Mails: Are millennials the worst football fans ever?

Date published: Friday 13th October 2017 9:20

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I think Conor (Drogheda) and Vish (Melbourne) miss the essential point in their defence of Keano.

It’s not really about whether he was/is angry or a sociopath; the question is was he a great player over the duration of the premiership.

I was reminded of this when I saw several Teams of the Premiership Years and Top 10s etc. recently, which didn’t include him and I think it must be down to too many young/short memories or plain daftness.

Manchester United are undoubtedly the outstanding and most successful club of the premiership years and no player contributed more to that than Keano.

Think about it: of whom could it be said that, if they were replaced by just an above-average player, the impact on their team’s success over a sustained period would be greater than Keano’s?

Nobody and that says it all!


I’m late to the Roy Keane bashing party but I’d just like to say – it’s always confusing to judge a professional sports athlete. Do you judge his entire character on and off the field and take a balanced view of both? Or do you only choose to focus on his character while he was on the field and make it clear that the opinions being expressed refer to the footballer and not the person in real life.

Roy Keane as a man perhaps is and should be judged as one of the PFM’s who doesn’t like the soft belly and shell of the modern player. A man with a violent streak and perhaps a chip on his shoulder who can be relied upon for a controversial soundbite. A man who broke a fellow professional’s leg and contributed to ending his career over an altercation on the field and showed no remorse.

However, (for me Clive) I would like to remember Keano as a professional who knew his limitations, overcame them with his own desire and will to succeed and in the process inspired his teammates for a good decade. A captain who could exhort you to levels you can only dream of achieving and who refused to back down from anyone trying to bully his teammates or him. As a player, he used his mental fortitude on the pitch to become a leader of men and perhaps also used that chip on his shoulder to spur him on and show the world what he could achieve. As John said – just like United players respect Vieira for doing the same at Arsenal (albeit in a more professional way perhaps) – a lot of fans and players who had the privilege to watch him lead and inspire an United team would still want him to do the same today.


More Christian believers
We don’t talk about how great Christian Eriksen is. We don’t want bigger clubs to notice him. He’s not the key component of our offense and creativity (especially with Lamela out for the past year). We are not completely predictable and static when Eriksen is not playing. He is not an important piece in the forward press. He is not a better fit for Barcelona than Coutinho. Coutinho is the next Messi and Barcelona would be fools not to get him. *Waves hand* Eriksen is not the player you are looking for.

Clearly he is not a good player and other teams should take no notice of him. In fact, how can I player with hair that looks like a rooster plume be taken seriously.
Drew, Boston (Sunil out, Arena Out, completely overhaul USSF and stop forcing US players to play in MLS)


A team of Jesse Lingards
A couple of emails of mediocre teams
and no one has suggested a team of Jesse Lingards?

What is the world coming to?
Andrew Clark (and keano is a legend)


Equal pay for equal work
Without getting too riled up into the ongoing discussion about the Norwegian FA, I just wanted to address somethings I’ve seen come up a few times in mails and comments.

Firstly, people are aware this is the Norwegian FA and pertains only to the international players when representing their country? So it’s not a wage, but an appearance fee (roughly doubled from 296,00 to 575,000, including 50k paid by the male players voluntarily, across the whole squad). Any discussion of meritocracy goes out of the window when considering Ox, Henderson et al make the same as Kane or Rashford. What the Norweigan FA have essentially said is that representing the country at the highest level is an equal honour for men and women and they’re both equally respective of that honour and thus should be paid the same flat fee as role models, ambassadors etc etc (especially considering the women’s team has been consistently higher ranked in their smaller pool).

Secondly, I’ve seen a lot of mention of “should lower leagues be paying the same wages as premier league teams then?” Ignoring, as I’ve said, that we’re not actually talking about a wage, the answer is “obviously no” and “do you understand what being a commercial entity entails?”. Lower league clubs can’t afford to pay prem wages or they’d go into administration and bankrupt (as several clubs have). As commercial entities then can only afford to pay out what’s coming in, from various revenue streams. Imagine if there was a Championship club with a 40-50k stadium, large local fanbase, international interest and both short and long term success in terms of history – they would absolutely pay prem level wages. This isn’t a hypothetical, Newcastle and Aston Villa both had (have) astronomical wages for Championship clubs. In fact, the average team and player wage has increased massively due to increased revenue, but the standard of play hasn’t increased as much as wages/transfers; it has nothing to do with better players being paid more, Alan Hutton is on 50 sodding grand a week. So yes, a championship should pay higher wages if they can afford it, regardless of an increase of quality – because there is more money in the game and otherwise it will line owners pockets.

All of this is besides the point though, the FA isn’t a commercial entity. Although it must live within its means, its sole purpose is to promote, protect and support football (for everyone) in its country. Women’s football isn’t as popular or profitable as men’s and so clubs don’t pay women as much as men; but the women’s internationals deserve to paid as much as the men for representing their countries well.
Andy K (Villa – surprisingly happy these days)



Big Weekend‘s little brother
Burnley-West Ham. Outside the top six, the match of the round. Burnley have three wins, three draws, and only one loss (!), and will feel another win is in reach here. West Ham need points badly. Ideally the visitors would go with Chicharito and Andy Carroll as a little and large, but Hernandez may not be ready to start after two matches and a plane flight from Mexico. A 4-5-1, including a hopefully fit Manuel Lanzini, might be better anyway against the Burnley midfield of Steven Defour, Jack Cork, and Jeff Hendrick. We could see some heavy Kiwi-on-Kiwi action with Chris Wood against Winston Reid, both men well in form. José Fonte, excellent against Swansea, should also see action against Wood. At the other end, both James Tarkowski and Ben Mee have the chops to challenge Carroll, who–get this—won only two of eight aerial duels last match.

Stat: Burnley have allowed more shots than any other team (21/game), but since they’re blocking everything in sight (8.7/game), only the Manchester clubs have allowed fewer goals.

Southampton-Newcastle. If I’m Degsy, or even Begsy, I go with under 1.5 goals here. Newcastle will set up to defend, and Southampton have scored only one goal from open play in their last five matches (against Crystal Palace, of course). With Shane Long fighting a hip injury, Manolo Gabbiadini may get another chance, but how he’s going to get by a deep Jamal Lascelles-Ciaran Clark pairing is a mystery. Dusan Tadic, the Saints’ main provider, may be subpar after two high-intensity matches for Serbia, meaning Nathan Redmond will have to step up. Jonjo Shelvey had a decent match home to Liverpool, so I’ll guess he pairs with Mikel Merino again for more counterattacking punch. Individual battle to watch will be Christian Atsu against Cédric, at the moment the best right-back in the league.

Stat: Among players who have played over 400 minutes, Joselu ranks fourth in the league in shots/ 90, behind only Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, and Romelu Lukaku. Oh, and Shola Ameobi turned 36 yesterday. (Four goals in 14 appearances for Notts County!)

Brighton-Everton. The visitors are leaking goals but the home side doesn’t score many. Anthony Knockaert started on the bench last time out, but José Izquierdo spent the last week in Colombia, so it figures to be the Frenchman and the impressive Solly March on the wings. March will probably be matched up against a vulnerable Cuco Martina. Davy Pröpper picked up a thigh injury on international duty, so Pascal Gross, so effective high up the pitch, may have to play a bit deeper. Glenn Murray should replace the suspended Tomer Hemed at striker. For Everton, Nikola Vlasic (does he have a dog named Pickles?) might be a good choice on the right to go at either Gaetan Bong or Markus Suttner. I’d also like to see Dominic Calvert-Lewin and/or Oumar Niasse use their movement against Shane Duffy, with Gylfi Sigurdsson, if over his hangover, providing towards the left.

Stat: Brighton have taken exactly 50% of their shots from outside the area, tied with Huddersfield for top in that category.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA


The debut of Begsy Dilton
Liverpool v Manchester United
Do you remember Red Monday? Of course you do. Do you remember any corresponding fixture between these two where goals have been free flowing? It has happened only once in the last 5 seasons courtesy of Juan Mata’s most outstanding display in a United shirt in 2015. Even then a 2-1 win. Can you see Mourinho leaving space wide open for Liverpool to attack? No neither can I.

Goals – Under 2.5 goals @ 9/10 (all odds sourced from Bet365 – other bookies are available).

Burnley v West Ham
Let’s get it right, Burnley are flying and West Ham’s comedy owners were probably about 3 minutes from giving Slaven Bilic the sack. Slav hasn’t found a formation to get his side playing, and they are ripe for the frustrating tactics that Sean Dyche is a now expert in getting his team to produce. Burnley are strong, cohesive and excellent at home. At 6/4 they are prime for the backing here.

Full time – Burnley @ 6/4

Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Probably the easiest insight you’ll read all weekend. Palace are shocking. They have no one capable of scoring a premier league goal in their current list of fit strikers. They are porous at the back and held out for a measly 3 minutes against United. Roy has a huge job on but his season starts next weekend.

Result/Both Teams to score – Chelsea & No @ 6/5

Manchester City v Stoke
City are flying, scoring goals for fun. Stoke have been excellent at the Bet365 stadium the result versus Chelsea notwithstanding, but have scored twice at the Etihad in 11 attempts since 2008. So, with that being the case and with City looking imperious in the league so far, the citizens to win to nil looks an absolute shoe in.

Result/Both Teams to score – Man City & No @ 5/6.

Swansea v Huddersfield
Swansea goals scored since the start of 2016/17 – 48 in 45 games. Huddersfield – 61 in 53. These teams do not excite. It will be close, it will be tense. Don’t be too surprised when this ends 0-0 or 1-0 for either side.

Alternative total goals – Under 1.5 @6/4

Tottenham v Bournemouth
Tottenham are looking for their first win at the ‘home of (turgid) football’ – really hope Wembley/The FA go for that slogan post Russia – with a loss against Chelsea and two frustrating home draws v Burnley and Swansea still fresh in the memories. But that boy Kane cannot stop scoring and I have backed him to get a minimum of a brace after his England exploits. Expect Tottenham to get the monkey off their back here against a less than stout Bournemouth side.

Multiscorers – Harry Kane 2 or more – 6/5

Watford v Arsenal
Arsenal have bounced back since there humiliating away game against Liverpool. They come up against – flutters eyelids – Marco Silva’s wonderful Watford; they look resolute and carry a goal threat. However, I do expect Arsenal to come through this exam, but not without a scare. Mustafi being injured on International duty opens the door for the big effing German and if you think Arsenal will keep a clean sheet then good on you. I don’t.

Result/ Both teams to score – Arsenal & Yes @2/1

Brighton v Everton
How rancid have Everton been to watch this season. No pace in wide areas, no pace up top. They are about as exciting as that Cuprinol drying on my garden decking. Brighton don’t look as if they will tear up the league either adding to their premier league strike force with the talents of……..ah. They are, however, hard to break down and haven’t conceded more than 2 in a game yet this season. That won’t change Sunday and with home advantage this will be tight. If they can squeak themselves a goal against the more than shaky toffees they should be able to see it home.

Draw no bet – Brighton @ 11/10.

Southampton v Newcastle
Christ what a dull week this in the premier league. Rafa Benitez’s extremely resolute magpies versus goal shy Southampton. 4pm Sunday. Great shout Sky. How are TV rights worth so much? Good lord don’t watch it, your eyes will bleed.

Total goals – Under 2.5 goals @ 3/4

Leicester v West Brom
Monday night football. Previous games between these two are usually good for a goal. But sod all else. Leicester are pretty much a banker for BTTS. Lively forwards and calamity has ensued at the back for some time now. In the eight meetings between these two, at Leicester since 2007, there has been one clean sheet between them.

Both teams to score – Yes @ 19/20
Begsy Dilton (Begsy to beat Degsy – evens).


Looking at the next Scotland manager
Strachan has gone. I’m 50/50 on this one. He oversaw two failed campaigns but finished with a run of 4 wins and 2 draws in the last 6 games which is pretty good. However, he was always fairly conservative and tended to stick with trusted players rather than give new ones a chance. If Leigh Griffiths has played the whole campaign, who knows how we might have done. I won’t make up my mind on whether this is a good decision until the next manager is appointed, so let’s take a look at the options (with current odds).

David Moyes – 6/4
Oh god please no. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Nothing sums up the shambolic nature of the managerial merry-go-round than Moyes being the favourite for this job. Pat Nevin, who I respect a lot, said “I would go straight for David Moyes.” Why???? He has been an abject failure in his last 3 jobs. Why is a manager who lasted less than a year 3 times being considered? Even his time at Everton shows his limitations. No wins in TEN YEARS away from home to the top 4. In looking back at his time at Everton I came across a stat I actually had to check over repeatedly as I couldn’t believe it could be true: In 10 years (20 attempts) David Moyes reached a cup quarter final or better four times. Four times!!!! That is utterly appalling. For Everton, who are in the top 8 clubs in England to fail to reach the last 8 that many times, is dreadful. Yes, league form was decent, at times very good, but when they qualified for Europe, they were dreadful. No to Moyes. No. No. No. No. No.

Malkay MacKay – 9/2
Let’s put the personal stuff in the past. Kick it Out recently backed him for a post working for the SFA and said he had received diversity training, shown remorse and it’s time to move on. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. Not an inspiring appointment though. Good at Cardiff but won 5 games of 24 at Wigan. Not done enough to suggest he deserves an international job.

Paul Lambert – 6/1
Did an undeniably good job with his teams before Villa. Back to back promotions is no mean feat. The decline of Villa after he left suggests there was a lot wrong with the club and he actually started pretty well there. Again, though, it’s hardly an inspirational appointment but I’d take him over the two above.

Michael O’Neil 6/1
Absolutely yes. Unbelievably achievements in his job to date, if we can get him, we have to. Depends on Northern Ireland losing their playoff and even then, would he take it? Likely to have Championship, even Premier League suiters. If he’s enjoying international football though he may be tempted. Lives in Edinburgh already. Better players (slightly) he’d earn more money, and what more can he realistically do with Northern Ireland? Not saying he’d do more with Scotland but even if he repeated what he’s done with Northern Ireland, we’d probably build a statue of him.

Sam Allardyce 8/1
I would be very surprised if he took it and his resignation at Palace gives me doubts as to what his commitment to the job would be. Would be very suited to the job, organising a team of not very skilled players. Does have a 100% record in international football. It would be weird having an English manager though. Not sure how I would feel about that. Drinking habits would certainly be approved of.

Derek McIness 14/1
I’ve written at length on here about Derek McIness and I won’t do so again but I’m surprised he’s not being discussed more for this job. Suffice to say, he has done a job at Aberdeen that is no less than phenomenal. Regular bottom 6 finishers before he took over. 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd since he took charge and currently joint top with Celtic. Has the team defending well and scoring a record number of goals. Again, would he take it? Already been offered the Sunderland job and likely to be offered more jobs down south. A championship club is a more realistic route to the Premier League than being Scotland manager would give him.

Alex McLeish 14/1
Are you insane? The fact he is is low as 14-1 is utterly depressing.

So there’s the runners and riders. My order would be O’Neil, then, McIness, then Lambert. If it’s Moyes or McLeish, god help us all.
Mike, LFC, Dubai


Are millennials the worst football fans ever?
As it’s Friday I thought I’d see if I could tarnish a whole generation of people with the same brush and ask – Are Millennials the worst football fans we’ve ever seen?

I’ll give you a few examples as to why I think this is the case. Firstly we have the constant bitching on LadBible type pages and the use of childish nicknames for clubs and players. On this very site in the comments section yesterday, I saw ‘Lollerpool’ for the first time (You know who you are). Sweet Jesus. What about Penaldo?

That leads me nicely onto the tedious debate of Messi >Ronaldo. Two wonderful players being constantly compared and argued about by kids whose greatest sporting achievement is to bounce it off a mesh and volley it in the top corner with no goalkeeper to be seen. Tekkers? Pathetic.

The thing that gets me is that these ‘kids’ are either a Messi ‘fan’ or Ronaldo ‘fan’.  Since when did people start supporting players instead of clubs? I saw a comment yesterday under a story of Messi celebrating his hat-trick to take Argentina to the World Cup with a comment that said “Hasn’t won a major trophy with his country” to which someone else replied “Are you a butthurt Ronaldo fan?” Just as the flipping water bottle lands upright, another lengthy debate about who is better ensues.

They also have all the football at their fingertips which makes all of them an expert. When Liverpool signed a player back in the 80s from foreign lands I had absolutely no idea who he was. These days they’ve all seen the latest 14 year old that Utd have signed from the Amish 3rd Division in Belize.

Another gripe is the judgment of players due to their stats on Fifa. Bloody hell. These days it’s all “Liverpool should sign Croatian centre back Headitch Awayic because his stats are amazing on Fifa”. Well before you pop outside with your fidget spinner for a quick vape, let me tell you this…. he might be great when you’re controlling him on Fifa, kid, but when Moreno is half way up the wing and can’t get back, I’d say we’re still F**KED.

Then we come to Arsenal Fan TV, if you’re going to go on fan TV at least speak properly fam, know what I mean blud? Idiot. This leads me on to the chants these Millennials make up and put on YouTube, refreshing the views in all hope it will go viral and finally surpass the numpty that can do 50 different accents whilst dabbing from a skyscraper….

To be honest, I can’t go on after watching that.
Jimmy (Dabbing muppets) Spain


International schools of goalkeeping
So, during this long international I was thinking about the different styles of football that exist and what makes national teams/regions fundamentally different. So, naturally, I started with goalkeepers. It’s noticeable that keepers from the same country normally share a few characteristics and this probably shows what these countries emphasise at the grassroots level. Without further ado, here are a few national schools and their defining characteristics

Note: These are generalisations!

Germany: Excellent shot-stoppers, well built, good at 1v1 situations, aggressive in the penalty area when coming for crosses, high tendency to punch rather than catch, and quick off their line. Notable exponents – Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann, Andreas Kopke, Manuel Neuer

France: Eccentric save technique, maverick personality, great shot stoppers and good organisers of defences. Notable exponents – Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, Bernard Lama, Gregory Coupet

Spain: Sublime distribution, unorthodox save technique, great shot-stoppers but prone to flapping at crosses. Notable exponents – Iker Casillas, Santiago Canizares, Victor Valdes, Pepe Reina, David De Gea

England (recent history): Good shot-stoppers, orthodox save technique but prone to lapses in judgement. Notable exponents – Robert Green, Joe Hart, Paul Robinson, Ben Foster, Scott Carson, David James

Italy: Dependable, proficient in almost every area, excellent organisers of defences and good command of the penalty area. Notable exponents: Angelo Peruzzi, Gianluigi Buffon, Francesco Toldo, Gianluca Pagliuca

South America: Forward thinking, eccentric with saves, could be seen taking set pieces or penalties, plus the complementary error leading to a goal! Notable exponents – Jose Chilavert (56 career goals including a hat-trick), Rene Higuita (scorpion kick), Claudio Taffarel, Julio Cesar, Rogerio Ceni (132 career goals)

Africa: Usually started as outfield players, decent distribution, eccentric shot-stopping technique and prone to lapses in judgement. Notable exponents – Bruce Grobbelaar, Itumeleng Khune, Jacques Songo’o, Thomas Nkono, Vincent Enyeama
Chuck, MUFC, London


George Weah love-in
I am a student of Peace and Conflict Resolution and George Weah came up in my class today. He is likely to become the President of Liberia (leading in most counties at the time of writing). Daniel Storey’s mesmerizing “Portrait of an Icon” piece on him came to mind and I immediately re-read it. That piece might soon need an update. Sports is indeed incredible in the way it can unite a country or help wounds heal. South Africa’s Rugby WC win in 96, Sri Lanka’s cricket WC win in 96 also come to mind.

Liberia is a beautiful country but has some of the worst human and economic indices on the planet. I really hope Weah turns it around. There is yet more room to further cement the legend.

Being an Arsenal fan who has been disgruntled with Wenger for sometime, it also made me think about the old goose. There are a string of players he has “discovered”, nurtured and improved. Many of them not only credit him for their footballing prowess but often add that he was a father figure. Like Ferguson, he is one of the few managers who regularly gets such compliments. A good man in a world where managers do not make that sort of an effort in pursuit of immediate results. And like most good men, he won’t be fully appreciated as a person for sometime. Still hope he retires soon, but I want to meet him one day and give him a hug.
Lashness Monster, DC

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