Manchester City are not breaking any rules, but what is the actual point in their brand of sterile global domination? And AFCON has been an absolute delight.
Send your thoughts on these subjects and more to email@example.com.
Who’s talking about the AFCON?
Admittedly I have not checked in on the mailbox since the Gooners defeated the REDS (oh my poor heart). But since the beginning of January I am yet to see a mail about the AFCON -maybe 365 don’t care enough-
Forget the EPL now (can I say EPL?). This is the most amazing and entertaining tourney playing right now. A tournament of underdogs (not anymore, since Nigeria plays Ivory coast in the final round. Jordan vs Qatar, those are real underdog stories).
Cape Verde has been a breath of fresh air, with young skillful forwards; if only they could score.
Equitorial Guinea with a professional defender playing as the focal point in attack and then bagging the golden boot of the tournament with five goals. Hold your head up Emilio Nsue – maybe now your club will think twice about sticking you at the back.
The Super Eagles have been a sleeping giant chicken for more than a decade. But have given us a little bit of cheer for these gloomy days (might be the worst time to be a Nigerian). Since we all know the Nigerian government have no interest in making the lives of Nigerians any bit better. On to the final against the bloody hosts.
READ MORE: The AFCON final features in Big Weekend
The hosts Ivory Coast who qualified virtue of finishing 3rd on 3 points and minus 3 goal difference. Yet to calculate the possibility of that except just imagining the hosts can’t be eliminated in the first round according to the laws of Mugabe 600 vs 894. Lol
Interesting point about DR Congo, they sang their national anthem by covering their mouths and making a pistol sign to their head. A lot goes on in Africa that’s not right but my humble mailboxers prefer to talk about just the Middle East because Manchester City just keeps winning everyone and everything (maybe it’s just the football y’all care about, stop faking the moral police).
Anyways on to the final and it will be bloody brilliant, Nigeria has always been the team every African country love to beat but against Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa all the way to the south ( sorry southie we roasted ya springbok).
Anybody would be bloody lucky to have Victor Osimhen leading the line – looking at Chelsea, perfect match. A little loose on the first touch but work rate and quality cannot be second guessed. Would work a whole backline to the bare bones all on his own service provided or not.
Better than the Euros I reckon
WAFF TOWN MAN (Maybe i should leave with Kloppo. Space at Wrexham??)
I’m sure I’m not the only one watching who thinks the AFCON jerseys are very cool, who designs then do we know and any hope some of the PL teams might take a leaf I wonder…
Peter Fitzpatrick’s article asks if Spurs fans have a greater affinity to the new stadium than the old. Given it’s literally built on the same ground as the old, with all the pubs, bars and restaurants that survived Covid, still being there, too it’s reasonable to say that pretty much everything is the same except that our new stadium is like the old one on steroids.
The funny thing is that the parts which are most missed of the old White Hart Lane are the exact parts which Peter says are in need of renovation at OT…all the bleak things!
And, with the addition of another 30000 seats the number of tourist fans can have huge affect on the atmosphere….especially in any songs which aren’t a maximum of three words…that can be frustrating.
That said, I do prefer the food options. The outdoor concourse with big screen TV and all that jazz is great, too.
So, in all, the old stadium was great once we had the new one but was ropey beforehand.
I might be a bit late to the party on this one but “United Saviour” Radcliffe wanting to turn Old Trafford into the Wembley of the North? Surely it already is….
In the arse end of Manchester, as Wembley is in the arse end of the capital? Check
Soulless and lacking in real atmosphere? Check
Half full of corporate types with little interest in,or knowledge of, football? Check
Once the site of joyous memories for the home team, but starved of late? Check
Concentrate on the terrible players Jimbo, you silly billionaire!
For me, Clive
I love this site and have done for a long time, but are you actually for real when posting an interview with Clive Tyldesley in which he criticises other commentators for parroting and resorting to cliché?! The man cannot get through 90 minutes without mentioning “that night in Barcelona.” He’s worse than Motson, who my mate and I used to have game whereby we’d guess how long into any game he’d mention Manchester United.
He makes a good point on silence, mind you. Jonathan Pearce had this problem, whereby he was great on radio but terrible on TV because he wouldn’t let the pictures speak for themselves. Thank goodness experience has meant he’s worked on this and is now much better.
For my money, Guy Mowbray the best at the moment. Anyone else in the mailbox think differently?
Aidan, EFC, Hoxton
It Meant More
Gussy’s whiny mail peaked my interest in this terrible Liverpool team who fought against the odds to beat draw with the mighty West Bromwich Albion of the year 2015.
Liverpool’s team of minnows and all round losers were: Mignolet €10.6m, Clyne €17.7m, Skrtel €10m, Lovren €25.3m, Moreno €18m, Henderson €18m, Can €12m, Milner €0m, Lallana €31m, Benteke €46.5m and Coutinho €13m. And then subs Origi €12.63, Firminho €41m and Ibe €0.
Why did they even turn up when they knew WBA could put out a team made up of: Myhill €1.8m, Dawson €0.3m, McAuley €0m, Olssen €1m, Brunt €3.75m, Evans €8.3m, Gardner €0m, Fletcher €0m, Morrison €2.25m and Rondon €17m. Who was then replaced with Liverpool’s former goal monster Ricky Lambert €4.2m in the 96th minute as their only sub.
Truly this was Klopp’s coronation, never mind the fact that he’s currently won the same amount of trophies as the currently unstoppable Man United in his reign, this is the game I will remember. To draw, against all odds, with West Bromwich Albion, at home, I mean this has a deeper meaning or something. I’m off to think up a classy tagline in case they manage a draw at home against The Mighty Blades on April 4th. This Hearts More, or something similar. And no, it’s not sad or pathetic to make up your own slogan for winning a few games, Arsenal celebrating, that’s pathetic!!!
Calvino claims TAA has been at fault for 4 goals in the PL. Which goals were these Calvino?
You also don’t mention about the Onana mistakes in the PL which have been reported extensively. I wonder why?
For the record Onana has been at fault for:
(1)The first Nottingham Forest goal at OT.
(2) The second Spurs goal at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
(3)The 2nd goal scored by Arsenal at the Emirates.
(4)The 3rd goal scored by Brighton at Old Trafford.(don’t know how he didn’t save that. Real chocolate wrists).
(5)The 3rd goal scored by Man City at Old Trafford.
(6)The Newcastle goal at St James’s Park.
(7)The first Villa goal at Old Trafford.
(8)The Spurs equaliser at Old Trafford.
(9) The 3rd Wolves goal at Molineux last year.
If 4 non existent mistakes by a defender seems quite a lot I’d love to know what 9 actual mistakes by a £50m keeper seems like.
Never mind his farcical performances in the CL this season.
The Celebration Police
A word of friendly advice for Rocastle7, who in the latest mailbox rails against the outsiders who don’t have a clue about why it’s fun to be Arsenal right now.
I’m a Liverpool fan. I couldn’t give a flying fornication whether fans of other clubs think Darwin Nunez is crap, or Klopp’s teams should have won more, or whether it was “embarrassing” to go and applaud the fans after a 2-2 draw with West Brom, or whether they’ve not enough songs supporting their own team so they still have to resort to singing about a midfielder who fell over once 10 years ago in a game that had nothing to do with them.
Let the celebration police get on with their own pathetic little lives and enjoy the ride.
Dave Lillis, Dublin
* ok, two words.
Promised I would just ignore the nonsense but….
There’s another reason why teams and fans in the stadium celebrate harder and louder at the full time whistle than ever before…. VAR!
I used to leap out of my seat and go crazy every time I saw an Arsenal player hit the back of the net, but I celebrate in stages now, checking after the initial euphoria and madness to see if theres a VAR review, and more often or not there is. So being in the stadium with no replays I stand there, waiting, wondering if I missed an offside in the build up knowing that at VAR headquarters they’re checking everything including whether the goal scorer owes any library fines.
So when you hear that final whistle go now, especially when you’ve won a big game, thats when the pure emotion and celebrating comes out, the results safe, its done. VAR can’t touch it! At last you can celebrate freely, spontaneouly and naturally, like I used to after every goal.
To clear a few other things up:
And no we don’t celebrate because we think we’ll now win the league, we celebrate because we’ve just won that match, the kind of match that until recently we didn’t often win! ….. So unless it turns out we in fact didn’t just win that match, we wont look stupid for celebrating it in a few months time, we’re celebrating what’s just happened.
What I personally love is that it means as much to the players as it does to us the fans!
Also these celebrations, that so wonderfully wind up Jamie Carragher and the likes, happen after the match ends…. Just don’t watch fellas!
If you can’t enjoy it when you do win… then what’s the point fellas??
Just a few observations, but it really does seems like “You’ve only come to watch the Arsenal!”
Joe – North London
Football is not finance
“It is no different to other corporate entities such as banks or law firms who train staff and they move around the world working for the same company in different cities.”
That might be the most depressing sentence I’ve ever read in the mailbox. And that’s a high bar.
Mike, LFC, Dubai
More thoughts on Wimpy v McDonald’s
My initial reaction to Mark’s letter was revulsion. A football club aspiring as a world dominating chain restaurant – that seems like the kind of thing Charlie Brooker could make into a Black Mirror episode. However, with a little more thought I can’t now imagine a more apt description of what Man City are heading for.
If you’ve seen the movie The Founder about the beginnings of the McDonald’s empire you may understand where I’m coming from. Small time restaurant, very popular with the locals, owned by salt of the earth hardworking brothers is taken over by a ruthless businessman surrounded by smart accountants and lawyers. The restaurant is grown through creation of franchise locations using basically the same formula, the brothers get screwed and market domination results.
In the case of Man City, your OG fans are the McDonald brothers, the businessman is a Sheikh, and the franchises are your City Group partner clubs. The results however will be the same. An enormous amount of money and soft power but absolutely no soul, no class, and no connection to its community. That’s what McDonalds chains are, they are bland copies of each other, not at all related to their environments or cultures. They are gentrification machines. In the end all that will be left of the original Man City is the name. The players, the staff, the kits will all eventually become interchangeable with its other ‘locations’, even if Man City remain the most successful they will inevitably be a shade of the corporate brand.
Just like the McDonald brothers your fans get a bit of pay off, some trophies to sing about, but when your in the stands surround by day trippers visiting on the ‘City Group Football Tour Package’ and you’re watching players who could as likely be in New York or Melbourne kits next week, how many would trade it all in for the old days at Maine Road when the club part of your identity.
Mark isn’t wrong that this is the way football is going. Where McDonalds went Burger King followed, as did Subway, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and hundreds more. The slide into corporate hell has been a long one, City are just the tip of the spear. Isn’t that terrible though, the majority of all football clubs controlled by a handful of group entities, gentrified to streamline costs and purged of any meaningful connection with their community. We may eventually get a revolt against this, the anti corporate hipster movement of football with the popularisation of ‘local clubs made with local players’ and the conference league will get a boom, but by then the masses will be locked in to football for convenience and we’ll barely even know that its happened.
And the Manchester City model
Reading Mark (Cynicism eh?) MCFC and Rosie Poppins letters just now about City Group’s multi-club ownership strategy and I find myself actually nodding along at many of their points.
Business-wise, it’s a very sound plan indeed. I mean, you own ten clubs, you invest heavily in the facilities and youth set ups at those ten clubs, and you develop a squadron of youth which can be bought, sold, traded, loaned, etc… between those clubs. To go a step further, you absolutely do cut out the middle man, and if you cut out the middle man then you can keep some of the transfer costs down because you are not losing all that much to agents wages. It’s brilliant really.
My argument is, is it really necessary? I always thought sport, (whichever sport it is), is a competition and frankly nothing like this. There’s something very unsporting about all of this. Legal maybe. Legal, probably? I can’t imagine City Group would do it if they couldn’t do it legally. Sport is at the heart of the issue though; with sport there is a sense that you might win, that you SHOULD win (but you might not), or that you are huge underdogs, but you might win anyway. I think what City are doing removes that jeopardy for a lot of fans. The excitement, the thrill, the what-if of it all.
The way I see it, (in a way that leaves me open to mailbox evisceration), is that a group of friends decide to build and race their own go-karts. They have a little track, they all have a £1000 budget, and they all have to source parts and built a little go-kart from the ground up. They then go and whack engines in, be that lawnmower engines, or moped engines, or batteries if they are making electric go-karts. It has to cost £1000 though.
One guy turns up with a Ferrari and whoops everyone easily. The issue is that the Ferrari cost £200k and so far exceeds the £1000 budget, and so he risks disqualification.
So what this guy does is buy a Ferrari dealership, and sells himself that Ferrari for £1000, so now that Ferrari falls within the £1000 budget limit.
When his friends try to buy Ferraris for £1000 though, he refuses to do it, they all have to pay £200k, the actual value of the car, if they want a Ferrari.
So all the other friends get together and decide they will all pitch in for their own Ferrari dealership and take this guy on at his own game. The issue is that once the first guy gets wind of this plan, he starts buying ALL the Ferrari dealerships he can, and the Porsche, and the Mercedes, and the Lamborghini, and the McLaren dealerships too. There is now literally no way that he’ll lose now. Any car he wants now costs £1000 and he’ll always win. Always. There’s no doubt about that.
My point is there’s competing and then there’s strangling the spirit of competition out of the throat of your peers because you are rich enough to do so and are savvy enough to probably never get punished.
So yeah, congratulations on all the winning and stuff, but… (sigh)… look what you had to do to win.
Dale May, Swindon Wengerite