Mails on Liverpool, Pogba and more fallout from Spurs 3-3 Man Utd

Date published: Monday 16th March 2020 3:06

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Fallout from Spurs 3-3 United
Typical F365 bias, using one of Spurs’ best performances of the season as a stick with which to beat Mourinho.

United are one of the most in form sides in Europe at the moment (in fact, they may end the season as last team to win a Premier League game, which by some kind of conkers rules means that they should be awarded the league title) so to battle back from a three goal deficit showed a kind of spirit that we all thought had been lost from the squad under Poch.

Those of us who were there (and I *definitely* was) were singing Mourinho’s name by the end of the match. We applauded every decision he made. It takes a brave manager to start a home Premier League game with nine centre backs, especially when three of them were called up from the academy U-11s. If that doesn’t demonstrate the paucity of options available to him to the assembled media and Daniel Levy (who I think could be seen at several instances weeping over a framed picture of Mauriccio Pochettino), then I don’t know what will.

And we were all fully supportive at the moment he chose to literally hang Ndombele out to dry on an actual clothes line with industrial strength clothes pegs.

In the post-match interview, Jose was fully justified in laying all the blame for Spurs’ slow start on the WHL facilities managers, who had failed to adequately stock up on decent quality toilet paper meaning half the starting line up began the game with dirty bums. It takes a special kind of manager to run out to Aldi at half time and wrestle the last multi-pack of quilted Andrex from the arms of an elderly nun.

I note, too, that in your 16 conclusion you give no mention at all to Harry Winks. It’s like HE didn’t even really play or something. I mean, did he?? I don’t know, to be honest and I was there. One of his more impactful performances of the season.

Son’s late red card was a little harsh, but he is definitely ‘that kind of player’ so the fact that he managed to hospitalise Jesse Lingard at his home, with a tackle so late it was left over from the meeting at Old Trafford in December, it was probably warranted.

So give Jose a break!
Chris Bridgeman, Kingston upon Thames


…Despite the negative comments (what else is social media for these days?) I thought that was the best 16 Conclusions I’ve read.

This could have been for two reasons:

A) Because 16 Conclusions has long been a bit tired and needs to be sent to the glue factory.
B) Because really what we all want is a WWE/XFL version of football where literally anything can and will happen in every game.

We all know that Spurs v United would’ve been a terrible game with Delle making and scoring his own goal for a Spurs side playing 10-1-0, with Fernandes equalising with a VAR penalty. Ole would smile and say something nice about learning in his interview and Mourinho would blame VAR, Ndombele, the weather and Coronavirus in his.

Actually, on the subject of sympathy for Mourinho, I’m sorry there can be none. Firstly, when he took over at Spurs he quite categorically said he didn’t need to sign new players (he’s already bought two) and that the squad could win the league next year. Yes he’s lost Kane and Son but Kane’s always our for at least a couple of months a season so he should’ve seen it coming. Secondly, he’s such a miserable sod and fast becoming an anachronism, how can anyone feel sympathy for him?

Stay safe everyone.
Ashley Metcalfe


Not all about Liverpool
is it just me that’s getting a bit fed up with the entire football season being about Liverpool.

Now correct me if I’m wrong but at a brief glance here are a list of things that still need sorting out

Champions of each league
European places
FA Cup
Champions League
Europa league
Player contracts (end dates)

Not to mention the financial implications when you get a little further down the footballing ladder.

Whilst I agree Liverpool would most likely win the league you can’t dish out trophies based on likelihood, the same way you can’t convict someone in court if you have any doubt about the verdict.

Norwich are most likely going to be relegated so do we just wave them goodbye? And villa. But we will draw a line in the sand there because we’re not sure about Bournemouth.

If the season is declared void Liverpool won’t get the league title, but someone won’t be getting an FA cup, someone won’t be getting a CL and someone somewhere won’t be getting promoted.

Liverpool will live to fight another day and I’m sure will challenge Next season….. other clubs with lost revenue might not be so lucky.

Whilst Liverpool like to think “it means more” it doesn’t to everyone…….


Glorious isolation
So at this stage players and coaches testing positive is the biggest threat to continuing the season (behind closed doors at least).

To fix this, teams should pick a residence – a hotel, one of the players’ mansions, their training grounds (with extra additions) and hole up the entire first team, coaches and essential staff in isolation.

Once a period of time has passed and there are no infections and the squad is clean, they should be able to play behind closed doors. Each squad will only come into contact with other squads, who are following the same strict quarantining. The players could be tested every three days to ensure no one becomes infected.

It will a) mean that each squad is coronavirus free b) be affordable, depending on the venue used c) ensure all the hard work and drama of the season isn’t wasted d) be familiar with similarities to the camps players stay in at Euro, World Cup or national competitions.

Potential additions to the plan could be to run games in quick succession once the players were quarantined to ‘knock out’ the season tournament style. Nine games could be finished in three weeks.

Get those squads isolated and get these games played behind closed doors! Let’s see a rightful conclusion to this season!
Shaun, Darwin Aus


Shoot out for the season
So, here goes.

Every club finds 5 players (ideally uninfected) – one of which must be a goalkeeper.

Wembley stadium – behind closed doors but broadcast simultaneously on Sky and BT. Every match still to be played is played as a penalty shoot out. Win lose or draw, points are normal.

This would make a intense and fun day, relieve boredom, 450 players on the pitch making a atmosphere but not a “mass gathering”. Can include the cups – but obviously those would go to sudden death in event of a draw – and can still do the playoffs.

Admittedly this would result in many draws and many dead rubber shoot outs, but still, lots of drama in there and goalkeepers taking penalties! Win all round.
Tom (no funny brackets, sorry)


The only options 
Unless all 38 games are completed (46 in the lower leagues) you cannot call it a complete season, those calling for the league to stay as now (mostly Liverpool fans) are missing the point, unless everybody has played the same amount of games against the same sides, then any solution is tainted. The most sensible solution is to delay the Euros to 2021 and then finish this season as and when we can, or just void the whole season, only 2 fair options in my opinion
Andrew Goonerabroad Brown


I thought the most irritating email of the day award was going to Matt, who decided to preface his idea of how to end the season with three – count ’em, three – paragraphs of introduction. But no, the winner for me, Clive, was clearly Barry from Chippenham, who starts his mail with the immortal words “The more we learn about Covid-19” before demonstrating such a lack of knowledge that I am rather surprised F365 decided it was an intelligent idea to publish it in a public forum.

Let’s look at his points:

“Many people never experience serious symptoms, or, like Mikel Arteta, just need a paracetamol and a rest.”

Many is a great word. Many people don’t experience symptoms, and many do. How about actual numbers? The fatality rates are extremely hard to calculate, but are much higher than flu. Early reports suggest 1-2% fatality rate. I don’t think it needs stating that even if 1% of people who catch it die, it might not be a good idea to let 7 billion people catch it. That would be 70 million deaths.

Regarding the young, in the early days of the crisis, I saw a 0.2 fatality rate for under 40s. You might not think that is a big deal, but I doubt if you said to the Premier League footballers, “Guys, worst case scenario, only one of you will die” they would be strapping on their shinpads.

Matthew Bennett, a reporter here in Spain, is currently tweeting about intensive care rates of around 10% for hospital admissions. So of every 10 people who enter the hospital with symptoms, one ends up in the ICU.

“Young, healthy people are at very low risk.”

See above, and also consider the fact that plenty of Premier League managers and staff do not fall into that category. I can’t help thinking Everton’s improvement under Carlo Ancelotti might be somewhat stunted by his sudden death.

“We will all catch it eventually, the government’s strategy is explicitly now to manage the outbreak until at least 60% of the population have been infected.”

All governments are struggling with this situation, but let me give you the perspective from abroad. The only countries who have managed to wrestle numbers under control are those which have set up a kind of military-enforced lockdown which the wider world is not capable of. Also, many are particularly sceptical of the UK’s approach. You might be reading the term “herd immunity” in the next few days in relation to this 60% idea. Unfortunately, this applies to when a percentage of the population is immunised (i.e. never catching the disease) as opposed to, you know, catching it, spreading it and getting over it.

“The Premier league should hire a luxury hotel or two large enough for all players, coaches training staff etc. and kit it out with the latest in high-tech medical equipment that only, say, a multi-billion pound organisation can afford.”

I get it, like a 2020 version of a chickenpox party. This would not only put older members of staff at huge risk, as noted above, it would also mean these players being quarantined away from their direct family and friends.

“Most will have nothing more than a mild cough, for the unlucky, there’ll be the best ventilator money can buy.”

Ventilators, however hi-tech, do not cure the disease. They are being used to help patients breathe, they do not fight the virus.

“Perhaps they’ll be behind closed doors or with reduced crowds.”

A final flourish. So we are going to have lot of recently recovered Coronavirus patients playing in front of potentially vulnerable crowds of, say 10,000. All entering the stadium 2 metres apart, sitting 2 metres apart, all buying pints and pies 2 metres apart, all piddling 2 metres apart.

As a Brit in Spain, I am terrified when I read this kind of stuff. The kind of guff I am reading in English today is the stuff that was debunked in Spanish two weeks ago.


Behind closed doors
Where does this idea come from that football can’t or shouldn’t be played in an empty stadium? Guardiola, Klopp, the media were all spouting it before the season was put (hopefully) on hold. I’ve never ever heard this about any other sport, from either sportsman or fan. So why for football? Isn’t it the players’ job? Despite all the posturing, surely they are in it primarily for themselves, for the honour, the acclaim, the enjoyment, the competition, the money. Plenty of Serie A matches are played in half-full stadiums every week – how full/empty does the ground have to be?

Mick, Stockholm (30 years is suddenly beginning to feel very long)


Whilst I tend to agree with those calling for a Premier League of 22 next season with the current league of 20 plus Leeds and West Brom, it’s what happens afterwards where I diverge.

There are calls for either 5 to go down next year, with 3 up, or 4 down and 2 up. Instead, let’s keep the league at 22! As a fan of a yo-yo club (West Ham), whilst the football was complete dross in the Championship, one thing I loved was that there seemed to be a new game every 5 minutes, making up the 46 in the season. Let’s keep 22 in the Premier League and have 42 games instead of 38. To allow time for this, let’s drop the League Cup which no-one takes seriously anymore anyway. This could in turn promote the value of the FA Cup as the one chance of silverware for those not competing for the league.

And best of all, we would have four more exciting mid-week matches!
Dave (“working” from home) Boozle


Pogba and the virus
So Paul Pogba has offered to double the pledge amount for a battle against Coronavirus if the target of GBP 27000 is reached.

Is it just me who feels that celebrities who are paid obscene amounts of money, should rather just donate to such efforts rather than set up piddling pledges of this nature?

I get that something is better than nothing, but for someone like Pogba, 27000 pounds is literally nothing
Ryan B


Italia ’90 was sh*te
Rob S, please do not waste your time watching Italia 90, it was a horrible tournament with few goals, negative defensive football and lots of bore draws! People only look back at it with nostalgia because they remember it through the rose-tinted glasses of a child, and because England did well (except, actually, we didn’t).

Your time would be better spent watching Mexico 86 or USA 94 (final aside).

You’ll thank me later.
Jamie Bedwell, Cheltenhamshire


Winter World Cups
I wanted to pose a question to the mailbox to move away from the tedium of Coronavirus football solutions – albeit this thought was generated from all the reading over the past few days about the solutions. In particular, those who have suggested that the delays are pointing towards using this as an opportunity to align the season to a Winter World Cup in line with Qatar 2022.

Now, I get that the Winter World Cup works for Qatar 2022 due to the excessive heat they have in their summer time, but if we begin to align the season to this, it will become very hard to re-align to a summer World Cup without having the tournament played in the middle of European league seasons. So does it mean that from now until the next major outbreak of something this serious, the World Cup could be played in December?

I don’t personally have an issue with this, and even began thinking, aside from Qatar does this actually play into England’s favour? Think about it… the World Cup heavily stacked in the favour of countries with warmer climates, and hence Brazil have won it so many times? Feels a bit unfair if so?

We always question foreign players who don’t hit their best form in England, especially in the winter months (can he do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke?). Well, if the World Cup stays as winter competition, then inevitably when the next northern European country hosted tournament rolls round then England should be better placed to do well surely? Very few English players stretch their wings enough to play abroad, and therefore probably find the heat at summer would cups a struggle due to lack of experience playing in the heat. Our World cup performances in recent memory may also back this up, with England’s best performances in recent memory all being in Europe. South Africa was a flop, as was Brazil.

So does this mean England are being held back by the summer World Cups? Imagine how good we could be playing a world cup in December in the Netherlands with wet and windy conditions – I cant see the Brazilian team displaying the samba style at that tournament?
Tom (Buzzing for the Netherlands Winter World Cup 2030)


Karma’s a bitch
I loved all the suggestions this morning on how to decide the league. Some interesting, some not so. However, one thing that I am sure will happen, this season cannot continue. Even the Euros will be doomed in my eyes.

So where does that leave us?

Essentially, no club, business or government had a Business Continuity Plan for such an event. Odd considering the multitude of new flu strains emanating from China over the last 20 years and the increased commercial value of football and the players.

So now we are where we are – football suspended until next month, which is highly likely to be extended at this stage. Therefore, there will be no winners this year or any football competitions. Man City will not be able to win the Champions League, Liverpool will not be able to win the premiership. If that does happen, I will be pissing my pants with laughter.

After Everton were cheated out of their Champions League place after Liverpool won it and forced a rule change (as they hadn’t qualified), I said that one day, karma will be back to haunt them.

Yes I am a bitter blue, but so would you be if you saw Collina advertising lots of different products on TV after coming out of retirement and making the worst decision of his career.

Yours patiently
Fat Man (I fully accept that now I’ve said this, Liverpool will be crowned champions by default)


Bring back the Pools Panel
To conclude the season fairly, we simply have to bring back the pools panel who used to decide the result of postponed games for the benefit of the football pools. These decisions used to decide if someone had won a lot of money or nothing at all, so the concept was a serious one.

Just lock the 20 Premier League managers in a room with the remaining fixtures and they decide what the results would have been between them. They could then come out and announce each set of results gameweek by gameweek to add some suspense, just like the lottery.
JM, London


Dreaming of Digger
I generally have really dull dreams, last night I dreamt I bumped into John Barnes in a shop, so I asked him for a selfie, but he politely refused, I was just wondering if any of your readers have bumped into John Barnes and if so is this the sort of treatment I could expect?

Also does his nickname come from J R Ewing’s nemesis Cliff Barnes and his sister-in-law Pamela Ewing’s father? (kids are still down with Dallas yeah?)

Best wishes
David McDougall (much better then the dream I had where I went to work, then woke up and actually had to go to work)


Local heroes
As I’m on lockdown, like most of your readers no doubt, I thought I’d send in an XI based on players from my local borough. Obviously an XI of footballers from London would be way too easy..

My team is pretty solid, Becks and Andros are classy players, plus Harry Kane and Teddy is a great combo, albeit not very pacy. I’ve gone for the unorthodox decision of selecting the heavy metal band Iron Maiden as my goalkeeper.

Footballers from Waltham Forest (4-3-3)


Defenders David Holdsworth Adam Smith Justin Hoyte Curtis Davies

Midfield : David Beckham, Andros Townsend Fabrice Muamba

Strikers: Harry Kane Teddy Sheringham Dwight Gayle


Benik Afobe, Colin Kazim Richards, Damon Albarn, E17, William Morris, Blazin’ Squad.
Dan, London


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