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Bronze would be higher than No. 50
After her performances at this WC and the quotes from Phil Neville last night on Lucy Bronze, specifically this one: “I played at full back but never to that level she played at”, I’m officially starting the campaign for Lucy Bronze to replace Phil Neville at No. 50 on the Men’s WC ladder.
Who’s with me?!
Lee (not even joking), LFC
England, my England
Really enjoyed Norway v England last night. Disappointing lack of the sort of sh!thousery we’ve come to expect from the women’s game these days (joking).
* England have had three penalties in the World Cup. One was a very soft VAR-assisted handball and the other two were clear enough fouls to be given by the referee. Only one of them has been scored. VAR karma?
* England’s ability to carve teams open has been an absolute joy to watch. This is a style of play that relies on effective off the ball movement to be available for a pass, something that can only work if the players have an innate understanding.
* Another thing that has impressed about the England side is their general lack of panic. They have the calmness to play the ball out of trouble rather than merely hoofing it, and when mistakes are made, players do their utmost to recover the situation. Though possession was conceded in strong positions, the recovery defence was strong enough that Norway didn’t have very many clear-cut chances. While it’s fair to assume the likes of USA or France will punish that sloppiness, it’s also fair to assume England will defend with the same spirit and application.
* I’m not saying there’s an international media conspiracy against England, but all the while our players’ performances on the field win plaudits, the host broadcaster’s insistence on showing the England Supporters Band on camera can only be a cynical move to undermine any goodwill towards us from neutrals. Seriously, it’s the only part of this tournament I’m not enjoying.
The Premier League does not sign superstars
Interesting to read someone commenting in the mailbox that Mbappe to Liverpool is not as silly as Mediawatch suggest. I disagree. It is unprecedented. It is silly.
The Premier League has produced or developed many world-class players with a list including Ronaldo, Bale, Thierry Henry, Hazard, Suarez, Giggs, Salah, Sterling, Beckham and a few more I can’t remember. The Premier League to my mind has never imported one.
You could maybe point to players like Falcao, Larsson, Ibrahimovic and a few others but they came to the premier league past their peak or other players may have arrived before their peak and returned to Europe when it was discovered they were actually very good (Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nilsterooy). Others may have looked world class and commanded world class transfer fees but didn’t really pan out (Veron, Di Maria, Pogba).
To my knowledge the Premier League, despite being the bestest in the World with the most money in the world has never signed the creme de la creme in their prime from abroad.
Jon, Cape Town
…Any rules against responding to my unpublished mail? No, jolly good.
Jon, Cape Town suggests no world-class player has been imported to the premier league. I agree but why is that?
Maybe it’s the difference in having to play on a wet Tuesday at Stoke instead of a sunny evening in Malaga?
Jon, Cape Town
With Wan-Bissaka comes Young exit. Get in.
With Aaron Wan-Bissaka all but signed, my first wish of the list of players I want us to sign has been granted. Bless the football Gods.
I am picturing a life where the Manchester United team walk out of the tunnel with no Ashley Young leading them out with the captain’s armband.
I am picturing a life where our right-back crosses the ball to a player, and not to the depths of oblivion.
I am picturing a life where our right-back makes a last-gasp tackle to stop a goal, instead of being completely out of position and then screaming at everyone else because somehow, somewhere along the line, somebody thought it would be a good idea to captain a glorified amateur kick ball player.
I am picturing a life where I never have to see (or at least barely have to see) Ashley Young starting at right-back for us again.
The signing of the summer was always going to be the one who evicts Ashley Young, after years of rent free living at right-back.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka. I thank you, for you have removed one of the tumours that has been growing in our squad for years. The road to recovery is a long one, but at least we no longer have a flat tire starting.
Gaaavie (shout out Bottom Rock, paar jas ouens), Kaapstad Naaier
Rejecting Scouse maths
Barry, no, I wouldn’t have guessed you were an accountant, not after you suggested that paying someone £18m isn’t paying someone £18m, it’s actually a £9m increment… that’s not accountancy, that’s Scouse maths in all its “net-spend” glory.
I view those buy back clauses as a just in case, for a player who you think isn’t going to make the grade but you think there’s an outside chance will come good. No team should be selling players they think are good enough to be first teamers in a couple of years! Just loan them out for a fee. And oh yeah, you probably can’t force them to come back!
A strategy of selling all those valuable assets on the cheap to buy one player, with a view to buying them back for double the price the year later is just bonkers. Because then, the following year you’d have to sell four times the number of young players to get back the first ones, and so on, and so on….it’d be like a pyramid scheme where you’re buying every tier of the pyramid yourself…
In summary, I don’t think it has legs.
Arsenal fans have been duped
I’m really sorry to raise this point, yet again, but the goings-on at Arsenal are truly breathtaking and to my mind, plainly demonstrate that between the years 2006 and 2017, Arsenal fans were effectively duped by Wenger, Gazidis and Kroenke. Let us get one set of key facts clear here. For almost every one of the past 15 consecutive years, Tottenham Hotspur have had:
· An inferior wage bill to Arsenal
· Vastly inferior commercial revenue compared to Arsenal every single year for the past 15
· Vastly inferior matchday revenue
· Vastly inferior CL tv revenue (until 2017 lol)
· A far lower net spend on players in the transfer market
· Far less expenditure on managerial wages
Yet, over a decade after moving to their brand-spanking new stadium to “compete with the European elite”, Arsenal are being beaten to players by Leipzig, West Ham and Spurs! Despite being the ninth richest club in world football. Wow.
Spurs have moved into a world class stadium, in the same city, same area (!) at a superior cost. Spurs are not funded by “oil money” and have a “self-sustainability model”. Despite being less rich than Arsenal, they never sold Kane to Man United (unlike RVP) and are about to break their transfer record on Ndombele, in their first summer after moving stadium. Oddly, I’ve not heard how Spurs “cannot compete because of a new stadium” as they overcharge their fans. A reminder that Ndombele is a player Bayern and PSG both want.
On a similar note, every fact I have just mentioned about Spurs is applicable to Atletico Madrid (new stadium, no oil money, vastly inferior commercial revenue and wage bill etc). Atletico will soon break their transfer record on Joao Felix (£107m) and would have spent more on a player than Arsenal ever have, simply by virtue of the fact that instead of trousering profits from player sales, Atletico care about success on the pitch and reinvest every single penny from player sales. This is Atletico Madrid, who have had to sell their best players year after year just to keep their heads above water financially (Aguero, Alderweireld, Torres, De Gea, Diego Costa, Luis) and were spending less on wages than QPR up until about four years ago.
Seriously Arsenal fans are hilarious. They genuinely bought Wenger and Gazidis’ lies and swallowed them whole – Spuds and Atleti are exposing the long con and it’s got to sting. Still, I reckon Emery is probably to blame for all that, and isn’t that Ozil amaaazing with less assists than both Liverpool full-backs and never hit double figures for goals. £350k a week! Arsene Knows.
Stewie Griffin (cannot compete with lunch money)
Hoping Barca resist Neymar
I am sure I am not alone in thinking Neymar’s very public ankle flashing towards Barcelona is both hilarious and also a bit pathetic.
This is a guy, who two years ago, took it upon himself to contact PSG to arrange for them to meet his buy out clause and make him the highest paid player in the world, and to provide him a vehicle to win the Balon D’Or. All personal milestones you will notice, nothing to to with establishing PSG as a serious force in Europe or anything.
Now, that he has realised that tearing it up against Guingamp and Reims is not enough to land him the prize he wants, whatever toys he had left in his pram are being thrown out and he wants to go back to Barcelona.
How I laughed yesterday when Barca VP, Jodi Cardoner, said in a nutshell, that Neymar might well want to come back but we don’t want him, too much water under the bridge.
I have long thought that Neymar was a spoilt brat. He is an excellent footballer, but his petulance and lack of respect for the team off it means that the first thing people think of when his name comes up is tantrums and his own ego.
Ultimately though, living in Paris on €900k a week is not a bad way to see out your late 20’s, but there is a nagging feeling with him that there could have been so much more.
Will Milan’s European ban work in their favour?
I just read the news that AC Milan are to be excluded from European football next season, meaning they miss the Europa league. Now, just a thought here, but I was wondering if this is really a sufficient punishment?
Milan have (obviously) spent huge sums in trying to reach the Champions League once again, and finished just one point behind Inter, who took 4th.
I think this might actually give them an advantage next season, we all saw Liverpool 13/14 and Chelsea 16/17 benefit from European-free campaigns. I also think it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth for the Europa league (which I’m a big fan of btw – have really enjoyed it over the years despite losing to Sevilla in ’16). Would Milan have agreed to this so quickly if they had finished 4th? Surely a better punishment would be, provided UEFA have the jurisdiction to implement:
a) No Europe and a 5-10 point deduction (or 10% of last seasons total – 7 points for rounding) in the league
b) No Champions League football next time they qualify
FFP will continue to be ignored and breached if punishments are so lenient.
Just a thought, would be interested to know if others agree and what they might think, if say the Man City investigations come out against them? Would you take a European ban? Or a points deduction?
VAR…nine years on
On the nine-year anniversary today of England Germany in the 2010 World Cup second round. I thought it was an appropriate time to highlight the biggest reason for introducing VAR – getting decisions right, even if it takes a bit longer.
For all of the complaints about VAR and the issues with the penalties/how long it takes etc. is there a single reader of the mailbox who would wish it had been in place this day at the 2010 World Cup and Frank Lampard’s strike off the bat had been declared a goal?
For the older readers is there anyone who wouldn’t have wanted VAR at the World Cup quarter-final between England and Argentina in 1986?
Yes it has its problems, yes sometimes it can seem cumbersome but they will work it out, rugby introduced its TMO in 2000 and are still making tweeks/improvements to how it works. Hell, linesman (do we have to call them lines-people?) were introduced in 1899 and they still get things wrong.
Tom, Tractor boy in Switzerland
Silence the ‘Experts’
I have been avoiding the media for many weeks now largely due to the political landscape, so maybe I missed the bit where Liverpool fans were anointed as the acknowledged experts on every single Premier League club.
The last Mailbox had John opining about Man Utd’s transfer policy and JG LFC discussing how impossible it is to solve a problem like Mesut.
To quote former Arsenal Chairman, the late Peter Hill-Wood “thank you for your interest in our affairs”.
Carolyn, (maybe John and JG are one and the same?) South London Gooner