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Captain hindsight and the nostalgia school of management
I think Utd’s apparent new policy of pursuing & building a team around young talent and only young talent (if true) is a mistake.
Sure Solskjaer recalls the magic of the 1995 “you can’t win anything with kids” era and probably wants to reproduce that. Another blast from the past from a manager who only seems to be trying to reproduce the good old days.
And it seems that a lot of fans are buying into this nostalgia school of management.
But what a lot of people seem to forget is that the ’95 squad already had a solid backbone and included the likes of Schmeichel, Bruce, Irwin, Pallister, Keane, Cole, McClair and Eric somebody or other.
It’s almost like holding up a mirror to the 2019 squad… all that’s needed is the young talent
Arsenal transfer panic
For those who don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on Arsenal blogs/forums/anything, the window rumours so far is quite worrying. If we take a look at this holistically, this is what the window “looks like” for Arsenal:
William Saliba – CB – 25m (loan back)
Tierney – LB – 25m
Gabrial Martinelli – ST – 5m
At first glance, it doesn’t make you jump for joy. Buying a CB for 25m and loaning them back for a season when funds are limited, does not seem smart. There is also no credible rumours that we are selling any players at all, which would likely mean minimal incoming, which is worrying.
This transfer window is huge for Arsenal. We need Champions League back, we need to be playing with the big boys again. Chelsea have lost Hazard (although I rate Pulisic) and Utd will spend big (which will either fail spectacularly or work miracles). Unless something drastic happens to Spurs, its a 3 horse race again for 1 spot. We can’t bring in elite players as we aren’t the draw we used to be or have the money, but we do need to bring people in and probably gamble a bit on youth and potential.
If you ask most Arsenal fans, the only 100% guarantee need is a CB. Debates rage whether our youth prospects (Bielek, Reiss, Smith-Rowe, AMN, Nketiah, etc.) are good enough to step up but most would argue we could do with a back-up right back, a LB, a CM and some pace on the wings.
Regardless of what happens though, Emery will be left with 2x 60m+ strikers when nobody is playing 2 strikers and a CB we can’t trust (come back Holdini)
We are coming up to the end of June, nothing has happened, we are all worried and the light is fading already. Last year we were decisive, got our transfers in early and it felt good. This summer, it is so far underwhelming. Where is the warchest when you need it?
Rob A (Bissaka for 50m seems mental to me) AFC
Contemplating the Aubameyang/Zaha swap
Let’s start this with saying that I fully believe Lacazette and Aubameyang are our best two players. I also believe Aubameyang is a better player than Zaha. I also thought at the end of the season selling either of these would be a terrible idea. However, I have always thought that having to play with two strikers can hamper us as a team and is clearly not Emerys favoured system as it can leave us vulnerable defensively and sacrifice width. (Needing width to come from full backs only and facilitating the first point)
So with the above in mind I am starting to think maybe selling Aubameyang and buying Zaha is not terrible business. Lacazette is a great player and able to play up front on his own. Zaha will bring us some natural width and creativity allowing Emery to play a system more similar to what he had used at previous clubs. Zaha is also considerably younger than Aubameyang and would have some resale value. (These things need to be taken into account with the apparent state of the clubs finances)
Really interested to hear what other arsenal fans think of this. I am in no way fully sold on the idea but it is at least a very interesting proposition.
Dave (just the small matters of Ozil and Mustafi to solve next) Windsor
Loving the World Cup (and Seb)
First time writing in. Loooooong time reader.
Firstly, the world cup is great entertainment. Genuinely enjoyable. The football is not perfect but it never is. Apart from the physicality aspect, which personally I don’t miss, its still the same sport. The beautiful game. My 5 year old son agrees. He just loves to play and watch football. He doesn’t care if it’s a man or woman playing. It’s just football. And it’s great. The wonderful (and often brutal) thing about kids is their honesty. They just say it how it is and how they feel. My son loves any football. That’s how it should always be. If you love football, you should love any football.
Onto S S-B. I love his writing. He’s brilliant. Like a cross between Daniel Storey and Jonh Nicholson. As a person who forms many opinions of the game based on football websites, and who continually makes sense of life through football metaphors (seriously football has a metaphor for everything) I find him brilliantly informed and have him to thank for many any enjoyable read.
Thanks for anyone who has read this 🙂
Mike (Manchester. Blackburn fan btw.)
Well, that was a curious Second Round in what has been such a fun tournament, even if you discount the VAR shenanigans. I think we just saw Goal of the Tournament from Yui Hasegawa (seriously check out Mana Iwabuchi’s soft shoe shuffle for the assist).
Germany didn’t really have to do much to thump Nigeria, although the fact that their best player Dzsenifer Maroszán is injured is sad because she is one of the best players to watch in the world.
Norway and Australia played out a tussle that belied the usual reputations of both sides and treated us to an exhibition in awful penalties by the Matildas.
I actually thought England played really well and despite pundits criticising their scrappy performance it is worth remembering that Cameroon were only intent on kicking them off the pitch. They exerted control and three goals showed a little more clinical finishing than previously.
France Brazil was a load of fun with Brazil looking more like a team and giving the hosts a run for their money. Both sides had good passages in the match and France had their own VAR slip-up with Gauvin’s goal unfairly disallowed. And then in extra time it could only be Amandine Henry to be the difference.
So that’s what it looks like when USA are given a challenge! A better team that Spain would have certainly scored more than one, and it is notable that two penalties were needed to emerge victorious. France will not have seen anything to be concerned about, especially with their attacking talent although the USA are packed with big game players. A titanic match awaits!
China finally woke from their slumber and put on a thrilling performance that was let down by poor finishing again. Italy’s superior forwards were the difference although the defending was desperate at times.
Netherlands v Japan served up probably the game of the tournament so far. Japan clicked into gear and showcased the mesmeric quality of their pinball passing. In truth, Japan should have scored more and although Netherlands created chances themselves, I’m still not sure how they won that.
All in all, the next round is giving us some tasty games, starting with England-Norway tonight (if reading this in Thursday morning’s mailbox). USA v France will be battle of the favourites and Sweden v Germany a repeat of the 2016 Olympics final. I’m getting quite excited!
Every now and then, the question of who has been City’s ‘best’ player since the 2008 takeover comes up. Just as it did today on Sky Sports with the announcement of El Mago’s departure at the end of next season. The usual names are normally Yaya, Aguero, Captain Kompany and David Silva. A bit of fun perhaps but, like all such click-bait, it’s unfair from the get-go. All four did different things for the team.
Everton and Spurs supporters, to pick but two clubs, will know the feeling of standing by whilst your historic rivals ran rampant (past tense deliberate). Our experience was so bad that we were even replaced as actual rivals by Liverpool. With good reason. Then came the takeover. Because I’m old and fat and bald, I’ve still never completely shaken the ‘City-itis’ and ‘typical City’ disease after 2008 and I still don’t look at a fixture now and think ‘Oh yeah, that’s 3 points in the bag’.
The first time though that I had any inkling that something might be different was watching The Magician. He got a proper ‘welcome to England’ kicking in his first season but, after that, ooohhhhh boy. I couldn’t believe this guy was wearing a Man City shirt. He was, with 20-20 hindsight, KDB but with a ‘lesser’ team around him and I most certainly don’t mean that disrespectfully as they should, for instance, include Zaba from that time in the ‘best’ players as well.
His vision, movement and ridiculously forensic passes were/are still awesome. It is the understatement of his skill and ability that both impresses and surprises. A gentle man, and I have spelt that deliberately, both on and off the pitch, he is one of those increasingly rare players who conducts his business when he is at work and almost never when he is off it.
I think he joins a small group of players such as Henry, Mata, Hazard, Lampard and Milner of whom rival supporters can genuinely admire without any tribalism nonsense kicking in. On the other hand, Messrs Ozil and Pogba might like to watch the former players back catalogue to figure out why that doesn’t necessarily apply to them.
Carra great, but…
As great as Jamie Carragher was, there is one Liverpool one-club man who is certainly greater in terms of his overall impact on Liverpool, if not as a player, and that’s Bob Paisley (1939-54). As well as being the most successful English club manager of all time, he was a one-club man, signing for Liverpool from non-league Bishop Auckland in May 1939. The small matter of World War II stopped Bob from debuting until 5 Jan 1946 but he played in the title winning season of 1946-7 (the first full season after the war) and scored the winner in an FA Cup semi-final in 1950, only to be cruelly left out of the defeat against Arsenal at Wembley (having had his name printed in the programme). He played 277 games for Liverpool, scoring 13 goals from midfield (not enough one feels!) before joining the backroom staff in 1954.
While as a player, Jamie was undoubtedly superior, in terms of his impact on the club, no Liverpool player’s was greater than Bob’s (save, perhaps, Kenny).
If you’re short of mails, btw, how about this for a teaser – best premier league player (based on his PL performances alone) never to win the thing? Gerrard? Suarez? Kane? Zola?
It seems the english media has gone quiet on the under 21 tournament since Hoofroyd ruined our dreams (or was it the players lack of attention ) . Though I am excited to see both semi finals , first a typically focused and organised duetch team playing the surprise team of the tournament Romania – , hoping for an underdog win . Then the exciting Spanish team who seem to have found their best 11 now v France . Good for West Ham getting one of these lads in -Pablo Fornals, yet I´m a bit confused in that I reckon he plays in the same position as their last big signing Felipe Anderson . The ‘Isco’ of these championships is Ceballos ,uncherished by Zidane , would be a gem of a signing for any team that could persuade him to leave . Spurs would seem like a good fit but then again so would Liverpool as the Ox hasn´t shown his recoverability yet . 50 million squidoodles would get him .
The main reason for my mail though is the outrage of playing games in mental, crazy heat in Egypt.
I have worked in that country and by April its too scorching to leave the shade , by May its simply silly , therefore when these players go out to ¨warm up ¨’ before the afternoon kick off they must be thinking that someone is gonna pass out . I´m no doctor but I presume the after effect could kick in once the game is done and dusted . Even here, a few degrees north of Egypt , the 5p.m. walk of death to the swimming pool is something you have to pluck up courage for . Can´t be good for the spectacle .
Transfers to finish , I like the lopp sided look of the summer towards left wingers , the ones that perhaps need to move still outweigh the ones who have done so already :- Rodrygo , both Hazards , Julian Brandt , Moussa Diaby & Djenepo , Daniel James – versus – Neymar junior, Gareth Bale, Alexis Sanchez, Isco , Ribery , Martial , Aubameyang , Arnautovic , Willian , Wilf Zaha, Loftus-Cheek and is Sessegnon considered a left winger yet or still a flying left back , all have a chance of being transfered ( can u see the red devil connection ?) . My signing of the window so far has to be de Jong, just I´m wondering how you drop Busquets .
Peter ( surely H.Maguire isn´t a top 6 defender ) Andalucia
I’d just like to point out, Tim, SCFC’s radical idea to do away with transfer fees is basically how our professional sports leagues work in America. Each of the 4 major leagues have slightly different rules on guaranteed contracts, salary caps, maximum salaries, and max contract lengths, but the basic system is the same.
Player can only move teams by being traded for other players or draft picks, running out their contracts and becoming free agents, or coming to a mutual agreement with a team to buy out the contract. Once a contract is signed, the player and the team and both bound to honor the contract, so holding out for a trade to another team almost never occurs. All revenue is shared equally among teams, and, except for baseball, all leagues have a salary cap so that an owner’s personal wealth has no bearing over how much money they can spend. And the best part is, player agents are payed by the players they represent and percentage of their contracts, usually 3%-5%. The whole situation where a transfer collapses because a team refuses to be extorted for agent’s fees never occurs.
Also, to Harry, THFC’s point about mercenary players, we already have had that in the NBA. Lebron James, the best basketball player in the world signed a 1 year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers 4 years in a row. He did this simply because he could demand a higher maximum salary each year, and also because it forced the team to stay competitive. As soon as it became clear he couldn’t compete for a title in Cleveland, Lebron left and signed with the Lakers.
So, and transfer-less system does exist, and it works pretty well, no chance that it will ever come to European football though.
I recently bought 2 adults and a junior ticket for the friendly of Tottenham vs Inter Milan. I thought, why not, first time to the new ground, nothing depending on the game, it’s on a Sunday and I’m not going to have to sell a kidney to buy them.
I got to the checkout page.. £10 booking fee. What is that for?! The gates are automatic, I have to print the tickets, I booked through the website. The only person I’d see to do with club when using my ticket would be the steward showing me where to sit!
Do other clubs do this? Or worse do they “freeze ticket prices” and then just go hell let’s charge £50 booking fee to make up for it!
I don’t mind paying it, but they don’t state it before the check out, and don’t even say what it’s used for.
Grant (Sissoko didn’t hand ball it)
It’s the thought that counts (it’s not; send us mails)
Just writing to say that I would like to write a piece to contribute to keeping the mailbox flowing but I just can’t bothered to put even a modicum of thought into anything.
Have a pleasant day