Keep them coming email@example.com.
This was sent before the Martinez latest…
First off, I am not an Everton fan, but I work with a massive, born and bred one (hi Tom!). This has led to me being aware of their season more than most other teams, and even as an outsider I am finding the current situation very annoying.
Everton’s current team contains a young, proven 20+ goals a season striker, one of the highest rated young defenders in England, one of the highest rated young midfielders in England and a decent smattering of others. Each one has been dragged down by the manager. It’s now impossible to tell if Stones is actually that good (his “ball playing” seems to now just be making mistakes) or if Barkley has the potential once thought. Lukaku has just slipped into understandable apathy and frustration. For that squad to have the second worst points tally this year (only ahead of Villa, who barely count) is just abysmal. This is the manager’s fault. The extra frustrating thing is that once these guys go, they won’t be replaced. Everton aren’t getting another Lukaku any time soon (there are so few strikers who guarantee that level of goals) so they are wasting a potential golden period.
If they had sacked him before the FA Cup semi final, they might have got some kind of caretaker manager bounce (appoint a popular member of staff perhaps) and hope that took them to the final and through the derby. Instead they missed their best chance of a trophy for ages (which may not come round again for years), and put in an absolute embarrassment of a derby performance. That was a resignation note of a performance (as was last night’s), but still nothing.
Add to all this, Martinez still seems to think he’s doing a great job (as pointed out by your great collection of his statements). This doesn’t exactly hint at a big change in fortunes coming up. If he stays, it’s a relegation fight for Everton next year.
The suspicion (which I always held as fact) that Martinez just utilised the Moyes drilled defence, and would be found out as soon as they grew too old, has been proven true. By not acting the board have allowed what could have been a fairly nice farewell (“thanks for your hard work, time for a change”) into fan mutiny, players downing tools (see Robles’ effort for that free kick last night) and protests at the end of season dinner. It’s a mess. He’s got to go right now.
Attention: Newcastle Players.
You current lot are something of a disgrace.
I have no time for the notion of Mr Benitez having to manage in the Championship.
Manc in SA (#SaveRafa!)
An unmoved Magpie
You’ll not find too many Newcastle fans that are actually bothered that we have been relegated again, the writing was on the wall 18 months ago when Pardew left and the owner thought it would be ok for a Premier League club to not have a manager for 6 months. We’ve been on free fall since then really and relegation was just delayed 12 months when we beat West Ham on the last day of last season, so we’ve had a year and a half to get used to the idea.
Besides, if you ask any Newcastle fan to name the most fun season we’ve had in the last decade the majority would say the season we were in the Championship, battering teams week in week out, top of the league all season, going to different away grounds, playing with no fear and giving the young lads a go (Andy Carroll).
If we stayed in the Premier League we’d just be battling for 17th again and where is the joy in that? We are favourites to win the league next year and I am already looking forward to it (although I with we were 5000/1).
United summer transfer business predictor
I liked the Arsenal summer transfer business predictor this morning so I’ve done a United one.
Goalkeepers: I wouldn’t be surprised (nor would I blame him) if De Gea leaves but keeping him would be the best business we could possibly do this summer. Valdes will probably go, but nothing doing unless Dave leaves.
Defence: we desperately need a central defender to play alongside Smalling. Players like Godin, Laporte and Varane are simply not going to happen, so those rumours should be ignored. John Terry must not be signed, under any circumstances. I’d expect Jones and Rojo to be shown the door and I’d be happy for Varela, Fosu-Mensah and Borthwick-Jackson to take their places.
Midfield: lose Fellaini and one of Carrick or Schweinsteiger, return Blind to midfield, and bring in one or two new faces – Rooney should not be used in midfield. I didn’t know enough about Sanches so I can’t say whether he would have been any good for us but William Carvalho might still be possible. As with the defenders we’re linked with, Kroos just ain’t gonna happen.
Forwards: a right winger, please! I like Lingard but we need alternative options. Get rid of Rooney and bring in a more senior striker – definitely not Zlatan – to go along with Martial and Rashford. I’m not 100% sure of Gotze’s real position but I would love us to sign him – once again, no chance that will happen though, if he leaves Bayern it will be for Liverpool I would think. Getting more from Depay and Januzaj should also be a goal for this season, as I still think they have a lot to offer.
It all depends on the managerial situation but, assuming van Gaal is still in charge, I would only expect 2/3 players coming in, with maybe 3/4 leaving. Personally, I would move on Jones, Rojo, Valencia, Fellaini, Carrick/Schweinsteiger and Rooney. I can’t suggest any realistic targets for the three/four players I’d like to see arrive, because I just don’t know who we can attract at the moment, but I am sticking with a centre-back, centre-midfield, right-wing and striker as my wish list.
The Arsenal predictor
Dear Dale May, Swindon Wengerite…
I’ll grant you that James Rodriguez is the likeliest to make way for the Los Blancos this summer, but why in gods name would Dybala and Coman go to Arsenal? Dybala who is part of a Juve team who have just won Serie A for the fourth year in a row, and their number 1 striker ahead of the very impressive Alvaro Morata. Kingsley Coman has just won the Bundesliga with Bayern and put on a Extra time winning display in Bayern’s QF against Juve. Why would either leave title winning teams for a season of mediocrity and challenging for 4th place?
Also awfully predictable that Wengers early signing this year is another central midfielder, not the desperately needed striker or even centre back?? But heck, what do i know…
Felix (Is bottling a title challenge a North London thing?)
Why would they leave?
Seems the silly transfer season has started early. We haven’t even finished our regular league season, and already fans of “big four” (ha) are sniffing around our players. Mahrez, Kante, Vardy, Schmeichel, Drinkwater, Fuchs, Morgan and everyone else is not for sale. And I wouldn’t bother with the Spurs players, they won’t be for sale either.
If silly money was offered (or release clauses met), then I can’t see them wanting to leave the champions of England for any other club in this country. Most the “big four” (ha) clubs aren’t guaranteed CL football and have varying amounts of toxicity in their relationship with the fans/owners/managers/players. Why would our players want to go to you?
I could see the likes of Mahrez and Kante going abroad, but only to the likes of PSG, Bayern, Juve, etc. I would not begrudge them the move if they wanted to go, they’ve been excellent this season. However, I think they’ll want the challenge of playing for us in the CL next season. No club has a more feel good positive atmosphere than Leicester City right now.
Toby (Champions) Mitchell
Relegated Irish internationals
Fact: Rob Elliot, Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady keep going the Republic of Ireland’s somewhat dubious record of having at least one (but often more) current internationals playing for a relegated team (or teams) since the very first season of the Premier League when Alan Kernaghan was relegated with Middleborough.
There are 27 Irish internationals that suffered MULTIPLE relegations over the years including, remarkably, one of our best players of the past 20 years, Damien Duff, who suffered relegation no less than 3 times. Firstly with Blackburn then with Newcastle and finally with Fulham. Niall Quinn and Richard Dunne, another pair of stellar Irish Internationals, who have been on the relegated side of things thrice and twice times, respectively . Ouch.
Apparently, an actual team of Gary Breens would not fair very well, either. Who knew? He was relegated three times in his premier league career while fellow adopted Irishman and man of 110 cap’s Kevin Kilbane was relegated twice, both with serial Irish international relegator’s, Sunderland and Hull who at least have had the good grace to take Paul McShane out of the too flight not once, but twice. And for that, we are all grateful.
Not too sure what all this means other than we have a lot of players playing for sh*t teams but I’d be interested to know if its the same for Scotland and Wales? I’d look it up myself but it was depressing enough checking for Irish players.
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach.
Love for the Owls
I have been really heartened to see both Sarah’s lovely article and the following response from a couple of Mailboxers on Wednesday and a potential (probably remote knowing Wednesday) chance to return to the top flight. It has been particularly pleasing in that this is the first positivity I have seen towards Wednesday and their playoff campaign in any part of the football media.
The angle elsewhere seems to be totally focused on Brighton, their struggles over the last few decades (because of course Wednesday have had it easy in that time), the injustice of Dale Stephens’ red card and subsequent failed appeal, and the temerity that Brighton should be forced to slum it in playing a side who finished 15 points below them (the rules have been the same for two decades, you would think people had time to get used to them). This was particularly evident in a slot on the Radio 2 breakfast show yesterday (sue me, I’m old OK!) where a journalist from Brighton’s local radio was given a few minutes (with seemingly the total agreement of the supposedly impartial BBC’s sports correspondent) to rant about the injustice of it all and make it very clear that the only reasonable result was a Brighton victory. Has somebody at Wednesday pissed on the entire London based media’s chips or are the Owls suffering from a lack of proximity to London and journo’s weekend residences?
It has long puzzled me why Wednesday were not more fondly remembered or regarded given our fans dedication and good humour in the face of recent struggles (as SW stated >20k average crowds in League 1) and especially the entertaining brilliance of the early/mid 90s sides of Hirst, Waddle and Sheridan, then Di Canio and Carbone. Maybe it is the lingering taint of the club’s role in the Hillsborough disaster (glad to see justice finally beginning to be done), maybe it is being from an unfashionable provincial city, but often seem Wednesday seem long forgotten and very little missed.
To return to positivity however, for the first time since those heady days it has been a joy to support Wednesday this year, with a level of entertaining skill and commitment to good football (especially from the manager Carlos Carvalhal) on display and players in Forestieri and Bannan who display a level and consistency (looking at you Michail Antonio!) of skill not seen at Hillsborough since the days of those aforementioned greats. Succeed or fail in our run at the playoffs this season will be regarded as a triumph in the Blue half of Sheffield and smiles have replaced grim faces and gallows humour. I would obviously love it if Wednesday are promoted, but matter again in a context other than as a warning (along with Leeds and Forest as the prime examples obviously) of how the mighty can fall and to see people looking forward to going to Hillsborough again is worth so much more.
John V (Carlos had a dream……) SWFC
After Winty wrote such glowing words (MC can you do that linky thing please?) without even once mentioning Andy Booth, I thought I’d give you another reason why you should be rooting for the Owls on Friday night.
Scott E Parker. Chris E Powell. And obviously closer to my heart, Chris E Waddle. I once texted in to SHOUTsport, and got read out on air, to say that if Stan Collymore (not Stan E Collymore? what are the rules here?) carried on referring to Scott E Parker then I was gonna switch off. He did. So I did.
Anyway, back to the point….just as the irritation has started to fade away, we’ve now got the threat of a year’s worth of Chris E Hughton to consider. And nobody wants that, surely?
Oh, and if Brighton do get promoted, it’ll only encourage that raven bloke to write in even more.
Mark E (not really) Lewis, SWFC (next time someone says “he knows the club” as a recommendation for a manager, please punch them on the nose)
It’s all gone Hollyoaks
Dreamboat Pochettino beds haggard slapper Spurs as the balloon bosomed bombshell in Manchester flutters her eyelashes in futility. I was under the impression she could have any man she damn well pleased. Looks like she’ll be stuck with the disloyal, Portuguese serial shagger.
Two points from eight games
Is Big Sams “When I look back to when I first got here and it was Everton 6 – Sunderland 2 and now its Sunderlannd 3 – Everton 0, its a measure of how far we’ve come”, 2016’s version of “2 points from 8 games” ?!