Keep your mails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Arsenal on the move?
Reading in the afternoon Mailbox it started off with quite an Arsenal vibe, the mail that was penned by Vish, Melbourne was certainly a very interesting read, especially about how they operate, now I am not going to sit here and pretend I am a huge well of knowledge on Arsenal, but I am a huge fan of the NFL, in particular the Seattle Seahawks, in our division we have a team currently owned by Stan Kroenke, the Rams.
So where am i going with all of this you may ask? well Arsenal and St Louis Rams (they are now known as LA Rams after the move, which I will come on to) fans have two things in common, they are both owned by Stan and both fanbases strongly dislike their owner, now we all know why Arsenal fans dislike Stan, but for Rams fans we head back to St Louis, this was where the Rams used to play before Kroenke “ripped them from St Louis” as St Louis residents will say and moved them to LA, at the time the St Louis taxpayers had committed to building a £800m stadium to keep the Rams in the city, now relocation is not strange in the NFL compared to here in the UK, the most notable example being Wimbledon moving to Milton Keynes, but the fans based in St Louis felt year after year the team being put out on the field was a losing product, there was little to no interest in the team as a whole by the ownership, they felt Stan Kroenke just wanted to pick up as much money and profit as possible, now there are many articles out on the internet that will go into much detail about their feelings behind this and how Stan Kroenke was operating with the franchise which I encourage you go to search out and read.
What has also upset the fans that were left behind in St Louis is the fact that once the Rams moved to LA, investment started, first of all a new stadium was built costing a reporting £2.3bn, investment in the team too, so much so that the Rams since this investment have gone from a pretty average to poor side to a side that reached the Super Bowl and become champions of the NFC West division in back to back seasons.
Overall I do feel sorry for Arsenal fans, as their side are slowly each season reflecting their NFL counterparts, however I doubt they will be moved to another major part of the UK and start winning Champions League titles, but you never know, stranger things have happened.
Arsenal blame game
Stewie Griffin is to blame.
Not for the fact that our players get battered like cheap cod by every mediocre team and the Refs don’t care, We’re used to that.
Not for Silent Stan, watching his ‘asset growth’ investment from afar, while caring nothing for the club or team. that’s down to lack of fan involvement and the Eton Overlords selling out for quick cash.
No. His toxic non-fan rantings were symptomatic of the entitled arses that drove Wenger out, the greatest manager of our time, and a great human with actual values, to be replaced by a den of vipers sucking the club dry. Was he past his prime, maybe so. Did he deserve the ending he was given, no. Should he have moved upstairs and mentored a new manager, maybe yes.
But that man gave us the greatest era, and the greatest football, Arsenal has seen since the 1930’s. On a shoestring budget. It’s shameful revisionism to claim anything else.
But instead we have Kia Joorabchian running our club. Raul Sanllehi and Edu sign who he tells them, pay him his cut and they all laugh their way to the bank. Resign the disaster Luiz, yes Kia, of course we will. Sign the crocked Soares? Yes Kia sir, ty sir.
Stewie needs to either take responsibility for all we have become, or come clean as the Arsenal hater he has always been and revel in the destruction his toxicity has caused.
Or, when football actually returns, pop down the North Bank with me and see how welcome his type of ‘fan’ really is.
Football365 doesn’t escape some responsibility either. giving a platform to his tripe for years.
David, North London Gunner.
What separates Liverpool and City
After reading through the statistics on Liverpool and Man City, I think we’re all probably guilty of overcomplicating the difference between us and them this season. I believe there are two things above all else that have gotten us to where we are this season – our mentality and defence.
City are bloody brilliant overall and especially fantastic in attack. Their only weakness is that with Kompany leaving, their soft underbelly has been exposed. They’re weaker in defence and defensive midfield than usual and that uncertainty has bred a, relatively, small number of bad results – given their usual high standards.
In seasons gone, opponent’s had already been defeated by City while they were lacing up their boots in the dressing room. The match was merely a formality of keeping the score down and trying to look like you made a fist of it.
Whereas now, opposing players and fans know going in that City are playing a midfielder in defence alongside ineffective fullbacks and behind a gaping hole in midfield. They know they have a chance.
And most damning of all, is that when City do concede, you genuinely feel like they’ll concede another soon after.
At Liverpool this season, we’ve had a few matches where we’ve played pretty poorly tbh. But only in attack. By keeping things tight at the back, we’ve ridden our luck late into matches. And on top of that (I’m trying desperately not to use the phrase Mentality Monsters) we’ve seemed to believe as the clock runs down that we’ll always get one more chance to score. And time and time again, that’s been the case.
So last-minute winners and turnarounds in a decent handful of games we might have lost or drawn have been the real difference. Otherwise, as the stats prove, there really hasn’t been that much between us and them. I’ll stop short of calling them unlucky, as not signing a replacement for Kompany had nothing to do with luck. But I reckon there’s an alternate reality somewhere with the exact same personnel where this season played out completely differently and City had a bunch more points and we had a good amount less.
PS. I don’t care how much data is used to calculate it, xG, xGA and xPoints are one of the most pointless numbers I’ve ever seen written down.
Ryan C, LFC
Just watched Martial get his hat-trick and thought:
“Oh my. Thursday morning’s mailbox is gonna be a doozy isn’t it?”
It was (grits teeth and hopes the pain will make the shame go away) a well-deserved win mind.
Mark (But what on earth has happened to the Blades?) MCFC.
How was that then? Are we to expect tomorrow’s early spaff to be “Man Utd and Solskjaer have seven games to avoid disaster”?
As much as it irks ABU365, Solskjaer has this United side purring. The audacity of Will Ford to suggest that Ole has “massively underachieved in his first full season” is grating. If anything he has overachieved. Massively. The last time United beat City home and away in the league was ten years ago (not to mention a third victory along the way). We’re finally seeing expansive, attacking football. We’re seeing players play with smiles on their faces, not bullied by Mourinho or bored into submission by Van Gaal. Seriously, actual attacking football.
All the talk before the season began was about who was leaving United and who would replace them. Except the numbers didn’t tally up. No replacement for Lukaku. Or Sanchez. Smalling would’ve been a useful squad player. And you know Herrera would’ve featured regularly. Winty please tell young Will, as a lesson in perspective, that he can type his next “article” with one hand tied behind his back. And then take away his mouse. And then his chair.
Oh and as a final point, does this mean ABU365 will stop going on about Van Persie’s hat-trick being the last one for United? Seriously, you guys trot it out every other week.
Seriously, one last point: stay safe. It’s great that football is back but this whole COVID-19 business is not over by a long shot, however much the PM and Sky Sports wants you to think it is. Carry on distancing and washing your hands and, ha… stay alert.
William Douglas Foster, Stretford
Here’s Luk-ing at you
Just a quick word to Timi, MUFC. He claimed “Utd don’t have the Kane or Lukaku type (yes that’s our fault) to settle” the big games. I’m sorry, what? Maybe there’s another Lukaku in your wet dreams I don’t know about.
The Belgian Romelu Lukaku played 20 games against the big 6 for United and scored ONE (1) goal – 1 of 42 total goals. One. Goal. In TWO YEARS – a scrappy tap in against Chelsea. Daniel James equalled that on his DEBUT within 16 minutes! Maguire hasn’t played a full season and he has equalled that, from centreback. And McTominay has more (2). Since the beginning of 2018-19, Martial has started 10 matches against the Premier League’s ‘big six’ and has scored EIGHT goals.
I’m not trying to piss in your chips but Lukaku is the dictionary definition of flat track bully.
Now to Kane. He’s not quite in the Lukaku bracket of woeful big game returns but he’s hardly brilliant. Kane’s indifference in many of those games is one of the reasons Pochettino has a poor record in the big games. I saw a statistic last year when Barca beat Liverpool. Lionel Messi, you know that guy who has played his entire career in Spain, has more goals against Premier league big 6 than the prolific Kane. With 13 fewer games at the time.
I know that wasn’t your main point but, you know, just saying. Lukaku is a big, cumbersome, poor-first-touch burden United don’t need.
AY (He will always have that weird freakish night in Paris though)
If that’s the difference between Liverpool with and without Salah and Robertson we could use some better back-up next season. Hopefully the kids and Minamino can get vaguely close.
In other news, Trent’s goal made me think it’d be cool if the live camera angle was from behind the striker of a free kick when you know they’re going to shoot.
Aidan, Lfc (London is too hot for an Irish guy)
Liverpool are back
Ah it was just a few days ago that Liverpool had been found out according to the hallowed mailbox. Apparently Atletico set the example by conceding loads of shots and not conceding. If only someone had told Palace that second part of the secret plan beforehand. Still thankfully it’s not just us; Man Utd managed to beat Man City before lockdown so I guess Pep got found out too…it’s worked out great for Arsenal and Burnley.
Fabinho isn’t even considered one of the best three DMs in the league according to those same geniuses. They’d all do well to watch the game tonight. He’s broadly the sole reason that Palace had virtually no attacks all game. He was so aggressive into the tackle but what impressed me more was how he recycled possession once he won it back. Oh and that thunderbastard wasn’t too awful either.
This was Liverpool at their most dominant. Now we have found this level everyone should be fairly confident that us lot are about to become properly unbearable. The day after we win it maybe all the bitter ones would do well to avoid social media.
Beyond the trite
I am a big believer in evidence based ‘truths’ over the usual subjective stuff regarding how good or bad a team or player is. But the recent ‘feature’ by James Pearce raises a point that often comes up when using ‘stats’ to make a point.
To do an ‘Apples to Apples’ comparison, you have to select stats that are comparable between teams. James even finishes by then explaining the league positions for other teams using the data this way – and it has no correlation to the current league table.
The ‘secret sauce’ of how a team actually plays is completely missed. There are other stats that might be helpful, for example turnovers in the opponent’s half or third. I am sure Liverpool excels at that. And rather than just percent of shots inside and outside the box, clearly even those inside the box have variations in effectiveness. Perhaps Liverpool players have been coached NOT to take a wild shot from the inside edge of the box and instead pass or backtrack until better positioned. There are lots of other stats that are tracked, would have been nice for a deeper dive that truly got inside the difference than the trite comparison of basic stats. The same argument Howard was making in the McGuire vs VVD comparison.
Finally, and totally off topic, David Luiz does get a lot of flack. He has some sublime skills. I have always wondered why he isn’t playing as a deep lying midfielder or a deep pivot. His passing and ball control skills are significantly better than all the other players in Arsenal in that role. Gets him out of the defence and into an area where he could excel. I was stunned when I read his through ball stats in his last ‘full’ season with Chelsea where the best in the league.But then, not surprised when I watch him play. He has signed a new contract, perhaps they could use him better.
The commentators on the Liverpool-Crystal Palace game were musing about whether we should keep the 5 substitute rule next season. They both agreed that 5 is too many and we should revert to three. I however would like to propose one slight change. All teams can make their usual 3 substitutes plus an additional one extra substitute where the incoming player has to be 21 or younger.
It is well documented that it is very hard for younger players to get the game time required to develop. Apart from the most gifted youngsters, the usual way to get experience is to come on as the third substitute. However, most managers are loath to bring on a youngster until the last couple of minutes owing to the danger of going down to 10 men if another player gets injured. With my system this problem would disappear, younger players would get more experience, England would become the bestest team in the world, we’d finally win the WC, and Marcus Rashford would marry the Queen and become PM.
Ramos vs Maupay
In regards to the comparison between Maupay and Ramos incidents, I took a look again at both.
Ramos PULLED Salah’s arm while also tripping his leg to make him fall a certain dangerous way while they were grappling. That would never be a clean challenge regardless of the circumstances or timing.
Maupay’s air challenge happened while:
a) the ball was bouncing on the ground at mid height and Leno winning was is not certain until around one second before the catch
b) Maupay had a lot of momentum while chasing the ball pass defense from the long pass
c) both players were running towards each other really fast while the ball was in the air and jumped
It’s easy to say after the fact with hindsight of the result, with multiple replay watches that Maupay made the wrong decision that he should have slowed down and dodged Leno. However you can say that about any late normal tackle that resulted in an injury. As a player you have to make decisions in advance with seconds or less – sometimes you screw up the timing.
You also can’t just punish players harshly (IE red card level) for doing things that are normally regarded as being fair and relatively safe, just with the difference being timing in a fast paced sport. Otherwise no players would challenge the ball ever and they may as well go play a different version of football where players will politely give the ball to the opposition every time they touch and nicely asked for it.
It was a foul that ended unfortunately for Leno. While I understand Arsenal’s frustration from a “heat of the moment” perspective, if they had issues with it that lasted post game then I suggest they go play a different sport.
Did Sky Sports try to big up even Liverpool’s PRETEND crowd during the Palace game, by turning up the PRETEND “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and by lovingly hovering their cameras over the PRETEND Kop End?
And the Liverpool Industrial Media Complex wonders why the rest of us aren’t buying it.
Jesus H Christ
Lawrence, Chelsea, No History
A considered opinion
Having been a season ticket holder at The Arsenal for many years, I have recently decided to analyse what it could be that is stopping us from mounting a title challenge.
After much consideration, I have completed my research and the answer is actually very simple:
We are shit.
Have a great summer.
AMK (glad to be locked out of the Emirates)