Kane-less is more: Spurs should accept Man City offerings…

Editor F365
Harry Kane Ryan Mason

Keep those mails coming to theeditor@football365.com.


Kane-less Spurs
I just saw the news about City offering players plus cash for Kane and it really made me wonder if selling him might really be the best option. Now the players mentioned in the swap deal were Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez, Silva and Laporte. Now I am a Spurs fan so this is not an unbiased observation from a neutral but I really think that we might profit in the long term by selling Kane and getting Jesus and Laporte + cash.

To clarify: I love Harry Kane. I think is the most complete striker in the world right now with his finishing, his passing, his movement and all-around game being near perfect. However I do think that Spurs have become what Guardiola once called, “The Harry Kane-team”. I think the way we play is too focused on Harry Kane. We build the team completely around one player and when he has an off day everything falls apart. If you want to have success as a club your whole identity can’t be just one player. You need a system, a football philosophy and a squad that can play 50-60 games per season while rotating a bit. What you don’t need is one super player who wins us games single-handedly when he has a good game but completely keeps us from developing any kind of a self-sustained system that’s not reliant on him. Now I know that other clubs have big superstars who’s injuries would definitely be a blow to the team but none are as reliant on a single player as we are.
So back to my thoughts about a player swap+cash from City – If we were to take Laporte and Jesus we would be filling a gaping hole in central defense and now would only be missing a top class right back to complete our first team defensive line-up. Gabriel Jesus is a quality striker and would not need to get used to a new league, I think he could slot in quite seamlessly and he would be our first striker. After that, all we would really need is the aformentioned RB, a back up striker (who would now be easier to get because he won’t be guarenteed second fiddle as it is now w/ Kane) and maybe a quality RW seeing as Bale probably won’t come back after the Euros. Sell some dross to gather funds for an RB, ST and a RW, I am thinking Lamela, Sissoko, Lucas, Aurier and Winks. Bring Skipp and Sessegnon back to the squad and we have a lovely, balanced squad that can truly compete on multiple fronts and can create some sort of a playing style that’s NOT reliant on one player.
My starting line-up for this hypothetical Spurs team would be:

Lamptey/Aarons  Rodon    Laporte       Reguilon
Hojbjerg                Ndombele
A new RW           Alli           Son

I’d love to hear other Spurs fans views on the matter, what do you think?
Sibbi, Icelandic Spurs fan


Kane doubts
Jerome (Bristol Spur), this must be the most nonsensical argument I have ever heard. The best players make it easy for other players to play with them. Maradona (the greatest player in my lifetime) by definition played with players who were not as good as him. Didn’t stop him bringing the other players with him to two World Cup finals and dragging a Napoli team to win Serie A.

The best players don’t run around the pitch doing sweet fa while their team is playing a difficult match against local rivals – Scotland the other day. They make things happen.
I don’t rate Kane as a captain on the pitch – I have no idea what goes on in the dressing room, but I’ve never seen him organising the team on the pitch. Compare him to Thomas Müller the other day against Portugal. And the two times he’s had to step up to the plate in the two biggest matches he’s ever played in, the World Cup Semifinal against Croatia, and the Champions League final against Liverpool, he’s done nothing.

Maybe he’ll do it today against the Czech Republic… but I have my doubts.
Charles (glad the boring part of the Euros is nearly over)


Gilmour and the stats
Surely, everyone knows the saying: There are three kinds of lies, damned lies and statistics. This doesn’t mean that statistics don’t mean anything and can’t be used to accurately make a point, but that they can be wrongly used and interpreted to make whatever point you want to make.

Myself, having watched England vs Scotland, thought it was a fairly average game in which Scotland raised their game as usual against England, who failed tactically to overcome a plucky and obdurate opponent. My eyes told me that England’s attack and defence were too distance, Foden was our most threatening player yet we were relatively comfortable for most of the match. I didn’t think most of our players were particularly good and our forwards were particularly poor though isolated. Kane was the worst player on the pitch. On the other side I could see that Gilmour played relatively well, though probably not as well as everyone else thought as he made a couple of mistakes which could have led to goals, and O’Donnell had a much better game than he did against the Czechs. I could also see Lyndon Dykes pulling Mings out of position almost at will yet still pose absolutely zero goal threat.

So off in search of statistics to back all this up I went (whoscored.com). Sure enough England had all the possession but ended up with fewer shots than Scotland. If we use average rating as measure of Scotland’s performance then they had upped their game from Tuesday as it was very slightly higher (0.1) against England. They also made fewer tackles against England despite having more possession which I will equate to them winning the tactical victory. So I think the stats prove that Scotland were indeed “plucky” and “obdurate”, raised their game (perhaps not significantly) and that England lost the tactical battle.

Now looking to try and prove that England’s forwards were isolated, I decided to have a look at the heat maps. This actually showed Phillips picking up a position further forward than I thought he had, though I really don’t remember him doing anything of note. The problem here seems to be that Mason Mount touched the ball most in a wide left area, where Shaw and Sterling also most touched the ball, as well as Grealish when he came on. As our full backs didn’t exactly get forward (like Robertson) Phillips bringing the ball out would likely have had Kane and Foden on the centre and right of the pitch, and the rest of the England attack crammed on the left. In addition, England’s centre backs touched the ball in much deeper positions than Scotland’s, Mings in particular occupying deeper positions than Stones. Will Harry Maguire ability to bring out the ball improve England’s attacking play?

My assessment of our forwards was sort of right as Sterling and Foden got average ratings of 6.38 and 6.62. However, Mason Mount has to be so considered the most threatening player as he had 3 shots, including our only one on target and a man of the match rating of 7.7. This surprised me as I thought he was particularly poor on the night, missing a good opportunity. Also, as England’s play was disjointed, you have to look at the man playing in the number 10 role. Mount has had an excellent personal game statistically but has not helped the team, and I suspect a lot of that has to do with how much time he spent on the left. Whilst Foden rates lower, he had more dribbles than Mount and had the offside chance which won’t have been counted in the stats (though it was excellent) he also played 30 minutes less. I would have moved Foden centrally in place of Mount at half time and had that happened, I would t have put it past Foden to put up better stats.

Kane was statistically the worst player on the pitch with a score of 6.1 (excluding subs). No need for further discussion.

Here it gets a bit weird. Apparently Gilmour was nowhere near man of the match. In fact, of everyone who started the game, only Kane had a worse rating than Gilmour’s 6.23. So I had a look deeper into the stats and it turns out Gilmour didn’t do much of statistical note: no shots, no key passes, no dribbles, not fouled. He did make 2 tackles but also made 2 fouls and was dispossessed twice so net negative there. He didn’t even last the whole game. With those kinds of stats the memes about him having England players in his pocket are hard to justify. So what did he do to justify the man of the match award? Passing apparently, more passes than any other Scotland player with a passing accuracy of 91%, and 3 accurate long balls. Some have said he’s the Scottish N’golo Kante but with those stats he’s surely the Scottish Pirlo? I’m interpreting this as the statistics backing me up though I think he was better than his overall rating suggests.

Apparently Stephen O’Donnell was basically as good against England as he was against Czech Republic (i.e. average) so maybe he isn’t owed an apology? I don’t know how to prove Dykes pulled Mings out of position but he did have some shots (I don’t remember how threatening they actually were though). A pass completion of sub 40% ought to be a very good indication of his quality though (I.e. rubbish).

So what’s the point? Well apart from the fact that I’ve found statistics to support most of my personal opinions from the game, I’m actually quite worried about the disparity in statistics for Gilmour and the judgement of his performance by basically everyone. Even if the rating was harsh, it’s very hard to justify man of the match based on those statistics. Similarly, whilst Mount looked good on paper, his ability to not actually be where he should potentially cost England some fluidity and certainly isolated Foden and especially Kane, having a knock on effect on England’s performance. “The English Iniesta” he was not. But if I wanted to be a dick about it (and regularly do) I could say Gilmour was Scotland’s worst player and Mount should have been man if the match.

Although there will be plenty of things playing a part in our assessment of Gilmour (we love to hype young, British players playing for Premier League clubs mostly), as someone who likes to think of the world in a scientific, evidence based way, I find all this quite troubling. I’m sure someone will write in and explain about “intangible” qualities that can’t be quantified but that’s about as good an explanation as saying a player is lucky or the Force is strong with certain players. I need some to quantify this shit and explain how players like Pogba can get such ratings yet United get more points when he doesn’t play. After all, if we can’t evidence what we see with our own eyes how can we be sure we even exist?
Ash Metcalfe (or am I?)


England lack pride and spirit
As a Charlton fan for 66 years, I used to do regular columns as
Dr Kish’s “Favourite Glaswegian.” (Over 5,000 hits).

The pundits like Ian Wright – rarely destructive) – Nevill, Scholes, Carragher, Shearer – can be insightful and entertaining BUT some like Keane and Ferdinand forget what they say can put others out of work.

Leo’s Southgate “small team” critique may well have some validity but it is in no way helpful to the England camp to read such knee-jerk comments about their coach in the middle of the EURO competition.

Southgate can’t do much about someone like Kane who’s simply run out of steam.

What I saw lacking in the England side was national pride and spirit, something the “Celtic” nations regularly display. And which Scotland, the underdogs had in spades.

It was the same to a lesser degree with the English rugby squad this year, who also failed to match Scots (and Les Galles) with National pride and never-say-die spirit.

On another note, if a rugby player gets sent off he goes even if it’s a red card. NOBODY argues with the ref.

Yet a footballer who is no part of an offence, will mob the ref in an effort to have a decision reversed; those already with a yellow card themselves earning an inevitable red card.
(It never seems to dawn that referees don’t change their minds).

Roy Keane, a brilliant but also, in my view, a persistent and often illegal tackler is a pot calling kettles black. He has little regard, in common with some other “experts,” that their high-earning words may add another nail in the coffin of somebody else’s job.

I love both football – I played into my mid-fifties; then reffed – and rugby.

It’s great to see both codes alive and well after COVID and even better to see the fans coming back.

Harking back to national spirit, at Wembley, the 2,000 Scots fans – pished or not – totally out-shouted their English counterparts.

And some even stopped to clear up the mountain of litter in London after the match……

Best wishes


Mount and Chilwell nonsense
So being a cynic who cant take things at face value..surely the Chelsea ‘lads’ all went out in the piss after the Scotland game, and thats why Mount and Chilwell have had thier little phone alert.

Because otherwise it truely is a nonsense.
TGWolf(Covid was always going to catch up with this tournament)THFC


So, Scotland, a land where you get free University places, free prescriptions and now if you get Covid an Englishman has to self isolate in your place? And they want out?
Mark Kelly


Colourbox World Cup Theme
In its day The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme (1983) by Colourbox took the title. Still a favourite with me though the production is of it’s time. So cool it was on the 4AD record label and made the John Peel Festive Fifty from which I taped it. Must be in the attic somewhere.
Carlos (Still shocked by Gosen on Pavard)


How to increase the EURO 2020 stakes
As much as I absolutely loved the Danish game last night, these final group stage games are leaving me feeling a bit empty. There should be more at stake, eliminating only one team from 2/3 of the groups simply isn’t all that exciting. So I had an idea. What if we combine the current 6 groups of 4 start to the tournament with the format of the first Nations League which, let’s face it, frankly surprised us all at how good it was.

Group stage 1: 6 groups of 4, top two qualify (3 games each)
Group stage 2: 4 groups  of 3, only top team qualifies (2 games each)

Same number of games played by the eventual winners, but more at stake in the early stages.
Alan, Portishead (England Denmark)