We need you more than ever at this time of year. Mail us at email@example.com. Maybe read about Jurgen Klopp and his reasons for optimism first…
When you know it really is all over…
Rooney looks off the pace in the Carrick Testimonial as well. This is embarrassing. He is actually trying too.
Hakim, Sri Lanka
Another Jose reject?
A couple of *BIG* “ifs” here but:
IF we end up signing Salah we will have bought another case of Jose’s “faith in youth” and IF he ends up being next seasons Sadio Mane and IF Chelsea really do end up paying lord knows how much to get Lukaku back at what point can we just all agree that Jose Mourinho is a bit of a c**k?
Mathew (LFC) Washington DC
Another shiny new defender for City?
Just saw the rumors that Virgil Van Dijk is likely to pass up Liverpool in favor of Man City’s piles of money. It’s disappointing, as he looks like an excellent player, but Pool simply can’t compete with that kind of cash.
However, it got me thinking about Man City’s recent spate of new central defenders. If Van Dijk signs and the mooted £60M fee is accurate, then it’s about £10M more than Stones, who cost £10M more than Otamendi, who cost £10M more than Mangala. Per Transfermrkt.com, that will bring City’s spending to £171M on CBs alone since 2014/15. That’s almost exactly the amount Tottenham have spent on all their new signings in the same period, and 7 times more than Tottenham paid for Alderweireld and Vertonghen.
City had the third best defensive record in the Prem last year, but conceded 13 more goals than Tottenham. They also conceded only three fewer than Liverpool’s much-maligned (and much, much cheaper) defense. Given the price tag and his predecessors’ under-performance, there will be a lot of expectation on Van Dijk to perform. Of course if he’s not up to it, City will probably just pay £70M to replace him next year.
Andrew English (LFC in LA)
Peter G on the Champions League final
I began the evening rooting for Juventus, and probably would still have been happier if they’d won, but by the end of the game I was actively urging Cristiano Ronaldo on and hoping he’d get a hat-trick. His play and finishing for those two goals was magnificent, and sometimes you just have to cheer the greats at the top of their game.
Which now includes Zinedine Zidane as manager, certainly something very few would have expected. That means I have to watch Real Madrid closely next year to see exactly how he handles the side. Football -you can never watch enough, or learn enough.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
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Ronaldo: The boss
A lot of talk as to whether Zidane will turn out to be a better manager than the wonderful player he was. This may turn out to be the case but he still lags some way behind Christiano Ronaldo who won the European Championship with Portugal within the first hour of him becoming a manager.
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach
What happens next…
Real Madrid to win the treble next season, then Zidane will replace Wenger after Arsenal win the Europa League treble.
Néill, (You heard it hear first), Ireland
A very pronounced mail
Firstly, a shout out to Real Madrid for becoming the first team to retain the Champions League since its name change, and all under the guidance of what was probably the orangest iteration of Ronaldo we’ve seen to date. Great to see.
Anyway, on with my main argument: pronunciations in football. Given the cultural melting pot we football fans inhabit, there’s a certain inevitability that players or managers names will be said in a variety of different (and sometimes baffling) ways. While certain ones fly under the radar (I hear both Arsene “V”enger and Arsene “W”enger without people seeming to care to narrow it to one choice) others stick out like sore thumbs, which I’m sure we all have examples of. Google Louis Van Gaal (Gaal or Haal?) videos for some great examples.
Sometimes its a cultural thing. Take for instance, the different ways Irish and English people pronounce certain surnames. In Ireland, Fahey (Fa-he) Doherty (Duh-hor-tee) and Moran (More-an) become Fahey (Fay-he) Doherty (Dock-er-tee) and Moran (Mo-Ran) in England. Now as an Irishman, that to me is a mispronunciation on the part of English commentators et al., but the difference must have come from somewhere.
While me and my friends are mostly critical of ageing pundits and their inability to pronounce foreign sounding names, I roll my eyes when they go overboard. One of the Irish commentators for Champions League insists on using the spanish pronunciation of Barcelona (Bar-theh-lona) instead of (Bar-sell-on-a). I’ve since read that in Catalonia, they don’t go along with this spanish version, so have that.
I remember being quite upset some years back when I realised I was mispronouncing German manager Joachim Low incorrectly. I was saying Whack’em Low, which is ironically a very suitable name for a football manager. How was I supposed to know it should be spoken as Jurgi Love?
This is a bit of a jumbled mess, but the main point is that its difficult to reach consensus over pronunciation. Should we start calling De Gea, Silva and Luiz David (Dave-id) or stick with the David (Dah-vid) we’ve adopted to? The only thing I know for sure is that we better stay away from pronouncing N-Zogbia as Insomnia.
Something about Hazard that gets in because we are short of mails
Is Hazard the proverbial trophy wife? Not only that but I think he is happy to be one. Does he sees himself as the ultimate prize for winning the big prize? He joined Chelsea after we won the Champions League. I remember it well. We won, he tweeted ‘I have made my decision’ and locked down a contract. Now Real wins the Champions League and there is an article where he making flirty eye contact with Zizou.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of his and would like to see him stay at the Bridge. He is a joy to watch when he decides to turn up and play ball.
Saw a weak link and like a tabloid I ran with it. Plus the mailbox will surely be easier to get into. That bad boy has been getting shorter than my coffee break.
Why Ronaldo > Messi
Reading through the Ronaldo statistics and this one caught my eye…
* Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to win the league title, the national cup, the national Super Cup (Community Shield), the Champions League, the Club World Cup, the league’s Player of the Year, the Golden Boot and the Ballon d’Or at two separate clubs.
…and that ladies and gentleman is why Ronaldo is better than one trick club Lionel Messi.
The latest from Zweigen…
On Saturday Zweigen Kanazawa pulled off arguably the biggest shock of the Japanese season so far by beating Nagoya Grampus 3-2 away. Grampus are in their first season outside the top flight since J League started in 1993, and were in first before Saturday’s game. Zweigen, meanwhile, were in 19th and had lost their two previous matches, both at home, 5-0 to promotion-chasing Fukuoka and 4-0 to mid-table Matsumoto.
Things did not bode well, and Grampus took the lead after 24 minutes. Zweigen equalised in additional time at the end of the first half as the striker, Koichi Sato, blocked the keeper’s attempted clearance into the net. It was the sort of goal you will have seen if you’ve watched any game between Notts County and Cambridge United in the last few years.
Zweigen took a surprise lead midway through the second half but were immediately pegged back, and Grampus looked likelier to find a winner. It was Sato again, however, who got in behind the defence and nutmegged the goalie in the 87th minute to seal a very important win.
It only lifted Zweigen one place, and the team they leapfrogged is playing tonight so could regain their position if they win, but it opened a six-point gap to the relegation zone. Increasingly, this month is looking like a crucial one for Zweigen, especially after the two thrashings at home. Their next two games are away to Sanuki (21st) and home to Yamaguchi (22nd). They also face 17th-placed Kyoto Sanga at the end of June. Wins over the bottom two are vital if Zweigen want to avoid getting sucked back into the same situation as last year, but they will need to wake up at the back and stop leaving strikers unmarked in the middle of the penalty box.
James T, Kanazawa, Japan
You will return to football
Just back form my sister’s 50th party (and missing what sounds like a great game on Saturdat night) and catching up on 365. Reading JC STFC’s mail about feeling sad at the loss of football I want to give him the benefit of my experience. I too was like that when I had young kids and got married. I barely saw any games as there was so much else on. I just want to say that it passes, your own kids get into footy (girl and boys) and the love comes back. Eventually they grow up and you spend your Saturdays watching Isle of Man footy and then the live games in the pub afterwards with them. And after 20 years marriage getting a pass to go to Basel to watch Europa League, or the mighty Norn Iron in the Euros is a given (Mrs not really into footy and is glad of the break).
In summary, you never forget your first love. Trust me, you’ve set it free but you will go back to it. And maybe by then Swindon might be back in the glory days
John (the CONIFA European champs in Cyprus starts in a few days, maybe 365 should report in it ?) of Man
The Mailbox music service
Just wanted to say thanks to the mailer who brought up Bloc Party the other day. Started listening again and they’re unreal.