Thanks for your Jack Grealish thoughts. But seriously, the mails have dried up. International fortnight has broken us. Please watch some football and send mails to email@example.com. Or read this.
Still talking Grealish
Robbie DFC has Villa fans scratching their heads. “His position last season was just behind the striker” No, it wasn’t. His ‘position’ last season was exactly the same as this season – mainly on the left. In fact, he has played ‘ behind the striker’ more for England than for Villa. Ably – and inevitably – supported by Targett – who “never crosses the halfway line” according to Robbie. So that would have to be “moral” support, I assume?
Steve AVFC (USA)
…Joe the long-suffering Villa fan, (that’s all of us of course); save your breath.
I don’t disagree with a single thing you’ve said on Grealish. It just isn’t worth it though. Now that Jack has played for England, and performed admirably, fans of the top four/six (interchangeable depending on where their team finishes amongst them) will wade in with ridiculous remarks regards our Jack – as if they’ve followed him closely these last five years.
As Bruce Hornsby and the Range told us, that’s just that way it is.
We now have to deal with the inevitable and insufferable links with any of these clubs for the next God-knows-how-long.
Block out that white noise and enjoy every minute of Jack at Villa. It’s the only way.
The rehabilitation of Roberto Mancini
I tuned in to the Italy-Poland match earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised by the match in general, but more specifically by Italy. 21 matches unbeaten now, and very possibly a dark horse for Euro 2020/21/22/57 (delete as appropriate).
It got me thinking – how is Roberto Mancini such a low key manager, so rarely discussed when it comes to big appointments? His achievements seem to be downplayed due to the role of calciopoli in Italy and perhaps his side’s meek surrender in the 2012-13 title race in England. But here is a manager with titles in two top leagues, bags of experience and a reasonable reputation (surely his confrontational style can hardly be called that when compared to Conte and Mourinho, two close contemporaries).
Yet since winning the league at City, he’s worked for a weak Galatasaray, an over-the-hill Zenit, and a poisoned chalice Inter before taking the Italian job because virtually no one else wanted it. Could any City fans shed light on why that is? What happened at City that might have put top clubs off him? If Maurizio Sarri deserves a few spins of the wheel, then surely Mancini does too?
Benzema and Ribéry are hated by the French Football Federation and the general French public, respectively. And what did Anthony Martial ever do to anyone?
Speaking of Ribéry, does Ernst Stavro Blofeld count as a famous doppelgänger?
MAW, LA Gooner
Not for me, Clive
In response to DC, Clive Tyldesley returned to ITV in 1996 but only became their lead commentator in 1998, after Brian Moore retired. At around the time he joined, ITV, Alan Parry, who had been ITV’s second commentator, moved to Sky. There was a spot in the team, filled by Tyldesley, instead of Moore being moved aside immediately to make him the lead commentator.
I’ve always been ambivalent about his commentary; not the worst, but there are voices past and present I’ve preferred. I’ve always found the Tyldesley that comes across in interviews would be far more fun to sit and chat with than the Tyldesley that comes across in his commentary.
For all those losing their minds over Johnny’s recent piece, I seem to recall Bergkamp having a pretty decent career without flying everywhere.
Neill, (if there’s a will . . .), Ireland
Fans in grounds? Really?
I just saw a report that fans may be allowed at games in December. For lack of a better word that is stupid and money grabbing. In a country that doesn’t have covid under control and is going through a second wave, that is grossly irresponsible. I live in Australia, you know how how many cases we had to have to have spectators at games? 0 cases for 28 days. Let that sink sink in.
0 cases. And yes it’s a big sacrifice. But guess what. Today we have 52,000 people at the State of Origin.
We follow strict isolation procedures so if you have test positive, regardless of if you test negative after, you have to isolate for at least three days.
My point is that trying to keep the premier league and UEFA competitions alive is stupid if players are going to keep testing positive. And if they do everyone they are in contact with should be isolated anyway.
I love the Premier League as much as anyone but think of everyone else. Europe is overrun by covid and it’s just gonna get worse coming into winter.
Use yours heads. Stay safe. And maybe you can enjoy sport the way we are.
Rahil (doesn’t matter what club I support because this is global) Melbourne
Indian Super League ahoy
DC, BAC in the previous mailbox mentioned that as it is the international week, anything goes. So I am going to shamelessly plug the greatest football league brought to you by the largest democracy in the world – the Indian Super League! Starting this Friday.
This season will be very interesting for a few reasons (in no particular order) – 1. Influx of Aussies from the A-league 2. Influx of the Spanish from everywhere 3. Merger of current champions ATK Kolkata (yes of the Madrid kind) with Mohan Bagan to spoil us with one of the world’s oldest derbies with East Bengal, who themselves sneaked into the league at the last minute 4. Sunil Chhetri and Bengaluru FC (as always!) 5. Owen Coyle and Robbie Fowler (lol)
All of this played in a football bubble in the self proclaimed party and football capital of India – Goa!
As a neutral (my hometown is light years away from having a football team), it’s a personal battle to support the nearest team (Jamsehedpur FC with Owen Coyle), be a glory hunter (ATK Mohan bagan) or support the best Indian player ever Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC). Once a plastic fan, always a plastic fan.
Shivam, MUFC, Singapore
Just about all of the greatest uncapped Premier League players ever were pursued by England. And only four of them were English.