After a morning Mailbox dedicated to Arsenal and Manchester United, we talk Tottenham, Brentford and more…
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More diversification please
So Matt wants to know why there was only one email on Simon Hooper’s appalling refereeing decision? It’s pretty simple really, it’s because it didn’t happen to Man Utd, Liverpool or Arsenal. If it did, we’d never hear the end of it.
I suppose F365 can only publish what it receives, but it would be great to have a bit more balance and some more views from some of the smaller PL clubs (and no, that wasn’t supposed to be a jibe about Man City being a small club!).
But anyway, in the interests of diversification, I thought I’d write in to give a Brentford fan’s perspective on the current state of affairs. It seems the novelty has worn off this season and Brentford being actually quite good is no longer interesting to anyone. The coverage we get is sparse at best, almost always last on MOTD, even when the game itself is entertaining, and too often an afterthought when reporting on our games. When we lost to Arsenal the other week (narrowly and unluckily!), we barely got a mention!
And lots has been said and written about certain teams’ injury problems this season, but take a look at us! We play Brighton tomorrow and we are without 10 genuine 1st team players (Hickey, Ajer, Collins, Henry, Norgaard, Jensen, Damsgaard, DaSilva, Toney, Schade). GK aside, our Unavailable XI is comfortably stronger than our Available XI. Can any other team say that?? And yet, somehow, we’re 11th in the table, level on points with Chelsea and a whopping 12 points clear of the relegation places after only 14 games!
Maybe being under-the-radar suits us, but it would still be nice to get some credit once in a while. And not a patronising, ‘aren’t they doing well for such a small club’ without bothering to do any research or even pretend to know what we’re all about!
Rob, Surrey, Bees fan (the type of fan who actually goes to the games as well, what a novelty!)
Respect for Ange
I haven’t really watched Spurs much this season apart from against us and I’m obviously gonna be quite angry and biased about that game.
Having watched the City game I have a few comments.
1. I think Ange sticking it his way no matter what will make them a very exciting team to watch but will ultimately stop them from winning anything, it’s naive to think one method will always work. Even Guardiola has learned he needs to change it up sometimes.
2. I think it’s genuinely commendable to see a manager look at what is at his disposal and say “ok how can I get the best from this?” Than whingeing about not being able to make signings. This is especially apparent after the transfer whingeing tag team that was Jose and Conte. That must be refreshing for Spurs fans because I thought it was.
3. Everyone is seeing why Pep and Klopp have been the two most successful managers in PREM league for last few years and it’s the same with Ange – enthusiasm. When players see you have enthusiasm and support for them they try harder. When they see you believe in your tactics it bleeds into them. There’s a reason safety first managers have a lower ceiling than the ones who go for it – if you don’t believe you can win why would your players? Ange clearly has belief and again that’s a very good characteristic.
4. It’s looking like a very good appointment in many ways, I hope the wheels don’t come off at any point because I like the energy and level of respect he brings to the league.
Right now he’s still ploughing the fields and planting the spuds but give him a couple of seasons it might be time to actually harvest the spuds.
Keep on trucking, Ange
There has been some recent attention on Ange’s system, and his dedication to that philosophy, I thought it worthwhile to mention how detailed this talk has been for some time amongst the Spurs fans I chat with.
I prefer the idea that we retain the philosophy whilst also having the ability/nouse/intelligence to understand when fannying around – which it can be – with the ball in injury time when winning, away from home, against a decent team, when depleted and knackered, might not be the wisest choice. Or, when the away team has noticed you’re down to nine men but still playing on the halfway line.
That said, the opposing opinion is that all the squad must learn to play to the system so that when called upon in the far less likely time the vast majority of the first XI are injured, said players are well accustomed to said way of playing.
Both, as ever, are true; but I still feel like we’re a few points worse off for having been rigidly playing a delightful madness of a system no matter how enjoyable, and it really is enjoyable.
Actually; f**k it; keep on doing what you’re doing! Football is meant to be fun.
Praise for the referees
Given how much criticism refs and VAR come under currently I felt it was only fair to write in praise of the refereeing team for the Luton – Arsenal game.
There were a few hefty challenges throughout that didn’t result in long stoppages and multiple cards. Instead the ref punished each accordingly.
The VAR checks were done quickly and I think each decision was correct. Gabriel probably was fouled at a corner, but it wasn’t a clear and obvious error and therefore they had no reason to over rule the referee.
The result was a free flowing, fast paced game of football with plenty of chances and goals and despite the numerous frustrations in watching it as an Arsenal fan, it wasn’t a game that was disrupted by baffling decisions from the officials, or 5 minute VAR checks to see if a players toe had strayed offside. It was just a good old fashioned game of football.
So praise be to the referee!
Andrew (Fully in love with Declan Rice)
No praise for Shearer
Shout out to Joe, AFC, East Sussex, on calling out Alan Shearer in today’s mailbox. Rob Edwards rightly made Shearer look like an idiot with his pathetic attempt to join in a conversation about an excellent football match, in which Luton were unlucky to lose.
Shearer highlighted his lack of imagination, or even knowledge of the game, when the only thing he can think of is the amount of stoppage time played. He sought to create controversy were there was none. And all this while stood next to Roberto Martinez, actually trying to have a proper footballing chat with Rob Edwards.
Unfortunately it highlights just how much of Match of the Day editorial meetings and planning is obviously spent on refereeing decisions. There’s such a paucity of in depth analysis and tactical awareness on MOTD these days. Shearer, and Jermaine Jenas, have nothing to say. They’re only saved when there’s a refereeing mistake for them to leap upon.
Embarrassing performance from Shearer. He may not have joined Man United all those years ago, but his effort levels and commitment resemble them these days!
Everton fan angry at Gordon love shock
Newcastle have a gem in Gordon and we have never been so wrong about a player (football365.com)
First Alan Shearer says it, then the BBC parrot that on the website, then others report that “news” and no F365 make an “apology”.
This is text book Gareth bashing from PR firms. In the same way that PR firms force Gareth’s hand on playing an amateur in central midfield, the latest target is Anthony Gordon whom, as far as I have seen, has been working hard, running about a lot and getting a couple of lucky tap-ins.
If you lot think that makes an England international then we’re f**ked.
Put it this way, do you really think that the media should pick the England team? I certainly don’t yet this tactic that F365 are complicit in is simply bullying Gareth into selecting someone he doesn’t think is ready. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or not, is this what you want?
Is the England manager job therefore a thankless task? Should the “knowledgeable” media pick the team? Should they be allowed to influence the manager’s thinking?
Fat Man (Investigation into image rights and player selection required)
Man Utd tears find no sympathy here
Manchester United fans like to claim that their club is “hated, adored, never ignored”.
Calvino wrote in to Wednesday’s mailbox with a long rant (one might even describe it as “crying”) about the punditry and analysis United receive as coverage. He seemingly thinks that the problem at ManUtd is that the pundits who cover them are all ex-Utd pros or else hate the club.
Who exactly is supposed to provide the punditry and analysis, if we eliminate these 2 groups of people from the pool Sky/etc draw from? I’m not sure Calvino would be happy with any answer other than “equally-blinkered United fans”.
Other than that, blaming the media for the ongoing hilarious incompetence at Old Trafford is priceless.
Oliver (no need to argue with United fans about how useless their manager/players are; they eventually come around to agreeing after getting through the initial Denial phase) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland
EFL clubs cannot sustain the dream
I’m not sure that Oliver Dziggel or the rest of the “unsustainable pyramid” crowd really understand what “sustainable” really means or the reality of most EFL clubs’ budgets. EFL clubs aren’t run at a loss because the underlying costs of running a professional football team are beyond their normal revenues. Every single team in the EFL makes enough money from tickets and ordinary commercial revenue to pay their basic costs, including all the little ones at the bottom of the 92.
Football clubs in England aren’t run at a loss because they can’t afford to keep the lights on or pay the ticket office staff. They’re run at a loss because the English football league is riven with massive financial cliff edges between the divisions which encourage teams to spend beyond their means to move up divisions.
The vast majority of excess spending is on player wages. I mentioned Grimsby in my email, who spent 79% of their income on wages. In terms of ordinary ticket and commercial revenue, Grimsby made £3.2m in revenue, nearly three times their non-wage expenditure. They lose money because they choose to compete for better footballers than their means allow them, not because Bob on the Turnstile needs to be paid the Living Wage.
Here’s the thing. That competition happening at current wage levels is not actually inherent to the existence of football clubs. Take much of the broadcast money out and the competition would simply have to happen at a lower level. But in order for the people of Grimsby a professional football club to watch it doesn’t have to, all you need is enough people in the local area to go pay to watch their footballers. That’s it.
People’s brains are so poisoned by the logic of the Premier League and the scramble for broadcast cash that they don’t get that much of modern football finance is extraneous to the actual core activity.
Please pass on my (for what it’s worth) very best regards to ‘JayNik’ (I bet all the kids call him that right….)
Please do keep us updated on his progress – or as much as he would like us to know.
Now…to the best comedy ad ever?
In the very middle of Duck’s email regarding Man Utd and players on long contracts and no leader ship etc, was a large advert for
‘Adopt a Donkey’ from the Donkey Sanctuary….
Is this Man Utd trying to get money for players on long, wildly over paid contracts?
Absolute cereal spitting genius from someone.
Al – LFC (Come on Caomhin lad you are too good to be a No2 really)
(Johnny Nich is making slow but steady progress and hopes to be out of hospital and back on F365 in 2024. We send him all our love as ever – Ed)