Man City’s ‘indefensible’ approach will see Foden leave…

Date published: Friday 6th September 2019 8:49 - Ian Watson

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City’s youth policy is indefensible 
Richard (my namesake) MCFC points out the unrealism in Foden becoming a regular first team player for Citeh and a team genuinely aiming to win the champions league with “multiple” young players that have come through their own ranks.

Unsure of how old Richard is so I apologise for the “history” lesson. Barcelona won the Champions League in 2015 with Iniesta, Pique, Messi and Busquets. In 2011 and 2009 with those players plus Puyol, and Xavi. All of these players are products of la masia. Now I am not expecting Citeh to produce such unbelievable talents in such a short period of time (having only really been challenging for champions league in this format since 2011/2012). But surely a club who has invested so heavily into youth would have provided more names for this conversation than 1.

Even as recently as last season; Liverpool won the Champions League with two academy products in their final squad. Ajax got further than citeh with more than that and were seconds from making the final.

Foden is a talent but if he’s there in 2 years I’ll be shocked. It seems to me city are torn between building for the future and ensuring dominance here and now, with the former losing out. It shouldn’t be unrealistic for him to become a regular but it is because of the abundance of resources available in midfield due to consistent spending.

Citeh should use Foden as a shining example to other youth players that; if good enough, they can compete for Premier League places. Any youth player at citeh must be looking at themselves and those around them and wonder if other clubs will give them that chance.

Citeh’s reluctance to bring youth through to their league and champions league squad is somewhat indefensible in my opinion. After all, sharing opinions is what this mailbox is all about, right?
Richard, (Foden could be sh*t…. we just can’t tell)


Same old England
I looked at the current England squad with dismay at some of the selections. It’s just the same old golden generation crap wrapped up in a younger bow. Southgates hand was forced to pick the youngsters because they literally had nobody else.
Firstly the omission of Kyle Walker is a real head scratcher. Shortlisted for FIFA team of the year and can get on an England squad, Southgates response, we picked wan Bissaka because utd have a big ground and he’s done well to cope with that. So the fact that walker has just won back to back leagues and voted by his piers to be on the shortlist as one of the best right backs on the planet, but true, Wan Bissaka did play at Old Trafford… Then the omission of Tammy Abraham. Rashford and Lingard are bang out of form to the point where Southgate applauded Lingard’s running around. While Tammy has started the season really well and deserved his chance on merit. It seems to me it matters what team you play for and not what form you’re in. Much like the last decade. Southgate made a big deal about adding Maddison, in the last year nobody has created as many chances in the prem as him, you name it David Silva, whoever, Maddison cream of the crop. Lingard 0 goals 0 assists in 2019 and walks into the squad.
Southgate try’s to defend this by saying he has played well for England. Really? The first decent team England played they were dumped out of World Cup and Nations League respectively. I’m not trying to be constantly negative but it’s same old England with a new lick of paint basically. Gareth please pick on form, if you do so then maybe you’ll get more performances out of your team through fear of getting dropped. I understand that you want cohesion in the squad but I’d expect the starting 11 to playing a good level of football and being picked regardless.
In summary I believe there is no difference to England now and England 10 years ago.
John B


Exciting new England
England have it so good for the next few years. There is just so much talent coming through and playing consistently as well, they really should be very good over the next decade. There is a squad there filled with talent with genuine competition for places with the ability to be flexible in the formations as well.

Just off the top of my head this is the squad I’d be picking right now to play a 4-3-3 with the Euros and the WC in mind.

1. Pickford
2. Henderson
3. Pope/Butland

4. Maguire
5. Gomez
6. Stones
7. Alexander-Arnold (4th CB / wing-back)
8. Wan-Bisaka
9. Chilwell
10. Sessegnon (Option as a wing-back / left winger)

11. Rice (5th CB)
12. Winks
13. Oxalade-Chamberlain
14. Loftus-Cheek
15. Henderson (Only for Euro 2020)
16. Mount
17. Maddison
18. Hudson-Odoi
19. Ali

20. Sancho
21. Sterling
22. Rashford
23. Kane


TAA – Gomez – Maguire – Chilwell
AOC – Maddison
Sancho – Kane – Sterling

You’d have genuine impact and pace off the bench in Rashford & CHO and you’d be able to change things up with Ali in a no 10 role opposed to Maddison. You could also play either of these formations 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 or even have 5-3-2 with wing-backs with the squad mentioned,. There would be genuine competition for each place. Probably only Kane and Maguire are guaranteed their places.

Only real question – Is Southgate the right man to lead this team? Would Pep be interested in the gig if City win the CL this year? He could take 2 years off club football and work towards the WC 2022.

Other options
Mings,Dunk, Walker (Only for Euro 2020), Garner (For WC 2022), Foden (For WC 2022), Gomes (For WC 2022), Barnes (For WC 2022), Redmond, Abraham, Callum Wilson (Only Euro 2020), Vardy (Only Euro 2020), Greenwood (For WC 2022), Phil Neville.

Portugal for Euro 2020 though.
Hakim, Sri Lanka


Jury out on Lampard
I don’t think Mark Kelly from Wednesday’s mailbox fully understands what Sarah (can I call you Sarah?) was trying to say in her article. Lampard has not been dreadful or anything of the sort but the problem is that he’s getting praise for doing what is at best, an Okay job. Chelsea lost Hazard but as you can see this season, scoring goals is not the problem. Stopping them is.
Lampard inherited the exact same defence as last season’s and he’s undoubtedly made it worse. 11 goals conceded in 5 games including 4 in 2 against recently promoted teams is relegation form. Don’t forget, he CHOSE to sell David Luiz.
I’m a Chelsea fan and I’m absolutely rooting for Lampard but let’s all not get carried away. He deserves time and I’m sure he’ll get it but he should not be getting any undeserved praise. Some of the first team players are currently injured and their returning to fitness will only help the team get better as time goes on.
And please, I’m tired of hearing the argument that we won’t have won the Europa League without Hazard. Hazard barely played in the competition and even when he played, it was obvious that Giroud was the one who did it for us. Hell, even Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi contributed more to getting us to the final than Hazard did. Hazard was awesome in the final but there were 14 matches before then that other players contributed immensely to.
Azeez, Lagos, Nigeria.


Hong Kong Ian doesn’t want Brexit discussed on a football site and doesn’t like remainers, but is fully willing to share his views, on a football site.

So I’ll reply on a football site with a really, really rubbish and long winded analogy of Brexit to counter the Brexiteer view that everyone should just accept the car crash that Brexit will deliver (sorry that should have read “tariffs will be tricky for a while”).

[please feel free to skip to the next email readers]

At 18, you at in you’re last year of college but live in a rural town with little job prospects. You dad is keen for you to go to university, to have the opportunities he didn’t have. Your girlfriend (your childhood sweetheart – who as well as being your first love is your best friend, loves the local team as much as you and is as comfortable drinking with your friends and hanging with hers) thinks you should go for it.
You go, missing your friends, family and girlfriend. You call your girlfriend every night but as studying and having to work takes its toll you both call less and less.
At Christmas, you go home for the first time. Your girlfriend seems a bit distant, and seems to hang out with your best friend more than her own friends. Rumours start that they are sleeping together. You confront her but she denies it, but you can’t shake the doubt and you break off the relationship and head back to university.

Three years down the line you are living in London with your new girlfriend from your course. You’re both graduate recruits on low salaries but you know in a couple of years the hard work will pay off. You bicker constantly about money and making ends meet, trying to live the city lifestyle and finish your professional exams.
Your dad dies and you go back for a few weeks to help your mum. Your childhood sweetheart is the first to ask if you are okay, and helps with organising the funeral. In a moment, overcome with grief, you sleep together. She says she has only ever loved you. It feels like you are back where you belong. Not in the city, not struggling to pay rent but with family, friends and your first love.
You quit your job, you quit your girlfriend and move back home. Some job will come up but in the meantime you and your childhood sweetheart live at your mum’s.
You live job to job but scrape together enough for a deposit and a small ring. You propose and plan to get married. Things are tight but you are happy.

The week before your stag do your childhood sweetheart is nervous and restless. She doesn’t want you to go away with your friends. You play it down but the night before you fly she admits she was and still is sleeping with your best friend. He was going to tell you because he wants her to leave you.

She lied to you, you left the best opportunity you had and now you are due to marry her in a week.

Due you:
A) carry on with getting married because you did propose
B) get out and try and get your life back on track

If you answered A, well done. You are a Brexiteer and believe a decision you made based on lies has to be followed through.

International week is rubbish for mails.
Blue Chelsea Blue


…Hong Kong Ian says “So please, let’s not discuss Brexit on this website. It is supposed to be a haven of idiocy…”

Surely by that criteria, Brexit is the perfect subject for F365? Starting with David Cameron thinking “I’ll call a referendum, that’ll shut everybody up”, there hasn’t been a moment in the whole debacle that hasn’t been idiotic, on either side.
John, Chicago


…How I love it when British ‘ex-pats’ (translation: immigrants) declare their love of Brexit and want Britain to shut its doors to, you guessed it, immigrants. Dirty foreigns coming over ‘ere and taking our jobs. (NB I’m aware there were other issues at stake but the Leave campaign focused fairly heavily on this one).

I presume Hong Kong Ian is actually born and bred on Hong Kong and is merely taking a deep interest in British politics? Otherwise his position would be hypocritical and his views somewhat unreasonable. Not something you’d associate with your average Brexit voter.

Back to football if I may?

As the first interlull is currently puking all over our lovely new season, I find myself searching further afield than my two usual haunts – the inimitable Arseblog and this hallowed ground. Can anyone recommend to me their favourite club blogs? I’m looking for well-reasoned, level headed or hilarious. No mad shouty diatribes from blinkered tribalistic nutjobs.

Fire away amigos.
Alay, N15 Gooner


Seb’s wrong
Reading Seb’s reply to Kevin from Nottingham dismissing his Abramovich suggestion in favour of City the only comment I have is let it go man. I think Kevin’s list is great and your list is great. Nice try at covering up your omission but don’t worry about it. Especially as your logic is flawed. If you have City over 2005 Chelsea then how can you have Cantona over Pogba as Pogba as usurped Cantona? And that’s skipping FIFA cover star Rooney. How can you have Mourinho and not Klopp as Mourinho’s style has gone cold? Its like you missed the point of your own article.

Fine you need a top ten and Kevin added some and they were crackingly valid and didn’t display a recency bias. Its not he’s right and you’re wrong. Leave that thinking for the comments or mailbox.

By the way Seb – you are wrong. Abramovich totally changed the Prem. Without him the City of today doesn’t happen. Chelsea’s youth system where they basically buy every young player as if they were a financial instrument killed Arsenal’s give cheap youth a chance model. Their recruitment policy of keep them out their competitors’ hands and stockpile them was revolutionary and different level of business focus (see any winger Liverpool were interested in). OK United had buy from their competitors for more money than anyone ever thought possible to pay for a footballer (see Cantona, Andy Cole, Berbatov, Carrick, Rooney et al) but they bought them to play.

City’s holistic approach to investment is no different to what Spain and Germany do internationally or what Benitez brought to Liverpool. The success that they are having with it is definitely paradigm shifting

Well done Kevin
Alex, South London


Barren United?
Ted from Manchester says it might be another “barren” transfer window for Manchester United. Was the previous window where they spent more than 100m on two of most promising defenders in the league, plus a top young midfielder who has made an instant impact, also considered “barren?” If so, then how do we describe the transfer windows of the likes of Crystal Palace and Newcastle?
Justin, football fan

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