Why do we boo James Milner? We can explain…

Date published: Monday 20th March 2017 4:35

International break is upon us. Which means WE NEED YOU. Mail theeditor@football365.com

 

Explaining that Milner reception
City fans adored Milner when he played for us, would have loved if he stayed on. We wished him well when he decided to move (we are not Arsenal or Liverpool). So the real question is why do we boo him now, considering he got a good reception when he returned last year?

Well, two things happened.

He scored against us last year, and celebrated as if he had won the World Cup. Fair enough, except that we have grown to expect players not to celebrate versus old clubs as per the example set by several City players.
One of them was Milner himself, who refused to celebrate against Villa – even though he received abuse from those Villa fans earlier.

Secondly, he was very much a first-team wide midfielder for City, played virtually all our big games in his last season here. But he kept complaining about nasty City refusing to play him central.

Now, after being consigned to left back by Liverpool? Not a squeak.

City have set a high standard for how we welcome back ex-players, whether SWP or beast. We just don’t like ex-players who are two-faced hypocrites.

And speaking of hypocrisy, it’s interesting to see a big deal being made of this when it was perfectly fine for City players to be constantly booed by ex-clubs or to crucify Sterling (thanks for standing up for him though F365)
Sm, City fan, London

 

…Predictable confusion over the booing of James Milner at the Etihad yesterday, but it was a long-overdue reaction to this wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Earnest James Milner, not a bad bone in his body, honest as the day is long…

My f**king arse.

He rejected multiple contract offers to engineer himself a move where his only concern was a massive signing bonus, spouting all manner of excuses in the process.

Textbook mercenary behaviour, only enhanced by watching him scurry around at left-back after he made such a song and dance about his desires to pursue options away from City as a central midfielder.

So don’t cry for poor James Milner, behind the accent and jawline he’s just the same as the rest of them.
AC – MCFC

 

…Just a response to Damo, Dublin and the reason City fans were booing Milner. First of all, booing by grown men…sort your lives out! I do understand though that there aren’t really any succinct or nuanced ways to convey a message of disgruntlement from multiple thousands of people at a football match. Secondly, I’m going to evolve my point, probably incoherently, into an issue that should be far more important and should be worrying you more than the booing of the footballing spatula.

The reason the fans booed Milner, football’s nicest man is because of the streams of gobshitey comments since he moved down the M62.

He ran his contract down and dictated his own signing on terms because he wanted more game time (he played 28 times for Liverpool last season, a feat he bettered thrice in five of his seasons at City!) and to play in his preferred central midfield role. Fair enough, not ideal as a City fan but a contract works both ways and he is entitled to whatever he sees as the best for him. But comments such as this from last week are a bit of a p*** take when he was so handsomely rewarded both financially and with on field successes. He said “winning two titles at City, we had some good players, but as a team this is the best I’ve played in”. Knob.

Also, don’t forget the other three trophies you won, James (I’m counting the Community Shield, a la Jose!). There are comments over the past two years of the same ilk but I’ll do what the rest of the footballing world have done and conveniently ignore them to defend a man that doesn’t need defending.

Now, let us compare the one-off booing of player who has been having digs at his old club to that of Raheem Sterling who gets booed EVERY SINGLE GAME he plays up and down the country. Anyone want to shed any light on that one?

I understand the acrimony of his departure from Liverpool and that Liverpool fans certainly have an argument for feeling betrayed. I’m not inviting a mailbox full of sanctimonious Liverpool fans here either, we get it. The way he went about it was wrong, I’d react the same. That booing is born out of the partisan and biased nature of football. The feeling wronged, cheated even. But explain to me why every away game we play he is targeted and booed? Probably by the same utter imbeciles that started a petition for him to be sent home from the Euros.

We all know the (sinister) answer, so where is the outcry for Sterling?
Mark (City must have more “game of the season” contenders than anyone else!) M32 Blue

 

Otamendi: A slight defence
Otamendi may have his faults but I just want to say that getting outpaced by Mane is not a stick to beat him with. He’s one of the fastest wingers in the league for f***’s sake.
Dale (Leeds)

 

Fatigue: A recent history
While I usually find it hard to agree with Mourinho when he complains about something, the whole issue of fatigue is something where I feel he is on to something.

Now the naysayers like Roy Keane will argue that Man United have always had to contend with a fixture pile-up and it is not something to moan about. But the one thing these people are missing is the pace the Premier League is being played at. It is much faster (not better) from the time when Fergie masterminded runs in every competition for successive years. Now it just does not seem to happen, not just for United but for anyone else.

Recent examples go on to prove this point. The four most recent champions in the league read Man City, Chelsea, Leicester, Chelsea (they are, sadly). Man City four years ago got eliminated from Europe relatively early (first knockout round) yet received an almighty scare from Liverpool, who of course were playing once a week, only for a hilarious slip to give them back the initiative and wrap things up. Chelsea, in the year they won, competed in Europe, but were down to their last legs towards the end of the season as a result and only won comfortably because everyone below them was a bigger mess than they were. Those tired legs even manifested into a title defence. Leicester again played once a week and cruised to the title as their rivals battled fatigue from the additional fixtures they played.

Even this year the forms of certain teams is instructive. Tottenham who had Europe this season have had two poor spells during the times when they had to manage Europe alongside the league and have otherwise been superb. Liverpool, who really should be competing for the title this year because of no European distraction managed to stumble due to the festive fixture pileup and spent the next month suffering fatigue and blowing their chances. Both teams’ fortunes seem to suggest that the high pressing style, especially the heavy metal one Klopp espouses is incompatible with the pace the league is played at, especially if there are additional European fixtures involved.

Which brings me to Mourinho and United. Clearly his team has had to put in a shift no one else has had to this season. And at the moment it seems fourth place is well within reach. But perhaps pursuing that fourth place will mean running out of legs in a month or so and blowing the chances for the Europa League as well. He seems smart enough to realize that and is getting his excuses in early. Now a well-placed quote about preferring a title over fourth place and he seems to be trying to manage the stick that should come his way if he finished outside the top four after the money he spent. Expect the moaning to get louder and the league to soon be de-prioritized. Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, it is probably a smart move.
Zubair Umar (Europa League plus League Cup = great season in my view)

 

Unpleasantness all round at Arsenal
Even as a long-standing Arsenal fan/season ticket holder, I’m sick of reading about Wenger, and whether he will stay or go (what else is there left to say?), but having travelled up to the Hawthorns for the West Brom game on Saturday, readers should be aware of the farcical circus that entire afternoon was.

The Planes – laughable, I and most people around us were embarrassed by the entire thing. Where’s a rocket launcher when you really need it, go and donate £60,000 to charity next time.

The Fans – As most people know, the home support and atmosphere at the Emirates verges from muted to non-existent. However, our away fans usually provide fantastic support, and do everything to get behind the team. From the 70th minute onwards, skirmishes were breaking out all around between pro and anti-Wenger supporters. Around a dozen police were called in to separate FANS OF THE SAME TEAM as punches were thrown, and people tried to block off the anti-Wenger signs and flags. Save your anger for the opposition, for crying out loud.

The Protests – Although my opinion is that during the game, all your attention should be focused on doing everything you can to support the team and back the players, I respect someone else’s freedom of speech and right to protest. People trying to rip down flags and signs in pursuit of their own agenda are just as guilty as the ones they are accusing.

The Team – Even though the team were supposedly prepared to defend against the aerial onslaught they knew would be coming from set-pieces, I can still forgive the first goal. Cech was blocked off from coming from ball, and small things can happen that affect your concentration and stop you from doing your job properly. The third goal is simply inexcusable, and the defending as laughably pathetic as the team’s feeble attempts to applaud the fans at the end.

As entitled as it sounds for 95% of other clubs, it is a horrible experience supporting that team right now. Outside of the big European games and ‘rival’ matches, most Emirates games have thousands of empty seats available, despite the clubs lies around attendance, and I expect this figure to increase significantly next year. Until the club makes a concerted effort to bring the fans back on-board, the poisonous atmosphere will continue to grow, and when the Away fans stop coming in their droves Ivan, you know it’s probably too late.
Foxy, London

 

Advice from Spurs fans? No thanks…
Sorry saw Pat (THFC)’s mail this morning and took the bait. Even putting aside the inherent conflict in a Spurs fan wanting a continuation of the current shambles at Arsenal it’s a ridiculous viewpoint so thought I would respond with a few points:

– Why would fans protest against Wenger? Are you kidding? After 10 years of no progress and lame excuses – coupled with a hierarchy who are sycophantic to him, the fans have no other avenue for dissent. We have been told Wenger is accountable to the fans – and nobody else. So we have a legitimate right to protest. If you want to protest about your football club, online polls and demonstrations outside the ground have almost zero impact. Either protest at the game or don’t go to the game and leave an empty seat (the latter being a step too far for most fans who base their weekend around their team and have often paid for their seats a year in advance).

– ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ Can people please stop using Man United’s truly hilarious decision to appoint Moyes after Fergie as proof that Arsenal should not change their manager. Moyes was completely out of his depth, if Mourinho had the job on Day 1, United would be in a much better position, albeit much more hateful as a team no doubt. Chelsea change their manager on a regular basis – seems to have worked out okay for them over the last decade.

– Lost in the Champions League to Barca and Bayern – no big deal? It’s the manner of the defeat Pat. We are further away than ever from competing with them: hence the embarrassing 10-2 aggregate score. We were told by our absent CEO Gazidis we now had the resources to compete with Bayern a few years back – it’s just a shame we don’t have the manager to.

– ‘I hope to see a good, strong Arsenal next year with Sanchez gone and Wenger in.’ Now you are just trolling people. But for the record- I hope to see Spurs revert back to their lower top-half position mean, for Kane to leave and for ’61 never again’ to last for another 56 years at least.

– If you love Wenger so much how about we swap him for the Pochettino? What’s that? Thought not.
Ben (AFC)

 

You probably won’t like this then…
I don’t suppose they will listen to this from a Tottenham supporter, but Arse fans really ought to get some perspective.

It’s a money game, as they themselves like to tell supporters of poorer clubs. At the turn of the century, Arse were the second richest club behind ManYoo and they typically came second but sometimes first. Now they are the fourth richest club and they typically come fourth but sometimes third. They have never, under Wenger, finished lower than their financial standing would indicate they would and have frequently finished higher. That looks like happening this season but it may not – Arse have a very long history of motoring through the last two months without losing. Conclusion: you were and still are a very well managed club.

Failing that, you could always take some comfort in the fact that Arsenal Ladies gubbed Tottenham Ladies 10-0 at the weekend.
Andrew (We’ve been here before too) Warmington, THFC

 

Keepers see near-post goals as collateral damage
Anything that uses Subbuteo to make a point has already won half the battle with me. However, I fundamentally disagree with Mr Chicken’s assumptions.

I am a goalkeeper and, whilst my radius of saves around my body is no doubt slightly smaller than the assumptions in the article (mostly due to old age and creaking knees), this saveability area doesn’t take into account the fact that the goalkeeper doesn’t know where the ball is going to be struck. You can take an educated guess and that is usually good enough, but there are several variables at play here:

1) The ball is struck so cleanly that it can literally whistle past your ear and you wouldn’t know anything about it until it has hit the net. Witness this at the top level and the power players can demonstrate with their superior technique. There are always examples of goalkeepers rooted to the spot, maybe flinging one arm uselessly near the trajectory of the ball, but with both feet still firmly planted on the grass.

2) Players whacking the ball so hard that they compensate placement with power. A keeper might think they know where the ball is going by the way the player is shaping their body or where they look, but then one shoelace sticking out slightly on the boot or a slight bounce just before the ball is hit and it ends up flying in a completely different direction. Making you look like a fool. LIKE A FOOL.

3) Thirdly, at the top level, players can place their shot perfectly into that far corner (the 16% section spoken about in the article). If the keeper thinks this is where he is going to go, then he is going to have to dive at full stretch just before the ball is struck and he may, just may, get there in time. But a really top player will see this and adjust themselves at the last moment and dink it over or simply place it at the near post. Making the keeper look like a fool. LIKE A FOOL.

So keepers, to avoid looking like fools, have to make a reactionary save from someone who has incredible technique (at least at the top, not where I play admittedly), who knows exactly where to place the ball, whilst at the same time potentially mis-hitting it slightly and confounding the keeper into diving the wrong way. Frankly, if a few slip in via the near post, then that is collateral for a keeper to take.
Rob (more articles involving Subbuteo would be rapturously received however), Leicester


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