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Sutton: The tiresome love-in
I would like to be the first to congratulate Sutton on their incredible victory over Arsenal. I wasn’t able to actually watch the match but was listening to the BBC commentary and was therefore able to hear how amazing Sutton were.
It may sound a bit ungracious but seriously BBC, can you commentate on what is happening as opposed to what you want to be happening.
I suppose “professional performance from Arsenal away against tricky lower league team” is a bit boring but seriously, Arsenal weren’t amazing and Sutton were a bit sh*t, and that’s all there was to it. Anything else is just trying to make a story that isn’t there.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
Losing the magic
Am I the only person in the known universe who didn’t care if Sutton beat Arsenal tonight or not?
From the way the media portrayed it you’d be entitled to think the future of the civilised world depended on it, but I’d beg to differ.
Nigel Downs, Geneva
Sutton were a disgrace
As a busy day drew to a close yesterday, a few workmates and I wondered how the Sutton vs Arsenal match would go, all predicted an Arsenal win of course, but we varied in our estimates of how many goals there’d be, and how easy/difficult it would be. For the record I said it would be a very tough 0-2, and that Lucas Perez would open the scoring (you can ask them if you don’t believe me!). The other remark I made was that I fear for the likes of Iwobi, Adelaide, Chamberlain and the suchlike this evening because Sutton Utd are going to be given carte-blanche to put in some shocking tackles, and not only will the referee not punish them, the BBC will laugh about them.
Obviously you can expect a fired-up Sutton Utd, and yes you can expect a level of tackling which isn’t at the standard of a Premier League player – I get that. What I don’t expect to see is Jamie Collins, the captain of Sutton Utd, attempt a tackle that would have ended Alex Iwobi’s career in an instant, should Iwobi not jump out of the way. What I didn’t expect to see, in around the 80th minute, was the same player, seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain motor past two of his colleagues already down the left wing, attempt to stop Chamberlain advancing any further with a headbutt.
Seriously, go back and watch the footage of Chamberlain’s run; the first challenge was fair and he skilfully evades it; the second challenge the Sutton player clearly had thoughts to putting Chamberlain in the stands but pulled out of the challenge at the last moment; and the third challenge was a headbutt.
On top of that you’ve got to question Sutton Utd’s general approach to the game. I was going to say “professionalism” but then to be fair to them they are part timers (and I don’t mean that in a nasty way). Whilst I can appreciate the fact they’d take Sun Bets on their huge offer for a one-off match, I don’t think any club in their position would do any different, you’ve got to wonder about their manager seeming to care more about his pre-match banter with Gary and Al, or how much TV-time he’d get. Apparently it was a privilege for the BBC to cover Sutton as well. Does that strike anyone as a bit, well, strange?
And finally we have Wayne Shaw who, on the one match where his side were sponsored by Sun Bets, who – for a bit o’banter – have 8/1 odds of him eating a pie on live TV, decides to eat a PIE on live TV. Gosh I wonder how many people had THAT bet on in the Sutton Utd dressing room that night.
I’m wondering what it is that’s winding me up so much about Sutton Utd, and I think it’s the hypocrisy. “The Magic of the Cup”. There wasn’t any magic last night for the lower league club. They milked their time on TV, they possibly committed gambling fraud, their captain went out to injure the opposition. There was only one club respecting the FA Cup last night.
Dale May, Swindon Wengerite
Erm… Sutton win demonstrated why I don’t like Wenger
Last night summed up exactly why I don’t like Arsene Wenger. The total and utter lack of excitement that he projects. Imagine any other manager, any one, being interviewed after that match. Some enthusiasm, some kind words delivered with real energy and meaning and maybe even a smile. But no, Arsene does what he always does, just sucks the joys out of everything.
I mean, come on. The only thing he ever wins is the FA cup and he’s been handed a career lifeline with two easy draws and STILL he acts like it’s ‘just another game’. Klopp is obviously the anti-wenger but he would have been out there really congratulating every single player knowing how much it means to them. How can a man who cares about football not get a little carried away with that after the game?
I can’t wait for him to go, not because of his management or his results or even his style of play. It’s just him. The only time he does get animated is to complain endlessly about something only he sees. He’s a boring moaning joyless mood hoovering dementor.
Is it any wonder Luke Shaw has weight and fitness issues when his dad has pints at half time and a meat pie in the 83rd minute… role models and all.
Beechy – Aus
The difficulties in managing a squad
Sibbi, the Icelandic Spur raises the issue of Spurs squad depth/problems.
Spurs have the same issues that most of the other premier league clubs have, namely trying to keep a bench full of talented and ambitious squad players happy so they don’t destabilise the first team but are also good enough to either change a game when they come on or at least make the team play at the same level.
Poch has already shipped out players like Bentaleb and Townsend because they started to make waves plus he’s sold players like Tom Carrol who were behind other young players (Winks etc.) and needed to be sold on as much for their careers as to free up space in the squad.
It’s also difficult for a club like Spurs to attract good established players when they know they’ll be on the bench for most games.
We have a settled and very good first team in a lot of positions so when you try to sign a player that player and his agent know you’re looking for someone to be a backup.
Spurs trying to sign a new striker is the perfect example of this. Any striker, in our price range, will know he’s only going to be a backup for Kane so your list of players is limited. Most of the established players won’t want to sign and the ones that do will want massive wages and Spurs can’t afford a bench full of players on massive wages when we have a new stadium to finance. This is the reason I don’t understand the Sissoko transfer not because I don’t think he’s any good as a squad player, far from it he’s a French international but because I don’t think we should have paid the money we did for him. (And that shouldn’t be how he’s judged on the pitch, he didn’t set the fee)
So you’re left with either promoting from within the youth squad or taking a punt on buying talented but unproven young players like Alli, N’Koudou & Janssen. Spurs are doing their best to promote from within, they like a lot of clubs have spent a lot of money on the youth set up and Levy wants to see a return not only financially but also on the pitch.
Speaking of Janssen he must have looked like a good option, a young striker eager to learn who had scored goals in a good league, a bit expensive at 17M but he was willing to be the backup to Kane. I still think he has a place in the squad but Like Lamela and Son he needs time, I just hope like them he’s gets that time he’s only 22.
I also think some of our squad players have regressed since we signed them. Players like Davies and Wimmer (Again both international players) looked very good when we signed them but a lack of playing time isn’t doing them any good. (No competitive reserve league but that for another email.)
Our bench isn’t that bad Trippier, Vorm & Son (He’s on the bench if Lamela’s fit, no news on that return date though) would get into some of the Mid to lower Prem first teams plus Davies and Wimmer have looked good when they have been given a run in the team. So overall it could be better but it could also be a lot worse and if Janssen can just get a couple of goals from open play to get him going it would make a huge difference.
Fenspur (Oh how I wish we had got Dembele for 5 mil from Fulham in Jan-16)
Is Lingard there to keep Pogba happy?
Anyone still wondering what Lingard is for need wonder no more: He keeps Pogba happy. That’s it.
Any time Pogba’s form drops, Lingard makes an appearance or two, and all is well in the #pogsback world again. He may not be great, but if he helps keep his buddy happy, well, he’s worth it.
You’re missing the point on Lingard
I think people miss the point of having a Lingard. He runs around a lot, we all agree. Some say like a headless chicken, I like to think he opens space up for everyone else. This is especially useful since zlatan usually doesn’t make runs so if Lingard doesn’t make these runs no one does usually (unless rashford is playing).
Three goals and three assists in 13 starts and nine sub appearances (in premier league and Europa) isn’t amazing but that’s a solid contribution from their (at best) 5th best winger. Not to mention no one on the other team will have too much time on the ball. Considering how defensive Mourinho is as a coach Lingard is a solid winger to bring on to see a close game out because you know he will play defence and still have the stamina for counters.
He also makes things easier for his teammates because he tries all the time. They know he’s going to make the run he should, cover them defensively if they run up and he has the stamina to run at full sprint basically the entire game.
Considering he is (at best) their 5th winger I think he’s one of the best wingers in the league that far down in the pecking order. Yeah he’s not a superstar but they have mkhi martial rashford etc for that. He’s a squad player that contributes in every phase of the game when he’s called upon. Considering he’s still only 23 and that few wingers are very consistent at that age, he is a great option if three players are hurt or you’re playing in a cup game. Personally, think if he bulks up he can be Valencia’s long term replacement.
Tip for meeting a footballer: Don’t be a tw*t
John Nicholson’s article was, as ever, thought-provoking. When it comes to footballers, or celebrities in general, on any level, people tend to lose their sh!t fairly quickly if they dare to want some privacy or to do anything any of us would consider normal behaviour (not you, stop doing that).
A lot of it comes down to context. With bands and comedians, for example, I don’t think I could ever stop someone in the street and ask them for a photo or autograph. It just seems like an inappropriate invasion of their privacy. However, in the context of a gig, that’s fair game, as long as you’re as respectful to them as you’d want them to be to you. I’m fortunate in that for most of the gigs I go to, the artists want to stop afterwards, to chat to fans, sign autographs and pose for photos.
Likewise, a footballer on official business, at a game or at the training ground, is likely to be more responsive to respectful requests from people they know are fans of their team. They’re in work mode, whereas in a bar or a club, they deserve privacy.
Selfies may have replaced autographs as the official form of last proof you’ve met a famous person, but the principle is the same: selfie collecting is just as weird a hobby as context-free autograp-hunting. John’s example of the comedian who decided enough was enough when it came to selfies was a bit like the time Noel Gallagher announced a few years ago he was going to be more selective about signing autographs. Gallagher said he would sign CDs and LPs, as these were indicative of someone being a fan, and this only tended to happen at shows/meet and greets, but he wasn’t going to scribble on cigarette packets or any old scrap of paper. At the time, people said this was a bit diva-ish, but the subtext, that he wanted to be able to walk down a street without being constantly pestered, was understandable.
Basically, whether it’s with footballers, musicians, or any other sort of person, the message is the same: don’t be a tw@t.
Ed Quoththeraven (I like getting CDs signed)