Keep those emails coming to email@example.com…
Stop bullying Harry Kane
The Harry Kane issue has now crossed from ‘a bit of fun at his expense’ to ‘bullying’ in my opinion. I’ve said for a long time now that football journalists, like their political counterparts to an extent, are losing their grip on driving the narratives that football fans cling to or follow. What has become apparent in the last 12 months or so is that social media, in particular, Facebook and Twitter, are now driving narratives and journalists, and also institutions, are having to latch onto it to get clicks or attention.
The Harry Kane thing is daft. Yes, he’s claimed a goal that many people think he didn’t touch. Whether or not he touched the ball is not really that relevant, the main furore seems to be that he has apparently done it to rob a teammate and that swearing on his daughter’s life was silly.
I don’t really have much of a problem with some virgin with 100 followers having a joke at Kane’s expense at all, and even football fans generally. The golden rule of comedy is that you ‘punch up’. There’s not really any harm in people taking the piss out of a millionaire footballer. It comes with the territory of being in the public eye, being a big name. It arguably only happens with this ferocity when you’re a big name who demands attention.
What is less funny, is the likes of the FA and the PFA, who’s wages are paid by Kane and other players, getting involved in it. Official bodies, institutions, that have power and influence, should not be engaging in such rubbish. They should report facts and news. Furthermore, SENIOR FOOTBALL WRITERS should not be engaging in it. This is punching down, and is mean spirited. The Football Association and football writers will be wanting England to do well in the summer, but the groundwork is already being laid for a scapegoat. The media have always done this, but usually they waited until the scapegoat had actually done something worthy of the treatment.
I hope someone sees sense soon. The pisstaking by fans will continue and it’s up to Kane to deal with that, as this will never change. It used to be that he is looks and sounds a bit dim, then he was a one season wonder, then he needed to do it in the Champions League – etc etc. He has always risen to the challenge and dealt with the ridicule from opposing fans and will continue to do so. But football writers like Mark Ogden, Neil Custis et al need to get their houses in order. They’re supposed to be standard bearers for quality football journalism. The PFA are supposed to protect players and defend them, not take the piss out of the people paying their wages. Harry is a good lad and probably doesn’t even need their defence, so I’d not be surprised if he withdraws his money and decides to find his own defence if anything comes up. He can afford to do so. As for the FA, everyone knows they’re a joke, but they’ve usually kept their counsel in public.
I hope he continues to make fools of people for years to come. I hope that journalists and our football institutions stop making fools out of themselves and carry on with their job.
United deserve credit
So we’ve beaten 4 of the top 6 already in 2018 (and I expect to make it 5 when Arsenal come to OT)
We’ve found a system which has worked in all but 2 games over the last couple of months.
Our makeshift, injury prone defence has performed heroically and utterly pocketed some of the best attacking players the league has to offer.
Our big name January signing is finally finding form.
Pogba is playing better and finally fitting into a cohesive team effort.
So when will United and Mourinho actually get a little credit for improving over the last few months? Or has the media made it’s mind up that since we were admittedly dire over autumn and winter we’re just going to ignore signs of improvement?
City will obviously start next year as massive favourites, but I’m beginning to feel optimistic.
Emily MUFC, Bury
…I was casually perusing through the pages of your fine website on a post-match-Sunday-morning-footballing-high, when I came across two distinctly average mails that required a response.
First there was ThaiWolf from HK suggesting that Spurs aren’t very good because they were beaten by Utd. In fact it turns out that Utd, along with the other 18 teams below City, are just rubbish. Interesting to note they suggest Liverpool will be considered a good side if they win the CL; is it safe to assume this then elevates teams who finish above Liverpool in the league to “good side” status? Or is it safer to assume in the eyes of some, Utd will never be a good side? I seem to remember similar nonsense pop up from time to time back when Sir Alex was in charge.
Then we had Father Dave claiming Utd offered nothing against Spurs. Didn’t test them (2 goals, dozen shots, five on target), didn’t make them work (Dier was working bloody hard to hold back tears after the match at least) and didn’t threaten (apart from the two goals, dozen shots, five on target). We were apparently very, very average. I checked to make sure the definition of average hadn’t changed and, sure enough, it had not. That was pretty mean of His Holiness (average pun intended); although he may simply have a below-average grasp of the English language.
I can only conclude the penny has not yet dropped that this Utd team are actually better than most give them credit for, possibly down to a dislike for the manager and/or team in general. A third final in two seasons (five if you count the Charity Shield and Super Cup, I do not), hopefully second in the league, CL football secured with a decent foundation to build upon for next season. But yeah, it’s because everyone else is poor; ironically this would, by its very definition, actually suggest we are well above average.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I have just realised my name contains letters which could form the word average. I guess I am just average too. Hope everyone has an average Monday.
Garey Vance, MUFC
Not having Nicolas Otamendi
As a Liverpool supporter I was very pleased to see Mo win the PFA player of the year award, I also think they picked a good side for their team of the year. Well except for the inclusion of one Nicolas Otamendi. Really? Has there really not been a better centre-back than Nicolas Otamendi this year? I haven’t watched all of City’s games this year but I’ve watched a hell of a lot of them. To me he’s been the weakest consistent link in City’s back line and I have seen him make more than his fair share of fairly calamitous mistakes. Is there not a man on the likes of Burnley’s rock solid defense or any of the other non top five teams who had a better season than Calamity Nick? I understand that there’s a reason the entire eleven hails from the top five teams, overall they have the best players. But Nicolas f***ing Otamendi? Now they’re just having a laugh.
Paul S., LFC, Baltimore, MD, USA
Spurs are blowing it
I know Poch likes to think he doesn’t want need to win the small trophies but seriously he is robbing neutrals of a feel good story by not taking these trophies seriously. This team as it has been built deserves to win at least one trophy together.
The worst part is the best version of this team is already gone Walker is already shining medals in Manchester, Toby A and Danny Rose are out of the first team and very likely won’t be at the club in 3 months Lloris has started making errors and you suspect if Spurs don’t win anything next year there is a high possibility that the front 5 or six will just get picked off by the vultures.
That will be a huge shame they really don’t deserve to end up on one of those best teams never to win anything lists
Blessing in disguise
All weekend I’ve listened to and read comments from football experts and fans alike claiming that Spurs made a mistake by playing their cup ‘keeper in the FA cup semi and how Utd showed their intent by playing De Gea.
Sergio Romero is injured, otherwise Mourinho, as he has stated in the past, would’ve played his cup ‘keeper too
Ryan (Looking for narratives that don’t exist – MUFC) Whitehaven
Getting it out of the way
As a Liverpool fan, I’m okay with poor performance in relatively unimportant games in advance of big ones in the hope that things balance out. If there is balance, Roma are in for a rough last 10 minutes.
Aidan (still worried about top 4)
Sack Mutually Consent Wenger walks away from Arsene Arsenal who go on to qualify for the Uefa Champions League through the back door by winning the Europa League ✔
Sell Alexis Sanchez who then helps his new team Man United reach the FA Cup final ✔
Sell Olivier Giroud who then helps his new team Chelsea reach the FA Cup final ✔
Sell Alex Oxlade Chamberlain who then helps his new team Liverpool reach the Uefa Champions League semi finals ✔
That my fellow mailbox enthusiasts is Peak Arsenal
Now, looking at my crystal ball, here’s what the future portends for Arsene and Arsenal.
Arsene is hired by uber rich PSG and finally lands his elusive European Trophy….and here’s where things get weirder, it’s at the expense of, you guessed it, Arsenal ✔
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s new manager Diego Simeone has brought the Spanish version of catenacio to London and it’s 1-0 to the Arsenal all over again ✔
Keg Baridi (Seer of Football Matters and an Expert of all things BullSh*t)
Why do keepers shout “away” when a defender is about to head the ball away? At the Emirates yesterday it potentially cost West Ham 2 points. A young defender hears his keeper shout something from behind and in all the confusion assumes it’s a call to leave it. It’s like screaming “score” as someone is about to take a penalty. All you are going to do is confuse matters.
Second random thought. Who else would love to see what Wenger could do at PSG with unlimited funds and the stubbornness and reputation to ignore the board (and the big names) and pick whoever he wants.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
Baggies will be back
Having upset two of the top four in recent weeks whilst glued to the bottom off the table, i’ve seen plenty of negative comments from fans and now managers about the Albion. Ranging from “oh well your down anyway” to ” I hope you do a Sunderland”. Well i’d just like to remind such people, mainly fans of the top six, never been relegated teams, that football wont end for us when we get relegated. The world does not end at the Premier League. Plenty of fun can be had in the championship as our Gold and Black neighbours have proved this season. You probably wont take any notice of us anymore and that’s fine. But if your peer all the way down to channel 5, we’ll be there, still playing football and hopefully aiming for a quick return to upset you lot again.
Lots of love, see you soon x
Flash551ft (If only Big Dave had took over a few weeks earlier i might not be so grumpy) Cradley Heath
Jacqui Oatley and lucky Toon
First off, I’d like to congratulate John Nicholson on his Love Letter to Jacqui Oatley. As an American, I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen Ms. Oatley work, but I thought the column provided a useful picture of the state of gender politics in English sport media. One of the things I love about the Editors of F365 is that you’re so unrepentantly decent to other humans (read: vocal leftists or flaming libs, as required). You are of course big-club focused, but you’re not small-club blind. That’s close enough to unbiased to get on with in sports journalism, as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for being decent, too…
Having secured your goodwill, I’d now like to suggest a small research project. Newcastle United has, of course, found a rich vein of form, thanks to loan signings, Rafa the Gaffa, and squad cohesion. Their march up the table has been remarkable, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them escape Merseyside with three points. But over the last six or so weeks, it has struck me as astonishing how many other results have seemed to go their way. In at least two consecutive weekends, every *single fixture on the list seemed to go just as if we’d scripted it for our former fellow relegation battlers. Somebody should write an article with a statistical view of our run of good fortune, because it feels unprecedented.
Chris C, Toon Army NoVA (still eying you lot warily, wondering whether it should have taken so long to address Jacqui Oatley)
I hate to be pedantic*, but as funny as Daniel Storey’s idea for the Alex Iwobi gag in the Rating the Arsenal players article could have been, the execution was lacking.
If the world is a nuclear wasteland following a war, it was by definition not a “Cold War”.
Oliver (* this is a lie) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland