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Ready to be knocked off our f***ing perch
Guardiola has been confirmed for City. With all the turmoil at Utd, talk of bringing in ex-player legends to arrest the decline, a youth system that is falling behind its peers, struggling to emerge in the top four despite spunking tonnes of cash on what can only be described as a ‘meh’ squad – does any of this seem familiar?
Now I am not saying Utd will turn into Liverpool, they can’t, they are too big and have too much money. However, I can genuinely see a power shift in Manchester and in the league in general. This is not good for the red half of Manchester, as City now have a manager that every top player will want to play for!
Utd will have to have a spectacular summer, and with Woodward in charge, I cannot see that happening! I’m worried, very worried indeed!
Rowan, Red Devil Dub
Please don’t go to City please don’t go to City please don’t go to City please don’t go to City please don’t go to City please don’t go to City please don’t go to City OH FOR FU…
Wubblepig (Please not Jose Mourinho please not Jose Mourinho), Twickenham
…Feck, feck and feck again
Jawad, United fan
Crucial John Terry question
If Chelsea get relegated on the last day of the season (unlikely but a nation crosses its fingers) and John Terry isn’t on the pitch, will he get changed into his kit, run on to the pitch and lie on the ground, sobbing and disconsolate, with the other players?
Rob Davies, THFC
Arsenal had divs too, you know
Well surprise, surprise, an Arsenal fan won’t shed a tear for John Terry. This kind of reaction is very much in keeping with the Arsenal revisionism that we’ve seen in recent years. Lest we forget that the truly great Arsenal players of old were made up of Viera, Keown, Adams and Merson to name but a few of the players that blessed their ranks in the golden years.
Every time Adams or Merson are bought up do we bring up his alcoholism? No we talk of how they helped instill Arsenal as one of the greats. When we bring up Keane, Scholes and Cantona do we all talk about how Keane intentionally broke a man’s leg and ruined his career or how Cantona kung-fu kicked a fan? No, we talk about how they epitomised the must-win united attitude.
End of the day, because it’s Chelsea, even greats like Frank Lampard who’s stayed relatively clean over the years is still painted as a bit of a git. The sour grapes from fans of clubs with glories of old, will matter little in years to come and the sands of time will ensure that players like Terry, Drogba and Lamps will be forever remembered as they should. Greats of the game.
Martin Keown: The Entertainer
In general I find Martin Keown’s work as a pundit to be in the ‘stating the obvious’ arena and fairly bland, so it was with great delight that I read about his John Terry quote. One of the funniest and non-bland things I’ve heard from any pundit.
Put that alongside his ‘Monkey Rides Horse’ shenanigans from our Invincibles season which still ranks as my favourite non-football related moment to happen on a football pitch, and good old Martin is is becoming a real entertainer.
I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
…As if Martin Keown wasn’t already an Arsenal hero, dissing JT with the three words ‘Adams was better’ elevates him to legend status.
He could have added three more words – ‘So was I’ – and been right on both counts
Nevertheless, excellent work Sir!
Rob, Bristol Gooner (Messi/5.50pm today – you’ve got your appointment time mate, be rude not to show up)
Too much football, my arse!
Great article by John Nicholson about the increasingly vociferous complaints by football managers about too much football being played at the moment. I’m risking sounding like an old git with the “it was worse in my day” schtick, but listen to this. With stats being bandied about this weekend about how Liverpool ‘could’ play up to 32 whole games before the end of the season, with Spurs/Man City around the 30 mark and Arsenal on 28, I’d like to remind Mr. Klopp amongst others that this is not a new thing. In the 1981/82 season, from this point (1st February), Tottenham Hotspur played 35 before the season ended. They got to the FA Cup Final (which went to a replay), reached the League Cup Final and were literally kicked out of a two-legged Cup Winners Cup Semi-final by the formerly dirty Barcelona. Due to a heavily disrupted winter schedule, Spurs played their final 18 league games between 20th March and 15th May, whilst juggling three other cup runs. And let me remind you, there were no 25-man squads, multiple substitutions or massive subs benches. The squads were smaller and (predominantly) less fit, the pitches were heavier…as was the tackling. In short, ‘shut it Klopp’. Remember, Sammy Lee played SIXTY SEVEN times during Liverpool’s 1983/84 season!!!
Huw (THFC, London)
…What a great article by Johnny Nic! He summed up the idea of “too much football” (there is no such thing) brilliantly. Let’s just add this: the ‘big’ teams like Man City and Arsenal have spent 20 times more money than Leicester City over the past five years, so should they be expected to have larger squads able to handle 30% (or 50%) more games in the next four months, right? It’s not unfair to City or Arsenal. The real unfairness is to Leicester City who, with a couple hundred million extra quid this season could have been up near the top of the table challenging (oh…)
Robb AFC USA (So quiet at Emirates vs. Burnley, WTF?!?! We’re two-time defending champs people!)
Liverpool fan wants fewer Liverpool games
I typically agree with most of what John Nicholson writes, and I agree with the crux of his latest article. I find it grating that so many clubs and fans view the Europa League and FA Cup as a chore, rather than an opportunity to watch more football.
However, as a Liverpool fan, I wanted us to lose to Exeter and I wanted us to lose to West Ham. Not because the FA Cup isn’t worthwhile – but simply because Liverpool has already reached the final of a domestic cup this season, and has the Europa League still to come.
When you consider Liverpool’s massive injury list, as well as three higher priorities (4th place, League Cup final + Europa League run), it isn’t hard to understand why fans and manager would bemoan an extra fixture in the least appealing competition remaining.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva, Switzerland
Tottenham > Arsenal?
With the title race coming into focus, there’s an important angle I haven’t seen mentioned in the media: Tottenham may very well finish above Arsenal this year.
For most of the world, this may be a sideshow, but I’ll bet it matters a great deal to the supporters in North London. In fact, it might very well be a tipping point in the attitude toward Arsene Wenger. Missing out on the title every year may be bearable, but being surpassed by Spurs? Should it happen, the reaction will be very interesting indeed.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
Hacking him down because they can?
Is there a simpler reason for Fleet Street putting the boot into the Man Utd manager (apart from LVG’s spikyness)?
Is it simply because they can? After all those years of running the risk of getting banned from Old Trafford for merely annoying Fergie, there must surely be a sort of thrill to be had by baiting the manager in a post-match press conference without the slightest chance of having the door shut in their faces?
LVG may have his faults, but his relative decency is not one of them.
Rooney disappointing? Come off it…
Premier League (5): 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
Football League Cup (2): 2005–06, 2009–10
FA Community Shield (3): 2007, 2010, 2011
UEFA Champions League (1): 2007–08
FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008
Sh*t for the past couple of years? Yep. Never became the player we thought he would post-Euro 2004? Definitely not. But disappointing career? Have a word with yourself, pal. This is exactly why no-one likes Man Utd.
Alex G, THFC (Rooney is still a total bellend though)
…A point about Chris MUFC’s sniffy email, on how Wayne Rooney has the temerity to break Man Utd and England scoring records by – huff – scoring goals, against – can you believe it? – other football teams. Well, minnows existed in Bobby Charlton’s day as well, you know.
After a bit of wiki-ing, I see nearly half (22) of SBC’s goals were in friendlies, and 19 of them in games England won by four goals or more (eg. beating USA 10-0?!); compared to 15 and 16 respectively for Rooney.
Plus, something to bear in mind is that SBC’s England were actually, literally, the best side in the world for 4-5 years. Trying to score a goal after being set up by Alan Ball is probably a different experience to having to wait for a chance from Theo Walcott, for example.
And what is he supposed to do? Not bother scoring against the rubbish teams and hang around for games like Barcelona and France? And if breaking scoring records against these stacks of minnows is so easy these days, where are all the others tearing up the record books?
Disappointing career? Well that’s a debate for elsewhere, I doubt it’s disappointing for him; it depends on what you were expecting really. But if he retires having scored more goals for England and Man Utd than anyone else, is that really something to have a go at him for?
Rooney and the Gay Meadow minnows
Chris MUFC predicts that Rooney will score against Shrewbsury and Midtjylland because they are minnows. He is probably right and I have no idea about Midtjylland but I take great pleasure in informing Chris that Rooney’s record against the minnows of Shrewsbury is currently played 1, lost 1, scored 0. 2003 FA Cup third round a young Rooney played at Gay Meadow for David Moyes’ Everton, he spent most of the game in the back pocket of Peter Wilding but did get to witness one of the highlights of a minnow club when Nigel Jemson headed in the winner two minutes before the end.
Sadly Wayne won’t be able to reacquaint himself with Gay Meadow, it now being a housing estate. But hopefully one of his footballing lowpoints can be repeated at the Greenhous Meadow, our contribution to the legoisation of football stadia.
The complete list of players in from the Man Utd website:
Adnan Januzaj – loan return from Borussia Dortmund
Will Keane – loan return from Preston
Donald Love – loan return from Wigan Athletic
Joel Pereira – loan return from Rochdale
Something something uninspiring, something something disappointing…
Andrew (Sigh), Ireland
Easier said than done…
“It’s obviously the most disappointing result of the season here but it doesn’t tell the story of the game, which was the best performance of the season. It’s a game we shouldn’t lose, you all know that.
“I feel much better after that performance than I did after the Rayo or Getafe matches (which ended in draws), even though they were better results.”
Is it LVG there speaking. Oh wait, it’s Gary Neville. LVG may have his faults but all these guys sitting on TV talking like they know how to fix United,it isn’t that easy you know. Maybe Paul Scholes shud try actual management and see.
P Stik (Accra, Ghana)
The Chester question
Does anyone genuinely know what West Brom are playing at with James Chester? They spent £8m on him in Summer, have refused to play him and are now telling other clubs to sod off when they make offers.
I know Tony Pulis’ dream is to field an outfield of nine centre-backs plus Ricky Lambert, but seriously – it’s not just Saido Berahino’s career they’re slowly wrecking. The difference is that Chester’s trying to behave himself, and yet still they won’t let him go (I feel a Bohemian Rhapsody sing-along coming on…)
Some reports are saying that they’ll only listen if they get an offer that matches what they paid. How delusional are they? They paid over the odds for a defender (who is actually quite a good player, but not worth £8m), haven’t let him get on the pitch for five months and now they want their money back in full? I just don’t see how they think that’s realistic.
Alex (West Brom are an annoying team anyway, send ’em down!), Leeds
Can you complain about the media from within the media?
Great article as recommended by Mediawatch again today. But the irony of a quick browse of the page is what grates. A journalist clearly in mourning for the passing of the sport he loves, as it births a financial monster. It contains elegant writing interrupted by a link to Arsenal news and transfer rumours. Oh look, that page is hosted on the same site. That is unfortunate.
Cue further complaint about Sky Sports News transfer deadline day, followed by a massive transfer deadline countdown clock. Is the Telegraph being intentionally ironic here? Wait, there is yet more heartfelt grief, followed up with a link to the same website’s news and rumours page for Manchester United.
If journalists are so sickened by football becoming this monster, and they are obviously aware their own profession is as much to blame as Sky Sports News, or Jim White, or Jorge Mendes, surely the hypocrisy contained in this simple webpage must hurt.
Don’t complain about the problem, when you merely contribute to it. I bet Alan Tyers wore a yellow tie as he typed up his notes.
Adam, LFC (a paying ‘customer’), Belfast
Reading the ideas about the one-man team made me picture the following scene in my head. It made me very happy.
Keeper Crouch hoofs the ball downfield, where Striker Crouch knocks the ball down to top-of-the-diamond Crouch. He ships it out to the wing where Winger Crouch picks the ball up, beats his man and crosses the ball into the box. Striker Crouch leaps into the air and fires an overhead kick straight into the top corner. Striker Crouch runs to the fans with a finger in the air and slides on the ground in delight. Smiling happily, all the other Crouches (including Goalie Crouch) leap on top of Striker Crouch to make a massive pile of Crouches. Everyone goes home happy and the world is a better place for it.
Mike, LFC, Dubai
My dildo hell
Sadly, I’m unable to read today’s feature, ‘Babelcopters and dildos: The best deadline days‘, because you’ve gone and put ‘dildos’ in the URL. My company’s content filter has also spotted it and denied me access. I’m half expecting to be called into the boss’s office any minute for a review of our internet usage policy!!
Please be more careful in future.