Mails on Phil Neville, Tottenham, Chelsea and…

Date published: Wednesday 24th January 2018 2:56

You know what to do – watch the football on Wednesday night and mail


How is Phil Neville remotely qualified?
Back in the year 2000 (No this is not a Pulp song), I coached my University female football team for two years.

I coached skills and fitness but mostly it was for fun. We did OK and even had a second team running by the time I left!

My point being over these two years I garnered more “girls football” (his own words – great start) knowledge than Phil Neville ever has, yet he has just been appointed Head Coach/Manager of the Ladies National Team! How? Surely I qualify for a place on his coaching team?

I once picked up a test tube in my second year at school but I am not expecting a call from Stephen Hawking any time soon!

Did anyone hear the interview with the former England Ladies Goalkeeper on Radio 5 Live last night? If not I suggest you give it a listen as she absolutely tore Phil Neville’s appointment to pieces. Even ‘Pougers’ (PFM) appeared shocked by her honesty when answering the questions he put forward.

I have to say that I agree with her 100%. Phil has helped out his brother at Valencia (that went well) and also helped out at United and that’s it!

Yet he walks into the TOP job in women’s football, just like that! A penny for the thoughts of any up and coming female coaches (or male) who have been asked to “earn their stripes” managing at a lower level! What’s the point! Surely a faster way into the top job would be to marry a Premier League star and be seen kicking a football. If that’s not them as a shoo-in for the next coaching role then I don’t know what is!

While I enjoy watching the woman’s game and also am delighted as to how well they are doing, I cannot help but hope the Mr Neville is a colossal failure.

A huge kick in the nads for the FA who will hopefully learn from this error and appoint someone from within the woman’s game.

Rant Over!
Wilf (I can’t even stand how he speaks), York


When did you love football? How about 1997-2000?
Alexander T’s letter regarding Arsenal as a commodity rather than a football club resonated with me. As a West Ham fan, I am also very aware that long-term fans such as myself are customers and no longer the lifeblood of my club. As such, my love of football has diminished of late, so let’s lighten the tone and ask: when did you love football the most?

For me it was from 1997 for a three or four-year period. Yes, West Ham were as unpredictable as ever, but we had a season where Hartson and Kitson were on fire, Steve Lomas was a midfield dynamo, and the likes of Trevor Sinclair, Eyal Berkovic and, of course, mad old Paolo would join. It also coincided with the birth of my daughter, so many matches were spent listening to Jonathan Pearce on Capital for updates while I decorated rooms in readiness for her arrival.

We went unbeaten at home for a season and were awful away and, despite my dislike for what Harry Redknapp became, at that time he was genuinely working miracles on little money. It was also the era of Fowler, Ginola, Roy Keane, Arsenal’s incredible run of signings, and the rise of Michael Owen. God, I loved football then.
Barnet Steve


Spare a thought for Watford and their injuries
Sean the Watford fan gave some interesting views about Silva’s departure from the club. I’m not a Watford fan, so I’m not sure about the effort he was or wasn’t putting in, but I do sense a little bit of karma here. Silva probably knew that even if he finished in mid-table this year, he most probably would have been fired anyway (going by their history).

However, I would like to stand up for Silva a bit. Just 1 win in 11 games is not a great record, but if you take just a quick look at their injury list for that run, they have been missing a lot of first team players. Will Hughes, Miguel Britos, Younes Kaboul, Isaac Success, Nathaniel Chalobah, Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart. Also Deeney was suspended for a few games. That is a lot of players to have missing for the Christmas period and January.

I’m sure Silva will get a job soon and only time will tell if Garcia will do a good job, but I’m sure when they have their players back they will improve almost immediately. I hope so, I like watching Watford.
Dave [Brackets](parentheses) Chile


Spurs fans are happy
The primary reason why you don’t get Spurs fans writing into the mailbox is because by and large we’ve transformed ourselves from laughing stock (sh*thole or sh*thouse) into a well-run club. For most Spurs fans – this is the best we have ever had it (if you were aged 18 for the 1960-61 season you would now be a venerable 75 years old!) Of course, I can already hear the ‘but you guys haven’t won anything’ – well guess what? There are 19 teams every year that don’t win anything and if you told the average Spurs fan just three years ago when we appointed Poch we would have been in two Premier League races, one League Cup final and one FA cup semi-final and not embarrassed ourselves, we would have been happy. Bearing in mind that there can only be one winner in all of this. That is not a bad job.

The best thing, of course, isn’t just the fact that no one laughs when my son rocks up at kids football on the weekend in his Spurs kit but people actually are saying really positive stuff about our club and players. For someone who can remember when Walker and Rose were signed – to see them become ‘best left/right backs’ in the league (or even in that discussion) is simply amazing, Dele has been hailed as one of the world’s best for his age, Kane is rewriting the record book– this is all good news, why the hell would you moan? Add to this world-class training facilities and a new stadium. Again, what’s there to moan about?

On this season, to be honest the lack of murmurings from Spurs fans is down to the fact that we’re still outperforming fan expectation. Last season at home we were undefeated. We were never going to replicate that at the Wembley. So there have been a few more draws at Wembley? These are better than losses. So we are struggling with big teams away from home? Utd was unlucky (one mistake and Martial was in), many fans were proud that we didn’t park the bus vs City. The most disappointing result was Arsenal but even that can be spun as a positive as for the first time in a very long time they raised themselves to play us rather than us doing that to them. It’s the biggest compliment they could pay us.

I completely understand where Dan is coming from with his complaints about Sissoko (and Llorente). But the point has been made by others much better than I could say it, player recruitment into our stable team is a challenge (especially during a World Cup year). Forgetting the money, any arriving player has to be better (or think that he is better) than what we have. It sounds crazy but how much do you want to spend on a potential bench warmer? – On transfer fees, I remain very optimistic. You only have 11 players out on the pitch, PSG and Man City despite their wealth can only put that much talent on the pitch. Do you really think there are only 22 talented footballers in the world? – Even now, how many teams couldn’t find a better left back than Delph? Is Otamendi a defensive God? Not just to single out City, are Areola and Trapp the best goalkeepers in the world? (had you even heard of them without using Google?) The point is making a good team is more than buying the most expensive components. I think of course we can improve here, but the glass is half full rather than half empty.

Optimistically yours,


On football and its money men
Following David Ginola’s recent rant comparing investment in the modern game to the financial crisis, I think this is worthy of further debate.

Whereas there are clearly those who invest through love of the game, to the sceptical observer, this group appear to be in the minority. Former McDonald’s CFO, Harry J. Somneborn is quoted as saying “we are not technically in the food business. We are in the real estate business”. Whereas flipping burgers and ‘the beautiful game’ are at two ends of a spectrum, it does beg the question whether football follows a similar path, with the gentrifying “opportunities” presented to clubs such as Manchester City, Spurs and Liverpool currently.

Whereas football clubs can and do bring benefits to the wider community, if investments are not being made to benefit the game itself, it leaves it vulnerable to the wider investment environment, whether this is property or some other factor. If investors only cared about football then the game itself would not be subject to these external forces that really should have no bearing whatsoever on the state of the game.

This is of course all conjecture because (in England at least, that I know of) there haven’t been any big name victims stemming from anything other than financial mis-management. Just because it hasn’t happened yet however, doesn’t mean it won’t. The recent explosion in morally-repugnant transfer and agent fees is football’s very own bubble, which is in itself a warning sign. Following the financial crash, banks had to shore up their balance sheets in a big way, to avoid future bail-outs. If – for instance – TV revenue dropped substantially (not inconceivable if wider economic factors meant that consumers needed to cut back), or wider investing circumstances became unattractive, then could clubs absorb that black hole in their finances if (eg) wages were based on current income? The FA could do worse than introduce a bank-style ‘stress test’ for such a scenario.

Mr.Ginola has a point.
Chris Braddick


Chelsea are not to blame for everything
Christ are we still doing this? What year is it now? Chelsea, for the record, is/was/probably will continue to be a pretty dubious club in some ways, but just so you know:

Arsenal: it’s not Chelsea’s fault you built a twentieth century stadium on twentieth century terms at the beginning of the twenty first; it’s not Chelsea’s fault Wenger hasn’t been able to coach his way out of a wet paper bag since 2006; it’s not Chelsea’s fault that if you pinch teenagers from Catalonia they’ll eventually want to go back there; it’s not Chelsea’s fault Jens Lehmann is mad or Eduardo broke his leg (horrendous); it’s not Chelsea’s fault you thought Philippe Senderos could man mark Drogba, etc.

Liverpool: it’s not Chelsea’s fault you thought appointing ex-player after ex-player as manager was a good idea; it’s not Chelsea’s fault Hillsborough happened (genuinely, condolences – and sorry for the hideous songs from a few pr*cks); it’s not Chelsea’s fault Houllier has a dodgy heart, or that your defenders couldn’t get the ball off Zola; it’s not Chelsea’s fault you were bought by Texan vulture capitalists; it’s not Chelsea’s fault Mourinho thought Chelsea were more likely to win trophies (congrats on Istanbul); it’s not Chelsea’s fault Rodgers can’t coach a defence, or that Suarez is culturally tone deaf and a cannibal, or that Klopp is a (highly entertaining) lunatic.

But carry on blaming Chelsea for the sins of the world if it makes you feel better. Jesus wept.
Sam, CFC SW6


An old joke
Minty this morning reminisced about a time when there was ‘a series of polls on this very website where it seemed that the answer to nearly every question posed was, ‘Dani Pacheco’’.

Apart, of course, from the 1% that said Frank Lampard.
Ed Quoththeraven


Just you…
Does anyone else, when thinking of the UEFA Nations League, immediately follow up in their mind with Its A Local League, For Local People?


Just me?

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