The Mailbox can’t fathom why Richarlison is the villain. Also: another explainer over the Glazers – one mailboxer needs it – and some 9-0s are worse than others.
Get your views in to email@example.com…
Richarlison the victim
Even being aware of the tiresome Proper Football Man attitudes that pervade much of football coverage, I was shocked at the reactions to the Brennan Johnson challenge on Richarlison in Forest v Spurs on Sunday.
Richarlison juggled the ball for a few seconds. At a time when his team were trying to hold onto a lead at the end of the game, with no urgency to score. It may not have been the best ball retention tactic, but that’s between Richarlison and his manager. For the people watching, it was entertaining. That’s what people pay to watch football for, isn’t it?
The Johnson challenge on Richarlison was appalling. Granted it wasn’t particularly violent or likely to injure Richarlison (it looked worse on first viewing), but it basically represented one player kicking another deliberately, with no involvement of the ball whatsoever – Richarlison had already played it. If Brennan had done something similar with his hands or his head, he would have been sent off. Yet he did it with his feet – actually making it more dangerous, but giving him the plausible deniability of attempting a tackle.
For me, Johnson should not only have been sent off, he should have been arrested for assault. But I accept the referee assessed it and gave him just a booking. What I can’t understand is the reaction to this, ie the criticism of Richarlison and implication that he deserved it. This has come across from Jamie Carragher, whose reaction was despicable, and Steve Cooper, who should be thoroughly ashamed of his players not criticising another professional who was completely blameless (in this incident – I know he is prone to simulation).
It wasn’t disrespectful of Richarlison to juggle the ball in a game. It was just him using the talents and confidence with which he is blessed. Was it disrespectful of Liverpool to so blatantly demonstrate their superiority over Bournemouth by scoring nine goals against them? There’s no difference. Even if you do consider it disrespectful to juggle the ball toward the end of a game you’ve already won, this does not justify violence.
Up or down the Villa
Aston Villa supporters seem to be turning to booing their team, although at least they’ve had the decency to wait till the final whistle, as a way of showing what they think of them. I’m no professional footballer, but I expect it doesn’t help confidence.
There are also calls for Gerrard to win the sack race this season. I can’t really see the advantage of that, frankly. Whichever manager comes in, isn’t necessarily going to offer you more than the new manager bounce. And most sides are going to struggle this season; only seven have won two or more of their games. Look at what’s happening at West Ham, Leicester and Wolves.
He definitely needs to settle on his preferred formation. It seemed that Buendia’s place was under threat when Coutinho came in last year, but briefly last season they were played together behind a lone striker and I thought that worked well. Now, in a bid to get goals he’s playing two strikers up front and only Coutinho or Buendia behind them, but that is stifling the unpredictability of the attack, and it must be annoying for Buendia, who has played only half the available time but has scored a goal.
It’s at least a constructive suggestion. Any other ideas how to push the Villa up (as that is clearly where they want to be)?
Paul in Brussels (meanwhile over here, Union-Saint-Gilloise beat their former coach who’s now in charge of Anderlecht, 2-1 in the Brussels derby)
Some 9-0s are worse than others
Ian King’s article made some interesting points, but if you’re going to site the fact that three recent 9-0s in the Premier League are a sign of increasing inequality it was surely remiss not to have referenced the details of Southampton’s two recent humpings.
Against Leicester they played for 78 mins minimum (not including any injury time at the end of both halves) with 10 men after a red card; and against Man U they were reduced to 10 men after another red card in the 2nd minute, and were losing 6-0 in the 86th minute when another red saw them reduced to nine, and they conceded another 3 goals when two men in the remaining minutes.
Now it’s true other teams have probably faced similar odds against and not been so humiliated (in fact on Saturday Chelsea won playing a man down, for an hour was it?), but I think it’s a little bit misleading to lump the Saints batterings alongside Bournemouth’s in trying to make a case for a concerning trend.
Parker out, Dyche in
9.01: Sky Sports News announce Scott Parker has been sacked.
9.10: First mention of Sean Dyche on Sky Sports News.
Must be some kind of record?!
Glazers out – an explainer
Recently I have started reading fans of other clubs questioning WHY Manchester United fans want the Glazers out, and try to insinuate that the protests are based on results and that we should be happy they are spending big money. So here we go:
1. The protests were due to the fact that the Glazers have managed to conduct a legal daylight robbery with their purchase of Manchester United, and continue to take out dividends for doing absolutely NOTHING for the club.
2. Money spent: The Glazers have not spent a SINGLE PENNY of their own money, and meanwhile taken out millions for themselves. The equivalent of charging United to spend money earned by United. Its a scam with a loophole, and lets not pretend otherwise. We are getting fleeced.
3. No effort to modernize our stadium, facilities etc till its too late. It requires a whole protest of thousands to get them to get on a phone call with fans, or buy players using Manchester United money, not even their own.
4. The pursuit of Fellaini, Kroos, Bale, Fabregas, Moura, Hazard and more recently De Jong, Antony shows that there is zero business sense in their transfers. Overpaying for players who could have been cheaper, and chasing unrealistic targets to waste everyone’s time, just to end up with Sanchez, Falcao and all. Its insulting to scouts to term anyone at the club as a “Scout”. I’ve seen smarter transfers on FIFA.
5. The protests started and continued during one of our most successful periods which included the threepeat of the league + the treble. Throughout all of this, United fans always and ALWAYS protested the Glazers. A section went off and formed their own club.
So in conclusion, this protest matters to United fans since the day Glazers bought the club. Sure, there are clubs out there with owners who are much worse, but the fans of those clubs dont seem to mind as long as they are winning, but here at United, the club matters, how its run matters, who owns it matters. Its time for the Glazers to sell, and not to a human rights abuser, because that’s worse than what we have.
Missing the point
So Badwolf concludes only 1 person-with 2 accounts- thinks the Glazers Out “protest” is a load of tosh? That nobody else can see it for what it is? A load of entitled morons whining that their club isn’t successful so decide to turn on their owners claiming the issue is they don’t use their own money but commercial revenue earned by the club?
Who do you think appoints the commercial managers that ensure commercial revenue is maximised? They ensure that the 6th largest transfers in Utds history have come under these owners. Grow up.
The Glazers didn’t use their own money to buy RVP. He won Utd the league. Didn’t see any protests back then. They aren’t using their own money to buy Casemiro, Martinez and Antony. There’ll be another protest at Old Trafford this Sunday I assume at the Arsenal game? After all,it’s not about signings,it’s about dividends isn’t it? How dare they take dividends out.
You can waffle on about multiple accounts or whatever you were on about but every single fan base knows the protests are a load of tosh. The issue is Utd aren’t winning and Utd fans can’t take it,even though you are out spending everyone. There were no protests last season when Sancho, Ronaldo and Varane were bought until everything went south. There are no protests now that Utd fans are happy Casemiro etc are being signed. If the issue was the owners there’d ne protests at the ground every week.Going from May 2021 to August 2022 and having no protests tells you everything. As does the fact the Liverpool game in 2021 was one where fans weren’t allowed in yet when fans are allowed not 1 protest has come close to that one.
The next home game after the Liverpool game in 2021 was v Fulham.
Fans were allowed in.
There were no protests.
That says it all.
I deleted Twitter recently. Then pretty much every social media platform shortly afterwards.
It’s hit me that in these crazy times, the mania that surrounds football and the impact it has on me away from the game, is too much.
(For the record, I now have 2 year old twins who arrived in the early stages of the pandemic, so it is unsurprising that my headspace for non-essentials is under threat).
The last 8 days has seen us beaten by the worst United team in a generation, and then thrashing a Bournemouth side who are too good for the Championship but not yet good enough for the Premier League.
What I was grateful for, was the lack of noise on social media. Losing is bad, winning is good but in truth, if you step back and just enjoy it in the moment, then no win is that good and no loss is that bad but to try and emotionally decouple even just a little bit, is really difficult.
The positives continue given the transfer window is still currently open. This to me is a microcosm of the mania that surrounds football. Sign this amazing player, sell off that shit player but whatever you do, spend big and spend lots. The circus around it makes social media a million times worse because everyone is just digitally screaming about what they want and why the owners or manager are stupid or other fans are stupid for being pleased they signed X or Y.
Football is still a game, it isn’t worth affecting your mental health, it isn’t worth sending death threats or racially abusing people online, it isn’t worth the anxiety and mania that surrounds it. Step back and enjoy the game for what got you excited about it in the first place, you’ll find it a much more enjoyable experience.
The game no longer cares about you or I, so maybe take it easy on yourself.
Best signing of the summer
You ask if there’s been any better transfer than Martinez, this summer?
Look, you’ve won two games on the run so I get you’re excited but…..
….ever heard of a young chap by the name of Erling Haaland?
Just trying to help.
Levenshulme Blue, M19
A kettles but no cups
Tottenham fan here
Strange question for the football 365 mailbox perhaps but can anyone suggest a good top of the range kettle?
We’re boiling a lot of piss these days it seems and we just want to make sure we’re doing it to the best of our ability.