Send your Mailbox game entries and any other thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Mailbox game
Here’s an idea for a Mailbox game ahead of the weekend. You’re in control of the transfers of your club after a large historic sale, knowing what you now know about how players have developed (and who was actually shite), who would you buy with the money you’ve received from selling your star? Here are some example scenarios:
Liverpool fans, how would you have spent the money from the sale of Luis Suarez in 2014?
Manchester United fans, how would you have spent the money from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009?
Everton fans, how would you have spent the Romelu Lukaku money?
Tottenham fans, how would you have spent the Gareth Bale money?
Leeds fans, how would you have spent the Rio Ferdinand money (assuming you were given it all to spend on transfers)?
There are countless other examples you could use, so have fun with it.
You only have one transfer window, the same window that the big sale was made.
You can only buy players that actually moved in that transfer window, so no signing Leo Messi.
You can supplement your budget with any other sales that were actually made in that transfer window (no selling Jon Flanagan to PSG for 427 million)
Any purchases that did happen for your club in this window can be veto’d
Please be realistic with the calibre of player your club could attract at that time.
Please be realistic with the transfer fees, remember the whole footballing world knows you have money to spend so expect a premium on any fee.
So how would you spend your warchests? Looking forward to seeing the hypothetical teams people can come up with. How do you think they would have performed in the short / long term?
Ferg from Cork….
In his email comparing Firmino to Cantona (stop lad – i hope this was a joke) he says, and i quote,
“Top scorer in the league has 21-Firminio has 12(so far) and had 2 ludicrous goals disallowed-one for an “armpit offside” the other when VVD sneezed near De Gea who dropped the ball and Firmino curled a beauty in only for VAR to disallow it. Liverpool also have 2 other strikers competing for the golden boot.”
Where is he getting 12 goals from?!? Firmino has 11 goals in 48 matches in all competitions this season…and has 8 goals in the league this season having played in EVERY Liverpool league game. This is his worst season for scoring in the league – not that he cares much – he has a league medal at the end of it.
He then has the temerity to email in being pedantic to the guy who put up the aggregate premier league…
“Probably being pedantic but if you’re going to do all that research and just point out Liverpools scores at least get them right”
Oh Ferg – if you are going to point out Firmino’s goal scoring ability (or lack thereof as the case may be) “at least get them right”
Oliver, you do realise that Neco Williams actually plays right-back and has put in a number of excellent performances at right-back when played in his natural position? It was surprising to see him start at left-back and he clearly struggled but I think we can forgive the 19 year old for looking out of sorts when he was obviously and quite rightly targeted as the weak spot in the defence.
Tariq Lamptey put in an excellent performance last night but I can’t help but wonder if he would have struggled if played at left-back against a marauding actual right back?
Actually scratch that, who really gives a f**k – they’re two 19 year old’s playing premier league football ffs……
Dazza, LFC, Dublin
Way to go with the modern fan, knee jerking on Neco Williams there Oliver (apparently), LFC.
To be fair I don’t get English commentary (no M. Tyler for me, shame) or coverage so i’ve no idea what was being said on it, but come on, the lad was making his first start in the Premier League, at left back when he’s a right footed right back, covering for and trying to replicate one of the world’s best attacking left backs. Lamptey looks a fine player, but he was playing in the position he’s accustomed to.
Having witnessed the 21st century lineage of promising / given a chance, local / young full backs from Otsemobor through Flanagan and Brad Smith and the rest, I am quite cynical on these things as for every TAA there are a dozen, in fact far more, who were never good enough, but let’s not crush poor Neco with such negativity after one half of football played out of position eh?
Watching Newcastle’s hopeless attempt at being a football team last night, it wasn’t the performance that got my goat, it was the blinkered view of pundits about Newcastle this season by people who clearly haven’t watched much of us.
To most people, they see a team who has 40 points and an FA Cup quarter final and assume that that means that the season has been a success.
Taking the FA Cup – Newcastle beat Rochdale (in a replay), Oxford (in ET in a replay) and West Brom (who played a second string) – so any failure to win those games would have been rightly heavily criticised. Then, when we played Man City we parked 2 buses and accepted defeat, abject and disappointing.
On the league, a search of Twitter seems that fans reckon we should have won 4 games this season.
West Ham away – they were in abject form and we nearly threw away a 3-0 lead.
Southampton away – they’re down to 10 men in first half
Sheff Utd home – 0-0 until a red card and even game
Bournemouth away – good performance against a team in abject form.
On any xG model we are either bottom or second bottom of the league. Our goalkeeper is the standout player of the season and has made more saves than any player in the league. We look blunt in attack in almost every game and are painful to watch in most matches.
Bruce wasn’t expected to do much given his record, and he’s done about as well as you would have expected. We’ve got very lucky in many games, meaning we’ve got the points we have, but that doesn’t bode well for future performances. That’s why we need the takeover and Bruce should be moved on or upstairs.
Just watch Southampton’s performance vs Man City and then ours a few days later and decide whose manager you would trust to take your team forwards.
Bruce’s blind praise from pundits (who know him and like him as a man) are doing a big disservice. If he’s still in charge next season, we’re going down.
There was a throw away comment by one of the Newcastle fans about the Saudi/PIF takeover in one of the multitude articles that started over 90days ago.
It stated “That if this was Manchester United then the takeover would be done by now.” And for some reason I agreed with him.
The issues and debates with morality of the owners would still be discussed. And the piracy. But it would still go through.
And the simple reason why, is that this doesn’t disrupt the order.
Currently everything in world football is structured in an established order, financed by a Champions League and protected by Financial Fair Play. Ligue 1 PSG have won the Ligue 1 title 8 of the 9 years. Bayern Munich have won the Bundesliga for the last 8 years. In Serie A you have Juventus winners for 8 years in a row. In La Liga you have to go back to 2013- 14 to have a winner outside of Barcelona and Real Madrid. And back to 2003/04 before that.
In Premier League we keep talking about a big four or big six. The anomaly of Leceister City in 2015/16 upsetting the order, there has been no winners outside the big six since Blackburn in 94/95.
And now we have takeover offer for Newcastle from someone who has access to wealth ten times the owners of Manchester City.
And herein lies the problem.
No one wants Newcastle United to push in line.
If Newcastle United push in line then there is a bigger fight for Champions League money in Premier League. But that Is not the problem. More importantly it’s the impact on the other leagues. Why watch La Liga? Why watch Bundesliga? Why watch Ligue 1? They always have the same winners?
If Newcastle get the Saudi backing, then all the big players go to Premier League, and then ultimately, why watch the Champions League when you have that with the Premier League.
The Premier League push in line.
So why is the Premier League not yet accepting this offer? From all media reports their owners test is too flimsy to stop this. So they can’t really prevent it.
But one of their 500m pound investors (Qatar / Bein sports) is against this. And so they should be, as they broadcast the other European football leagues.
And furthermore, the Saudi’s have been on the other side of court over TV piracy of Premier League. TV rights (like all sports) are premier Leagues most precious commodity.
So they have from my point of view four options
1. They need to find a loophole to the owners test and reject the takeover (They forfeited this option when the WHO report on Saudi Piracy came and went. )
2. Use the takeover as a way of leverage over piracy.
3. Ultimately look for Saudi to buy out the Premier League TV rights.
4. Do nothing and hope it goes away
Since 2 and 3 are non-enforceable, then it looks like they are hoping for 4, with a backup option of 2.
With option 4, each day of indecision meant the Newcastle investment becomes less valuable. There is no more talk on Pochettino, or Countinho. Transfer plans remain static.
Unfortunately this also means that Newcastle fans are stuck in the same quandary with the premier league as they were with Mike Ashley, a rotating agenda of non-decisions and indifference to the fans.
Surely there needs to be a decision soon?
Anytime now. Sigh. As you were. Cheers.
Hang on! Stead described Bruce as having done a middling job? A MIDDLING JOB? He has done better than Rafa according to most stats! He has done it on a tiny wage (in comparison to Benitez and other premiership managers. His wage is obviously still obscene). He has done it whilst doing ok in the cups unlike Benitez. He has done it without having many pundits praise him and jump on his every mistake. Unlike Benitez who was being hailed as doing the greatest job in the premier league for Newcastle not being bottom by pitiful sycophants like football365 lured in by the exotic waiter. He has done it without any say on transfers unlike Benitez. If I am not mistaken Benitez vetoed their 40 million signing completely nullifying the argument that Bruce is benefiting from Ashley all of a sudden loosening the purse strings. He also has to deal with morons describing his job as middling (and for a great deal of the season heavily criticising him Daniel Storey) with none of the excuses that Benitez had written for him. Rafa had you all wrapped around his massive finger.
Basically pundits have been yearning for Bruce to fail all year to justify their deification of the almighty Rafa. Sadly the opposite has happened. Bruce may not get the apology from you he deserves for being ridiculed, but at least give up with passive aggressive comments like middling. You have also used the ‘joke’ turns out Steve Bruce is a better manager than…’ three times in articles showing Newcastles good performance. Good job. Just accept, either with Rafa or Bruce, you got it wrong, and move on to something you actually know about. By the way – this isnt a criticism of Rafa – who did fine. Just an indictment of yout failure to observe the similar job Bruce is doing.
Howard (I wrote in 3 years ago to say you were overly harsh on Lingard and he deserved a go. I was wrong – He has proven to be not good enough. It’s easy to admit you are wrong rather than presume everyone is really forgetful – you should try it)
Isn’t it a bit sad that Jesse LIngard – 24 caps for England, over 100 starts for one of the biggest clubs in the world – has become a punchline? Obviously this is football and everyone moves on to the next big thing, but ultimately clubs like Utd and specifically its fans should treat someone like LIngard as a success. Against all the odds, he’s one of the very few who ‘made it’. He’ll move on eventually and the club will make a decent wedge in exchange for his departure and all the while he would have achieved something that 99.9% of young kids starting out in football will never ever do.
Which of this week’s fouls was deserving of a red card?
a) Nketiah’s high studs down the side of Justin’s leg.
b) Tarkowski’s studs imprinting on Bowen’s leg.
c) Maupay’s over-the-ball stamp on Henderson.
d) Vardy’s “accidentally on purpose” leg flick at Mustafi’s face.
Answer: All of the above.
I think the concept of VAR is fine. But, the people operating it are either incredibly incompetent or flagrantly corrupt.
Simon (not in Norf London anymore)
Here is the blunt truth: This Tottenham team is more likely to score with a Son-Lucas-Bergwijn front three than the current front containing Kane. In a team which scarcely finds itself in attacking positions it is speed which is valued above all other things. Kane simply isn’t fast enough. To add to this, a departure is no end for Kane who will certainly attract suitors from the big clubs. (A reunion with Poch in spain may happen). Unless one of Jose or Kane were to change their style significantly, at the very moment at least, it seems like a divorce would suit both sides pretty well.
I just fell in love with Dave Tickner.
That is really funny.
I can see Arsenal fans still talking about The Maupay and Vardy incidents, I’m an Arsenal fan and whilst I didn’t like either incident and do believe there was intent to leave something on each player without necessarily causing the injuries they did I can’t recall many players ever being sent off for those sorts of challenges because it requires the ref to decide if there was intent – a very difficult thing to do unless it is Keane trying to launch a punch at Shearer.
Most sensible Arsenal fans on Tuesday night will accept Nketiah’s red card decision but would moan that plenty of those tackles don’t get reviewed or red carded. That for me seems to be the common theme for Arsenal fans. Arsenal get booked on average every 4 fouls and Leicester every 12 or so. Are Arsenal a dirty team, or are they a soft team?
Indeed we’ve seen our own players (Pepe) get horrifically fouled this season without punishment, so the moan isn’t necessarily that Nketiah was sent off it’s that others aren’t. Then last night to completely back up this moan you have Tarkowski stamp quite clearly on the knee of Bowen, Tarkowski is yellow carded and it isn’t even reviewed by VAR. At best it is identical to Nketiah’s, at worst it is a lot more intentional and forceful as he can see the player he’s trying to tackle rather than Nkeitah’s which felt more like clumsy trying to control the ball.
I’m sure we’ll see plenty more inconsistencies with refs and VAR for the remaining games and next season. There is a reason FIFA decided not to invite any english refs to the last world cup, as a group they are terrible, which is not a surprise at all when you realise who the guy in charge is – Mike Riley.
I don’t subscribe to ref bias, I really don’t believe refs go out thinking “I know what i’ll do today, I’m going to make sure that team loses” of course they don’t. But I do believe some teams are ‘easier’ to make controversial decisions against, or that there can be a subconscious premeditated thought in refs minds depending on how a team is portrayed. Arsenal don’t like it up em, they roll around and moan when they’re fouled, it’s a man’s game I’ll make sure I’m not fooled by it. Do Arsenal rowd the ref and scream in his face when he gives a penalty against them?, is the captain constantly in his ear all game?, are the fans creating a white hot atmosphere? It all plays into a refs mind.
And of course I realise that every fan of every club will be able to point to numerous awful decisions their club has had this season which means they are unfairly treated and should be much higher in the table!
The Conservative Partey
In what would appear to be a Leandro Damiao-esque multi-year ‘will they, won’t they’ situation, Arsenal are now definitely about to sign Thomas Partey this summer, any day now, yes sir.
Given your call for more mails and because lockdown has melted my mind, I’m back in 2020 for more Partey tabloid headlines.
Partey suffers a Gary Lineker Republic of Ireland incident: The Partey Pooper
Partey says Arsenal would accept Europa League football at the end of the season: The Conservative Partey
Partey says something positive about Neil Custis, ahead of a Sun exclusive: Sounds Like my Kind of Partey
Partey turns his back on Arsenal and signs for Southampton, saying he prefers the name: Ain’t no Partey like an S-Club Partey.
Partey reveals his love of 80’s acid house: 24 Hour Partey People
I am not sorry.
Tom, (was hoping to get some Chelsea fans spitting out dummies with the 2nd striker mail, and the absence of Zola, but maybe their mid-afternoon naps had them groggy and they missed it) Walthamstow