Keep your mails coming in to email@example.com….
Man Utd should be so f**king proud of Rashford…
If I was a United fan, I would be so f****** proud that Marcus Rashford was our player. A product of your club, doing all he can for the most vulnerable. I know lots of football clubs are doing their part and supporting their local community. As a Gooner I saw it in the Spurs All or Nothing documentary and you see all the efforts that they’re making. In our current climate it can be hard to not be partisan, politically and football wise. However what Marcus and the sport are doing is incredible.
This, in my opinion, is a take a bow moment for Rashford. A truly magnificent young man raised by United and the city.
John Matrix AFC
While Marcus Rashford is (rightly) getting all the headlines for his amazing work holding the government to account, there’s some grassroots football-related charity going under the radar. Both Newcastle and Leeds fans have been boycotting PPV games and donating the £15 fee to local foodbanks. The Geordies raised over £20k, and Leeds are up to £33k ahead of tonight’s game.
Here’s hoping other fans will follow suit. The picture’s better on the radio anyway (and the commentary’s better on the entirely legitimate Middle Eastern stream once you’ve closed all nine hundred pop-up ads for Viagra).
Andy (Leeds fan in Salford)
Spot on stuff from Sam this morning regarding players we’re bored of waiting to come good.
I find myself every week desperately awaiting the team sheet and hoping to see Naby Keita’s name. When he isn’t there, I roll my eyes and mutter cliches about how he ‘needs games’ so we can see the best of him. But the truth is, when he does get a run in the team he’s either absolutely brilliant or completely anonymous. Nothing in between and way too much of the latter.
Regardless of injuries, we’ve just never quite seen a return on that hefty investment and years of hype.
And while I hate to say it, the Ox also skates dangerously close to this line much of the time. In his case, he’s undoubtedly one of our most potent weapons when he plays. A goal scorer from midfield and a source of dynamism and forward thrust. He certainly looks at home at Liverpool and is more effective than he was at Arsenal. But the injury problems remain and it just feels like he’ll never really establish himself as more than a ‘really useful’ option in midfield. A bit like Lallana ended up being in his latter years.
I will, however, throw my guard up in defence of Joe Gomez. The guy gets FAR too much stick from both opposing fans and our own. He’s still only 23, suffered two devastating injuries, while still managing to claw his way back into a title-winning defence. With him in the team, we only conceded 33 goals last season – 12 of which came after the title had already been won. There was even an 8 game streak without conceding a goal.
And yes, everyone will point to VVD and Alisson, but a defence is a unit. Much has been mentioned about Virgil’s pace in utilising our high line, but Gomez is just as quick and equally vital to the system. If anything, most of his troubles come from having to cover TAA who is far more guilty of being caught out and leaving our right side exposed.
Yes, he was terrible against Villa and got hauled off. But, well, so was everyone else. And the goals didn’t stop coming when he left. Fabinho will get all the plaudits, but Gomez was excellent against Ajax during the week. He even popped up in BT Sports CL team of the week. As opposed to the fellas at Sky Sports player ratings, who apparently watched the first 90 seconds of the game, saw a misunderstanding between him and Adrian, and turned in their verdict – “6 – Another nervy performance.” Ignoring everything thereafter.
In my opinion, Gomez has already come good. And while he may not be the best defender in the land, he’s worthy of his place in the team.
(Of course, he will turn in a complete clusterf**k of a performance tomorrow evening now that I’ve backed him. But fortunately, that game is on Box Office so I won’t have to endure it.)
Ryan C, LFC
Sam in Stockwell asked the question about who we’re waiting for to come good. For Crystal Palace, it’s probably Max Meyer, even if it isn’t entirely his fault. He came to the club as a former hot prospect who had lost his way a bit. He hasn’t lived up to his potential, albeit that he hasn’t been able to play to his strengths in a Roy Hodgson team. Whenever the Eagles need to play on the front foot or create chances by controlling possession but somehow don’t, people will still call for Meyer’s introduction from the bench; however, when he’s started – usually in League Cup defeats to lower league opposition – he hasn’t shown much of this ability. We live in hope, but it’s looking more and more likely he’ll run down his contract this season and leave for a fresh start somewhere else, probably returning to Germany. Meyer isn’t a bad player, but a combination of things mean we haven’t, and probably won’t, see the best of him at Selhurst Park.
Sam In Stockwell asked about players our clubs have that we as fans are “Bored of Waiting” to come good, well at Chelsea we have had many a player come through our academy and not quite make it, im hoping Ruben Loftus-Cheek doesnt make this list in the future, he has endured such rotten luck with injuries, comes across as a great person and professional, so fingers crossed for him and his career.
Back to my choice for “Bored of Waiting”, well i would choose Lewis Baker, he is currently on his 8th loan spell and is now age 25, he was hyped up as the next big England talent, but it just has not worked out for him what so ever, I do feel sorry for him in that regard, but after winning the Toulon Tournament with England in 2016, then winning the KNVB Cup (The Dutch FA Cup) in 2016/17 with Vitesse after one incredible season, I truly thought he would cement his place in the Chelsea side at that time, yet he did not, loan spells after at Boro, Leeds, Reading, Fortuna Dusseldorf and now Trabzonspor suggest his time may have come and gone, such a shame, truly, especially when you see how loan moves for Mason Mount at Vitesse worked out so well.
Want you back for good…
Two moderately separate Arsenal musing for a Friday mailbox;
Seeing Wenger appear in the media lately has made me really want to see him manage again, ideally internationally. This man was an ever present in my footballing formative years, and seemed to be a world-class manager, and I’ve no doubt that he still is despite his somewhat stale ending at Arsenal. I would love (it) to see him manage again, to see what he is capable of, to see a new side to him, to see how he does in new surroundings. Given his age, I imagine international football would suit him best, and to be honest, would love to see him get his hands on a World Cup trophy.
Secondly, on the Ozil situation. While Ozil of course has to shoulder a lot of the responsibility – two managers not playing you indicates who the main issues lie with – I still think it’s a shame that his (Arsenal) career will end like this. On his day, he was a glorious player, and it brought me so much joy watching him. The things he could do with a football were out of this world at times. I would just love him to roll back the years and play as the creative player this Arsenal side are crying out for to compliment or relatively strong squad. It just saddens me that we won’t get to watch a great footballer play football.
As an aside, one (semi) serious reason I think he might be out of the squad is that he could be one of these plandemic people. Played every Arteta game pre-lockdown, and now is nowhere near the squad since. Arteta caught the virus first at Arsenal, and maybe doesn’t appreciate someone walking around saying it is all a hoax or scam to control the population? You heard it here first . . .
I wanted to write a response to Simon about Aguero “incident”. I suspect your intentions are good but still I have to disagree. I am strong believer in equality and for me, equality means having the same opportunities and treating people the same according to their individual attributes no matter what the racial, social, sexual, gender or religious background. The biggest obstacle for equality (not the only one) is in my opinion currently identity politics, that the Guardian strongly advocates, to which you are referring to.
As you write, Wrack concludes: “It is not OK to touch a woman like that in her place of work, it is not OK to touch a woman like that in a club, it is not OK to touch a woman like that in a bar, it is not OK to touch a woman like that on a football pitch” . So what if it’s a man? Is it OK then? Why single out the gender in this case? Refs get abused horrendously every day, no matter of the gender. What this actually causes is annoyance, even anger among many when they read similar stories thus causing the opposite effect these articles are (probably) aiming for, equal treatment. It gives the impression (rightly or wrongly), that the authors of these articles don’t actually want equal treatment, they want special treatment. One good example is this. Just imagine the reaction if similar article with similar spiteful tone was written by a man about women. Again, how many interpret such articles is that it is OK to slack off men but it is not OK to slack off women. That in turn causes a reaction that maybe we shouldn’t treat people as individuals but as part of our background identities and now somebody is “attacking” my group that I represent. Naturally you can see what that leads to, counter attack when feeling being under siege when slotted in a group you might not even agree with and not treated as an individual. The worst part of the Aguero article actually was a single sentence: ” The problem, Guardiola, is that nice guys are capable of doing bad things. ” which is so wrong in so many levels.
Aguero was wrong to touch the referee, but not because of the gender, but because it’s well, referee who shouldn’t be touched. If he would have touched some other, more private body parts, it would be different. Then it would be about sex and the gender would of course play a meaningful part. But he didn’t. He touched her shoulder, which I find quite typical way of people touching each other when they want to grab their attention.
Wrack concludes: “Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the organising body for match officials, did not deem Agüero’s actions to have been threatening or aggressive, and thus worthy of retrospective punishment, shows they too perhaps just don’t get it.” Or maybe they do? Maybe they reviewed the incident as they would review other incidents between two individuals, like they should and gender should play no part in it. That’s what equality is for me at least.
Details and context and stuff
I really wish people would pay more attention to detail. Not just to my two mails (Not cool, Sergio and Touchy subject) about Aguero/Massey-Ellis but to the responses from Andy and Anan. They were very different in tone. Although I felt Andy was missing the point somewhat I didn’t disagree with him entirely and he was quite civil. The ex-ref, I’m sorry for the experiences you have been through. That’s horrible. Please re-read my mail. Without intending to dismiss the protection of refs it is actually more about the right and wrong ways to interact with women with whom you are not on familiar terms. I mean that in no condescending way. I also take more issue with Pep than Aguero.
A friend recently posted a quote from Peter White online: “I think the golden rule for men should be: if you’re a man, don’t say anything to a woman on the street that you wouldn’t want a man saying to you in prison”. How about “if you’re a man, don’t touch a woman you don’t know in any way you wouldn’t want a man touching you in prison”. Until people are willing to listen to how tired some women are of the normalisation of the situation then I hope this helps give perspective. It’s just an idea.
N.V.M., if you were to go back to the response from Anan you would see that I am not simply pronouncing someone a tool for disagreeing with me. They were in fact being rather nasty and deserved a little pointer. Please re-read my Touchy subject mail and I think you will realise that we do not entirely disagree. Accusing me of virtue-signalling, however, helps nothing and nobody. And, you are possibly right about sources from twitter meaning f*** all. In which case, I urge all who strongly disagree with me to listen to the opinions of their female friends. If they have any.
Simon, Norf London Gooner
Big difference between minutes and days…
In response to David,.Watford
VAR overrules the field referee sure, but it does so only minutes after the fact. The FA if they do will be in days and possibly weeks afterwards, long after the match has ended. VAR is also handled by actual currently rotated active field referees – like those who are a field ref one week, will be on VAR duty another week, etc.
VAR also has a practical mandate on how long ago the incident is. At best its an incident a few minutes ago or in the last play (and in the case of handball goals, one pass removed from a goal scoring chance or a goal). If an incident happened in the first half and the VAR official didnt know of the incident until the second half (assume that someone told them), then VAR isn’t going to back and change that.
The FA can still take action if the field ref or VAR missed the incident. As far as I’m remember, the field ref saw the incident clearly.
Liverpool injury crisis and a time to measure up…
As a first time writer into the F365 mail box, I am super excited. The season so far has been a bonkers season and I am guessing many of the early predictions for the season by F365 writers will be wrong because this year is a terrible time to be a Degz.
Let us talk about LFC. As a fan, I am super excited as to what this season holds. About 10 teams genuinely have the prospects of qualifying for the top four while about 6 have the chance to be genuinely champions. This is just wonderful and makes for an intriguing watch.
If VVD and Alison were available, I think we would be 100% champions but i guess the greek gods have decided to even up the competition by allowing us to become as flawed as possible. Yesterday, I read the article about us becoming our 2017/2018 variant and I believe that this may be the only way for us to win it this season.
Drop the highline by the way Jurgen. Position Adrian as close as possible to Gomez and Matip. Then FFS, tell Adrian to hoof it upfield, let Mane, Firmino, Salah, Wijnaldum, and Henderson pursue it.
This will be fun to watch. Although due to the fact that KDB will soon return, I think that City has the upper hand. Whatever happens, I know this will be a thrilling season.
I wish VVD a quick recovery.
dNA the Nigerian Scouser
Am I too late to put forward
Eddie Nikeyiah and Marlo Stansfield from The Wire ?
Minus the facial scar of course.
Sarn(over the Pickford attempted murder charge)
Will Chelsea fall into Manchester United’s trap again at Old Trafford? And is Virgil van Dijk really so big a loss for Liverpool as has been made out? Winty and Mark dissect what is sure to be a Big Weekend.