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Sancho’s stats speak for themselves
Not that he needs it, but thought it might be worth sending a defense of Jadon Sanco in for people to consider, whilst we’re in the midst of his ‘dip in form’ and questions of ‘worth’.
First things first: This kid is NINETEEN. I was still working in New Look and getting blotto at Freshers’ parties when I was 19. This kid has made a decision to leave the most well funded club in our league, moved to a new country and is thriving. This ‘dip’ is perfectly natural for a player of his age – let’s be honest, his numbers were probably fairly unsustainable. Speaking of those, let’s take a look at them by comparing against, say – Marcus Rashford.
Sancho: 115 Career apps, 42 goals, 42 assists. Minutes per goal: 195 (19 year old)
Rashford: 201 Career apps, 59 goals, 29 assists. Minutes per goal: 213. (22 years old)
Not too long ago, there was a piece demonstrating how Rashford’s contribution and trajectory was better than Kane’s and Ronaldo’s at the same age. Sancho is not far off at all surpassing Rashford’s tallies – he only needs 17 goals in 86 appearances to overtake Rashford, and already has more assists. This is also with Rashford playing as a central striker for short bursts.
Coupled with the fact that Sancho is getting CL experience compared to Rashford’s EL experience at least for this year (although it’s hard to see that changing any time soon – sorry UTD fans), and Sancho is destined to be an absolute gem. This isn’t to denigrate Rashford, although I do personally think he ‘blows hot and cold’ more than Sancho does.
Is he worth 100 mil? Probably, in the current market. Should Liverpool sign him? Probably not, but in all honesty I can see one of Mane, Firmino or Salah possibly getting their head turned by Madrid next year or the year after, so if that happens Sancho would be my number 1 target.
If United sign Sancho I’ll be very jealous. Although having just signed James for that position, I can’t see it happening. Perhaps Chelsea may be his next destination. Not sure Pulisic would be too happy, mind.
Lee (Sancho fanboy), LFC
Man Utd’s players from the 90s want a word
Seriously when you think England fans can’t embarrass you anymore aside from going to other countries and causing a riot they now boo one of their own. Absolutely disgusting. The way club rivalry has been banish from the squad it needs to be banished from the fans as well or we will get nowhere
…Just back from the game at Wembley tonight and ashamed of the morons that booed joe Gomez. Disgusting that my daughter had to hear that. Booing your own player is always awful but what is Gomez supposed to have done to deserve it? Southgate has created this.
…Last night’s treatment of Joe Gomez coming on in the 70th minute was an absolute disgrace, and the (albeit) small minority of “fans” who felt the need to boo an England player who had been the victim in an altercation with a player who has since apologised and accepted full responsibility, really showed the stupidity and myopic tribalism that is inherent in the game.
I am gladdened to see both Sterling and Southgate swiftly respond to this, and it’s does seem that at least there is intelligence within our players and staff – the same can sadly not be said of the small group of idiots who claim to love and support our nation’s football team.
They had a fight, they’ve sorted it, let’s move on. Hopefully the media (who are responsible for stirring up this repugnant behaviour) will do the same.
Adam, West Sussex
Which former Three Lion would most improve England?
Watching england storm into a 4-0 lead, correction, 5-0, like many, I’ve endured watching England for many years but this team is entertaining – I’m really enjoying them tear the opposition a new one on regular intervals. My only concern is that against the better teams I don’t think they’ll get anywhere near the space to create chances. I can just imagine a tournament ready Germany picking them off 2-0.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not here to criticise what is an undoubted fantastic improvement from the waistcoated one and these youngsters can certainly get better which I’m excited to see. Watching this game though I was wondering, who from past England’s sides you’ve watched would you want in the team that might improve it? (pick more than 1 if you need bearing in mind the so called golden generation were collectively pants).
Here’s my thoughts… While there are fantastic strikers of the past like Lineker, Shearer and Rooney – I’ll stick with what we have. Similarly we’ve had some great midfielders like Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes and Gazza. Defenders? None spring to mind other than Ashley Cole but again I’ll stick to what we have. However, the only player I think would make a difference and who put many of his best performances in for the 3 lions unlike those others mentioned, I’d just add Mr David Beckham.
I think he’s the player who could and would provide that bit of magic to unlock a tight game – a magic free kick like his late equaliser at Old Trafford to draw 2-2 and take us through to qualify for whatever tournament that was. And he set the example in terms of his work ethic in training and his desire and attitude on the pitch.
I’m sure many of you disagree with my choice and will probably point to his sending off (that I blame Hoddle for – the only ever present player in qualifying started the tournament on the bench) or his lifestyle but who would you pick?
Jon, Cape Town (Yes, I am a biased Man U fan – your own club favouritism is most welcome)
Before kick off, Clive Tyldesley was banging on about Cuthbert Ottaway being the first England player to kick a ball in 1872. Within seconds of the match kicking off he had proudly proclaimed “…in game number 1000 the first kick is made by Mason Mount.”
1872 and all that is all good and well researched probably (I haven’t checked) but what I do know 100% is that it was Harry Winks who kicked that ball. Mason Mount is standing in his own half, on the edge of the centre circle clearly showing his number to the camera.
All that research and preparation and he cocks up the easy bit!
John Stanley, Croydon, Spurs.
Regarding Ben’s article, I can’t disagree with any of the points made and enjoyed reading what I though was a well written mail. However….
Viewed through another lense, I commend F365 for not churning out an article for the sake of clicks (which would be hypocritical). That is based on my personal view that it has been handled maturely and dealt with.
Sterling acknowledged his mistake, apologised, a (fair) punishment has been received and it seems the England camp is happy with it (if not slightly disappointed they won’t have one of the best players in world football alongside them for a qualifying game).
Instead F365 have posted a range of views for days now on the matter, so can’t be accused of protecting him (though I guess we haven’t seen what F365 hasn’t published).
Obviously this is based on my conjecture as to the motivation for F365’s omission, but I don’t there’s much to the story than man acts immaturely and later deals with it maturely.
It was always going to be a media frenzy until full time tonight when there’s something to finally fill the international break drought.
…I just want to write in to support Ben, Oz and his mail on how f365 have covered the Sterling incident, and also to commend f365 for publishing that mail. I will clarify that I’m a Liverpool fan so not fully objective on the topic, but I do generally really like how f365 has gone to bat for Sterling against some very unfair press coverage in the past.
On this incident, I fully expected f365 to support Sterling, either implicitly or explicitly, and have no issues with this if done fairly and transparently. However, the report covering the incident ended with a description of Sterling’s “exceptional form” for England juxtaposed with Gomez essentially being described (accurately, of course) as a bit-part player for England winning his last of 7 caps in the 3rd place playoff.
I thought this was a blatant attempt to diminish the seriousness of the incident by highlighting their respective contributions to the English team. It wasn’t relevant to what had happened, but is something I’m sure Mediawatch would correctly flag if any other publication did something similar. It didn’t feel like context, but simply a method of leading people towards forgiving Sterling purely based on his importance to the team. It’s a dangerous concept that has been brilliantly raised by f365 previously, albeit for much bigger incidents than this (Suarez, Terry etc).
I’m a massive fan of the website and am fully supportive of how you have defended Sterling and others against totally unfair criticism in the past. Ultimately, this will unfortunately be used by many press organisations in every single article about Sterling in perpetuity. But, similar to what Ben said, it is difficult to accept a crusader who employs the same tactics as those they claim to oppose.
Football365’s feature on the premier league’s most creative fullbacks got me pondering the question: “In the dead of night, who does Klopp fear losing most to a season ending injury: Robertson or Alexander-Arnold?”
As pointed out, Robertson is probably a more complete player than TAA. He creates more chances, is defensively much more solid, and gets extra points for his often excellent shithousery. However, Trent has some other interesting and more ephemeral qualities. He is Liverpool’s deadball expert, his switch-of-plays are often outrageous, and he possess a Gerrard like quality to rise to the big occasion (e.g. that corner vs Barcelona). In addition, despite Robertson being a better defender, Liverpool always look more shaky when TAA is not on the pitch rather than Robertson.
Interested to get other fans’ thoughts.
Henderson and Suarez
Just read your piece on Jordan Henderson on Luis Suarez. One statement stood out: Henderson saying:
“At that time, I was a young player and there were one or two things Luis did in training that I didn’t like.
“It made me feel I wasn’t good enough to be in the same team in training.”
Well this is a bit awkward. Who’s going to tell poor JH then?
Oh okay then.
Jordan, mate, you weren’t good enough. Never will be. Don’t worry though, none of that shower Luis was surrounded by were good enough to lace Suarez’s boots, so you’re not alone.
The M Rod
Arsenal miss Santi
Good evening, I just read a nice piece in the Independent about Santi Cazorla. He says he misses everything about Arsenal and he didn’t get to say goodbye, and he doesn’t know his legacy at the club.
I truly hope someone chases him down and tells him he is a legend with us, I think all Arsenal fans love the magician . He is the only player I keep track of after they left, and I truly miss him as a player and just a gentleman. How he dealt with that injury is nothing but class and a great example to other players who struggle with injuries. I will never forget that free kick in the FA cup final, or his smile.
He may miss everything about Arsenal, but I would love him to know we miss everything about him. How we need him now. I hope he is still playing when he is 50, Football need guys like Santi.
Wade (I hope we get to see him at the Emirates again) Gunner 4 life.
I wish to jump on this issue and pick up on a particular point raised by fellow gooner, Graham Simons. Graham lends support to sports journalists and defends their inane kowtowing to managers as they need to protect their access.
My simple response is, do they? Whenever Mourinho or whoever, would make ridiculous baseless statements loaded with hypocrisy and a self-serving avoidance of reality, I always wondered why don’t sports journalists pick up on it. The defence of losing access is only meaningful if access means anything. If journalists want a story, someone like Mourinho losing it and letting the veil slip, or being the journalist who is known for really pushing managers would be great surely. I’m reminded of when Van Gaal reacted to the guy from the Sun picking on his weight. I’m not going to defend the guy from the Sun, but he easily could have responded to those ridiculous jibes, by such comments as “do you think picking on my weight will deflect from the sub-standard job you are doing?” or “do you thing making personal attacks will return United to winning ways and returning to the top?” etc
Instead if a sports journalist stuck to their guns, asked the hard questions and reported the hard truths, backed up with evidence to support their assertions, I know I’m asking for too much here, then managers would have two choices. Continue to deny access and ignore their requests, which the journalist could report on, or bite the bullet and discuss issues meaningfully. Recently VAR concerns, which are more often than not, concerns about the laws is left to go unchallenged. If a manager of a premier league team does not know the laws, that is highly concerning, as is the more likely scenario, that they know the rules but choose to argue a point they know not to be true.
An actual journalist could ask the difficult questions and either get answers or point out that managers are afraid to answer them, akin to a political reporter showing an empty chair. Imagine someone like Mourinho would he want to let that lie. The role of a journalist is to hold power to account. Sports journalist abdicate that role in every press conference or interview and thus should not be entitled to call themselves journalists.
For balance and reason, I would be willing to allow some grace to those immediate post match comments, where passions and emotions are high. A fair and reasonable journalist could offer the manager the right to correct their statement.
Stu, Afc (no-one needs to ask hard questions of Emery, we know he doesn’t have the answers) Manchester.
In my birth country, France, there are a few. Biggest one is probably PSG / Marseille. Hardly deserves its moniker of ‘Le Classique’ these days, due to Marseille being a bit sh1t and PSG the behemoth compared to the rest of the league. But still. The fans rivalry make up for the discrepancy on the pitch. There are elements of capital vs provinces in this rivalry, as everyone outside of Paris hate PSG. But there’s also a North v South conflict (France is somewhat divided in a North v South culture a bit like England).
Part of the PSG support is also a bit racist/white supremacist and obviously that clashes with the browner Marseille set.
Other rivalries are more regional. There’s Lyon vs St Etienne, these cities are quite close geographically and you could compare it to a Manchester v Liverpool situation. Always a tasty derby. St Etienne is the more famous and successful team historically (70s and 80s) but Lyon is bigger and has more fans.
Another one would be Nantes v Bordeaux, with 2 teams that are actually quite evenly matched in terms of success, profile, size etc. There’s quite a distance between the 2 cities, more than 300km, but the ‘derby de l’Atlantique’ has always been a thing. I am from Nantes and we have been bred and brought up to hate the posh middle-class, wine-quaffing upstarts from the south. There has been aggro between the 2 sets of fans in the past but things are a bit more genteel now.
Other derbies (Nice v Monaco, Lens v Lille, Rennes v Nantes, Nancy v Metz) do not really arouse a lot of passions other than in journalists wild imagination and satellite TV overhype machines.
Saaj, CFC having a couple of players who were a part of the youth team since U8s now in the first team does not magically negate all the other “loan army” dealings that Chelsea have had in the past and continue to do so now.
Kudos to the bunch for progressing through probably the most difficult first team for an academy player to breakthrough (until now), but that doesn’t mean you ignore the tens of other players who are out on loan as we speak.
Even after the transfer ban and the Lampard being the “one” to usher in youth, Chelsea still have over 27 players out on loan this season, significantly more than most of the other big teams. Chelsea have an “on-loan players” page showing all players out on loan on their official website! Just shows how much they value their youth players.
Having players like Miazga still on the club roster but having him out on loan every year is just proof of what Chelsea are trying to do every year.
A shiny turd still remains a turd. The turd here being Chelsea’s transfer system and ethics.
Postcard from the NPL
I haven’t written in about Crystal Palace this week but don’t worry, I still found a way of voicing my opinions.
Anyway, luckily for me, the tightest division at any of the top seven tiers of English football is the Northern Premier League. With roughly one third of the season played, South Shields sit top of the pile, a point clear of Lancaster City, two points clear of Basford United and four ahead of Warrington Town. However, the battle for the final playoff place is incredibly tight: there are ten teams who would consider themselves in genuine contention. FC United of Manchester are currently fifth, but only on goal difference; Hyde United, down in 14th, are just three points behind. In all, that’s 64% of teams in the league vying for promotion.
This weekend’s standout fixture looks to be FC United’s visit to one of the teams tied on points with them, Witton Albion. If they can’t be separated, the door opens to the winner of Stalybridge Celtic (tied on points with those two) and Matlock Town, a point behind.
At a time when a lot of leagues, for various reasons, become ever more predictable, there’s a chance this could be just the tonic. Virtually every game, regardless of its outcome, will have an effect on half the teams in the division. The sort of glorious unpredictability that football so often promises.