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No Mount, no party
Surely I cannot be the only one who is shocked to see not only F365 but also Sky Sports omit Mason Mount from their “Team Of The Season”, it is not a bias at all, Mason Mount has certainly carried Chelsea this season, especially under Frank Lampard’s tenure, he has then upped his game even more so since Thomas Tuchel came in.
It may seem harsh but was Phil Foden truly better than Mason Mount this season? I would say no, Mason has not only played more games, i thought i would peak at the stats to see how he is getting on and it suggests Mount is 3rd in Assists from Setplays, Top 10 for Key Passes, Top 10 for Tackles, Top 5 in xGA and Top 10 for Pass Progression, now you can use stats to prove anything, however i am NOT saying Phil Foden is not a good player, he certainly is a gem and has been exceptionally managed by Guardiola at Manchester City, but for this season, Mason Mount has been better.
But who are other players you feel should be in the Team Of The Season and who should have NOT been included in the F365 and Sky Sports editions?
Spurs following Arsenal down the pan
Apologies to any Spurs supporters right now who are probably miserable enough, but does anyone see anything other than an Arsenal style decline for them? They’ve never been one to really spend big on transfers (and if they do they invariably get it wrong Los Celso/Ndombele), a new stadium to pay off, an ageing squad with no obvious abundance of youth coming through, no managers out there you could hang your hat on to sort things out and your absolute one world class player you would think probably wants out at this point. I just cannot see how they can reverse the decline to mid table mediocrity. By the time they sort their defence and midfield out, Kane and Son will be past 30 or not at the club. They’re not even likeable anymore, the flair of the past has gone and Jose got what he wanted by making them bigger c****, in fact Son has taken it to the extreme with the diving and crying every 30 seconds.
And just to twist the knife, Arsenal are bad but that is a seriously young side that you’d think will only improve – Saka, Martenelli, Smith Rowe, Tierney, Pepe, Gabriel – all under 24. And to be honest, its all nothing less than Daniel Levy deserves.
Ole’s going to do it, isn’t he? Playing a weakened team against Leicester, offering the foxes happily the chance to seal the fourth spot while resting his regulars in the hope of burying Liverpool’s slim chance for the CL.
It may seem dirty games, but reverse the situation; on one hand the Liverpool fans would want to ensure ManU end up in Europa but Klopp wouldn’t care about ancient rivalries and ensure the strongest team plays when the title is still mathematically possible.
But it is what it is.
You would think life can’t kick you anymore as a Liverpool fan, but while situations, VAR and playing Fabinho at CB did already screw us enough; watching your nemesis adding the final nail to your hopes, while taking a L for the spite, is a new low.
Mihir. LFC. Mumbai. (It’s how you react to sh*tty situations that matters)
Super League snakes unite
I write in appeal to your better nature and urge Manchester United do the right thing this week as regards team selection.
As Super League chums I think you’ll agree that we must work together to repel the advances of the lower classes encroaching on our shared birthrights.
Leicester City have been making a nuisance of themselves recently and I ask for your help in dispatching them from the top 4 this week. With your own place back in the top 4 guaranteed it is critical you reach out a helping hand to an old ally when he needs it.
It’s rather plain to see but it bears repeating that the greater good will be served if you play your strongest XI against Leicester and keep your hounds at bay for our visit on Thursday evening.
There is little point in Leicester embarrassing our good name across the continent anyway, it would be the equivalent of a man guzzling vodka and skittles in a gentlemen’s club more accustomed to the subtleties of fine scotch and West Indian cigars.
Your friends in longevity
p.s. Don’t worry about the Europa League final, we have Alberto Moreno planted at left back. This should brook no further understanding I believe.
Have we all forgotten the ESL?
After the utter disgrace that was the ESL fiasco, I was so repulsed that I lost all interest in the rest of this season. Premier League, Champions League, Europa League (I’m historically an Arsenal fan)- could not care less. I stopped watching games, looking at soccer websites or even checking scores or watching highlights. My brother and my father have done the same, we are a soccer-obsessed family and it has been quite a change for us.
Curious, I decided to have a look at F365 today. ESL and the massive problems it represented seem to be a distant memory. All the articles and mails seem to be business as usual, caught up in the action of the weekend. Sergio Aguero missed a penalty, apparently. I see an argument about capitalism, maybe that started with an ESL discussion?
If you were disgusted by ESL and the current state of the game, but went right back to watching PL games and clicking on Winners and Losers or other sites, you are the problem and you are the reason why that dystopian future remains all but a certainty, for now. I hope that viewers and clicks are down, that the fans who care are staying away, and maybe they are, I’m not sure. I will say that the best news I have seen since ESL was announced was Man U fans stopping a game from being played, and the club losing out on a potentially huge sponsorship deal. Those are real fans making a real difference, respect.
I encourage all fans who care to stay away, let’s continue to make our power felt, make real change, and not squander the opportunity and momentum that presented itself to all of us together. Crawling right back like nothing happened will only signal to clubs that they indeed have a cash cow, that fans have the attention span of goldfish, and that they should definitely try again.
Paul, soccer fan, USA
What happened with Lukaku?
This has been bugging me for a while but Ole despite having a consistent style of play does tend to be more vague in its application to enable players express themselves (see Bielsa’s description of Ole’s side)
It effectively means that whether you are a ball playing keeper like Ederson (Henderson) or a shot stopper like Oblak (de gea), you have a place in his team, whether you are a modern CB like Van dijk (Maguire) or an old school one like Bailly, you are welcome to the team, whether you are a Carrick type DM (Matic) or a ‘follow him to his grave’ type like Kante (Fred), you will not be sent away, whether you are a winger like Mahrez (James) or an inside forward like Mane (Rashford), you are invited to dine with him, whether you are a wide midfielder like Rodriguez (Mata) or a second striker/inside forward like Salah (Greenwood), he will gladly play you, whether you are a striker who likes to drift wide like Mbappe (Rashford, Martial) or a box focused one like Lewandowski (Cavani, Haaland) you will still be accommodated.
You only get sent away if you are massively under-performing like Sanchez. Which brings us to the most curious exit of his tenure, big man Lukaku, what happened? He was the best (only) striker at the club and he let him go so readily? Did he want to leave? If so, wasn’t Cavani in the same boat some time ago before he used his frankly excellent man-management skills to bring him to side? Couldn’t he have done the same with lukaku? He has hinted in one of his press conferences that his character was not right, but is that really all there is to it? Credit to Ole though, just like he said, if you are not right, he gets rid of you silently, so silently it felt creepy that no one was asking where Lingard was, or Smalling or Darmian and right now, are Williams and Romero still United players? Whether this is a good skill or not I don’t know, but I know that it may have saved Mourinho’s last two jobs.
Encouraged for CL final
After last Wednesday’s games the thoughts of this years champions league final filled me with dread, I seriously considered if I would even watch it.
City are like a prime Steve Davis, ruthless, efficient but essentially dull, dull dull , unless you are a supporter. The neutral looks on in the early stages hoping for an upset but more often that not are disappointed
Then there is Tunchel’s Chelsea. who I watched for their first few games and were equally as dull. He removed the defensive uncertainty from Franks reign , but the football was not very inspired.
But out of interest I watched Saturdays game and it gave me some hope for the CL final. Chelsea were bright in possession and in Billy Gilmore have a rival for Foden as star of the future. Chelsea outplayed city for large stretches, but not with mind-numbing sideways backwards passing . They looked to get forward and were not happy just to maintain possession. It gives hope for an entertaining final.
JD ( how does Fernandinho stay on the pitch)
Still on the Man City – Chelsea game. Is it just me or everyone not wanting to dabble in to the clear penalty denied city in the dying moments of the 90? What is the essence of VAR if things like this are allowed to slide? Would such officiating be “credible” in a champions league game, talk less a final? Was it a ploy to create drama, as seen when moments later Chelsea scored the winner?
Isaac from Nigeria
Fit and proper?
The Football League have today announced an investigation into allegations of human rights abuse by Ipswich Town’s new shirt sponsor, Ed Sheeran. ‘Galway Girl’ cited as the main reason for the investigation.
In other news, Daniel Levy has announced he will be releasing a duet with famed Tottenham supporting chanteuse, Adele. It’s a cover of Elton John’s classic ‘Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.’
He’s here all week (try the chicken in the basket).
David Harris, Sydney.
Russell why such disparaging comments concerning someone with a differing perspective to yourself. The reason this capitalism debate has reared its head within football is because the ESL has asked a question is this way of maximising profits for the few for what seems to detriment of the rest a good thing. This then creates a dilemma as a lot of fans think this is may not be good for football, so why is it good for other aspects of their life like retail or banking for instance.
You eloquently explain how you view this from your perspective as an entrepreneur and is also on the whole supported by the media who also are rich capitalists. This is not obviously every bodies view point of the financial situation so they view the gap between rich and poor being something they would like alleviated.
There are multitude of ways to achieve this from tax breaks and trickle down to complete state involvement and many differing ways in between.
Back to football we look at other teams, managers and players and try to evaluate which would best suit our club, because we all wish our team to be successful so why not look at different financial models.
To paraphrase there are many ways to go forward but only one way to stand still. I cannot believe we are at the zenith of our development so we need to evaluate constantly.
The acceptance of the status quo because it is successful for you does not mean it is for everyone.
Gary in Germany