Harry Kane is just not ‘trustworthy’ with ‘real stakes’; is it the Spurs curse?

Editor F365
Harry Kane has blown it again
Harry Kane has blown it again

Harry Kane fell at the Champions League semi-final hurdle with Bayern Munich. Is that funny? Plus, views on Man Utd and more.

Send your thoughts on all subjects to theeditor@football365.com


Are we in the Real matrix?
They have to be fu**ing with us, right ? This has to be against some laws of probabilities or maths or something? However I think I have narrowed down how they seem to be doing this to a few potential reason:

1. It is a conspiracy by big pharma – I know what you are thinking, but hear me out. Madrid has around a billion or so fans I guess. They are purposely leaving it late to weaken the hearts of these people leading to an increase in sales of (some ?) medicine. Doesn’t sound implausible now does it ?

2. Ancelotti is actually a Don and is forcing his players not to score before the 80th min. Why you ask – because he is bored probably – has won it the normal way too many times

3. They all want to star in a Hollywood movie about football and so they are trying to win as many “dramatic” matches as they can to make the script of an awesome movie. Sucks for them Hollywood knows only one type of football and its not actually football.

4. We are actually in the matrix and Real Madrid is some sort of mutating bug like Agent smith which seems to be able to make them win in the last minutes of a football game.

Which of the above is true – we need a good old F365 poll to find out.
Apoorv, MUFC (Delhi, India)

READ: Real Madrid have Tuchel and Stoke City to thank for another Champions League final


…Like the White Walkers in Game of Thrones (ASOIAF for the real OGs), Madrid aren’t dead until you burn the body.

Also, is it too late for Harry Kane to join Madrid as Mbappe’s back-up (assuming he’ll play 9 – how can you displace Vini from the LW in the form he’s been in the last couple years at least) so that he can finally win a trophy?
MAW, LA Gooner (Not blaming HK for the loss but that missed chance minutes before Madrid equalized – he scores that in a nondescript league game or international friendly. With real stakes on the line – like the skied penalty against France – he just isn’t as trustworthy.)


Spurs and the curse
I’ve an ongoing joke wherein whenever anyone mentions Harold Kane esq. I go “who?” (I’m genuinely not bitter, I wasn’t with Bale either) but tonight’s result has left me at a bit of a crossroads. I don’t resent the move but there’s an element of schadenfreude to it all, isn’t there? I also starting reflecting to my girlfriend about the psychology of Tottenham and how engrained it must be in some of our old players (despite how many go on to huge trophy hauls) and how Kane must be feeling tonight…

Ah well, he’s always welcome back The Lane 2.0.
Jon (was more amused at the prospect Dier would win the CL than owt), Lincoln

📣TO THE COMMENTS! Is Harry Kane cursed? Join the debate here


Look at that from Davies though…
Wow. Everyone will probably talk about Real Madrid’s continual ability to win from behind under the greatest of duress, and debate whether De Ligt’s possible equalizer was wrongly negated by an overeager linesman, but I see what I see. And what I see is always through deep red tint and a very Liverpudlian-centric lens.

This season alone I’ve watched Luis Diaz cutting in from the left wing, along the edge of the 18-yard box, seemingly around 300 times; not once has he been able to uncork a strike with anywhere near the venom, accuracy and conviction Alphonso Davies exhibited tonight, and on his chocolate leg no less.

After Davies’ bullet, I was shaping to say something about Bayern being very worthy if they went on to best Dortmund in the final, thereby breaking their tie with us as one of two clubs on six European Cups. Then the Madrid team bus duly pulled into the Bernabeu making Davies a mere footnote, just like Luis Diaz is a footnote for most of the matches I most care about.
Eric, Los Angeles CA


Eddie Howe for Man Utd?
Feel free to call me a sh*t stirrer if you like, but in the discussion about who could possibly replace Ten Hag there is a name which hasn’t been mentioned that in theory could work quite nicely; Eddie Howe.

Intense and attacking style of play: Check

Gets more out of players previously written off: Check

Non-controversial/very bland and focused on the football: Check

Underrated man management style: Check

Could work with Dan Ashworth as DoF: Check

Can manage a team through an injury crisis: Check

Newcastle would be as difficult, if not more so, with letting Howe leave than they have been about Ashworth, but would Utd fans feel more or less positive with Howe than any of the others who have been mentioned? Tuchel is short term and not one to build. Southgate’s club bona fides are not there at all, at least Howe has managed in the Champions League and learned some hard lessons. Potter doesn’t seem a Utd manager at all.

You need someone who is going to get more out of players who are now much less than they could be. It’s the reverse of the Newcastle situation he inherited; he’s upgraded through spending for sure, but the biggest successes he’s had has been to take mediocrity and make it play better. He could turn around players like Rashford, imprint a style and *shudder* culture which is very Man Utd, and spend well when needed on players who really fit.

Utd fans would turn their noses up I’m sure but you’ve tried big names (Van Gaal, Mourinho), you’ve tried home grown (Ole), you’ve tried trendy European up and comers (ETH), you’ve even tried established PL stalwarts (Moyes), how have they all worked out?

Howe might be thinking its better to move while his stock is high to one of the biggest clubs in the world rather than wait for the inevitable upgrade Newcastle might seek in 2-3 years time if they become truly elite level.

Don’t get me wrong, as a Newcastle fan I don’t want this to happen, but genuinely interested as to whether Utd fans would see Howe as an option.
James, Leeds

👉 Thomas Tuchel the new favourite for Man Utd job after inevitable Ten Hag sack
👉 Ten Hag sack may now be inevitable, but where Man Utd go next remains an insoluble puzzle


Why burn down Erik’s house?
Can people stop with the “burn it all down and start again” attitude. It’s so juvenile and honestly pretty ridiculous. If your roof was missing shingles, the heating was inconsistent and the basement prone to leaking, you wouldn’t say “ah F*** it, I’ll burn it down and rebuild because it’s frustrating”, and not like your rich middle eastern neighbour’s house.

This season has been a dud, but one with many mitigating circumstances. Between injuries, poor luck on the field, take over talk and dissent from individuals, as well as people’s own personal misgivings, it’s been one of the most challenging years for any PL manager I can think of.

It’s going down as technically the worst, but I’d put the year before last as the worst. That was when they had a full squad, but literally downed tools cause they didn’t like the manager, and finished 7th.

ETH was brought in to do the following:
1. Introduce a positive style of play
2. Rebuild the team
3. Trust in youth & develop players
4. Instil discipline
5. Get United winning trophies.

1) In comes ETH, and without a massive clear out (contracts ending aside), he managed to win 75% of his opening 25 games (including wins vs City, LFC, Arsenal) and ended the season in 3rd, with a cup win and final lost(all that with more or less no striker I’d add). There was even ‘title talk’ at one point. Expectations shattered, but mitigating reasons would come this season (a reborn LFC & Spurs, rise of Villa). The team’s style of play, and defensive structure all dramatically fall away, the more injuries he has, and the more often he has to rely on Jose and Ole signings. Coincidence?

2) “Burn it down, give the new manager time to start again with youth and a rebuild; even it it’s goes badly, and even if it takes time” is said every three years now it seems. ETH has begun the process of getting rid of the waste and the players incapable of playing his style of play, and he has said as much himself in his most recent interview. He’s doing exactly what people want, and his first season aside, it’s going as some scream it should go.

3) This cannot be debated really. No team gives youth a chance like United, and ETH has done it better than any coach. Granted, sometimes his hands are tied, but Garnacho, Mainoo, Kwambala, as well as signing Hojlund have shown their abilities this year. Shaw, Maguire, Dalot, McT and Rashford all looked reborn, but one fell away, and one is perma-crocked.

4) Rashford’s lateness was punished. Sancho and Ronaldo’s outbursts were reacted to correctly. F365 will justify why poor attitudes means clubs should act, and many agree, except when it’s United, because if you can score goals in Saudi, or play well in 3 CL games: the coach is wrong and you can do and say as you please. Not Salah, not Cancelo, but Ronaldo and Sancho get a pass. Right.

5) There’s no denying his pedigree in reaching finals. One win, one lose and one to come. That in two years is very good, and again, when everyone’s available, no team laughs in their face or confidently bets they’ll lose (Even Stewie can’t say it without a ***). They won’t even say it now vs City. (Stop with “just play the kids & leave the rest behind”. They’d get destroyed, blamed by the same lot anyways, and we don’t need youth embarrassment vs treble winners)

I’d implore people to listen to ETH’s interview with Neville where he details things from transfers (wanted Kane and DeJong, got Hojlund and Casimiro), he explains his tactical choices (and how what’s available means it’s constantly modified + impossible to implement an Ajax style), and more.

At this point, firing him eats into the budget, adds further risk by who they replace, it’s buys the sh*tebags in the squad more time, and puts the project in another new direction. I’d say give him his final year, get rid of the clearly uncommitted and poor quality, get a striker, midfielders and defenders who can stay fit, and if all doesn’t end well- there’s a refreshed, ready to go, young squad for someone new in 2025.

So let ETH add the clearly needed shingles to the roof, let him fix the heating he knows doesn’t work right, let him stop the leaks in the basement as he did when he first came in. If he fails then, then we can call him a failure, not now, to be sent to Munich to go win titles, while we get what they clearly don’t want in Tuchel.


Why is anybody defending Ten Hag?
My goodness there were some daft missives in favour of Eric Ten Hag in the mailbox recently. Makes me wonder if he’s started some sort of bot farm to spread pro ETH propaganda.

First off, let’s tackle the big one that everyone is debating recently – injuries. Now according to GiveMeSport, United are 7th in terms of total days lost to injury this season. Now you might retort that they are concentrated in one area for United which makes it worse. But when you are better off than Brighton, Palace and Brentford, all of whom have outplayed United this season, the excuse starts to lose it’s validity.

Secondly, lets look at results and performances when the team was relatively fully available. In fact, let’s cast our minds backs to the very first game of the season where Shaw, Varane, Martinez and Mount were all present and correct. Wolves ran through United at will, United fluking a win with a late Varane header. This sets the pattern for the season.

With a strong line-up, United might be able to nick a one goal win – Luton, Villa, Wolves away. Forest at home. At best! Without everyone available, the tactical and systemic shortcomings cannot be offset by the fact that a full strength United has better personnel than most teams. A few injuries and you’re now getting pounded by Bournemouth and Fulham at home. There has barely been a convincing performance all season. Chelsea at home springs to mind and we know all about their inconsistency. We have a negative goal difference. In May.

Thirdly- the signings. Mount – signs him with no idea what to do with him. We chase all summer for a backup/compliment to Casemiro. When Casemiro is forced into emergency CB duty, who comes into midfield? No not the DM you chased all summer, but an aging Eriksen who can barely run these days. Onana & Hojlund – I actually like both of these but jury is out.

I think it is becoming clear that the relative success in the first season was achieved because ETH basically saw he wouldn’t be able to implement his ideas in the first season so just played Ole ball. Now we are seeing his philosophy in full force. And it sucks. No wonder his Ajax team weren’t able to close out a dominant position against bloody Spurs, who were actually passed the Poch peak domestically.

Rant over.


How is Ratcliffe qualified?
‘Only Me’ made a good point in Wednesday afternoon’s mailbox, about how Man Utd fans should be more concerned about Ratcliffe than about the former/still owners, the Glazers.

What part of Ratcliffe’s CV leads anyone to believe that he’s remotely qualified to lead a complete rebuild of the club?

His company owns a middling team in the French league that gets through managers at an alarming rate. I guess that’s the United way at the moment, so he gets a pass there.

His chief sporting advisor oversaw a massively successful cycling team. But then that team shed its sponsor after becoming embroiled in a doping scandal.

Moving swiftly on, he’s obscenely wealthy. But he has less than a third share of the club, so he’s unlikely to be injecting his own personal capital into it for the majority benefit of the family that wouldn’t sell him the whole thing.

He’s a major proponent of Brexit, based overseas, so he knows about Europe? He still runs marathons in his mid 70s?

As Alan Sugar says when confronting a dubious potential apprentice, I’m struggling here.
Martin, BRFC


I see a Bad Wolf sinking…
Football makes idiots of football fans. It’s made an idiot of me, for sure. I try and be better these days, but when your football team is misbehaving, it’s really hard to be rational about it, just like it is when our children have their dickhead moments.

When Roy Hodgson was appointed at Liverpool, I declared that a safe pair of hands was exactly what the club needed. And don’t even get me started on Luis Suarez, although to give me some credit, I was happy to see him leave, knowing full well that he was a proper baller who’s absence left us weaker, but Christ, what a car crash of a human being he was back then.

Anyway, this stupid game and the teams that we fairly arbitrarily plant our personal flags in can mess with your minds, especially when that team is in the doldrums, and it’s even worse when it’s because the root cause of this is sh*t owners. Man Utd fans are really suffering right now, and I almost feel sorry for them. Almost, but not, obviously.

But Badwolf’s letter in the mailbox – mate, you need someone close to take you to one side and have a quiet word. It’s fine for you to be constantly looking for angles and excuses that, in your mind, appears to justify United’s travails, even if one of them is look, it was the mighty Crystal Palace lads, because football messes with us all at some point. But to be so detached from the very reasonable version of reality that says ETH is not up to the task that you call someone who might think he has had his chance and it’s time for a change a “cretin”, and to accuse them of lacking perspective…where do I send my bill for my broken irony meter?

Will I mention you conflating those who see Tuchel as a decent option with those that are happy to take money from the middle-east? I think I did. And of course, the obvious irony there is that you would absolutely do the mental gymnastics that City fans have done if it made you champions again, this is an absolute certainty. You’d find peace in Donald Trump becoming your new manager if it meant winning the league.

Good luck in the FA Cup final BTW – it is Erik’s only chance of staying in the post, and I can assure you that all non-United fans have everything crossed that this will happen.
Mat (here’s hoping the new manager doesn’t wreck my head in the same manner)


Rising to Stewie…
We all know Stewie is a troll, and to even give him attention like this, is exactly what he wants, but genuinely, does he (you?) not see the fallacy and hypocrisy of your own words?

Arsenal are constantly derided after any performance that isn’t a win, or even when United have lost – but mysteriously there’s no opinions at all after a win?? – and the fact that they spent £200 million this summer is used as a mighty stick to beat them with, that failing in winning the league and/or Champions League means they’re a small club who always bottle it or whatever other shite you want to say in that moment.

But you are aware Man City, Spurs, and Chelsea – the shite team that Havertz should be scoring more than two against because they’re not in the top 6-7 of the league even though you flippantly switch between the historic ‘Big 6’ and a current top 6 to make whatever point you think you’re making – all spent more than £200 million this summer, so are they not expected to win the league over, and generally be better than, Arsenal?

Oh, and Bayern also spent £200 million this summer, but ignore that, surely Arsenal should have beaten a team that has made five CL semi-finals in the last 10 seasons, with a CL winning coach who you wouldn’t be surprised if he made his own 3rd final in five years with three different teams? Nah, Arsenal should have walked it the bottlers.

We get it, you hate Arsenal – and Wenger, whatever he did to you that you still blame him for everything – and especially Arsenal fans. Fair enough, you need to constantly stew(ie – eh, eh get it??) over them and shout loudest when they fail, but you are aware that you’re exactly like those Arsenal fans you claim to hate so much, right?

Like, I assume you do, as some of the points in your mails over the years have been somewhat intelligent, so it’s clearly just an act or whatever, but you are just the Twitter Arsenal fans that you despise, in reverse, but writing here, spouting shite about how if Arsenal don’t win anything “they’re useless and a small club, and everyone is wrong because they got excited and I knew they were rubbish all along”.

I do agree at some point Arteta is going to have to win a trophy (more than his sole FA Cup) to be considered a success here (still more than the Poch’s greatest Spurs team ever, mind) and Arsenal have spent a lot amount of money – although most clubs do these days unfortunately, so it can hardly be judged as the barometer it used to be, but obviously it is still something that is pertinent – but season on season, they have gotten better, objectively.

Sure, Arsenal might lose these next two games and you’ll be proven right once again, but this season has been better than last season, performance wise at the very least. With two games left, Arsenal have conceded fifteen less goals, have scored the same amount, and are one point shy of their total last season, while also making the Champions League QF’s and narrowly losing to a team that has repeatedly spanked them when they were last there, while also lasting longer in a second consecutive title race against the UAE Man City. If that isn’t progress, then what is?

Obviously, this mail plays into your hands, as you gleefully rub them together sitting there thinking you’re winding up Arsenal’s fans, like this one, but I just don’t get it. I don’t get what you get from your inane, false and hypocritical mails, which then just undermine any point you’re trying to make, nor do I get how you see yourself as any different when you’re the exact same as all the other fans who shout hot air and tribal nothingness at one another – but maybe that’s the point? Who knows.
Neill, (this comes across very Rafa-esque, doesn’t it?), Ireland


Championship gonna Championship
I wrote in at the weekend, after the final round of games, when post John Eustace Birmingham were relegated after being promotion chasing at the time of his bizarre sacking for a Hollywood appointment that was all sizzle and no steak.

My own club also did similar in removing Tony Mowbray, play off chasing, only to end up closer to relegation than the playoffs.

Hull sacking Liam Rosenior seems of a similar ilk. I feel it’s a decision that will come back to bite them hard but I’d love to hear the thoughts of Hull fans on the matter.

I’m not sure why Championship teams (actually I am… money) want to go up so quickly when, of last years three promoted teams, two have or are in the process of being, walloped back down and the third is currently in the relegation places. Interesting that the promoted team giving the best account of themselves is1 Luton who have had the most time together and organic growth at their core.

In any case, Roseniors sacking could open up massive opportunities for my own club Sunderland. A progressive young Manager to work with a progressive young squad. Out of work so no release clause due and he seems to be a good operator at Championship level. I can only hope.
Edward Canhands (After 27 years of supporting Sunderland it’s the hope that kills you)


A little bit of love…
What an absolutely delightful read Andy Jennings’ piece was on visiting Arsenal. Though you had a try and spoil it with your slightly trolling headline suggesting it might be the sort of one-eyed nonsense and vitriol that seems to fill up the mailbox these days…

More of this loveliness please! And a bit less hate!
John, North London