The Mailbox has a familiar sinking feeling with Spurs, while Manchester United’s ‘crisis’ is put into context. Also: plenty on Villa; Mikel Arteta; and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s arse…
Get your views in to email@example.com…
You know what’s funny? Manchester United are apparently going through a crisis and need to sack their manager.
Tottenham Hotspur have apparently hired a revolutionary coach who will push Spurs to the next level, introducing his own style of play!
Both teams are on 27 points…. The media is weird.
Having watched Tottenham played good football in the first half against West Ham (scored first) only to lose the game 2:1, I can conclude that Ange is Nuno 2.0. Fact!
Nuno won his first three League games playing attractive football. Was named the premier League manager of the month of August, beating Man City along the way.
Yes, Ange was unbeaten in 10 league games and won MotM 3 times but he has since lost 4 in 5 (the draw against Man city only shows how poor Man city is currently not how brilliant Spurs are). His inability to adapt his tactics to suit the players available is a concern and I don’t see him turning the table soon.
It is good to be attractive football but attractive football with good result is what fans really want. How long can Levy tolerate this poor run of results? The answer is not long.
I don’t see him changing his style of play soon and don’t see Spurs winning at Newcastle on Sunday. This will be another tough season for the Spurs.
Much as I admit to enjoying seeing City stumble for form and the parity it offers, I did write in recently (mainly on how awful Darwin Nunez is as a finisher) with mention of how City were robbed by the referee vs tottenham. If not for Simon hooper’s brilliant footballing intervention, Spurs would be on a run of five straight losses from five, having led them each. With Newcastle inexplicably letting in three in the closing minutes at goodison, the only winner today is Ten Hag, his club sandwiched btwn spurs and the toon. After very brief flatcap hiatus Ten Hag is about to channel his Thomas Shelby again at the wknd, sans the swagger (or the kills).
But on Spurs today, wow. I’ve felt for most of their early season that some kind of course correction was due… not least b/c we were robbed against them and karma takes its flight as a big red Liver bird, but also b/c Ive observed tottenham with interest for several yrs now and I understand their bigger picture, the history of the tottenham if you will. Which means: I recall Conte with Spurs topping the table, I recall Nuno with Spurs topping the table, adding a manager of the month bauble to boot. I certainly recall Ange topping the table, and unfortunately I believe his manager of the month accolades might be sum total of what he garners in N London when all’s said and done for him there. What a shout, right ? But I just don’t believe his methods willl translate to longevity in this league by their present constitution; it’s all just too open, too basic, so clearly one-note absent any nuance. Every team has injuries, so that’s not in mitigation either. While quickly anointed as the media’s darling shrimp on the barbie (or whatever), I always felt the journos went early and he might get found out over 38 games– turns out we needed just 15. It was plain to see that Ange’s counterpart on the touchline this evening was tactically streets ahead, not particularly difficult given Spurs’ predictable choreography over the season thus far.
A few other observations… In the summer I thought it a foregone conclusion Lucas Paqueta was en route to the Etihad, but i’m noticing he does absolutely nothing off ball. I can’t imagine such a passenger ever being involved in City’s slick winning machine, but let’s see if that move is ever revisted (assuming it was even on). Also, Bowen’s equalising strike mustve felt amazing leaving his boot. To thump into the roof of the net from point blank range is probably every forward’s dream… so much so I couldn’t help thinking Darwin would’ve struck that one off the post or skied into the stands. Lastly, I enjoyed Tickner’s followup to the Guardian’s piece on charismatic managers; I myself had mulled writing something in about how cardboard and sullen Ten Hag comes across, but never fully baked my thoughts in time. But I will say, for as much charisma Ange purportedly has and Moyes supposedly lacks, I’d take Moyes and his nous, candor and longevity (and his European trophy !) over Ange at my club any day of the wk– actually no, he’s Evertonian… oh well
In any event it’s no mystery we’d top the table if not for the setback at Spurs… and for that, I’ll keep watching em til wee Ryan mason takes firefighting reins again, perhaps sooner than anyone thinks
Eric, Los Angeles CA
Hello darkness my old friend.
Ah, this feels depressingly familiar, doesn’t it (not the first time I’ve said this during this season).
I’m still all in on Ange ball but it is upsetting to see us miss an opportunity whilst Arsenal keep finding a way.
Anyway, COYS, mate.
Jon (starting to miss Harold Kane a bit), Lincoln
…Can I just check…
Are spurs still top of the league from all the moral victories they’ve had?
Otherwise 1 point from 15, when taking the lead in each of those games, doesn’t read very well
Win or bust
I am sure we are all familiar with the 1987 rock opera Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire. The premise was that Billy and the Vampire played a one off match of snooker and, as the song went, the loser quits.
That is Sunday’s match between Newcastle and Spurs. Surely, tiny face Howe or big Ange has to go if they lose on Sunday?
Micki ‘T.O.’ Attridge (just me then? Fair enough)
I wasn’t an immediate disciple of the fabled “Angeball” but I’m well and truly sold now. Love it.
…I see that Spurs are still playing “the right way”. 🤣
Half a week is a long time in football
Utd are terrible
ETH should be sacked & lost the dressing room
Chelsea are a work in progress
Newcastle are amazing
Man City are ‘the’ team
Spurs are how you should play
Utd might not be…terrible?
ETH could be alright & the players backed him
Chelsea need to do better
Newcastle are 1 point behind United
City are 3 points ahead
Spurs are 4 losses and 1 draw from their last league victory – level on points with Utd
I’ve been harping on about narratives, and this week may have been the best example of what BS they can be.
Calvinho (Very glad to hear Johnny is on the road to recover. “The Chinese farmer” by Alan watts(YouTube) is a tale I tell in times of tragedy, please let Johnny know 🙂 )
The top four is currently London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester. The four biggest cities in England, though not quite in order, sadly. When was the last time that happened, I wonder?
Yours in an anorak,
Toffees tonk Toon
Well, didn’t see that coming. Nor did anyone else. I mean yeah we were hoping to nick one but 3-0?
Newcastle clearly gassed and running on fumes. Looked nothing like the team that beat United. Injuries clearly playing a part in the trajectory of both Newcastle’s and Spurs’ season.
Shout out to Villa. No doubt about Emery now and I don’t see any reason they can’t get one of those CL spots, provided they swerve the injury bug as well.
TX Bill (glad to see Beto get a goal) EFC
Happy for Emery
After the Villa result on Wednesday night, I thought to myself, good for Emery. He inherited an absolutely toxic environment at Arsenal when he took over, with titanic egos, and a broken leadership structure in the club. He was doomed to fail, and unsurprisingly, he failed. To see him deliver success at Villa makes me happy. I had no ill will to him as an Arsenal fan, only that he was the wrong man for the club and what it needed.
So kudos to Villa and Emery. You’re a fun side to watch, with great football. I hope you fail to turn up this weekend so we can get some points, but it makes for a tasty match.
…When Villa appointed Emery I (as an Arsenal fan) wrote in to the mailbox and said they had got a good manager (my point was that anyone who took over from Wenger was set to fail). I’m happy to have been proven right. Ahead of this weekend the typical nonsense of ‘who is better’ and ‘if Emery had been backed like Arteta’ will surely feature on media watch.
Emery is a fantastic manager and there is no one I’d rather be leading Arsenal than Arteta.
I for one am just looking forward to a cracking game
Steve (Gooner, Australia)
I tuned into city villa at 50 minutes after watching one of the most boring and painful 2-0 wins in likely to see against sheff utd – liverpool are playing badly. Don’t let results fool you, right now we are there for the taking.
Imagine my surprise to see villa from 50 mins to 90mins utterly dominate city all over the park and basically decide to set up camp on the city box for the whole time I was watching. Not just raining shots on goal, but also putting together fast incisive passing sequences which I’ve grown accustomed to seeing from a guardiola team.
It wasnt just a comprehensive win it was basically a training match with villa deciding to make it a 5 a side pitch by stopping city doing anything at all. You can say city were bad but that would be a disservice to villa. City were bad because they had no choice they got choked to death by an extremely good villa performance.
The whole thing left me wondering two things..
1. I wonder if theyll beat arsenal at weekend?
2. I hope they have a crash in form by the time we play them again because based on recent performances villa would likely make us their next training match.
Well played villa. Great game and much better than the shot of sedatives that was the Liverpool game.
Forstly, best wishes to JN, don’t always agree, but wishing a speedy recovery.
I think the January transfer window will be a great indicator if Arteta has learnt from his previous errors. This time last season, we were top, and needed some reinforcements. These were not forthcoming, and we ran out of steam. We are now in a superb position to take advantage of the inconsistencies of the teams around us. An out and out goal scorer, and a CDM would be ideal for Jan, to keep the pressure on Man City.
I don’t think we will win, but if we apply some of the lessons we hope Arsenal and the recruitment team has hopefully learned, we can push for a title. Here’s hoping.
Duncan Armstrong (I’m hoping one Conor Byrne would be writing in about his beloved Villa, and how they are doing so well)
Bit late to the party with this one but why the hell has Arteta incurred a touchline ban for over celebrating?
I’ve mostly haven’t had a problem with the way the FA has treated Mikel this season. I think he has a point about the implementation of VAR but he doesn’t help himself and should learn to just shut the hell up. If you vociferously have a go at referees, they’re not going to respond by saying, ‘Actually, you have a point there, let’s reverse that decision.’
But penalties for over celebration are just plain stupid. While George Graham didn’t go batshit crazy back in 1989 at Anfield at Thomas’ winner, Mikel celebrated another last minute winner this week and I can’t blame him.
Take the joy out of football and what have you got? Rugby – a sport that compares itself to football but lacks over celebration because deep down no one gives a crap about it.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Disappointed to not see anything on the Villa vs Man City game. This was undoubtedly a bigger and more significant match, and therefore worthy of some analysis, than the Man Utd vs Chelsea game. Those two clubs remind me of that Lyle Lanley quote from The Simpsons: ‘You know, a town club with money is like a mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows how he got it and danged if he knows how to use it!’ Come on F365, you can do better!
…I would like to officially nominate Aston Villa vs Arsenal game this weekend to be awarded the 16 conclusions honor. Would be a deserved promotion for Aston Villa after what they did to Man City, and a just reward of their work this past year.
Side note- A victory over Bournemouth will bring ETH level on points with Guardiola. Not too shabby for a manager who has lost 50 percent of the dressing room.
Gaurav MUFC Amsterdam
Keep an eye out on Saturday night – MC
“Their salaries will probably be a wash….”
Kylian Mbappe is 24 years old, and has scored more World Cup Final goals than any other player in history. He’s almost inevitably going to finish his career as the top appearance-maker and top scorer for the most consistently-excellent international team in the world. He’s coming into free agency at the end of a contract which makes him the second-most highly-paid footballer in history. He is almost universally recognised as currently the best player in the world, and, if you ever hop onto Eurostar and go to Paris for a city break, you’ll realise that he is basically the king of France.
Marcus Rashford comes across as A Nice Young Man, who occasionally does Good Bits On The Field. He has about four years remaining on a contract, which, although lucrative, is worth less in total than Mbappe’s annual salary at PSG.
Adidasmufc seems to think that these two footballers would have broadly the same salary expectations.
Disagree. STRONGLY disagree.
Dara O’Reilly, London
…Hey Adidasmufc; fabulous idea and i really respect the sense of optimism coming out of Old Trafford these days, but a couple of questions if I may:
1. Why would Mbappe want to waste two of his prime years playing at a mid-table Premier League club who haven’t won either the league or champions league for over a decade?
2. Why, oh why would PSG want Marcus Rashford? Why would anyone want him? Apart from the waistcoat wearing England gaffer?!!
Well Oliver, if you read my mail I wasn’t just talking about United when making my point. Why would a spurs fan want to hear the best part of 20 minutes about United when they’ve just took a point at City? Why is Saturdays 1-0 getting more talk than Sundays 3-3 and 4-3?
I’d also suggest reading the mails above yours, and their points. Maybe clubs like Brentford get spoken about less because the airways are filled with United talk? I’d imagine there’s 18 PL coaches who kind of appreciate the spot light being elsewhere most of the time, from table toppers Arsenal and LFC to league minnows Luton and Burnley (Sorry, not you Paul).
I may have had a point about the quality of punditry as well, as mentioned about Shearers skills. I appreciated the beginning of punditry showing more emotion, but it’s now far too reactionary, and often just goes in line with narratives, whether true or false. Like blaming Ten Hag signings after a poor result- in which only 1 Ten Hag signing starts.
To answer your question, I’m positive there’s more out there than just ex United pros and pros who hate United. I’d love to see a panel of four: a tactics expert, an ex footballer for that perspective and an entertainer (who gets football), and then a host who can navigate the three by leading the conversation. This can be a rotating group as well, bringing in different tactical experts, PL players at various levels and perspectives and various entertainers.
It’d be better than hearing Roy keane argue that these United players aren’t good enough, that he’d never do that, but some how expect these “unfit for purpose” players achieve what he did. Or Neville saying “their boring” days after a 3-0 win and 3-3 draw. They have it both ways and we know you can’t have that.
Had United played badly tonight or lost, by all means criticize away – I’d be one of the critics with you. But you’ll notice this week Poch won’t be making many headlines for his Chelsea side being very much muck, or opposition fans writing in to scortch their team, signings or manager.
I suspect you watched tonight’s game in the hope of getting some pleasure out of United misery, looking to Ten Hag on the screen thinking “please sir, can I have some more?”
But there was no sad twist in the game except for the fact United still haven’t beaten a top ten team.
Calvinho (Pretty sure McT is United’s most effective striker)
Anyone else interested in the fact that, in the Mailbox, United fans now measure their performance in the League as against where City stand?
Nice to have the recognition, lads, cheers.
Levenshulme Blue, Manchester 19
LIV-ing it up
Not particularly football related but looking at what’s gone on in golf, is what would have happened with the Super League.
Never let it happen. Golf is broken. Don’t let football be next.
Winners and Oozers
Please refrain from using the phrase “the tepid, unappetising water of Kai Havertz”, especially when publishing an article at lunchtime.
Is nobody going to acknowledge that Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ASSist for the first Liverpool goal vs Sheffield United was made with half his rear end showing to the world?
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland