What team or season needed the ‘All or Nothing…’ treatment?

Matt Stead
nicolas anelka arsene wenger arsenal
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Kiss from a Rose
Dear F365,

So Danny Rose wanted to know what the problem was, and why he wasn’t playing for Spurs.

I think it’s pretty obvious.  Jose (not Jose) has made it clear that there are 90 minutes when the players cannot be nice.  For 90 minutes he wants them to be a bunch of c***s.  Intelligent c***s, not stupid c***s.  That’s pretty clear instruction if you ask me.

Danny appears to have little problem with the bit about not being nice, especially as he so easily denigrates team mates, and junior ones at that, with the cameras rolling.  What a great leader he isn’t.  What a strong role model he won’t be.  What a self-oriented sook-sack he is.  He has c***s down pat, no worries at all.

The problem kicks in with the intelligent/stupid bit.  Danny ‘hot-head, red card, calamity, out of position, loose tackle, reckless’ Rose on a football pitch falls a little short in that respect.

Happy to have cleared it up for him.
Dr C***s, c***s.


All or Nothing:…
Not sure I’ve seen too much discussion in the mailbox of the ‘All or Nothing’ Spurs documentary. I’ve watched the first 3 episodes and there isn’t anything too revolutionary or unexpected and an obvious degree of editing license to put in bits they want and leave out or skirt over other areas.

However my main point for discussion (and this has been borrowed from some podcasts I’ve listened to) would be what historical season would you have wanted to see a documentary on for your own club? Of course fans will want to pick their clubs most successful season, I get that, it would be fascinating to see inside the absolute elite but what if you were to pick a season that wasn’t necessarily a glorious one, but one that was full of drama and the neutral fan would enjoy the ups and downs, or mainly downs if you like?

As an Arsenal fan there are a few that stick out:

90/91. Tony Adams sent to jail mid season, the mass brawl againsts Man U, being docked 2 points and eventually going on to win the title with only 1 game lost, and playing football that belied George Graham’s boring tag.

96/97. Rioch’s sacking, unknown Arsene Wenger coming in to the dressing room, mix of french and english players and just to see the genuine reactions of the Arsenal players when Wenger set about his new methods or essentially not having 10 pints 3 times a week

19/20.  The highs of the summer signings, Emery’s disaster, Ljungberg taking over with no staff, Arteta coming in, Covid, winning the FA Cup, Raul Senhelli’s departure under rumoured dodgy circumstances
Rich, AFC


What is success for Chelsea? (A title challenge is the right answer)
Luke Byrne
asked what does success look like for Chelsea in the 2020/21 season. Well I already have wrote up a piece on this for my podcast but I will share my opinion to the mailbox too. After all those signings then clearly if we do not lift the Euro 2020 Championship, a Tokyo 2020 Gold Medal and a Nobel Prize then we have failed. Of course that is a joke. Probably.

Now realistically we are in what I would label Phase 2 of the Frank Lampard plan for Chelsea. The first phase we brought in to the side the best of our youth players, hope that they gel and step up to the level of the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League. That went reasonably well. Now Phase 2 in my eyes is to at least challenge for the title. I am still of the mindset that this is not a game of FIFA or Football Manager, new signings, especially the amount we have brought in do not simply slot in and take the world by storm. It can happen and I am sure there are many cases of it happening, but it could take some time for our new crop to do just that. Hopefully I am wrong and we are one of those sides that are fortunate enough to benefit from a squad gelling within their first season and we lift a trophy.

Long story short, I would say a title challenge is a must ahead of the 20/21 season as well as a good run in the Champions League. Now for me if we finished 2nd or 3rd and got to at least the Quarter Final stage of the UCL and perhaps lifted a domestic cup, that would be a good campaign. Many rival fans may argue, fellow Chelsea fans may argue, but that is just how I see it right now. City and Liverpool are much further along in their development as top tier sides, their teams have been built under managers who have had a good amount of time at the helm and they all know each other very well, but you never do know in the mad world of football.

Great to see the responses to my Friday Mail about “Dream Career Paths”, so to answer Steve’s question of which managers would I prefer to work under, I would choose:

Development: Arsene Wenger (Known for giving Youth a chance, so I would certainly get to play)

Big Move at 21: Julian Nagelsmann (He is going to be the next big thing isn’t he? Plus how he has developed his players at this age bracket at Leipzig and Hoffenheim)

Big Move at 24: Pep Guardiola (Learning his style at this age seems realistic, I would become the master of the pass)

Big Move at 27: Mauricio Pochettino (What a nice guy he is, tactically smart too, just feels a good fit at this age for me)

Three Clubs After 30: Claudio Ranieri, Andrea Pirlo and a random up and coming National League manager called John (All because I feel each would not only teach me something, but I would get on really well with as i slowly head into retirement)
Mikey, CFC 


Luke Byrne asks “What does success look like for Chelsea this season?” proposing that given the money we’ve spent this year, anything but a PL or CL win would look like failure. I disagree. I’ll admit wholeheartedly that the stakes are raised this year BUT, we over achieved last year. Most Chelsea fans will tell you last year we were pleasantly surprised by a 4th place finish and you if you asked any pundit and most fans this time last year, most would’ve tipped us for 5/6th Place.

Losing Hazard who was very much a big fish in a barely functional pond who papered over many cracks for far too long. We were so over reliant on him for both Conte and Sari seasons that I barely understand how we managed to win the PL and EL in that time. We haven’t been a “TEAM” for years, rather a collection of functional players providing a platform to a superstar.

Arsenal Fans will soon realise how mediocre Willian is, Pedro is a good professional but never set the world alight. We haven’t had a top class striker since Conte’s first season, our defence has relied on left backs who cant track back and central defenders who don’t like to talk to each other. The only functional area on the pitch was central midfield but whilst Kante, Jorginho and Kovacic are good players there’s no goal threat at all from any of them. We’ve played 5 different tactical systems in 3 years under 3 different managers all with varying success.

Then there’s the Goalkeeper situation, Courtios’s last minute departure in 2018 and panic purchase of Kepa has been nothing short of a disaster, how can you drop a £72M player who you signed on a 7 year contract? Its a right kerfuffle.

Fast forward to today we have genuine quality in nearly all area’s of the pitch but little experience.  The 5 players coming into the squad are all first XI players.  No top team buys five first XI players in one go, its too much to maintain consistency.

What does success look like this year?  Consistency, a comfortable top 4 finish, closing the gap to the top of the table and a continued development of the young players at the club. I wouldn’t ever say we couldn’t win the league or the CL but “success” for our most beloved player ever will be judged differently to how we judged every European super manager we’ve had, Frank and Petr Cech aren’t there to just win trophies, they’re there to build a club and give us an identity.

Hopefully in 3 years time we aren’t starting the season wondering whether we’ll finish 1st or 10th or whether the new manager will have to ship out 6 players to buy the 4 players he needs to fit the system he wants to play.  Hopefully, we’ll move to a more organic, holistic model of squad and club management and (this sticks in the throat a little) copy Liverpool’s model of backing a manager and giving him the space to build a team and choosing managerial successors (if needed) who can operate within existing structures.

Or Roman could sack him in 12 months time because we only won the FA Cup and came second… What do I know?
Aston Taylor (CFC)


United for the title
I keep reading comments about how United won’t be a concern to the top two next season, given the points required to bridge the gap. I’m not saying it will be done, I still think a couple of players are needed, but do people not remember only two seasons ago when Liverpool made up 24 points on Man City? Furthermore, when Chelsea last won the league they made 43 points on their previous season’s total, and when Leicester won the league they made 40 points on their previous total.

This is not uncharted territory – teams can make up that size of deficit, especially if those ahead do not sustain their previous levels, and there’s also the small matter of all the teams starting on zero.

Sheffield United for the league it is then.
Garey Vance, MUFC


Maguire and more
Dear Editor,

I saw the England v Iceland game (really nice article by the way Matt) and Maguire’s quite conspicuous head was a massive miss. Then saw an advertisement for “Banged up abroad” on National geographic. Moving on.

Also I have been trying to get nicknames for player for my team, not talking about nicknames like Rashy or Lingz. Talking about NBA kind of Nicknames, like De’Arron fox AKA Swipa.

So far I have got Mason “The dream” Greenwood, Daniel Flash James AKA “Barry”, Paul “hit and miss” Pogba AKA Mr Box office, Capt. “Harry” Maguire AKA 80 million  prince.

Anyways, Premier league starts in a week, Subscription for the TV bouquet that offers it here goes up $20 in the midst of a recession, couldn’t afford it at the former price anyway, just have to get to the public viewing center earlier now, more competition for Vantage seats now, sighs.
Enahoro, Nigeria.


Unbearables continued
Omar’s way wrong
. Liverpool fans aren’t unbearable because we won the league. Here’s to hoping this settles it: We’re unbearable because we are still the reigning World Club Champions, won the European Cup last season, the European Super Cup at the beginning of this and the premier league just a few weeks ago. Add all that on top of our great history and bright prospects for the next many years. As is my wont to irritate people often there’s no way i’m not joining in on this convo!
Raúl H. García (Utd fans have become rather adorable for many years now) LFC-YNWA 1892


And there it is…
“Letting the far-left into football will be the worst idea the suits ever made”.

It took a long time and lots of words, but William finally got to his point.

Doesn’t it worry you, William, that everybody that countered your point saw that comment coming from your first paragraph? And isn’t it good that you’ve got a mailbox on a football website that printed your apparent opposing political views to theirs even though you don’t want political views on a football website?

Regarding Marcus Rashford’s campaign. Here’s the kicker, having a socialist campaign doing good is more likely to make the headlines because “feeding poor kids with tax payers money” (inherently political) isn’t a bad thing. That’s not a far left view. That’s not communist. It’s a socialist concept whether you think it is or not. It is political in it’s very nature.

“The fact the government had to be involved to make his campaign successful was the only political part about it”.  One thing you appear to have missed was the government was ending free meal vouchers for children (I believe it was for out of school term). Rashford’s campaign was to make this government make (another) U-turn and it would not have worked if it didn’t get wider support through the media. In fact, the government rejected Rashford’s campaign earlier, lied about doing so and then reversed their decision and thus more people pushed and supported the campaign leading to the reversal of decision of the government.

I know nothing about Marcus Rashford’s wider political views, what I do know is that his campaign was political to stop the government ending free meal vouchers.

“The politics currently taking over football and football journalism is cultural Marxism, an ideology that among other things seeks to divide everybody on racial, gender and sexual orientation grounds.” William, people want equality for all, which means ending division. The main people seeking to divide are those that don’t want the systemic racism and sexism prevalent in football to end because they are direct beneficiaries of it. These are often the same people that claim racism/sexism doesn’t exist while sitting on media panels of all white, all male pundits on a football show (with token pretty lady doing something bit part) – and then get upset when there’s a hint that a black guy or woman speculated to be included.

Just to underline, the white straight man isn’t being silenced, he’s merely being told he has to share equally. It might feel like oppression or cultural marxism, but it’s actually just other people sharing the same space, and if that makes someone uncomfortable, it’s them that needs to adapt.
Rob, Brighton.