Keep those emails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
De Bruyne is like Zidane, not Scholes/Beckham
I am a little late on this, but Sunday night, Gary Neville lauded Kevin De Bruyne as a “hybrid” of Paul Scholes and David Beckham on Sunday night after the PFA POY gong was handed out.
As much fun as I had picturing Gary Nev playing Frankenstein with former teammates’ stickers, I don’t think he needed to go through all the effort because the obvious comparison, for me, is Zidane. Tall and lanky, yet strong, breathtaking technique, two-footed, and always seems to have just passed/shot the ball, or is now receiving it.
Also, KDB, like Zidane, also has a lot more pace and quickness than he’s given credit for, which is particularly why I find the comparison to “Scholckham-stein” a bit off, as neither really had much pace (why he didn’t just go the whole hog and give his monster the legs of a young Ryan Giggs, we’ll never know…).
KDB and Zidane both can/could control the ball at pace without other players catching up, one of those amazing pieces of skill that top players pull off and make look so easy, and which I made look so, so hard.
Ian, LFC (fingers crossed) Hartford, CT USA
Ranking Manchester United’s 25 Premier League seasons
The season is pretty much running down, there are a few things left to decide and there have been 26 seasons of the Premier League my question for the mailbox is what is how would you rank the first 25 and where would you place this season:
As a Man United fan my list would be as follows:
25. 2013/14 David Moyes was our Manager ,we spent more than we should on Fellaini, We came 7th we lost home games to almost everyone ,David Moyes was our Manager
24. 2011/12 One of the real sucker punch years. We were horrible in the cups, we were horrible in Europe and to top it all off Agueroooooo.
23. 2004/2005 Fergie lowest ebb articles everywhere about his abilities,People thought he was past it , A new force showed up in West London we came third our lowest position as at the time the only redemption was that we ended our then arch nemesis 49 game unbeaten run and even that is tempered by losing the FA Cup final we dominated with Scholesy missing the only kick
22. 1994/95 Two sucker punches for the price of one Blackburn trolled us by letting us back into the premiership race and we still couldn’t beat West ham on the final day and then the FA final against Everton meaning we lost to teams from Lancaster and Merseyside.A kung fu kick also deprived us of King Eric.
20. and 21. 1997/98 and 2001/2002 – Virtually the same crap happened to us twice Some French bloke showed up around 97 and did to what we did to newcastle a few years prior beating us at home in the year of Cantona’s retirement. Four years later he insulted us again by winning it at our ground no less. Wonder whatever happened to him.
18. and 19. 2015-2016 and 2014/15 respectively LVG’s years are a package deal for me, which would be lower if not that expectations had dropped .The football was dour the signings did not work out, The first year was saved by getting back into the champions and the 2nd year soured by promptly dropping out at the first hurdle having decided Nick Powell, was our saviour, losing out to Liverpool no less in the Europa. The season was only redeemed by winning the FA cup for the first time since…
17 2003/04 – And that was the only good thing about that year. Spent most of the season waiting for Arsenal to lose and lost in the champions league to Porto, managed by some Bloke in a trench coat who never coached again arrgh,.Something interesting did come out of Portugal that year though,we bought a young starlet who left our players on the floor in a friendly. I hear he does Nivea cream commercials now.
16 2005/06 – The first green shoots of recovery in what was a pretty fallow period Champions league was a bust but we finished 2nd and won a cup again sure it was the league cup but it would be the start of another great cycle
15 2009/10- We’d won three in a row Ronaldo and Tevez had one so expectations weren’t as high we still managed to come close to a deserved champion in Chelsea that year and went out of the champions in a humdinger where Nani had a one of him better games in the second leg before we fizzled out
14 2016/17- Jose’s first year what went wrong ten draws at home , and the 6th Jokes what went right the Zlatan’s season up till that injury we won a league cup and our 5th European trophy completing the set.
13 1999/2000- Still great but gets lost in the shuffle and apparently we damaged the rep of the FA Cup to go live on the beach in Rio, we did win the league at a canter mind you even with Taibi and Bosnich in goal.
11 and 12 2010/11 2008/2009 The second league win in the Ronaldo Cycle and the year where Nani’s heroics (yeah, sounds strange) Berbatov’s hat-tricks and Little Pea’s Solskjaer impression carried us to the title they would have been even better if some Spanish former footballer who would later on lose his hair and leave football to become an Enrique Iglesias backup singer gave us football lessons in the champions league final
10 2012/13 I know everyone claims this was a weak squad but damn watching RVP that year was awesome
9 2000/01 Another league title won at a canter with the extra spice of hammering our then arch nemesis 6-1
8 1993/94 -The first of the doubles
7 2006/2007- After the fallow years back with a bang the start of the 2nd Trilogy
6 2002/03 – Hey these are my personal favourites and this season’s Premiership chase was one of the more memorable. Each week one of the Gunners and Utd would throw down the gauntlet and the other would respond and this went back and forth till Big Sam stepped in and stole a point from the Gunners stealing their momentum and Leeds of all people, won us the title.
5 1992/93 The first one great to have the monkey off our backs the long drink of water after several years of thirst.
3 and 4 1995/96 and 1996/97 The last two years for king Eric and the start of the fledglings these two years featured everything from you’ll never win anything with kids,reeling in Newcastle King Eric’s goals against Sunderland and in the FA cup final of 96 including the shrug against Sunderland,buying all the players at Euro 96 and then watching Solskjaer become the Utd legend and that goal from the halfway line against Wimbledon great times except for that 5 nil and an aforementioned French bloke showing up in North London.
2 2007/08 By his time we had added Tevez and he gave us the extra tenacity and ten one of the great nights with Terry’s slip and Van der Sar’s save handing us old big ears again
1 1998/1999 It just has to be drama from start to finish another close battle where we rested the premiership back from Arsenal, that semi with the save from Bergkamp and Giggs’s excellent solo that Juve 2nd leg winning the final with two goals from subs in the 90-min to win the treble and all of those happened in one year.
A big fan of Big Sam
I watched the first 20 minutes of the Everton-Newcastle game before giving up and deciding to watch paint dry. And didn’t regret it. Man City have their possession game and Pep will gladly bore you to sleep before scoring a coupla goals. Mourinho has his pragmatism, which has brought him just rewards in trophies. Klopp has his heavy metal football based on a high press and quick counter attack. Poch also employs a high press with a swift transition using a fluid attacking line. The former Arsenal manager Wenger introduced us to sexy attacking football. Sir Alex Ferguson was the mightiest of them all…
But what is Big Sham? Or better yet, what is an Allardici? Everton play with no discernible game plan. The tactics are haphazard and most of the time you don’t know whether they’re coming or going. With Mark Hughes’ “experience” about to be shown out the door, and with Pulisball now consigned to history, the Everton Survey says they don’t want Allardyce. And that would be good for English Football and spare us the agony of 1-0 to the victor. Make it happen.
…FAO ALL PREMIER LEAGUE CHAIRMEN:
When Sam Allardyce loses his job this summer, please, please do not give in to temptation and hire him. Please. Our eyes can’t take any more. Thanks in advance.
Wubblepig (Bet they will), York
And a Newcastle fan empathises
When West Brom got rid of Pulis to play like barcelona you could see the flaws.
But with Everton after some of the managers and players they’ve had/have you can completely understand. I was at Goodison a few years ago and they played us off the park 3-0. Last night we weren’t anywhere near approaching our best and let’s be honest they struggled and ended up scoring their only shot on target.
We’ve suffered big Sam, his post match interview was standard look after myself Big Sam behaviour. The inherited players line was my favourite part, as if he’s taken over a low budget struggling team.
Good luck with the media backlash once you oust their darling. But you’re doing the right thing. His brand of football his arrogance his lack of respect for anyone other than himself or a dodgy agent make for a sorry experience.
Also a special mention for pickford, great to see him give a bit back and handle some grief. Surely England’s number one.
Paul (we’ll take that one on the chin after the last few months) NUFC
Klopp shouldn’t make fans hate Liverpool
Let me get one thing straight I love Jurgen , he’s the best manager LFC could have possibly got ( probably punching above their weight) and is in the process of proving if it was needed that he belongs at the top table as regards managers globally. He is a winner no doubt both in mentality and the sign of potential greatness is teams knowing how LFC are going to play but are powerless to stop it (hopefully to be confirmed in the next couple of weeks)
But ….. he needs to careful about how he is perceived by the rest of the footballing fraternity. His comments after the West Brom game were futile and unnecessary, blaming the pitch , the watering system , WBA’s impending relegation , Mother Theresa and Donald Trump for the fact that Liverpool dropped two points because they thought the game was over. This is not the first time he has been disrespectful even managing to annoy a lovely man such as Chris Houghton and although the comments were made in the immediate aftermath of the game when we was clearly angry at the result that doesn’t make them excusable.
Man Utd in early Fergie time were disliked because of the managers obnoxious attitude, this eased over time as Fergie carried all before him and even the most begrudging of LFC fans would have to admit this ‘dislike’ turned into respect as Fergie mellowed with age.
Chelsea were disliked because of Jose , siege mentality , us against the world etc but more importantly because of his ‘ special one’ comments ( amusing at first) , but tiresome subsequently , his abuse of referees , his physical provocations against other managers etc etc etc. Nothings changed by the way the guy is an absolute weapon ( lecturing Conte on how to celebrate ….)It’s all about him.
So please Jurgen don’t make others fans hate us , be as gracious in defeat as in victory and keep us enthralled by your teams vibrant attacking play and whatever you do please don’t turn into Jose.
Apologies to WBA fans and best of luck next season
DL , LFC , Geneva
Explaining the Wenger issue (and the last one on it)
In response to Marc (intrigued spectator of Arsenal), you are wrong when you say that Wenger endured a decade of abuse and bullying. Yes there were those (Stewie Griffin) that sharpened their knives whenever Arsenal lost, but the majority of fans were actually still behind him until relatively recently.
After the 2004 Invincibles title win, there was:
2005 – FA Cup
2006 – Champions League Final
2007 – League Cup Final
I’d say that for those years he still retained the full support of 90% of fans. 2008 saw a sustained title challenge that sadly collapsed with Eduardo’s maiming at the hands of that clogger Taylor. There weren’t many calls for his head then.
Between 2009 and 2012 when we lost Fabrgas, Van Persie, Nasri, Song, Adebayor and others thats when the tide began to turn and more fans started to join the WOB, but even then there was optimism when Wenger signed Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud and things started to look rosier – many even thought van Persie would regret leaving after those signings (yes, yes, we know what happened the following May).
In 2013 when things started to look bleak and our transfers were all outbound or underwhelming, suddenly Wenger pulls a Mesut Ozil from his magic hat and suddenly most fans believed again.. a corner turned, the shackles were off, Arsenal were back amongst the big spenders. 2014 saw Sanchez arrive along with Gabriel, Chambers, Welbeck, Debuchy and Ospina. Not world-beaters, but a good selection of players, some Brits, the right ages along with another star prised from a European powerhouse.
2015 was when I reckon the WOB matched the AKB for numbers, with inconsistent results, ongoing failure in Europe and typical Arsenal transfer windows returning, the faith began to wither and die. Even still though Arsene kept delivering FA Cups so he retained the backing of huge swathes of fans.
Around the world Arsene is the face of Arsenal and has been for the majority of millions of fans lives. He kept us eating at the top table, kept the excitement alive, kept the great football (until recently), kept his dignity and humour, had the majority of the press onside with candid and honest interviews, and had the love of 99% of his players by believing in them when no-one else did.
Wenger had a deep-seated love for the club that came from living and breathing Arsenal and only Arsenal for over two decades. He obsessed over every aspect of the club down to the smallest details and his life became fully entwined with it. A vocal minority booing would not break Wenger’s ties to this. He is, and always has been loved by the vast (vast, vast..) majority of Gooners across the globe. He just didn’t let go in time.
Alay (There’s only one Arsene Wenger..), N15 Gooner
And detailing the miserable away form
Arsenal’s last nine away league games:
Drawing with Southampton
Drawing with West Ham
Beating Crystal Palace
Drawing with West Brom from a winning position
Losing to Bournemouth from a winning position
Losing to Swansea from a winning position
Losing to Tottenham
Losing to Brighton
Losing to Newcastle from a winning position
Other than Tottenham, the highest league placing of those teams is Newcastle in tenth. That run also included going out of the FA Cup. In the third round. At Nottingham Forest. For the record, Arsenal also lost away in the league at Stoke, Watford, Liverpool and Man City.
Doesn’t really matter how many turn up for the home games if that’s happening away.
James Syme, London N5
An England middle name XI, obviously
1 Lee Pickford
2 Andy Walker
3 Lee Rose
4 Jeremy Dier
5 Dave Gomez
6 Jim Cahill
7 Shaquille Sterling
8 Brian Henderson
9 Eddie Kane
10 Jermaine Alli
11 Dave Lallana
Here’s the how the England XI would look if their parents had given them their middle names instead. A couple of Lees and Daves, a Brian, Jim and Eddie –, a full on, proud of the shirt, proper England outfit if I ever read one, with a Jermaine to Shaquille to add bit of class. But Jeremy?
Yeah, this is what I meant
Not to be even more pedantic but in response to Oliver (* this is a lie) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland, Mr Storey did not go in to detail that the nuclear wasteland was a result of Cold WarII.
It could be reasonably assumed that a nuclear Armageddon took place to end Cold War II, leaving Alex Iwobi to be found in the cellar in North London.