Is Southgate the one for Spurs? F*ck no…

Date published: Sunday 29th September 2019 12:44

Send your mails to…

Southgate doesn’t turn everyone on
Southgate?! Gareth bloody Southgate?!? Please, for the love of god let this be tabloid excretion and not based on some semblance of fact.
Unfortunatly for us Levy has previous in making some strange decisions when it comes to managerial appointments. He tends to swing from good to bad and back again. Jol, Ramos, Redknapp, AVB, Sherwood, Poch. Pattern much?

Ive nothing but love for Gareth for what he gave the nation last summer but good god he’s an average club manager at best. Managing a national team takes a different skill set, a different mentality that just will not transfer to this Spurs team in this day and age.

With Allegri available Levy will go for Southgate will he?
Oh F*ck Off The S*n

Poch In!
TGWolf (If it does all go tits up like the media-fuelled self-fulfilling prophecy it feels like atm how bout we go in for Poch’s football dad, working magic at Leeds as it so happens) THFC


Ralph Hasenhuttl – The Emperor has no clothes
The air of optimism around St Mary’s at the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl was palpable, given the malaise the club found itself under the management of Pellegrino and Hughes. His CV from RB Liepzig; although limited with only two full seasons, was impressive given their lofty Bundesliga heights and the free flowing, counter attacking style of football he produced. It appeared a savvy appointment from the Saints boardroom with an expectation he could deliver something similar in the EPL, or was it? Based on an excellent analysis by Alex Falk ( – 3/3/18), I would argue that football template Hasenhuttl created in Germany hasn’t been translated or is a pastiche at Southampton.

The 4-2-2-2 was the standard RB Liepzig formation. It starts with two capable CB’s and two wing backs without defensive responsibilities. At Saints, Hasenhuttl has continued to dabble with three CB’s, with a single defensive midfielder (Romeu) as cover. Rarely has he played two advancing midfielders to support his two strikers so that Saints can overload on a counter attack. Maybe the formation is too narrow for the EPL and Hasenhuttl has abandoned it.

Hasenhuttl has an ad hoc approach to pressing that often looks haphazard and draining on his players. It is highly aggressive and without quick, agile players (think Keita, Forsberg, Demme; as opposed to the dour Romeu and Hojberg) the shape of the Saints is often compromised. The pressing is often very deep into the opposition half, yet can be sprung easily back through the middle of the park providing options for the opponents to counter attack.

Wing Backs:
Crucial to the Hasenhuttl methodology is the wing backs who can push forward. At Leipzig he had interchangeable models in Klostermann, Bernado and Halstenberg, however, at Saints he has had to unearth academy graduates (Valery, Vokins, Targett) with limited success. Thus, he’s constrained himself with Bertrand and Soares – or neither. Regardless of the players selected, this now appears counter intuitive having Djenepo and Boufal as natural wingers occupying a similar space.

Strength in attack:
RB Leipzig strength was in attack and they tended to out-score opponents. With a leaky Saints defence, one would expect Hasenhuttl to apply the same logic. With German-Danish duo (Werner/Poulson) at his disposal, incisive and quick counter attacks made them difficult for opponents to defend. Their specialty was to allow the focus on the two strikers, whilst others could drift between the lines or arrive late into the box. At Saints, the young Che Adams is a work in progress, but Hasenhuttl has played him one out or alternatively played Danny Ings – rarely have the two played together. Occupying the opponents defense with two strikers, players like Redmond/Djenepo/Boufal will benefit.

Midfield General:
At the heart of the Hasenhuttl system is an old-fashioned midfield general. Keita and Demme at Leipzig and now Hojberg at Saints are those officers. The fulcrum of both attack and defense resides with this position and Falk noted that it appears ‘unbalanced’ in the modern game. It also places emphasis on that player imparting his will on the midfield battle which is difficult to achieve over 90mins.

Seb Stafford Bloor wrote that Saints maybe marching a little faster these days, but until Hasenhuttl places his imprimatur onto the team with a definitive strategy (regardless of the quality of players at his disposal) and style of play, he will continue to founder and remain exposed.

Paul J, Melbourne, Australia


Grounds for concern
There were points were I was literally watching Liverpool through my fingers. It was super ugly and whilst it was clear that if we scored they would open up and present more chances, it seemed that nobody knew how we were going to get through in the first place.

Since Mane had that melt down a few weeks ago Salah has been dreadful. He’s always looking to pass now, often to people who are either in worse positions or can’t be reached easily. It’s spoiling his productivity and he needs to snap out of it and go back to being selfish. I used to think if he passed more we would score ten more a season, the last few weeks have shown that we will score ten fewer.

If a team is going to play that deep and congested I think we will need someone like AOC more often. He moves across the lines and disrupts defensive structures whereas our other midfielders are more concerned about retaining possession. AOC will lose the ball more because he takes more risk but he will also create space for other attackers and score more himself.

7 out of 7 is incredible but the next three fixtures will be really tough whilst Man City have some relatively straight forward games.
Minty, LFC


…Lady luck is a beautiful mistress,
But capricious she is and won’t always save us.
Aidan, Lfc


The best ever?
In the history of the game, who’s a better passer than KDB?
Al (he doesn’t score enough goals to be a true great, but crikey, the lad is a pure joy to watch) 3rd


Sterling’s view
I am surprised that nobody is really talking about it, but within this whole Bernado Silva’s racism issue…am I the only one who sort of wonders what Raheem Sterling thinks of it all? (Wonder no more – MC)

I don’t have a great deal to add, but I think he is in a weird position after all the wonderful stuff he’s done to try and bring some light to the racism issue that he and others have faced. I also would give a penny for his view on Pep’s unflinching support for Silva through it. I would love to know if he feels it’s racist or not.

Even if he reads the mailbox I feel like he probably won’t write in to let us know.
Minty, LFC


Dire ditties 
The most boring club song has to be Chelsea FC’s. Every time I hear that song before kickoff I wanna 🤮 or climb the walls. Which club song makes you wish to murder someone?
Ded Revil


City’s new third kit
All I can say is well done Laurence Llewellyn – Bowen ! 🤣

Who arranges these deals? Will any fans feel comfortable wearing those things?

Please let me know, City fans !
Chris, Croydon


…Following the Charity, sorry, Community Shield I sent an email to these esteemed pages. It wasn’t the wordiest. Just a short missive bestowing my admiration of Manchester City’s, sponsorless, old skool kit.

In keeping with the theme of that email, I’ll ensure that my observations on the kit they’re currently wearing in the match vs Everton are suitably succinct.

What. The. Actual. F*ck?
James Outram, Wirral


VAR venting
I am struggling to understand the need to sterilise and remove the soul of football
I am a Charlton fan, so admittedly don’t know what it feels like to be denied a league or cup by a dodgy decision, but, as a fan of football, I enjoy mistakes – as much as I enjoy a wonder goal, a cheeky penalty a goal saving tackle etc…

What I cannot comprehend is the need for analysis by another ref 100’s of miles away, with camera angles that leave a lot to be desired and technology not advanced enough to capture the correct frames, (then re-analysed by a group of ex-footballers in coldly lit studio’s, clinging on to the last breath of their careers with every fibre, knowing that blurting an opinion gives them another breath of life so they can turn up next week, another gripe, maybe for another day!) And after all that, I am still not sure we can all be happy the correct decisions are being made, so why bother?

If a camera view shows an armpit (yes, an armpit!) decides a goal/game, I’m done with watching elite level football. I would rather the goal goes in, and we marvel at the angle, trajectory, skill of the goal. I urge people to watch games with an understanding that the referee is a human, does the best job he can do, is unbiased, and will maybe make a mistake. Oh well, I’ll scream and shout for my team to win, sing songs that have been sung for decades, and then go the pub after to argue about who should and shouldn’t be playing on midfield. And ulitmately know that what goes around comes around.

I enjoy the debate of the ghost goal in the champions league, the Lampard no-goal vs Germany and all the pub-bo**ocks chat that is compulsory. That’s the point of the game. This is what makes football football. This is what gives football it’s soul, it’s human personality. The ability to make a mistake, for Gerrard to slip, for an offside goal to stand…..this is it’s heritage, it’s what is woven into its tapestry for our future generations to look at.

I’m pretty sure all the premier League mainstays will disagree. They have eliteism syndrome, and are forgetting that they are where they are in spite of refs making dodgy decisions for the last 100+ years. A thickle bunch.

What football bosses are doing is fixing something that wasn’t broken, as if the game must evolve using technology. The game evolves organically, why force it?
Joe (feeling better after this rant) London


Brighton local lads
So as a Brighton fan i came up with the following list – East or West Sussex are our catchment area as only Crawley are a league club in either county.

GK – Joe Day, formerly at Newport as number 1 for almost 200 games, now backup at Cardiff City after signing in the summer

CB – Lewis Dunk, captain , leader, legend. Never heard of him but guess he’s okay
CB – Steve Cook, Bournemouth vice captain, leader, legend. Good at clearances and i want to know if Daniel Storey still loves him
CB – Tommy Elphick, Brighton, Bournemouth and Villa captain, leader legend, promotion specialist (there’s a theme here, ive shoe horned two other CBs at wing back and theres more not in the team. We churn them out!)

LWB – Russell Martin, Wycombe, Peterborough, Norwich and Rangers (and Scotland). Also a regular captain. The Norfolk cafu. Out of position on the left but would do a job
RB – Adam Webster – Our record signing (allegedly?), bringing him home to Sussex. Hope he does well, early signs encouraging and the guy can play ball
CM – Gareth Barry – Villa stole him from us as a 16 year old. Tried to pay us £3k, we eventually got about £800k after a tribunal and an agreement for early payment when in trouble. Supposedly lost £200k from the early deal but huge for us given our situation at the time – look at us now! Big time captain for Villa, City, Everton and WBA and probably England for 10 mins in a friendly at some stage in the Sven/Capello era?
CM – Dean Hammond – another captain, with us (twice) and Leicester and Saints amongst others. Another Championship promotion specialist.
LW – Dean Cox – ‘We’ve got tiny Cox’ worth a place for that chant alone. Tore up league one back in the day.
RW – Solly March – Hard worker, properly talented and nice to see the talent and flair come out a bit more post-Hughton. Good to see him rise up as one of our own.
CF – Marcus Tudgay – no idea he was from Sussex but a staple on soccer Saturday for scoring goals galore

Surprising lack of attacking talent from two counties (East and West Sussex) however under Potter I do expect more local lads to break through!


Seb rules
I just wanted to say many thanks to all at Football365 for the consistency of imaginative and thought provoking writing we are all able to enjoy.

We have been spoilt on a diet of Winterburn, Stead and Storey for many years but now get to enjoy talents plucked from the mailbox amongst many others.

This email was inspired by Seb Stafford-Bloor’s missive on West Ham. As an Arsenal fan I am indifferent to West Ham but found myself genuinely fascinated by West Ham’s quiet evolution while reading.

Finally please, please, please never lose your acceptance of scrutiny and criticism within the mailbox. Everyone makes mistakes or says things without realising there could be another point of view they missed however admitting them publicly shows integrity and bravery.

I am sure I speak for many when I say Gracias, Merci and Dankeschon.
Balham Gooner

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