Keep your thoughts on Rafa Benitez, Spurs, Gareth Bale or anything else coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Benitez to Spurs…
Given that Benitez would / will face a sizeable backlash from the Everton support, why go there when there are other options?
Yes, there may be a muted snark for his time at Chelsea, but by this stage who hasn’t managed a London side of any note?
Can Spurs get anyone better? They’ve tried to attract a new manager (Lord knows) but they have worked their way down to the ex-Wolves boss after half of Europe came in, kicked the tyres and said no thanks.
Would you say Nuno’s record is superior to Rafa’ – I don’t think so. If anything, Nuno might be a better fit at Everton.
Benitez offers Spurs the skill and experience they can best hope to find success with – cup football.
Spurs are not going to win this or any other league, that leaves cups.
And he can make sides that win cups (even disjointed, reverse synergistic clubs like Spurs).
Is Everton so much more a tantalising prospect than Spurs (even minus Kane) – I think that is debatable.
And if the fans don’t want you, is it worth the grief all round?
Or is the problem Spurs – the club and the owner, that he would rather take heat from Everton fans who would be close neighbours?
No horse in this race but I think it odd when experienced managers are not even mentioned when the Spurs job comes up.
Simon of Whitegate
Embarrassment for Wales
Take nothing away from Denmark, they were magnificent, but there was no leadership on the pitch for Wales. The ref might as well have blown the full time whistle once Denmark took the lead.
Looks like “Golf….and not much else” is the motto Gareth Bale lIves by these days. A once phenomenal player but his race is run at this point.
Aaron Ramsey was completely MIA, an oft too familiar sight to many an Arsenal fan. There is talk of him returning to the emirates. On the basis of that insipid performance Arteta would be wise to ignore sentimentality and strongly veto that idea.
Robert Vard, Dublin
The sickening media coverage of Wales is finally over
Well, just loved Denmark. Great performance, skill, intelligence, work rate. Having watched Italy play so well in the group stages, it was a surprise to see Denmark take the plaudits for the first batch of last 16 games.
So pleased to see Wales get tonked. Just so over all the plucky little underdog hype that the media lavished on them like a new parent doting on their first child. Yes, they did will in Euro 2016. But there have been several ‘underdogs’ who have done well here.
You just knew Mancini would pick Veratti over Locatelli, but clearly they have been playing better under the latter. But then Austria presented a tough opponent, a much pluckier underdog than Wales.
Betting a lot of transfer noise around several of the Danish team playing for less fancied clubs in the coming weeks based on the last couple of performances.
Austria, I am really impressed. They are a team to look out for in the coming years, the massive improvement in their league and the involvement of red bull in the country guarantees it.
Meanwhile, Italy, very brilliant, they may have lost their clean sheet record and Austria deserved their goal but just good overall. The first half was the Italy of the group stages, dominant and calm, the second, Austria forced them to a scrappy play, and in extra time, quality and calmness pays of, very good goal from Chiesa, good pass for the assist and a quality goal.
But, questions have to be asked, this was the same Austria that Netherlands kept at arms length and I know this game meant more but first half aside, it was as if Austria were playing their mate. That aside, who else likes this ‘tiki-Italia’ that Italy play, trying to play the ball in between the lines, build from the back but get out of your half as quick as possible, run at the defence, play the direct ball if available, stretch the defence, and press aggressively. I really like it. Even when it was 2-1 and Austria committed bodies forward, Italy kept on pressing aggressively, refusing to be pinned deep, and when they regained the ball, committed many to the counter, for me, the most effective method to preserve a lead, it takes courage and will, but Italy seem to have that and good luck to them in the quarters.
It’s a small thing, in amongst the immense defensive record of the Italians, inspired substitutions, the skill of both their goals, and the huge Donnarumma, but it’s been great to see the ref in this game and in others, not giving those niggly fouls designed to break up play, not giving in to theatrical falls, and just wave play on.
Cue miraculously recovered players jumping up. And no time wasted.
Paul in Brussels (Belgium will beat them)
Weird transfer rumblings…
This has been a very unusual start to the summer in terms on transfers.
First- Messi’s contract expires in five days and yet there is 0 rumors of him going anywhere. You’d think a player of his status and current ability would have a line out the door for him.
Next is the Real CB debacle. Ramos and Varane out in the same summer seems risky and to think you could have the pair(and admittedly high wages) for about 50m is nuts.
Then you have the Reece James situation which caught me off guard. First Chelsea wanted Hakimi- understandable given his ability, confusing given James’. Then I see today’s Man City rumour and something stinks.
If City can get Kane and Grealish then good luck to the rest of us. It’s does seem bizarre the quality of players they are willing to trade. But then again, they are a different beast. Tottenham would be ludicrous to say no to that offer though.
A player leaving City that I think could do a job for us at United would be Fernandinho. I would sign him up for a season, let’s him show the boys how it’s done. Free transfer, happy days.
No idea where Arsenal are getting their money from but they seem to be linked with a lot of quality and I hope they get them.
Sticking with the A’s. I don’t know who’s in charge but Villa appear to be silently excellent regarding their recruitment plans. If they can get smith-Rowe, Abraham et al, they’ll be doing well.
Final note is on free agents this summer. I have never seen so many quality ones and feel like this is what will become a new normal. Where players at their peaks/ past their peaks are priced out of moves or make too much to get renewed. But this was truly ridiculous- Donnarumma to Ramos and Alaba, to Wignaldum and Depay with a Messi on top and Aguero. My word.
Players like Mbappe can only probably ever move again if he is a free agent. Seeing as that is next summer, Someone should warn him the next World Cup is in Qatar.
Calvino (Part of me thinks United act as if they need to drag out the transfer timeline in the same way that guy you worked with drags out every task to minimize effort for the day and make it look like he’s doing something)
The Greening of Football
Thank you for writing this article. I know a lot of people will consider it left wing liberal hippie BS. But the reality is, we consume without thought as a society. Anybody who denies that waste is something we don’t care about much at all for the sake of convenience and fun is lying to themselves. So good on you for writing this piece. There is one thing that is starting to bother me. In our current age, a lot of words are now considered “bad” in some way. There are a lot of definitions that are ignored for the historical and cultural context they begin to have and people take offense to the word instead of actually knowing what it means or is. Carbon has become one of these. You say that carbon levels are rising in the atmosphere and people start screaming “Armageddon!”
“Carbon, in its most basic form, is an element. In fact, it’s the most common element for life on Earth. From the air we breathe to the crops we grow, and the chemical makeup of our own bodies, carbon is literally the basis for life.” So carbon is not a negative compound for the atmosphere and people need to get off that narrative.
The word you all forget is one you all know. Pollution. There are hundreds of other chemicals and elements we leak into the atmosphere and environment that are clearly damaging for our health full stop. And yet we still say Carbon is bad. This is the one area where folks need to think a bit deeper. Clean energy should not mean “Zero Carbon Emissions” because
Yes, all of the gas we burn flying planes and driving cars is problematic and we need to find cleaner ways of creating and consuming fuel. But Carbon alone is not the issue. It’s all of the pollutants that we eject and leak out into rivers, oceans, and the air that kill people, nature, and screw up the weather.
“When we extract, refine, transport, and burn fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and oil, we release extra carbon and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.” Oh, and we cut down trees that could absorb it so that we can make a bunch of useless paper products.
Blaming “Carbon” for climate change is like blaming “mental health” for the issues in our society. It’s a term, which by definition is something very different from what we’ve all culturally decided it means.
Campfire Football – Denver, CO
Hi. I saw Reub’s response to my note about greening. It’s missing the point – I’m well aware of the what’s going on with the climate crisis. More than aware, in fact.
I am far from alone in believing we have to advance our way out of the climate mess, not reverse. Effectively saying “no more travel” (or indeed “no more meat”) is reductive, overly simplistic, one-eyed and, above all, not going to happen. Whether you like it or not, most people do not want to be permanently banned from international and intercontinental travel, nor do they want to be told what to eat. Especially when all that would happen in practice is that the rich carry on doing what they want while Joe Average has to swap Benidorm for Brighton.
My point was that I’m middle-of-the-road on this issue (despite what you may think) and totally onboard with reasonable suggestions. If I think JN is overdoing the zeal, there will be millions of people in the UK alone who are far more fervently against this type of extreme suggestion than me. Not everything has to be black and white, or all or nothing. Environmental extremism can be counter-productive and alienate the people we need to get on board. That was my point.
Also, this is the definition of zealot:
a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.
That sounds very much like our Johnny (who I still largely agree with on many things).
That’s it from me anyway, I’m not going to get drawn into any more back and forth about this or anything else.
Peace and love to all, including Reub (even if he thinks I’m a selfish prick). Now let’s get back to what we all love – the football. Especially as, if these people have their way, international tournaments (or international anything) will soon become a thing of the past, as we look forward to watching the reconstituted annual Home Nations tournament while vaping eggplant 😉