Stick De Bruyne at Newcastle and see how many assists he gets

Date published: Monday 30th September 2019 2:31

Kevin de Bruyne Manchester City

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Kevin de Bruyne fawning
Please stop it. “Is he the best passer the world has ever seen?” “Has 9 assists and it’s only……” etc etc

Stick Kevin de Bruyne in the Newcastle midfield and see how many “assists” he gets. The problem with using stats to prove the validity of one’s own enlightened opinion is that you can use exactly the same stats to prove the opposite. That’s why we love football, because some bloke down the pub who just says what he sees is just as right as someone who uses stats to “prove” that they’re right.

The commentators are drowning in a sea of spaff about de Bruyne’s world class ability…… then someone plays him a long ball straight to feet and he mis-controls it like a 10 yr old, or previously he fires one right into touch.

Due to the inflated price of players, are commentators and fans so desperate for quality that they over-hype players like De Bruyne, Pogba etc?

Those who actually watched David Beckham, would you say that de Bruyne was a better passer than him?

It’s like the “Raheem is world class” argument, it’s just not true. Is there a Ronaldo/Messi type player at Man City? No, is there anywhere else? No, why? because the standard of football has declined significantly and yet we think it’s improved because it costs more. Therefore we end up branding players like Sterling and De Bruyne as “world class” when they just get more of the ball than other players due to the system the coach plays.

To prove my argument (no not with stats), I would like to see Lionel Messi at a different club and I would also like to see Ronaldo not force 4-3-3 on every club he plays at. City’s system merely suits Sterling and De Bruyne.

Happy to hear other approaches
Fat Man


The definition of lucky – in football
Liverpool have not played at their best in their last few league games but have managed to come away with wins. In both of the last few games the tone has been how lucky Liverpool have been, especially given those missed chances from the opposition.

The comments, from fans and pundits alike, all centre around the Chelsea and Sheffield United misses chances. “If one of those went in…” Funny that none of Liverpool’s missed chances and certainly never any of their first half chances are ever considered. In the Chelsea game, Liverpool missed several in the first half and 3 right at the beginning of the second half. But those must always be overlooked if the opposition have one decent chance. In the Sheffield United game Liverpool had 3 chances that would have been nailed on in most games and several poor passing decisions where one team mate was in a much better position to score.

So was that Liverpool being unlucky? Of course not, that is just part of the game.

And this isn’t just about Liverpool. This is always about the team that was expected to win – be it Man City, Chelsea etc.

And one last thing. While all the pundits support Wilder calling out Henderson publicly, would he have done do if he were actually one of his players and not a loanee? Think not. A bit two faced in reality, if you ask me.
Paul McDevitt


Go with this tonight, Unai…
Last season, I wanted Arsenal to sign David Luiz, and play in a variation of a 4-4-2 diamond, to get the best out of Ozil, Lacazette and Auby. While we got Luiz, I did not expect to (a) sign Pepe, and (b) lose my faith in Ozil*. However, I still think it will work, and would be great it Emery went with this tonight;

Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Chambers, Tierney;
Guendouzi, Ceballos;
Pepe, Aubameyang;

Bellerin and Tierney play as wing backs, who provide the width for the team. Luiz plays as a third centre back, who steps out when Arsenal are in possession, playing the DM in a diamond, who can ping his world class passes over the top of midfield for a quick break, but has the pace to get back if needed, but also the added protection of two other centre backs – which we all know Luiz is better in a 3 man defence.

The midfield has two players who can tackle – looking at you Xhaka – but also play football. They are technically gifted, strong in the challenge, can break the line if need, and both have an eye for a pass. With the added three men behind them, one or both can go forward when needed. Ozil for tonight, but with the added defensive cover, he can be carried as a luxury attacking player in most games, but when Lacazette is fit, Pepe behind our front two, given a free role to roam and drag wherever, I believe this will give a great balance to the team, and not leave us so vulnerable in defence. Our centre backs are versatile, as both can cover as fullbacks, we have Sokratis, Kolasinac (and Mustafi) as cover, Torreira, Maintland-Niles, Willock, Nelson, Rowe-Smith, Martinelli, Ozil (if the other three are playing) for are midlfield/attack, plus our captain if we absolutely have to.
Néill, (*I haven’t lost total faith in him) Ireland


Why Jon is wrong on Bernardo tweet
Jon is missing a couple of things in his mail earlier.

First, Bernardo also made an Instagram post pretending Memdy was naked because he was wearing all black and his skin is black.

This makes it clear the joke between him and Mendy is based on skin colour, and is not some elaborate meta making fun of racists.

That said, the pair are good friends from their time in Monaco and make fun of eachother often.

Mendy calls Bernardo a builder because of the number of Portuguese labourers in France.

Also disparaging, but between two friends, clearly a joke.

The problem is not what they said to each other.

It is the fact it was broadcast to the world. And this is where Jon is wrong. Social media is not just for sharing personal jokes between friends.

Bernardo made that post as an Instagram story, broadcast to all his followers. For stars like him, Instagram is a marketing tool, not a way to catch up with friends.

Twitter even more so. It is literally a platform for debate and broadcasting/amplifying your views to a larger audience. It is not designed for easy interaction between friends.

That is the reason why it is wrong regardless of the intention, and regardless of whether Mendys feelings were hurt or not.

Thousands saw that tweet and insta story. Kids will copy that kind of behaviour. And see Guardiola deny there’s anything wrong with it. And that’s what’s wrong.
Harry CFC London (I agree on getting rid of twitter though)


Sterling’s Silva stance
Wonder how long all the people criticising Sterling for his Silva stance, have been waiting for this moment? I can’t be the only one who feels slightly uncomfortable with the absolute relish that is evident throughout some mails and comments on the subject
John Collins, Wolves, London


I see Raheem Sterling has come in for some criticism in The Mailbox this morning after his comments on the Silva/Mendy tweet which I saw on MOTD.

I was uncomfortable watching his interview on the subject, not simply because I disagreed with what he said, but because it looked like he really did not believe what he was saying.  I feel Pep/the club hierarchy instructed him to publicly take the stance he did to try to reduce the criticism directed towards Silva/the club.

Of course, Sterling could have said no to Pep/the club and just spoken from his heart, providing an alternative stance on the subject, but what sort of repercussions would he have encountered from Pep/the club by doing that?  There is every possibility Pep/the club would have considered Sterling disloyal to Silva/the club and accuse him of provoking divisions within the squad.

I feel Sterling was put in an impossible situation.
Naz, Gooner


I think it’s a bit much of Minty, LFC to say that Raheem has facilitated any racial abuse he suffers while on the pitch by defending Silva’s post. I’ve seen plenty of POC commentators express their disappointment at Sterling’s position and hope he comes to reconsider how he views this stuff in the future.

The worry I have is that while Sterling may genuinely believe this, he may also be toeing the party line a la Guardiola and that would be extremely problematic. Pep has already demonstrated a complete tone-deaf attitude to racism in this instance and in his career in general and he may be fostering a toxic attitude in the City dressing room that Sterling felt compelled to go along with. Let’s not forget Yaya Toure believes Pep actually treats African players differently, coldly. I mean you’d only have to ask Samuel Eto’o for further evidence.

It sounds reductive but I genuinely hope the words that came out of Sterling’s mouth were his genuine beliefs. Because if they weren’t then he’s potentially stuck between a rock and a hard place. A coach that has given him massive success and will continue to do so but one that will also create an atmosphere where he feels compelled to defend racism.
Kris, LFC, Wirral


Racism is a complicated concept. As Bernardo Silva has shown, it is possible to do something racist without having any malicious intent. I’ve seen a few white actors talk about being mistaken for other actors but that doesn’t mean Stormzy or Samuel L Jackson shouldn’t feel racially aggrieved when they’re mistaken for other people by tv interviewers or newspaper front pages. A white guy who assumes a black guy he knows is into hip hop or reggae isn’t necessarily going to vote UKIP and write angry Facebook posts about ISIS and immigrants. A lot of people who engage in racist stereotyping are well meaning. They’re not actual racists, they’re just ignorant. They probably don’t explore much beyond their immediate surroundings but that doesn’t mean they have ill will for anyone or think less of them. People who face racism have a right to be affronted by what they’ve said or done but intent is important and the likes of Bernardo Silva probably just need a quiet word in their ear to be put right rather than being publicly branded as a racist. That is what Raheem Sterling was trying to say.

Maybe he didn’t need to downplay the cartoon character’s skin colour but jayzus, consider the circumstances. It was off the top of his head in a conversation about a football match, just a few minutes after playing that match and just minutes after seeing Silva himself as well. He’s on autopilot, banging out standard post match jargon and then all of a sudden he has to consider how to speak respectfully about a hugely important and socially impactful topic while also not slandering someone he sees in work every day and probably likes. And he did. He acknowledged that people have every right to be offended while also explaining that Silva meant no harm and needs to learn. Calm down, consider the nuance, and certainly don’t justify future abuse he’s going to get from fans you fucking clown
Eamonn, Dublin  


El Hadji Diouf
He just wont go away will he?

He’s like an ex you broke up with now 15 years ago who is still hanging around your house.

You’ve moved on, gotten married, drive kids to footie practice and yet there he is, watching, waiting.

You were tried and tested and found wanting dude, I know its sad but please you have to go and live your life now, the past is gone and no one cares anymore.

Honestly I think I’d nearly pay for psychotherapy myself for him at this stage it’s so pitiful.

Does any other clubs have stalker exes like this and what do they do with them.

We need help
Dave LFC


Weekend round-up – Zaha back on form
Dear Football365,

Another weekend comes and goes, with on-field referees dominating proceedings and the video referee stopping games for ages. But enough about the Rugby Union World Cup boom boom.

*Including the end of last season, I believe Crystal Palace have somehow put together their best ever run of home form. Saturday’s game against Norwich City was the latest game in which the performance was mainly functional, primarily safety-first with a focus on defence, even if our defence can sometimes lack focus. The Eagles restricted the Canaries to just three shots on target, though managed just three themselves at the other end, but in terms of xG, had more than double what their visitors had.

*Writing for the Athletic, Matt Woosnam pointed out that there was a marked difference between Palace’s attempts to defend their fragile lead against Wolves and their efforts to do the same against City. This time around, Roy Hodgson not only made some substitutions, but actually made his team far more attack-minded. Andros Townsend was brought on for Cheikhou Kouyate after 70 minutes, which moved Jeffrey Schlupp into a more defensive position with Townsend, Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha as a front three. When Ayew himself was substituted (for Max Meyer), Townsend and Zaha played as a front two as they have done several times previously.

This became about controlling the space as much as controlling possession of the ball.  Having dynamic attackers and a packed midfield allowed the whole team to move forwards, forcing Norwich to play closer to their own end than they would have wanted and pinning back the adventurous full-backs. It won’t work against every opponent, but for Hodgson to trust his players and draw on his experience to go against his instincts means we may have found another way to win games. Someone should write something about teams winning while using a variety of systems.

*Zaha was back on form. Though the statistics will show just a solitary assist, he was a menace to the City defence all day. It was his pass to James McArthur that drew the foul for the penalty, and his ability to hold off tacklers that led to the second goal. In that moment, when the ball was played to him, he was one on one with a centre-back, who couldn’t cope, and his needle-threading pass found Townsend brilliantly. The Ivorian has had a frustrating summer, and is still likely to move away from Selhurst Park in the future, but my opinion has always been that he will only earn that move by keeping his head down, playing to the best of his abilities and helping to win games for Palace. He hasn’t been sulking, but it has taken him a few games to hit his strides.

*Grantham Town beat Radcliffe FC 4-0 on Saturday, with two goals coming from new signings Andy Wright and Francois Zoko. Former Nancy, Carlisle United and Notts County striker Zoko signed from Yeovil Town on Friday and has been appointed player-coach, with a football in the community role as well. The visitors are managed by ex-Manchester City striker Jon Macken, whose assistant is former Chelsea and Leicester defender Frank Sinclair (OG). At one point frustrations boiled over and Sinclair’s actions sparked a melee on the touchline, for which he was shown a red card.
Ed Quoththeraven


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