Mails: The Wenger/Arsenal love story in full

Date published: Sunday 1st May 2016 11:28

Arsenal protests Football365

Here is a reminder that Leicester might win the Premier League today. E-mail theeditor@football365.com with your thoughts

 

Leicester City: Premier League champions(?)
As the fantastic scenario of Leicester City winning the league becomes more and more probable I have struggled to think of something analogous in my days of watching football.

I couldn’t.

To appreciate the sheer joy that awaits Leicester fans I must turn to another code. I am from Clare in Ireland. Although we play Gaelic football, hurling would be our most popular sport. And for decades we were whipping boys, perennial also-rans. However, in 1995 we won the All-Ireland final for the first time in 81 years. I was fortunate enough to be at the game with my dad. I was twelve. Now he – from Tipperary himself – was always one for leaving early to beat the traffic. So as the final whistle went I looked to him and expected to be shuttled away quickly so as to beat the hordes… Not a bit of it. He lifted me up and literally threw me over the barrier on to the pitch asking a total stranger to keep an eye on me. All around me people were joyfully losing their minds. An old man knelt on the ground beside me and he emptied his tobacco pouch and using his pipe scooped a bit of the hallowed Croke Park turf into the same pouch. There were tears in his eyes. As my dad found me on the pitch I could see he was welling up too. Clare winning an All-Ireland… It was unbelievable. It was a miracle. It had happened.

The only thing that has ever come close in football for me was seeing Ray Houghton lob Pagliuca in the 1994 World Cup. The ridiculousness of us beating Italy and at the World Cup too. And yet that was but one match. So Leicester fans, I hope against hope you win the league. I hope that you get to appreciate something like I appreciated 21 years ago – Christ, 21 years! – and whatever you do, don’t leave early to beat the traffic!
John (Best to sign your name to these things I suppose), Galway

 

Those protests, eh?
No denying that the protest was small fry, but what I think Saturday’s game really achieved was to show how divided and strange the Arsenal fan base has become.

Firstly, those who wanted to hold up their Chelseaesque pieces of paper did so, but were then roundly booed by a larger number who proceeded to sing ‘One Arsene Wenger’. As yet another laboured half of football transpired – with Giroud at the ‘focal’ point – Wenger decided he needed to haul off the energetic Alex Iwobi rather than the aforementioned Frenchman. Cue mass booing – louder than those who booed the protest or at half time when we’d failed to have a shot on target. It confused me. Did this mean those who booed the protest were then booing decision that the bloke who was being booed at made? It really seems that at this point, many Arsenal fans will in fact boo anything.

But it all got me thinking. Arsenal are such a rare case in that full scale civil war amongst fans could be on the horizon. Many want Wenger gone, but not as many as we thought, considering the reaction? Or, does many fans staying away mean that there are a lot more anti-Wenger people, they just weren’t at the game? At other clubs, because the shelf-life of managers is so much shorter, the support is usually weighted firmly in the ‘sack him’ camp after things turn sour. As far as I’m aware, none of Sherwood, Rodgers or McLaren had 50/50 backing by the time they all left this season. But because Wenger has been there so long, half the support think his past glories should rid him of all blame, while the other half are staunchly in favour of anyone else. It’s a very rare case – when Fergie left he’d been successful until the end, unlike Wenger.

Ultimately I think the protest was poor but it’s the first small step. Personally I think Kroenke is as much of a problem as Wenger, but it is time for the manager to go too. This game was just yet another that was slow and lacking of ideas – the only real one being ‘try to walk the ball in’. If those who booed the protesters can stand the idea of yet more of this – alongside a lack of success – then they’re better and more patient than I. I’ve had enough.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex

 

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal: A Modern Day Love Story
It’s coming towards that time of year when you and your group of 20 girlfriends come together to discuss how your boyfriends have treated you throughout the year.

You’ve never felt this nervous about talking to your friends about this current boyfriend of yours. No matter what doubts you’ve had in the past, your friends have always reassured you that he’s the best thing for you. He brought you great gifts in the past, treated you to amazing holidays, his vision in the property market meant you could up-size and have more of the family round for Christmas and gave you the best year of your life. But this year, you can sense things are different. You haven’t been as happy as you were for a long while and your friends are starting to come round to the idea that the best years of your relationship might not return and you could do better.

1996/7: WHO IS HE?!
You’re friends are flabbergasted at your new boyfriend. They’ve never heard of him before which is unusual for your group of friends who are usually on the ball with all the available boyfriends on the market. You explain that he was working in Japan which is why your friends don’t recognise him and you’re sure you’ve made the right decision with your first foreign boyfriend. He buys you a gift before you’re even formally are a couple which you’ll cherish for years and will be the captain reason behind the best year of your life. In January he also buys you a young bottle of French wine that he assures you will be mature into one of the best wines in the world. At the end of the year you’re satisfied with having the 3rd best year out of your group of friends as you can see the potential you share as a couple.

1997/8: What a year. Another two shiny foreign gifts and the best year out of your group of friends. Slightly disappointed to see your old beer mug sold to your friend from Middlesborough in a boot sale but you understand that the tea set your boyfriend bought you makes up for it as you realise you need to change your ways in order to have the best relationship.

1998/9: An odd year for you. The best present you’ve ever had is given to your friend from East London. You do get a swish Swedish gift and a Nigerian piece that look exciting and will help you in the not too distant future. Could have been a great year for your relationship, but ultimately you’re left wondering what might have been as your successful Mancunian friend has the best year of her life.

1999/00: Your year was a lot worse than your Mancunian friend this year. Still better than 18 of your friends though. The bottle of wine your boyfriend bought you 18 months ago is sold as he can make a quick profit but is replaced by another bottle from whom he has experience with. This gift ultimately turns into the best thing you’ve ever been given. You also met up with your top European friends again but couldn’t compete with their relationships . So, you decide to meet with your not so good European friends and eventually have the second best relationship. You fight with the Turkish girl in Copenhagen before this is decided.

2000/1: Your two shiny gifts from 97/98 were sold. Your boyfriend decided to buy you two similar gifts to one of those sold but no replacement for the other. One is the most expensive you’ve ever been bought. You start to think you’ll never have a relationship like your friend from Manchester and your Liverpudlian friend slaps you around the face with a Microwave Oven in a competition for a gold cup.

2001/2: Your boyfriend steals your nemesis’ most prized possession. The replacement gift from last year flourishes and you undoubtedly have the best year from your group of friends. The award clinched at the house of your friend from Manchester which makes it feel extra sweet. Some one you European friends start to flutter their eyelashes at your boyfriend despite your relationship in European terms being poor still.

2002/3: Your captain possession is old and put in a box in the attic. You get a French replacement that doesn’t work half as well. Your boyfriend claims you can have the perfect year. You don’t. Your friend from Manchester again has the best year.

2003/4: The best year of your life. Your boyfriend proposes, you get a promotion at work, you have your first child and you get happily married. You easily clinch the best relationship of the year title at your nemesis’ house. Again. You’re in dreamland. There’s no way this relationship could turn sour.

2004/5: Your friend from Chelsea gets a new Portuguese boyfriend who’d just won the best relationship in Europe competition. He has a fancy job and splashes his money on gifts. They have the best relationship of the year. Your now husband can’t buy you as fancy gifts as he’s looking to buy you a new, bigger house to live in.

2005/6: Your captain possession is sold and never replaced. Something you will always hold a grudge for. Despite having the worst year of your relationship domestically, having the fourth best year, which would have been fifth had your nemesis’ not got a dodgy stomach from eating Lasagne – you have the second best relationship out of your European friends, unlucky not to have the best.

2006/7: You move to the shiny new house. Two of your trusty possessions never make the moving journey. One was understandably too old and left behind. The other you feel had another year in and was unfairly thrown out by your husband. You can now have more family around for Christmas in your big house but it doesn’t feel like home. You lose out on the closeness of family members as everyone is spread out throughout the house. You realise that having second-cousins at Christmas doesn’t improve the atmosphere of the house. You wonder if it will ever feel like home…

2007/8: The best gift you’ve ever had is sold. For nowhere near what you value it. Your relationship has a brilliant first half to the year. Your new bed that looked promising for your relationship tragically breaks a leg and the other things your boyfriend has bought for the house are cheaper and weaker than what you’re used to and break in the second half of the year. Some parts of you feel like a change might be needed. The majority doesn’t.

2008/9: Bad year at home but you’ve started to accept that the mortgage from the new house means you can’t enjoy the relationship like you used to just yet. Still in the top 4 relationships of your friends and everyone else tells you to stop moaning.

2009/10: A combination of the previous two years.

2010/11: Your feelings to your husband start to change. The house still doesn’t feel like home. His snoring starts to get on your nerves and you just want him to treat you once in a while. Chances of a successful year are scuppered in a two week period in spring that you now dread each year. Your boyfriend is beaten in a race to win a prize you didn’t even used to worry about by your Brummy friend, in spite of her and her boyfriend having the 18th worst year of your friends. You try to excuse it as your husband wearing his second best running spikes but deep down know he doesn’t have the pace he used to. You now crave any half decent gift or prize. You still have plenty of waiting to do.

2011/12: An extremely poor year. Two of the bright spots of your relationship are sold. One Dutch item drags you to the fourth best year again. You started the year by everyone laughing at you when you went to visit your friend in Manchester as you were an absolute state. Your husband panic bought you some gifts to make you feel better.

2012/13: Your Dutch item is sold to the friend from Manchester and they win the best relationship prize due to that. At a high point they decide to part as the husband needs to look after a family member Your husband doesn’t seem to think of this as too bad. You’re left devastated and embarrassed. Your blood begins to boil. You wonder how much longer you can continue this façade. It still remains difficult to end the relationship. You still have a better one than most of your friends but you now sell all your gifts rather than get bought nice ones. Your boyfriend is jealous of the better relationships as those boyfriends have better paying jobs.

2013/14: You finally get bought a nice gift. You do question how one year you have to sell your most valuable item and the next you can buy a gift 3 times more expensive than you’ve ever been bought. Domestic problems remain in the relationship but after 9 years you finally win a prize. Your friend from Manchester doesn’t fair so well with a new boyfriend and you are told to be careful what you wish for.

2014/15: Another nice gift! But still not able to challenge for the best relationship prize? Maybe it’s not the gifts and items you own but the husband you have?

2015/16: With other relationships going through a rocky period, everyone puts you down as favourites to have the best relationship this year. Somehow problems persist in the relationship despite one of the many gaping holes being filled by a Czech gift that was promised as the answer by your boyfriend. With the end of the year coming to a close and the majority of your being believing you can do better than your current partner he starts to become aggressive and patronising to you. You’ve noticed it previously but this time it really annoys you. He blames faults in the relationship on you. You apparently create a hostile atmosphere in the house he tries to call home. He blames you for the under-performance of furniture he’s assembled. It’s apparently your fault that the weak brittle furniture he’s assembled breaks when you do the dusting. He reminds you that he could have left for a better looking girl back when everything was rosy. He claims that he built the house and was dependent on the bank granting a loan. He tells you you’re too ugly to have ever had anyone care as much. He claims he’s not looking to upgrade your relationship in any way and he guarantees you’ll be together next year.
Other girls have flourished by taking a chance on a new boyfriend. You want out. And you can’t imagine his phone will ring much from other girls when it’s over. All of your other friends start to see why you’ve been distressed in your relationship for years and the only one telling you to stick by him is your nemesis.

You want to thank your husband for the memories but you know it’s time to say goodbye. You need this before things turn really ugly and the legacy of your relationship is tainted.
G – AFC not AWFC

 

The Arsenal quadruple
With the end of the season fast approaching this year could go down as the greatest achievement in the history of Arsenal, possibly football ever: a couple more wins to stay ahead of United and the quadruple is ours. This is something most people didn’t think possible in the modern game but we are in with a good shout. There will be celebrations and bus tours aplenty in Islington should we pull off this historic feat :

The Charity Shield – how do you like those apples Mourinho??!
The Calendar year Champions – undisputed kings of 2015
4th place trophy – We want our trophy back
Away day Champions (apparently, even though we are not)

It is very sad that the Emirates Cup has been cancelled for this summer or we could be looking at a QUINTUPLE (I had to google that)! The mind boggles. And United thought 1999 was an achievement…..pah.
Ben, AFC (seriously Wenger is just trolling the fans now)

 

Plastic comforts
As a foreign-based EPL fan (I believe the UK based fans refer to us as plastic fans), it’s amazing to see how many people went to football games this weekend to protest. Planes with banners, placards and unified actions and presumably general misery (I’m assuming you can’t have a good time and be angry/upset at the same time). I once spent a fair chunk of cash halfway round the world to watch a FA Cup semi-final and seated in between two neutrals, when the chips were down, some groups of fans were angry and openly displayed that anger to all and sundry. I get being a fan. I get being upset when things aren’t what they are supposed to be. I had an Arsenal official (on tour here) once tell me that they couldn’t let my ten year old nephew approach the players for an autograph because if he let one kid do it, he’d have to let all (yeah, we can’t have a bunch of kids meeting their idols when they come down on a goodwill tour can we). I get that everyone wants to be winning, if possible all the time. But seriously, if a camera has to pan to the crowds in the middle of a game to show a bunch of middle aged men holding up signs instead of the action on the pitch, hasn’t it all become way too serious.

Regards,
SV Kay
Kuala Lumpur

 

Is Cameron Jerome real?
I’m watching the Arsenal v Norwich game with just about as little interest as it’s possible to have. It’s not a terrible game, it’s just that both teams are like semi-skimmed milk. Not so bad for you that you actually enjoy it, not so healthy that it does you any real good.

But even in this sea of tranquility there is one notable floater: Cameron Jerome.

The guy has had a middling career (in comparison to your average to low level PL player) but he has done so without ever standing out in any team he has been in. He’s not fast. He’s not technically great. He’s not good in the air (for a big man). He’s not aggressive, is a poor passer. He has no vision and a dreadful scoring record.

He is literally so unaccomplished I can’t bring myself to dislike him. In fact he’s so limited I’m beginning to think that he’s one of those characters in a dream, when you know that you know who they are but they exist somewhere on the fringes of the dream’s reality.

He gets jealous of magnolia paint.
Luke, Red in Sussex.

 

Van Gaal has spent well
Every time Van Gaal discusses transfers the media (including you lot) take a sly dig with the figure of £250M being thrown about. What does that amount to?:

£60M for Angel Di Maria a player who he probably didn’t really want but was more of a Ed Woodward signing, a player who didn’t want to come to play in England and who forced a transfer to PSG as soon as he could.

Down to £190M…

£30M for Ander Herrera a player Van Gaal didn’t want, who was signed before he was officially Man Utd manager in a deal set up (and f***ed up) by Moyes and Woodward 12 months previously.

Down to £160M…

£30M for Luke Shaw, another player Van Gaal didn’t want. Signed for the English quota numbers and at a premium and for his potential. Took him a season and extra preparation before pre-season, to get the fitness levels Van Gaal wanted from a full back. This was a long term club signing not a Van Gaal signing.

Down to £130M…

£36M for Martial, anyone got a problem with this? Nope. Another long term signing.

Down to £94M…

£14M on Daley Blind – looking like a bargain now.

Down to £80M…

£27M Schneiderlin, has been inconsistent, struggled with the step up from Southampton but will hopefully turn out to be worth the money and part of the growing French contingent at the club. Now if only there were other young quality French players available… Lacazette, Griezmann, maybe Varane, Lloris (looking less likely) it’s almost like there’s a long term policy here beyond short term goals.

Down to £53M…

£16M for Rojo, bought to give left footed options at the back, bought cos he was Argentinian like Di Maria. Not great but not bad. A hard tackler that the squad needed.

Down to £37M…

£25M (Is this right?) for Depay. Hasn’t settled well. Not a bad signing yet. Next season will determine that. Still very young.

Down to £12M… which leaves Darmian, has done well despite playing every position in a back 4, back 3 (or 5). Unlucky with injuries.

Also Schweinsteiger for £6.5M (wow it’s like journalists can’t be arsed to add up and just pluck random round numbers out of the air and persist with them), decent buy, a leader, lots of experience, was doing well until he got injured.

Also Sergio Romero (free), Valdes (free) and Fosu-Mensah (Compensation probably, another bargain).

Please tell me where the wasted money is there?

Its a myth that Man Utd have ever bought top quality foreign players at the peak of their careers, the only time we did was when Lazio were in deep shit over debt and passports and we ended up getting Veron. Every other marquee signing has been English. Van Nistelrooy doesn’t count, Dutch league is no proof of quality, see Alfonso Alves.

£250M doesn’t buy much in the current market when you’re rebuilding a squad with an incompetent negotiator like Woodward. Moyes spunked £60M on Mata and Fellaini in 7 months. Fergie’s signings were always hit and miss (Phil Jones, Buttner (!!!!), Obertan, Diouf, Bellion, Miller, Kleberson, Taibi, Forlan, Poborsky, Cruyff and many, MANY, more), and/or had the whiff of dodginess about them (Bebe, Manucho and many more) especially in his last few years. Van Gaal’s recruitment is impressive (clearly doing better scouting than Fergie’s brother) and has no suspicious transfers as far as I can see.

Sh*t, lazy, journalism to persist with such a narrative. He’s spent well, reduced the wage bill, got rid of overpaid mediocrity, put in the foundation of a really good team and is still in the top 5 and a cup final. Well done Louis (even if you might not be here next year).
Eddie, ‘F*** You’ MUFC

 

No player is bigger than the club
When I started supporting Liverpool, on the advice of my two older – and hence incredibly wise – neighbour some truths were self evident.
In the late 80s one of there was that: no player was bigger than the club. Back then Liverpool was a socialist paradise of efficiency. The team supported by its ardent fans ruled England often Europe. Any player who thought himself more important that this irresistible movement looked quite frankly foolish, and would surely be moved on.

Step forward to the premier league era and the game has changed and Liverpool left far behind. A poorly run club it squandered its money on average players much of the time and paid lip service to its once proud ethos. No player bigger than the club? But what if that player could lift the club to heights single handedly unimaginable without him. Steve mcmanaman set the tone moving onto pastures greener, Owen follows and Gerrard remained loyal. But throughout it all it became apparent, these players were bigger than the club. Suarez was the epitome of this way of thinking, a player so extravagantly talented and destructive that the club hitched their wagon desperately to him, in the vain hope of success.

Suddenly money ruled, Barca and Real chose their consorts and beckoned them hither at will. Liverpool looked doomed to mediocrity everywhere but in their fans own heads. Their premier league top 4 could be easily predicted based on summer expenditure. Then 2015/16 happened.

Ethos is back.

Unbelievably Leicester stand o. The verge of the premier league title today, Spurs snapping at their heels, glorious trancendance.

It may be a blip, it may be the zeitgeist shifting her bulk across the landscape once more but we all feel it, something has happened.

In the midst of this change stand Daniel sturridge and Jurgen klopp at my club. The past, the present and the future. Sturridge stands as the latest player at my club posturing to be bigger, undroppable, essential.

Beside him stands Klopp, the messiah of the collective: club, fans and players one unstoppable socialist force, just like way back when.

Sturridge says he will go if not played/loved/respected/winning/paid.Klopp says you can.

Much has changed, players now can be bigger than their clubs but sometimes a manager can be bigger than them again, like Fergie in his pomp, Klopp stands and we stand with him. Daniel and can make his own mind up, for himself.
Dave Lfc

 

Townsend > Sterling
I agreed with you football365. Of course he shouldn’t be in the England full squad. He is a one trick pony who would not get a look in within most premier league football teams. Of course the media were stupid a few years ago by painting him as the future of English football because he scored against Andorra (or someone like that). Of course this is all made worse because he seems quite arrogant and full of self belief for no apparent reason.

We were wrong. Andros Townsend is a very talented footballer.

I’ve always been slightly bemused by Raheem Sterling’s popularity, who I have often thought shares all the above characteristics. Who gained a reputation based on one purple patch. But what Townsend is doing at the moment – he is playing at a sustained level that cannot be fluke – showing he not only deserves to be a star in the premiership – he should go to the euros. Ahead of Henderson. Ahead of Wiltshire. And most of all ahead of Sterling.

If Newcastle do go down – I now realise Townsend does not belong in the championship and hope that now we know his potential – that unusually Poch could not bring to the surface – he will find plenty of suitors.
Howard W

 

The timing of sacking managers
So after having watched Newcastle scrape a crucial win at home to Pardiola’s ever-sliding Palace team, I’m sat here wondering ‘What if Newcastle had appointed Rafa Benitez earlier, say, January’

This had me wondering about the timing (and art) of sacking managers. Let’s take a look at this season:

– Brendan Rodgers got the boot first as Liverpool pulled off a masterstoke by appointing Klopp. And what about the timing? October – right when the international break kicked in. Has that paid off? Well too early to say but overall, Klopp has done very well and they could potentially be in the Champions league next season without even finishing in the Top 4. Did Liverpool get the timing right? Absolutely.

– Sam Allardyce to Sunderland back in October. Has that paid off? Not yet but they are still a good bet to stay up.

Which brings us to..

– Rafa Benitez to Newcastle. When? Late March or early April. Why on earth would you appoint a manager that late? I know that he was at Madrid until early Jan but a good club would immediately swoop down and get the best man for the job as soon as possible OR give the existing manager the rest of the season to see it out.

I have never really understood the decisions football chairmen make when it comes to sacking managers and the timing of the sack.

Ah, to quote the great Brian Clough,
‘If a chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well’
Sridhar B (Dilly ding dilly dong) Bangalore, India

 

Poor handsome Juan
Twice voted player of the year in Chelsea is no insurance against being sold by one of the modest celebrated manager in football history.

I can imagine Juan Mata having sleepless nights at the thought of Mourinho being appointed manager of United.

Will he or won’t he a second time around if her were appointed and who else will be shown the door? I am pretty sure there’ll be a long list of the Toxic One takes over the reins at United.
paradiz CFC malaysia

 

What would you rather?
As the league draws to a close, so do many players careers, but one player who has decided he’s not hanging up his boots is Jussi Jääskeläinen. At 41 years old, he still has another year to run on his contract and after securing promotion will be back in the Championship next season too.

Jussi has had a great career, but I think it’s amazing that after 761 appearances for club and country, playing in the top two leagues in England since 1997, he has never won a trophy. Until this season! Wigan mathematically are goal difference (a 20 goal swing) from winning the title, and I can’t imagine the emotion there must be when you go so long to finally win a trophy like that.

Maybe some people will say it’s only League 1, and maybe Jussi has never been bothered about trophies, but after exceptionally longevity that will see him playing in a high standard league to the age of 42 (at least), I think he deserves it.

I do wonder though, if he knew his career would pan out like this, never reaching a top, winning club, would he trade it all in for less money, for being less of a club hero at Bolton, for more medals?

What would you rather have? Club hero status, testimonial game, 3rd most games played, or medals and trophies and club glory?
KC (and he’s still performing too)

 

Celtic and Rangers are Bayern Munich
I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with Michael (MUFC)’s mail the other day regarding the disgusting tactics of Bayern towards the other clubs in the Bundesliga when they are poaching their players. I have quite a soft spot for the underdog and I love Dortmund as a club so I will be supporting them in the German Cup final against that lot in a few weeks’ time.

The sad thing is that this approach is nothing new to me and happens on a yearly basis in the league where my team plays the Scottish Premiership. The old firm of Celtic and Rangers poach the best players from the SPL all the time and like Bayern, they wait till the players near the end of their contract before offering a paltry sum of money for them. The difference is, Dortmund are a massive club with suitable financial resources, my team Motherwell and the likes of Dundee United, Hearts and Kilmarnock can’t afford to lose our best players for much less than their market value.

Take a few seasons back, in December Dundee United beat Celtic 2-1 at home in the league with Mackay Steven & Armstrong playing superbly, two weeks later Celtic announce that they have a pre contract agreed with Mackay Steven for the summer but he will stay with United till the end of the season. Dundee United then beat Aberdeen in the semi-final of the league cup on the 31st of January and the second last day of the transfer window. Their opponents in the final will be……….Celtic. The Hoops then waste no time on transfer deadline day to purchase both Mackay Steven and Armstrong at knock down prices and relieve united of their two best players for the final which Celtic then win. To add insult to injury Celtic then beat United in the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup as well. I would have no problems with Celtic buying the players, except for the fact neither of them get close to the first team now. They were 75% bought so they couldn’t play in that final because Celtic can afford the small financial hit they take to buy them.

I would always prefer to see my team sell its better players down South, casing point being James McFadden to Everton for 1.2 million which saved us from administration. Celtic also chased McFadden but as usual tried to strong-arm us for a cheaper price. For this reason, I never want to see Celtic or Rangers progress to the group stages of the Champions League, all it does is add an extra 10 million quid to them so they can further widen the gap and continue to cherry pick the best (albeit small) pool of talent that we have for half of the players value. It is a vicious cycle for the smaller club and one that is unlikely to change unfortunately.
Jonathan Boal (Motherwell FC……The Team For Me)

 

Love for Simeone
To Calum (get off my lawn), MUFC, Bracknell, you are a bile spewing imbecile. What Atletico have achieved since Simeone took charge is nothing short of miraculous. He inherited a club which was €500m in debt and forced by the Spanish tax authorities to sell every decent player they produced.

So despite losing De Gea, Aguero, Costa, Falcao, Courtois, Alderweireld, and Arda Turan (amongst countless others), each season they’ve improved

and won trophies (way more than your hyper-spending yet failure of a club). This despite the fact that Real Madrid and Barca get 80% of all TV revenues in Spain. This despite both those clubs having up to ten times Atleti’s annual budget. They won la liga after 12 years of Barca-Madrid domination which neutrals in Spain cheered the same way as everyone in the UK now cheers Leicester. Yet you call them a “disgusting, cheating, violent bunch”. They defend vigorously yet nobody in Spain has ever branded them as dirty. And how in the name of Christ could they possibly beat Messi / Suarez / Neymar and Bale / Benzema / Ronaldo without being defensive? If they are so “disgusting” why did they score the CL’s best goal this season against Bayern? And why have they the most exciting young forward in Europe that every “big club” covets in Griezmann?

The greatness in Simeone lies in the fact he has created a team spirit that is second to none and his players will go to hell and back for him. If they win the CL this year they will have beaten Barca, Bayern, and (most likely) Real Madrid. You should save your bile for your own team of over-paid, over-hyped and spineless also-rans.
Raz (Colchonero) Dublin

 

Disappointed
What is with so many folk being unaccepting of some F365 opinion pieces? How they’re “disappointed” in the articles etc.

If you aren’t able to let slide others having their own opinions then you are a massive fool.

Oh.
Doug, Glasgow

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