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Beg Poch to do a Zidane
“The rest of us cannot help but think that Spurs desperately need a re-build on a budget and they have picked pretty much the worst man for the job.” – Sarah Winterburn.
We never truly appreciate them until they’re gone.
We had THE man for the job, but faith was lost. Perhaps faith was first lost by Pochettino in Tottenham. We heard the message many times: Football is about belief. You must believe you can be the best. You must be brave and behave with the faith that you will be the best. That you can be the best now. But certain people were not listening.
One man who I imagine was not listening was Joe Lewis. All I know about Joe Lewis comes from one Pochettino quip after the first match in his (Joe’s) new and nameless stadium. “He’s here? I don’t know. I saw Daniel before the game. Nobody said to me he’s here. If I have the possibility to say hello of course I will. If he invites me to his new boat to play pilot then okay!”
That one response painted quite the picture of Tottenham’s ownership, and it helps explain the disconnect that Pochettino felt and just about managed to hide from public view.
In addition to Lewis, Poch and Levy were disconnected in the transfer market. “The key broker between Levy and Pochettino, former Head of Recruitment and Analysis, Paul Mitchell, left in February 2018 and with him went the main conduit between the coaching staff and boardroom. Without a guiding hand on player scouting and transfers, the pair were fatally indecisive,” wrote Julien Laurens in the aftermath of Tottenham’s 11-hour managerial overhaul.
…All of this was meant to lead back to a plea for Daniel Levy to beg Poch to come back and show how amazing he truly is, and to recruit another Head of Recruitment and Analysis with Poch’s approval. But then Mark Ogden’s piece written in the midst of those fateful 11 hours brought me back to the reality that Pochettino is not coming back, and it is devastating all over again. And Bernie Sanders is going to lose the nomination to a man in cognitive decline. What a shit day.
Danny (not actually all that bad otherwise) Austin Spurs
They’ll be back
Sorry but how can Spurs be 2019 Champions League finalists AND not a Champions League club?
The squad has suffered from a chronic lack of investment for a long time and Jose’s appointment was akin to George Graham’s appointment back in the day.
If Spurs make a visionary appointment and start hoovering up the best young talent, with that stadium of theirs, they’ll be back.
But they need to act now.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Insult to injuries
Common misconception at the moment: Spurs are suffering a huge injury crisis. It’s all over the media. It’s all they’re talking about in press conferences.
The reality: they’ve got 4 players out injured. That’s completely normal for this stage of the season. Of their top 6 rivals, Chelsea and Arsenal both have more injuries. City have the same number. Pick out any team in the league and look up their injury list, and if they’ve got fewer than 4 they’re doing bloody well.
Adam H, CFC London
My God, Jose is infuriating and it makes you feel sorry for Spurs.
As a Man United fan we have been through this, and the really demoralizing bit is there is absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel by the time he is done. For Son and Kane, we had Pogba and Martial and Bailly and Sanchez. Players whose injuries/ woeful form/ not playing for the shirt were not opportunities to find different solutions but excuses to peddle an agenda.
At Man United the agenda was that the 2nd place finish was a miracle and the real level was 26 points from 17 games (especially because you didn’t buy me a central defender). At Spurs the agenda is, I have a mid table squad and I will manage a top half finish with them (4th place will be a miracle after saying the thing he was looking forward to at Spurs the most was the squad at his disposal when he took over).
What is the point of a manager who is absolutely incapable of finding solutions to injury/ form issues? The reason for our optimism with Solskjaer is not the points he has accumulated but the solutions he has found. Pogba out for season, he makes a midfielder out of Fred, McTominay out for 2 months, he revives Matic and finds a role that suits him. Rashford out for half a season, Martial (aided by smart signings) gets a chance to pick up the baton. Not once did I hear him use those injuries (even though they did hurt us badly for quite a while) as an excuse to throw in the towel.
I still think he wont manage 4th, but he has players playing for him, players he doesn’t throw under the bus, players who have time and again come out fighting to repay his faith when his job was on the line and the team was backed into a corner. He did this after Mourinho did to us exactly what he is doing to Spurs. Extinguishing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Jose Mourinho is poison.
Sometimes you see an image and you know the reality of their situation has dawned on someone.
I think last night Lucas Moura realized he plays for Spurs.
Johnno “no european nights in North London”
Are we still pretending that Liverpool are not going through the next round of CL? Yes? Well, screw it!
I know I know, Atletico Madrid is the last team against whom you would want to score in 90 minutes plus stoppage time.
But also let’s acknowledge that this Liverpool side is the last team against whom you would want to defend a paper thin single goal lead.
Liverpool had a few blips recently but it’s not like Atletico are having a mighty season of their own.
If I have to bet on one of those to crumble, my money would be on Atletico all day long.
They might exit the competition at a later stage but for now Liverpool are going to turn this tie around. It’s set perfectly for them. I know it. You know it. Let’s just watch it playing out without downplaying them. It is inevitable.
Ashish S (Not a Liverpool Fan)
I’m sure this morning’s mailbox will be mostly Spursy but I’m going to try to sneak through a United mail anyway.
Please can we stop with all the parallels between Ole and every Tom, Dick and Harry to ever manage an English team? Please? If I read another “Ole is like Klopp”, “Ole is like Souness”, “Ole is like Hodgson”… email, I’m going to scream. I’m pretty sure that you can make parallels between any two managers, given enough time and energy, but you really do have to wonder what the point of it all is. Nobody is ever going to glean any kind of useful insight out of any of these comparisons because, believe it or not, none of these situations are exactly the same, so please just give it a rest.
Another thing that is seriously irritating me about the Ole stuff is the “if your rivals want your manager to keep his job then it says it all” rubbish. Unless I’ve missed something, the collective football fandom is not some kind of all-knowing soothsayer. I’m pretty sure that I remember rival fans aiming the same sort of jibes at the “bottler” Herr Klopp, before he managed their Champions League triumph last year and dominating league performance this season. I know the banter brigade need something to fixate on but this is just facile.
I’ll admit that I was in the “Ole Out” camp after the Burnley game, the last straw being his use of certain players (Jones, Lingard, Pereira chief among them) ahead of the academy products he was championing in the summer (despite not actually really playing Tuanzebe, Chong, Gomes and Garner – players for positions in which we were struggling at the time). That, combined with his mistakes in letting players leave without replacement in the summer window, and the concerning number of silly goals we were conceding despite £130m of new defenders, were my reasons for thinking he needed to go.
Obviously, since the January window, some of those issues have been addressed; Jones, Pereira and Lingard are finding squad places increasingly hard to come by, and the signings of Fernandes and Ighalo have given the team a welcome lift. With that in mind, I do find it odd at the timing of some of the other reassertions of the Ole Out fans, given that some seem to be more determined that we should replace him with Pochettino on the back of the last ten matches, in which we have played much better and actually strung some positive results together.
As things stand right now, I think he’s earned enough credit to put him back in the black, and should we a) qualify for the Champions League, b) maintain this consistency, and c) execute a suitable transfer plan successfully in the summer, then I’ll have no issue with him being our manager next season – I think I’d still feel the same even if it was just b & c.
All things considered, although we are worse off in terms of points than we were at the same stage last season, we do seem to have developed the team and the tactics far beyond the dead cat bounce we saw when Ole first took over. There were obviously mistakes made in the summer which ultimately cost us in the middle of this season but some of them have been addressed, and hopefully the rest of them have been learned from. For now, though, I’m a happy United fan and actually enjoying watching us play again.
I would also just like to disagree with Gary Neville’s claim that the Spurs match will determine whether United make top four or not; on the contrary, I don’t think that a defeat against Spurs means all that much. Our record against the supposed big six has not been the problem under Ole – what will actually have a greater significance are the games against Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Villa, Southampton, Palace and West Ham, against whom we dropped points in the reverse fixtures.
I suspect that if we won all those games and dropped points to Leicester and Spurs then we’d still be in with a reasonable chance of making the top four (or five, whichever it turns out to be), whereas if it’s the reverse situation then there’s no chance at all. 18 additional points would put us on 63 and, considering the run-ins of Leicester, Chelsea, Wolves, Sheffield United, Spurs and Arsenal, that should be enough to do it.
Hey Oliver, thanks a lot. Your mail was refreshing and gives us Utd fans hope because when Liverpool fans resort to using scouse maths and quoting stats for which the first google reference is the S*n (as at the time of my response) then I know we are doing something right,
To elaborate, the huge wage bill your using to draw parallels is based mainly on players who were bought before Ole arrived and who have mainly played their last game for the club such as Sanchez, Pogba, Rojo, Smalling, Jones. For context these players have been replaced by cheaper alternatives like Ighalo who famously took a pay cut and Fernandes who is on about 30% Sanchez’s wages,
SInce we are doing strange parallels why don’t we compare Ole with Klopp. Took over a team no longer performing for their charismatic manager who makes everything about himself gradually improved signings struggled initially to qualify for champions league, while gradually improving the squad via the transfer market, weird loans. Some of the team’s fans doubted his previous record and suitability for the job especially in the first 3 years. Got beaten by small teams regularly during that period, by 2016/17 Klopp was still losing 2 nil to Burnley and Swansea. Imagine that .
If anything Oliver you should be very worried if Ole run continues. You should also be concentrating on your team as your squad depth looks a bit depressing. Origi aside, the only other game changers are the Ox and Milner (who may go to Leeds). Shaqiri is in the bad books. Minamino hasn’t acclimatized. Keita. Lallana’s done at this point. You may have the best 11 but I’d take Utd or City’s squad right now
As a Birmingham fan I really haven’t had much fun in recent years. However watching Jude Bellingham has been a real genuine pleasure. He has so much to offer and particularly at such a young age it is easy to see why the big teams are sniffing around him.
My email concerns potentially what might happen with this inevitable transfer. Currently due to his age he isn’t on a pro deal and so technically can sign for other clubs with what often ends up being a quite paltry sum compared to the amounts being banded about at the moment (see 30 mil plus).
The current rumor is however that Jude under instruction from his Birmingham supporting family are going to stick around to sign the pro deal ensuring that blues got a much fairer compensation for what amounts to a serious tallent. Now he obviously doesnt have to do that and in fact I would assume that he would make more money personally as could ask for a bigger signing bonus as the new club wouldn’t be paying us so much.
This would strike me as a rare moment of honesty and loyalty in a game that seems to lack it so often.
Or am I being naive and in a week we find hes switched over to united for next to nothing?
We were watching the RB Leipzig – Tottenham game yesterday, and whoever the commentator was (I’m not sure the feed that was used by TNT here in the US so I can’t tell you) but I wanted to hug him when he said “Forsberg has scored nine goals in his 24 appearances this season” …. and he didn’t say “in all competitions”. Hallelujah!
When did that ridiculous cliché become accepted? Who cares which competition he was playing in? It’s not like all World Cup goals are automatically more impressive (see Kane, Sir Harry of). Penalties pad your stats, goals against the whipping boys of your division pad your stats, goals scored unintentionally off your helelpad your stats, goals which you claim you touched the ball when you didn’t, goals against Liverpool are worth double, apparently, just like away goals are emphatically not (even so, Liverpool would still win the title). They’re all goals. The player scored. Who cares which competition it was?
I know this horse has already bolted and it makes no difference if the stable door is closed, but when clichés are rightly (for me, Clive) derided, how did the broadcast media allow a new one to slip in and be embodied as something important?
What on earth is the point of differentiating, especially when you never hear the commentator solemnly breaking out the competitions when said goals were scored?
It’s just auditory filler that numb-brained commentators use when they’ve got nothing more interesting to say (I’m looking at you, Martin Tyler, deified for shouting one name in stoppage time in one game against QPR back in 2011).
I’ll go back to shouting at clouds now.
Steve, Los Angeles
My, my, my, aye-aye, whoa!
To answer the “Unlike Italy, why is English football just carrying on regardless?” question. Because there is a difference between having single digit deaths and 650+ deaths, 350+ cases and 10,000+ cases.
There is absolutely no need to stop football matches, but extremely stringent precautions must be taken. Using the global statistics, maybe do not allow anyone over the age of 40(Less than 0.4% mortality rate)? Give out free tickets to kids below 18 (less than 0.2%) etc etc.
There is a need for extreme precaution, and supporters need to be wearing a mask at all times, have multiple sanitizer dispensers, unmasked people will be evicted by stewards etc etc. If there is a proper plan and implementation, the outbreak will not spread.
There may come a point where the EPL may be cancelled, and if that dreaded day does come, i only hope that there is no league winner. Because very honestly, that would be the biggest footballing injustice in my lifetime, and a part of me would revel in it. Sorry Liv fans, its evil but hilarious.
Or imagine the scenes if all positions are decided by playoffs, 1st v 2nd and so on so forth. Imagine if City beat liv in that one off. There would be riots and billion dollar court cases. I have to admit a part of me wants to see that kind of chaos.
Anyways, here is to hoping that the virus disappears within a month. Its all back to normal, and liverpool win the league that they deserve to win more than ever. Stay safe and enjoy the football.