What’s this? Spurs fans excited about the future? Plus, mails on Martial, Man United, elephants, Ramires, Tim Sherwood and more…
Anything to add on these or any other subjects? Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Martial: Playing like expensive player he is
Yes, I get that Martial looks pretty good. He already looks like a decent signing and not the flop some people were perhaps expecting or hoping for, but…
Please can we stop pretending like Man Utd have unearthered a gem for peanuts or created some superstar through their Academy! They have paid £30-odd million for him, potentially at this very early stage looking like it could hit the £50m+ mark. For that money he is actually supposed to be that good. He just fits into the Manchester United spending loadsamoney philosophy (isn’t that the new buzz word) they now adopt. Galactico light if you will.
He looks good, I get it, but let’s not pretend he is anything but an expensive signing.
Simon (brackets…what are they good for?) Bristol
Unleash the rivers of Babylon
It occurred to me yesterday, that it’s only a matter of time before someone – could be a mailbox contributor, could be a headline writer – realises Anthony Martial could be referred to as Tony M, and unleashes a whole host of late-seventies disco puns. Eep.
Al, plastic HCFC supporter
Take it kneesy on United, please
Just a quick one. Yes, it was hardly an immaculate finish, but please don’t just pretend he wasn’t in the right place at the right time or that there was no skill or awareness involved in being there, just for the sake of another Rooney-bashing story. Jeez, the guy literally can’t do anything right! Even scoring doesn’t seem to make a difference.
Rooney will continue to play himself into form and a goalscoring run, Memphis will continue to settle but it may take time, Mata is looking good and getting games, Martial has proved the doubters (and those who had no idea who he was) wrong. The defence looks pretty good, the midfield is starting to gel, Saint David is surely going to stay with us forever.
City still your favourites?
Rooney: Best player in the Premier League
Last week I sent a post to the mailbox in which I was incredulous at Rooney being the third-highest scorer in the league in The Sun’s Dreamteam.
Well after this weekend of generally being a bit rubbish but managing to get his knee to the ball to score, he’s now the highest scorer in the entire league.
By 16 points.
Someone who has been generally crap is The Sun’s highest scoring player. Sounds about right.
Bradley (Silvio Dante is my kindred spirit. The only other Man U fan that has seen through the Rooney hype all these years) Kirrage
Giggs the manager? Maybe
Andy Race thinks that Giggs shouldn’t get the United gig after Van Gaal retires, well maybe he should, maybe he shouldn’t. Andy cites the other ex-United players who have failed to make the grade managing at the highest level. None of them have taken their time like Giggs, some were appointed as managers within months of hanging up their boots. Giggs is taking his time, learning from Van Gaal as he undoubtedly learned from Fergie. When the time comes, I’m sure Van Gaal will give the United board a brutally frank and honest appraisal of whether he thinks Giggs is ready for the big job.
Personally I don’t think Guardiola is the man for United. For me, the jury is still out on the man. He’s gone from being a manager in a league that’s a two-horse race about 95% of the time, to being a manager in a league that has one team that stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of reputation and spending power, that regularly asset-strips their only competitiors in the league if their dominance starts to look shaky. How he’d do at United, where there are two other clubs in the league that can at the very least match United for spending power is still very much unproven. To me, despite all his medals, he’d be no less of a gamble than Giggs. Also, let’s not forget that Guardiola got his break when the club he’d served for years as a player and coach gave him a shot at the big job. Shouldn’t we give Giggs the same opportunity if the likes of Van Gaal and Fergie feel he’s up to it and make that recommendation to the board.
Giggs the manager? No thanks
I thought I was the only one who didn’t want him as manager. He has no previous experience and the ratio of talented players to talented coaches is ridiculously low. For every Guardiola we have a Seedorf, Inzaghi, Maradona..etc. The greatest British manager wasn’t a good footballer. He says it himself.
Thus the manager who should follow LVG should be one who follows a certain narrative. One who has been previously successful just like Sir Alex, and who follows the philosophy of bringing young talented players and making them the best while challenging for titles.
That manager is Ancelotti. Willing to do what LVG is doing, steady the ship, plus he brings balls to the wall attacking football. Giggs should manage a lower team. I’d actually want him to go to a championship team and bring them to the league. Then I’ll be sold on him. It’s too early for him to take over.
Nelson, resident reader
The elephant in the room
Can I just say the ‘elephant in a tree’ quote although quite amusing hardly pertains to United, let’s face it they have been at the top of the tree for quite a few bloody years unlike your beloved Arsenal who reside below the upper branches, wait until the end of October to see how we are fairing before commenting on their demise, you never know we just might prove a few of you wrong.
On the Brendan Rodgers in or out debate from a United perspective I would like him to stay doing just enough so they don’t sack him and not enough to bother the top four, selfish I know but as every commentator ever has said “that’s football”
Paul Murphy, Manchester
…While I too was amused by the ‘elephant up a tree’ analogy this morning, I was also yet again struck by how it’s always the Arsenal supporters in the mailbox raining on the other big team’s parades. Let the pain go, lads.
I don’t know who’s going to win the league, but I do know United have a pretty good chance of doing it. City have never won the league without someone else imploding, Chelsea thought buying nobody would work for the first time in footballing history, Arsenal couldn’t win the league if they were the only team in it. United, of course, don’t open my soul to new and joyous possibilities, but they certainly hold their own in the above company.
I don’t really have an ending. I had two points to make.
Stephen O’S, MUFC
Will Rodgers ever be given any credit?
I’m neither an apologist nor a detractor when it comes to Brendan Rodgers but it is clear to me – on the back of Daniel Sturridge’s scoring return and Rodgers’ subsequent post-match comments – that he will never be regarded as a Liverpool legend. In fact, and perhaps more worryingly for him, I doubt the neutrals will even acknowledge him as a decent manager.
In a ‘damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t’ scenario the benefit of doubt is usually offered but only on the basis that there are things inherently good about your personality or behaviour. Therefore, as a result of Rodgers’ constant faux positivity and nonsensical blue sky think-tank brainstorming base-touching e-mail-pinging chatter, he’s left himself no room to manoeuvre and is wholly reliant upon the skill of his players to dig him out of a hole.
If he won the Premier League it would be the players getting the credit, not him. He can’t possibly be heralded as Shankly incarnate because of his lack of self-awareness. I understand that this does now seem slightly weighted towards being a critical piece on Brendan Rodgers but therein is the point I’m trying to make: given enough time, we will all end up disliking him and his methods. Given time he may shoot himself in the foot or be a huge gun-slinging success – we may never know.
I suppose the old adage about giving someone the rope to hang themselves with wouldn’t apply to Brendan, though – he’d do it just to prove that it was his philosophy all along.
Gavin (For what it’s worth, wishing Liverpool success anyway) Hill, Malton
Can money buy you happiness?
I’m a little confused. I read John Nic’s latest piece of clickbait and it appears to suggest that managers should accept the abuse thrown their way because they are well-paid. Is that the line you guys are peddling now? Because I could have sworn the official F365 angle was that your mental health is not in any way related to your salary, but I must be mistaken. Say whatever you like, they’re rich. Lovely sentiment. I particularly enjoyed the ‘out here in the real world’ comment, from the novelist who has ‘never had a salaried job in his life’. But hey, he’s a gritty Northerner – who knows more about the real world than the man who has seen several poor people?
On a more positive note, Popeiwaloye’s elephant analogy is the best thing I have ever read on F365.
Shouldn’t Ramires be a cult hero?
Reading Winners and Losers today made me ponder Ramires’ treatment in this country for the last few years. He is a player who surely has all the hallmarks of a club legend: He works incredibly hard, he has single-handedly won vital games on his own – Barca semi final anyone – (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj6MEBJwkPM) – and scored some proper thunderbastards, too.
So why the antipathy from the Chelsea faithful? Having not watched him week in week out, I don’t know if he’s as awful (when he plays) as Chelsea fans say he is, but surely he’s given Chelsea club defining moments? I reckon if he’d done for Liverpool or United, the things he’s done for Chelsea, he’d be a firm cult fan favourite.
And perhaps he’s a bit like Our Wayne – needs a few games to put a run together, something conspicuously absent from his Chelsea career.
Can the mailbox suggest any other players they feel deserve cult hero status?
Some happy Spurs thoughts
A few reasons to be cheerful…
- Spurs now have the joint-best defensive record in the league. Vertonghen and Alderweireld look to be forging a real partnership, and it’s obvious that Jan is enjoying himself more than he has since he first signed for us. How I’ve missed his marauding into the opposition half – how we, as a team, have missed it, in fact.
- Lamela does still resemble a new-born foal a lot of the time, but is gaining confidence and actually seems to be remembering how to play football. Worked his socks off, and thoroughly deserved his goal and standing ovation.
- Eric Dier is a monster in DM. Not an exaggeration to say he looks far more comfortable there than he ever did at CB; maybe the coaching staff new that, hence not much worry over not signing one.
- And, to make the afternoon perfect, Kane finally got the increasingly heavy monkey off his back with a very well-taken goal. Thoroughly deserved too, and only the most heartless b@stard wouldn’t be happy for the lad.
- I now make that Chelsea, Arsenal and City beaten convincingly at WHL in their last visits, and an excellent performance post-Europa performance against Palace – the type of game we could easily have lost whilst playing terribly. Finding consistent home form has been the biggest challenge of the last four years, but there are signs that we’re getting there.
Alex G, THFC
…I remember writing in January or February this year, and stating how excited I was about the future of Spurs.
Since then, Spurs fell out of Champions League contention, crashed out of the Europa League, lost in the Capital One Cup to John Terry’s Chelsea, embarked on a stupid post-season tour when the players needed rest, messed up pre-season with the Audi Cup just before the opener at Old Trafford, failed to sign an experienced midfielder and second striker in the transfer window, and endured a 12-hour Harry Kane goal drought,
So, the faith has certainly been tested. But, even more than I was back at the start of the year, I am excited by how things are looking for my club.
Last season, Pochettino stumbled upon Mason and Bentaleb as a serviceable midfield partnership, more through luck than judgement. This season, he has stumbled upon Dier and Alli as a combo, and they both look totally at home at Premier League level. With Mason and Bentaleb returning from injury, suddenly there is depth. Likewise, Son Heung-min has shown enough to suggest Spurs may still be able to score if Harry Kane does a hammy.
The Spurs team against Man City was the youngest in the Premier League this season, and I’d be interested to see how it stacks up in terms of previous ‘young’ teams – for example the Class of 92 team. But more than the age and inherent potential that means, for the first time we are starting to see consistent performances that reflect the Pochettino philosophy at Southampton – never stopping moving, strong and quick in the tackle, moving the ball out from the back and probing for space. It’s like he finally has the team he needs to execute his game plan.
Of course, there are going to be more setbacks, and the Europa League will cause some dropped points due to the fatigue from all the travel. But there is a huge amount to like about this Spurs team, and the potential they have to get better.
Exciting times are here again – which is normally the time to worry for Spurs fans.
Charlie, THFC, Somerset
Well done Harry
Hats off to Harry Kane for all the credit he got from the BT Sport commentators and panel.
Premier League striker scores open goal from 12 yards, from an offside position.
Up the Hammers
Further to a recent piece proclaiming Leicester as ‘the best of the rest’ (whatever that is anyway) I’m mailing in to make a case for my beloved Hammers…
Asides from an ever-so-small blip where we failed to win more than two games between Xmas and end of season last year (Thanks Sam!), West Ham are once again sat in the top four – a location we held up until the aforementioned start of 2015.
With Song, Ogbonna, Valencia and Carroll all due to return to full fitness we have a much stronger squad than last season and a more tactically astute manager that will insist we actually pick up points in the new year.
West Ham for the Champions League – you heard it here first.
Ross, (insert gag here) Cockney in Sydney
Really, really not liking Tim
Good God, I despise this man…I mean like, I really, really can’t stand him. I know this seems a bit harsh for a man who I have never met but, is this guy for real? He blagged his way into the Spurs caretaker role and he thought he was the second coming even though he had no experience, very little credentials and no real right to even get the temporary role offered to him. He then rides the ‘being young and English’ schtick and with an unfounded level of popularity and him not being Paul Lambert get the Villa Job. Okay they are a bit muck, but he nearly got them relegated, then goes into this season after losing his two best players but still spent a wad of money and declares that Rudy Gestede can be better than Benteke lark and again, you might say, a manager has to say this lark but come on, his sheer arrogance in his claims are simply embarrassing.
“We played bad on purpose against Birmingham, because I’m a genius…COME ON…and then he loses AGAIN…on Sat and starts the whole ‘next year will be better Guv’. “I always knew this season was going to be a battle to stay up.” Is he actually Arry’s long-lost son, he spent £50m! He doesn’t deserve his job, simple as, and the sooner he bites the bullet, the sooner the media and some fans will realise what he is…a blatant chancer.
Big Sam’s bin lorry on its way…
Any other Villa fans bracing themselves for Sam Allardyce arriving through the gates of Villa Park in the next month or two, in his big bin-lorry full of dirty, old long-balls with Kevin Nolan hanging out the back of it in a pair of claret and blue overalls?
Get it together, Tim.
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach
Declaring for England
Average player in relegation-bound team pledges allegiance to England. I also would like to pledge myself to England. I scored a cracker on my school team aged 11. This better make the news.
This weekend Fiorentina beat Inter to move top of the Serie A for the first time since 1999. Seeing as the club went bankrupt and was relegated to the fourth tier in 2002, this is a moment of great joy for fans who have followed them since that time.
Obviously being top at the start of October doesn’t mean that a team is necessarily a strong contender for the title (sorry Man U fans), but seeing Fiorentina up there brings back fond memories of Batistuta, Rui Costa and captain Di Livio, who stayed with the team even in Serie C2.
James Bruschini (time for a European Winners and Losers feature?)
Big-ups for Degsy
Just a quick note to welcome Degsy back to form. A tenner on each of his selections from the weekend gone would have returned a nice tidy profit of £114.50. The fact that I didn’t follow his advice on any of his selections does not bother me one little tiny bit at all…
…Hats off fella, I’d been calling for your head for a few weeks. But five wins, you naughty man.
Like George Michael (and not a bad cover by LimpBizkit), I had to have faith.
I’ve already told my g/f we’re going food shopping this week.
Roll on next week
Kish (never doubted Degsy) CPFC