Keep those emails coming to email@example.com…
Would Liverpool be worse under Pulis?
Does anyone think Liverpool would have worse results if they played under Tony Pulis? I don’t think he’d lead them to European glory, but couldn’t see him doing any worse than Klopp is in terms of league results. I appreciate the entertainment would be akin to shaving your face with a cheese grater, but what has Klopp actually done with that team? Conversely, I’m not sure installing Klopp would do much to raise WBA’s team performances with the current squad despite a smattering of young home grown talent emerging.
As an aside, Newcastle should put a cheeky bid in for West Brom want away striker Solomon Rondon. He’s probably the type of player they need, and would be available at a decent price for today’s market.
Rusty Gray (WBA should buy Delph and Deeney)
Share the wealth
There has been a lot of consternation surrounding the impact of money in football. Or rather, the money being poured into the pockets of barely-deserving players and more disappointingly, their shifty, self-interested managers and burgeoning entourages.
How can we more evenly distribute wealth through football, and ideally society at large?
I have two ideas that might go some way to alleviating this problem. One attacks wages but is probably nearly impossible, the other takes on transfer fees and seems much simpler.
Superstar Sports Tax: Governments around the EU (ha ha ha ha haaa) agree to a new tax bracket in their income tax regimes. This taxation rate kicks in once a players’ earning crosses an obscene amount, like 100k per week or 5m a year. For every Pound or Euro earned over this amount, the government in these countries takes 90%.
This doesn’t cap the players earn, not technically, but it does effectively. What I like most is it takes the money from the players and agents and places it in the hands of those they least want to have it: the government. Widespread support for this tax reform would be pretty easy as who is really going to care if a few millionaire baby-men who probably don’t vote anyway start crying? This could be sold in if governments committed to using funds raised for some good and appropriate cause. And players tempted to play the tax evasion game (or become criminals) can continue to be relentlessly pursued.
Mandatory Sell On: FIFA need to do this one (ha ha ha ha haaa) and it’s really simple. A table of trickle-down transfer fees that is applied to all transfers between all clubs with the final beneficiary being the club that originally developed the player.
The logic here is for the players original club to always be the biggest beneficiary of any transfer. This is best shown as an example:
Transfer 1. Club A-B. Club A get 100%.
Transfer 2. Club B-C. Club A get 50%, Club B get 50%.
Transfer 3. Club C-D. Club A get 50%, B 25%, Club C 25%.
Transfer 4. Club D-E. Club A gets 40%, B 20%, C 15% and D 25%.
Using Neymar as an example, Santos would have received another 100m from his most recent move.
Using Robbie Keane as another much more complicated example, Wolves would have received closer to 40m over his career, spread over almost 15 years.
Both ideas together will push down and distribute the wealth more evenly, making football much more interesting. Past players will actually provide some tangible value and there is a point in properly developing youth.
Anyway, two ideas for free.
Dr Oyvind, Earth.
Loved reading the mails between Sunday and today, the understandable enthusiasm about United’s performance on Sunday (we really were excellent); followed by ‘Its Only West Ham’ (it was, and they can’t defend); to today’s ‘No Really, United Were Brilliant’ (again, we were).
I just wanted to make a point about our favourite French winger. Martial has been mooted to be off to everywhere from Inter to PSG this summer and last season, mainly due to a number of personal issues, he clearly wasn’t at his best.
However, seeing him arrive on Sunday afternoon with the glint in his eye and the swagger from his first term was probably the stand-out moment from our win. If Mou can keep him hungry, and create genuine competition for places with The Kid Rashford, I’d back Tony M for a standout season.
Chris Draper, Newark on Trent
Backlash to the backlash backlash
Firstly, however poor West Ham were United did look very good and I think it will be between them and City for the league this year – and in terms of money spent recently, so it should be.
However, I would just like to quickly dispel the notion that it was these types of games United came unstuck in last year. Whilst they may have struggled against the so-called lesser sides, their results against the other teams in the top 7 were what really let them down:
Liverpool 0-0 united
Chelsea 4-0 united
City 0-0 united
Arsenal 2-0 united
Spurs 2-1 united
Everton 1-1 united
United 1-1 arsenal
United 1-2 city
United 1-1 Everton
United 1-1 Liverpool
They did beat Chelsea and Spurs at home but the test this season will not be whether they can whack 4 past the likes the West Ham, with their attack we’ll see them stick a few past a lot of teams. It will be keeping out the likes of Aguero, Jesus, De Bruyne, Hazard, Morata, Lacazette, Sanchez (hopefully), Kane, Alli and Rooney (tee hee) et al, whilst scoring a couple.
James ( : Kent
…As a neutral, it’s quite funny to see the reaction and the reaction to the reaction from the United West Ham game. Yes, it was a good game and an eye-catching result in contrast to most of the last few seasons.
But even more funny is to see people swooning anew at Jose’s apparently rediscovered brilliant tactical skills. The same skills that curiously seemed almost entirely absent for the last couple of years. It’s almost as though he’s just spent a quite ridiculous amount across 18 months (on top of the ridiculous amount spent in the previous years) to effectively buy the core of a brand new team. Does that actually qualify as management? Does that deserve simpering adulation? Maybe in a Kardashian world it does…
Anyway, Andreas Hunter makes an amusing point about Bailly (£30m), Mkhitaryan (£30m), Pogba (£89m), Matic (£40m) and Lukaku (£75m) looking like ‘good’ purchases. Maybe it’s just me but that’s kind of the very least you expect from that money. And those figures were pre-Neymar-transfer-lunacy. Add to them, the rest of the team selected are as follows: De Gea (£18.9m), Blind (£13.8m), Jones (£17m), Valencia (£16m), Mata (£37m) and Rashford (free youth player!!!). Add in the three subs of Fellaini (£27.5m), Martial (£35m) and Jesse Lingard (free youth player!!!).
That adds up to a total of £366m first XI and £428m on all who played. £100m a goal. Yeah, that sounds like perfectly reasonable value. Go Red Devils!
And don’t let anyone tell you that the inevitable silverware will be less glittery just because you bought it.
Couldn’t agree more with Ross’ morning mail regarding Petr Cech saying that he was at least partly at fault for each of Leicester’s goals….
I am of the opinion that Cech, since he’s been at Arsenal and potentially in his last year or so at Chelsea has been error prone and living off the fact that he was once one of the league’s best goalkeepers. When speaking about the league’s best, he still often gets a mention despite the fact De Gea, Lloris, Courtois (and hell even Schmeichel) have been streets ahead of Cech for the last two or three years.
He was a terrific keeper but most of my Arsenal mates are really losing patience with him now. Even though most Arsenal fans threshold for patience is about as thin as Wayne Rooney’s hairline, I am with them on this one. They need to bin him off, and God only knows why they decided to get rid of a ready made replacement who knows the club and league in Szczesny. Wenger that…
Robert MUFC (fully aware I probably spelt Szczesny wrong)
Rooney phoned it in
We need to talk about Rooney.
It should not escape anyone’s notice that the England captain and record holding top scorer has appeared after pre-season at Everton looking much fitter, leaner and at a body weight he’s not been seen at since his days as a 16 year old at the same club.
Is it coincidence that the 31 year old has taken a more disciplined approach to his diet and fitness right after leaving his former club, on a World Cup year?
Why is it that he was not so disciplined in the twelve years he spent at the club that made his a multi-millionaire, a house hold name and helped him become England’s record goal scorer.
In this writer’s opinion, the fact that Rooney has suddenly found an aura of professionalism that seemed to elude him in almost a decade and a half at Man United shows how much of a mercenary he has been, holding the club to ransom at multiple occasions, all while not taking his fitness all too seriously and leading Ferguson to describe him as someone that ‘needed games to get fit’ and ‘could not get through 90minutes’ by the time he retired when Rooney was not even 30 years old.
Contrast his physique and attitude to fitness to the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, both older than he, but fitter than men ten years their juniors. Is it an accident their form did not drop off once they hit thirty, unlike Rooney’s, and that they are still world class players even at ages considered to be past their peak for attacking players.
Yet, no journalist in England, apart from this fine website, has even dared to suggest that perhaps Rooney has not been all that focused on his day job, content to coast along at less than full strength, confident his undoubted talent would ensure him a place in both Man United’s and England’s first teams.
To the unbiased observer, it is a sad fact that talent very rarely is married to the dedication and drive, the sheer hard work needed to become the very best a player can be.
Unfortunately for all football fans, Rooney has never had that drive and we will never know how good he could have been, even as he approaches the twilight of his career with a suddenly renewed vigour.
I was at Brighton’s first ever Premier League game against City on Saturday. The atmosphere was cracking and getting to watch players like Silva and Aguero was just weird after watching Championship and League 1 and 2 football for years. We are favourites to go down for sure as you mention in your knee jerk reactions article today. However, I was truly lifted by you saying we weren’t completely outclassed. Given that City have spent more money on their first choice defence alone than we have on our stadium, training facilities and entire playing squad combined, I find this encouraging.
Danny (Fine line between realism and pessimism) Brighton
I’d like to vent my frustration after recently witnessing a terrible exchange professional punditry when Dan Walker asked Kevin Kilbane and Dion Dublin for their opinions on the Coutinho saga. Kilbane believes that Phil should be sold, which is a fine but opposes the general consensus of Liverpool fans, so what’s his reasoning?
‘I think they should take the money’
If he would have backed that up with the usual soundbites of ‘player wants to leave’, ‘he’s unsettling the team’ I may have accepted this idea. But to simply suggest that Liverpool accept the 1st or 2nd bid shows complete ignorance to the art of negotiating. He’s then suggesting that Liverpool a) need the money or b) could improve the squad with the finances. Recent history suggests that neither are true. Clubs who cash in on their greatest asset face inflated transfer fees, an inevitable rebuilding period while being a labelled a ‘selling club’ and displaying a lack of ambition to their remaining stars.
Dion Dublin then trumps Kilbane by asking ‘has Coutinho said he wants to leave?’
Dublin was blissfully unaware that the player had submitted a transfer request 2 days prior – one of the biggest stories of the last week. How can a paid pundit be so unaware of football current affairs? How much do these two earn? (anyone care to look it up, I can’t be bothered?) It’s an insult to football journalists across the country.
On a side note? Why no mails on Barcelona signing Paulinho for £36m! Football has truly gone bananas and it wouldn’t surprise me if Newcastle announced the signing of an unknown deep-lying midfielder with a questionable hair piece before the Huddersfield game.
Nik NUFC (Howay Shonjo Jelvey) Liverpool
Captain. Leader. Liability.
Just want to raise a few points also with regards to Jonjo comments with regards about his FA hearing for his racial abuse charge.
All three players in question, that his lawyer tore to shreds, all made the same statement with regards the language being used. They all heard a specific two word phrase, and all repeated that to the FA panel. The FA panel found that more believable then Jonjo’s and his witnesses statements.
Jonjo also admitted to calling one of the Wolves players in question a peasant. This was due to him earning more than the other player. Mocking somebody because they earn less then you is OK in his book?
Jonjo was also made attend a mandatory education course after the incident. Last month he came out and said he learned nothing from the whole event. What did he do the whole time there, stick his fingers in his ears and sing out loud to himself for the duration of the course.
While he may be a decent footballer, is this somebody you would trust in a relegation battle, which Newcastle will surely be in this season? A person who takes about as much responsibility for actions as Trump, has basically admitted that he won’t change his ways due to his refusal to learn anything from the whole incident.
I do feel sorry for Newcastle fans having to put up with this, along with everything else that goes on with the owner. They don’t deserve having a mindless fool in trying to lead on the pitch as well as running the club.
Michael (at least Newcastle have Rafa) WWFC, Dublin.
Partly in response to Mike’s email this morning about The Ox, I thought I’d clarify something. You all know very well that The Ox will sign a new contract. Mainly this is because Arsenal have cooled their interest in Lemar. Therefore, you also know very well that he will do something to his cruciate (or some other season ending injury) the moment the window closes. We will then be looking to pay twice as much for Lemar in January when the top of the league will be beyond us.
This is Arsenal, you know there will be a peak for us to hike up to with all our enthusiasm and hope at some point(s) this season.
JazGooner (I’ve gone and got hopeful again)
Just so people know, following ‘it’s only West Ham’ with ‘no disrespect’ doesn’t make it respectful. If I said ‘your mum’s easy’ would saying ‘no disrespect’ make it better? Not in the slightest.
As you were,