Mails: Joel Campbell’s like a new signing… arf

Date published: Tuesday 3rd November 2015 10:53 - Daniel Storey

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Ranking the 20 Premier League managers (with a touch of bias)
Let’s have a crack at this…ranking all 20 managers with some blurbs to summarise.

1. Pellegrini – You can talk about the resources but he stays out of the headlines and gets it done.
2. Klopp – The love-in is still very much real, couldn’t have asked for a better addition to the Prem.
3. Wenger – Genius mind that produces some mouth-watering perfomances but fatally flawed as well at this point.
4. Pochettino – Cleared the deadwood out and trusts the youth. Exciting times ahead for Spurs if they add a couple of quality pieces to complement.
5. Koeman – A well run club top to bottom with a manager to match. Praying he won’t leave to take the Dutch hotseat in the near future.
6. Pardew – Seems to have taken Palace to the next level. Looks a natural fit for the England job after they dispose of Roy’s corpse in a field.
7. Ranieri – The “Tinkerman” has sprinkled fairy dust all over Leicester and Jamie Vardy. Could argue for him to be higher.
8. Martinez – Well-spoken but very up and down. Needs to add a little more consistency but could see him at Everton for another five years at least.
9. Bilic – The Goliath slaying rockstar. Dissapointing early bow out of Europe seems to be forgotten. Another very welcome addition to the Prem.
10. Hughes – Not a whole lot to like, not a whole lot not to like. Mid-table.
11. LVG – A quarter of a billion for this…..would watch watch my nan take a nap in a rocking chair.
12. Pulis – Achieve without ambition and a backline “tight like a tiger”, that’s Pulis alright
13. Monk – Plays for the club from League Two to the Prem and captains them the majority of the way. Love this man.
14. Flores – Been pleasantly suprised by their performances so far. Even the trigger happy owners have to be well satisfied.
15. Allardyce – Took the toxic job, if he pulls it off his ego will explode.
16. Howe – Been royally f***** by injuries. Hope they stay up, either way has a very bright future ahead.
17. McClaren – Wally with the brolley. Been very hit or miss his whole career, can’t help but think this is going to be another miss.
18. Neil – Out of his depth at this level especially with the lack of quality in the squad. Good to see young managers in the league though.
19. Garde – Bonne chance ami!
20. Mourinho – tw**
Wallace UTB
(MC – If we’re honest, we stopped at ‘looks a natural fit for the England job’).


It’s not us it’s you, Louis
Reading through the mailbox, I wanted to write in about LVG. I really think he has to go, and it’s not because of results. It’s simply not working out. It feels like a relationship and Louis and fans are coming round to the conclusion that it’s just not going to work out, he wants to play to not lose, we want to see football. And let’s be clear on this, as fans we do have the entitlement to disagree with the direction the manager/board/owners want to take the club.

I, and it seems many others, do not have faith that LVG will change the way he sets teams out, and we fundamentally disagree that we’re heading in the same direction. LVG may say he wants to win the league, and I’m sure he does, but I disagree he will. This is not a kneejerk reaction to results, this is that it’s not working.

I wrote in at the end of the transfer window to say how I wanted LVG to go because there seemed to be no co-ordination between aims and methods. His transfer policy is testament to that. LVG has complained that he wants his wingers to play with pace and movement, yet he sold game changers like Nani and Di Maria, has loaned out Januzaj, has restricted Depay, and has kept Valencia and Young. Don’t get me wrong, I think Valencia and Young are hard working team players and teams need workhorses like Park Ji-sung or Dirk Kuyt, but Valencia is one footed and can’t cross, and Young is limited. It just doesn’t make any sense.

It’s like complaining of being thirsty and pouring away a jug of water because you’ve a glass of brine. One of the hallmarks of Ferguson’s teams in attack is their freedom, Ronaldo and Nani would switch wings, players could play with freedom and not worry that if they lose the ball they’ll be dropped for the next game. Yet in LVG’s philosophy, giving away the ball may as well be a capital offence, and this is strangling the team. I can’t see LVG backing down from his position, just like I can’t see us creating more chances while playing in his way, and so I think it really is better to part ways.

I appreciate the defensive solidity he has brought to the team, the belief he has given the team again after Moyes. I appreciate he had a hard job replacing the leadership and talent that left the defence. I appreciate that the squad has been trimmed, though I disagree all of the players were no good, Nani, RVP and Chicharito in particular. We’ve had some good times, like crushing City and Liverpool. But it’s not working, and Louis, it is you.

I don’t know who should replace him, but whoever it is should be a proven winner, who sets his teams to play expansive attacking football. That rules out Giggs and every other class of ’92 player. I actually think GNev would be a better manager than Giggs but I wouldn’t want him until he wins something as a manager. Even Pep won stuff with the Barca B team.
Daniel (it’s not about the Money for Cambridge!) Cambridge


Spurs and the sound of silence
Are Liverpool the new Borussia Dortmund of the premier league? They may well model themselves to be the new one, and are a work in progress. But someone has beaten us to the punch as regards being the finished article.

Spurs appear to be coasting along quietly in a similar fashion to their impressive manager. Unnoticed, unassuming. A young side built from the back. I’ll admit before the season began I thought that this was a team that was lacking in squad depth. Like a moth to a flame I was distracted by the sparkling, shiny Harry Kane and the lack of a replacement should he get injured.

However looking across this spurs squad (bar the potential for a Harry Kane Sized hole) this is an extremely impressive, young, balanced squad, without boasting any superstars.

One of the top keepers in the league in Lloris (28yrs) and a capable back up in Vorm (32yrs). Pacey attacking full backs in in Walker (25yrs) and Rose (25yrs). More than adequate cover on either flank with Trippier (25 yrs) and Ben Davies (22yrs). The best current centre back partnership in the league in Vertonghen (28yrs) and Alderwiereld (26yrs). Backup in Dier, if needed, (21yrs) Wimmer (22yrs) and Fazio (28yrs)

A dynamic central Midfield with Dier (21), Alli (19) and backup in Mason (25) Bentaleb (24) and Dembele (28)

Inventive attacking midfield of Erikson (23) , Lamela (23), Son(23), and again capable back up in Chadli (26) and Andros Townsend (24) *cough cough

They have one of the best no. 9’s in the league as a target man with physical presence combined with footballing ability at the age of 22. Noted that Clinton N’Jie at 22 looks fairly raw. Fair enough, Spurs need 2, possibly 3 signings just to beef up their attacking ranks a little but this really could be a squad who could make a statement this season and over the coming seasons.

I’m a Liverpool Supporter, and I like the way this impressive spurs side has taken shape with apparent minimum fuss. It’s the sort of balance that Liverpool need to aim for with our glut of No. 10’s, paucity of backup for our fullback options and currently only having a bambiesque Lovern and an aged Toure as our centre back cover.

I’m going to call it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Spurs were the 3rd best team in the league this season. Obvious top 2 being Man City and Arsenal. If Liverpool are heavy metal football, Arsenal are an Orchestra, well then Spurs are Simon and Garfunkel. I’d be wary of the sound of silence.
Eoghan, LFC


Joel Campbell – Like a new signing
Joel Campbell, decent goal Saturday, in a 3-0 win, nothing dramatic – but for me he literally is like a new signing for Arsenal.

By this, look at recent matches and Wenger was not even contemplating using him, he was 4th choice right wing, possibly 5th choice behind Ramsey, Theo, Ox, maybe Rosicky in that order. Suddenly we have a player there that has lasted almost 90 minutes in his 1st start – that’s some feat – scored a goal and tracked back with regularity.

Oxlade Chamberlain has his fans, but he isn’t scoring, assisting or tracking back, more so his defensive attitude leads to goals against us on occasion directly linked to something he has done.

Ox has long been the main focus of frustration at Arsenal for me – just in front of Ramsey, who in fairness I victimise mainly due to Wenger’s tactics with him – he offers us nothing aside from a long shot effort when desperation sinks in.

So in essence, we had Campbell, and were never going to use him. Whatever happens from here on in is a bonus, as we now get to play him.
Thom, Newport


Arsene knew
I knew Wenger always played the long game. Letting Cesc join Chelsea so that he can lead a revolt against Mourinho and so that you can finally rid yourself of him for good: pure genius.

I doff my hat to you Mr. Wenger. Very sly indeed.
Milton, Canada


Kevin McDonald = PFM
Nine players out of the starting Villa XI are either British or American. Every outfield player on the bench as a diving foreigner. How Kevin McDonald must have wished he had more Englishmen so he wouldn’t have to play Sanchez or Bacuna.

I think we have the new king of Proper Football Men.
Paddy, Ireland


Mike Dean cocked up…
It’s half time. Villa are 2-0 down. There are no surprises there, but it amazes me that Mike Dean continues to get a gig in the Premier League.

After his appalling display in the Arsenal-Chelsea game earlier in the season, I should have expected at some point that Mike Dean would get a decision terribly wrong. Just after the half hour mark, Ashley Westwood is chasing after Moussa Dembele and drags him back a bit, but then cops a massive elbow to the face right in front of the referee.

The decision? huh?! what?! did I miss something? Nope, please play on and ignore the man with a facial injury. Westwood lays on the ground and is then subbed a few minutes later, presumably with a broken nose.

Mike Dean either loves being hated or mocked, or he just thrives on being centre of attention. In my mind he is the modern day Uriah Rennie, except instead of disrespecting the players, he just ignores them completely
Michael, AVFC


…But players don’t help
I’ve thought for a while now that footballer’s persistent habit of feigning injury or staying slumped in a heap due to a knock would at some point cause a serious problem of a player needing treatment and not getting it immediately.

Last night in the Spurs v Villa match Ashley Westwood took what I thought was a fairly innocuous looking flailing arm to the face that left him sprawled on the floor. I’ll assume the ref didn’t realise it was a head injury as the ruling there is clear, and instead wanted to let the game flow as it is so common for a player to be lying still on the ground, only to get up the moment play is stopped. Westwood was clearly out of sorts and I’m reading this morning he had blurred vision and concussion which clearly should have been quickly attended to.

This was an error of judgement by the ref (and the rest of the officiating team who could also have made the call), but I feel the players have got to start taking some responsibility for their actions and their own safety as a group. If they have taken a painful knock to the shin or similar they shouldn’t be playing dead, but at least sitting up a bit and helping the ref to see they are not seriously hurt and probably just taking a bit of a breather.

Even later in the same match Ayew (I think) took a knock and stayed down, only to get up the moment the ref stopped play. It’s a case of crying wolf and when we’ve seen some serious incidents over the years I think the players need to be helping the refs to help them.
Dave T, Spurs


We’ve said the same for a while
No one will listen to me, but I think Jose’s problems began with his treatment of Eva Carniero a few months back, and I think there may be long term damage. Yes they weren’t playing beforehand, but you always felt that Mourinho would turn it around; it was just a blip.

The problem is, he doesn’t appear to be very good under negative pressure (give him the pressure when ahead or in the hunt and he’s the best in the game), then the excuses start coming hand over fist and that day she got it big time, only this time he’s gone too far and he’s lost the respect of some of the players as a result.

I don’t think this is going to end well for Jose. If he keeps his job and turns it around, then I think you may see some senior players leaving in the summer. It’s up to Roman to decide which characters are a bigger asset to the club.
Sam Roberts


A really confusing balloon analogy
A lot has been written about Jose and how his actions/words have contributed to the situation. My thought was, has the decline of John Terry been a defining factor this season? He has always been Jose’s man, defining his style of management on the pitch. Terry’s influence on the team has been immense, never allowing the intensity to drop, always pushing the team. Like Keane at Utd Keane and Vieria at Arsenal.

If Chelsea were a balloon, previously, Jose would spend all week inflating the balloon and protecting it from the outside world, he would take it to the changing room and hand it to Terry in the tunnel. Previously Terry would take the hyper inflated balloon onto the pitch and clamp it shut, keeping the pressure in.

Now, the balloon gets onto the pitch and with no one sealing it, the pressure is released, the balloon flies round the pitch making fart nosies, ending as a spit flecked piece of latex somewhere near the centre circle.

Has John Terry’s demise in stature at the club been a contributing factor to the Chelsea collapse this season? Is the game time on the pitch the only place players can ‘escape’ Jose?
Paul Trevor NZ


Bought on the back of a tournament and made it?
Reading a comment in the comments section saying if ever there was an example of not buying somebody based on performance at an international tournament Poborsky was it, which ishould a fin example.

Well as a Liverpool fan I can offer up a couple more in El Hadj Diouf and Salif Diao. Both were bought after a good 2002 WC where Senagal got to the QF and both were complete and utter failures Diouf even failed at being a decent human being.

I can’t think of many if any successes. My question is has there been any successes after buying based solely on a tournament performance?
MickT, Liverpool

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