We have mails on Arsenal, Tottenham and a bit of Palace and Plymouth. Send your views to the usual address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone’s a winner, baby
I never quite fully believe the new season is really here until I see the first ‘Premier League Winners and Losers’ section.
Tim (CFC) Ireland
Should have included the reffing
Just to say that I think there was a glaring omission from the Winners & Losers published this morning – top of the list for me should be the officiating and the wholly agreeable move to a lighter touch / common sense approach this season.
I watched Martin Atkinson yesterday and thought “you’re having a good game” …. I looked around and confirmed that there were no pigs flying and hell had in fact not frozen over.
Well done to Mike Riley for having the gumption to listen and attempt to improve how the officials operate.
Great start – there will be bumps in the road but let’s give them credit when credit is due.
The fans make it worthwhile
I remember commenting on a blog somewhere that I’m okay with the artificial fan sounds. After this weekend, I have to say that the fans make the matches worthwhile to watch on tv
Short Spurs memory
I’m not a Spurs fan but I did thoroughly enjoy watching them beat City yesterday, certainly an improvement on the Mourinho era in terms of attitude and attacking performance and I can imagine it really is an exciting time to support Tottenham, but how short is Barry Fox’s memory?? It just seems to me that under Poch, finishing in the top 3/4 consistently and reaching a Champions League final after one of the most thrilling semis I can remember must have surely been more exciting than a 1-0 opening day victory?
I’m also questioning my own sanity because I vividly recall bottom poured pints at Anfield being there a few years ago but from the way everyone talks about it at Spurs it seems like a new concept, can anyone confirm whether I’m talking bollocks or not?
Manjo, (I miss Klopp’s glasses) LFC
…I mean, I’m happy we won and all, Barry, but the most exciting time to be a Spurs fan in living memory?
Don’t you make me get out that hyperbole definition again, young man.
And as for Levy the hero…
Thanks for giving the chance to respond to your opinion on Daniel Levy who is a parasite to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club since 2001. At the beginning Enic set out there goals to let the support know that it’s a business not a football club they choose to run. Joe Lewis employed Daniel Levy to bring profit and not glory. We have one trophy in their 20yrs in charge we have had a continuous trend of selling top assets and letting the chairman constantly choose downgrades in talent to replace this prized assets.
Me as a life long supporter have seen this club being run with this shrewd and business type mind set really send us back as a club and as a team in failing to scout and compete for major signings. Leading to always being the nearly team even under Poch, Levy’s stance was to tear the heart and soul from the best starting 11 and replacing with downgraded players. I.e Sissoko Aurier and Ndombele. Over the years many managers have struggled to work with Levy as the board run a tight nit ship and a revolving door of selling top assets due to the failure of showing ambition as a team and a chairman. Cheap players failure of scouting as I started this email with is just one of many failures enic have caused
Tottenham never to succeed. He gave a new shinny stadium but long pain and failure to compete is totally on Enic’s way of running the club.
We as supporters have the motto profit over glory and to dare is to dear. We don’t owe Daniel Levy nothing we pay our dues and love our club and attend so really he and enic should thank our loyalty and patience also frustration of the way we operate.
Harry Kane has to leave as he is a long line of players who see the light due to the lies and stupidity Levy decides to run the club with constant mistakes.
He has had some great managers and failed to back them to bring us to next level. As much I despise Jose Mourinho he won every where apart from where? Working for whom!
Redknapp wanted Tevez and Gary Cahill and was give Ryan Nelson and Louis Saha. After selling Robbie Keane and Berbatov in the same window.
Are all the same and we are rewarded with downgraded players.
Please be aware that Tottenham supporters want trophies not broken words from a enic figure that won’t deliver.
Steve Hamilton (season ticket for 22 yrs and life long Tottenham supporter)
…Now I know it seems ridiculous to have anything but praise for Spurs after an excellent win over Man City, but I’m holding off on celebrating just yet, and especially holding off on any apology to Levy. Firstly, it’s very clear that Nuno wasn’t Levy or Paratici’s first choice. Secondly, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about Nuno after the last three years it’s that he can put together a quality counter attack and a solid defence. Last season Wolves were crap, but the year before that they beat City twice, and once before that.
So, while beating City is undoubtedly a great result and a great way to kick off the season, this is not his real challenge. By the November international break we should have a proper picture of this Spurs team, as by then we will have played Palace, Watford, Arsenal, West Ham, Chelsea, Man United… A proper mix. And we’ll see how this whole Kane scenario goes and how Nuno handles that.
Side note, how can you call this the most exciting time to be a Spurs fan when literally two years ago we were in the Champions League final and now we’re in the Europa Conference League?
Harry (Japhet Tanganga, he’s one of our own!) THFC
…In response to Barry Fox, no, F365 absolutely do not owe Daniel Levy an apology.
Nuno may actually end up being the right man for the job but let’s not pretend for one second that it was a well-orchestrated managerial search.
Also, unless Barry is a 1 year old, this is not the most exciting time in living memory to be a Spurs fan.
A polite request to all Mailbox readers, please don’t make the mistake of thinking people who post to F365 are speaking on behalf of that teams’ fanbase. Especially when that fan thinks Levy is a hard done by genius.
David, Battersea (WHL was absolutely rocking – football is back)
Oh dear Arsenal
Having had time to reflect on Friday night’s match (ok yes, sat and cried) I came up with a few points that were maybe lost in the mix:
* The Arsenal away support was pretty good, all things considered. Heard singing late into the game, despite the obvious lack of cohesion on the pitch, the fans did their best to lift the team. Credit to them. Unfortunately, the moaners at the Emirates probably won’t follow their example. I’d love to be proved wrong, but I fear the worst – our home ‘fans’ are an embarrasment. Support the team, get behind them, they need the fans now more than ever. At least the away support tried.
* Do Brighton do refunds? If not, we’d better hope that Ben White turns in some better performances than that. I’d prefer to have Skhodran Mustafi back, at least he could head the ball.
* Having said that, Arteta threw White under the bus, or at least the coaching team did. How did they not realise how Brentford were going to play? The commentary team, the fans, all of us at home, everyone else were waiting for the long throws, corners & free kicks and all the big guys in the box. So why weren’t Arsenal ? OK, so Gabriel & Holding (our two best CBs at actually heading the ball) were injured (or mysteriously not fit – more on that later) but Arteta knew that. So why didn’t he do something about it? Surely the answer would have been pick Chambers as an extra CB, pick AMN as right wing back and get extra bodies into the box. And put Martinelli & Balogun on the half way line for corners so we can hit them on the break. Even if they hadn’t spotted it on the game file before them match, why didn’t they see it in the first 15 minutes?
* Why was Rob Holding suddenly ‘not fit’? Was he injured? Or had he thrown his teddy out of the pram due to being dropped for Ben White? Speculation here of course, but if he is sold to make way for White, on Friday’s evidence it suddenly looks like a terrible bit of business. Again.
* This board is ruthless, they showed it with Emery. They clearly like Arteta and have a working relationship with him, but results speak for themselves. He looked clueless on Friday, as did his coaching team. The board have invested and continue to invest considerable money into the playing staff but see no return. The FA Cup win seems a long time ago now – after Friday, with Chelsea and City next, Arteta could well be living on borrowed time. Three losses out of three could see him fighting for his job after the international break.
* Was that the last we have seen of Lacazette and Aubameyang? Probably not. If it was however, it wouldn’t be a terrible thing, if the club turned the money into a decent replacement. Vlahovic from Fiorentia for example might be the perfect fit, if he could be persuaded to join. But who wants to join such a badly run club? A new manager might be the only answer.
* If nothing changes, we are going down. It’s a simple fact. Friday night showed, we are not good enough for the Premier League. 102 years of consecutive top flight football, 13 league titles. Thank you, and good night.
Exiled Gooner (Antonio Conte? yeah right)
On Palace and Grantham…
A 1990s Premier League midfielder puts together a side with several players making a step up to face a team with players used to a higher level, and gets off to a flyer. Radcliffe 1-2 Grantham Town. The Gingerbreads last won away on 26 December 2018, so Sam Scrivens’ coolness through a penalty box scramble to settle the game with the very last kick was brilliant.
* It’s the little things you miss most about football, such as playing spot the difference between different teams’ match reports: Grantham’s report on their website and Radcliffe’s in the Non-League Paper had space to mention the home side’s penalty shouts; it must have been word count that prevented them mentioning two of their players received yellow cards for a reducer tackle and a headbutt that might, on another day, have brought their afternoons to an end early.
* Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira was welcomed to the Premier League by a Chelsea side combining the sort of grace and punishment previously associated with the Frenchman’s time in midfield for the Arsenal. Very few people are panicking about the result – someone on this site said last week the game was a free hit – but there were still some disappointments. Vieira opted against 4-3-3 perhaps because the most important player to a three-man midfield, Conor Gallagher, was ineligible to play against his parent club. Using a 4-4-2 caused problems for attempts to play out from the back as there were fewer passing options against Chelsea’s pressing, and the ensuing long passes did not have the necessary accuracy. Jean-Philippe Mateta, chosen ahead of Christian Benteke up front, was largely anonymous; Wilfried Zaha, lined up alongside him, struggled to get on the ball and create chaos. Then again, he’s had his best showings against the Pensioners when he’s tormented Cesar Azpilicueta – the Spaniard here hidden away at right wing-back instead of in the back line.
* I don’t think the scoreline is catastrophic, because I think Chelsea will win by a bigger margin this year, and Palace will lose by a bigger margin to someone else. There were also some encouraging signs. Most of Chelsea’s attempts (and two of their goals) were from outside the box; some of these were free kicks, but in any event it’s indicative of a defence being difficult to break down.
At different points of the game, Palace used different formations, switching to 3-5-2 when Joachim Andersen came on. Once he is fully match fit, he should start in a back four with Marc Guehi, but his experience of playing in a back three will be useful. As the Athletic write this morning, Vieira likes to match up his formations based on stopping the opposition but keep the same playing style. This is an approach that will have mixed success, but the Eagles did look better in 3-5-2 than they had in 4-4-2, and have played well in 4-3-3 through preseason. Fans will have patience with a work in progress for a while, but it will need to bear fruit at some point.
*Next up Palace host Brentford, coming off a massive confidence-boosting win over the Arsenal. The Bees will fancy their chances of stinging the Eagles, but with key players returning to eligibility and fitness, Palace should put on a good show for their supporters.
Argyle do their city proud
It’s been a horrendous few days for the city of Plymouth. The South West is a region that largely feels immune to these national-headline-grabbing tragedies, but the mass shooting last week has devastated numerous lives and shaken the wider community to its core.
I’m not a Plymouth resident, but I do live in a neighbouring town that has a close connection to the city. I know Keyham and I also know people who were involved in the response to the horrific incident. Last Thursday was one of the darkest days our area has known in many many years.
So it seemed timely that on Saturday afternoon, not even 48 hours later, Plymouth’s Home Park hosted its first home game with significant crowds since the start of the pandemic. Seeing the resilient people of this city flood to the stadium to grab a pasty, pick up a programme and watch Plymouth Argyle play against visiting Gillingham was a wonderful piece of normality in these distressing and difficult times.
The atmosphere was mixed; the unbridled joy that should have been felt upon finally returning to Home Park was tempered with sadness and ultimately, perspective. There was still a sense of defiance though, reminiscent of the England/France fixture at Wembley following the attacks in Paris.
The game itself was a good one, made all the better with Luke Jephcott’s exhilarating 88th minute winner.
The raucous reaction it created was a timely reminder that amongst debates of Financial Fair Play, VAR and the rest of the white noise that the sport creates, football can be a great force for good, bringing communities together and creating a chink of light among the darkness.