Good deal for Liverpool perhaps but Ben Davies treatment shames Reds…

Date published: Tuesday 19th July 2022 3:27 - Editor F365

Ben Davies in action for Liverpool.

The Mailbox criticises Liverpool for their treatment of the now-departed Ben Davies. Also: Frenkie De Jong, Darwin Nunez, England and the Euros, and more.

Get your views in to


The difference between FDJ and VVD
With reference to “FDJ is ETH’s VVD”, Garey Vance, MUFC… there’s a huge difference:

VvD wanted to come. LFC made VvD come, over his potential prospects. (Oo-er)…

FDJ doesnt wanna come. Man U isnt making FDJ come.

FDJ’d much rather be where he is, but Barca cant wait to jettison him and use his wages they deferred, to acquire Robert Lewandowski and whoever else.

Good luck on acquiring a potential team cornerstone who’s lukewarm/ ambivalent, even borderline resistant, to making that move 🤷🏼‍♂️🤷🏼‍♂️
Gab ynwa


…Dear Garey, Sorry to burst your FDJ patience bubble but this is not the same as the Van Dijk situation. VVD wanted to join Liverpool, indicated as much publicly and even submitted a transfer request to force through the move. No, I’m afraid this smacks more of the Di Maria transfer: a player that didn’t want to leave his then current club but was being forced out.

The reality of the situation is that if the move does happen, the player is likely to get on with it but have an underwhelming season. There’s a good chance he’ll never hit the heights expected of him because ultimately, he doesn’t want to be there, and he’ll eventually be sold.

To be honest pal, this is exactly the sort of sense of entitlement that has United where they are now. It’s OK to accept that some “top” players don’t want to join your club. It’s not the end of the world. Find another Dutch/Ajax player with potential that does want to play for Ten Hag and drive on from there. It’s just getting embarrassing at this stage and even if he does end up at United, has anyone stopped to wonder why Barca are willing to sell him at a loss – here’s a clue: it’s not just to balance their books…

Lastly, I heard on the grapevine that the Glazers are in talks to change the club name from ‘Man United’ to ‘Man Jong Ajax’. Nice ring to it.
Dazza, Dublin (Luimneach Abu! Hon the Treaty County #threeinarow)


Frankie De Wrong
Had originally intended sending a long missive about ETH’s prolonged pursuit of FDJ, potential alternatives, Barca being awkward, whether in fact he wants to up sticks to Manchester at all etc – you know the one, the same mail we’ve all been reading for what seems like 427 years at this stage….

One paragraph in and it hit me. After all these many months, countless conversations, myriad mails, I STILL can’t stop calling him Frankie.

Might be better off if he stays where he is.
Colm (Galwegian exiled in Lancs)


Ten Premier League starters who have already been replaced by new signings but not yet sold


Davies treatment shames Liverpool
A quick note on a sale that is being described as a ‘great bit of business’ by my club, Liverpool. That’s the sale of Ben Davies to Rangers. On the face of it, and yes from a purely monetary perspective, it might well be good.

But I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. He had a few really good, settled years at PNE, before we signed him apparently with zero intention of letting him get near the squad. He wasted half a season (about 1/30 of a footballer’s career don’t forget), sitting at home on match days. Then he went to Sheffield United – where he played only about 20 games (appreciate injuries and COVID impact), so another half season at Championship level.

We’re all quick to jump on clubs like Chelsea for their excesses when it comes to the loan market, or how players are poorly treated being bounced around etc.

Rangers were always after Davies, for me, Liverpool should have let him be where he was. I would reason if left well alone, Davies would have added ~60 more games in that time period (as his contract was up in the summer ’21, for either Rangers, PNE or both), perhaps even enjoying a Europa league final run (hypothetical I know).

Of course, a caveat is that PNE got a fee of £500,000 and now get another £800,000 rather than nothing. But we’re a football club, not a retailer buying and selling for profit.

Good for the money men, yes. Good for the player, no way. Good for the football club, not really. For shame, Liverpool.


Shifting narratives
It wasn’t that long ago when plenty of opposition fans referred to Mane as nothing more than a diver who wouldn’t make the first 11 at another big club.

Now suddenly Liverpool are a ship adrift without him.

I expect Diaz to fill in for mane perfectly capably. As for Nunez well…it’s pre season. Who cares? I genuinely don’t watch any pre season games because they’re generally one of two things, sometimes both.
1. A revenue raising tour
2. A method of getting match fitness after a summer break.

Rival fans seem to be mocking Nunez as if it’s going to cause Liverpool fans to be mad. But we are accustomed to waiting for players to fit in. Fabinho, Robertson, Keita all took a year (can argue Keita still is) and we spent big on them as well. Most Liverpool fans don’t share the same fragile patience as United fans for example and expect every player to immediately become the best player in the team.

It’s a process, and one which most of us trust a lot. If Nunez takes time, that’s ok. I won’t be panicking and I imagine klopp and his team aren’t either.

I don’t really bother with price tags either since they’re not a measure of quality, it sometimes correlates with quality but just as often doesn’t. It could be an interesting season but will probably just be city miles ahead in 1st with Liverpool miles ahead in second, Chelsea in third and everyone else playing out a dull scrap for that highly coveted fourth place trophy.

But whatever happens, you won’t catch Liverpool fans booing Nunez even if he scores zero. We can and will wait. Rushing into knee jerk reactions is something desperate people do.



Sanitised isn’t necessarily better
A good article from John with plenty of valid points as usual, but I’m not sure I really agree with him deep down. Everything he has said is absolutely sensible and logical. But for below reasons, I’m not sure I want football/sport to be this idyllic utopia that John proposes…

I was lucky to attend La Bombonera for a Boca Juniors game. We (pasty westerners) were brought in early to avoid the big crowds, and left late for the same reason. The stadium was rocking, full of mostly working-class males, many off their nut. it was amazing, scary, exhilarating and intimidating in equal amounts. It was a real unique human experience, one i won’t forget. I’m not sure i want this replaced with a family friendly day at the footie surrounded by Tik Tokers and toddlers. I think I’d rather be sat beside a psychopath more than a psychotherapist. There’s something primal about it, a chance for everyone at the stadium to let loose, to be a bloody lunatic for 90 minutes. Then back to the office job on a Monday for Excel spreadsheets and Pivot Tables.

Thats of course not to say there isn’t a place for the well-behaved women’s football crowd. Of course, there is. Women are emotionally mature enough to realize that 22 people running around a pitch kicking a pig’s bladder in between 2 sticks is possibly not that important in the grand scheme of things… so why get so worked up. No need to scream obscenities if it doesn’t go to plan, it just doesn’t really matter to a lot of people and rightly so. Men are thick. Humor us for 90 minutes a week…

Do we really want to see bitter rivalries replaced with friendly kick abouts? Would we not miss the spectacle of a meaty North London/Birmingham/Old Firm/Manchester/Liverpool derby, even with all the idiocy that comes with it. Is the cure worse than the disease? In reality, humans are just monkeys with clothes on… maybe having a bit of an animalistic outlet is a good thing. We are in many ways still barbaric. As we all tuck into our beef burgers, we know how the animal has been viscously slaughtered, we just don’t care. We need our meaty bloody goodness. Its just happens to be conveniently packaged for us… if it wasn’t, we would be out there with our spears just like our ancestors…

So I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with John’s article, but at the same time not really wanting things to change that much. Deep down, i think most football fans would agree.


Euro 2022 acts like a filter for the dickheads who spoil football for the rest of us


Diversity and class
t looks like William and Rough Justice seem to be making the same point from different angles and with different conclusions.

The RTC’s are not accessible for those who cannot afford transport to them. It is the working class who have barriers to excellence in the women’s game. Fix this with grants for those on low income to get out there and supposedly more diversity will enter the game as it is an indirect consequence of the original problem. Seems fairly simple on the face of it. It is right however to stay vigilant to causes of diversity issues in the game and ask the question of why. Those educated in diversity issues know that they can arise indirectly out of other issues e.g poverty yet that it doesn’t mean we should ignore them.

There is a perception issue though in how things are portrayed in the media. To the casual reader of that article by Alex Scott, the issue is labelled almost entirely a diversity problem not a class problem.

The fear for many sensitive to such things might be that instead of rationally addressing the class issue and getting 2 birds with 1 stone, they might say give grants to people from a diverse background instead and ignore under privileged white footballers, since being seen to directly address diversity issues is a better PR move on the face of it, especially if the issue is primarily being framed as a diversity problem. Even if the issue is dealt with at source, the articles frame only the secondary issue as relevant, which is a little worrying because it sends a particular message.

A poor white female footballer may look at the article and see their own struggles being unheard because the issue has been hijacked by the cause of diversifying the women’s game. This is the kind of thing that makes some people feel undervalued and weary of articles like the one from Ian King asking what can we do to ensure there is more diversity. It’s not all frustrated bigots as some others like to claim. People can have genuine frustration too and of course later on when when right wing polititions claim to understand their fears, they may get their vote as all they have to do is resonate with their frustrations of being ignored.

It is important for there to be black role models in the game to encourage greater participation as we are dealing with generations of pain and rejection coming through still whispering they are not the right skin colour to be given a fair chance, but it is also important we don’t inadvertently send out other damaging messages too. Tough balance to keep.

Just my tuppence.

Euro 2022: The full quarter-final line-up as England v Spain kicks off knock-out stages

Damned by association?
If prime John Nicholson really could run 100 metres in 10.8 seconds flat, that sort of illustrates why women’s sports are seldom taken as seriously as the men’s versions. As an uncelebrated, bully-fleeing schoolboy athlete, almost half a century ago, little Johnny Nic was faster than any British woman in history.

On a less facetious note, the thing that turns me off women’s football isn’t the physical prowess of the players. It’s the way all the top teams are affiliated with men’s Premier League clubs. I’m bored sick of football revolving around Chelsea / Liverpool / Arsenal / Manchester, etc, but for some reason the major women’s teams have the same names and play in the same kit as the hateful moneybags men’s teams. How am I meant to support any of that lot?
Martin, BRFC

England and the Euros
I went to Old Trafford to watch the opening game between England and Austria. I believe the nerves of the occasion played a large part but they clearly rectified that against Norway and Northern Ireland. Keira Walsh is an indispensable player, and Fran Kirby really is a magician. The touch, technique, tempo, and reading of the game from all of our players really is first class. Seeing them live was a real privilege as was watching England in a major tournament for the first time. I have followed the Lionesses on the quiet ever since I stayed up to ultimately watch our heartbreaking exit at the World Cup in 2015 and, as I can’t justifiably afford both Sky and BT, I have replaced watching EPL on Sundays with watching WSL which are on official streaming apps. I also stay up to watch the Women’s Football Show as it’s on after MOTD2 and I’m a lot less quiet about loving the sport these days.

At Old Trafford, part of my Albion DNA wanted to yell at my own team to push up, play out, and I was surprised and a bit confused about the way I felt. I didn’t want to be negative. I didn’t want to be critical. I found the atmosphere to be positive and lots of encouragement everywhere rather than constant moaning and criticism. I missed the witty chanting and boisterous nature of Albion that being said but I think that will come. Also, the style of play doesn’t really wind people up as in the players don’t seem to aggressively leave one on others, dive, surround the referee and scream in their face, show dissent, or generally have a confrontational attitude. I’m not saying this categorically doesn’t happen, but I’ve rarely noticed it in the women’s game. I identified with some of what John Nic has said in that I was sitting watching international football with families, loads of kids, and supporters in the truest sense of the word. Last season when I went to an FA Cup tie, a drunk guy standing a few metres away from us was screaming at the opposition goalie for 90 minutes about being ‘worse than Saville’ (paraphrasing) and honestly, I totally get why people (some men, women, and children) are just totally put off men’s football by the behaviour of a minority. We aren’t that far removed from fights in the stands, bans from competitions, hooliganism, ultras/firms, and racism which is very sadly still alive and well.

I’ve watched a lot of live football over the years and genuinely all aspects really were up there with anything I’ve seen. Yes, there isn’t the blood and thunder physicality but it is accepted that male codes of sport can serve it faster in tennis, run faster in athletics, move packs with more force in rugby, etc. although John Nic does forget that combat sports like boxing, judo, etc. have long and well established female competitions. What I would like to see is the sheer quality of the England players to be more common across domestic leagues and international football and use competition in a healthy way to achieve real in depth quality. I would like to see the three top WSL teams – Chelsea, Arsenal, and Man City – challenged as they do win by huge margins most weeks which I want to see come down, but then I suppose we want to see Liverpool and Man City challenged more in the male code. In the next ten years, I want to see the men’s World Cup one summer followed by the Women’s World Cup the next and the same with the Euros with both codes attracting the same level of fandom and support playing the the same sized crowds in the same stadiums as the men. Rather than watch an increasingly tired Harry Kane and Mo Salah all the time, why not give them a break and give us equally as strong a women’s football sport which can be attended and watched by the whole football family and our whole experience for everyone to not just to be dictated by a minority.
Rich (WBA, good transfer window so far lads), Cambridge

More Related Articles