Palace
Away from the managerial situation, there’s a great story at Crystal Palace.
On 11 September 2016, Pape Souare was in a crash that could have been fatal. He was airlifted to hospital and his broken femur was so severe that for a time doctors feared he may never even walk again.
Yesterday, on the anniversary of the crash, Souare played for the under-23s. He completed 90 minutes.
Regardless of who you support, you have to have a heart of stone not to smile at a player making a full recovery from such a serious injury.
Going to the Leeds game tonight. Every time I’ve been there this season I sit there whilst the fans are singing and think about us getting promoted. Makes me want to cry. I love this game.
Tactics with Stan
“The Crowdfunder for a tactical bible penned by Collymore, titled ‘three centre-halves, two wing-backs, whatever’, starts here.”
1) genuinely caused me to split lunch on my keyboard
2) you missed out the link.. seriously I’ll pay…
Dan (keep up the good work)
Place names XI
Seen as there are complaints about dross in the mailbox – I thought I’d add some bilge of my own.
A Premier League XI of Players Who Have Places for Names
- Petr Cech (Republic) – I’ve never been but I did used to work with a Czech lad. He supported Wolves, inexplicably.
- Kevin Kilbane – The more I think about, the more I think he was a left mid. He’s out of position. Oh, I’ve never been to Kilbane, either.
- Justin Edinburgh – Scotland’s capital, home of the castle, the festival and a haggis supper that’ll leave you very little change from a tenner.
- Dion Dublin – Even less change from 10 Euros for your food. If there’s a better Fergie quote than his response on seeing Dion in the showers then I’m yet to hear it.
- Gareth Barry – Out of position for the soon-to-be-record-appearance-holder. Remember when James Cordon used to be vaguely-tolerable?
- Marc Overmars – “Over Mars” is definitely a place. You should see some that I left out (I tried to get Wadebridge at LB on the grounds that it sounds like Wayne Bridge, if you have cold).
- Stephen Ireland – Strong celtic roots in this team.
- Anderson – The Cornish village looks lovely on Google Images. I need to spend more time travelling and less team making teams like this.
- Marc Albrighton – Not just the beach, not just the pier, butallof Brighton.
- Chris Sutton – I went to a wedding in Sutton once. I was on crutches due to a rugby injury. The brides elder brother pulled an ornamental sword off the wall and challenged me to a duel. I declined.
- Dwight Yorke – Had close relations with (The Hashemite Kingdom of) Jordan at one time, so gets into the team on those grounds, too.
Scof (45 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back) Mann, Glasgow