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Stop the Costa revisionism
Seems to be a lot of recent talk about Conte ‘ostracising’ Costa or ‘mishandling’ the situation.
Just so that we’re all on the same page, is this the same Diego Costa that publicly said he wanted to return to Spain as he wasn’t settled in London when Mourinho managed him, downed tools and got him sacked, had to be convinced to ‘give it one more season’ by Conte, threw his toys out the pram when the club refused to sell him to China in January, downed tools again and then sulked for the rest of the season before f*cking off to Brazil and refusing to report back to the club paying his wages?
I know we have short memories nowadays but how his departure is being spun as ‘Conte drove him out’ given the man’s high profile shenanigans over the past few years is pretty astonishing.
Fabregas is fading again
Watching Chelsea’s midfield be overrun by Watford’s high press on Monday I couldn’t help but notice how slow Fabregas looked in comparison. Red card aside, it felt like N’golo Kante was fighting fires on his own for most of the match.
De Bruyne’s comments about fatigue spring to mind. It got me thinking of that statement Barca released throwing him under the bus after his sale:
“Despite glowing starts to each campaign, Cesc’s contributions to the cause gradually decreased as each season drew to a close. From being someone who joined in with the attack, supplying and scoring goals, the magic tended to fade later on in each season. He only scored one, six and one goals in the last 24 games of each season.”
The last two seasons Cesc appeared to have found a solution to his mid-season slump issue – he chose the first half of the season to be virtually anonymous. While he is undeniably a lovely player to watch when he is on form, he does seem to struggle in the latter stages more than most. Perhaps this is why Conte was so keen to find alternative starters in midfield when he arrived, and so upset at what he deems to be sub-par reinforcements in the shape of Barkley, Bakayoko and Drinkwater?
STOP TALKING ABOUT REFEREES
Even though I was glad to see spurs get a point in injury time, it depresses me that 80% of the media/social media coverage focused on the refereeing decisions, and only a small amount of airtime was devoted to Wanyama’s strike and Salah’s dribble, and an exhilarating end to end game.
Every team has been on the end of favourable, unfavourable and shocking decisions down the years. It’s just a fact of the game and I wish supporters, managers and the media would just accept it and get over it.
I can just about get my head around everyone losing their shit over total HOWLERS, such as Pedro Mendes shot that almost touched the back of the net against Man U.
But many of the decisions in the spurs liverpool game have had to be repeated over and over, slowed down, zoomed in. Paused. And the experts and ex-refs still CANNOT ALL AGREE. That says to me that many of these decisions are MARGINAL CALLS, and could easily go either way. l’d rather see everyone take the rough with the smooth.
Also, Dier has pretty much escaped widespread criticism for his absolutely suicidal backpass. He has been poor most of the season yet everyone is moaning about the officials – who tend to get most decisions right. Players tend to make far far more mistakes in a game than the officials ever will. Karius’ punch was pathetic – it didn’t go far, he punched it into the ground so it was also low.
And he also ended up on the deck, despite not even getting any distance or purchase on the punch. Yet like dier, most people are bitching about the refs. Alli has had a shocker of a season, giving the ball away every other time and delivering 3/10 performances. WHY WHY WHY are we so shocked, enraged and disgusted when refs make (in fans eyes!) a couple of honest mistakes here and there?
Please get off the ref’s backs, cos the managers and players make loads of poor decisions and blatant mistakes. OR – go and ref an amateur game.
Jay, Streatham. THFC
Hazard is too one-footed
While I generally agree that Eden Hazard is an excellent player, the reason I don’t think he has or will ever really kick on, is his complete inability to turn left. I’ll admit, one footedness is something that bothers me way more than it probably should, but it is so pronounced with Hazard that I cannot for the life of me understand why it is never brought up.
It’s not that he can’t use his left foot at all – he’s scored some great goals with his left, but when dribbling, as soon as he gets forced onto his left side, almost without fail, he turns back and uses his right foot to make a backward pass.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s very good at going right, and his speed and guile obviously makes it difficult for defenders to force him the other way – but it bothers me to the point where I can’t understand how he is as good/effective as he is.
I’m not a Chelsea fan, so I don’t watch him religiously, but every time I watch him I notice it, and can’t stop noticing it. Drives me nuts. Anyone else notice this?
Every Chelsea player is a mercenary
It’s an insightful article about the ongoing managerial merry-go-round by F365. It certainly well describes some of the issues faced by the club, and therefore fans. But i think there is a deeper problem than that.
I think the biggest issue is the nature of the club and, therefore, the nature of the players who play for Chelsea. It’s the epitome of a mercenary club. There’s nothing in any way distinctive about Chelsea beyond the money they can throw around. About 14 years ago they were able to financially dope their way to the top by recruiting some of the best players available. But why did these players join the club in the first place? The answer is easy – wages.
There isn’t a single person in Europe who paid much attention let alone followed Chelsea until they started running themselves into a financial black hole in mid-90s. Every single player came for a very simple reason – wages. That’s fair enough in a job market, we’d all do the same thing, but now that a host of other clubs can outspend or at least match Chelsea in money terms it’s no longer a selling point as much. So given a choice of let’s say Bayern, Real, Barcelona, United, etc why on earth would you choose Chelsea?
So, about players who have played for Chelsea, they’re all purely mercenaries who will play hard when there’s the absolute top reward to play for and who’ll give up once it seems difficult. That’s why the team keep bouncing up and down. It will not change under any manager because the system of the club is broken – the club is viewed as a means to make a quick buck until a more prominent club comes along, or your career fizzles.
The club has no football philosophy, no real history (until the money came along, and yes the 90s were also financial doping till you were saved or you’d be like Leeds today), no class at the top, and no class on the field. Think of Luiz, Fabregas, Barkley, Morata, Willian, Hazard, Courtois… great players, no doubt, but all of very questionable loyalty to anything except the money they paid.
No new manager will ever fix that issue because the club is rotten. As much as we all hate our rivals, whether it’s in London or Manchester or Liverpool or wherever, there’s a special place of disrespect for Chelsea in most fans’ minds, and apparently players minds.
(MC – FWIW, reckon this is utter rot. So players only join Chelsea for the money, but the Premier League titles are a weird bonus? Don’t be so bloody one-eyed)
A change might do Chelsea good
I might be wrong but according to my calculations Chelsea have had a midweek game every single week since the International break nearly 3 months ago. Which is honestly just a bit mad.
Last season the players would regularly go on a quick 2-3 day holiday and then return to training on the Tuesday or Wednesday. I believe Conte has given the players a few days off as they finally have 7 days between two games. It’s a small thing but maybe a break from it all is just what is needed and they can come back re-energised.
A short take on a winter break
Ahh bless, the players are tired! Clubs won’t want to drag them on those lucrative post / pre season tours of Asia and the US I presume then? Oh.
It’ll be used as a pure money maker, like the recent tournament Atleti and Rangers were involved in. Winter break? What a load of old w**k.
No way you can criticise Leicester for wanting silly money
I agree with William, Leicester, and the majority of Leicester fans.
I don’t think £95m for Riyad Mahrez is too much. He’s a 26 year old midfielder who has proven over 2-3 seasons that he has what it takes to play with the big boys. He’s won the Premier League. He’s got bags of talent and has a good 6-7 years ahead of him.
When you consider that Liverpool spent £75m on Virgil van Dijk and Arsenal spent £55m on a 28 year old striker who hasn’t proven himself in the league, I think £95m is a fair starting price. Obviously, Man City would never have paid that and Leicester know they would have had to meet in the middle (£70-80m).
Also, who in their right mind thinks Wilfred Zaha is better than Riyad Mahrez? Sure, this season he has been great but I don’t think he’s worth more than Mahrez. Not even close. Zaha feels like the kind of player who would do well with a smaller team but would struggle with a top 6 side. Which he already has done by the way.
The James Ward-Prowse song
After mentions of James Ward-Prowse in yesterday’s Mailbox, I’d just like to share this with you. Listen to this and you’ll never be able to hear his name ever again without singing it along to this tune.
You’re very welcome.
David (Just got their latest album in the post, ‘cos I’m old school) Szmidt, Brno, Czech Rep.
Some classic ‘I disagree with something so it must be biased’
If you ever needed evidence that there is a pro Spurs stance in our media, then you need to check out today’s papers/Twitter/social media. Respected journalist Jonathan Liew (and I thought he was definitely one of the good guys) has claimed “I see no difference between a stepover and a dive”
Ok we’ve gone full happy days here. Jumped the shark and soared off into the sun. It’s absolutely no coincidence that it’s the NLD this weekend and Pochettino has been talking about how diving is a valid part of the game.
Absolutely astonishing nonsense from our fourth estate. It does feel now like every journalists main weapon is to trigger Arsenal fans. The more ludicrous and absurd the take, the better.
What a sad state to be in.
For the record. Diving is not as bad as two footed tackles, spitting or punching. However it is far worse than a stepover (genuine lol at that on the train as I typed). To clarify: a stepover is used to deceive your opponent with skill, a dive is used to deceive the officials. It’s really easy.
Have a good day team.
Honestly, we publish what we get and we like interesting, non-top six, Mails
Is anyone else bored of the recurrence of Mails from the ‘top 6’ teams? The selected Mails perpetuate THE STORY that it is a crisis for followers of these teams when they are either (a) not top of the league (b) not in the ‘top 4’. Yet how do 6 go into 1 or 6 into 4? The maths mean that is an impossibility for the ‘big 6’ to win the league or get into the ‘big 4’. So why is that news?
As a supporter of LFC I am as guilty as anyone. J’Accuse F365 of elitism! There you go. I recently had an email published and got a reply that suggested I go to watch Tranmere Rovers. A totally valid response. I did and I loved it with my old schoolmates who I watched LFC with over 30 years ago. We had no chance of getting so many tickets for Anfield. Tranmere won 4-0. Now that was a STORY!
The thing is the reply to my Mail was more interesting than my original mail. J’Accuse 365 that the idea of going to Tranmere wouldn’t have happened without my initial ‘Top 6’ mail as precursor. Why don’t you or perhaps more importantly your Sky sponsors publish mails from a more representative group of football fans in the way that it does for ‘Top 6’ teams? If only to relieve the boredom of ‘he said / she said’ or ‘your stat is bigger than mine’. Surely the REAL STORIES for journalists are those that haven’t been reported elsewhere? Echo chamber or interesting journalism?
Planet Sport quiz: Test your knowledge on Rafa Nadal’s career. (Tennis365)