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You said it
And……….. back down to 6th. Thank God for that, I was starting to get a nosebleed.
Harry the Manc
A fine email on Football365 and ‘bias’
On the recent accusations that F365 is biased against José Mourinho or Manchester United, here’s my two cents. Full disclosure: F365 lets me contribute to the site on a regular basis, although I don’t get paid for it. [and never will – Ed.]
Over the past couple of years, my sense is that F365 has been particularly harsh on four managers: Sam Allardyce, José Mourinho, David Moyes, and Alan Pardew. By “harsh” I mean talking more about their failures than their successes (not that Moyes has had any successes), and criticising those failures in very strong language.
These four managers have two big things in common.
First, they have a high opinion of themselves, and broadcast it. Moyes is slightly less culpable than the others, maybe because he seems more bravado than smugness, but the other three leave you in no doubt who’s the smartest man in the room. Second, they tend not to take responsibility for their mistakes and failures, preferring to blame others.
It’s not a particularly attractive combination of traits. In fact, it makes you a bit of a d*ck. There are lots of different types of d*cks, but for whatever reason, this specific form of d*ckishness seems to be particularly abhorrent to the folks at F365.
Mourinho may seem to be the biggest target, but that’s only because he really is the biggest target. He manages the highest-profile club, and goes out of his way more often to behave in the two ways described. I could be wrong, but I don’t think F365 has any more dislike for Mourinho than for the others.
Ideally you want a football website to be as objective as possible. But there are worse things than being harsh on these kinds of d*cks. In America we elect them President.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
On a brilliant night in Madrid
The Madrid derby last night was an absolute cracker. Played at tremendous speed for the most part, it had everything – early goals, a crucial goal, last-ditch tackles, Modric’s magical footwork. The only thing it lacked, which was a tad disappointing, was a red card. That would definitely have made the contest more intriguing than it already was.
The match also served as a painful reminder of the gulf in class between the top teams in England, and the top teams in the rest of the “big 5 European leagues”. Fairly pertinent, given the ongoing debate in the mailbox. Admittedly, I don’t watch much football other than United, but the two teams on display last night were, quite simply, streets ahead of anything England currently has to offer.
I also felt tremendous sympathy for Diego Simeone. The man has worked so hard to put together a top team, and come so close to European glory, only to be denied by their bitter rivals every time. That too, after said rivals spent about a decade in the CL wilderness, only to pull the finger out exactly when Atleti were all set for a period of excellence in Europe. That must be a bitter pill to swallow.
I absolutely love the mailbox. Long time reader here who loves reading different opinions, but have never bothered to write.
This all changed after watching Isco boss Atleti players. Oh My, just how good is he. The lovely first touch, tight control, composure, the forward drives, and his performance was complete with a goal (even if I wished Kroos’ initial shot found the net to do justice to that Benzema skill) and massive appreciation by the Real fans when substituted.
What bothers me now is Zidane will probably pick a fit Gareth Bale for the final and leave Isco on the bench. Bale has been utter rubbish this season (in fact for a while now) and I don’t understand why he always gets picked when there are players in better form. Doesn’t contribute to the game, doesn’t score enough.
If Real want to have a chance of breaching that clean sheet factory of a defence, Isco absolutely has to start. What an awesome player.
…And Modric isn’t bad either
Well that was a serious gut punch just before half time, unlikely Atletico were going to be able to score 3 more unanswered after that. Disappoint but hey it was very exciting for the first half hour!
But may we please take a moment to appreciate the undeniable brilliance of Luka Modric. He was absolutely sensational tonight. Tenacious in the tackle, a touch you could only dream of and picking a pass better than any child would his nose. He is literally the needle that sews it all together. If he can play like that in Cardiff I don’t see Juve being able to withstand. Hala Modric
Royston (What does hala mean?) Queen
…Luka Modric is the most complete midfielder in the world.
Why no lambasting of Spanish fans?
If a semi final of the champions league was between two English clubs and there were running battles outside the stadium which left Dozens injured and arrested it would be headline news around the world.
Yet nothing in the English press about exactly that from last night in Madrid. Why not?
Praise for the referee
I have to say that was a very enjoyable match between Atletico and Real but I think that the referee deserves a lot of credit for how good the match was.
It was a very brave performance. He didn’t just start dishing out yellow cards for every foul and even had the balls to book the two captains for getting in his face which hopefully will inspire more referees to be as brave.
Hopefully he gets the final.
Sam , Newtownabbey
You can’t say Mourinho hasn’t been brave
The easy option for Jose would have been to fight on both fronts and use fatigue as an excuse if he fails.
The hard option would be for him to pick a competition and make it public news that he is competing for just one. If he fails, he is going to get a lot of stick especially since the other teams are not exactly running away with top four.
There is a thin line between bravery and stupidity. Currently, he is being brave narrowing his options down and going for one competition. Game of our season tonight!
Breaking: Wenger reads the Mailbox
A few days before Arsenal switched to their new formation, I wrote a letter that was printed in the mailbox lamenting the fact that Wenger kept going on about trying everything he could to arrest Arsenal’s poor run, but there were no changes visible on the pitch.
I then went on to suggest Arsenal could at least try switching to 3 at the back. My reasoning was that we had plenty of good centre backs. Ramsay would get to fulfill his potential better with less defensive responsibilities that the extra defender brings. Gibbs would be very well suited to playing the wing back role – much better suited than he is a left back. I also suggested that Rob Holding could be given a run in the team considering the great potential he had shown. In fact the only thing I suggested that Wenger hasn’t done is dropping Ozil for certain games, but we all knew that would never happen.
Now I’m not suggesting that I’m in any way responsible for Arsenal’s revival (we all know I am), but I think it’s clear that at the very least, Arsene Wenger reads the mailbox. I bet Stewie will be pleased to know that his rants have been read by the man himself.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
Some Champions League psychology
When reading the (excellent) Malcolm Gladwell book; David and Goliath, I couldn’t help but think of another possible factor that hinders English teams in Europe. Studies in the past on US students have shown that top students from below average colleges are generally more successful in life than below average students from the ivy leagues. Despite these students having far worse SAT scores.
In psychology this is (unimaginatively) called the ‘big fish in small pond syndrome’. Counter intuitively, it’s better to be the brightest kid at Sheffield Hallam, than one of the dullest at Harvard.
This is attributed by psychologists to the individuals self concept being largely influence by their immediate comparison group. Basically, the dumbest kid at Harvard might well be a genius by anyone else’s standards, but they will feel stupid. This will in turn give them self doubts and actually turn this self image into a reality (I’m probably over simplifying this)
I thought of teams in the premier league. The top 6 have all got another 5 teams they know can easily beat them on their day. And another 10 teams that they have to give 100% into the matches to get a result from. They’re not steamrolling everyone 6-0 every weekend like Bayern Munich. Knowing in the back of their mind that they are palpably beatable must have an effect come champions league ties.
I’m sure everyone can think of an example from their own lives where a false sense of superiority has actually done them a world of good (and vice versa)
I don’t believe for a second that the Monaco squad is anywhere near as good as City or Tottenham’s.
Jack (amateur psychologist, full time waffler) Cambridge