Arsenal likened to Tottenham ‘a few years ago’ as Gunners told Spurs ‘crisis’ is nothing to do with them
The Mailbox insists Tottenham fans are ‘more jealous of Arsenal’s overall setup than their league position’. Plus, Bukayo Saka and Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, penalties, England and more…
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Reply to Chris, London…
Chris the Arsenal fan is wondering what the ‘crisis’ is at spurs is all about, well let me explain. While we may currently be sat in 4th place that position is moderately false as all the teams around us have played at least 2 less games and both Newcastle and Brighton could be above us with points gained in those. As he pointed out we gained 71 points last season, this season we are on pace for 66.5. Given the first 10 games of last season we were managed by Nuno before Conte came in this is pretty clear regression. We also crashed out of all 3 cup competitions in the meekest way possible to teams we really should have been able to beat. The football this season has varied between drab and downright unwatchable and when the football you are watching is so little fun the result becomes the be and end all of everything.
Then we have Conte who’s response to the ridiculous penalty against Southampton was not to complain about the standard of refereeing and the uselessness of VAR, but instead to take a flamethrower to the entire squad and the ownership that pays him £15 million quid a year to work for it, all while taking absolutely zero responsibility in his role in any of it. His conduct absolutely assured we were going to have to sack him and have yet another restart with a new coach.
So in answer to Chris, the ‘crisis’ at Spurs has nothing much to do with Arsenal at all. Their horrifyingly excellent season is just the cherry on top of this particular sundae. Don’t get me wrong though i still fervently hope that Arsenal’s wonder season ends with them blowing the title in the most hilarious and heartbreaking way possible.
In response to Chris, the Arsenal fan who wonders whether Spurs’ fans’ current dissatisfaction is relative to Arsenal’s success.
Personally I’m far more jealous of Arsenal’s overall setup than their league position.
A few years ago we had a bright progressive coach who really cared about the club – he wasn’t there for a year or two to pick up a fat wage, it was HIS club. He loved being there.
He had a long-term plan. He played good football. He binned off players who were phoning it in, and put faith in young, homegrown players. The team started slowly but got better and better.
The players were largely likeable, young, and seemed to really enjoy playing together for Tottenham. They smashed some big teams (and got smashed a few times too) but whoever the opponent, they went toe-to-toe and played without fear.
Sure, we didn’t win a trophy (you could argue that Pochettino’s biggest mistake was his ambition – the premier league or champions’ league were his only benchmarks of success) but it was a team I felt genuinely proud of, more than at any other time in 35 years of following them.
Now we’ve fallen so far back that I can barely be bothered to look out for the result. And truly, buying a tinpot cup under Jose, Conte (or the next manager, quite probably) won’t mean a fat lot to me.
I look at Arsenal now, and they remind me of Spurs a few years ago. And it looks like they might actually win a trophy. Though I dread it, I begrudgingly admire them too, because if they do, they’ll do it in the best possible way.
In fairly English style, we will let him become our greatest goalscorer and still hold out on our reservations of the chap.
He looks like he shot the man eaters of tsavo, but he plays football so much better than everyone else on the pitch.
For me Kane will always represent the shift of England being sometimes good to them actually just being good.
He is an unbelievable talent, and a talisman for what England have become under his stewardship.
Saka and Rooney have the same mentality…
At this point, I can’t remember how we got to comparing Rooney and Saka but I will say, for the people who are quick to dismiss the comparison, I think you’re missing a much larger point.
I never saw Rooney’s debut for Everton but as someone who watched Rooney since Man U 06-07 (where he was still very young), it was clear you were watching someone who was able to think the game in a much more efficient manner than not just his peers but his counterparts with years more experience.
I did see Sterling’s debut in the PL and without even knowing whether or not he was supposed to be a prodigy (was he even considered one?), what told me he was going to be a great player was not the technical skill – which many young players have had in abundance – but the mentality displayed with his actions. The way he nonchalantly ghosted past various challenges – even though the prospects of the entire career in front of him was significantly dependent on his every move in this one, initial match – and made correct decisions even then, at 17 yo, that belied how old he actually was. He was not scared and he clearly didn’t realize or concern himself with the fact that he was playing far more experienced and trained players.
I imagine Rooney was almost exactly the same from the off even if it took him creaming one in from 30 yards out against us for most people to realize it. And this is exactly what Saka (and Martinelli) is like, as well. The best players, when they are this age, literally don’t give a f*** who they are playing against. I’ve seen Saka destroy minnows and giants alike. I’ve seen him be his national side’s best player for large stretches of important matches at the age of 20/21. I’ve seen him stand up in a scenario that would have him banish the generations-old demons of literally an entire nation, fail to do that and then come back to take and make every single pen (all of which have taken place in massive matches) for his club.
You can compare stats, trophies, even overall styles of play. But anyone who has failed to see that it’s the player’s mentality (this is why those of you comparing Saka to Dele Alli should just stop) that ultimately decides their trajectory has failed due diligence.
MAW, LA Gooner
It’s only a penalty…
It might just be me – and based on recent discussions it probably is – but does anyone else get irritated when a player over-celebrates scoring a penalty?
Sure, the context may impact that – a late goal to win a big game or one against your rivals is possibly a different case – and you could argue scoring your 18th penalty (more than double anyone else and from double the attempts of anyone else ever) to become top scorer is a mark worth highlighting, but… come on, really? Running to the corner flag as though you just smashed in a worldie irritates the hell out of me. And yes, it’s not just Kane yesterday, it’s all people who do that – Bruno included.
It’s a skill to score a penalty consistently, absolutely. But it’s not quite the same as bending in a freekick, lashing a ball from range, a moment of sublime skill in tight areas, beating 3 players to curl the ball into the top corner a la Henry (happy now?) or Brazilian Ronaldo etc
If you score the pen, celebrate a bit, run back to the centre spot and then get back on. If you score a worldie, by all means run around the pitch waving your shirt above your head like a madman as the adrenaline courses through you (and accept the completely ridiculous yellow card for it).
I’m pleased the singer of the English National Anthem has apologised.
However, it was down to technical issues on top terrible transport for the England fans.
Onwards & upwards
Another satisfying step forward for Southgate and his England coaching staff. I have faith in them that by the time the finals come round in Duetchland, some of which I hope to watch live with my boys, they will have phased out slab head and have greater options for different games in our midfield 3.
If Rice and Bellingham are starters then perhaps Foden in a new position in that three can give us a winning answer. You have to conclude that England under Southgate and his team have improved since drawing the final 1-1.
In our attacking third we have an embarrassment of riches now and the next Euros will probably see the last stand of sir Harry and the blossoming of England’s younger players.
So who are your preferred replacements for slab head? Tomori and Ben White moved back into the centre are mine as it stands but there are others that can come to the fore over the next 14 months. Well done, great result. Time for fine tuning via experimentation.
Peter (daydreaming that Guardiola will see the potential and take the job after Gareth). Andalucia.
The rhythm is going to get you
I hope I’m not too late on this topic.I love the Arsenal drummer/s. It’s great before the match, it’s great at the stadium and it’s even great while watching on TV.
The fans love it. The team loves it. And if the tune (or lack ther of) annoys neutrals and away supporters then all the better. Heck it even could be distracting to opponents – who knows.
Let the beat go on
Hats (Henry > Rooney)
Is John Cross right?
In Mediawatch, John Cross of the Mirror is criticized for thinking that England already have one foot in the finals. And relief is expressed that he won’t be in charge of the last 9 qualifiers in case he is ‘complacent’.
Given that England are in a 5-team group, and thus only have 7 more qualifiers to actually play, maybe we could put him in charge of those last two, phantom qualifiers…
If you’re going to be snarky, you should at least make sure you are correct!
But in reality, he has a point. England can get a maximum of 24 points from the group. With the top two teams qualifying, I would imagine that 15 or 16 points would be sufficient to finish ahead of 3rd place, and England are 20% of the way there after a single match. And that match was away to the top seeds in the group.
Malta are likely to be the whipping boys in the group, and would anyone seriously think that England and Italy both won’t take 6 points from them?
Ukraine obviously have an emotional element, but their last competitive match was a defeat to a Wales team that England subsequently swatted aside at the WC.
North Macedonia are perhaps the dark horses – they’ve drawn both qualifiers previously played in England, won in Germany during qualification for Qatar and of course then knocked out Italy in the play offs.
But would anyone, after last night, seriously bet against England qualifying? I wouldn’t, and furthermore would now expect them to do so with at least one match to spare.
Fake accents faking intelligence
Bit left field but this has been bugging me for a while.
Please can we start calling out these fake football intellects on TV and podcasts that insist on saying a players name using that countries accent.
Granted we should be respectful and not butcher someone’s name but getting a name wrong is very different from saying the correct name in what they believe to be the country of origins accent.
No way to prove this but my guess is that they’re not using a Scouse accent to discuss TAA on German TV and surely there’s no way French podcasters are saying Jack Grealish in a fake brummie lilt
Ry Ry, Whitehaven (MUFC)
Anatomy of a Mailbox Storm
1.Someone offers a reflection on how they feel about a match/player incident.
2. That person draws an analogy, based on their personal experience of the game. E.g. “this reminds me of how I felt about….”
3. In the next mailbox, we get a few nitpicking letters about how the analogy isn’t great. Some seem relatively reasonable, e.g. “I get the analogy but here’s where it breaks down”, or “here’s a better analogy ”
4. We also get a few more unhinged mails. E.g. “i can’t believe that you think…”, “how can a true fan…”
5. Sometimes that’s that. At other times there’s a next-level escalation, where the initial analogy is criticized using, let’s call it “non-standard reasoning” that adds another layer of ridiculousness. E.g. “he’s not even as good as Zola, who was just a fancy foreign version of Jason McAteer”.
6. Generally this bad take will be the source of some Vuukle comments. For even more entertainment, the author of the bad take can often be found “defending” or “justifying” their position by simply repeating opinions as if they are objective facts.
7. Said bad take spawns a mailbox reply or two but also some tangential stuff “E.g. McAteer was really underrated…”
8. The sun sets, the earth keeps spinning, flowers bloom, and we wait until the next mailbox drama.