Wait a year before worrying about Phil Foden…

Date published: Thursday 12th September 2019 2:03

Thank you for your mails. Together we will make it through to the weekend. Send thoughts to theeditor@football365.com


Foden only an issue next season…
The article on Phil Foden on Football365 brought into a focus yet another way of disparaging City.

First we were financially doping, then buying success, we don’t bring youth through then we couldn’t fill the ground, then we couldn’t do well in Europe, then we had tactical fouls, now we are stunting Phil Foden.

You don’t mind if us City fans trust Pep do you?

Phil Foden is up against David Silva for a place in our midfield – oh and what’s that I remember now, Silva is 33 and Foden is not yet 19 – and Silva leaves at the end of the season.

If this is still an issue next year I will accept it as a problem, or even by February.

And we’ve only played five games of the season. I would imagine that the main reason he didn’t come on against Brighton was because we had a sub forced on us in the first half.

You mention Wilshere in the article, and his plaudits in 2011, maybe playing so much so young led to his injury problems, Paul Lake put his injury issues down to too much football at a young age.


…Two interesting articles on young talent on F365 that I’ve just read. Interesting because Frankie de Jong just had his break out season in a fairly limited Ajax side. Limited in that if you took the youngsters out then you’re left with players like Tadic and Blind. The tone of the article, biding his time til his predecessor hangs up his boots at which point he’ll take over the world, is forward looking and reflective of his supreme talent and youth.

Compare that to Seb’s article. Phil Foden is three years younger than Frenkie, almost to the day. He’s still got two years til Frenkie started his breakout season. Maybe Pep knows what he’s doing. Yes he’s thrown young players in before, but there’s a lot to consider, mentality, maturity and the needs of the team. If Pep stops picking the best players then morale suffers, he can’t have favourites. Few teams have many injuries or choose to rest players prior to the first international break. But fast forward to February and there may well be more opportunities. I remember Fergie saying about a young Ryan Giggs that he wanted 20 goals a season. Ryan responded ‘I will if you play me!’. I can’t help feeling that early management was a big factor in his longevity. Ten minutes in four games isn’t much but Pep’s made it clear that Phil is in his thoughts. It’s too early to worry yet.
Rob, Gravesend


Pep could have risked Foden in Spain
Re. Seb’s article on Foden and how he might’ve risked using him at Barcelona. Does it not suggest and show that La Liga has so many squash games in comparison to the Premier League that while there, Pep could afford to experiment more than he can in England? Nobody lays down for City the way some of the smaller sides do for Barca.
Scott, Nuneaton


John Terry? Charismatic?
I’m not sure what word Alex was looking for in this morning’s mailbox, but it certainly wasn’t charisma. If you’re able to define John Terry as charismatic then you’re clearly using an unconventional definition of the word. I think perhaps the euphemistically used “a bit of a colourful character” might be more appropriate? I don’t think controversy, fame, divisiveness or “having a personal brand” have anything to do with charisma either.

Aside from that, it’s hard to argue that England don’t have players with those qualities either. Pickford with his idiosyncrasies, and his “raver” persona; Sterling’s willingness to step outside the football bubble and speak candidly on social issues; Harry Maguire’s inflatable unicorn. Yeah, interviews with Harry Kane or Jordan Henderson can be a bit dull, but Shearer, McMananaman, Darren Anderton, David Platt or Gary Neville were never that interesting in interviews either.

Where Alex is right is that there does seem to be a division between those are are able to enjoy this England side for what it is, and those yearning for the days of Gascoigne in the dentists chair, and that one time we played well against Holland. Why is that? I don’t know…maybe some people just don’t want to fall in love?
Alan, Preston


…Just have to ask Alex, and the rest of the mailbox I suppose, from this mornings mailbox;

Who hates Ronaldiniho?
Néill, Ireland


Henderson and Barkley are England’s weakest links
Why oh why are Henderson and Barkless (Barkley) starting in the England team? At best they should be squad players.

Barkley – one great turn, then no product – misplaced passes, slow to think and distribute – no end product. Bad choices in the final third, and his job is to create and link in the final third – he was rubbish!

Henderson – what does he do, he had a couple of decent games for pool in a more advanced position and now he is the second coming… nope – he is crap in DM in a single or double pivot (Klopp finally realised he had better options then gave Henderson the credit for the change in position – what a demon manager he is, I wish Arsenal had him!!). We eulogise about how wonderful we are now, especially our midfield options and then put a clogger in a key role when we have many other options – come on Southgate get your arse in gear mate!

We would be fu*ked without Sterling and Kane with Sancho a close third. As soon as we come up against anyone decent we will realise how loose our defence is and how our badly set-up midfield three puts pressure on the defence.


Setting things straight about Euro 96
If Howard Jones thinks the Euro 96 team actually underperformed and were so much better than the current England team, can he just confirm how they did in 94 and 98 when they didn’t have home advantage?


Look, the summer of 96 is easily the highlight of my England supporting life, likely for reasons others have mentioned elsewhere, and I love all that squad. But let’s not make out they were some mystical group of once in a lifetime players – they were expected to be shit before the tournament and surprised everybody by being half decent. The current team aren’t yet world beaters and may never win anything, but man for man (and as a team/squad) they are so far ahead of any England team in my life it’s almost depressing how much crap I’ve had to watch over the last 40 years.

I won’t pick apart his combined team completely but will say…Anderton and McManaman?!?! Ha!

Just enjoy it, hope for the best, and stop being such a bunch of grumpy buggers.


Two seasons do not make VVD the greatest
I’ve just read JohnnyWickys submission to the mailbox and thought I had to write in.

The take that VVD on his best day is better than Rio Ferdinand on his best day is doing Rio a serious disservice. And this isn’t just because of the longevity of his career and consistent levels of performance.

VVD admittedly has had an amazing last two years, but two years do not make a player. Concerning the grace and composure on the ball, you must not have watched much of Rio from 2006 until about 2011. He was extremely important in setting up Manchester United attacks, stepping out of defence to draw an extra opposition midfielder or forward to try and press him and then playing it either long or short to one of the players further up the field. This then left space for Ronaldo, Rooney et all to create with one less person to deal with when attacking. Stepping into midfield as a defender is no easy job and I believe us Manchester United fans are appreciating this more and more after years of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones giving us mini heart attacks week in week out. Also, speed wise at his peak Rio was RAPID!

I have heard people comparing VVD to some of the greatest defenders worldwide of all time. This must be recency bias because off the top of my head I can name Pique, Ferdinand, Maldini, Nesta, Puyol who were at their peaks just as good as VVD. I’m 30 and I’m sure people older than me can mention defenders that they watched who were amazing too. My uncle still raves about Beckenbauer.

John Terry and Vidic were a different breed of defender but they were just as effective. Some of the seasons their teams had pretty much the best defensive records in all of European football. This can not go unnoticed. Doesn’t matter if you think they weren’t Rolls Royce players a la Rio, VVD, Pique. They are employed to stop goals hitting the back of the net & they got the job done.

Lastly, VVD has 1 CL trophy and not much else to show for it. The other players I mentioned are serial winners. It’s a team sport but that matters.

I really respect VVD and think he is an amazing player but can we all just relax a bit?
Tosin Kutu


Nostalgia XIs
Doug, you legend. Great idea, World Cup team, here goes…

GK – Harald Schumacher. 84 Euros in France for THAT challenge. Loss of teeth. No free kick ?!
LB – Cafu – for THAT banana free kick
CB – Bobby Moore – the Pele tackle
CB – Terry Butcher – covered in blood v Italy. Smiling. He loves it
RB – Josimar for THAT goal against Ireland
DM – Lothar Matthaus – imperiously magnificent. Plus you always need a German in your World Cup team in case it goes to penalties….
CM – Zbigniew Boniek- Poland. Hipster choice back in 82 before hipsters were invented
CM – Marco Tardelli – 82 final. THAT celebration
AM – Zico -Spain 82 rocket of a free kick, magnificent hair
ST – Van Basten – THAT goal in the Euro finals. Possibly the most natural goal scorer there has ever been. That AC Milan team as well… wow
ST – Geoff Hurst ‘there’s some people on the pitch’
Hong Kong Ian (can you tell 82 World Cup was my first) LFC


…Seeing as we’re in a nostalgic mood and it’s 25 years since my favourite World Cup. Here’s my USA ’94 nostalgia XI

GK Jorge Campos (MEXICO) – the technicolour shirt and the way he groped vainly at thin air when Stoichkov hammered the ball over him and into the net

DF Jorginho (BRAZIL) – underrated in the pantheon of Brazil right-backs but he was important to the team’s attacks on the overlap, given that they had a flat back four and four holding midfielders. Went off injured in the final and was replaced by some guy called Cafu. Who?

DF Trifon Ivanov (BULGARIA) – the wolf man. Copped an unfortunate one in the nether regions from Andreas Moller but had the last laugh that day. RIP.

DF Franco Baresi (ITALY) – missed virtually the whole tournament because of knee surgery, came back for the final and gave one of the all-time great defensive displays

DF Roger Ljung (SWEDEN) – the Hugh Grant lookalike who Sweden had at left-back

MF – Fuad Amin (SAUDI ARABIA) – smacked one in from round about the halfway line against Morocco

MF – Mazinho (BRAZIL) – the George Harrison of the Brazil cradle-rock celebration

MF – Tomas Brolin (SWEDEN) – forget the bloated shambles at Leeds, at his peak this guy was one of the best. Always did it at major tournaments and was the author of one of the cleverest team free-kicks ever, loitering round the back of the Romania wall before running onto Hakan Mild’s pass (there’s another name from the past!) to hammer it into the net.

MF – Gheorghe Hagi (ROMANIA) – everyone remembers the “fluke” against Colombia but he scored a goal against Switzerland which was almost as good. He also scored with his RIGHT FOOT (!) against Argentina.

FW – Luis Garcia (MEXICO) – scored two long range crackers against the Republic of Ireland. Was also the victim of one of the worst-ever “even it up” red cards against Bulgaria.

FW – Kennet Anderson (SWEDEN) – scored five goals (same as Baggio, Romario and Klinsmann), including a “he’s got a great touch for a big man” goal against Brazil, and a “he hung in the air” header against Romania. Also used to point with his index fingers after scoring.

Honourable mention for Holland’s Stan Valckx. His surname sounded like a swear word so you had to love him.
Matthew, Belfast


…I don’t normally participate in the “lists”, but Doug’s nostalgia team got me thinking, naturally a bit of LFC bias!

Gordon Banks – for that save

Roberto Carlos – for that free kick
Tommy Smith – for Rome 77 “just look at his face!”
Franz Beckenbauer – for playing in a sling WC 1966
Paul Breitner – for his afro

Steven Gerrard – for too many to list but especially Cup Final 2006, Olympiakos, thunderbastards v Villa and Newcastle
Marco Tardelli – for that celebration
Luis Garcia – for his volleys v Juve and Chelsea
Norman Whiteside – for coming on at 3-1 down at Anfield, within seconds nearly decapitating Steve McMahon and turning the game around for a 3-3 draw and generally being a C&*t

Johan Cryuff – for that turn
Divock Origi – for 4-0 v Barca despite not being very good

Subs bench

Mark Hughes – for his winner v Barca and shutting up the very arrogant Spanish press who at half time said they didn’t think MUFC deserved to be on the same pitch
Marco Van Basten – for Euro 88, turning Tony Adams and the volley v Russia
Xabi Alonso – for two goals from inside his own half in less than a week (?) and for being cool
Jim Montgomery – for his double save v Leeds
Jerzy Dudek – ask Schevchenko why
Djimi Traore – for his own goal v Burnley
John Barnes – for being in everyones 1- 11 who’s ever played with him

David Pleat – for his tan shoes and 40 yard dash
Howard (couldn’t possibly include Maradona) Jones


….Happy memories & standout moments.

I’m in my 40’s, so only two subs.

1) GK: Bruce Grobelaar, Wobbly legs in ‘84

2) RB: Josimar, For that goal against Northern Ireland in Mexico ’86. Screamer

3) LB: Wayne Bridge, Invincibles HA.

4) CB: Alan Hansen, or Captain Scarlett. Saw him in a tuxedo in a Dublin bar. Suave. Better than Van Dijk.

5) CB: Paul McGrath, Shook his hand a few years ago when he was minding his own business and told him I was a big fan. Very polite man and top drawer player.

6) CM: Frank Lampard, for those 2 goals at the Reebok.

7) CM: Zidane, World cup final ’06 what the actual f*ck.

8) CM: Ray Houghton, Who put the ball in the England net? Ray did in ‘88

9) ST: Tony Cascarino, for the equaliser against England at Lansdowne Rd in ‘91

10) CM: Maradona. More goals against England in ‘86.

11) ST: David Speedie, Hat trick v Man City at the Full Members Cup final at Wembley in ’86.

Subs: Di Matteo (Cup Final ’97), Vasily Rats (screamer in the ’86 world cup, I think you call them thunderb*stards now)

Manager: Bruce Rioch, nah just kidding. Claudio Ranieri, crying after Bridge’s winner in ’04 at Highbury and for the Leicester job obvs.
Baz, Dublin

More Related Articles